Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day...

It comes every year, this day. Every year I think it won't hurt. Every year I'm wrong. 
"You can't see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears." 
― C.S. LewisA Grief Observed

This year I weep for new reasons. I weep for the woman I am becoming that my mother never knew. I am learning, I am breaking, I am changing... She prayed for this, she longed for it. I weep as I come to know more of motherhood, I come to know more of her love for me. Her unbelievable love for me that I could not have fathomed until now. 

Will this day ever not hurt? I think not. For as I clutch my baby girl, I cannot help but think of how she must have held me so. And it's too late, too late to tell her, "thank you." 

I know I am surrounded by women aching as I... my dearest Kelley, this precious sister, and so many, many others. They understand. We are motherless daughters. 

“I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.” 

I believe it's alright to still grieve. To groan for heaven. To wish I could have her back. 

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. ~Psalm 56:8
“When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of ‘No answer.’ It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, ‘Peace, child; you don’t understand.’”

― C.S. LewisA Grief ObservedI think she'd be so proud. I think she would love you, my precious friends... and how she'd love your babies. She'd love them all. I know she would love the Cafe, its mission and the exciting things on the horizon. She'd love the desires that are growing in my heart that I never knew were there. 

She'd be so proud of my siblings, their growth, graduations, lessons learned, performances, challenges, business accomplishments, auditions, & stumbles... So much is because of her. We all "rise up and call her blessed."

Yet, I acknowledge - this breaking, this learning, these knew passions - might all in fact be due to her absence. Due to the Lord's gentle and constant love, His all knowing and beautiful care of me.

My little one, bringing joy to all she meets...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Where will the Journey of Motherhood take me?

This has been a trying week. I am tired, exhausted really. 

I feel as if I have entered a new world - as if real parenthood is beginning. I am watching my baby disappear.

Up to this point I have been feeding her, clothing her, loving her, praying over her, etc. But now I am beginning to see my daughter, my Beatrice emerge. This has brought insurmountable joy, but also a sense of sorrow. To realize that she is a sinner, as much as her Mommy and Daddy, is in the strangest way, heartbreaking. To understand that the default position of each of our hearts is to turn away from the very one who created us, deeply saddening.

Motherhood is beginning. I have been weighed down this week with a sense of urgency, and sense of heaviness as I ponder the role I find myself in. What does it mean to instil discipline in my little one? To train her to have self control, patience, kindness, etc? I read this quote recently and found it encouraging. "Discipline is not action taken in moments of correction but an ongoing relationship with... parent and child. Discipline is a process of training and learning that fosters moral development. It comes from the same word as disciple—one who is a learner." 

I think that defines the stage we are in right now; perhaps for the rest of my journey. We are learning, both Beatrice and I. I to be the parent, she to be the child.

The next few months promise to be challenging as I meet face to face with my daughter's emerging will. I pray, oh I pray, for wisdom, for patience, for gentleness, and above all, for an eternal perspective. 

Beatrice, I love you so my sweet little one. May you continue to bring joy to all you meet. May the Holy Spirit stir in your heart a deep longing for our Father even now as you sleep.

Here are a few photos from the last month or so, the moments are truly fleeting. 

At our first Tea Party in honor of the Royal Wedding.
It was very sunny, but she is still beautiful.
I love her furrowed brow. She has her daddy's expressive eyes.
Some apple on a hot day.
Her first time in a swing...
She loved it!
At the Strawberry Festival... kissing a calf. She adores animals.
Observing the chicks...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Joy through Spinach Basil Pesto with Garlic Tops

When we were first married I didn't know how to cook at all. I truly mean this. My mother tried for years to instruct, but in my pride, I wouldn't have it.

Over the past four years I have worked hard, with comical failures along the way, and now I can manage. I am so thankful for this. Many of you know how I love to share a meal with family and friends. I believe there is something about food that draws us together, begs us to linger, and soothes our frantic souls. Now that I am able to contribute to that aforementioned food, my joy has doubled.

This past week a dear friend held a birthday party, requesting her guests bring only wine and a favorite appetizer. This pesto is that. It's not always an appetizer, of course, but became one. And one of much talk; seeing as another dear friend had given us garlic tops the day before. You can read about garlic tops here. What fun that this simple food became a conduit of laughter and birthday happiness.

Thank you Kelly for the beautiful photo, now here is my simple version of this classic recipe...

Spinach Basil Pesto with Garlic Tops


  • 3 - 6 cups baby spinach leaves (depending on desired flavor)
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic tops, chopped (can substitute 4 cloves chopped garlic)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Blend 3 cups of the spinach along with basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic tops, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until nearly smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Add the remaining spinach and drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture while processing until smooth.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Voice: an instrument or medium of expression

I have been struggling to find my voice. My new voice. My voice as a Mother. I knew myself before. I had learnt of myself as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, as a student  as a wife, as an expectant mother. But who am I now?

This world that I have entered into is beautiful, fascinating, overwhelming and frighting all at once. I feel so naive. So immature. How can I speak with any authority on anything? How did I speak before? I know so little. I am learning. Oh, I am learning so very much. But it all comes so quickly I feel there is hardly a moment to sit and write it down before I am learning something new and of much greater importance.

A mother. Me? A mother is one with wisdom, knowledge and understanding. A mother is one with experience and skill. The precious author, Mike Mason says, "If only I had understood that being a father is not something I needed to become but something I already was... Over time I could grow in maturity as a father, but I would never be more of a father than I was at the outset." I long to grasp this.

Motherhood didn't arrive gradually, like pregnancy. It didn't grow gently and predictably within a span of 40 weeks. No. It came all at once. In one fantastic moment the magnificent burden of motherhood was placed on my shoulders.

