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MOSS and LAUREL

 

Dreams so weighty they could make you sink. Iron clad anchors launched into deep. Dark torrents rising up hell.. busting out like a bombshell. Freedom sings and the melody rises fire burning carcass alive from the geysers. Yes to one that said I should. Yes to the one that said I never could. A braisen star shooting out sparks. I’ve got a fever burning down to surrender my heart. Love became my tender. So hot the flame burns blue…. enemy, I’m looking down on you. Day in the parade out stating your cause. Throttle down because your destruction has come to naught. Set your gaze on me, take note if there is wavering upon this sea. I’m standing while on my knees. Grace got it’s hold and it sink lined me. A crown on my head for all to see, set on place by the one with All authority.  I was covered in cheap tricks and no regard for holiness, His battle brought me home and bliss ..into this bed full of passion and kiss. Full bodied. Pure. Not watered down. The real thing. A wife bowed down. Sold out. A Stout. Thouroghbread . Refined. A sip of hard Cider. A wine that is prime. Love wrestled me into a greatness. There is no escape, nor can I fake this. Battle bred and battle born, freed forever from a life of scorn. Snatched from slavery. Adopted into the royal family. My veins burst at the seams. A vessel of hope. Washed and clean. The horizon is near to me. My departure from existing in this shackle of flesh. A chest full of mercy and hands to bless. Look up, not down, move on and step forward lean into the shining that landed your sickness overboard. Catch your breath quickly and slowly release let the fog break that’s kept you underneath. Fight past the rubble. Stride through the trouble. Your time has come. Dive into Him and become undone. Speak to your walls, that clutter in your head that sometimes calls. Silence the wolf. Fanged teeth and all. Answer His call. Be ready. Love all.

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I can only pray that one day this daughter of mine…will grasp with what a great and marvelous grace that we are saved by and walk in light and fire of heart.

~Redemption Song~

I recently spent a couple of weeks in Charleston, which is my hometown and where all of my family live. I stayed with my grandparents, who in part, raised me. They live on the isle of palms, where so much of my heart and soul will always reside. They live in the home that my papa built years ago where they raised eight children…and where I spent a huge portion of my childhood. While I was home, my mama celebrated her 80th birthday. It was so moving to watch the culmination of years that her and my papa have built and dwelled together come to this moment for her.

Also, while I was home, my aunt, their youngest daughter, Laurie got married. Laurie and I are only five years apart and grew up like sisters. We drove each other crazy and had the best of times. Laurie has a daughter Ann Sullivan that is six years old and her and Arrow adore one another and they are so much of a reminder of us as children! I wont go into major details, but I will tell you that Ann Sullivan lost her daddy, a beloved friend to us and Laurie lost a love of her life two years ago. It was such a heart weighing thing to watch people you love lose such a lifeline, such a one and only.

………..with that said please meet Laurie, Ann Sullivan and Bob, their redemption song. Two years later God has moved into their hearts and lives and is singing His sweet song, like only He can. As, I watched my grandparents work to prepare their home for her wedding I just could not help of think and feel of what this wedding meant to them also…not just a daughter getting married, but the restoration and the hope of a rich future for a daughter and a beloved grandchild. This wedding meant that when they depart from this earth, their ladies were left in good hands, together. I know they felt the song in their hearts and it blessed me so deeply.

It couldn’t have been more of an honor to capture some of their moments that day… and what a sweet reminder of one of my favorite quotes.

“OF ONE THING I AM PERFECTLY SURE: GOD’S STORY NEVER ENDS WITH ASHES“~elizabeth eliot

 

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On Family

“BEHOLD, CHILDREN ARE A HERITAGE FROM THE LORD, THE FRUIT OF THE WOMB IS A REWARD. LIKE ARROWS IN THE HAND OF A WARRIOR, SO ARE THE CHILDREN OF ONE’S YOUTH.HAPPY IS THE MAN WHO HAS HIS QUIVER FULL OF THEM; THEY SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED, BUT SHALL SPEAK WITH THEIR ENEMIES IN THE GATE”

