A tiny awakening of hope

Man, I feel like I’m going through a lot of transformation but not straightforward, not visible or obvious.

I’ve shifted after this miscarriage. In January, I was going through hard things, but I was optimistic. I was tender-hearted towards God - making an effort to be hopeful, surrendered to him, trust him. I did my morning devotionals every day, prayed every day. My relationship with God was my lifeline through a tough time. 

Imagine my surprise when, after having this miscarriage, I felt distant from God. Not wanting to talk to him, to read the Bible, to listen to Christian music. It felt like touching a wound. I wanted to avoid it.

A wound? A wound? So I’ve felt wounded by God. It’s not logical, it’s not where I want to be, but it’s how I’ve felt.

The first miscarriage I had was like a gateway into deeper trust of God. Still hard, but I felt this deep grace and peace. So I thought this second time would be a cakewalk. I’d already been through it, right? 

But no. I didn’t feel grace and peace. I felt… distance. I felt like I’d been betrayed. I just wanted to be alone. 

Here I am, five weeks after the physical miscarriage. Nine weeks after I found out there was no heartbeat. And I’ve been surviving just fine. I’m not crying every day. I’m not sitting around struggling with this or overthinking. But I’m still distant. That optimistic, hopeful, striving for the light part of me just seems to have disappeared.

In its place is a more pragmatic person - not necessarily pessimistic or cynical or hateful or angry (well, I’m occasionally angry) or bitter (well, I’m occasionally bitter). I’m just pragmatic - like “okay, this is life. Life is hard. I’m a survivor, I’m going to make it and do the best I can with what I’ve got.” It’s not the worst place to be, but it’s not where I want to be - a place of hope, saying “Life is beautiful, life is a gift. I’m so grateful to be here. I want to go deep in God’s will. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.” 

The last month I’ve been deep diving into changes I want to make in my life, and I really DO want those changes so bad. They aren’t necessarily heart changes, more like lifestyle changes. But I’m realizing these lifestyle changes actually require heart changes - a lot. And it’s hard for me to come at these changes out of a place of dark energy. I need the right mindset to do it. But I don’t have it. It’s just not there. 

I don’t want to BE the person I am right now. And I think, "I have the choice. I can change. I can change what I think about, focus on my beliefs and the positive.” And I think maybe this is my fault and I need to push through this wall. 

But, but, I wonder.

I wonder if where I’m at is where I should be. I wonder if this is part of grief - the after shocks, the slow healing of the wound. And I wonder if it’s my western culture that makes me think I should just bounce back, be healed NOW, go back to normal life like nothing happened. "I’ve got things to do and places to be, I can’t afford to slow down.”

Why am I trying to heal on a timeline? Why can’t I just accept this tired, heavy place I’m in and just rest and allow healing to unfold when its time? Part of it is being scared I will be stuck here - that this darkness will be a permanent shift I won’t come back from. 

Maybe, maybe, just seeing all this, just writing these words is part of that unfolding of healing. 

This morning I turned on Christian radio (something I haven’t been able to listen to in awhile) and there was the song with the words “I have resurrection power living inside me, Jesus you have given me freedom”. And something in me flickered in response. I have resurrection power living inside me. 

This story isn’t over yet.

A tiny awakening of hope. I’ll take it.


10 things I've learned about change so far

So I’m on day 27 of my 365 Days of Change project.

I’ve thought about doing a progress update, but at the moment I feel like it would be boring. I’ve been able to make small changes that lay the foundation for more, but it’s that “more” that radical kind of change I’m struggling to make right now. Life the last month has been chaotic and I am tapped out. I am in survival mode and doing the best I can but it’s not a place I can make radical change from. I’m trying to just accept that but keep my focus on moving forward and making incremental change. I’m not giving up!

So, I wanted to share 10 things I’ve learned about change so far, mostly analogies because that’s the language my brain thinks in.

