Life at the Blue House

The Girl in My Circle

how can I care for
the girl in my circle
when I know a hundred others
by heart?

so maybe it’s discernment
not rose-colored glasses
or self-indulged blindness
that has me centered in
family and church and community. . .
not knowing every story,
or holding all the world.
not exposing myself
to all manner of
insanity,
and darkness,
gaping wounds
scrolling by.

I can’t wholly love
if I’m going half out
of my mind.
and I am!
fingers flailing,
pulse racing,
spirit aching,
legs numb.

I’m a woman
masquarading
as a gravestone
ever waiting
for all hope
to die. . .
(that’s what happens,
right?)
and I’m patient,
but hope never dies,
never does!

but I can’t keep up
and it feels like loss
to read mere seconds
of all this humanity still in
the middle of questions,
and healing, forgiveness
mercy and grace.

so, I’ll risk looking ignorant
if looking ignorant means
I can better look after
the circle of people
my heart’s been drawn into
by the sovereignty
of God.

I am here.
I am here.
so here is where
I will be.

-S.V.F.

Life at the Blue House

I’m Having Another Baby (a very unpoetic piece)

Summer found me excited for my son’s first birthay, refreshing the ole podcast, and dusting off my email list which has been off it’s game since late 2019! I sent two whole emails this summer with the intent to send more and then. . .

I found out I was pregnant again.

What?!

As for the podcast, I was finding my way and then had trouble recording a poem and giving the backstory so I pushed that episode to the backburner in frustration. A handful of weeks later, BOOM.

Pregnant.

What?!

So here I am. The podcast has been a ghost town and, uh, emails are going unwritten and unsent. And that’s just the stage of life I’m in. I picked up the podcast and email again because it was a good time to do so, which then changed much faster than I anticipated. Abrupt and wonderful! God always surprises us. I’m learning many things these days, but I’ll lay out a couple for you.

I’m clumsily discovering my creative limitations.

I am in a season that keeps changing. Pregnant. Postpartum. Balance again. Pregnant. I’m not good at these fast changes. I spent 3+ years in what often felt like slow motion. Quiet. Rhythymic. Healing. Purposeful. Very, very slow. And not always the “lovely” slow. The painful kind. Where time keeps moving, but you feel you don’t. Friends keep getting pregnant. But you don’t. Having no “end” in sight. You get it.

But now, I’m in this rush of movement and it really is beautiful. And I’m not lying when I say it can also be so magical. Of course, tiring. Of course, imperfect. Blah. Blah. Blah. But motherhood is so good. While I’m here in this fast-paced, body changing, life changing, going through 3-6 month clothes, then 6-9, then 12-18, they heyay, that’s TWO lines again(!!), my ability to create content and craft poetry dwindles. It doens’t dissappear, certainly. But it does change. And I’m learning what those changes are and how to be intentional with whatever those changes are. My drive and hard work remains in tact, but my hands can do less right now. I’m okay with that! Just figuring out what “that” means.

I’m scared and learning to trust God with all that’s good and beautiful in my life.

Which is a lot right now. When I stumbled through infertility, I learned to grieve with God and to trust Him with my pain.Now the feelings are so similar, but I’m learning to trust God with all these happy, good gifts.

It’s overwhelming.

Admittedly, I’ve spent far too much time fearing the “Great Fall Apart.” It’s no way to live and it’s also not right. God has given these good gifts to me and they will always be good gifts from God to me no matter the pain or brokeness of the world that may (will) touch these good things. What am I going to do? Shrivel up like a raisin and play dead while God shows me His great love in the good times just as He did in the bad times?! Yikes. I’m learning to trust God with my whole life. And the thing is my whole life keeps changing, so I have to keep surrendering. I’m in the process of living out what it means to rest in God during the good times. And it’s a learning curve. Just like it was in the bad times.

Funny how that works.

God is so kind, though. Some favorite Scripture of mine is Psalm 103:13-14, As a father shows compassion to His children, so does the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; he remembers we are dust.

I’m sure there was a much more poetic way to write a second pregnancy announcement post, but this is where I’m at! I mean, I know I could get some flowery language to convey the miracle of our second child and that will come in time, but this is me currently. Also, S I C K. In the first trimester+, I wear the pregnancy glow like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Oh and one more thing. . .with October comes a very special poetry series. I know, I know. I just had this whole spiel on creative limitations and yady-yady-ya, but this is one thing I’ve had space for and am mindful of adjusting expectations and boundaries as I need to. I’ll post more details by Friday morning!!

So there ya go. That’s life these days. It’s a wild ride. I could be trendy and say, “And I’m here for it.” But ya know, sometimes I need a minute(!!!).

DON’T WE ALL!

But God is here with us even when being “here for it” seems overwhelming and/or scary.

Thank you, God. We rest in You!

