Triplets? Some Answers to FAQ.

Did you plan for this to happen?
Ha! No! To help give you a glimpse of how unusual and surprising this was, our doctor didn’t speak for a couple of minutes during our first ultrasound. In his many years of practice, he’s only seen this happen twice.

The word “plan” is also kind of a funny one to us. Once you enter infertility land you quickly are reminded how little “control” you actually have. There were a lot of different scenarios we pictured when we entered our first appointment, this wasn’t one of them.

How did this happen?
Perhaps someday I’ll write a longer piece about the complex process we went through of praying, grieving, processing, reading, and meeting with our pastor with far more experience with bioethics than anyone we know that helped us arrive at the decision to pursue IVF. Perhaps someday I’ll share the three big questions we wrestled with throughout the process and the constraints we felt we needed to pursue in order to remain true to our beliefs. Today’s not the day for that post, though.

The short answer is that we went through the IVF process two years ago. When we did we ended with four embryos–two of which we implanted and became Gideon and his brother/sister that we lost during our first pregnancy at eleven weeks and two that we froze for future use (so weird, we know.)  We knew that we would transfer them as soon as we could in part because of our desire to protect and give them their best shot at life. After Gideon’s first birthday, we started making plans to go back. On April 18 in the midst of so many shots, we got to take what we thought might be our only family picture as a family of five.

transfer2God had far more abundant plans for us than we could’ve asked or even imagined. At our first ultrasound, we were prepared to see 0, 1, or 2 gestational sacs, but in perhaps the most shocking moments of our lives there were three. Both embryos implanted and one of them split into identical twins.

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On a side note, spontaneous triplets (without fertility treatment) are rare but happen and not everyone is as open about the process they went through as we are, so maybe tread lightly with others here.

How are you doing?
We’re doing well. As I mentioned earlier, I think walking through infertility has a way of coloring the rest of your experiences. I’m thankful for the ways its humbled us and taught us how not in control we are which has in turn caused us to rely on God. We are fully aware that this isn’t going to be a walk in the park. It’s overwhelming in a lot of ways, but we just keep coming back to this sense of awe that we are living a miracle. We were prepared for really, really sad, hard outcomes. We know so many people who are aching and longing and grieving for children of their own. While having four kids two and under will bring with it its own unique set of challenges, it’s most of all a gift we’re embracing and so grateful for.

I think people are prone to repeat the cliche “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle,” but that’s actually not true. He does give us things that we can’t handle on our own strength to remind us how much we really do need Him. Infertility has taught us a lot about this. I expect in a different sense extreme, concentrated abundance will as well. I certainly am not qualified or adept enough to do this myself. When I feel the anxiety creep in and we feel overwhelmed with the “How are we going to do this?” question, we’re trying to press into it. We’re trying to say, “You’re right. We can’t, but He can.” We need Him and we need the people in our lives more than we ever have and those are actually good things, even when it feels hard.

Physically I’m ready to be rid of some of the things that come with first trimesters (I’m thirteen weeks tomorrow), but again it is certainly not lost of me how fortunate I am to feel the way I do. There are far worse, hard reasons to feel sick than growing life. Aside from that all of the babies are measuring right where they should with great heartbeats and I’m physically doing well too.

What about Gideon?
Well nobody is getting voted off the island. That’s for sure. I really do get the sentiment behind this question, though. As someone who loves Him so very much, I’ve shed a few tears feeling the weight of what is going to happen to his life.

I think I keep going back to the simple fact that this is the race God has marked out for our family and for Gideon. So much of life is about trade offs. There are good things and hard things that come with most circumstances. The same can be said of this specific circumstance for him. Will caring for a toddler and three newborns mean that he has to share attention in a way that most kids don’t? For sure. Will there be specific challenges that come to him through this? Yes. But will there be beautiful, unique experiences that he will get to have by being a big brother to so many? Absolutely. Will being part of a peer group where the age ranges are so close together have pros or cons? Both.

I’ve never been more thankful to have such an incredible community of people who Gideon loves and who love him too. I’m also grateful for the sweet temperament that loves to help and loves other kids that are just part of his personality. It will be hard and if you’d like to pray specifically for him, we’d certainly appreciate it, but we’re hopeful many beautiful things will grow amidst the hard for him too.

