Tag Archives: heart

On My Heart

It’s raw and it’s real.

I recently searched flight after flight to Seattle in September. Trying to hold onto summer, I was simultaneously preparing for fall.

There’s something about information overload and hundreds and thousands of flights and choices of airports and airlines and times of departure and arrival. There’s something about window after window opening up on screen and all of the airport codes blurring together that makes me want to yell, STOP!

I question the blur. Is it my forty-five-year-old eyes or just looking at a computer screen for an extended length of time?

I question my heart. Is this really a good idea? Really worth it?

I know that it is. Even when everything surrounding the planning and stirring inside feels really big. No turning back, now.

Just days ago my heart was encouraged by two friends independent of, and unknown to, each other. One came to drop something by. The other came for coffee.

At the end of the day, my heart was richer, my education fund fuller, and my dining room prettier with a new way I had arranged the plants, one of which was a gift.

Just days ago, friends dropped by a stash of bread, various types, because they thought we could use it. We can. The growing kids in this house are many, and there is always room for toast.

At the end of the day, the kids were fuller, the freezer was fuller, and the bread drawer was fuller. All gifts.

I know this is the right year. The time to do this work is now. There is kindness within the raw and the real, and I don’t have to look far to find it.

Heart Doula

So it’s like being a doula my BFF remarked, as we sat savoring a rare evening of time together catching up over glasses of wine.

Exactly! I replied. That is how I often think of it myself.

The topic had turned to that of the Lay Counseling Certificate program that I am pursuing and my reasons for doing so.

Between us we have birthed fourteen children, so we know a bit about labor, delivery, and post-partum as it relates to birthing babies. Her daughter runs a doula agency that is top-notch in its mission to support families through their birth experience, so she is familiar with the role of doulas and their scope of care.

I loved that my best friend was able to put those words to my mission.

Just as a birth doula sits with a woman who is laboring through contractions, offering support and comfort measures, while she waits to birth a child, so I sit with women who labor with pain in their stories as they wait birth out a new chapter of or transition in their life. I listen, offering support and comfort in the process.

Just as a birth doula knows when to call on one with further training and skills for the next stage of labor, so I know when to recommend further help from one more trained than I ~ a licensed therapist or counselor, a medical doctor or psychiatrist. Sometimes more is needed than listening skills and comfort measures to help someone through the story~birth process, especially during a time of transition.

Just as a post~partum doula walks alongside a new mother, helping her adjust to the many changes that a new person brings to life, so I walk alongside those who have a new chapter in their story to process and work through.

Yes, I would consider myself a heart doula.

I remember one night, in particular, when this image was made clear to me as I drove off in the dark to the home of a friend. Sleeping on her couch, being present in her pain, reassuring her that I was there, these things all reminded me of the early stages of labor. I wasn’t the solution to a problem but a part of the team who offered care and support during the story birth, transition, and healing process.

That is why I am pursuing this further training to develop my skills. I am gifted to be able to sit with women in places of great heart pain, hear hard things, and not flinch or panic. I can be present. I can handle the emotional blood and bodily fluids leaking out and offer assurance and reassurance throughout the process of birthing out whatever they are carrying inside.

I can sit with and support as those higher up the scale of care offer their insight and wisdom and prescription for healing. I can be with in the process, walking alongside, offering my presence and reminder that She is not alone.


It’s God’s glory to conceal things,
then we get to figure them out.
This can cause one to wonder
Just what is this life all about?

As dross is removed from the silver
Before a vessel is made,
So trials may press on a heart,
Before glory can be displayed.

But often these trials and pressings
Bring with them wounding and pain.
It’s tempting to want to give answers
To think the complex can be plain.

The way to approach is in silence.
In holding a sacred space
For the one who is hurting and broken
And feeling confused in this place.

Then a wise word may be spoken,
To carefully water the heart.
For those confused, who don’t know what to do,
This is a good place to start.

~for those who wonder from Proverbs 25~


Weigh my heart, Lord.
Look and see what I love
~what drives me on.

The quarreling, fretting about the future,
all that I cannot control, yet you know
~help me cast it on you.

If the king’s heart is a stream of water in your hand,
why should not mine be?
~move it in the direction you want me to go.

Keep me humbly focused on you as I ready my horse.
~the victory is yours.

~a prayer inspired by Proverbs 21~


O cast a vessel down deeply
into the well of my heart.
Help me to draw out my purpose.
To know the best place to start.

