Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Winter Poem

Winter,

You taunt me every year with your isolating illnesses and crippling storms, bringing out the worst in everybody. Most generally, I don’t like you. Even so, I do my best to find your most admirable attributes and enjoy making memories with the unique qualities your season brings.

Snow is beautiful. The magical way it meanders through the air to change landscapes thrills me. I adore snow angels and snowballs, Olafs and sled tracks. I wonder at the way the white blanket makes my part of the world echo while it dazzles even the faintest light into looking brighter.

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But the snow isn’t every day of winter. It slowly melts, leaving behind muddy mounds of muck. Just when I was finding joy in your beauty, Winter, you goad me with messy puddles to muddle the otherwise desolate backdrop of dormancy.

I don’t know what to do with dormant seasons, Winter, and this is why I believe you and I don’t have a healthier relationship.

“Rest!” You tell me as I do my best to follow the example of nature.

And so I do in the moments where I would rather be investing in the world outside. The virtual world scoffs at this notion of rest. It begs me to find something of worth to do with my time, or at least settle for filling it with mind-numbing time killers.

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“I’m only one season,” you kindly remind me.

“Then why do you seem to last longer than the rest?” I reply between sniffles.

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I don’t know if we will ever be good friends, quiescent ogre. You require me to dig deep within my reserves to see the hope of sunshine after weeks of gray. Even still, I must admit that as spring approaches each year, I feel just a bit stronger because of what you required me to endure, and for that I give you my greatest respect.

 

Remembering, Living, and Snapshots

A year ago, we were reeling from the sudden loss of my father-in-law. The details that go into wrapping up someone’s life once they’re already in eternity are overwhelming. The shock of knowing they’re no longer going to participate in the big or little activities of life is staggering. Last February is a complete blur in my memory.

However, in the process of grieving and moving forward, beautiful truths begin to come to light. I thought I’d share a few that I’ve observed as well as a few of my favorite pictures that sum up some of my favorite memories this February. I’m so thankful that God has given us the gift of some sweet days together as a family this year.

  • Life still has beautiful moments.

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  • Laughter is allowed and it does bring about healing.

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  • Your life may change, but it still has a purpose, which is allowed to change, too.

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  • It’s okay to feel the pain of loss from here on out, but you don’t have to let it consume you.

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  • Great things almost always come from losing good things.

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  • You don’t have to wait for the happy, polished ending to have a good life. Embrace all parts of life on this earth, for you aren’t going to get a second chance at it.

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  • You’re not going to handle everything perfectly. You’re going to have bad days, good days, and some days that have a little of both. Ultimately, do your best and don’t repress. God has already been your strength, so depend on Him to be your joy.

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  • Always, always, always rejoice at and celebrate milestones.

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  • We all work hard at building a life that we love. Sometimes, we’re going to have to rebuild it whether we want to or not. We may not have control over much in life, but we do have the power to choose whether or not we’re going to rebuild ourselves into messy heaps or stronger, more refined people who choose joy.

The Things That Matter

I wrote my first blog post on June 9, 2009, because I wanted to keep track of a certain little boy’s life, document his milestones, and share pictures and stories with family who lived far away.

I didn’t really understand what “blog” meant when I started since I only read one other friend’s blog and her mission was similar to mine, so I made it what I wanted it to be.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

As it turned out, the rest of the world caught the blogging bug shortly after I did, and the next thing I knew, all of these issues came up that I’d never even considered.

Is it safe for a parent to post hundreds of pictures of their kids on the Internet with no form of identity protection? Creepers are gonna creep, ya know.

You have to make your blog prettier in order to stand out.

Those snapshots you used to simply upload without a second thought are now a disgrace to the art of photography. You must edit before sharing your pictures if you have any self-respect.

Long posts are the worst.

Make all of your posts into lists! No wait! It’s so lame to jump on the “10 Reasons Why…” post bandwagon.

Link-ups are where it’s at in bloggy land. Sigh. Link-ups?!? Who actually has the time to sit and read through 100 different women’s posts every week?

Join my 30-day challenge. No! Join mine! I’ve made mine more unique than all the other copy-cats out there who keep trying to make 30-day challenges work.

Follow me on Facebook and while you’re scanning your newsfeed, check out the links to all of the blog posts about why Facebook is evil, Pinterest is bringing sin to a whole new level, and we should all throw away our cell phones because it’s the only way to be a good parent.

Write about what matters. No one cares that you went to the park. Again.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I tried having two blogs. One that could actually be considered a blog by all of the standards I was reading about while I kept my own precious corner of the Internet that contained my original blog about my family and for my family.

This venture soon proved to be far too ambitious, and I stopped posting on my private blog. I don’t regret this decision. I needed to grow and stretch myself in a new way by starting the new blog and growing comfortable with the thought of myself as a writer.  I still have the private blog to look back on and smile through.

However, my disenchantment with the “musts” of successful blogging has only grown with time. I’ve pulled away quite a bit from the din and nearly pulled the plug on my blog for many reasons over the last couple of years, but every time I’ve told God all of the reasons why I should stop, He hasn’t released me from it. It’s likely some parts rebellion, confusion, wisdom, and too much going on in real life to give too much thought to it, but I’ve “kept” the blog without contributing much to the blog.

In this year of walking in freedom, I have given thought to how that should look in all aspects of my life, including my writing and blogging. Here are a few of the rules I’ve made for myself.

  • First off, I must make time to write instead of excuse away doing something that I love and that I know helps me sort out my thoughts.
  • It also means that I give myself the freedom to make my blog what I want it to be. I miss writing posts about funny things my kids do because they may not seem worthy of someone else’s time.
  • I’m going to continue to post pictures I take from my phone on my blog and never apologize for it.
  • I’m going to write about all manner of things.
  • I’m going to share my story and let other people share theirs.

I have been pondering a wise statement made by Martin Luther King Jr. in light of how it can apply to my own life, and I believe that it even works in this particular area:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

There are many things that matter to me. Some days, those things might seem insignificant to others, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter.  I’m beginning to see that it’s a tragedy for me to not say anything at all. I need this place of honesty and vulnerability to say the things that I need or want to say. I need the connection to the precious friends who take time to read my words. I need to be anything but silent when it’s more and more my tendency to not say anything at all because of fear, laziness, or misunderstanding.

Truly free people can’t be silent forever.