Garden Lullaby

Crazy Bloom

Garden Lullaby, February 15, 2019

I ran out of the house and yelled to Ben, “It’s picking the craziest time to bloom!!”

The last 2 weeks have been off-and-on stormy here in Northern CA. Sheets of rain came down yesterday, and big ole short-lasting snowflakes came today AND YET this crazy, cold, and stormy season is also the right season for this particular bud to bloom.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but there it is. A flower. Beautiful. Strong. Not of my own doing. I love that we don’t get to choose when flowers bloom. We just get to water, wait, watch, and see. There’s a lesson in that. I don’t get to choose the conditions in which I’ll bloom, but I do get to bloom in crazy conditions and all I can possibly say through the snow, hail, and sleet is GOD DID THIS BEAUTIFUL THING DESPITE THE HARD. SEE!

And though we’re in the crazy snow, hail, and sleet, you won’t even have to squint to see.


Your FREE download of Girl with Good Bones

For Young Mothers, poem

Your Body Is Strong (to the Women Facing Infertility)

Garden Lullaby

Waking Up at 23

Garden Lullaby, January 7, 2019

Maybe the best picture of 23.

It was the first official day of our Porch Garden (can ya tell by my face) & one of the first photos to document my true & full decision to EMBRACE life just as it was right where I stood.

I watched life burst from that corner as my soul followed suit. God gave me so much more this year than I could have imagined…opportunities to speak, counsel, publish a book, and host festive parties (with a full heart). The year 23 was bigger than I dreamed. And yes, it was hard & different…but it was also an honest delight for my soul…a waking up to life again.

Turns out that corners can turn into Porch Gardens and restless laments into bursting songs.


BIG. . .That Was 26

I’ll Remember You For. . .(poem)

Hope Outlasts Holiday Spirit

infertility

When a Lot *Doesn’t* Happen in a Year

Haven’t we all said it? Or hoped it? Or desperately wished it to be so? “Well, a lot can happen in a year!”

But what if it doesn’t? Or doesn’t feel like it does? How do we watch friends and family go by without us? Survive another night feeling left behind or afraid of being left behind?

What happens when 2023 comes and it isn’t “our year” and we just look at a trail of days that seemingly led us nowhere. Here we go into more days that are just days where nothing happens, but people cheer from the sidelines with rings on fingers and babies on hips shouting, “A lot can change in a year! It did for me!”

But I want you to know you don’t have to afraid or intimidated by this phrase. It’s true that 2023 may come without fireworks or fanfare or what you hoped for.

So let me tell you about 2017.

I don’t remember much of it, really. It was early stages infertility. It was heartbreaking in more ways than one. I had a lot of hard things to say and admit. I don’t remember much life that happened that year. I remember it like death and loss and wounds just pouring out.

But then 2018 came.

And it continued being hard and escalated in April. Then April became a turning point and Mother’s Day in May found us rolling out of Grocery Outlet with a cart full of flowers. Ever so gently, I woke up to life. I sensed I missed so much in 2017, but I didn’t really feel regret for it. I just felt the gift of waking up to the fullness of life around me. I was thankful I wasn’t missing it. I don’t know if I could have felt 2017 any differently if I tried. I’m so human, and I was in the very vulnerable stages of finding life cut out so differently and myself scraped against those ridges. I had very real, distressing emotions and questions I needed to bring to God.

It was a time where the phrase, “A lot can happen in a year!” didn’t quite fit. . .and yet 2017 was woven into the fabric of a story where a lot did happen. A lot of good. A lot of healing. A lot of growth and joy, happiness and light-heartedness, miracles and spring and life!

It could be that a lot won’t happen or change this year, and you don’t have to be afraid of this or frustrated by this phrase which can be oblivious and short-sighted. So what if it is! And so what if people have the the “first comes loves then comes marriage then comes a baby in a baby carriage.” That’s not a bad thing and should be celebrated.

But you are not as lost as you think. Your year won’t be wasted. You may not remember much of it, but with God, it will be woven into the fabric of a story where a lot does happen. A lot of good. A lot of healing. A lot growth and joy, happiness and light-heartedness, miracles and spring and life! If you’re not celebrating at the start of 2023 (or this year for that matter!), I get it. I’ve been there. Will be there again.

Keep turning to God. “Those who look to him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed.” (Psalm 34:5). The year itself may feel like nothing. You may forget it. You may feel disappointed by the whole of it. But it won’t be lost. It won’t be wasted. It won’t be the hopelessness you may feel it is right now. There’s no rush and the pressure isn’t on you or me to make things good and okay. God will do the impossible. He will wrap our years into His arms and from His hand we will receive good. And in His presence we will be comforted and emboldened to live. We will be safe to grieve and to rejoice.

A lot may *not* happen or change this year.

So what if it doesn’t?

God isn’t bound by the days on a calendar. His stories last long and rich and eternal.

Breathe.

Pressure is off.


It Wasn’t All Flowers, poem

Why I Wrote Hope Gives a Eulogy

Your Body Is Strong (To the Women Facing Infertility)

Tomorrow in our Garden Lullaby series I’m sharing thoughts + the best photo from 2018. It correlates with this post and my “waking up to life.” Don’t miss it!

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Garden Lullaby · infertility

Why I’m Still Writing about Infertility

“This is no thaw. This is spring. What are we to do? Your winter has been destroyed, I tell you! This is Aslan’s doing.”

I have never read the entire Chronicles of Narnia series, but this year, I put them all on my reading list. I read one or two chapters a day. When I read this quote in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by the White Witch’s dwarf, of all characters(!), I loved it. It’s a beautiful, triumphant quote all on its own, but it felt so profound to the story I have lived and will surely live again.

Soon we will return to our Garden Lullaby series where I go back in time and share how God used the garden to help me see His love and the life He wanted for me though my womb was empty and my pain was deep. And somewhere along the way I could say in my soul, though not all was right in my world, “This is no thaw. This is spring!” God had healing for me inside and out. I still grieved. I still struggled. But I could breathe. And laugh. I woke up to life. And began to live. I may be taking this C.S. Lewis quote out of context, but it certainly applies!

Not all was well, but I was becoming well. Winter was being destroyed. Month after month. Year after year. When “NO!” screamed in my ears and the bathroom floor felt like home. It didn’t feel like winter was being destroyed, but God was doing it until suddenly there it was,

This is no thaw. This is spring!”

You may wonder why I am still writing about infertility when I have a son, a daughter due in a few months, and have already written about the healing in a whole book of 97 poems. So here’s at least one reason.

The miracles of God don’t get old. They don’t go away. I’m still living it!

“Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in His deeds toward the children of man.” -Psalm 66:5

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He has done for my soul.” -Psalm 66:16

Reminders of the spring miracle God did within me keep showing up. And will forever. In my two children, in my garden, in books I read, in poetry I’m inspired to write, in my history with God that touches my present and my future. God’s works are wonderful and they are profound.

I’m not done seeing.

And I’ll keep on sharing all I’ve seen God do.

In those years, I never thought to myself those exact words, “This is no thaw. This is spring!,” but I certainly lived it. Winter couldn’t last forever. Not even when infertility did. Spring filled my soul when nothing filled my womb. And spring greeted my children when they came around and that same spring was beautifully multiplied by their presence.

Miracles everywhere.

What light I have known and life I have lived before, during, after.

This is no thaw!