“Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hand, called out “Pooh!”
“Yes?” said Pooh.
“Yes, Christopher Robin?”
“I’m not going to do Nothing any more.”
“Well, not so much. They don’t let you.”
Pooh waited for him to go on, but he was silent again. “Yes, Christopher Robin?” said Pooh helpfully.
“Pooh, when I’m–you know–when I’m not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?”
“Will you be here too?”
“Yes Pooh, I will be really. I promise I will be Pooh.”
“That’s good,” said Pooh.
“Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever. Not even when I’m a hundred.”
Pooh thought for a little. “How old shall I be then?”
Pooh nodded. “I promise,” he said.
Still with his eyes on the world Christopher Robin put out a hand and felt Pooh’s paw. “Pooh,” said Christopher Robin earnestly, “if I–if I’m not quite–” he stopped and tried again– “Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won’t you?”
“Oh, nothing.” He laughed and jumped to his feet.
“Where?” said Pooh.
“Anywhere.” said Christopher Robin.
So, they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”
― A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Over the past month I read all the Pooh books to Jeremiah before bed and when I got to the end and read this there were tears on my part. He is on the cusp of growing up, but this is a golden time, and always he will be here in this light with this magic in his heart.
For more unplugged images this month head over to Childhood Unplugged
It’s been seven years, and this time I’m not surprised, by the anniversary, by the march of time.
Losing him has become a part of me, like my body, like the children I hold.
And now on that very day I lost him, my body swells full with a daughter wiggling and squirming – something I I never thought I would feel again, even after Jeremiah came to us less than a year after Joshua was gone. Never thought I would see this day because we had two more babies fly away, them never growing full inside me like Joshua did, just washing away before the world even took notice.
Babies die and babies are born. The world is horribly broken and it is full of rosebushes and songbirds; amidst tragedy it is overflowing with creation and life. Each time I walked into the doctor’s office this year, I held my breath until her heartbeat rang out clear. Each time I wondered if this would be the time there was only silence. As she grew bigger the panic subsided because she was there reassuring me with every wriggle and hiccup. Reassuring me that she was still with me. But when you have seen trauma, joy doesn’t come easy anymore, you know everything can splinter in an instant. Christ still stands eternal, but it’s hard for us here with the clay bodies and broken hearts.
Seven years it’s been, and this is now my story. Six days God created and on the seventh he rested. Six years I have been working, trying to fix, searching for the healing. But rest has come. I’m still afraid. This daughter of mine will be brought from my womb in a week, and I don’t know what will happen to her or I. The trauma never quite lets go of your imagination, and the hard thing is I’m no longer naive, I know the hard script can replay in a thousand different ways.
But there is nothing I can do – except rest. My doctor says to eat and sleep and wait on the One who gives the life because we don’t. He speaks wise words and no matter what I think I have done these years, this is all I can ever do. Be still and know that He is God.
Seven years and I am resting in the brokenness – counting all the seeds that my son planted in his short time here, and that have grown.
I look at Jeremiah and see pure miracle, catching my breath because can anything here be this perfect, this beautiful? If I love too hard will I break? Am I only to fix my eyes on the eternal because everything here can be stolen from me? But as I watch blond hair run through golden light and growing boys learn and speak I know this is the eternal put on flesh. Christ came to us in the temporary, he walked and ate, wept and bled with us because there was no other way to fully love. I’m splitting right open into love like my body will to bring this baby – into the wise foolishness of wanting only to hold them, nourish them, gaze at their bodies growing strong and eyes sparkling – into rest.
I have worn this story so imperfectly, but it is the one my Creator has given me. I am not a mother standing strong and sure, I am a women broken and given more than she deserves. I pray for grace to honor all this beauty, this exquisite story.
One day we will meet – I love you Joshua
// polaroid image taken of me and baby girl at 36 weeks by my love Jesse
Each woman is a collection of stories… some exhilarating and some heartbreaking. My life is no different, and each of these seasons eventually pass. Our stories are tied together with the thread that is our life, and they are also woven together with our family and friends’ lives and even those we have never met and the believers that have gone before us.
These seasons may seem endless when we are in them and the stories may seem so numerous that they go on forever, but there is only one absolute – one permanent.
When everything seems to shift and fall away, the one thing that remains is our Creator and his love for us. Our very lives are the story he is writing and Christ and the cross are what he has given us to hold onto.
Reading scripture has been an on-again off-again part of my life, but over the years it has been a lifeline I have held onto. The times when I am soaking up God’s love letter to me are marked with a greater sense of peace and being loved. Over the past few years the beautiful app She Reads Truth has been a daily part of my life as I read God’s word together with a community of other women. I was excited and honored to find out that the women who founded this community, Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams, had written a book, She Reads Truth, sharing their personal stories interlaced with the truth of God’s word; and that they would like me to help spread the word about it.