Will they look the same?
Yes and no. Two of them will look exactly the same because they are identical twins. That means at least two will be the same gender. The third baby is fraternal which means he/she may or may not be the same gender but won’t look identical to the other two regardless.

We’ll find out genders at 16 weeks.

When will they be here?
Like so many things related to this, we don’t really know. If this were a pregnancy with one baby, I would be due January 4. They wouldn’t actually let me go a full 40 weeks. It sounds like 36 weeks is kind of the max which would fall during the first week of December. We’d love to make it that far but would also be thrilled to get to Thanksgiving.  I’m working with great doctors and nurses who will monitor the four of us closely. We’re grateful for prayers for continued health and for a pregnancy that makes me incredibly huge and uncomfortable.

Thanks for loving, caring, praying, supporting, and celebrating with us. I’m not planning to join the world of “Mommy Bloggers,” (I’m really not sure when I’m going to have time to shower, let alone write), but perhaps I’ll post an occasional update here to keep those who are interested apprised of our growing brood.

To end, we have more recent ultrasound pictures where they look far more like babies but things are so congested in there already that this is the last “good” photo we have with all three in the same shot.

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Gideon Henry–What’s in a Name

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Names are funny things. Chosen before much is known about you, most people live a lifetime with their identity hinged to something given to them at the very beginning. I by no means claim to know the best way to go about selecting a name. I know there is a whole host of criteria people go through. Some names are chosen to honor family members. Others are given because of the way they sound or what they mean. Some are chosen because of their popularity while others are chosen for their obscurity. I don’t think there is a certain formula that all parents must go through to get it right.   Like many parenting related things, I don’t think there is a “right way.” I only know what the process has been like for us.

As a lover of words, I’m guessing the process of naming a child would’ve been semi-agonizing regardless of how this precious life came to be. I’m sure there always would’ve been a strong desire for meaning, purpose, and story to factor into the final decision. I’m guessing I probably would’ve taken the responsibility of naming another soul far too seriously regardless of what life would’ve been like. I’m guessing my sweet, patient husband likely would have had to talk in circles with me much the way he graciously did the months leading up to Gideon’s birth. Yet something felt particularly unique about the circumstances we were given. The last two years have been filled with so many moments where the prospect of ever having a child to name seemed unlikely. Throughout the entire process of tears, doctor’s appointments, shots, surgeries, difficult phone calls, and waiting, we became more than acutely aware that we are not promised children nor are we entitled to them.

The story of how Gideon came to be is not one that either of us would’ve chosen for ourselves. It is, however, the one divinely and lovingly entrusted to us. This story, already filled with its own share of highs and lows, has shaped Jeremy and I as parents and people so deeply. As a result, we searched for a name that would reflect it. We pray it will continue to shape our precious little boy throughout all of his days.

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Gideon
At so many junctures during this journey I’ve been tempted to take comfort in statistics. I’ve been guilty of asking what the odds of our desired outcome were more often than not. The funny thing is, we weren’t given very good ones at several pivotal moments. Multiple years of trying led to hard doctors appointments of hard results. This led to treatment options with varying percentages and degrees of success rates, all of which failed leading to even lower likelihoods. This in turn led to the difficult decision to pursue an even more invasive course of treatment.

After multiple positive doctor’s appointments at the beginning of our IVF cycle, I remember the temptation to put my trust and hope in science most distinctly. It looked as if our odds were improving with each passing ultrasound. That is, until the actual procedure took place. When I woke up from anesthesia the morning of the retrieval I could immediately tell things didn’t go as well as we had hoped. Jeremy took my hand and told me in the most tender, comforting voice that the numbers we had hoped for were significantly less. Part of me felt as though I had failed. Part of me began to revert back to my natural patterns of anxiety and worry. Yet even through the fear, the Lord brought to mind the words of Psalm 20:7

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

This verse became especially important as our doctor came in and confirmed what I initially feared. Our numbers were not great and neither were the odds of success. Psalm 20:7 replayed over and over in my mind as we anxiously awaited several scary phone calls throughout the weeks to come. Again and again Jeremy and I had to choose whether or not we would put our hope and trust in statistics and science or if we would put our hope and trust in the Lord–regardless of whether or not we had a child.

