Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Notes (Sorrow and Sweetness)

Summer comes and for a moment I think life will slow down a bit and there will be time. Quickly I see that, no, life just keeps moving by rapidly. It's not hard to see when I consider just how many summers there are left before my firstborn, then my second, then each after that, start flying off. They will fly and this is good and so these are the days to pour into relationship: to invest words of wisdom and encouragement, to build friendships, and to remain steadfast in prayer.

I wish to hold on to the moments now and make the most of the days, despite the reality of responsibility and obligation. But moments don't wait to be held on to. We can only treasure the memory of moments as they slip through our fingers like sand, and we can be thankful for the opportunity of "now."


I've not been as free to write. Sometimes I come here and write more or less unencumbered, my heart bleeding out onto the screen. Other times-- I just don't know-- life is painful, situations are messy, blood is gory and by necessity must remain private.

It has been said or implied that my life here as depicted in this blog seems unfair, and that in comparison others may be discouraged. Yes, it is true that I have some pretty significant blessings... the love of a godly husband, four beautiful children, a wonderful church with godly teaching, earthly comforts, and more. They are undeserved and I don't take them smugly. But there is always more to a story, more than what is seen and told. There is a thread in my story that has not been shared here, pain  from the past that continues to bleed in the present. Time passes and the effects lessen, only to be felt again at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. Some scabs keep peeling off and don't ever heal, it seems.

Pain. We all know it too well. And the questions throughout never seem to be answered fully. When situations don't have to be as they are, we ask why? Why do some keep choosing this way? Why, when it seems so clear, is God's Word so contorted and misrepresented and misapplied? I think I know... maybe because it becomes a "biblical" excuse for persisting in sin? And so how then should we respond to all this? How do we honor in the midst of dishonorable? How do we exhort, encourage, hold accountable, call for repentance? And how is hope and grace and forgiveness held high - like the glorious beauty that it is - and explained like the gift so close and ready to be received by those who truly desire it? How do I encourage the faint hearted, the weary, and the one who has now despaired?

How do I protect myself but keep feeling and caring and loving?

I know there is an answer to all this.
There is certainly wisdom to be gained.
There is hope.
And comfort and restoration.

Because there is God.

I believe hardship and suffering are often the very means by which we come to the end of ourselves and our own efforts; suffering pushes us towards a waiting God.

So I pray that this will be the means of putting the beauty of God's love and redemption on display in an otherwise despairing situation.


On a different note (because life is full of different notes... it is a harmony of sorrow and sweetness), I had a fun opportunity last week with my big kids and some of their friends. We took a day trip to explore Laguna Beach, something we've been wanting to do for some time. I still have much to discover in our extended backyard (beach towns different from our own). We haven't grown complacent regarding where we live.

Jacob and Andrew were at a STEM camp last week, and a day with teens was a special treat for me...

A group picture: my one request after we parked

We had no agenda. The kids were free to explore the beach and the town however they pleased. The boys and the girls split up at first: the boys skateboarded along the boardwalk and explored the coast, and the girls perused the shops and a cool art gallery with me. Then we met up with the boys for some more down town exploration, lunch and people watching, then the beach/tide pools and cliffs. 

We bought sandwiches from Whole Foods. I had to move the car to avoid a ticket, and I snapped this picture from behind as I walked up to join them.

I have a goal. It's actually a multi-faceted goal. It is to be close to my kids, to know them well. I want them to love being with their family and I want our home to be a place of joy and nourishment (spiritual, emotional, and physical nourishment). As they grow, I want our home to be a place they want to keep returning to. Therefore, I need to be the type of mom that eagerly accepts them (unconditionally) and welcomes their friends. I need to be intentional in this, creating an atmosphere that draws them in.

These types of days with my kids and their friends are super fun for me. I am likely blessed more than they! But in it all, I am being intentional to maintain influence and relationship far into the future. I pray for the Lord's help and blessing in this....

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."  Ps. 37: 4

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
Ps. 103: 1-5



  1. Lovely post, Katherine. I can't remember how or when I found your blog but I check in from time to time and always leave refreshed and encouraged. Now seems like a good time to come out of "hiding"! So much of what you write, especially about your relationship with your husband and children and desires for them, ring true for me as well - you just have a way of saying it so beautifully! It is neat to see how your kids have grown as I have memories of your older two during their baby and toddler years. Thank you for sharing and encouraging through this blog. Please say hello to Jon for me!

    1. Oh my, it was so fun to get a not from you!! How are you? Our time at UCLA seems like ages ago, and also like it was just last week. You guys were newly weds. Thanks for coming out of "hiding" and for your kind words!


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