Poetry

Brilliant Speed

Brilliant Speed

This is wild,

Folding little clothes.

Laundry loads.

Baby soap.

Gummy grins.

Toothless smiles.

Skin on skin

To skinned knees.

Quick kisses,

They run away,

Just fine.

It’s brilliant speed.

And never getting pulled over.

And it’s madness.

And magic.

A high speed chase with time

That you lose,

And win

All at once.

-S.V.F.

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.

infertility

Your Body Is Strong (To the Women Facing Infertility)

I’m amazed at what my body is capable of doing!

I realized how strong my body was after giving birth!

Wow, I can’t believe I did that!

Just a few of the phrases you may hear on podcasts, Youtube channels, Instagram stories or read on Facebook posts, blogs, Pinterest boards. It’s endless. And to the woman who hasn’t given birth with a body that feels like it’s against her, incapable, unable, weak, forgotten. . .well, those adjectives are endless, too.

I heard someone talking about her birth experience, but instead of relating to her exclamations of a capable, strong body, able to do the hard work of giving birth, I kept thinking how the women walking through infertility would hear those words. And not in a self-pity way, but those words are bound to scrape against wounds that may just reopen and loose the grief always just below the surface.

Because,

Is she incapable?

Does she have the body that can’t do amazing and hard things?

Is her body the broken thing? The forgotten vessel? The hollow sound of what could be, but isn’t. . .

So here’s the blog post where I talk about how capable and strong the bodies are of the women stumbling through infertility.

Your body is so strong and so capable.

For smiling when your friend tells you she’s pregnant.

For getting out of bed after another year of nothing.

For crying and meeting the grief of childlessness head-on.

For getting off the bathroom floor (again).

For smiling when your friend tells you she’s pregnant for the second time.

For walking through the baby asile by faith or pushing your legs right past, because it’s not a healthy place for you to be.

For letting your voice speak though it cracks as you ask the doctor questions you never wanted to ask, consent to tests or medication you never wanted in your story.

For letting your body curl up tigther than you knew it ever could, because there is pain to face as you say yes to healing. Say yes to God. Say yes to life.

For waking up to Christmas morning and Mother’s Day and Easter and Father’s Day and taking deep breaths, letting the day be what it is–hard, or numb, or empty, or just nothing at all.

For holding his hand evermore.

For arms that hold her baby. And her baby. And her baby. And hers too.

For hands that throw out the negative pregnancy test. And you’ve lost count, but you face the trash can and let go of one line all over again.

For the womb holding unmet expectations, pulling you ever toward hope and life. Baby or no baby.

For the strength of a body and heart that carries on through every season and setback, every pregnancy that isn’t yours, every baby shower, holiday, announcement, negative test, and sleepless night.

For the long labor of endurance which (with Jesus) always ends in life whether or not you ever house a second heartbeat.

For doing one of the hardest, most painful things on earth–not carrying a baby within you though you long for it.

For a body that says yes to life as your feet touch the floor every morning, and you call the doctor for results, and you hear no again, and you congratulate another friend on getting pregnant.

You’re choosing life with your body every day. And I celebrate the life you are and all the ways you have chosen it for yourself and your family, your present and your future.

You are strong,

too.

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.