While reading the Book of Judges last fall, I was reminded of another man who was asked to trust God rather than numbers. Gideon’s name means “mighty warrior” despite the fact that he is the least of his clan and struggles numerous times to fully trust God. He is mighty only because the Lord is mighty. The most notable battle in Gideon’s life is won through weakness as the Lord reduces the must larger army originally preparing for battle in Judges 7. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me saying, ‘My own strength has saved me.’” Gideon starts the with 32,000 men, by the end of the day, the Lord has whittled the number down to 300. As Tim Keller puts it, “Gideon should look back and think: This victory was God’s not mine. My only part was to trust and obey him. The glory is his, and the privilege is mine…God does not simply work in spite of our weakness, but because of it. He says that his saving power does not work when we are strong or think we are strong—but rather, when we are weak, and know we are.”

Gideon’s story so far has been all about this—God working not when we are strong or think we are strong, not when the numbers or odds were at their best, but God working when we were at our weakest…and know we are.

The story of Gideon is about faith in the midst of doubt, also something that resonates deeply with us.  Gideon asks God for multiple signs when asked to trust God with the task God gives him.  These signs of God’s past faithfulness spur Gideon on to believe in God’s future grace, yet even at the end of his life Gideon fails miserably.  His faith if far from perfect, yet he’s specifically remembered for his faith in Hebrews 11.  Like all those listed in this passage and in all of scripture (aside from Jesus), Gideon is a mixed bag of both faith and doubt, obedience and sin.  Like us, the power of Gideon’s faith is not about the amount but about the source–who he has faith in.  Passages like these that share not just moments of belief, but also moments of doubt encourage us in our own moments of weakness.  So many times we pray, “We believe.  Help our unbelief.”  The story of Gideon and the life of our Gideon from start to finish is all about God’s grace.

Gideon is also a significant name to our family for another reason. Gideon vs. Wainwright is a famous Supreme Court Case that guarantees the right to representation to all those accused of a crime regardless of their ability to pay. This is the cause Gideon’s dad has dedicated his life’s work to as a Public Defender.

Our prayer is that Gideon will know that his strength comes only from the Lord. We hope for him to know his weakness and need for God. We also hope that he would care deeply about justice and rights of the poor and oppressed.

Henry
Henry is a family name that honors both of my grandpas. My mom’s father, pictured with Gideon below—Henry Feldkamp—and my dad’s father—Walton Henry Powell—who passed away over a decade ago but whose memory still impacts me greatly today.

Grandpa HenryGideon meeting my Grandpa Henry Feldkamp.

grandmaGideon meeting my Grandma Eva whose husband Walton Henry also inspired Gideon’s middle name.

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When Christmas Doesn’t Feel Holly or Jolly

I can think of many holiday seasons where the idea of baking cookies, watching snow fall, hanging lights, and listening to holiday music felt nothing but appropriate. I’ve also lived through holiday seasons and am currently experiencing one right now that doesn’t feel holly or jolly. The glitz and the glimmer at times feel like they are actively assaulting my soul, taunting me with triteness, reminding me of things I wish weren’t true of my life and circumstances. It’s true that grief doesn’t just surface in places like the doctor’s office or a cemetery. It can lay dormant waiting to pounce in the checkout isle of Target or during a seemingly benign conversation with a coworker. Christmas can trigger nostalgic joy and happy anticipation. It can also trigger a season of amplified loneliness and grief. It can remind us that our life doesn’t measure up to a Norman Rockwell Christmas card or even our own more realistic expectations.

My heart is heavy this holiday season. My days feel anything but merry and bright. I feel like decking my halls in sackcloth. Bearing the weight of deep sadness, disappointment, and fear my lips struggle to mouth the words of the songs my soul desperately needs on Sunday mornings. Sometimes it feels as though I expend more energy fighting tears than anything else right now.

In this season of giving thanks, I’m reminded that even in my pain there is much to be grateful for. Towards the top of my list is a season called Advent. Advent comes from a Latin word that means “coming.” It’s an opportunity to reflect on the humble birth of Christ and the anxious wait of His return in glory. It’s a reminder that we live in between the comings of Christ, the already, but the not yet. During this season, we are reminded that waiting, longing, and angst are very much a part of the Christian life. Just as God’s people and prophets groaned and ached for the Messiah hundreds of years ago, we too groan and ache for Christ to return and make everything sad come untrue.

