Tag Archives: heart bin

Embracing Disappointment

I am supposed to be in the car right now with a friend headed north for a personal retreat. 

Instead I am home in my pjs, sitting in the corner of my room, listening to the “playing” of children in the living room and the coughing of a husband in bed and wondering when the next sound of my 5 year old’s, “Mooooooooommmmmy! He’s (insert annoying thing a 10 year old might do with a 5 year old’s toys)….” will whine into my ear.

I’m disappointed today.

Even though…

This is where I need to be.

Even though…

My friend and I considered and prayed about our options and struggled through the decision not to go.

Even though…

I agreed that she had the final say since she was the primary driver with the car.

It’s still hard.

And that’s one thing about choosing to feel and embrace and consider hopeful possibilities.

You will be let down and disappointed. Your heart will hurt and you will cry.

I burst into random tears at random times yesterday and didn’t know why. My heart just hurt, and I was struggling with so many perceived failures.

I don’t care well for the sick. I don’t engage well with my children. I don’t like to cook or clean or plan meals, and I REALLY struggle with keeping up the laundry. I’m not embracing ANY of this.

Yesterday was FULL of all of the things that I. do. not. like. or. do. well.

Yes, I know I can link to the words of others about how it’s not performance-based, not what we do. I could find grace-based quotes to print out. I could link to my own words somewhere from a better day when I was feeling hopeful and encouraging and my heart wasn’t a floundering mess splattered across and tangled up in the world-wide-web. But sometimes I just need to sit in it and let my heart be for awhile.

My daughter reminded me that I don’t have to get my word in a day.

I’m grateful for kind reminders. I know that, too.

But that’s where it is.

Day 2 of the year and instead of embracing the opportunity to explore new ways of getting un-stuck (which is what I thought I would be writing about), I am embracing the disappointment of changed plans. This also gives me the opportunity to embrace a day of wearing pjs and reading my book and writing and processing and feeling. I’m right where I need to be. Where are YOU today?

From the Compost Pile ~ Remembering

9/11 Remembrance Day.

I stood in front of my small class today, doing opening exercises, going through our morning routine, discussing the date. September 11, 2013. Mine is a multi-age, multi-level classroom, and none of the children were even alive on September 11, 2001.

Why is today 9/11 Remembrance Day? What are we remembering?

I look at my partner teacher and ask her what she remembers.

She remembers that she was in 4th grade, in the very classroom where we now teach together, and that Good Shepherd closed early that day. She remembers going home and watching events unfold on TV.

I remember being her teacher. I remember grabbing a quick break while Mr. McClay taught Bible to my class and being informed by another teacher that something was awry. We were standing outside on a brilliantly beautiful fall day, a chill entering our souls.

I remember that my oldest child was 8 and my baby was almost 3.

I remember I had a roomful of students to teach, and we had sentences to diagram and spelling words to review. I remember being in my own little classroom bubble as events continued to unfold.

Twelve years ago technology was not what it is today. I had no cell phone. No internet.

I remember a memo from the office.

I remember wondering what our world was coming to.

Today I looked at my students and told them that they represented the hope we have for a future. None of them were born, yet, but each of them was planned by God for a purpose.

While we spoke in veiled, age-appropriate terms about Remembrance Day, those who were old enough to understand got it, and those who weren’t…well…

As I took the final comment from the raised hand of a first grader, my heart had to smile.

My mommy and I went to a PURSE party! 

All innocence, and earnestness, and importance, as it should be for one so young.

As we remember.

Guest Post by a Truthteller

Four, four
Four bigs, four littles.
Two, two
Two parents, two tries
At parenting style,
The first four ruled
Polished and smooth
But rough on the inside.
The last four freed
Wild and unique
Through a challenging ride.
Eight, the magic number—
Eight of us
Jumbled together.

This was written by my firstborn daughter as a Facebook status and speaks such truth in few words. I had to steal it for my blog. Enjoy!

From the Compost Pile ~ Three Years

Written circa 2008…

Today at the end of an outing to Barnes&Noble with my friend, A, she looked at me, held up three fingers, and said in what I’m sure she thought was an encouraging voice, Three years. Things will look a lot different in three years. We’ll be able to have a conversation.

She wasn’t with me a week earlier when I was drinking wine with a different friend. Now 47, she was looking back and reflecting on 37. Two small daughters after years of infertility treatments, home after a career, she recalled feeling alone and miserable. Her response to a similar 3 years comment was, That’s 1,000 more days of THIS. I canNOT do 1,000 more days of this.

Now, I firmly believe that this is my calling, and that God wants me here and is giving me grace for each day, but in that moment, I felt incredibly hopeless and alone.

3 years?!!? Are you kidding me?!

I swallowed the lump in my throat, forced myself to breathe, caught my two-year-old, coaxed my three-year-old, hoisted the infant seat bucket over my arm and onto my hip, and exited the store.

Do you know that in 3 years, I will have been doing this for 20 years? This is hard for me? That it has always been three years until something better that never comes?

I am trying to figure out the now. To understand myself within the context of my life. I want to love the gift that is now, not the elusive never-to-come.

It has now been 5 years. I think we both would agree that things look different. We have both grown, and yes, we can now have a conversation. I love you, A. You are a gift.

Remembering Brian

Today marks 3 years since our friend and former “Wolfe Pack” neighbor was taken from this life way too soon.


