Someone asked me that today.  It was a heartbreaking question in the wake of a tragic circumstance.  Both of us sitting on the sidelines of someone else’s tragedy but feeling the soul-crushing loss deep in our own souls because we live in community and we share each other’s burdens.

It doesn’t end, my dear.  But it changes for those of us on the sidelines.  Our heart scars bear testimony to what we witnessed and life goes on.  What changes is the pit in our stomach goes away and the memory of the tragedy doesn’t haunt us in every moment.  We daily are reminded, often in the little things, because it’s impossible to forget.  The tears don’t flow every time we relive the moments but the heaviness remains in the memories.

Sometimes I remember something about that day or week or month and my mind relives the entire process.  Sometimes it stretches that scar enough to make it hurt and other times it feels like the pain of a wound reopened.  It’s never far from my mind, easily retrieved from the corners of my mind to be understood and not understood all at one time.

Sometimes it’s in the witness of another’s circumstance that we are brought back to the gut-wrenching knowledge of our own loss.  But as time passes we are able to pick ourselves up much quicker.  To find the joy in the places we know we can, to continue with the life we’ve been given.

I felt that today after the question had been asked.  I stood in the pew in our morning worship service, thankful as always to be surrounded by people I love and who love me.  My children crowded into the chairs beside and in front of me.  Sunday mornings are often mornings of remembrance for me.  I still can’t define why this is the case but I often find myself thinking of little Ryker as I worship.  This morning my heart was full but he wasn’t far from my mind.  Then a dear friend shared her heart.  She shared of God’s mercy in the midst of tragedy and I was thankful for the reminder.  But seconds later I felt the opening of my heart as my youngest son, hurdled the chairs in front of me, into my arms and sobbed, great heaving sobs into my chest.  He felt it too.  The reopening of a that wound, the recognition that suffering on this earth doesn’t ever end.

We find joy because God has shown us mercy but the sorrow never ends.  It just changes.  It is there for us to give back to Him daily.  To live with the peace that one day it will be taken from us.  But until that day it reminds us that we cannot travel this earth alone.  It brings us back to His feet, seeking comfort.

Dear friend, it will end the day we come face to face with our Creator and alongside those gone before us, are able to lay ourselves at His feet.

I was in the car this morning with three, sweet four year olds.  As I drove and listened to their banter I smiled, it was innocent and beautiful, silly and ridiculous but their laughter and joy filled the van.  They were giggly and chatty, as they always are when they first get together.  I love hearing their little voices calling each other by name and catching up on the details of the days they’ve missed.  It never ceases to amaze me how children can spend hours with their friends and the next time they see each other, whether it be hours or days later they have countless details to relay. Continue reading

So a new year begins and everyone is making resolutions, promises, brainstorming ways to make this year better, etc. Although I’ve succumbed to a bit of that, mainly the desire to get back to my regular routine of exercising which helps me feel healthy and more energetic, the truth is I’ve been a bit shocked at the fact that this past year flew by. As any year before, it’s been full of ups and downs, memory making activities, soul searching moments and all around fun but I can’t believe it’s over.

To be honest I’m looking forward to a fresh start…a new attempt at deepening my friendships, strengthening my marriage, becoming more adept at understanding my children, exploring more of what makes me tick, and generally just allowing God to continue molding me. These are not so much resolutions as extensions of on-going personal betterment that flows through each year.

Christmas was a great time of rest. It was busy as I’m sure most people found their time over the holidays. But it was filled with laughter, joy, sleep, pajamas, gifts, family, friends, fun (a few tears but they were tears that led to deeper understanding and therefore good), and all good things that the season usually brings. My iPhone camera stayed tucked away for the most part (my only regret to this season) but the snapshots of important moments are tucked away in my mind’s eye! We had the opportunity to spend some time with all extended family on both sides at various times through the two weeks of “vacation” and then rang in the New Year with family and a few visits with dear friends. It was a great way to end one year and begin another.

As we have headed into another year of “normal” life I am EXCITED! I’m not 100% sure why I feel this anticipation but it’s a good feeling. I think that whether or not this year is just a year like any other or holds something new and different, it’s going to be special. Perhaps it’s perspective…perhaps it’s the joy of the Holy Spirit…perhaps it’s a bit of both! Whatever the case I’m going to enjoy this feeling of contented expectation.

I pray the same for those who are reading this and look forward to hearing how life in 2012 pans out!!!

A great picture of my beautiful kiddos as they wait to open their gifts Christmas morning. They were so excited but patient and attentive! A moment I will always cherish.