Life at the Blue House

Summer of Lullabies

It’s the sound of a fish tank and an old black fan. The creak of a rocking chair painted by his Grandma. . . the word Grow stretched across the arm. Reminding me every night that watching him grow up is so, so good. That time goes to beautiful and good places.

It’s his breathing, eyes slowly welcoming sleep.

It’s the sound of my voice singing, because he can’t sit still for books anymore. And he still loves “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site,” but he loves moving more.

One night I began singing “You are My Sunshine,” as part of our nightly routine, because one of my nurses had that as a tattoo, her special song between mother and daughter. She told me her Sunshine story as we worked to bring my son into the world and now that song is my way of carrying her story on into another family.

So it’s the sound of stories meeting up and weaving togehter. And my son never really went back to books after lullabies.

It’s the sound of childhood and motherhood both being experienced for the first time. We’ve learned we’re safe to grow up togehter.

It’s the sound of the song “God Is So Good,” but I make up a lot of verses.

I love who you are. I love who you are. I love who you are. And God loves you too.”

“He’ll help you grow strong. He’ll help you grow strong. He’ll help you grow strong. He’s so good to you.”

“I’m here for you. I’m here for you. I’m here for you. And God’s here for me.”

So, it’s the sound of a lullaby sung for the mother, too. I’m not alone.

It’s the sound of the day closing, how we lived and laughed and grew. Grow has never been such a beautiful word.

The fish tank bubbles and the fan whirs it’s steady pace, the rocking chair creaks. Who knew the second-hand rocking thing could be an instrument?

And I sing “I love you, Lord and I lift my voice to worship you, O my soul, rejoice. Take joy, my King in what You hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.”

And I think all those sounds must be sweet to God’s ears. Love is here. The life He’s given us is here. Worship is here. And so we sleep in peace.

Summer birthday and broken record lullabies. The old, creaking rocking chair holding our hearts growing up.

God is so good.

And here is sunshine.

Even at night.

Life at the Blue House

To New Moms Giving Birth This Summer

I’m so exicited for you.

Your birth is going to beautiful. And if it isn’t. . .if the trauma pulsates beyond the birth, there will be healing for that. And that journey alongside God will be intimate and, yes, even beautiful in surprising ways.

You don’t have to be afraid.

I am so excited for you.

In the minutes and seconds before you meet your baby, the veil between heaven and earth will feel very thin. And how precious those moments are.

I am so excited for you.

There will be gifts from God even beyond the birth of your child. Mine was laughter. The laughter shared in that hospital room remains one of the most special gifts I received during childbirth. Those good gifts from God won’t be hard to find as you lean on Him to bring life into the world.

I am so excited for you.

When your baby is placed on your chest and you’re finally skin to skin, it will feel like coming home. And you may not know what you’re doing, but you’ve always been home to your baby. Just keep being home.

I am so excited for you.

Giving birth will not make you more of a woman, yet it is an inexplicably beautiful thing to experience as a woman. That experience may include an epidural, a C-section, inducement, pitocin, (etc & so on). None of these things take away from your value as a woman or the beauty you can (& will!) experience bringing life into the world.

I am so excited for you.

You’re going to cry a lot. And there will be hard things. But I bet you anything, the good you’re about see, the fun you’re about to have, the joy you’re about to feel . . .it all outweighs the hard. (Or one day, it will.)

I am so excited for you.

You birth and motherhood experience will be your own. Let it be your own. But some of the best advice I received at 37 weeks was: expect the best.

There are so many things that will go well. There is so much happiness to be had from the moment you hear that first cry. There will be nights you hit the pillow and you’re just so excited to see your baby in the morning all over again. There is so much good here and so much good on the way.

I am so excited for you.

And I can’t say it enough.

So, I’ll leave you with some thoughts I wrote down while waiting for our Shasta-boy. The closer you get, the harder it is to wait. . .

Because yes, good things are coming!

But these simple thoughts helped me while I waited:

I will enjoy the excitement!

It is fun to anticpate his arrival. ❤

I will expect THE BEST!

I will not miss the good things in my life TODAY!

I can look forward-AND-fully live here.

I will intentionally live this hour of my life!

I will NOT rush past this season.

I am excited in the wait & NOT frustrated.

I will celebrate! that every day waiting brings me closer to your birthday!

My body is actively preparing for a healthy birth.

I will LOVE Shasta’s birthday.

Your baby’s birthday is right when it should be and you are about to experience some of the most fun you’ve ever had. And for anything that’s painful and hard and not as it should be. . .well, there’s healing for that, for you, for your baby. God does beauty in the impossible. God does life. God restores. So, either way. . .you are about to witness good things, joyful things, miraculous things.

I am so excited for you.

May I be the first to wish your baby a very Happy Birthday.

Love,

S.V.F.