Just Another Mother’s Day


Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

I thought I could avoid it. Really, I did. I don’t know why, but I did. Turns out, I was wrong. I thought that maybe, just maybe, if I didn’t post anything, or do what we usually do, or make a big deal, I could trick my heart into thinking that it wouldn’t feel as much pain this year. And honestly, I thought I had pulled it off. Mother’s Day came and went. We did enough. Went to church, bought lunch so I didn’t have to make it, Blake and the kids surprised me with gifts, grilled out for dinner, and I even got to plant my flower bed.It was a nice day! I went the whole day feeling like I didn’t really feel a lot, which I thought was a good thing.

In case you need caught up, because of the loss of our three baby boys, Mother’s Day is one of the hardest days of the year for me. Every. Single. Year. It’s always a mixed bag of emotions. Joy and grief simultaneous. And so, this year I decided that the pain was too much and I just didn’t want to feel it. Every time I felt the pain creeping in, I would push it back down and ignore it. Every time I was tempted to feel sad, I would shake my head “no” and distract myself with something else. It was all a big charade, this fooling myself. All over facebook and instagram I saw people making posts about how Mother’s Day can be so hard and how nobody is alone and they’re sending out love and prayers. It’s something I usually do too. I thought about doing it yesterday, but something inside me just said, “Nope, not this year. I don’t want to open myself up this time. It hurts too bad. Nobody will miss it anyway.”

Yet, here I am. Only one day after Mother’s Day. Because guess what? I took one look at my blooming hydrangea plant and it all caught up to me. The pain from Judah’s birthday. The burden of the twins’ upcoming due date. And Mother’s Day. It all hit me smack in the face and there was no denying it anymore. I stood out there in my yard, watering my freshly planted flowers, Fletcher on my hip, weeping. I. Could not. Escape. My grief. This side of glory, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I never will. And I’m trying to accept that that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My grief is what makes me relatable. It’s what helps me see the pain in others. It’s what makes me a better, more grateful mom. It’s what gets me running full force into the arms of Jesus. It’s also what helps to make me look more like Him.

Oh dear friends, this road is anything but easy. In fact, it’s hard as hell. It’s brutal, and soul crushing,and heart wrenching. It’s painful, it’s unfair. And just. Plain. Hard. But can I tell you one thing it’s not? It isn’t hopeless. Of course there are moments, even days that it feels that way. But that feeling never stays. No. Jesus doesn’t let it. And even on the nights when I’m afraid of a new day, it still comes. And with it, new promises, fresh hope, and the ever-loving arms of Jesus. I still cry, and feel sad, and ache so badly to hold those boys in my arms. And that’s ok, good even. That’s the way God intended it to be. But I don’t ever have to lose hope.

Are you hurting today, dear one? Is the weight of death, or grief, or even life, hanging over your head? Me too. All of it. I feel it hard. Even now, as I sit here at this desk typing these words, I have tears falling down my face. I. Feel. It. Hard. And as much as I was trying to avoid it this year, I’m ok with it now. It doesn’t feel good, allowing my heart to actually feel the pain I’m trying to hide, but it’s necessary. It’s part of the healing. I’m trying to embrace it and let the walls I’ve built up around myself fall. I have so far to go on this journey of healing. I don’t know what it all will look like. It’s unsettling for me to not be in control. But I know that I’m going to be ok, because I know that my God is Good. I’m not alone. I never will be. And while I will never have a Mother’s Day that isn’t shrouded in pain, I have much to be grateful for.

I guess I need to get used to this whole “joy and grief” simultaneous thing, because it goes far beyond Mother’s Day, and into every single day of my life. I invite you to join me on my journey, because even though our circumstances may be different, we need each other. We need someone beside us to breathelife into us when we feel like we’re suffocating. We need someone to help us stand when we feel too broken to hold ourselves up. We need someone to help us see when our eyes are too blurred by tears. We need someone to take our hand when we seem to have forgotten our way. We need each other. And I’m so glad God intended it that way.

