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Hope & Healing

banishing-bitterness

I never need to look far for bitterness to come calling.

Something will happen, or someone will rub me the wrong way, and without thinking I snap my fingers and bitterness comes running over, wrapping me in a bear hug and covering every bit of me.

But bitterness is not my friend. Bitterness doesn’t comfort me; she doesn’t make me feel better. She doesn’t serve me at all. She clouds my brain. She taints my colour. Bitterness actually grasps hold of my heart and twists it, forcing me to respond to things in ways that I usually wouldn’t. She takes my tongue and pushes words from me that I don’t usually find myself saying. She even invites her friends Jealousy, Offense and Righteous Indignation in, chuckling “Come on guys, it’s party time!” So what kind of self-destructive person am I, that I would cry out “Bitterness! Come to me! Let’s wallow together!” – knowing that she’s going to make me feel worse, not better?

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redemption-shalom-birth

Image credit: Amelia Hambrook Photography

Do you like birth stories? I do.

At first I loved them because I needed to hear how labor and birth could be – for others, all normal and beautiful and full of love and connection.Redemption and Shalom: More than a birth story

My first birth experience was quite the trauma, and I went to see a therapist when my first baby was 4.5 months. I realized it was probably not normal to still be in tears every day, think it’s okay to leave my baby by herself in her bouncy chair thing, and notice her stop smiling.

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loss-pregnancy

**Trigger Warning: This post contains content on miscarriage and infant loss, which some readers may find distressing. Please be aware of your triggers and don’t read on if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.**

“You must be sooo over it by now!”

My protruding belly is the subject of all mindless supermarket and bump-into chit-chats.

“Oh you know, this is the easiest part!” Truly. It is. If you’re a mom, you get my drift.
Right now baby does not need to be changed, carried, fed, changed, dressed, undressed, changed, bathed, changed, rocked to sleep while I lose my mind.
I don’t have to figure out why she is crying, wear dodgy nursing bras or wake up for feeds and function on half a brain the rest of the day.

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heart-aches-infertility

Infertility was never a part of my plan.

I’ve always been slightly obsessed with babies. From an early age, you could have seen me wandering around my house and the neighborhood with a Bitty Baby, you know, the one from American Girl, strapped to my chest. My parents must have figured this was a sign that I needed siblings because they quickly had nine more children and until I left for college, my arms always had a baby to hold. When I got married at the ripe young age of twenty-one, I couldn’t wait to start a family of my own.

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rejecting-lies-pnda

Some days are not so good and I’m not the best mother on those days. Some days I don’t deserve to be your mother. But my prayer is that you won’t remember these days and you will never doubt how much I love you…

The above entry was added to my journal when my first baby was almost 3 and my second was 18 months of age. Soon afterwards I was diagnosed with PNDA, however I’d been struggling long before then.

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weary-reminder-labor

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9

My mom, a saint who is still in the process of raising ten children, quoted this verse to me at least once a month throughout my upbringing. Homeschooling brought some unique challenges, one of which was not being affirmed in how her parenting choices were correct. Until I was in college, it was hard to see where I stood with my peers and how her parenting philosophies held up to time.

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early-pregnancy-loss

This post originally appeared on Her Happy Heart.

I read Post Secret every week. I have since I was in my early 20s. Back then, I was dealing with a few things and I found I related to a lot of the secrets, so reading them gave me a connection to the people who sent them in. These days I don’t relate to a lot of them, but I still read, intrigued by the idea that the people we know actually carry more secrets than we can ever possibly know.

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