Finding A Rhythm  

Yesterday by 7PM I realized, besides feeding him, I hadn’t actually held Atlas. I hadn’t soaked in his newborn squishy, soft sweetness. It wasn’t intentional, of course, but it broke my heart a little. 

And then Ted captured this sweet moment where our Wonder-boy was wide awake and staring up at me. We both just sat and took each other in, it was so precious and oh so needed. 

In many ways right now, I felt like I’m re-adjusting and learning to navigate these parenting waters and often am drowning – so to speak. I was writing tonight and felt to share for someone out there who may need this. 

Moms, we all know giving and pouring out are musts as a momma. But pausing to rest, soak in, savor, take time to recharge – these all {must} be intentional. We have to find a rhythm between filling up and pouring out. 

Over the years as a mom I’ve recognized my need to fill up and have started to realize that it isn’t selfish but actually one of the best things I can do for my family. 

When I first became a mom I wish someone had taken my by the shoulders, shook me a little and said to me: It ISN’T selfish to take time for yourself. And you are NOT weak if you need to ask for help. Now I’ve had many whom I love do this to me but it’s because I’m obviously bat sh*t crazy. 😉

Don’t let yourself go, or get to this crazy state. I mean there will always be a level of CRAY as a mom, let’s be real – but I’m talking about the I-feel-like-I’m-drowning-haven’t-had-a-minute-to-myself-in-months kind of crazy. 

Take time for yourself, get out (or stay in or even just sit in your vehicle!) and do something you love. 

And if you’re local and you’re going crazy, reach out to me. Seriously. I’m here and yes I have many kiddos but that’s also a perk because well, I have many kiddos so what’s one or 4 more haha! 

I know this is a novel, but if you stuck to the end you must have needed it. We’ve got this, mommas! 

Advertisements

No small thing.

I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you. – Isaiah 46:4

10398778_8392886988_2318_n(statue in Thailand, from one of our times there)

I see it on the news, on social media feeds, on newspapers, even if you were to avoid all of that – you still see it in the eyes of neighbors, or someone you pass at the grocery store: suffering and pain. This world overwhelms me with its incredible pain and suffering, and it isn’t ceasing, if anything it increases daily.

I sometimes want to turn away and ignore what’s before me. Whether it be something I see in our own neighbors or the homeless man whom we see almost daily near our home’s exit, or what I know is happening in my extended families, or what we’ve seen overseas from Red Light District in Amsterdam and Thailand to the streets of Indonesia and Malayasia, or maybe it’s in the stories we’ve heard of starving children in refugee camps.
THERE IS SO MUCH pain. Too much.
I felt overwhelmed this morning, angry even, crying out about the needs and brokenness I see. I was remembered this verse. It’s one of my favorites. And I know personally, His carrying, sustaining and rescuing doesn’t always look like what we might imagine, but He always does pull through, even if it’s simply His presence and peace felt in a season of chaos, ruin of dreams or lives, and even death.

There is a sense of peace that comes when remembering HE has overcome the world. HE has made, carries, sustains and rescues our broken souls, even our own and whatever “little” to big thing we may be walking through.

1923857_19939886988_1630_n

(from my trip to Indonesia)

Every single soul we come in contact with has meaning and purpose.

Well, duh! We all know this, right?

There is something I’ve noticed in my own life. It isn’t pretty and it’s tempting to skip over this part.

Something can happen when you’ve traveled around the world and seen the things we’ve seen. What’s before us, here in front of us in our typical American neighborhood, can seem so small and insignificant. I once heard someone say that they couldn’t engage with others here (in America) because of the things they had seen overseas. They’d decided that the people’s problems were small and insignifanct compared. I was surprised by that perspective but then I had my own moment at a soccer game where I realized I too had this sense of entitlement, where I had decided someone’s story/life were insignificant.

A fellow soccer mom who I had engaged with throughout the soccer season, asked to swap numbers. I caught myself, and it hit me, when had I started thinking it was okay to decide  that someone’s life/pain was less significant or meaningful because they aren’t walking through the horror/tragedy I’ve seen others walking through? I feel like it was a moment that has forever changed my perspective. It’s like this,

“Saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse is like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else may have it better. ~Unknown”

Since Ted has been gone this quote had truly popped up in my mind SO many times. I had many, many, many people compare their life and circumstances to my own – without my husband here – and talk their own struggles down. And I constantly thought it and spoke it out when I could, their struggle or pain or exhaustion was REAL.

There story/life wasn’t insignificant simply because my own personal walk looked different than theirs. 

But what does this mean? To actively live this out, recognizing that every person we come in contact – along with their problems – is signigicant, does that mean we bear even more weight of the world?

davis haven_-6
It would feel easy to get all wrapped up in feeling overwhelmed again. To either shut down and ignore it or try to carry it all. But friends, maybe it isn’t our job to carry all the weight of all the world, but instead lighten it whenever we can, in whatever capacity we can.

Is there any act of good that is small? I really don’t believe there is!

I immediately think of my own life, in this season since Ted has been away, and the seemingly small things that have had a huge impact on my life that others have done to take care of us. From meals, watching my kids, speaking truth where I’ve believed lies, a friend offering her husband to come over and chase my boys around since their daddy is gone, asking me how it’s going, inviting me to things, helping carry the weight of my husband being away. THESE ARE NO SMALL THINGS.