In his book What Jesus Demands from the World, John Piper writes,

When Jesus demands that we rejoice, he has not forgotten the kind of world we live in. It is filled with suffering…For Jesus the demand for joy is a way to live with suffering and to outlast suffering. Therefore, this joy is serious. It’s the kind you fight for by cutting off your hand (Matt. 5:30) and selling your possessions (Matt. 13:44) and carrying a cross with Jesus to Calvary (Matt. 10:38-39). It has scars. It sings happy songs with tears. It remembers the dark hours and knows that more are coming. The road to heaven is a hard road, but it is not joyless. 

Much of this quote reflects exactly what Advent means to me. Advent is about a deep, serious, abiding joy that doesn’t ignore the pain of life but doesn’t buckle underneath its weight either. It acknowledges the difficulty but continues to trust, hope, and rest in a faithful, loving God. Advent gives me permission to celebrate in the midst of all of my hurt this December. It reminds me that Christmas is at its core about a God who enters into our suffering and pain and keeps His promises. So I will light candles and hang lights and I will sing those happy songs with tears. Just like God’s people many years ago I will wait as they waited and I will long as they longed.

Come Lord Jesus, come redeem us, we will wait for You.

berriesPhoto Credit

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Egos and Toes…

“Have you ever thought about the fact that you do not notice your body until there is something wrong with it?  When we are walking around, we are not usually thinking how fantastic our toes are feeling.  Or how brilliantly our elbows are working today.  We would only think like that if there had previously been something wrong with them.  That is because the parts of our body only draw attention to themselves if there is something wrong with them.

The ego often hurts.  That is because it has something incredibly wrong with it.  Something unbelievably wrong with it.  It is always drawing attention to itself–it does so every single day.  It is always making us think about how we look and how we are treated.  People sometimes say their feelings are hurt.  But our feelings can’t be hurt!  It is the ego that hurts–my sense of self, my identity.  Our feelings are fine!  It is my ego that hurts.
Walking around does not hurt my toes unless there is already something wrong with them.  My ego would not hurt unless there was something terribly wrong with it.”
-TIm Keller, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness-
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I Never Wanted to Marry a Lawyer…

Growing up, I don’t think I ever created a tangible list of the things I wanted in a future spouse.  There were plenty of mental notations, though.  Among them, career paths I wanted to avoid at all cost.  At the top, lawyers and all the stereotypes that went along with them.

I’ve always had a strong aversion to conflict.  The thought of being with someone whose life’s work centered around constructing and giving arguments seemed like a terrible fit.  I’ve always gravitated toward a lifestyle of simplicity.  The idea of marrying someone motivated by wealth (which obviously all attorneys are), was more than a huge turn off.  I’ve always valued honesty, a virtue not often tied to that profession either.  I’ve always enjoyed people who were genuine, who didn’t feel the need to impress or hide behind a veneer of arrogant self-importance.  I never wanted to marry a lawyer, but somehow that’s exactly what I did.

I remember the first time I heard my now husband speak about his job.  We sat next to each other around a campfire with the members of our small group.  He was speaking “lawyer” to another person in our group who was also an attorney.  As I attempted to glean what I could from their jargon-laden exchange, my stomach began to hurt.  Before I could stop myself I exclaimed, “So your job is like 90% dealing with conflict?”  He laughed, paused to think, and replied, “I’ve never thought about it that way, but yeah.  I guess it is.”

I remember the second time I heard my now husband speak about his job.  It was the following day sitting at lunch with a group of friends and acquaintances.  People began asking him the same questions I now know that everyone asks the first time they hear his Public Defender job title.  “So what do you do if you know someone is guilty?  Do you have to defend them too?”  I remember my ears perking up.  After a month of heavy duty flirting, his response to this complex question was very much tied to how I would respond when he asked me on our first date just a few hours later.  I never wanted to marry, or even date a lawyer, but somehow this man’s story, humor, depth, and smile were beginning to steal my heart.  Yet, I needed to know how someone who didn’t seem to match my lawyerly stereotypes could defend “criminals.”

Ever so calmly, my now husband responded to a very loaded question not with a defensive argument, but with so much tender grace.  He explained how that’s a question a lot of people ask for good reason and told of how during law school he thought he wanted to practice anything but criminal law because that was just too messy and weighty.  He spoke of the way becoming a Christian solidified part of his pre-existing worldview that all people have worth, value, and dignity, regardless of who they are or what they’ve done.  He gently reminded everyone at the table that all people are made in the image of God.  He spoke passionately about his heart for the poor and oppressed and the importance of upholding their rights regardless of their ability to afford representation.  He spoke of America’s legal system.  One he knows the flaws of better than anyone else I know, but also as he terms it, the best in the world.  He spoke of how justice can only be done when both sides are fairly represented.  How abuse of power happens when there aren’t checks and balances and when those in poverty are marginalized because of an inability to pay.  He spoke of times where people were falsely accused.  How most people viscerally respond when the guilty are left unpunished, but how important it is to have the same reaction at the thought of the innocent being given a false guilty sentence.