  1. Change is like driving a car with bad wheel alignment. Ever had a car that needed an alignment? It just keeps wanting to veer to the left and the whole time you’re driving it, you’re having to hold the wheel extra tight? Sometimes I feel like the car with bad alignment - my wheels have a rut they naturally want to go in. I have to struggle just to get my wheels going in even a slightly different direction. For instance, I want to spend less time on my phone and laptop but I have a habit of going to it when I’m bored or need a break. My hands, going to the device are like the wheel veering to the left.
  2. Change is like unraveling a tangle of yarn. I have one thing I want to change, but it’s tangled up with other things. Let’s say I want to go to bed earlier but I just can’t seem to make it happen (real life example). I’m staying up too late because it’s my only time with my husband and I don’t want it to stop because I’m getting my son to bed too late and we’re not getting enough adult time and I’m getting my son to bed too late because I’m starting his homework too late because we’re eating dinner too late because I'm napping too long in the afternoon because I didn't get enough sleep the night before. Phew. Yeah. Sometimes I have to reconsider the whole flow of my day and change something else, earlier in the chain of events to make it work.
  3. Change is like musical chairs. I make a list of to dos for the day and only 50-75% of them get done. I try not to make my list too long, but something is always left out. If I do my daily movement, less work gets done. If I get more work done,  my son has too much screen time. If I have lunch with a friend, my daily cleaning doesn’t happen. This is frustrating, but illuminating. I always think I can achieve more in a day than is possible. I’m starting to accept it and realize it all evens out over time. 
  4. The energy to change is like a jar of water with limited capacity. My capacity is limited and extra busy days consume that energy. These disruptions are like stones dropped into the water and the water overflows and spills out. There’s not much energy left to power me forward. There’s been a lot of these disruptions in my life lately. And on those crazy days, I can’t make big moves.
  5. Change in the morning is easier than at night. I’m a morning person with more energy, motivation, willpower and clarity at the start of my day than the end of it.
  6. Change that’s quick is easier than change that involves a series of steps. It’s easier to swallow a supplement daily than to develop a whole plan to self-publish a book. So I tend to procrastinate more complicated changes.
  7. Change that involves stopping a pleasurable or comfortable habit is sooooo hard. Eating at night? Stop browsing the dang internet? Yeah. I like that stuff. I do it on the regular. It's a habit. Stopping it? So hard.
  8. Change that involves fear of the unknown is the hardest. Yeah, that self-publishing plan? Hard. Even publishing a blog post, fearing reactions or non-reactions can be hard.
  9. Change is like dominoes, knock over one and more fall. This gives me hope - I might not be making a big difference yet, but I'm starting the process of building momentum.
  10. Change is like tennis. I used to play tennis with my dad. I was awful. Truly awful. He’d constantly have to tell me to watch the ball and not him! Well, I find it’s necessary to keep looking every day at what I’m trying to do and remind myself. So I have a notebook I write in daily about the changes I want to make and it helps me focus. If I don’t keep my eye on the ball, I can’t change. 


Dear Muse

Dear Muse, I’m thinking in poetry this morning, daydreaming, running late, missing exits, thinking about you, my muse.

I stare at your photos on my feed, look for a new one, glimpse into your curated world, color palette perfect, without flaw, seamless, as if you live, a character, in costume, on a movie set.

And I wish I were you.

Face beautiful, time hasn’t yet marred your cheeks. Body, well… even high waisted, wide legged pants seem perfect on your twiggy frame. 

You are clad in capsule wardrobe, linen and leather and wide brimmed hat, eco and green and sustainable too,  made in the USA by artisans or fair trade, the work of women somewhere in the third world.

You clutch a frothy cup of coffee, manicured rose-gold ringed fingers, graceful. #Blessed #Simpleliving

Golden afternoon glows on rustic wood, macrame, tribal rugs, photo of cactus. So accidental, so casual, so easy. You didn’t plan this photo, you just fell into it, found it on your phone. A whim. 

And I wish I lived in your image, no plastic legos scattered across my floor, no neon green chip clips in my junk drawer, no outfits in my closet that never look quite right.

If I could only step into your cognac leather clog shoes… Are your insides perfect too?

Or do you edit out the shadows, the things that don’t fit or make sense?

