Grief. Joy. Grace.

Grief: deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.

Mourning: the expression of deep sorrow for someone who has died, typically involving following certain conventions such as wearing black clothes. 

It’s a dance. Finding joy in the grief. One moment you’re grieving a loss only to find joy in the next moment. There is no balance to be found.

“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” Ecclesiastes 3:4  

I don’t think there is a timeline to grief. Psychology tells us there are stages of grief. But what they don’t tell us is how long each stage may last or how it will affect you. Even how it will affect you physically.

At some point, though, the mourning shifts to acceptance and eventually the grief and joy blend together. You think you are past the grief when suddenly you feel the weight of loss yet it quickly mingles with a memory that makes you smile and maybe even laugh.

In my mind it’s like an impressionist painting. Edges of one area so soft they blur into the next.

I was driving home from work thinking about something my sister-in-law said about our mother-in-law a couple of days before. My mother-in-law loved the sun. It made me think of that characteristic of my mother-in-law I see in my sister-in-law who also loves the sun. And when I started thinking about it more I could see characteristics of my mother-in-law in each of us who married her three sons. I see her in each of her three sons and her six grandchildren.

Grief and joy blending together. Grace.

No, grief isn’t linear. No date on the calendar will mark each stage or tell you when you can move on to the next stage in the grieving process. You may even find yourself falling back to a previous stage. And that’s okay. I think the grief will always be there whether fifteen months or twenty-five years after you lose someone.

Eventually though the mourning melds into melancholy and if we allow it, grace brings those moments where grief blends with joy. Moments where you see traces of your loved one. And you can smile and laugh through the tears. A time where weeping, laughing, mourning and dancing appear all at once.

Grief. Joy. Grace.

Big Sister & Baby Sister

Goats, Goats & Baby Goats

The goats on my brother-in-law’s farm had babies recently. I think goats are my favorite farm animal. What’s your favorite farm animal?

 

 

 

Foggy Morning

There is something quietly beautiful about a foggy morning.

What I’m Into Lately

 

Hello there. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. A good friend told me that age fifteen of having a teenager would be the busiest. She wasn’t joking. They want to be involved in everything, but you are their transportation. So here I sit almost at the beginning of February wondering where January (or even the last year really) went. I decided to do a “What I’m Into Lately” post because it’s an easy way to get back to blogging. I have thoughts swirling around in my head for upcoming posts, but haven’t made myself sit down and put those words to paper.

So here you go. What I’m into lately:

British TV

It all started several years ago with Downton Abbey then Dr. Who and now I find myself watching more.

Call the Midwife: An incredibly well done drama that airs on PBS set in the late 1950s, early 1960s that follows the nuns/midwives and midwives of Nonnatus House in East London.

Doc Martin: My chiropractor recommended this one and it hasn’t disappointed. It follows the extremely gruff surgeon Dr. Martin who is now a GP in the village of Portwenn after no longer being able to perform operations due to a sudden onset of homophobia (fear of blood.) The show weaves comedy and serious issues together quite well as you get to know the cast of characters from the tiny english fishing village of Portwenn.

Books

I have recently found myself wanting to read more fiction which has surprised me. In recent years I have only read a very limited amount of fiction. Mainly from Billy Coffey. If you have read any of his I recommend you checking them out.

The Third Target and The First Hostage by Joel C. Roseberg. I’ve never been into prophetic/end of days type fiction, but I enjoy Roseberg’s books and these are his latest two.

Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah. Anne Bogel recommended Kristin Hannah to one of her guests on her podcast “What Should I Read Next?” and I decided to see what my library had of her work. An easy read with just enough drama to hold your attention and keep you reading.

Out of the House of Bread by Preston Yancey. Preston has been one of my favorite writers since I discovered him several years ago through his blog while he was still at Baylor. Out of the House of Bread is his second book and I’m loving reading his beautiful words again.

Music

I attribute it to my Scott/Irish roots, but I love the Wailin’ Jennys. I love the mix of folk and bluegrass their music has and their harmonies are nothing short of amazing. I have a Wailin’ Jennys radio on Pandora, and the majority of the time Pandora does a good job of finding other artists that are very similar to them.

My Erin Condren Planner

The choice between all digital or all paper seems to always be a hot topic at the end of a year into the beginning of the next. For me, I’m a mix. I love the paper for my to-do lists which is why I love my Erin Condren planner so much. I bought the vertical weekly calendar which gives 3 blank sections per day. It’s perfect for listing the tasks I need to accomplish each day. I write any appointments on the monthly layout, but these also go in my iPhone as well.

I like the Pocket Informant app which sync with my iCal for my calendar, but also has great tasks/checklist aspect as well. I like having all my appointments in my phone so it will alert me with a reminder ahead of time. I don’t use the tasks aspect of Pocket Informant very often since I use my EC planner for those, but the Checklist is great for making lists of things I need to pick up at the grocery store, etc.

 

Podcasts

I first started listening to the Popcast because Jamie is one of my favorites on social media plus I had met her through Alabama Bloggers and she is amazing. While I am unbelievably out of the loop when it comes to pop culture I do like this podcast from Knox McCoy & Jamie because it is just fun and entertaining. I never miss a week.

What Should I Read Now? with Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy. Anne chats with one guest each week about books they have enjoyed or have not enjoyed and then makes recommendations on what she thinks they should read next. This has been great for adding books to my “books to read” list.

Do you have a favorite podcast or two that you would recommend?

 

Recipes

My kiddo loves the chocolate chip muffins I make. He wipes them out within two or three days. They are on my to-do list to make today. I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen. I find that I usually add an extra egg as the local ones I buy are more medium sized than large.

Art

I’m enjoying making these 8×8 canvases with scripture on them (above.) I’ve sold all I’ve made so far and working on more.

I am trying to find a place to hang one of my favorite abstracts I’ve ever painted (below.) It’s called “Ascend.” I have another long skinny canvas prepped and ready to begin this week also.


What things are you into lately?