Hello old friend…..

It’s been so long since I’ve had the time to sit and write.  Four kids in three schools this year has been crazy.

And I decided to teach a photography class.  (Let’s just make life a little more nuts!)

I am still working through the grief of mom dying 11 months ago.  We made it through Thanksgiving and now I’m staring down the barrel of Christmas.  Mark Schultz has a new song out.  “Different Kind of Christmas”  I cry each time I hear it.  I know mom is celebrating continually with Jesus.  Christmas in Heaven?  Does it even exist?

I pray that your heart and home is filled with the joy and love of Jesus this year.

I pray that you know God loves you this Christmas.

I pray that even if there is a loved one gone, you can celebrate the life that is missing at the table this year.

I pray that the legacy you have been left is celebrated, enjoyed and lifted up!

I pray God will dry your tears, wipe your eyes and lift your head.

All these things I pray for myself……

…the cat’s tail

I was fine today.


I read Scooper’s post – Living Free Through Our Unfixable Days


I found my mom’s obituary in a pile of photographs from NC.  Her face smiling up at me from a piece of newspaper torn from it’s page.  The ache to reach through the veil and touch her hand is all consuming in my deepest grieving.  Knowing I could touch her and see her while in the hospital brought a morbid and twisted, yet sweet sort of comfort.  Until her last breath……when I realized our bodies, no matter what we think of them, are just shells.

Shells on a beach without life inside.

Empty.  Used up.  Done.

And the concept of eternity hits home.  Our lives are just a blink.

Nothing in this world matters except the lives we touch.  The people we help.  The paths we cross.

And the pain spills from deep within me.

It’s a gut-wrenching, unfixable pain.

There is no way around it.  I have to walk smack-dab through it, trusting that on the other side is something besides a balled-up broken woman reduced to a child crying, “I want my mommy.”

The grief is more like a wail only explained and expressed in God’s written Word.

The wailing wall.

I’m there.


It’s there too.  Somewhere.  Calling.  Waiting.  Soothing like a mother’s touch.

I ponder God’s choice to willingly give us Christ.

I wonder how Christ willingly agreed.

The pain and the ache fill every corner of my body.  It’s felt in my bones, muscles and heart.

It’s expressed in solitude when only God watches.

It can not be controlled.  It will not be brushed away.

For this path, I’ve been asked to walk it.  Knowing He only gives us what we can handle.

He must think a lot of me.

And the cry is, “God, my God…..why?  I wasn’t ready.  I needed more time.”

The flood pouring from my soul inexplicable.  All of it boiling down to TRUST:

Day 15 on Facebook:

Grief is indeed a strange animal. It’s back. It’s like my cat’s tail. Sometimes it’s calm and other times it whips violently. In these times gratefulness is something I cling to with my fingernails. My memories of mom are sweet but they have a bite at the moment. I miss her so much.

Tenderness – mom was tender. She was loving. Her touch was tender and filled with love. I’m learning that nothing can replace that touch. I am a better person because of it. I also know that I would have never been ready to lose my mom. Never.

And I have to trust Gods perfect timing and pray for the work he is doing because of her death. I trust.

So I cry out to God and He comforts and loves me.  And the sun shines in the next hour.

For He is good.

Feeling alone

My best friend and I haven’t talked in a while.

We’re both in very hard life places.  But I realized today as we emailed that I tend to close myself off when I don’t have anything good to say.  When did I decide everyone only gets to see happy Julie?

The fact is we’ve moved.  It’s hard.  I miss all my friends.  I’m not ready to make new ones yet.  I’m grieving.  It’s hard on my husband, on my kids and on me.  I can’t move myself out of this place.  It’s where I have to be until I’m done.  That’s all there is to it.  When we last moved my 11 and 10 year old were 2 and 1 and I was pregnant with #3.  I remember it taking a year to get out of the place I was in.  I missed my church, my friends, and most of all my support group of family who I’ve depended on so much since getting married.  They are the people God puts in my life to share it with.  We were in KY for 3 years.  The move to SC took almost a year of grief.  We just moved to Fla from SC after 10 years.  I’m not liking the math that’s running through my head at the moment.

Another fact is I struggle just to get through the day.  Yea, I know all the “go out and meet people”, “stay busy”, stuff but it doesn’t do any good.  Everything feels hard right now.  We’re renting.  I have mauve walls, no energy to paint.  I have brown carpet, purple carpet.  I don’t have my bed, or my friends, or my CVS guy, or the post lady, or my bible study group.

You know, nothing makes sense when you are grieving.  Nothing anyone says.  Nothing anyone can say.

Grief is just grief.  It looks different for everyone.  For me, it’s climbing into my shell.  Wanting to disappear from the world and lick my wounds.  That’s hard to do with four demanding children.   I know they know mom is not ok.  I know they feel my sadness.  I hate the way it comes across at times.

I’m not really good being the weak one.  I do much better in the support role.  God has given me much strength there.  But in the hard place where nothing feels right and nothing makes sense.  That is where I stink at being honest with myself and others.  God feels far away even though he shows me he’s here with me.  Grief just feels so strange, so foreign, so hard.

I think of others who have lost children, loved ones, and I feel guilty for feeling so sad.

Like I said, “Nothing much makes sense right now.”


Image borrowed from http://www.howtolivewithgrief.com/