Moving Forward – Recipe Round-up

Well, last month was certainly heavy wasn’t it? I think it was appropriately heavy. A kind of “necessary” heavy. But now I’m exhausted! There is a time and a place for the hard and the heavy, and I want to walk through those places with each one of you, but I also want to walk past that with you. I want you to see the beauty beyond the pain, the light at the end of the tunnel if you will. Because while your grief won’t ever fully “end”, life does pick back up again. Some of you may have a hard time believing me, but life beyond grief is possible. It is possible to live a life fully thriving, even after tragedy and loss.

Have you ever seen the show “Monk”? It’s a comedic murder mystery show about a guy who has serious OCD, among other issues. Early on in the show you learn that his wife had been tragically killed many years ago. He lives in his grief everyday, but not in a healthy kind of a way. In one episode, he goes to visit his wife’s parents. Throughout their home you can see reminders of her: pictures, the outfit they brought her home in framed on the wall, and her room left unchanged. But in spite of those things, her parents are doing really well. Monk asks her mom how she can go on living a normal life and feel happy again. I think about her response all the time. She talks about how she grieved so hard for so long. She didn’t think she could go on living. “And then one day,” she says, “the sun came out, the garden was blooming, and there were some kids riding by the house on their bikes, and I decided to give the world a second chance.” He looks unsure and as she touches his shoulder she tells him, “It’s still a beautiful world.” She realized that life still goes on, the world around her was still going on, and there are good things in it.  I sometimes have to remind myself that life. goes. on. There is still beauty around me. And I can choose how to live the rest of the life I have to live. You can still thrive beyond this grief. If you want to watch that specific episode, it’s Season 3, episode number 8, “Mr. Monk and the Game Show.”

Part of the way that I thrive beyond my grief is making delicious meals for my family.  Somebody gave me the idea to do a monthly round up of my favorite recipes I’ve tried and loved. I love sharing recipes, but not necessarily blogging about them, so sharing someone else’s recipes sounded like and excellent idea. First on the list:

saucy coconut curry with rice noodles and garden vegetables From Half Baked Harvest

overhead photo of Saucy Coconut Curry with Rice Noodles and Garden Vegetables

If you don’t follow Teighan already, you’re missing out. She always posts the best recipes, most of which are simple – and crazy beautiful. This dish was AMAZING! And really, very easy. If you’re a fan of Thai food, give this dish a try. I don’t have her cookbook yet, but it’s at the top of my Christmas wishlist this year.

Next up:

FoolProof Eye of Round Roast from Mrs. Happy Homemaker

Eye of Round Roast

 

 

This one involves a little more effort, but is oh, so worth it! She prefers Eye of Round Roast, but I’ve found that I truly enjoy it with whatever roast is on sale at the moment.

For our third dish, I’ve included a side:

Roasted Broccoli with Smashed Garlic from SkinnyTaste

Here's a great way to make broccoli if you are tired of making it the same old way. Roasting broccoli with garlic creates a sweet, nutty delicious flavor and the aroma that wafts through your kitchen will make everyone asking when's dinner ready.

 

Seriously. This one is life changing. We don’t make our broccoli any other way now – except that when I’m in a hurry, I don’t even smash the garlic. And it’s still good. We even make our cauliflower similar to this. They’re both a hit all around.

Finally, I’m sharing with you an amazing dessert/breakfast/coffee snack we make this time every single year:

Starbucks Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones Copycat Recipe from Momspark.net

Starbucks Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones Copycat Recipe! These would be perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee during the Christmas and fall season.

These are INCREDIBLE! And so close to the real thing. And honestly, they really aren’t even that difficult to make. At all. Take my word for it and give it a whirl.

That’s all for this month’s round up. What do you think? Do you like the inclusion of a monthly round up? Or would you rather pass? And what are some of your favorite go-to recipes?