Many a vow spoken rashly
has caught my soul in a snare
It’s hard upon further reflection
to know what to process and share.

There’s a searching deep in my spirit.
It’s the lamp of the Lord seeking out
all the painful misunderstood places ~
all the hurt and the fear and the doubt.

So I’m plowing my heart- ground in autumn,
I’m keeping aloof from the strife.
I’m longing and waiting to harvest
The fruit that will come from my life.

In youth we are given our glory,
our strength that is taken away.
In old age we’re given our splendor,
The hair on our head that is gray.

Thank you for sitting with wisdom
For seeing through evil’s disguise
For waiting with me as I wait for the Lord
For helping to open my eyes.

~thoughts for a counselor from Proverbs 20~


Help me to heed wisdom’s instruction.
Place me on the path to life.

Establish my heart in the tempest.
Let love cover over all strife.

The sayings of wisdom are many.
There’s plenty to follow and do.
With knowledge to lay up and wisdom to bring forth,
it’s hard to let my words be few.

In the heat and the stress of the moment,
What’s locked in my heart starts to pour,
and it isn’t a life-giving fountain.
It’s the anger and pain that I store.

Establish my heart in the tempest.
Bring joy as I hold on to hope.
Plant my feet firmly forever.
Be the knot at the end of my rope.

~on Proverbs 10~

Refuse of the Heart

I have a lot of this surfacing in my heart again. Refuse. The noun.

something (such as paper or food waste) that has been thrown away : trash or garbage

Not to be confused with what I am tempted to do. Refuse. The verb.

to indicate unwillingness to do, accept, give, or allow

I am tempted to refuse to deal with the refuse that is cluttering my heart. To just go along and pretend it is not there. For a long time I tried that route.

It didn’t work for me very well.

So here I sit with the refuse and the reminder of why I chose that word in this blog’s tagline.

mixing refuse of the heart . . .

I chose that word because of all of the unnecessary emotional garbage I had buried. And there still is much there. It’s packed down tightly. Needing space to move and process and breathe.

I can tell when I am short to hear and quick to speak. I can tell when contempt flows freely in the face of adversity or conflict. When kindness is lacking and impatience abounding. When I’m feeling too big and too important in realms that are not my responsibility.


I can tell it’s time to slow down and return to the basics of listening to what is going on inside and processing it with kindness and compassion.

I’m thankful for those in my corner who help me remember. I’m thankful for those who do the dishes and put the kids to bed, giving me space to write.


It’s a welcome sight as I return home, candles aglow.


It doesn’t matter where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing, this tells me, You’re home. You are anticipated. You were missed. Time to unwind.


As I stop and transition from out there to back here, I allow my heart to fill with the warmth of the candles, moving towards the warmth within my home.

It hasn’t always been this way, and I am grateful that now it is.

I’m grateful that my heart can finally be aglow. Can finally feel.

As I return.

Thanksgiving Eve

The day started in 1 Peter, and I’m so glad that it did.

Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead pay them back with a blessing. (3:9)

I would need this reminder later when children were frantically digging snow clothes from bins in the basement and hurling angry accusations my way. I bit my tongue and patiently sorted and helped try on and remembered where I had stashed the gloves.

I’m sorry for yelling and being angry. Thank you for helping me.

The barely audible whisper came to my ears as the final child headed out the door in full winter dress.

The day continued with meeting my grand kitty and spending time with my daughter, child 3. Oh how I have missed having her around. And how we have grown together!

There was sweet-potato making and much-needed napping and perpetual kitchen cleaning.

There was laundry.

Child two came home, and there were lots of littles eager to play media with him.

Child 4’s friend came over for awhile.

I stir-fried.

Around the dinner table we sat with seven of our olive plants.

It seems like our family is getting bigger my husband says to me later.

Ya think?

Of course it is getting bigger! People are growing up. We have a grand kitty. We have a son-in-law. There are lots of voices to hear. Lots of attention to pay.

Child 3 and I go shopping. It is so, so sweet, and I just want to go shopping every day, even though I don’t really buy anything but a Christmas gift or two.

We come home, and she heads out with friends and littles want to watch an episode and I want to write now that my computer is back, and it’s Thanksgiving Eve, and I also want to spend time with the love of my life, so I will close.

I am so blessed. I am so thankful. I am such a mess.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!