Dear Muse, I hate you too. The way you make me feel my life, my boring, mis-matched, plastic filled, worn down life, is somehow not enough. The way you make me think I could be, should be, more.

If only I wore the right shoes.

If only I were drinking matcha from pottery hand glazed by some artist in Joshua Tree.
if only my hair, artfully tousled, messy, yet styled, fell down over one eye.
If only my selfies turned out right, maybe I might...

Dear Muse, please stop making me wish I weren’t me.


Day 7 - The Little Things

I love to go deep, but sometimes it's the little things that sustain me through hard times - sparks of joy, simple things that remind me of how good it feels to be alive.

Most of these make me feel more feminine, more pulled together, which is something I need after a long period of struggling to get off the couch and put makeup on.

My favorite little things lately:

A mani-pedi with a friend - what a treat! Makes me feel instantly pulled together, pampered and glam.

A bold fashion choice - at least for me. I've had my eyes on these overalls for waaaay too long now. I just kept feeling nervous about buying them. Too trendy? Too young? Not figure flattering? I had all these hesitations. Well, I finally did it. And it feels good to be brave! And I love wearing them.

(Hey, if you comment below, will you tell me what fashion trend you've secretly been wanting to try lately, but haven't gotten the guts to yet? Come on, you can tell me!)

Lighting a candle from P.F. Candle Co. No. 4 Teakwood and Tobacco is my favorite.

Discovering a new tea I'm obsessed with. Comforting Tea from Aveda is so tasty, so naturally sweet tasting without sugar and caffeine.

Playing around with Korean skin care methods. Seven-skin method. Glass skin. Sheet masks. They are over the top and so fun I think! 

And super silly television. Sorry about the language here, but I love Schitt's Creek on Netflix. I never would tried it if I hadn't seen Alison from Brocante Home mention it. I watched one episode and was hooked. It's fluffy and ridiculous. The characters are narcissistic and pitiful while being likable at the same time. It's totally hilarious and for me its worth watching just for Moira's outfits and wigs.

Any little things you are loving lately? Do share, because I get the best ideas from friends!



Day 2 - The Saddest Roses

I wanted to start out optimistic and happy and positive, but I have to do this first, I have to get this off my chest. This is a journey I'm on and it won't make sense without sharing where I've just been.

Aren't these the saddest roses you've ever seen?

I've kept them around, petals wilting, dried out and brown at the edges, because they make me feel sad, and I want to be sad, I want to remember. I want something physical, a symbol of what I've been through, a physical manifestation of my love, my sadness.

I can't believe I'm writing about this publicly, but it's a form of catharsis. A way of saying to myself "this was real, it happened".  A memorial of sorts.

I had a miscarriage recently. I had another one a year and a half ago too, which I've never written about. But this one has hit me harder, in ways I don't understand and didn't expect.

I'll keep details to myself, but share a little, because I need to get it out, to write it down, to bare my soul, to carve this memorial stone.

When I found out (shockingly) I was pregnant, it took awhile to let myself be happy, to hope, and when I did, it was a beautiful thing, a rose colored bubble of joy, so delicate. It popped a month later at finding no heartbeat at our first doctor's visit. No reason why, no answers, just ache.

Even though I'd tried to prepare myself for the possibility of this, my emotions felt like an explosion of pain - negativity coming out of me in every direction, spewing all over everyone around me, the world around me, like dark sticky bile. I didn't want to talk to anyone for awhile, out of fear I would sound like a madwoman.

The intensity passed. And then it was the waiting. I waited another month to have a natural miscarriage. I waited through spring break and family visits and my son's birthday. And then it was over.

There was one last painful gasp of grief, followed by quiet exhaustion and withdrawal. And eventually, little spurts of energy and laughter returning.

Life goes on and I go on. At such a fast pace it goes on, and I run to keep up with it. All the while wishing I could shut myself away for a week, draw the curtains and lay in bed. But it is sunny spring and there is work to do, and an energetic boy to chase after, and so here I am, picking up the pieces and going on.

At times life seems so normal again. But then I see the roses and remember that baby I loved and wanted, who flew away.  It hurts to remember, but I don't want to forget.

