When Motherhood isn’t Playing House: Living Beyond Imagination


“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

John 15:55

Dear Page Turner,

I loved holding my baby dolls as a little girl. I sat in my rocker singing them to sleep and kissing their boo-boos away.

Motherhood did not turn out as I imagined.

It has been full of pain, laughter, surprises, mistakes, and successes. But what no one prepares you for when they place that new wiggly crying baby in your arms–loss.

Why would they? How could they? Amid the balloons, gifts, cards, and celebration, life breathes fresh, expectant, and new. Hopes are not tainted by the darkness of health problems or overwhelming trauma. How do we live beyond the life imagined?

As hard as losing a child is, there is life beyond the grave. It is possible to draw the first breath, then another and another. Jesus prepared his disciples for such a new life. But they had to walk through his death first. And even though Jesus tried to prepare them, the disciples scattered in the crushing betrayal of dreams. The death of Jesus spiraled them into confusion, abruptly stopped all they planned, all they imagined. Why didn’t he fight, why did he not defend himself or call his heavenly army? Was he really the Son of God? Jesus rerouted the disciples’ lives from an earthly kingdom to a cross on Calvary. From royal court to servitude. Victory over the Romans to disgraceful defeat. There would not be a single one who sat beside Jesus’ throne.

Yet, Jesus raises all things from the dead and makes a new life out of the confusion of the grave. Here how he is making things clear to me:

  1. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5
  2. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Luke 7:22
  3. We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel  that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.

I am learning to live vibrant beyond the grave because I know that what I experience in this life is not all there is. Jesus’ will is that none perish. The gospel is my heartbeat. I find joy and delight in the unexpected breath I now breathe more deeply because Christ is not limited by the grave my son is in.

I would not trade the joys of motherhood for an untroubled reality. I came to Christ through a child’s heartbeat, and I now breathe life into others because Jonathan, Daniel, and Natalie are a part–not the whole of my story.

Love Always,

Karisa

Life is So Worth Living
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When Life Happens: Be Present

“Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:6-7 NIV).

I am trying to post more consistently, but sometimes life happens. I found myself growing frustrated with my day yesterday as deadlines loomed and nothing I wanted done, was done. But, a much-needed commitment to my son took center stage and revealed how off my priorities had become. I was leaning towards doing, rather than being.

How easy it is to make life into a to-do list. And while checking off agendas can be a nice feeling for the moment, just like any addiction it is only a short and a temporary high that requires more and more doing. God is looking for men and women who make themselves available to those in front of them. As long as I can remember I have always looked to do big things for God. But God is teaching me to skip stones and change the waters a little at a time, in individuals, rather than making a splash in the crowd.

So as I watched my son race around a track with his friend, I realized the depth of importance this moment has. Daniel needs solid friendships, he needs experience, and he needs to know his life is valued. My time with this growing young man is fleeting and what I do for and with Daniel and his sister matters. Turning the Page on Suicide is a big deal and I love the unique details of your purpose and lives dear reader. But speaking life into my children has far bigger implications because we are face to face, day in and day out.

Who is in front of you Page Turner? How can you spend time with them? Be intentional to speak life into their circumstances? Lean into Christ’ purpose for all you encounter.

It can be easy for us to look for opportunities to do and miss out on being present, right where God plants us. Christ was very good at being present with those in front of him. Notice his habits, where he positioned himself and who he spent time with.

  • temple
  • streets
  • meals
  • homes (rich and poor)
  • outcast camps
  • boat
  • road (Can you imagine how many saddles he wore out)
  • wells
  • market place

So excuse me if I have moments of catch up, but I am being with my children, and what a delight to speak God’s life into them.

The Importance of Being Present
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