August 28, 2014

Trusting in the Validator of Your Grief

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In much needed solitude I walked into the middle of the field. With the giant hood of the wind breaker I had borrowed from my husband's closet up and over my head and eyes, I lay there on my back in the sun. I lay there with my arms wide, not caring if I looked silly. It was a cool day in late Spring but the wind made my bones ache a little. I felt the Lord's warmth along with the sun though as I lay there, and the absolute sturdiness of the ground beneath me. And I sang.

Three months after our Jane died in my womb I sat alone on retreat, away from husband and daughters, at Pilgrimage. I ached for little puckered lips and boo-boos I wasn't at home to kiss and for the strong arms that hold me cherished every night. But even still, I could see Jesus and His providence all over that place set-apart, and knew it was where I was supposed to be. For such a time as this.

Someone at my table asked me how I felt when our baby died. I struggled for words and resented being asked. I knew it was because these people, that were just strangers two days beforehand, cared for me now and I for them. They wanted to know where my heart was now. But when the session ended for a break before anyone was able to respond to me, I realized how rock hard I was craving validation. Craving "man" to somehow know, understand, and approve everything I was feeling about the death of my child, and even validate that her little unborn life was worth grieving even though I never got to hold her. A craving unmet brought my attention to His still, small voice.

So I went and laid my shaky soul down flat on my back in the field there. And I sang. I sang to THE Validator of my being. I brought to His feet sacrificial praise, hard eucharisteo, and He lifted me from His feet and held me like a little girl in His lap. I lay there in the field and He held me, face against chest, and told me He knew, that He understands, and He absolutely approves of me.

I know He's got Jane. And Caleb, who went before. Almost eight years now. Like every other child that has gone before, by miscarriage, abortion, born still, as an infant, as a child. He's got them all, all those lives pure, not accountable yet. Creation returns to the Creator and He's marvelous at it beyond our feabile comprehension.

I chose something that day laying in the field. I chose to rest in His validation of my grief. And day by day it's been easier to trust it and not go seeking for something not withstanding.

When I remember Jane, my heart and womb ache for her person, and the life and experience this side of heaven that would have been. But we are here. And there is necessity to find balance in our souls. To always remember and honor and cherish missed life, and to desire to be fully present, completely here. Experiencing the obvious, and seeking out the hidden, joys. Joys and thanksgiving in the everyday. To keep speaking of them does not mean you're still wrent with fresh grief. Saying their names brings more healing. Our parent hearts, both mother and father, are never the same after losing a child. But it WILL get better.

"When death comes in your home like an uninvited guest and sits in your favorite's gonna be okay."
-a speaker at Pilgrimage who has more than enough experience to say this and carry weight to it. May it sink down in our soul, deep unto deep.

"I waited patiently on the Lord; He inclined unto me, and He heard my cry." -Psalm 40:1 >

{I leave with a modified excerpt from the "Meet Me In the Meadow" daybrightener, by Roy Lessin.}

Lord, make me strong in Your hands. May my goals (and passions) be shaped by Your will; may my resolve be based in Your Truth; may my resources (and words) be used for Your glory and the good of others. Cover me with grace, shield me with mercy, and motivate me with Love.

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August 25, 2014

My Priest

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I am grateful for the #shereadstruth ministry and community that provides a way for thousands of women to connect online through the study of God's Word. I have been LOVING the current study through the book of Hebrews, and look anxiously forward to digging deep into the next: a study in Hosea! (A book in which I confess to never reading more than whatever verses a preacher was quoting from in a message. Eek!) Here's to the Spirit teaching me to be more theologian-hearted, a lover and passionate studier of His Holy Word.

"Hebrews is dense and complex and rich with the gospel." #shereadstruth

I am admittedly an entire week behind everyone in Hebrews. And for the first time I'm not beating myself up about that. I am not behind for neglect of that precious time with Him. No, this time I know I am exactly where He intended me to be.

The Lord pressed pause in me during this study to meditate there. To sail out and cast my net in deeper waters. To fall absolutely, head over heels, rush to the alter all over again, love...

In love with Christ as my High Priest.
Learning what that truly means and becoming more aware of what our relationship looks like on His side of heaven.

You see, HE paused me. At the end of my devoted study time with Him on the days after being emersed in chapters 4-7, and since, it has not stopped resonating within my soul.

The way excitement would rush through your body and up into your head as the childhood carossel would complete another circle... and keep going.

The way you say, "Goodnight," to someone after a heartfelt conversation and you lay in bed awake replaying everything.

The way you pray intently that the Gospel words you shared with that lady in the market or that neighbor-kid who eats occassionally at your table would stick to their minds and souls like glue until they just have to know more of Him, that is Christ who loves them unconditionally and is seated at the throne of Grace.

He pressed pause in me there.

We fight and we struggle and we plead to know that there's one, anyone, who understands. We search for solidarity. And sometimes, by His grace, we find that beauty in one another. The beauty of connection and how suffering trandscends difference. And yet still, it seems no one understand completely.

And all the while Jesus is there, with no condemnation towards us for forgetting, saying, "I understand fully. And I never cease taking you to the Father."

"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of Grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need." -Hebrews 4:15-16

There. That. Ultimate solidarity.

"But He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Hence also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." -Hebrews 7:24-25

He knows. He sees you up close. Stands in the gap for you. Knowing in advance to any situation or hurt or need, exactly how to intercede for you. Always. He LIVES for it. I have trouble reconciling that scriptural truth with my fallen skin. But I don't have to understand to rest in it. To rest in Him.

“There can be no vacancy in this priesthood, no hour nor moment in which the people are without a priest to negotiate their spiritual concerns in heaven. This ever-living high priest is able to save completely all who come to God through him.” -Matthew Henry

I absolutely adore Laura Woodly Osman's heart and music. I cannot find much of any of it online to link you to (not to mention the chords), but it IS available on iTunes. I have been singing this song constantly this last week, as my family can attest to, and just HAD to share it with you. Lyrics are under the video.

If you are a subscriber reading this post in your email inbox, click on over to be ministered to through her words. Also, I have an inability to record short songs to Jesus. I never watch the clock while I'm worshipping. ;-)

Jesus, You are praying for me
Day and night You are interceding
Jesus, You are praying for me
Day and night You are speaking words of life

My Priest
You know how I get weak
All of my wanderings
And the places I hide when I just can't find my faith

But You say, "Father,"
"Pour out Your grace."
"This one is seeking Your face."
"You know why I died."
"Father, you love this child."
"Look at my hands and feet."
"Grant mercy."

My Priest by Laura Woodly Osman, from the album "Home"

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June 9, 2014

Seasons of Soul in Transition
:: moms against manic mondays [a link up] ::

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Feels like Spring in my soul here lately.

A crocus would bloom here in there as the early signs of the changing season, but then winter would hold on (like it usually does, doesn't it friends?).

Sometimes it would ice over through the night after I began to get used to the rising temperature, trading in my heavy coat for my favorite knee-length cardigan.  Sometimes it would even snow.  Leaving me cold and clinging to Him again; the best place to grasp hold of when grip is lost.   

I'd watch as the earthly seasons changed, seemingly without me, into Spring with magnificent blooms, and now closing into summer with all the running barefoot through the grass and the dancing in the rain that our daughters do so well with complete abandon.  Coveting even the April showers that people, whose souls were in Spring or Summer or Fall, complained through.

In those moments of hope for Spring drenched by winter again, we must reject the wrong belief that that it isn't normal.  Rejecting the loathing I did not always do well, dwelling on spinning thoughts.  "But I was doing so well...  What changed?  What did I do wrong?  I must have done something wrong.  I must not be trusting you enough.  I'll never get out of this winter."  {these thoughts speak so much louder than just the syllables they make - speaking of deeply rooted weeds in my garden}

You didn't do anything wrong.  It's what transition looks like.  And transition goes even further in securing the right uprooting and death and ash of self in the winter, making your soul ground ready for new growth. 

Transition yields more dependence.  Or depression. 
Our choice.  That's why we desperately need Jesus and the aid of the Holy Spirit sooooo much.

"The beauty of the ash of love, when you emerge you're more beautiful."

Only Jesus knows how long the winter is going to be, or needs to be.  We mustn't allow ourselves to try to rush through.  It usually catches up with us if we do, sweeping up over us from behind, us unaware until we're overtaken. 

Only Jesus knows the purpose.  I've heard, "There's purpose in the pain."  While God absolutely did not cause the pain you're walking through, He absolutely is faithful to fulfill His promises while you're in it --
Romans 8:28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. 
James 1:2-8 Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
I say Your name out loud, and I give up more, making empty space for You to fill me up more and more.  Deep unto deep.  My prayer for us all during Winter seasons and times of transition --
Colossians 2:2 [For my concern is] that their hearts may be braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One).
Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still holds and is offered [today], let us be afraid [to distrust it], lest any of you should think he has come too late and has come short of [reaching] it.
"The beauty of the ash of love, when you emerge, you're more beautiful." I say Your name out loud: JESUS.
feeling rested beyond circumstance.
There are so many beautiful things about Mondays.  Here at From My Mountain View, every Monday, we band together to renounce/reject Manic Mondays.  Right here is a great place to encourage one another and be encouraged!

Moms Against Manic Mondays is a place you can share your posts about:
Mondays - Encouragement - Joy - Pressing On - Etc.
  • Share a link to your post using the widget at the end of this post, it's easy!
  • Remember to link your blog post back here by adding our adorable button using the code found below, courtesy of Plumrose Lane.
  • Most importantly, visit the person that linked up before you and encourage them in their comments!  (Which is the heart of this community.)
I bless you today with eyes to see them and the heart to recognize them - the blessings in disguise.  Eucharisteo!
Psalm 118:24
"This is the day which the Lord has brought about; I will rejoice and be glad in it!"
  1. I desire to recognize what is my part of the "manic" in Mondays, and do what I can to change it.
  2. I desire to live abundantly in the Mondays.
  3. I desire to thrive in each day, to dance them in along with the sun.

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(Subscribers, you may click here to read more encouragement linked up by other women in this community)

Moms Against Manic Mondays

Linked to With Thanks: See Blog Directory

March 23, 2014

What Is the Soundtrack to Your Faith
{aka, I got to shake Ron Luce's hand this morning}

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I got to shake Ron Luce's hand this morning.

"Ron Luce and his wife Katie started Teen Mania Ministries in 1986 with a dream to raise up young people who would change the world. The ministry has expanded greatly and has become very influential within today’s Christian youth culture."

They are responsible for the Acquire the Fire weekend youth rallies that tour all over the country, Global Expeditions that trains and sends youth all over the world to proclaim the name of Christ through missions, they offer Extreme (summer) Camps, the Honor academy to cultivate and develop the leadership potential in young adults directly following high school, plus advanced education opportunities in their School of Worship and their Center for Creative Media.

I got to shake Ron Luce's hand this morning.

I got to tell him that 16 years ago I attended my first Acquire The Fire youth conference, around the time my daddy was in rehab and my parents had separated and I had just started cutting.

I was 13.

No one knew how depressed I was and scared to be myself in our youth group or how I believed that I didn't fit in or that they didn't even want me there because I was just an annoying 7th grader who was unknowingly going through hell.

It was at that ATF conference that I learned for the first time that God saw me, up close.  He totally showed up when I did the whole, open-up-the-Word-at-a-random-place-and-point-with-your-finger-at-random-on-the-page-and-see-if-it-means-anything-to-you... thing.  Thrice.