I can't speak for everyone's miscarriage experiences. I know each is unique. But I know they are common and I know they hurt.

We are a sisterhood, those of us, who've walked this path. "Me too," we say. And "I know." It's a mystery, a deep and painful, one of life and death, we've been initiated into.

And it can feel so lonely. Even though I think it's not something to be ashamed of, it can be hard to talk about. So I'm talking about it, for all of you, like me, to know, you are not alone.

Coming out of the other side of this, I don't feel like the same person I was before, and I'm not sure what that means, and what the future holds. Everything seems cloudy. But I'm venturing on, hoping the clouds will part and I'll see my path clearly again. And I'm here, writing about it and blogging, because I'm alive and I'm ready to step into something new, even if I'm not sure what that is.

It's time to say goodbye to these sad roses. But I won't forget.


Day 1 of 365 Days of Change

I'm always intrigued by bloggers who undergo radical challenges - pushing themselves in a public forum to see how far they can go. Some examples of experimenters that have inspired me: 

I like to watch other people boldly strike out at something new and see what happens. There's something magical about experiments. And maybe there's a part of me that longs for that same boldness. 

Recently I was inspired me to come back to blogging when I stumbled across Dottie James talking about changing her life in one year on YouTube. She's in a different stage of life than mine, but I felt it keenly, her desire to shake up her life.

I feel that way right now. I need some pretty radical change, and I decided to boldly strike out myself by writing about it on my own blog. 

So here goes, my own 365 Days of Change. 

So... why do this?
  • I feel stuck in a rut. I’ve been wanting to change areas of my life, but I don’t get traction long enough to make it happen. 
  • I want to be in a radically different place a year from now. And I’m not going to get there if I just keep doing the same thing. 
  • I recently had a miscarriage. Maybe I’ll write more on this later, maybe I won’t. But I’m in a place where I am craving a fresh start and new hope.
  • I want to reinvigorate my creative side. Blogging was an outlet for that, so I'm bringing it back, baby!

What I want to change: 
  • Rebuild my health.
    • More stamina, strength and energy! 
    • Lose more weight by eating healthy keto and intermittent fasting. 
    • Get enough sleep consistently. 
    • Exercise often but gently, so I don't activate old injuries, amping it up so that a year from now I'm at a much better fitness level.
  • Align parenting to my core values
    • Make healthier choices for my son, even when they aren't so easy for me.
    • Less screen time and more independent play and outdoor play. 
    • Try new foods and give him healthier food to eat. No small feat with a picky eater!
  • Connect
    • It's been a challenging time and relationships have fallen by the wayside. I want to connect with a friend once a week, go to church on Sunday, and find a women's group or Bible study to be a part of.
  • Reinvigorate my creativity
    • Blog at least once a week. 
    • Maybe write some poetry. 
    • Ponder the possibility of self-publishing my novel. 
    • Do little things that make me feel sparkly inside. Paint my fingernails. Experiment with fashion. Write some book and movie reviews again.
  • Get offline
    • This is hard to admit for a once-avowed bookworm, but I need to rebuild my attention span and ability to enjoy life without glancing at my phone, browsing the internet or listening to a podcast. 
    • Spend more time outdoors.
    • Read more, actual old-fashioned books, on paper. 
    • See people, more often, in person
  • Business/career shifts
    • I do have some plans in this area, but it's still not clear yet, so for now, I'm keeping this one private.
I'm not going to tackle all of this immediately, but build a foundation and set new goals each month.
I'll use this blog to report on my progress and what I'm learning along the way.

365 days of change! Magical experiments! And blogging again! I'm kind of excited!

Want to come along?


Yep, I'm back

So, I’ve been gone from this blog a long time, but I’ve been keeping it, waiting to see if I’d want it again, waiting for that day. 

And it’s here.

I’m tempted to explain why I’ve been gone.
I’m tempted to tell you why I’m back.
I’m tempted to try to catch you up on where I’ve been.

But I’m not going to do all of that. Not all at once. I’m just going to let it roll and we’ll see what happens...