As he spoke my heart began to soften, but nothing made an impact quite like the final thing he said.  He spoke of the Gospel.  He spoke of His own guilty sentence before a holy and just God.  He spoke of having an advocate when he least deserved it, even when he was guilty.  He spoke of parallels I now remind him of on rough days where he doesn’t feel like he’s making a difference.

Last week, I got to watch my husband do the most difficult parts of his job well.  I got to see him work 180 hours in a fourteen days.  I got to see him rise before the sun and come home well after it had set.  I got to see him labor and agonize over the smallest of details for the same amount of money I’d receive as a public school teacher.  I got to see him in a courtroom as the lone advocate for a guilty man the world had given up on.  I got to see my husband put his arm around this person after a serious conviction was made and gently talk to him in the most difficult of moments.  I got to see my husband love someone who did not “deserve” it well.  I got to see him live out his philosophy of what it means to be a person with worth, value, and dignity regardless of socio-economic status or past heinous transgressions.  I got to see him love the way Christ loved me.  The truth is, I get to see that everyday as he lives out the Gospel not just as an attorney, but as a husband.

I never wanted to marry a lawyer, but I’m so very glad and proud that that’s exactly what I did.

jer

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More Alike than Different…

You’re probably well aware that a royal child was welcomed not only by his family but what felt like the entire world last week.  Did you know, however, that another approximately 370,000 babies were born on July 22 as well?

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit a region of the world with the highest infant mortality rate in the Western Hempisphere.  I walked through a hospital’s pediatric unit, prayed with mothers who had birthed tiny premature lives as well as those with older children in need of surgery.  I fought back tears as I held the tiny hands of small lives struggling in the malnutrition ward, their bodies and developmental stages giving them the look of my niece at 6 months. Their actual age–three years old.

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I piled into a bus with 22 children with special needs and their mothers and road a few hours away on a field trip to the zoo.  On the surface our experience could not have been more different.  I’ve led many field trips and have been to the zoo too many times to count.  My sense of wonder and awe often wanes on such trips in the U.S.  Their reactions were genuine and demonstrative of the fact that for many this was their first trip to the city and that for all, this was their first opportunity to view animals like this; to see that elephants were real, not just something made up inside of a book.

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I walked up a mountain and into a home of two parents and eight children.  A quick scan of its dirt floor and fire pit for cooking stood in stark contrast to my own home.  Yet the eyes and breaking heart of the mother who had just lost her ninth child not even a week before was indicative of one sweet lesson the Lord graciously taught me again and again during my week in Guatemala.  As Maya Angelou once said, “We are more alike than we are different.”

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Day after day I was reminded of the many universal parts of the human experience.  I was reminded of what it means to be made in the image of God.  I was reminded that though our homes and our meals and our languages and our clothes and so many superficial external circumstances are different, so many more things are very much the same.  A father with a premature child in an incubator aches in Guatemala just as a father in my hometown surely would.  A mother with eight children who knows countless other mothers who have lost a baby doesn’t hurt or grieve any less than a friend of mine would here in the U.S.  A mother with a child who has Cerebral Palsy in Chichicastenago selflessly lays down her life to lift her teenage child out of a wheelchair to change yet another diaper just as a mother might here in the U.S.  She advocates, she cheerleads, she sacrifices, she loves selflessly in ways that know no cultural or lingustic bounds.  I was reminded of  Gospel love.  The kind of love that lays its life down for another.

Perhaps more than on a typical day, I was reminded of the post-Genesis 3 brokenness all of us face regardless of who we are or where we live.  But to an even greater extent, I was reminded of the post-Genesis 3 promise of a Savior who would come and rescue and make all things new.  I was reminded of the Gospel–the Gospel for all people, for all tongues, for all tribes, for all nations, for all times.

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At  work this summer, we’re reading several books that remind us of this truth with children.  Last Sunday, we took a closer look at One World, One Day.  We looked at photographs of children waking up, getting ready for school, eating meals with their family, and going to bed from all over the world.  We read and celebrated what Philippians 2:1-11.  In August, we’ll read A Cool Drink of Water by the same author.  We will look at photographs of people all over the world drinking water and learn that just as we all need water to live, we all need Jesus–the Living Water even more.

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Last summer, we emphasized similar themes by reading a book called Whoever You Are by Mem Fox together.  As I walked through dusty streets and read books to children in Guatemalan schools, Mem Fox’s words were brought back to mind again and again…

Little one, whoever you are,
wherever you are,
there are little ones just like you all over the world.

Their skin may be different from yours,
and their homes may be different from yours.
Their schools may be different from yours
and their lands may be different from yours.
Their lives may be different from yours,
and their words may be very different from yours.

But inside, their hearts are just like yours,
whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world.
Their smiles are like yours, and they laugh just like you.
Their hurts are like yours, and they cry like you, too,
whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world.

Little one, when you are older and when you are grown,
you may be different,
and they may be different, wherever you are, wherever they are, 
in this big, wide world.

But remember this:
Joys are the same, and love is the same.
Pain is the same, and blood is the same.
Smiles are the same, and hearts are just the same–
wherever they are, wherever you are, wherever we are,
all over the world.

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We write to taste life twice…

“We write to taste life twice.”
-Anais Nain-

I can tell when I’ve gone too long without writing.  I’m a hazier version of myself.  A version far more scattered, far less alive.  It’s not that anything I have to say is particularly profound.  My life is what most would classify as ordinary.  It’s not that the way I phrase things is exceptionally significant or creative.  Truth be told there are far more eloquent wordsmiths  just within my circle of friends.  I don’t write for those reasons.  If anything, those things–comparison and the like–have far too often been the source of what keeps me from writing.  Too often we don’t know how to say something just right, so we choose not to say anything at all.  I often told my students that perfectionism is the enemy of creativity.  There is so much truth in this borrowed phrase.

I can tell when I’ve gone too long without writing.  There is a hunger and an ache to let words fill the page.  There is also hesitation, second guessing, and doubt.  Starting and stopping.  A lot of deleting.  Feeling and being out of practice, lacking flow.  Yet knowing this is for me, how life is processed.

I can tell when I’ve gone too long without writing.  Numbness begins to melt away.  Raw emotions and thoughts once covered over lay bare.  A greater awareness of not just what is beautiful, but also what is not.  Writing honestly is a dangerous game.  A dangerous game that requires vulnerability and a willingness to let what lies below the surface wash over you for better, or for worse.  Sometimes it’s easier to pretend, to dismiss, to ignore.  But sometimes only lasts for so long.  Sometimes is not a home or long-term refuge.  Sometimes is temporarily delaying the inevitable, for at some point the haze must lift if this life is to be lived.

Dramatic life transitions shift me into dangerous levels of introspection.  I can live and dwell in this world  far too intensely for far too long.  So I force myself to come up to the surface for air.  I drift.  I tread water.  I try to live in the moment, yet the pull to take a deep breath and plunge down deep below is too strong.  I can’t live without breathing, but I don’t think I can live with my head perpetually bobbing above either.

Anias Nain’s words, “We write to taste life twice.” hung in my classroom just as much of a reminder to me as it was to those I taught.  Tasting life twice.  A way not just to process, but to savor what is desirable but also what is bitter.  Life’s moments aren’t fast food.  They’re not meant to be shoved down, thrown out, and hurried over.  They’re meant to be tasted not once, but twice.

And so I write.  I write to remember.  I write to forget.  I write to slow down.  I write to wake up.  I write because not writing isn’t really an option.  And sometimes, I fight my fear of being wrong.  I fight my fear of sounding at best trite and at worst ignorant.  I fight my fear and post to this blog not for a vast following, site hits, or comments but for clarity, for hope, for release.  Truth be told, I don’t really do it for anyone other than me.  For the sense of permanence it gives.  For an ebeneezer of sorts–where I’ve been, who I’m becoming, and the thread of grace that has faithfully bound it all together.  Good, bad, and ugly.  A stone of remembrance for moments where faith wavers and perspective is lost.  I stop.  I slow down.  I drink deeply.  I wonder.  I whisper.  I shudder.  I smile.

I taste my life twice.

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