Listening to the neighbors or a friend that just need a listening ear, a word of compassion or encouragement. That is NO SMALL THING.

Making eye contact or even introducing yourself to another momma at the park. That is NO SMALL THING.

Giving a water and granola bar to the homeless man with kind eyes, who often stands at your home’s exit. That is NO SMALL THING.

Being a parent. Enough said, right? That is NO SMALL THING.

Asking others about their life, showing that you care and desire to know how they are doing. That is NO SMALL THING.

One of my dearest friends in one of the most giving and humble souls I know. She is constantly doing good, with whomever she comes in contact with – from her neighbors to the refugee center she takes her 3 small children too biweekly. It isn’t for other eyes to behold, her name isn’t shinning in light as she never shares it publicly. She simply does good for the sake of being Jesus to others. It’s unseen to others, but the people she’s reaching THEY see it. And that is NO SMALL THING. (I do love to read of the good others are doing elsewhere or here in my own town, so I’m not saying sharing publicly is an issue! )

What I am saying is that these good things that are done, even the seemingly insignificant ones, even the unseen ones, they are NO SMALL THINGS.

1923856_21612461988_6098_n

(another one from one of our times in Thailand)

We are doing good. We are being Jesus. We might not even recognize it because it can sometimes feel it’s too simple, not significant enough to make a difference, not blog-worthy enough to write home about even, but it is truly significant. We are being light and goodness, even on a small-scale, it is impactful to the heart of that person.

Which is NO SMALL THING.

Take heart, friends. Do what you can. And remember Jesus has overcome (fill in the blank)__________. He is your Maker, your Carrier, your Sustainer, and your Rescuer.

He is also THEIR Maker, Carrier, Sustainer and Rescuer.

Be Jesus and let Him carry the weight of the world while you/we do good.

Sharing Eisley (on sharing child loss)

This week Chase asked me about Eisley… again. His curious mind, wondering and trying to process things he either vaguely remembers, or things he’s heard and seen. Pictures, memorabilia, even the breakdowns I’ve had (that I can’t say I’m overly proud of).

I remember before I had her as the fear of losing her became greater and greater, I struggled with wondering, do I tell my almost 14-month-old anything? I mean he wouldn’t even remember, right? I knew he wouldn’t understand but would he feel things?

While I was in labor with Eisley, I was given a nurse who had two stillborn babies,her first baby and her third. She had children between and after her losses and she shared with me that she and her husband had decided to tell her other children. They were a part of their family, and they would celebrate them each year.

But what would we do? And if I don’t share now while he was little, then when? Do I ever?

Then I had Eisley, and to be honest, I didn’t really have time to think things through… clearly, anyways. It was all kind of a blur, a fog…a nightmare.

I think I knew deep down, not sharing about her wasn’t really an option. I felt so close with her, and now I felt like a part of me was missing. How could I not share her?

And even the moments, like this week and and the weeks to come – where the haunting anniversaries arrive, memories resurface, pain feels raw all over again,… I don’t ever regret sharing her…

and I especially don’t regret sharing Eisley with Chase, and now Shailo and some day, Everly.

There is truly an Eisley-shaped hole in our family that not only are Ted and I learning to live with. But also our children. They don’t feel the magnitude of what we felt and feel, but they feel something. Chase remembers some things from that time, though he was little.

IMG_8346

And more than that, they too, are processing the questions that arise in them that their minds can’t wrap around. It’s funny, in a childlike way, he has had some of the same thoughts/questions I’ve had for my Heavenly Father.

Like this last week when he said to me, “I know Eisley is with Jesus… But I wish she could come here and stay in our new home with us.”

Oh my heart.

I found myself wanting to say something comforting like, “but she is in heaven with Jesus and I bet she has a super cool room!”

But I just couldn’t. Validation, Jami, it’s what helped you when you needed it most, “yeah, me too, buddy.”

“Well, we can pretend she’s here!” He said and pulled Everly’s little rocker into the hallway.

I didn’t really know what to do or to say. So I didn’t. I didn’t move the chair for hours. But when the house was quiet as all 3 kiddos napped and I spotted the sun shining perfectly on the little rocker. It just broke me. I fell to my knees, put my head down and wept on to the empty rocker.

Even in these painful moments and memories, I still don’t… And can’t… Regret sharing her with her siblings.

Or sharing her with you along the way.

I had this fear she’d be forgotten, like she’d never existed, when we first lost her.

I wanted people to know of the beautiful little girl we held for 45 minutes. I wanted people to know of who we felt she was and to remember how she impacted us and also those who prayed for her.

To not share who she was, who she is and how she impacted our lives, felt like an injustice. For her, and honestly, for myself too. I always desire authenticity, even here on my
Blog. It has helped my grieving immensely, to write about her life and my struggles since she passed, and how we are moving forward as life is speeding by.