As I read I especially resonated with Rachel’s story of pregnancy loss since I have gone through a stillbirth and two miscarriages. It was sensitive and raw at the same time and reminded me of God’s love and faithfulness even in the hardest of times. Each of the stories shared covered such a wide range but the truth was always another facet of the same permanence we hold in Christ. In the face of everything this broken world throws at us and the insecurities of our own hearts, they are a reminder of “whose we are.”
I also really love that the beautiful linen cover itself serves as a graphic reminder in my home that I am one who reads truth. I want this to be a legacy my children receive from me, and this book is a powerful reminder of what is ultimately the most important and permanent in my life – the truth God has shared through the love letter he wrote us.
You can learn more about the book and order it HERE
In California every day is the same. Blue. Sunny.
When we moved here I was glad for that. I was so tired of Southern rain, but now I find it hard to get excited for a new day when I know it will be just the same.
I come from a place with seasons – the year begins lying dormant under a frozen blanket and then it wakes with flowers bursting before the hot months come covering everything with humidity and green again. And then there is the fall.
Every California year I mourn the autumn. As a little girl my favorite month October was filled with brilliant crimson, orange and yellow leaves, covering the trees, floating through the crisp wind and gathering a carpet on the ground. Here there is just more blue and sunny, hot until the weather cools a bit to make a nod at winter and then return to persistent, endless summer.
Here in California when fog rolls in or there is a tiny rain shower we cherish it with latte’s and a day at home, but all the while I am sad because I know this bit of weather enveloping and holding us will move on and won’t soon return. I look at the grey and drizzle and wish for thunderclaps and rain pounding the windows. I want to see the power of a storm, to feel the thrill of being held safe within and glimpse the beauty that comes after.
My family has lived many of these storms in our lives. We have seen loss and we have weathered seasons of bitter cold and black storm clouds. I don’t know if I miss the variety, the death and redemption of the earthly seasons or if I just want the sky to weep more often with me. But when the rain falls down I feel the earth acknowledging the sorrow we have lived through and reminding me of it’s constant rebirth.
And the light after the rain – it’s an otherworldly glow that comes only after storm clouds have gathered and wet has cleaned the air.
This is how it is in everything. The light after the rain is fleeting but within is a glimpse of magic beyond rhythmless pleasant weather.
I miss actual rain, but I fear to see another of life’s storms. I made these photographs the night we had a sprinkling of rain, after the skies cleared. We have lived the storms, we are deep within life’s rhythm – working, birthing, seeing death, rebuilding, hoping, waiting, working.
I know what the light after the rain looks like and I long just to linger in it.
For more unplugged moments from other photographers head over to Childhood Unplugged…
Sometimes I wake up and feel the stillness, I wonder if I’m empty again. I wait, trying just to breath when everything feels too quiet.
And then I feel her. She moves so deep within me. That pulse inside – the universe shifts – I feel her intertwined with my body and blood, nestled deep inside, everything that I am is protecting her. And yet I am completely out of control, this seed growing and growing takes no thought from myself. I don’t knit her together. I don’t form her blinking eyes, curling fingers or kicking feet. Yahweh does – the One who has always been the Creator and always will be. She is a seed I pressed down eager and hopeful into soft soil, praying a lovely bud would uncurl and grow up strong. That is all I have to do with the miracle.
Those years of knowing I would never hold a child again are starting to fade. Things that I was too afraid to even whisper, I’m starting to sing out rejoicing with others. I don’t flinch anymore when asked when my baby will arrive. I have enough hope now to look forward to that day. Her movements down deep have given me enough strength to gather a few little clothes and blankets. She walks with me, giving me the courage to wear a dress draped to show my belly swelling, inviting smiles and congratulations, the world sharing their tokens of hope and thanksgiving. I can receive them now, because I believe in miracles. I believe in a babe taking its first breath. I believe in children growing to know God’s love in this dark world. And I believe this world is always, ever a place of light even when hearts and families and nations are breaking, because God still speaks. Jesus plants seeds and hope and He never leaves. He has come and is coming again so that those who sow weeping will go out with songs of joy.
The first trimester I stumbled through a fog – of fear and fatigue, nausea and surprised hope. Her heart kept beating and I took hormones that increased the fog. I slept and ate and prayed and those months endless passed. The second trimester arrived like a clear day, announced she is a girl after so many boys birthed, and with it brought enough energy and hope to prepare a home for her. Now the third trimester is on the brink and it’s hard for me to think beyond the present day – maybe that is a gift in itself. What comes will be His gift, nothing more, nothing less.
In this moment I can rest to know that I am blessed to hold life within. I cradle a miracle between muscle and bone.
. . .
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
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