I mentioned on my various social media accounts yesterday that JJ, our 4-year-old, wished Brian a very happy “Fodder’s Day.”
It’s almost like he knew about this blog and that Brian provides me with an infinite amount of fodder for it.
I got a text Tuesday from a friend and loyal blog reader asking if everything is okay here in the Land of Milk and Hotdogs. I suppose my absence from the blog for more than a week throws up red flags. The truth is that my heart has been so heavy this past week that I didn’t even know where to begin. Still, I’d like to share what God has taught us in the midst of a devastating family tragedy.
I’m not gonna lie, I sometimes dry heave when I read social media anniversary updates from one spouse to another.
“Happy 4th Anniversary to my Schnookums! You are my everything. You are hotness incarnate. You are the reason I breathe. You are my oxygen.”
You are the reason I vomit.
No, I’m not pregnant, mom. Plus, I wouldn’t tell you this way. I would at least call you and tell you a knock-knock joke like I did the first time.
Not even kidding, people.
Anyway, YOU GUYS, I can’t believe I haven’t told you one of THE biggest things that has happened to us recently. I say “happened to us” because there are only a handful of things in my life that I do intentionally or on a set schedule. It’s just not my personality. Believe me, I wish it was my personality, but it isn’t.
If you hang around this blog for more than a minute, you’re bound to stumble on a post (or 70) about my ongoing struggle with depression. I have remained very transparent about my love-hate relationship with medications because I know that so many of my friends, family and readers have a similar story to tell. Our culture, our physicians, the entire field of psychology, and even the church (!!!) have fully embraced the idea that depression is something that we can—or should—medicate with psychotrophic (mind-altering) drugs.
One of my very best friends (a fellow military spouse) and I had a conversation recently about Christmas and how we want our kids to experience this magical time of year. My friend is a fellow Christian who home schools her 4 kids—all of whom are young enough to believe in Santa Claus.
Before I go any further, I have to let you know that this post is a Santa spoiler alert. So, if you have a habit of curling up by the fire and reading my posts aloud to your children, now would be a good time to forgo that routine. Instead, you might want to read them something a bit less scarring.
Back to my story…
So, I created this letter for my daughter, and now I’m SOBBING. I can’t even see to type. So, let’s just hope this is relatively free of errors.
I’m sobbing because:
1) our baby girl turns 2 today and
2) I was dumb enough to make a video montage to commemorate it.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ESV)
For everything, a season.
And it seems that our 3-year-old and our almost-2-year-old have joined together to drag us all—kicking and screaming—through the “break down,” “weep,” and “war” seasons of life. Every day feels like a cage match. Every. Single. Day.
I really would love to be one of those people who comes home from a trip, unpacks my suitcase(s) the moment I step foot in the door, throws a load of laundry in the washer before I’ve even taken off my shoes, and then creates a scrapbook or photo album entitled “Summer Family Photo Album” before the memories have faded.
If you know me or have read this blog for more than a week, you know good and well that just isn’t me.
Not even close.
But this past summer was one of the best summers of my life. Maybe the best. Despite the screaming and tantrums, the sleepless nights, the potty training failures, and my miserable attempts at motherhood, I can look back through my thousands of photos from our summer and know that I am blessed far beyond what I expected. And certainly beyond what I have earned. This has been a summer full of grace…in so many ways.
Let’s start here: