I’m guest posting today over at Abide. Here’s a teaser of the article I wrote based on some of the things I’ve been thinking and feeling over the past week:
We’re swimming in noise. Scratch that—we’re drowning in it.
The voices, the opinions, the breaking news, the he said/ she said. It all serves to hype and excite, to keep us clicking and scrolling. And even when we sign off, the world still seems to spin in chaos.
Chaos breeds fear. Fear drives out peace.
And then what?
Is peace so elusive, so flighty and frail?
I think no.
It was the shepherds, the ones with dirt-lined fingernails and threadbare clothes, who saw light blaze through the darkness in the middle of their night shift. The angel army came to proclaim the name of God in heaven and claim peace on earth.
That peace is titanium strong, and it hasn’t gone anywhere.
So, how do we find it and feel it?
Read the rest here.
The other day, she touched my neck in the hollow right above the collarbone. She said this: “Mommy no have trach. Daddy no have trach. Sister no have trach. I have trach.”
“Yeah, baby,” I said. “The trach helps you breathe.”
“Why?” she said.
For now, because she’s two, I simply said, “Your vocal cords make it hard for you to breathe.”
Satisfied, she clambered off my lap, went to play blocks, and left me a little broken-hearted.
It’s hard to give her the pieces of her story. Especially when I don’t really know what happens next. I’d like to be able to wrap it up nicely, the way I end her bedtime books—a problem solved, a lesson learned, and a kiss goodnight. Continue reading
I was washing my hands in the sink outside the door to the Pediatric ICU. I looked up and caught my tired face in the mirror. At the same moment, another face, another mama, was doing the same: Inspecting her own exhaustion like she was looking at a picture of herself and wondering how she got here.
Under her breath, she muttered this one sentence prayer like she was reading it directly from my own heart.
Lord, have mercy.
I heard it the other morning.
That voice, you know the one. The one that creeps up from nowhere, the one that says, “Who are you kidding? You’re not it. You can’t do this.”
Some days, all the things I normally juggle easily seem heavy. Those days, all I seem to hear is “Do more, be more. It doesn’t matter if you have nothing else to give. Don’t fail.”
It’s the Old Lie that gets me. The one hissed in the garden, the one that tells me I should know it all, do it all. I try to carry the weight myself—no dropping, no stumbling, no weakness, no tears. Be perfect. Be God.
But, here’s the thing: I can only go so far in this way before I crack into a thousand pieces. I’m not perfect, and I’m not God. Continue reading
The trach is now part of our past story– a piece that, week by week, drifts farther away into the past until it is something we will marvel at like a strange, ancient artifact.
Someday, she will wonder. And someday she will ask me about her scars. So, we will pull out that multi-faceted story. We will show her its rough edges, the ones that darken the tighter we wrap them in our hands.
But then– we will hold it up to the light. We will show her the way that gem of a story glows, the way those rough edges create the most magnificent brightness. Continue reading
I turn the page to 2015. As we do with clean calendars, I look back at the old one—circled dates gone by, wishes granted or denied.
I am a different person now than I was this day last year. Better? Maybe. I don’t know. Certainly more tired.
But, I know what it means to pray so hard for something that I press my forehead to the carpet and forget fancy words. Sometimes to forget all words altogether and let God read my heart. (Romans 8:26)
Spending any length of time at the hospital is draining. Here’s the thing, though—most of the time, it’s not especially emotional. Moments come, of course, where you feel a swirling dizziness as your life changes before your very eyes. But, most of the time, we tap our fingers and thumb through books we aren’t reading and joke with our nurses and wait.
And it’s the waiting that drains.
It’s the waiting that pulls out the obsessive in me– and I madly scour old college textbooks and online medical journals and Google for information that might predict the future like a crystal ball. Continue reading