Posts Tagged: joy

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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,


Life is So Worth Living

The Importance of Laughter in Grief

It is so vital to our wellbeing to laugh! I believe that God in heaven laughs. He named Isaac (laughter) because Sarah thought it was impossible for her to be pregnant. I believe that he takes joy in us, and laughs deeply. Can you imagine standing close to the throne of heaven and hear God laugh.

In this season of grief I need laughter, to water my soul with joy. Sewing seeds of joy in a desert. If you have a funny story to share, or a humorous author that you like, feel free to share in the comments. Jonathan loved to make me laugh. In fact, if something got me really tickled, it was his goal to get me to laugh like a hyena.

Brian: Natalie, what do you think about 3 more days of school?
Natalie: Just 3 more days and I can go back to being nocturnal!



The Grass is always Greener Where God Abides

2 Samuel 7:4 But in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, 5“Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? 6“For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle.…

I have struggled with “catch a one-way-bus” syndrome for the past few weeks and today it reached fever pitch. I sat at my dinning room table, staring at houses listings, feeling like I was going to implode if I didn’t open the release valve. So I began mowing our yard.

God brought to mind the overwhelming longing I felt 14 years ago, to share my life with someone after being totally content with being single for 6 years was confusing. I felt stirred up. In those days, friends and family moved away, and I asked God to either make me content with Him alone again, or if this stirring was from Him, to provide a husband. He did both. I had such a joy in the journey and, because I opened myself to new possibilities, I met Brian. As I mowed my rows today, I finally  became quiet enough to listen.

Me:Lord I want a change. I want a one story house in the country.

God: You take yourself wherever you go.

Me: So that’s a no?

God: Contentment is in me, not a location. If you do not learn to have a joy in your work here, then expanding your tent pegs isn’t going create lasting peace.

Me: Yes, Lord. Teach me to love being present with you here in my home. Reveal the sin in me that rebels against your will and direction.

The tension left my shoulders and I let the bus leave without me.

Leaping, Shouting, and Singing

Proverbs 15:13 13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

The irony was not lost on my friend and I. The day we chose to do this photo op, my usually cheerful baby was having none of it. She was mad and crying the whole time. Sometimes our heart is sad, because it is broken by deep loss. Many times, even when I am laughing my eyes give me away. I got free crazy bread just the other day because the cashier thought I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. I want my words, my life, and my example to flow from a heart filled with unexplainable joy. I am just plain not there yet, so how do I transition from a sad to a joyful heart? Important Note: Scripture doesn’t say HAPPY, it says JOYFUL. I am not happy that my son is dead. I’m not happy that there is so much pain, sorrow, sickness and fear dominating us. I’m not happy that friends I hold dear are faced with divorce. I’m not happy about many things.

Happiness is very fleeting, but joy raises weighted shoulders, so that I can lift my arms to the heavens to give thanks no matter what crashes around me. This isn’t a blind action, you go into joy eyes wide open, joy must be intentional. Some of the most oppressed people are also the most joyful. Their hearts are wide open the possibilities in their suffering. They discipline themselves in reading scripture, fellowshipping together, prayer, and witnessing (attesting to what the have seen and heard).  Oh Lord, may I become so saturate in the joy of your presence that leaping, shouting, and singing become second nature. Amen.

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