It was at that ATF conference that I silently balled my eyes out in my auditorium seat with my face covered so my "friends" wouldn't see me as Ron's words penetrated straight into my soul and rocked my world.  And GOD met me right where I was.

Ron likes to say, "When you fall in love with Jesus, you fall out of love with the world," and I walked away from that weekend never to cut again. God used that conference in March of '98 to change. my. life. I can still hear him yelling in the mic, "HOW do YOU know God is real?" and the whole auditorium screaming back, "Because He changed my life!!!"

This morning he was a guest speaker at the church fellowship our family is apart of.  He spoke on Daniel 3:16-18. Just 3 verses out of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He talked about this "feel good" world, and how it has easily crafted a new normal for Christians to have "feel good" faith too; "only if" faith. Only if He does this or answers this prayer or protects this person, etc. We put conditions on our following of Christ. "Lord, I will follow You but first let me..." {Luke 9:61} There's no "backroom deals" with God. There's no deal we can make that will allow us the pleasure of riding above the storms in life.

I don't want to be that kid who throws a fit on Christmas morning because I didn't get the present that I wanted. i.e. - He didn't protect my baby and keep her healthy, so... the centrality of my faith is shaken? Or how about when we see something bad happen to good people, or they even die, or get diagnosed, or children are abused, etc, and we say silently in our hearts, "Hold up! This does NOT line up with my theology." It's at this point that "feel good faith" becomes disillusioned. Scripture says, "We see through a glass dimly..."

Will I trust Him when it hurts really bad? Or how about how we all believe that He CAN do something, but that He MAY NOT choose to... so I'm afraid to even ask in faith in the first place because I could be disappointed? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego not only believed God COULD, but also that He WOULD... and yet they added, "Even if He doesn't..."
"Even if" faith allows for the majesty of God.  -Ron Luce
Jesus said that those who ENDURE to the end will be saved. Endure is not a word we use to describe something pleasant or enjoyable. ("Hey, do you think you could endure this ice cream?")

"BE STRONG IN THE LORD!" we say. Yeah, for like a minute. Because as Christians, we usually only train for strength but not for endurance. Endure through the difficult.  Like running with with an injury to finish the race, or a military person miraculously rescuing someone even though their own wounds might eventually overtake them: choosing to endure even when it FEELS unpleasant. Or even simply choosing to worship or pray or dig deep in Him "even if" we don't FEEL His presence currently.
Brook Fraser wrote a song called faithful that says, "When I can't feel you I have learned to reach out just the same. When I can't hear you I know you still hear every word I say.  Lord, I want you more than I want to live another day. So as I wait for you maybe I'm made more...faithful."
Made more faithful.  Trained for endurance.

He shared the back-story of the beloved hymn, "It Is Well," which I already knew, but haven't heard directly after my own loss before. After the loss of all four of his daughters in a shipwreck the hymnist Horatio Spafford penned these words, "When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul."

Jesus asked His disciples when the going got tough, "Will you leave me too?" They responded so matter of fact with, "Lord, where would we go?" 

Ron left us with this question posed:
"What is the soundtrack to your faith? Only if or even if?"
Sixteen years ago God used this man, this imperfect soul that just wants to live for God to his fullest and impact as many youth for Christ like he was... to reach me right where I was at the time. We were just another stop on that year's ATF tour. There have been decades and thousand more tour stops along the way, and millions of youth reached like I was.

And God did that again for me today. What a pleasure to get to tell Ron my God-story that he had no idea included him. Also, at the end of the conversation he remembered both our names from the beginning of it, and thanked us. Our pleasure. :)

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February 28, 2014

Grief Is Grief

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We met her last autumn in that tiny Goodwill, among the shelves of books that no one had a use for any longer.  She began silently passing books to our girls that she thought they'd like.  She noticed our nine year old's current fascination with weather, and located a few on hurricanes.

I left my husband with the girls as I browsed past the books and into the clothing racks.  I found a few peasant skirts I fancied with elastic waistbands I could alter to fit.

Within a few minutes he came over to me with eyes intense.  "Come here.  We need to pray for this woman, together."

She shared with us that just a few months earlier her only child, a son only a few months old, had died tragically in an accident.  He had choked on something at day care while she was at work.  Her tired face and eyes said that it felt like yesterday.  Still so fresh and raw.

We listened.  We grieved with her.  We encouraged.  And we lifted her up.  We prayed together, there in the private back corner of a Goodwill.

We exchanged information, that I regretfully lost pretty quickly, and we haven't seen her again.

Until tonight.

One week and four days since our fifth daughter, Jane Malise, was born to heaven.
And on the very day that marked the one year anniversary of the death of her baby boy.

This was beyond coincidence.  This was Providence.

She started out the conversation in the cold grocery parking lot.  "Aren't you the woman from Goodwill?"

I laughed yes.  We hugged.  She smiled through tears and blurted out the significance of today.  I said I was so glad to see her today then.  I didn't hesitate and vomited out more words to add to the grief pot.

"We lost a baby less than two weeks ago. Her name was Jane."

We hugged again.  And this time she said how glad she was to see me today.


I explained that I couldn't have looked at her today with the heart I have now if this hadn't happened.  She said she understood.  Which was so dern good to hear and know that she meant it.  She did understand.

I told her how angry and hurt I am today.  Yes, terribly missing my baby.  But more angry at ignorant people.  I'm angry that people expect me to just move on.

I'm angry that out of the true goodness of their hearts they say things so extremely ridiculous and unknowingly hurtful to mothers who have lost a child to miscarriage.  Things like this:

"It was God's plan... she obviously fulfilled her purpose... God was merciful to your family in protecting you from the burden of caring for a disabled child... at least you know she's in heaven and you'll see her again... at least you have kids already, you should be thankful for them... buck up, don't worry, y'all got a good track record, you'll have another... at least it wasn't one of your other children... at least you weren't much further along because that would have been harder... at least... at least... at least..."

I was shivering in the the parking lot tonight as we talked, but neither one of us wanted our conversation to end.  We needed each other.  We needed each other TODAY.

[image source]
[image source]

She held me as I sobbed my first real good sob since the day I saw Jane's precious little, lifeless body on the ultrasound screen.  One week and four days ago since I lay there on the exam table bleeding my littlest one out on a sheet.  One week and four days since no one thought to pass along that information to the lab tech in the next room who took my blood and asked happily, "Oh, you're pregnant! How far along are you? Is this your first?"  I just looked at her a few seconds not knowing what to say, then said just louder than a whisper, "No mam, she's our fifth daughter."  Because she was.

"I'll always wonder who she would have been!" I heard myself saying through broken sobs as this woman in the parking lot held me tighter.

She said simply, "Me too."

"I know it would have been different if I held her alive and knew her like you did your son..." I apologized.

"Grief is grief," she said.

Grief. Is. Grief.

She, this woman who held her living son, who fed him, played with him, laughed with him, soothed his tears, wiped his nose, video taped his first crawl...

She saw no difference in the devastation.  She saw lives lost.  She saw a mother's grief.
"What if you held the hand of a grieving mom who miscarried at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 18 weeks or more?  What if you never compared the loss of a 4-weeker to a 20-weeker?  What if you never said anything that started with, "At least . . . "  What if you didn't try to stifle her tears? What if you welcomed them? And matched her tears with your own?  What if you held back any trite, easy answers that promised God's will and promised easy comfort? What if you just wrapped your arms around her the way Christ would?  What if you made that meal, bought those flowers and wrote that card?  What if you went to the hospital and sat in the waiting room for her, even if you wouldn't see her? Just because she is your friend. Just because that's what you do when someone is sick in the hospital or their child is dying.  What if you called her child by name?  What if you went to the service if they planned one? What if you helped her find a support group? What if you offered to go with her?  What if you prayed constantly for that hole in her heart that will one day scab, one day scar, but will never fully heal?  What if all your actions when dealing with loss of any kind, affirmed that fact that all life -- ALL LIFE -- is good, worthy of recognition and worthy of grief.  What if you didn't just affirm to the world that all babies are valuable -- but you also affirmed to a bereaved mom that HER baby was irreplaceable, and would forever be missed?
'A person is a person, no matter how small.'"
"We have to fall together," she said as she brought her hands toward one another, "or we'll fall apart."

Suffering transcends difference.  The art of solidarity.  Providence.

"There is a support group that a woman leads that I go to sometimes," she said.  "She lost her 6 week old baby now 30 years ago, and she uses writing to heal; uses writing prompts to lead us, guide us, and help us through where we are at and so we can help others.  Would you like to go with me?"

This woman in the parking lot?  The same one from Goodwill?  Yeah, she didn't know that I write.  That I feel the most honest me when I write.  That God pricks and heals my soul when I write.  And that sometimes He graciously uses my writing to encourage others.

"I'd love to," I said, and smiled a good smile.

My husband had loaded all the groceries in the back of our van while we spoke.  As we began to drive away she motioned for him to roll down his driver's window.

"Take care of her," my new friend said smiling, but with eyes that ran it deep.

He always does.  Jane was his girl too.

You, mama-friend, you who have this wound similar,
Give yourself time.  Allow yourself the sobs, and if you have other children, let them see you cry.  Pray with them in that moment together.  You have nothing to explain to people that don't understand.  That's not your job.  They don't have to understand or be okay with what you need.  It doesn't matter if they seem irritated that you had to cancel that luncheon or lesson again.  Or maybe they might.  Maybe they'll be tender and say things like my husband was told tonight on the phone when he made calls for me, "Tell her to take all the time she needs; we'll be here."  But either way-  Just. Take. Time.  And find someone or someones to "fall together" with.  We must know we are not alone, that how we feel is not abnormal, and that there is hope in tomorrow.

Dear mama-friend who needs a voice today to bring a light of validation to your grief after miscarriage,
The truth of this life lost has been ascertained.  Your story as that life's mother has been corroborated.  Your grief has been found as something substantial and authentic.  Your soul and body has been given the stamp of approval, the go ahead, the green light...  to rest. and to bear. this. out.  You are not alone.

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February 24, 2014

Escaping the Mundane
{moms against manic mondays}

Truth is, we can't.  We cannot, as hard as we try or strive or feel discontent doing the same old or ordinary or usual, live a life apart from it.  And as long as we are focused on the irritation of the mundane, that is all you and I will see, sweet friend.

This past weekend I heard a recount of the story of Moses and the burning bush, for quite possibly the thousandth time in my life so far.  But this time it was different.

I heard something I've never heard before.  A revelation of the simplest magnitude.

Burning bushes in the desert were normal.


That was it!  Rain doesn't come, bushes and other growing things get dry and withered, and due to the sun's constant rays, sometimes combust.

The miracle in this story was not at all that the bush was burning, it was that Moses turned aside to look at it.

He turned aside to notice the usual.  The mundane.

When he saw the miracle in the mundane, that it was not consumed by the fire, that is when God spoke.

God placed a miracle in the normal and spoke through it.  But Moses had to notice.
He had to turn aside.  To change position.  To alter his posture.
"No matter how much we are walking in our calling, we cannot escape the mundane... so look at things that have no linear connection to one another, and then from a heart that says, 'Okay, I'll come and see, even though nothing good comes out of Nazareth...' (John 1:35-50), and God. Pours. Out."