As a mother to five, and yes I am a mother of five….and I know it with every ache of my back and swollen feet and vivacious movement of the life that grows inside. Please hear me clearly, when I communicate with other mothers, I am constantly aware of my words and try in earnest to not say anything that would make someone feel less than, concerning motherhood and family as to  their choices of numbers of children. It can be taxing to constantly hide or hold back such a passionate and deeply rooted part of your heart….but, for the sake of peace and unity, I for the most part refrain. I choose to let our choices and lives speak for themselves. I’m human so despite my love and desire for gods glory in my heart and thoughts, naturally I struggle with criticism when I hear the phrase, “one and done” or people expressing the perfection of a boy and girl completion.  When these things are spoken to me I try to surrender “me” and ask god to fill me with love and grace for whomever I am encountering and most of all to guard my mouth. Don”t get me wrong, I am not judging you for your choices, I simply have an opinion as every one does.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!!!!! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments, it is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing—- Life Forevermore” Psalm133

For the sake of unity, I refrain, most of the time from the deep explanations of our choices and my opinions.  I would rather love a fellow mother through her journey than to scathe her experience and position through pushing my opinion. Plain and simple. The sad thing is that from the side of the spectrum this approach seems to be rarely taken. For instance, almost 100% of people, mostly fellow Christ following mothers have SOMETHING to say to me about our choice concerning family. We hear everything from,

“yall are crazy”

“better you than me”

“WHY????”

“thats not for me”

” I could’nt imagine WANTING more kids” and the list goes on and on and on……….

I”ll spare you my knee jerk responses to these comments…but you can just imagine.

Allow me to preface the next part of what I have to say with being so raw as to tell you and shoot down the idea that I have continued to have children because I do not HAVE to work. We live day to day financially. There is NO CUSHION, no savings, no money hidden somewhere for emergencies. Sometimes, there is $7 period. Period. We choose for me not to work, because together we have decided what we believe is GOOD and we make whatever sacrafices that come along with that choice. To us, its worth it….it makes sense. Bearing children, me staying home….having a large family for the glory of god is worth whatever the cost.

I have had numerous encounters with people lately asking me how I am gonna have another baby and what I am going to do?… as if Im about to get the flu or something worse. People, I’m about to be blessed and given the desire of my heart. I wish in the moments of these questions I could find the words to answer truthfully…..instead of feeling dumbfounded and at a total loss for words. If I could communicate clearly my answer would be…….

First, I am gonna get to experience my heart expand times a million as a gaze in pure amazement, priveledge and adoration at the gift of life that I have been entrusted with again…and then I am going to watch and marvel as I watch my oldest son be surprised and grasped by the pure wonder of life and the reality that it is ALL so much bigger than him and beyond what he thinks about and feels like doing. I am gonna watch the beautiful and magnificent grace penetrate his heart and mind as he stares at his second baby sister. Another to hold. Another to love. Another to have the privilege of having. Knowing. Im gonna watch, heart full, mind blown as he is completely arrested in tender touches, smells and beauty that ONLY a new life held by tangible flesh can bring. Im gonna drink and eat that moment like nothing I ever have. Im gonna cry and laugh and remember. Dwell right there and for a moment in time all will be right with the world. AND THEN…. Im gonna watch as the only daughter I have known meets, gazing into her eyes and soul, the long awaited treasure of her life, my life, a beloved sister. The thing I can not share with her, the experience I do not own. I’m gonna watch and wonder at how marvelous it must be, a friend forever, a love I have not known. Beloved sisters. Hearts to hold and cling to one another when Russell and I are long gone. I’ll see all of hope and surrender and reward for the work….the sleepless nights and sibling fights…the broken conversations and longed for grown up vacations, summit together and it all make sense. Forever. Then my darling and prize ,my Wilder….will forever change me again and again as I experience a love so fierce and strong that you can not believe it lives in the heart of a four year old. SIMPLY overwhelming….as he can not stop staring. Another us….first baby sister to see, youngest and delicate. He will look at me and tell me incandescently of how much he loves…loves…loves OUR baby. Ill cry, laugh and Ill smile and breath in every second. I won’t want for anything else. And then…..my baby whom I kissed as my baby for last time that morn….Ill invite into my bed, through pain and awe and help him to hold her. Ill watch as he stares as nothing else exists and want to squeeze her to pieces. Ill watch us become one more, Ill stare at my husband and know what its all for. We will move deeper in love, silently. Ill watch his strong hands handle the most fragile one, his second daughter…Ill watch as his heart takes over and its as if she has always been. Part of him. Part of me…equally and forever. Another to love, TOGETHER. Forever. eternally and tangibly..in spirit and flesh. The experience of growing in persons, new life abounding…from the two of us plus LIFE himself. Miraculous….we will live in the miracle and it will fuel every day of the future. Its the tides that hold. Its LIFE that molds…..All of it makes US. IN HIM. Its what we have given our lives for….and its worth it down to every ounce. the blood, sweat and tears. Its the LIFE we love.

