Saturday, January 1, 2011


I'm trying to get into the New Year's spirit over here. It's been a little harder for me this year. We've done everything that you're supposed to do... We spent time with family, we played with our babies, we ate dinner with friends, we drank wine, we watched the ball drop. We've done it all and still I can't quite get myself to feel it. I usually love this time of year. I love reminiscing about the past year- looking back at what we've done, where we've been, our high points and our low points, how we've grown, what we've learned, etc, etc. This year, the overwhelming hugeness of November and December completely overshadows the rest of the year for me. Looking back at the year only makes me cry. Looking forward at the new year to come only leaves me thinking about all of the things that we should be experiencing with Harper. Neither feel "right". I feel stuck at the moment. I don't want to go back, but I'm not sure that I want to go forward. Going forward feels like I'm leaving Harper in the past. I know it isn't true, but I don't like the feeling of moving on yet.

Even if I hate it, I do know that I need to walk forward. One tiny step at a time. And so I'm forcing myself to look at 2011, and I'm inspired by my friend Sarah over at emerging mummy to pick out a couple themes of the year for myself.

The first theme that I'm choosing is HOPE. Hope has eluded me most of the past 2 months. There have been a few beautiful moments that it's felt close, but by and large it hasn't settled in my heart. Dana and I have been talking a lot lately about it, and I find myself in a season where I have to chain myself to hope. I have to cling to the fact that Jesus is the giver of hope, that He knows my future, and that it is GOOD. My mind tends to go crazy thinking about worst case scenarios, and I'm in a season of learning to silence my own voice and listen solely to the voice of the Lord. Much easier said than done.

I used to be convinced that we could decide how many children we wanted. That we could choose a number and without a problem have that many healthy, happy kids in our family. We've talked with 3 different doctors, and they all feel that with treatment, having more babies should not be a problem. This should give my heart hope, but I haven't been able to land there. I still let my mind wander and feel terrified at the thought of going through another pregnancy. Even though I still need to land here, we know we will try at some point this year to get pregnant again. I'm committed to landing in a place of hope. I'm chaining myself to hope and choosing to believe above all else that HE IS GOOD.

My second theme for the year is joy/contentment. I know that grieving my baby girl will also be a large part of this year, and I'm very ok with feeling sad. I actually like it... It makes me feel close to her. But I believe that Jesus can give me JOY in the process. I don't think that I always have to feel happy, but I do believe that I can have a deep abiding JOY in my heart.

I spent the morning of Nov 1 (Harper's birthday), making these worship rings with my kids.

We danced around and around that morning to the song Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture.  We sang these words:

you stay the same through the ages
your love never changes
there may be pain in the night,
but joy comes in the morning.
and when the oceans rage,
I don't have to be afraid
because I know that you love me,
and your love never fails.

On the very morning that my baby would be born without a heartbeat, we proclaimed the words over and over that He is the same through the ages.  Without knowing, we were making a statement in our hearts that He was the same Monday morning as He was on Monday night.

Sweet Burkey has completely taken to his worship ring, and day after day he toddles over to the storage cube, digs until he finds them, and then whines until I turn the music on and pick him up to dance.  The funny thing is that he's happiest when it's this song, and sometimes he'll even whine and whine until I turn it on.  Jesus is constantly reminding me that joy comes in the morning.  Even when I'm too weak to acknowledge it for myself, this truth is being spoken over and over in our home.  He's not letting me forget it.  And without us even meaning to, He is ingraining this truth into all of our hearts.

I'm choosing JOY for this year.  And, I'm choosing to feel content right where I am.  I am embracing this painful season of our lives.  I'm going to enjoy my family right where we are.  I continually find myself wishing that I could see 5 years down the road and know the number of kids we will have.  I am choosing to feel peace with not knowing right now.  I need to, once again, learn the secret of being content.  I've learned this lesson in the past, and now I find myself needing to learn it all over again.  Instead of wanting to fast forward to another pregnancy or a different season, I'm choosing to have joy right where I am.  I'm going to learn to be ok with the uncertainty.  It's painful for me, but I need to.

Where we live, January and February can often feel like the longest months of the year.  It's freezing, and we can often go for days without seeing the sun.  We get lots of snow and many times are stuck inside for days.  It's just a hard time of year to bundle babies up and take them out, so we stay in way more than we do in the summer.  Just as we're preparing mentally for the long winter, I'm doing the same in my heart.  I know that spring will come.  That the sun will shine, and it's warmth will be felt.  But, I can't do anything to change the fact that it's winter where I am.  And so I'll learn to be ok with that right now.  I'm looking forward to a springtime season in my life.  I'm HOPEFUL that it will come.  But for now, I'll choose to have JOY right where I am.


  1. Sarah, my love, you are beautiful inside and out. and that is NO cliche.

    I bought myself a very small journal for each day. I'm horrible at journaling and thought I could at least write one thing I did each day and one truth I learned.

    Today, 1.1.11. I wrote: "New, fresh Hope. Don't give up because Jesus didn't give up."

    I stand with you, hand in hand [even with the miles between us] and pray, speak - nay SHOUT - HOPE and JOY comes in the morning.

    I love you. I will walk this life beside you until the end.

  2. Beautiful words for a beautiful soul. So glad to be journeying with you through your words even from afar. Many prayers as you discover fresh hope and new joy this year.