--Stephen Roach, on developing the poetic eye
So let us raise our mugs of coffee together, that I sometimes feel I need intravenously, and say here's to being intentional in this day to alter our posture to see the countless eucharisteo moments He places in our every day; His joy dares.  Let us ask the Lord to give us eyes for the miracle in the mundane.

Where are you today, my friend?  How might I lift you up to the One who knows you through and through, and sees you up close?  Let me know.

There are so many beautiful things about Mondays.  Here at From My Mountain View, every Monday, we band together to renounce/reject Manic Mondays.  Right here is a great place to encourage one another and be encouraged!

Moms Against Manic Mondays is a place you can share your posts about:
Mondays - Encouragement - Joy - Pressing On - Etc.
  • Share a link to your post using the widget at the end of this post, it's easy!
  • Remember to link your blog post back here by adding our adorable button using the code found below, courtesy of Plumrose Lane.
  • Most importantly, visit the person that linked up before you and encourage them in their comments!  (Which is the heart of this community.)
I bless you today with eyes to see them and the heart to recognize them - the blessings in disguise.  Eucharisteo!
Psalm 118:24
"This is the day which the Lord has brought about; I will rejoice and be glad in it!"
  1. I desire to recognize what is my part of the "manic" in Mondays, and do what I can to change it.
  2. I desire to live abundantly in the Mondays.
  3. I desire to thrive in each day, to dance them in along with the sun.

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(Subscribers, you may click here to read more encouragement linked up by other women in this community)

Moms Against Manic Mondays

Linked to With Thanks: See Blog Directory

February 23, 2014

an invitaion to all who suffer loss

We're all there, unknowingly together there.  Spread out.  Feeling alone.
Our wombs bare too soon like those trees whose limbs are stripped by a harsh, early winter.

We're all there, unknowingly together there.  But the road tapers down, drawing us closer together as we search for solidarity.

We're all cupped there, His hands cup us together there.  Because suffering transcends difference.

The invitation chimes in the dark - to see a different reality.  We are not in the wallows, the crevices between pains that no one sees as they walk by in the market unaware of our wounds.

No, we are high and lifted up with You.  You see us up close and lift us up high.

You call us there, You call us together there.  To under-gird one another ...because suffering transcends difference.

The invitation chimes in the dark - to see a different reality.  We are not passed over.  Wear His favor on your head as a crown, sister friend.  We are His and the hope of life is in our wombs.

Art and life will continue to pour forth again.

{dedicated to all who have walked through miscarriage or any other kind of loss,
and to our sweet Jane Malise, born to heaven 2/17/14}

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January 26, 2014

When Choosing Joy Takes Courage
{Moms Against Manic Mondays}

It's easy for me to choose joy when it's like, no biggie.  But when it takes actual courage?  To dare to joy.  That's when it's the most difficult.  But hard-joy, hard-eucharisteo, turns out to be greater, more deeply rooted, preparing me for the next trial (or even the next day).

Courage isn't always about being brave - to do or accomplish something.

Sometimes courage just means being present.

And you, darlin', have the courage of Christ dwelling in you.

January 19, 2014

When the Love is There, But Not the "Like"
{Moms Against Manic Mondays}

Itexted her a plea for prayer support last Friday.  The three year old was having an especially rough day, screaming at each and every juncture her will was not satisfied.  I stuck to my guns, determined.  I am going to show her grace in my response, yet teach her that she is not in charge.  But I was barely hanging on as I allowed her quest to exert her will chip away at me.  It tired my soul.  I love her more than breath.

It grew in me until there was a shroud all around my head.  I couldn't hear or see His gifts in the moment, His joy dares, graces in the mundane.  

No, only this, gut-wrenchingly honest text:

January 15, 2014

Coming Out of Quiet, Confessions, & New Statement of Purpose

I am ready to write again.
I need to write again.
I need to bleed a bit of myself out on paper with the stroke of a pen.

It helps me be real.
It reminds me of who I am in the throws of all I am doing.