Shortly after my last post on Christmas Eve we came to the realization that Beatrice was small, too small. She spit up excessively, not painfully, and mostly with a smile on her face, but the first few months of this year were spent trying to determine the cause. This was so hard for me. My first true challenge in the role of "Mother" and I had no idea what I was doing. I wrestled with God, with all the advice I was given and with my own doubts and insecurities. I didn't feel I was in a place where writing here would benefit anyone.

Nothing at all was wrong with her. We began feeding her vegetables at 4 and 1/2 months. Which broke my heart (I had wanted to wait). But as a dear friend graciously reminded me, "it is not about my desires for her life, but God's." Once she began her solid foods of avocado and sweet potato, the breastmilk stayed down and she began to "look" healthy again. She is still small, but I am learning to smile when people comment on her size, knowing that this is how the Lord made her. She is my "little one".

But what I have struggled with is this. How do I share our struggles and trials without sounding like I ungrateful for what I have been given? And how do I rejoice in the small moments of joy Beatrice shares with us every day without sounding like I am full of pride. The internet can so quickly become a place of comparison, which many mothers (including myself) have said can be such a cause of grief and despair. Wouldn't it defeat the very meaning of my little one's life? She is my "bringer of joy", not sorrow.

So I will continue to struggle; for I have been granted that freedom.

I have not found my voice yet, no, but 4 years after my precious mother's entrance to heaven, I can tell you that I am more grateful than ever for her constant pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. She was not perfect, but she was my mother.

I have been pondering the following two sentences this morning as I seek to parent my every growing little one who will be 8 months tomorrow. I will leave you with them... what a glorious burden indeed. "There are certain virtues worth acquiring, such as kindness, goodness, gentleness, charity, honesty, honor, and respect. Since these qualities are not naturally found in a child's life, they must be instilled and nurtured into his or her heart." -Parenting Author

Friday, December 24, 2010

Come, thou long expected Jesus...

Never have I felt such expectation for Christmas.   
Sitting here in the glow of our tree with my little girl sound asleep in her bed, I remember what it was 
like to yearn for her, to long for her, to expect her. How I pray that I can begin to desire my Savior in the 
same way. 
He came to earth as a baby as small as my Beatrice; as helpless and as fragile. As utterly dependent upon 
Mary as Beatrice is upon me. What great condensation. What a miracle. To be so utterly human when 
he was so fully God. 
I am amazed at the joy my tiny daughter has brought to my soul; shouldn't the Savior of the World 
bring me more...
Oh Father, I rejoice on this Christmas Eve that you did indeed come to set your people free.
Come, thou long expected Jesus, 
 born to set thy people free; 
 from our fears and sins release us, 
 let us find our rest in thee.  
 Israel's strength and consolation, 
 hope of all the earth thou art; 
 dear desire of every nation, 
 joy of every longing heart.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joy Comes in the Morning...

She will be 12 weeks old on Monday. I simply cannot believe it; she has taught me so much. There haven't been many moments to write, but there have been many moments worth writing about. 

We have come a long way since that first month. I am continually amazed at my ability to learn new truths daily. I do believe my greatest lesson since I last wrote has been that I must relinquish control and trust that God will be glorified in my weakness.   

I hope to catch up on the last weeks over the next few days, but for now, here are a few photos of our "bringer of joy" in the morning... our favorite time of day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thoughts & Photos from Our First 3 Weeks

On Monday she will be 4 weeks old. My, what lessons I have learned in the first 3 weeks.

Week 1) His grace is sufficient.
              The love of friends is miraculous.
              In the darkness His truth shines the brightest.
              His mercies are new every morning.

Not many people talk about the hormonal ups and downs after birth. No matter how beautiful the delivery, hormones will still adjust and leave an emotional mother in their wake, thank you Leslie for preparing me.
Breastfeeding is beautiful, perfect and wonderful, but it still takes work - hard work. It is more than worth it, but it does not come without determination, and support. Thank you Laurie for your unending education and love.
Functioning on little sleep is almost comical. Eating is crucial, and remembering to nearly impossible. Laundry builds and houses get dirtier faster than ever before. Thank you Kelley for taking better care of the three of us than we ever deserved, we could not have made it without you.

As a new mother I learned more in a 24 hour period than I typically learned in a month. God was faithful to sustain through that first week. I could not have done it without my sisters in Christ who surrounded me, uplifted me, and labored for me. Thank you to each of you for your prayers, time, love, smiles, food, laughter, tea, phone calls, emails, etc. You were truly instruments of His grace.

Week 2) The deeper that I go in the valley, there His glory shines so bright.
               I am blessed with an amazing husband. He is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.
               My own expectations are my worst enemy.
               When friends tell me they take joy in service, I must trust them.

I expected too much of myself. I thought I would be "on top of things" by week two. I thought I could "do it on my own". I was wrong. I needed help. It was so hard to ask for, but the outpouring was beautiful. Through all of this I was reminded of my frailty and His power. I was humbled and encouraged. Without the darkness, I truly would not have seen the beauty that surrounds me.

Week 3) When I am weak, He is strong.
               All of creation declares His majesty.
               Joy comes in the morning.

The clouds will part and the sun will come out! The beautiful October weather, fresh air and sunshine did wonders for my soul. Walks and coffee are beautiful things, despite "blow-out" diapers and crazy spit-ups. We spent a lovely family day on Saturday the 16th having breakfast crepes at the Community Market and apple doughnuts at Morris Orchard. To me, it signaled the beginning to our new way of living. What craziness, what fun. God is so good.

I love these next photos with all my heart. Thank you Chris and Whitney.