It was a long a summer. A busy fall. A tired mama. I could give you a lot of mediocre reasons for my absence from this space, but the reality is this:
I wasn't ready to be vulnerable. I didn't want to publicly deal with something seemingly so private. It was part fear and part pride keeping my mouth closed. It was easier to say nothing than to say the hard things and so I sat silent.
But here I am today, ready to write.
I found out on Mother's Day that I was pregnant. We rejoiced. Ate a lot of Yats. Prayed and prayed. Name searched. My heart was so ready and I was so excited. For five weeks, I woke up touching my stomach, praying for this little one and their place in our family. My first ultra-sound at 8.5 weeks showed a baby measuring much smaller than anticipated and without a heartbeat. I was devastated. Maybe my dates were off? they questioned. Let's wait a week, I was told. That week was long. Long, long, long. The following Tuesday rolled around to reveal no change. Our baby was not alive. They gave me medicine to induce the miscarriage. I waited. Photographed a wedding. Shut myself in my bedroom. Waited some more. Ten more days of continued nausea and a rounded belly carrying a baby that wasn't alive.. my heart couldn't take another minute. I had known for almost three weeks that the baby inside of me was not living and I was exhausted. At what would have been 11 weeks, I had a d&c. The Lord was so so gracious to me through a procedure that terrified me and felt so contrary to every mama bone in my body. I was prayed over, hugged, cried with, loved on by the hospital staff. For what it was, it was good and healing. They valued that our baby was a life, and that was so validating to my aching heart--- It's okay to hurt and to grieve this loss. I needed that, and I was thankful.
I missed a lot of summer. A miscarriage is a strange thing-- I'm not sure why there's the stigma with them, why the hush-hushness, but I felt it. We swam and played and did those summer things. We then went to St. Kitts for our mission trip and then my computer crashed and then school started and work got busy and bam! it's mid-October. Whoa.
How's that for a recap?!
I'm writing this today, though, for a lot of reasons. I spent last weekend at the Influence Conference. It was really good and really sweet and really timely. I met some really amazing women. I was encouraged to allow the Lord use my mess for ministry. To be vulnerable. To recognize that Christ in me IS my influence. Lots of sweet truths-- but what my heart needed most was the simple reminder that this life is not about me. Jesus came to serve, not be served. I was challenged to reevaluate once again: How am I living? What does my life say about the Jesus I claim to love? One of the speakers said (loosely paraphrased), "Anyone who stops by our blogs and reads a few posts or has a few conversations with us knows what we are about. We are not as good at hiding things as we think. People know what we treasure." People know what we treasure. That one stopped me in my tracks. What do I treasure? I wish the answer was a resounding JESUS but the truth is, there's a lot of other things that often fall before that when you look at the way I live or the words I say. It was (is) a good heart check and one that I really needed right now.
The other big thing walking away from the conference was just a desire to get back at this. I love to write. I love documenting our family's life. I love the blogging community-- especially the one I got to experience in real life last week. Simply, I want to do this. I want to remember those funny things my kids said and the pictures that didn't make it into a photo album (okay, fine... that's all of them. For being a photographer, I am super bad at printing pictures). I want to be intentional about sharing what the Lord is teaching and where we're at and what we're doing. Life is happening so quickly... this is a little way that I can capture it, and I want to do that.
So... You'll be hearing a lot more from me, and I'm really excited about that. Coming up next will be a current life update and a kiddo update. (A sneak preview: It's busy and sweet and they're big and sweet.)
Holler for blogging! :)
Huge thanks to Jessi from Naptime Diaries and Hayley from the Tiny Twig for dreaming big and allowing the Lord to use them to put on and host an amazing conference!