I realized, almost four years later, the ache is still ever-present and though it seems different, it isn’t any easier to process. We are still learning how to live with this ache, with the questions that arise in ourselves and in our kids/

This week I have felt so thankful that we decided to share her life with our other kiddos. And that we don’t hide behind close doors with our grief (though at time, we do). That even though the sudden questions may take us aback, we address them.

I haven’t been proud of many moments in my grief these past four years, but this is an area I am very thankful we allowed.

That we accept this as a part of our lives and say it’s okay to grieve and to talk about her. To ask the questions that linger.

We are learning what it means to share her life, to grieve and rejoice, together. Though each grieves so very differently, it is together as a family. And for that, I am beyond thankful.

I wanted to close the doors on my emotions this year, for some reason that I can’t quite pinpoint. But Chaseyboy’s questions and that moment in the hallway broke me.

I’m thankful. So thankful, as we are less than two weeks away from anniversaries.

Thank you for reading my emo blog post. I guess I just want to be sure I keep sharing. That I don’t close the door to the blog world, too. I know this blog has touched so many grieving mommas. I want to say to you that it’s okay to grieve, it’s okay to share and to be heard and feel validated. Your child’s life happened, your loss happened. Speak it, cry it out, scream it out if needed. Be heard by at least one. I’m not saying you must write a blog in order to validate their life and your loss, but I just want to speak it out for you mommas, especially those who feel weak… don’t shut the doors to your grief, don’t fret that you will mess up your other kiddos if you cry in front of them.  It is okay to share, it might even help those around you too.

Sharing has helped in my healing. Sharing has helped in our family’s healing. It’s still painful, but it does helps.

Love,
J

 

anchored in {hope}

This weekend I’ve had a bit of time to process and I was reflecting on this past year. I’m kind of in awe right now, actually. At the beginning of this year, I never would have imagined I’d be doing a counseling school in Amsterdam – to be honest, at that time, I couldn’t even imagine making it through another month the way I was. January was one of my darkest months – regarding my struggle with depression.. I had lost almost all hope. My sense of adventure, my dreams, etc gone. I broke down and burnt out, my family suffered immensely during this time.

Especially Ted, who was in school and working full time. He’d come home to wife who’d given up and given in to fear, depression and anxiety instead of choosing life, joy and hope amidst grief. Because of this debilitating depression, my lack of energy and motivation for life – even our marriage was suffering. My insecurity of how much I had changed since we lost Eisley, also came into play here as well. I was now his broken wife, my children’s broken momma. “I should be fine by now. Something is wrong with me, I must be broken beyond repair.”…

Our Godsend was Mark, a counselor who Ted and I began seeing in February. This was a huge and incredible step for us both. We even did EMDR ( eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy as well, to help deal with trauma we hadn’t been able to process from our pasts and from the loss of Eisley (for me in particular). This is when I first began to feel my veil of grief, lift. The beginning of healing.

I began dreaming again, for our family and remembering our hopes for the future. (Including the dream of continuing to grow our family – hence our current pregnancy :))

Now, being here and a part of this counseling school, I know He’s truly placed us here for this season. He wants to bring healing and transformation from the inside out, and He’s shown me how to live in this brokenness without feeling weighed down and lifeless. He’s shown me that even in the midst of sorrows in our lives His hope is present.

blogpost_november2013

I love this verse and the picture it brings. We have this HOPE as an ANCHOR for the soul.

No matter how mighty and powerful the storms are, we can be anchored in h o p e.

A hope that is firm and secure. His hope in us, never wavering amidst even the greatest of storms in our lives. This is what I feel He’s shown me over and over since we’ve been in Amsterdam. He’s shown me that even in the midst of the suffering in my own personal life from childhood to where I am now; this hope He is speaking of, it’s here; it’s a beautiful gift to us, His children. His heart aches with our aching hearts, He doesn’t want to see his children suffering and He offers us this hope that holds us secure (in Him). Whether it be from our mountain top experiences to the deepest, darkest valley. Offered to us in our greatest storms and in our calm and peaceful times.

We will still have our moments, in our human nature, where’ we forget we have this hope. Friday, was one of those, where I gave way to fear in my pregnancy. I allowed it to swallow me up for a few hours, before I yielded to this hope I’m talking about.

One thing i had really come to understand with this year is this: undeniably we have been changed by the loss of Eisley, but I – and Ted and I – are not broken beyond repair. We are forever changed in our own ways, some good and some not so good. We are working through the ugly parts, and learning to live with our brokenness as well. There will always be an ache when we think of precious Eisley-girl. I am accepting this as a part of who we are now…

…but I also feel like He’s showing me how to live with this. It’s really beautiful and precious to me that He’d choose to walk alongside us in our grieving and processing, and offer us His hope while feeling our suffering as well.

I guess what I’m getting at is this; His hope accepted is an anchor for our souls. I am incredibly thankful to know that no matter how great our storms, we are in Him, even when it feels like we might be drowning.

Friends, we have this hope, firm and secure.

Pregnancy after loss: Where my feet may fail and fear surrounds me.

1184761_10151648025996989_1311880847_n

Above: Little Baby Davis #4, making his/her first appearance on the blog :)

I thought it would be a little easier this time around. Being pregnant after loss and after having had another healthy pregnancy. I think at first, I felt it was easier. Maybe it was because even though we had tried for this baby, we didn’t really have much time to sit and process being pregnant again. If that makes sense. Our summer was a whirlwind. It flew by and here we are entering out second week of September already.

