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A Plea For Voices From The Darkness

There’s a dark place in motherhood that virtually no one is talking about. A place where hope disappears, sleep doesn’t come, praying feels useless and the only thing worse than the pain is the numbness.  Everyone who knows this place experiences it differently, and though it doesn’t affect every mother, it affects more than you know. Someone close to you is fighting against this darkness without you knowing—your mother, your friend, your sister, your neighbor. Perhaps even yourself. Too many women don’t know how to recognize the battle raging inside them for what it is, and so they suffer in silence, confusion, and fear. I’ve been to this place and back, though my climb back to solid ground isn’t over.
I’ve written on the topic of Postpartum Depression before HERE, but I’ve put off writing more on the subject for far too long. I’m in a different place now and the darkness doesn’t suffocate me as it once did, but I haven’t forgotten the all-consuming hold it had on me back then. I re…
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Finding Grace

I have a bad habit of only seeking out deep, truly meaningful connection with God when I am feeling desperate in life. The good(?) news is, I have experienced feelings of desperation on an unusually frequent basis in the past 2-3 years. As a result, I have been more often open to His direction in my life and it has changed me on several occasions.
On one such occasion, during probably the most desperate time that I have experienced as a mother, I found myself on my knees, begging for forgiveness, and pouring out my heart about all the things that I simply wasn’t doing well and so desperately wanted to be doing better. I wasn’t fulfilling my intention to stop yelling at my family. I wasn’t doing the things I needed to do for myself so that I could actually show up and function well for the people I love. I wasn’t finding opportunities to bring others closer to Christ. I was simply surviving the challenging days and not very successfully. Maybe that sounds dramatic, but maybe you’ve al…

Affirming Goodness

With 3 small kids under the age of 5, Anthony and I have a healthy awareness of how green we still are at this parenting gig. We are making things up as we go, trying to figure out what works, failing a lot, and apologizing to our kids plenty when we do it wrong. We know that we are still in the beginning; that we haven’t really “figured it out” yet. So, I wouldn’t say we have a lot of established family rules or anything, with one exception. That exception being that we do not call members of our family “bad.” It’s non-negotiable, and everyone is conscious of this expectation.
NO ONE in our family is “BAD.”
Ultimately, we just don’t believe that human beings can be accurately labeled as “bad” and it is important to us that our children know this. Doing bad things does not inherently make a person bad. If we assume that people are nothing more than a summation of everything they do or have ever done, we lose sight of everything they still have the potential to do yet. Not to mention…

Place of Safety

Though written over a month ago and left unfinished, I keep coming back to these thoughts. Tonight particularly, I needed the reminder of these gentle but poignant promptings I’ve received…

I had a heavy but enlightening moment tonight as I sat by my daughter’s bedside drawing nondescript designs on her back with my fingers and singing softly to help her and big brother drift off to sleep. She has never been a very good sleeper and it has become clearer lately that she struggles quite a bit with various fears once the lights go out. Despite her constant exhaustion, she simply does not ever want to go to sleep and bedtime is becoming more of a battle as time passes.
Tonight as I sat at the side of her bed, a thought came creeping into my quiet mind. It was simply this, “The things she fears now may not be real to you, but they are to her. If you brush them off today, how will she ever feel safe coming to you with the real fears that life throws at her later?”
Cue grief and an overwhelming…

Parenting in the Dark

PPD.  Postpartum Depression. It’s often treated like a dirty word. It seems that there are a million stigmas attached; stigmas that make it feel impossible and terrifying to discuss this topic. So that’s why I’m doing it I suppose, because someone has to fight the stigmas and somehow make it safe for others to discuss it as well. I’m bringing up the topic because I need you to do it as well. It’s not a dirty little shameful secret. It’s a painful reality full of shame and loneliness, that I believe could be immensely helped simply by a sense of community. Did you know that approximately 950,000 women in the U.S. suffer from PPD every year? What bothers me the most is that this statistic only accounts for self-reported cases. I can't imagine how many more women are waiting out the darkness alone and in silence.
My first attempt at writing this basically came out as a horror story that offered nothing but fear-mongering. It made me personally more afraid of what I was facing and le…

Fog Happens

Dear Self,

Sometimes you wake up at 4 a.m. to make it to the airport in time for a 6 a.m. flight.

But sometimes your flight gets delayed because the connecting airport is grounded due to severe fog.

Then, if you're REALLY lucky it gets delayed again... and again... and again.

Then, when they finally board you and taxi out onto the runway, they discover a mechanical problem with the plane. So the pilot taxis back to the terminal, but they make you stay in your seats on the airplane for over an hour while the problem is fixed. 

Then (because it is your lucky day), once the mechanical issue is resolved, the connecting airport has again been grounded by the fog. So, the flight attendant hesitantly allows you to deplane briefly in order to get some milk for your hungry/tired/grumpy little babe. 

By the time your flight actually arrives at the connecting airport, it is past noon. You get off the plane just in time to discover that you have missed your connecting flight (which was also severel…

Precious Moments

Some nights my little Bubba just demands to be cuddled to sleep. It is rare... and I am ever so grateful for these nights.
Tonight was an occasion rarer and sweeter than most. After going through our regular bedtime routine, he cried out for comfort after only a few minutes of playing quietly in his crib. It was one of those undeniable cries that says "I need you Mom!" and I was in his room lifting him from the crib within seconds. A minute later, he slowly twirled his fingers through my hair as he clung to my shoulder and softly hummed along to the song I was quietly singing in his little ear. As he slowly lulled into a peaceful slumber and grew limper and heavier in my arms, I felt the temptation to rouse him gently in hopes of extending the precious experience.

It was one of those moments that you're afraid to let go of. The kind you just want to live inside forever.

It seems that each time I blink these days, Bubba grows a little more. As we near his first birthday,…