Poetry · The Celebrating Soul

September Two Years Ago & The Goodness of God

On September 10,2019, I began a new prayer journal.

I’ve been keeping prayer journals consistently since I was about 16 years old. I have a box for my old prayer journals and year calenders. If there were to be a fire that burned our house down which is a very real possibility every year in norther California, that box is one of the only things I really care about taking with me.

I love going back through my prayer journals and seeing how God was present with me in all my emotions and fears, how He has answered requests, the things He has taught me, etc. Those journals hold so much proof that my faith in Christ is not in vain.

I realized last night that I only had 3 pages left in my current prayer journal and I would be finishing it September 2021, a little over two years since I began. Admittedly since getting pregnant (and also early postpartum and other times!!), I’ve had long stretches where I haven’t written down a prayer at all. But I love that we began in September and will end in September two years later.

So, I began this prayer journal while still walking through infertility. At this point, I was much on the healing end, but still grieving deeply. I was opening my eyes to life and asking God to open my eyes to the life He was giving while also bringing to Him my deep sorrow and struggle with the passage of time. Words I used were loneliness, starkness, disappointment, exhaustion, persistent heartache. So while I was healing in deep and immense ways, I wasn’t “past it.”

On November 19,2019, I saw two lines on a pregnancy test for the first time and then it rained that night and how I loved that. There’s not a lot of white space left on that journal entry. Fast forward quite a bit to July 2021 and I found out I’m pregnant again.

So, what I love most about this prayer journal is that it began with infertilty and holds not one but two pregnancies within its pages. I didn’t expect that, but those are the kinds of things God can do.

Sometimes, I like to go back and read past prayers. So last night, on September 23,2021 I flipped the pages and found September 23,2019. I was in a totally different season of life two years ago, but I was still learning and experiencing God’s good gifts. I was working through the goodness of God and wrote, “While I know that You (God) don’t like to see me in pain. . .it is good that You (God) have not given me children.” That’s a complex thought. But in that season of quiet and grief, I healed and became sure of God’s goodness. I began to know God more deeply. I noticed the “obscure” gifts from God’s hand. I got more excited about heaven. I found freedom and hope in God to live the life I had.

Two years later, I’m praying for two children and still experiencing God’s goodness. I’m still learning to trust God, really trust Him. His goodness has stretched far and wide through every season of the journey and it is I who is learning to live fully in whatever those good gifts are and trust Him with the present and the future. This prayer jouranl is lined pages with the reality of God meeting me wherever I was, however I was.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

In a roundabout way that bring us to the poetry series for this October!

I wrote a story in 20 poems that reflects my journey beginning in the dust and ash of infertility into healing, saying yes to my life, being given beautiful, unexpected gifts along the way, and then learning not to be afraid of those good gifts from God. I will carry the history of infertility and grief inside me forever. It is a part of my frame, but it is not my story. But these days, I’m learning to take long, slow walks in the garden I’ve been given without the fear of death and the dying of all good things.

I am beginning to understand good gifts from God will always be good gifts form Him even if the pain and brokeness of this world touches those good things. Once received, always received. I can trust God in the bad times and in the good times.

While I wrote these poems from a place of personal experience, they do not mention specific things like infertility or my subsequent pregnancies. It is a story I hope you can step into with your own personal experiences. And I think you will. I really do.

So, next Tuesday, September 28th, I’ll reveal the title, the first poem, and where you’ll be able to access the rest! It will be completely free, and available in a couple different formats. I’m excited!

I think we share this story. Maybe in different ways, but at the heart of it, this is us.

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.

Poetry

Our Hearts & Lives

There’s not a moment on this green earth when we will get to a point of “arrival.” And still, life with God means we’ll never be stagnant even when things feel broken and hidden. . . and all feels like an endless middle.

I think of our hearts and our lives much like this,

Poetry

Life Escapes

Planting a garden on my porch will always be one of the best decisions of my 20s. It has led to such profound reawakening of joy, hope, and anticipation. God has shown me such love + treasure through the small garden I began a few years ago. As my porch garden expanded so did the whole of my heart and soul. Life escapes where we cannot imagine it ever will.

And, for now, this poem is the best I can do to describe it.