The truth is, it’s not easier this time around. And walking through another pregnancy after loss, I’ve come to realize and accept that it will never be easier. Our pregnancies will never feel safe again. I was reflecting on my first pregnancy with Chase and how unafraid I felt. I truly loved being pregnant. I miss that so very much. I am so thankful that at least one of our pregnancies was blissful. We hadn’t yet lost our innocence to what could happen.

The thing about fear for me, is that it’s paralyzing, debilitating. I struggle with major insomnia this pregnancy, and I feel it’s due to this fear. I also struggle with wanting to connect with this little one, even thought naturally I do. I want to, I just throw my guard up as if it would be easier if something were to happen. Which I know that it wouldn’t be any easier. My heart, though afraid of the risk, loves this little one so much already.

1185662_10151655018976989_111385324_n

Last month Ted introduced me to this song called Oceans by Hillsong. It’s been on repeat every day since. I just absolutely love it. The bridge is so perfect, I resonates in me.

 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,

Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,

and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Saviour.

When we lost Eisley, though the pain was beyond anything I have ever experienced, I feel my faith was made stronger. I remember when we lost her I felt like everything around me had shattered and there I stood, broken and confused …but there He stood with me. The picture I get it me standing in a room of darkness and broken glass and Him beside me. I felt for the first time, that I trust Him. Even though my daughter was taken from me, I trusted Him with everything in me. I knew He knew what was best for her even if it was painful for us.

I still feel this way and please, do not mistaken my fear in this pregnancy with lack of faith. I think it breaks my heart further when people speak words over me about my faith, etc. I have the faith and I also have this fear. I have trust in Him, but I also know that trust in Him doesn’t make me immune to suffering and pain. I accept this, I know this and I love Him. He is FOREVER good, even in my fear, even in my pain and in my weakness.

I guess I just wanted to get on my blog again (I miss blogging) and declare that even though – like this song states – my feet may fail me and fear surrounds me, I trust You, Father.

 

1170654_10151657713891989_2052477004_n

 

I trust you with this little one, even if it means heartache in the end.

I feel He gave me this word this morning, the first word I’ve felt in a while:

“Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” You’ll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You’ll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, “Good riddance!”

God will provide rain for the seeds you sow. The grain that grows will be abundant. Your cattle will range far and wide. Oblivious to war and earthquake, the oxen and donkeys you use for hauling and plowing will be fed well near running brooks that flow freely from mountains and hills. Better yet, on the Day God heals his people of the wounds and bruises from the time of punishment, moonlight will flare into sunlight, and sunlight, like a whole week of sunshine at once, will flood the land.” Isaiah 30:20-26

 

The 3rd year anniversaries of our Eisley-girl’s death and birth are coming up next weekend. While I can’t  believe it’s been 3 years, I also feel like it’s been a lifetime since we met her and said our goodbyes which breaks my heart. “But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home and it’s all you’ll ever know…”

6 years + a whirlwind family getaway

For our 6th anniversary, we were so busy with our 3 summer weddings, that we honestly FORGOT about it! June 20th we realized how close June 24th really was. Stunned (but Ted was thrilled I too had forgotten, HAHA!) we decided to wing it this year. We didn’t have anyone to watch the kiddos and just thought, let’s go to the mountains. So off we went – as a family – it was SO relaxing and so needed! 20130626-154342.jpg

It started raining on the drive up, which we both love and miss.familygetaway-1

Presh’y boys excited for our trip!untitled-8

untitled-5

untitled-6

untitled-4

untitled-15

20130626-154315.jpg

untitled-10

20130626-154301.jpg

Snow sighting in June.photo 5-5

The view, the drive, the fresh air!photo

Friend’s blessed us with a night away in the mountains. AMAZING.photo 1-2 \photo 5-3

photo 4-1

The view from our roomphoto 3-1

It was the kind of place where we just brought food and ate in. Made our trip SUPER reasonable :)
photo 1-1

Meals in the sunshinephoto 5-4

photo 3-3hummus and chips, but of course!photo 5-6

View from the kitchen. loooooved.photo 2-4

Shailo LOVED the porch and the view. Let’s be honest though, he was especially excited when we left the room and he could roam free.photo 1-3

photo 4-3

Yes, it’s true. We are “THOSE kind of parents” hehe.

photo 2-3

photo 3-4

Family walk as the sunset.
photo-3

It actually should read “hers and his” for mine was the sweet, pink one :)
photo-1

6 years, 6 homes, 4 babies (our 1st and 5th anniversaries were the only two I was not pregnant during :)), lots of driving, flying and traveling, many incredible moments and many difficult ones as well.

6 WONDERFUL years with my best friend, I am a blessed woman! Truly thankful for this guy!

triggered trauma + declarations

9243e5a6fcaf3fc3792a26c5d0f51690

{source}

The past few weeks have been pretty trying for our family. “When it rains, it pours” describes it best, I think.