I remember the day. The morning strife. The afternoon uncertainty. The evening confirmation.

Sitting with friends on their deck. No words. Hugs. Tears.

Processing the painful.

Left behind in the mess.

Brian, I remember the smiles and waves from the stop sign on the corner as I played with toddlers in the yard, the last-minute rides for the teens to and from youth group, having the “Wolfe Pack” down for dinner, your unsuspecting humor, the shock and numbness of finding out that you wouldn’t be coming home, after all. I remember your kind soul. You are still loved and missed by many.

What Does Your Heart Need Today?

Mine needs space to breathe. I can tell when I can’t get the air all the way into my lungs that I am carrying too much inside and trying too hard outside.

I need to let it be. The cares and worries that I feel and want to process can wait. I can feel freedom to lay the burdens down.

Today I will allow my heart to find space in tending to my flowers, in playing with my girls, in the pages of my art journal.

How will you care for YOUR heart today?

Be inspired!

Be inspired!

From the Compost Pile ~ Connection

After this post on processing life with littles in tow, a friend messaged to ask what the compost pile produced from that season of phonecalls. It got me thinking and pondering, and one thing that it produced was connection. Connection with others. Connection with my heart.

You never know what might grow....

You never know what might grow….

Trying to do and be and keep up is really hard. Expectations bind and should’s keep a person small. My heart was full of both.

I worked hard at my life trying to get it right. I tried to be the perfect daughter, girlfriend, fiancee, wife, mother, teacher, friend, big sister, the list goes on. Oh how I tried. And failed. And tried harder.

Those were lonely, dry years. I was locked down tight with the key lost somewhere beneath the piles of rules and guidelines and man-made burdens I was trying to bear. 

I cared for the hearts and dreams of others. Theirs had value and worth. Looking into the eyes of my students, siblings, children, friends, I saw potential. Future. Hope. My own eyes were dead. Future resigned. Hope aborted.

Pressing on. Tossing in. Packing down.

Then it happened. I began to break. To crack. Just a little.

They started. The phone calls. Heart calls. From sisters. From friends.

I shared. They didn’t run. They remembered. I collapsed.

She came to me.

I remember a particular friend who I didn’t know well at the time, also a mommy of littles, calling to check on me. I was honest. She didn’t judge. She called back. We processed life.

I felt safer sharing my story. I practiced trusting that people cared about me. Those phone calls were drops of cool water on my dried-out heart. I began to soften inside and feel freedom to look at some painful places.

It was a time of great breaking in order to bring about great healing, but I wasn’t alone. I had my phone-a-friends.

It’s funny, but not really, that it happened as I was incubating the second half of my family. Having spent my 20’s as a working mother of four, I embarked upon my 30’s with a sense of What will this decade bring?

It brought four more children and the stay-at-home version of me.

I remember thinking, At least I have an excuse to be home, because I am caring for all of these little (and big) ones. Must there always be an excuse? It wasn’t until a few years later that the compost produced choices, but for now, there was connection.

And it was sweet.

Good Tuesday Morning! (6 years ago, that is)

Flashback alert…this is another retro post of where I was 6 years ago in life.

This is a shout out to all those of you checking in on my (LiveJournal) blog. You are loved! Just the fact that you care enough to see what’s up today shows me how loved and blessed I truly am. Whether you comment or not (I know it’s a tricky process) here’s a hug for you!

Today started with a “nice” breakfast at Bob Evans with mom. (Remember the Simplify sign?) Then off to Food Lion for a few things before heading home to really start the day.

After quiet time is over for the babies (This would be Coco and Roo with Kirkle being 4), I will be taking the kids shopping for school supplies. (These would be adding in the 4 bigs.) They are all excited.

I will try to get more pictures up soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the gift of this day God has given to us! (I didn’t get pictures up in this post. This was part 1. Will post part 2 later today.)



This is a test. It is only a test. I found an old file on my computer full of LiveJournal posts that were written from 2007-2009ish. Supposedly I can post them to this blog, so I am going to try it out. Blasts from the past, so to speak.

August, 2007

Mom and I had a good laugh at Bob Evans this morning while waiting to pay the bill. In the little shop area were fun fall decorations and other gift items. What caught my eye, though, was a carving of the word “Simplify” among others. I’m sure you’ve seen these inspirational words designed to display on a shelf or ledge or wherever.

I wondered…does one purchase this in order to let visitors know she purposely has no other knick~knacks? Does one give this as a gift to someone in hopes that they’ll get the idea and start getting rid of some of the clutter that is everywhere? Must you spend to encourage reduction? What does it mean to simplify, anyway?

I don’t know the answer to all of these questions. All I know is that somewhere there is money to be made in decorative items encouraging others to clear out the crap so that they can buy more “meaningful” stuff. All I know is that I chose to pass on that purchase and take yet another bag to Goodwill.

Simple enough for me!

June 2013

I wish I could say my life has become simple and decluttered since then, but alas, it is still crazy chaos. And I still haven’t found answers to all of my questions.

God Will Make a Way

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
The wild animals in the field will thank me,
the jackals and owls, too,
for giving them water in the desert.
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
so my chosen people can be refreshed.
I have made Israel for myself,
and they will someday honor me before the whole world.
Isaiah 43:19-21

These words are on my heart this morning which reminded me of this song from when my oldest was born and brand new. He is still making a way for me. Sometimes it’s just hard to trust and believe that He is really doing something new.