We aren’t accidentally growing, this is what we want. If you have heard anything negative about this pregnancy from me…please know that I WANT MY BABY. We want a fifth child. I am hating being pregnant in 90degree weather, however we are longing to meet our daughter and there is nothing we want more.

SO PLEASE… dear, beloved and fellow mothers lets be careful with our words and gestures. Think before we speak..past our own desires. Lets be careful that what we imply does not put one in a position of feeling the need to apologize for loving the gift of life over and over again. Lets be careful that we do not leave one another feeling the need to defend their family size, whatever it may be.  Lets be careful that we don’t believe that parents of less children aren’t really parents!

It is of one of the most unnatural experiences to be faced with the heart of another mother as to why you would choose to mother, multiplied. Yes, it is hard, incredibly inconvenient and there is very little of me left at the end or the beginning of the day for that matter. But its not me that I need more of anyhow..Its JESUS. I need Jesus. They need Jesus and if there is anything that has made me see my need for Jesus….its this. The mothering, family and all its mess and glory. Trust me…I know that mothering on any level with ANY number of children is of the most significant and brings its joys, trials and breaking. I am not saying I am more of a mom or we are more of a family than you or anyone else. I promise. We are who we are by the grace of god……and so are you. Let’s love past our opinions…find the beauty in one another. Honor one another. For goodness sakes this is tough stuff, lets take the time to know and  love one other into our purpose.

 ~MELINDA

 

 

 

JustineJuly 15, 2014 - 6:11 pm

Thank you for writing the words I have felt but not expressed
Many tears here
Much love and thank you

GraceAugust 9, 2014 - 6:18 pm

Your words are so beautiful. I am really encouraged to find this through some random tapping and clicking. My husband and I are expecting our third baby in less than 4 years and I don’t have these words when I am confronted with the same questions or comments about our need to “slow down” or us “having our hands full”. I agree so much that it’s less of me that I need when I am depleted and more of Christ.

I have read a couple of your posts and agree so much with the things you have written. I’m thankful you have taken the time to write them publicly because they do encourage.

I guess I just wanted to post a comment saying that your careful and thoughtful words are a gift and however many folks get to read them, I know The Lord is speaking through it. So thank you for your love and passion and the moments you sometimes struggle with when you question your use of social media. I pray that myself and more and more folks wrestle with these things and aim to be kind, honest, and responsible with the way they feed themselves and share.

My Guts. His Glory

 

Hi friends! So I recently expressed that I was going to be sharing some of my intimate battles with anxiety and more over the past year and a half , and I will. First, I really want to share with you all some of my hold up and inner turmoil about blogging, IG etc…. I have a love/hate relationship with IG, like major. I have to confess that I really do not read blogs because I really can not find the time. I am more than likely addicted to Instagram though. You know, its just so east to grab the phone and take a quick look through the recent feed. Thats just it though, its so easy, it does not require the commitment of reading a whole blog post, innocent enough right? Wrong. I have literally allowed it to eat away at my life and my childrens childhood in seconds at a time. It has become such a distraction that it has seriously added to the anxiety I have already experienced. Crazy. So sweet friends, I have been a little apprehensive about committing to my blog and that is why. I definitely long to communicate and share with you all….but I certainly do not want to be another thing to take up your most precious time. I am navigating the waters of grace right now in the most wonderful way through all of this and I hope and pray that when I do take the time to share that I can offer you something worth your time…water from the well of life.

Below is something I wrote about the inner conflict and turmoil I feel concerning social media and myself..if you read it, read it to the end. Its not all negative, I promise. Also, put on your best freestyle, beatbox poetry/song brain because that is the vein and rythym it is written in! oh yeah… and here are some recent pics of some “normal” days around here.