So many things that were out of my control. Chase and Shailo somehow caught Whooping cough (Pertussis) … like an actual documented case. This was after learning Shailo had Pneumonia two days before (a result of the whooping cough). I had a sinus infection – not a big deal, just tiresome and annoying on top of everything else. Ted just had sinus surgery yesterday, which thankfully he’s recovery wonderfully.

Just a lot at once. And all of it, totally out of my control.

Since we’ve lost Eisley, I’ve really struggled with things being out of my control. Sometimes even more than one should. I used to take pride in being adaptable and adventurous and after September 14, 2010 – I felt as though those parts of me vanished.

My adventurous spirit is slowly rising up again, I can feel it. (Even my dad recently commented on seeing a bit of it again) I remember the exact day that I felt I dreamt again. I was at a little coffee shop with my friend Chey, late February. We were talking of future plans and I just felt excited, for the first time since Eisley’s passing, about a particular piece of our dreams that I thought I’d lost. Since then, I have felt even more adventure and courage rise up in me. I am moved to tears even now, with gratefulness.

But it’s also a struggle when things like the past few weeks come flooding in like they sometimes do.

I’ve struggle a lot in the past year. June of 2012 I started on anti-depressants. I’ve since had an on again, off again relationship with my meds. I hate that I need to take them to keep on moving, but I do. When I don’t, it’s really, really rough and dark. For me and for my entire family. I don’t like putting them through hell every time I’m not well, so I’m back on them.

And, yes, here I am sharing publicly… well, within the “privacy” of my blog and those who want to read it.

Monday, I sat in front of my counselor with this incredible weight on my chest. Tears wanted to burst through but again, I felt I needed to keep it together, be strong.

He said the words, affirmed what I feel deep down, but rarely affirmed. What we went through was horrific and traumatic and it’s okay that I (still) feel the way I do inside.

I told him I often feel crazy. I know deep inside that what we went through with the loss of Eisley was awful. I know this, if I let myself, I feel this. I’ve struggled feeling like I am crazy, because it’s not spoken of, most often it’s been ignored or I have been ignored. I get it, it’s very awkward, but I feel like it’s so much more than that.

I’m not crazy. I’m hurting. I’m still broken in many ways.

Trauma is triggered in moments like the past few weeks, when things are so difficult and out of my control. Obviously on a scale of 1-10 the things recently barely registered compared to the things we’ve walked through with Eisley. But my brain doesn’t know any different. It just triggers my trauma and I flip out, or shut down.

Friday May 31st, I sat in Shailo’s ER room, my hand on his little sleeping body and my head on the bed, tears pouring out my face. I knew he wasn’t in a life or death situation, but it all felt so scary. And to make matters worse, we were in the same hospital I lost Eisley in. Normally, I fet a little bit of time to prepare my mind for walking back in that hospital, but this evening there wasn’t time to “prepare” my mind and heart. A few different moments, it all felt too overwhelming. I just wanted to leave, but if you’ve ever been to the ER you know, it’s not a quick in and out experience.

I sought His peace but also felt so hurt and somewhat betrayed. I know He never leaves us or forsakes us, but there is still struggle and heartache.

That morning, before I realized how sick Shai was, I woke around 4am cramping and bleeding. The worst part was that we had just learned – 5 days before – that we were pregnant again. They were faint lines, but lines nonetheless. It all felt to odd, because if I’m being honest, initially I cried. But then wanted to be strong because the reality is that we didn’t really even have a confirmed ultrasound pregnancy – so it wasn’t a big deal, right? I had convinced my mind that it wasn’t a big deal, but my heart was so burdened and sad. Just days before we were talking about having our first February Baby and then here we were.

A friend helped guide me to truth and validation; we had a chemical pregnancy – which basically means I only knew via tests that we were pregnant. I guess it’s pretty common but most of the time woman think it’s their period starting late. I almost wish I hadn’t known I was pregnant, but then another part of me is glad I did know.

Talking with my counselor about it, I found myself choking up, tears filling my eyes, ” I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I’m crying.”

“Of course you would cry. Why wouldn’t you? You lost a baby. I would be worried if this didn’t affect you.”

Hearing that, the walls broke and so did I. Validation.

It’s not even been 3 years since we’ve lost Eisley and I just cannot keep living, denying my feelings and grief and the trauma anymore. The trauma is too much to bury and if I do, I wouldn’t be myself. I’ve seen it. If I continue to face this grief and trauma (in counseling like I have), perhaps I will continue to find peace and healing – and maybe even the pieces of me that I felt I’d lost will come back slowly. I know that I am forever changed by the loss of our Eisley-girl but I am not crazy. I am a broken, hurting, traumatized, emotional momma. But I am not crazy.

Declaring it. Standing firm in it. Choosing to walk in truth and face what needs to be faced.

Declaring that I will trust Him.

I wasn’t going to share about our little “Glory Baby”  – but within the “safety” of my blog – I know the people are read are ones whom I know what to hear what I have to say. Thank you so much for stopping by and listening to my ramblings.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

When my broken world caves in
And the darkness covers over
With a love, love, love that heals

You come, You make us one
So, Jesus, stay with my heart, stay beside me
You are hope for my soul, You complete me
You make us one
You make us one
When Your tenderness surrounds
And Your gentle whisper finds me
With a love, love, love that fills
You come, You make us one
When the beautiful unfolds
And my longing touches heaven
With a love, love, love that fills
You come, You make us one
You are love, You are grace
You are kindness and compassion
You are love, You are grace
You are God

-Stay Beside Me by Future of Forestry

——————————————————————————————————————————-

I will bring praise, I will bring praise!
No weapon formed against me shall remain!

I will rejoice, I will declare; God is my victory and He is here!

All of my life, in every season, You are still God. I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship!

-Desert Song

——————————————————————————————————————————–

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
What could stand against?

-Our God by Chris Tomlin

a war on our worth.

20130506-210852.jpgToday, I’m fed up.

My word, how often will we (I) allow ourselves to fall victim to believing lies? How often throughout the day or week will we (I) allow things, situations, people – to determine our worth?

This is so heaaaaaaaavy on my heart. Because I see the lies and struggles and pains, etc, etc, ETC strung all throughout conversations face to face or on social media posts and pictures and it flippin’ breaks. my. heart. What we believe about ourselves and how we define our identity…

WE ARE SO MISSING OUT.

WE ARE MISSING THE POINT.

We (me, me, and me every day) are summing up our worth for the day in what we have/haven’t done, what we have/haven’t accomplished.

I’m so over it. SO over finally plopping down for the night and feeling like a failure. Some nights, I don’t but most nights, I do. I even measure up my worth by the cleanliness of my home, if I have/haven’t squeezed a workout in, how I communicated with my children, etc… SERIOUSLY, Jami?

The lies, the lies, the lies- whether it be a stay at home momma like me – struggling because even though it might be what we love and want, the enemy says: “you’re just a stay at home mom. And honestly, you don’t even do THAT well. Look at your home. Look at your children.” etc.

I hear it from working mommas, struggling believeing lies that they aren’t a good enough momma or that they didn’t spend enough time with their little one(s) that day, or that their little one wouldn’t be as close with them as a “SAHM” momma.

Or a wife who is struggling to get pregnant and struggles believing that it’s her fault and perhaps that she has failed. Or a husband who struggles feeling shame if  he can’t help “fix” what is going on with his wife, or if they are struggling month to month.

ANYTHING that creeps in our hearts and minds and that we claim as our identity. Anything besides Christ and being His beloved…

I recently read Abba’s Child by Brendan Manning and OH.MY.WORD. has it truly helped me to understand what my identity in Christ is, how He views me. It’s an every day battle for me, however, I feel like this book ROCKED my world and perspective. Excuse the all over the place, post and quotes from his book. Here are some thoughts for tonight:

“Our identity rests in God’s relentless tenderness for us revealed in Jesus Christ.”

Facing our shadows:

“Accepting the reality of our sinfulness means accepting our authentic self. Judas could not face his shadow; Peter could. The latter befriended the impostor within; the former raged against him.”

We all have shadows. Too often I allow my shadows to overwhelm me. Even the “little shadows” of a messy home, misbehaving children, feeling chubby (yep)…  what if we we’re to befriend our shadows. Accept them. Recognize they are there and they are real. And move forward in truth and in life.

“To ignore, repress, or dismiss our feelings is to fail to listen to the stirrings of the Spirit within our emotional life. Jesus listened. In John’s Gospel we are told that Jesus was moved with the deepest emotions (11:33)… The gospel portrait of the beloved Child of Abba is that of a man exquisitely attuned to His emotions and uninhibited in expressing them. The Son of Man did not scorn of reject feelings as fickle and unreliable. They were sensitive antennae to which He listened carefully and through which He perceived the will of His Father for congruent speech and action.”

 What if we listened to our feelings, instead of repressing or ignoring them? Perhaps they wouldn’t overwhelm us if we truly faced them, accepted them, validated them or threw them out as lies. HOLY MOLY.

“we unwittingly project onto God our own attitudes and feelings toward ourselves… But we cannot assume that He feels about us the way we feel about ourselves — unless we love ourselves compassionately, intensely, and freely. ”

This hits home for me. I struggle with this so much.

“The sorrow of God lies in our fear of Him, our fear of life, and our fear of ourselves. He anguishes over our self-absorption and self-sufficiency… God’s sorrow lies in our refusal to approach Him when we sinned and failed.”

His sorrow. Isn’t it sadly ironic? In our sin, we run. When we see our shadows, we try to hide them or we allow them to overwhelm us, when the reality is HIS SORROW lies in watching us run, or hide, or be consumed, or fight. He’s our most welcoming love and our most approachable Father … and yet some days I cry tears of feeling like a failure, wallowing. Allowing my little and big shadows to consume me.

Accepting our Belovedness:

“The engaged mind, illuminated by truth, awakens awareness; the engaged heart, affected by love, awakens passion. May I say once more – this essential energy of the soul is not an ecstatic trance, high emotion or a sanguine stance toward life: It is a fierce longing for God, an unyielding resolve to live in and out of our belovedness.

YES.

“While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.”

