In this world, where bad things happen, I sit among the ashes that are my life and wonder what went wrong.
Perhaps, with all of the blessings I have been given, I should be asking what went right.
I look around and see my son sitting at the table eating peanut butter and jelly in his Spiderman underwear, full of wonder and joy and excitement. Everything is still new in his four year old mind. God is still simple, life is still black and white, right and wrong. Mommy is still his security and Daddy is still his hero. I glance up again, and he is gone, off to explore some new something in his room, to build some new city, to create some new masterpiece.
I glance at the clock and count the minutes until it is time to get my daughter from school. The days are long, and still sometimes not long enough for her. I see the book she left laying on my chaise lounge, still open to the page we stopped on last night, and smile. She is so mine, so much like me.
The door to my bedroom is closed, and behind it, the man who loves me ever so is just now, at 2pm, crawling out of bed, soon to be looking for lunch. This man, who works 3 jobs and never complains, who comes home at 8 in the morning, while most are leaving for work, and still finds time to mow the lawn and sort the laundry and make masterpieces of cloth, is still my hero, too. I feel the love he has for me in his every move, and I am in awe of a God who thought I deserved to love a man such as this.
I see my very best friend, closer than any sisters could ever be, and sigh a sigh of peace and contentment, knowing that God put us in each others paths to ease pain and bring tears and laughter and change hearts and souls and the ideas of what family are, and what family can be.
I place my fingers to my wrist and feel my heart beating just a little too fast, thankful that it is still beating. Thankful that in my darkest hours I managed to hold on, to not give up, even when I wanted to. Thankful for those who refused to let go of me, even when I did want to give up. thankful for the new doctors, and new medication, and even yes, the new medical bills. Thankful to be alive, and to be blessed with modern medicine and drugs that slow my heart and stabilize my moods and ease my pain. Thankful to be alive.
Thankful to be 'broke' in the richest country on the planet. To be free to worship and free to love and free to give. Thankful to know that we really are rich, sleeping in our huge bed on our comfortable sheets in our air conditioned house. I look around and see four screens in my line of sight, 3 computer screens and one big screen television, and smile to myself when I dare think we are poor, knowing there are two more computers and 3 more televisions and 3 more beds in this modest house we call our home. We are rich, and don't even know it. That's the way it goes, I think, and sometimes you just have to slow down and look at the rest of the world and what they don't have to understand what you do have. And there is one thing that I have that so many people don't. It's that one thing that makes me want to change. Makes me want to do something. Be someone.
I have this Lord, this amazing God who made me free. Free to love and preach and teach, free to screw up, free to sin, free to fall, and free to come crawling back up on the altar just one more time.
I can't count on my two hands how many Bible are in this home, but probably can count on one hand how many times they are opened a week. That bothers me. There are people in this world who can't get a Bible, can't have those precious words that I take for granted. And it makes me want to do something. Perhaps I am always wanting to do something, and never quite following through with actually doing anything of consequence.
But in my heart, I want to change the world. I want to change someones world. I want to give someone the freedom I have always known, the freedom I so freely take for granted, and I want to scream because I loathe who I am and what I do.
And yet I know, I am free in Him, and he sees me the way I want to be, though I am never good enough. And then I realize that that is enough. He is enough. His grace is sufficient, and I am ever free in His love.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.