 

Damnation. A violent duration. The stunt of a nation. Capitalized on the faction, the fraction. The emancipated contraption. Exploition riding on the voice of contortion. Seduction, the plowing down and obstruction. The feeble mind twisted by time and cut the sublime. Evil cascading the cause..death and pollution always getting the applause. Sickness and toxic bought, amidst is the fame for which you sought and fought. Out in the open now your life lacks the real, the innocence lost by the way the numbers make you feel. Started out so innocently…show you the smiles, a piece of me. All for the applause, the attention, the time all the while neglecting my cause. Forgetting my heart, losing my love. Scattered thoughts and distorted emotions…even scathed motives while reading daily devotions. Lost in the thrall,the hype and the wonder, the approval of all. Sucked in..sinking into the abyss, choosing a strangers kiss over the child in my midst. Deplorable, disputable..character pretended while the heart is overextended. Misplaced devotions, a perilous notion. Blinded and sidetracked by the motions. Chained to the acknowledgment…lusting for the high of it. The rape of a nation. A moms high jacked association. Dire need to fill the empty space of relation. Creatives using talents for identification. A sea of isolation.

A generation of moms forfeiting intimacy at home to join the mass collaboration of the social media sensation. Always in want, never contented. Comparison leaving us in a depressive condition.  Transcendently conflicted. Violently addicted…to the worship. The awww. The praise and the thrall. They are all images, half truths and part real..we can tell by the resignation that they make us feel. But we can’t refrain from the pining and gazing, the eye candy that leaves are flesh blazing. Leaving our lives every 30 seconds in pause to look to the image and get grasped by it’s claws. Our minds filled with beautiful compositions..happy dispositions. God forbid I don’t wanna be another unclean intention, a wasteful addition, a life eating condition. An attention whore just waiting for mention. Eating away at your life by seconds and dilapitating your with the ideal of perfection. Feeling as if you have no direction, no affection. A watered down rendition of blood and wine…lacking the love that sustains hearts over time. Talking grace and living the law…heaping up condemnation all. Thirsty for the waters of life and the hope can cleanse and take our fears to the knife. A grace FULL redemption, a true depiction. A loser loved. A messy trail sustained from above. A love story that cascades His glory. My prayer is that we can enter these sacred places, motherhood divine without technology ever present in our faces. Slow down the paces. Quit the races. Nurture your hearts..down to the bones with flesh and blood, not computers and phones. Find your purpose and follow it wholly, escape the seas that can only leave you lonely. Escape the commotion, empty your mind and find loves full motion. Rearrange your priorities. Look at the hearts in your home and fill those needs. Let’s raise our heads and change these tides, resign from the places we hide. Eliminate the useless, time eating and confront this. Let’s unbar the fetters as sisters, together. Accountability and offering true hearts, the marrow of our bones and reach into each other’s dark. Bringing light and hope for the normal, the real days and not the exaggerated formal. The diapers on the floor, the tantrums and more. The wear in the furniture from the life that is wore. Let’s flaunt the ridiculous, life’s  beautiful imperfectness. Glory in the grace filled story that bought us with a blood, that was painfully gory. Let’s shatter the ideals, that bring us to make deals that collide perfection and production and satisfaction on its heels. Let’s get real. It’s a good feel. Eat and drink of the bread and wine, the body that was broken and the redemption of a lifetime. The nail scarred hands has a magnificent plan to rescue you an be the perfection of man. Love and relief and grace to you all…fighting this fight to rest and to pause, from the striving and distractions that is misery caused. Look to the heavens and expect the embrace..open your hearts and rest in HIS intimate grace. 

BrandiJune 5, 2014 - 6:13 pm

I love this. I have the same love/hate relationship with social media. I’ve dropped most blogs I used to read and got rid of Facebook. I kept Instagram and plan to keep it but really want to cut back too. Same thing you mentioned-feels so easy to just quickly check in, but the moments add up, and are taken away from my little family. Yours is one blog I feel good about taking time to read. I love your love for Jesus, it refreshes me!

SuzanneJune 5, 2014 - 7:56 pm

You should rap this on ig video.
This is amazing.
Jaw dropping amazing.