Brendan refers to our human nature as “the imposter” and I just really love that. This quote  is another one that has truly hit home for me. I’ve recently recognized that I was allowing even the condition of our home cleanliness to determine my worth. WHAT? Not to mention, when I’m in public or home, and my boys are fighting or Chase throws a tantrum, etc… or when I’m filled with pride vs a humble spirit in an argument with my husband, etc. Or even most often how I am emotionally – in depression and in dealing with my fear and anxiety – this is a big area of struggle for me.

320875_10151451587471989_1993853428_n

Today I posted this photo on IG: “If in measure my worth by the cleanliness of our home, how it is managed and how well my children behave, I’ll always feel a failure. Finding my worth in Him alone is a daily struggle.”

This is what inspired me to write tonight. I know I’m not the only one out there that struggles with worth and identity.

I’ll end with this:

“Experience has taught me that I connect best with others when I connect with the core of myself. When I allow God to liberate me from unhealthy dependence on people, I listen more attentively, love more unselfishly, and am more compassionate and playful. I take myself less seriously, become aware that the breath of the Father is on my face.”

I n c r e d i b l e truth.

Just a “quick” post to declare it and share it with the hopes to encourage a weary one tonight.

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”

xx,

Jami

simply put: i struggle too.

Recently I hung out with a rockin’ momma to two boys. Our crazy boys ran wild and we talked. I felt at ease around her and like I didn’t have to worry if she saw just how crazy my life with my boys can get. What I loved is how very real she is: authentic and genuine. She shared her heart and struggles and thoughts. I appreciated it oh so much. We were talking and I realized I hadn’t seen her for months. Life gets super busy and while I know that was a part of it, I also realized something else this morning. I’ve tried to connect with other momma’s in the area, to be turned down, often. (This isn’t a pity party post, I promise :))

I have come to realize, that a lot of the struggle is me. Unless people really take the time to get to know me, they feel I am not relatable. Why? I’ve recently figured this out.

And oh.my.word. it breaks my heart.

I share a lot on social media, photos-wise. I share beautiful moments from our lives – down to the daily life that I find cute, or a meal, or I share creative things, places we’ve visited, things I’ve made, silly moments, etc. Over time and a handful of conversations later I’ve come to realize, people are intimidated. I guess from the outside looking in, mostly via my sharing photos, my life might seem like I have a lot of things “together” or “going for me”. I definitely know the reality of my life is far from these things, but maybe a struggling momma would see this differently when she sees a photo I post?

Today, I am here to say, I am not. I am sooooo far from having it all together. And I am so sorry if that is how you feel I’ve portrayed my life. It breaks my heart that in sharing, people might believe this to be true. After hearing little remarks/comments such as me being referred to as a “pinterest mom” or “super mom” or “that mom who makes all others look bad”, etc I know the importance of wanting to clearly share and portray my heart to you. I feel sick knowing that I’ve caused others to feel intiminated or downcast or like I am not able to relate.

My entire hope is to:

a) document our lives

b) encourage and uplift and inspire others in things I post: whether about life or in creativity

c) focus on the more positive because of where we’ve walked in life. I {have} to focus more on those moments or I sink deep into my depression.

I am weary of others either feeling I am unable to relate to struggle or that what I post is a facade. I’m here to say, I STRUGGLE and this is not a facade.

I know what the “world” says in successful and it’s truly a facade. It’s so difficult because we feel we need to put on these facades, to show the world that we’ve got it all together. When the reality could be, we are struggling, we are lonely, we need community. We need a safe place to share honestly and feel no judgement whatsoever. That is exactly why I recently started a momma’s group.

f40f2013799f377440998d41c5bec852

(found this via pinterest and loved it!)

If we allow it, there is an intimidation that we sometimes feel when it comes to others and how we mother or even how we live our lives. Desiring their giftings or perhaps, when it comes to the lives we see online or what we think we see face to face.

 I struggle because I want to share the more positive because that truly is an honest outlook on our life. Some of this is wired in me and some of this has really become a part of me since we’ve lost Eisley. I feel more aware and thankful for things I once took for granted.

But sometimes I struggle. I mean really struggle.

Sometimes Ted gets home from work at night and I have yet to shower, I’m in boogy and food covered yoga pants, dinner is only just getting started (if that), laundry might be done but folded – no way. Sometimes I am in tears or just bone weary.

I struggle because I know that I can’t have the house clean all of the time – that is unless I go mad-crazy and decide to clean all day long. I struggle because I don’t like to cook – I’m a stay at home momma who actually, dare I say, HATES to cook. I have no creativity or passion when it comes to this area. Zilch. I struggle because I have never been good at a strict nap schedule – or really, any kind of schedule – for my boys. You wouldn’t believe how often I feel guilty that it isn’t my strong area. My boys more often than not, stay up way too late and get up way too early.

I struggle because some days I yell at my kiddos or cry way more than I “should” in front of them.

I struggle lately because my sweet Chaseyboy has become mouthy, rude and keen to tantrum throwing when he doesn’t get his way.

I struggle when my boys seem to they fight more than love on each other.

I struggle taking passive aggressive things people post online (that have nothing to do with me) personally.

I struggle when others think I have my life together when I feel so often it’s messy and I’m often lonely and living as a broken and depressed and (still) grieving momma.

I have been struggling lately as I hear the comments that continue to flood in. I’m a sensitive soul and a people pleaser and I try to be as authentic as possible.

I actually feel so dumb saying it, but I’m truly trying to share the more difficult moments as well. I share here on my blog a lot about my struggles with depression, or about the loss of Eisley or even about Ted and I and about Chase and our struggles with him. I haven’t shared those sort of things on facebook and other social media sites as much because to be honest, after we lost Eisley I realized it made people uncomfortable or people didn’t want to hear it. People didn’t want to know what was going on. And also, passive agressive comments fly around on facebook so often about people who use facebook as a diary – and at times, reading and hearing videos of things people shared regarding this – it broke my heart. Here I felt lonely and shared online because of this (is this right? probably not, however when you aren’t a part of a community of people who want to hear what’s going on, it’s hard not to want to reach out – which is lame, but for me at a time, that meant through my blog and through my facebook. Asking for prayer and hope and encouragement. To know we weren’t alone.)

Something that has helped me a lot recently is a book called Abba’s Child by Brendan Manning. I feel like I am accepting my broken nature and learning who I truly am in Him.

I was sharing with a friend my struggles with these comments and how I’ve begun to realize how people perscieve me. It breaks my heart. If you know me or have followed me here, you know I love to document our lives. A part of who I am is that when I feel inspired, I pick up my camera. I don’t often feel inspired when I’m battling through a tantrum with my almost 4-year-old or when my boys are pummeling each other out of anger or when my husband and I are arguing. Or when my house is a wreck. Or when I’m up for 4 hours straight with my 1 1/2 year-old due to weaning. Or when I’m popping in my anti-depression medication right before bed each night.

Photos and posts about this, it is actually harder for me. Not because I don’t want to share those moments in fear of judgement – no, in fact I’ve come to realize people judge less when I share such photos. And when I share positive, I feel even more judged at times. It is mostly harder for me because I truly want to focus on the positive. I want to capture the beautiful moments – and now, I am working on capturing the more difficult ones as well. I have realized that people feel I am more relatable when I share these moments as well.

There are comments and things I have to brush off as someone’s judgement of me, but as I’ve heard from people I respect and admire myself, I realize, even those who aren’t judging me tend to believe this true of me. It breaks my heart and I hope today I was able to share a bit more to help put things into perspective and explain my heart.

I struggle too. Every day.

It’s just that for me, I {HAVE} to create and I {HAVE} to focus more on the positive. This is for me personally.

If I wasn’t such a people pleaser and an empathy-person, this post wouldn’t be happening ;) However, any time that even ONE person has a struggle with me, I’m torn. So this post may be more for me than for you, but I hope I’ve clearly portrayed what I have hoped all along.

Authenticity, possitivity and inspiration.

Love, Jami

Hipster Easter

20130407-091001.jpg

Okay, so no… not really a hipster easter. I just HAD to go there. People often comment on how my kids are “hipster” and I have no idea what that really even means?!  Hipster or not, they were stinkin’ cute Easter Sunday! (And, I bought their little ties in the $1 section at Target!)tumblr_mkj717aB3I1s8r54eo1_500

Pre-easter service, we gave the boys little Easter baskets for the first time. Not once ounce of candy in there, mostly because {I} would be the one who’d end up eating it! (I LOVE chocolate) Ted asked Chase what was Easter Sunday all about and Chase proclaimed, “THIS!” and held up his micro-kite. Um… bahahaha- we laughed and shook out heads, then went on. We shared that like mommy and daddy love to bless him, God loves to bless us. And we went on to talk about the gift of Jesus’ life. It was actually very good. Chase asked me things like, “… and bad men hurt him?” “Why did he HAVE to die?” (We kind of over spiritualized the Easter baskets giving a little bit, yes ;) I’m a sucker for holidays; I wanna do easter baskets AND Jesus, what can I say ;)

tumblr_mkj18aiWlx1s8r54eo1_500

And then, this happened (again). Shailo ate coffee right before church…

20130407-090928.jpg

But thankfully the “Caffeine rampage” was over 2 minutes into the drive to church. Had to take a pic, I just LOVE his sleeping baby lips.

20130407-090922.jpg

OH MY HEART. Perhaps a hipster pose by Chaseyboy or maybe more of an exasperated “MOM, QUIT TAKING MY PICTURE”? ;)

20130407-090916.jpg

Family photo. I was telling Ted OH how very differently our outfits would look if we had girls only! I mean, I even wore BLUE last Sunday. I sure love it, though. So very blessed to call them my family.20130407-090910.jpg

WE are the cheesy ones. Our kiddos will never ever smile normal because, hello, their momma and daddy can’t hahaha!tumblr_mkk6npgi9H1s8r54eo1_500

We spent the afternoon and evening hanging out with friends.. Chase played for outside for hours, with a group of boys around his age or a year older! He had a BLAST and slept so well that night! :)

20130407-091013.jpgTed and I hung out with friends inside and played games (this particular one they called “the bean game” and I’m not sure the real name. so fun though!) I ate WAY too much cake and candy and had a little wine on the side.

Just a little easter recap. Thanks for popping by!

Hope you’re having a wonderful, relaxing Sunday!