Saturday, April 20, 2013

One Foot in Front of the Other

From the situations in Boston and Texas to the Gosnell trial, I haven't much known what to say, this week, and I've pretty much decided that's ok, because so many others are talking. I've avoided their words, for the most part, and just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

I'm learning: I don't handle hot topics well, especially when they're at their hottest. I wish I did, in a way, because I think people long for someone to make sense of what causes them pain. In the past, I've allowed others to speak into my disappointment and hurt over the hot topics and walked away feeling even heavier. I've engaged in too many arguments with them, even just within the confines of my own head.

I'm learning, too: it's ok not to have answers. It's ok not to engage. It's ok not to pursue anything but a healthy something that makes me feel better. For all these reasons, I can't recommend any more highly this post from JoAnn Hallum. I had the sense, while I was reading, that she was rubbing my shoulder. Maybe even my tender, banged-up and bruised heart. I love her so.

You know, I look back over my week, and I experienced real beauty. God answered some of my prayers; my loved ones helped celebrate my birthday. But I've had easier weeks, lighter weeks.

Charleigh and I have been going at it head-to-head, and if I'm honest, she's often getting the better of me. Also, Jim and I have found ourselves at an impasse on a few issues and are working with a counselor: mostly because we're absolutely crazy about each other and want our "ever after" to go as happily as possible. But still.

My ex-husband called awhile ago to tell me his wife's back in the hospital and ask me to pick up Cade. We talked for a long time; he brainstormed with me about Charleigh and listened when I shared: my new counselor works two doors down from the one I saw nine or ten years ago, before my first marriage ended. I feel heavy and sad, I told him, walking past that other door, even being in that same building.

I told him: I feel sometimes like I'm making progress as a human, like I'm really growing in the Lord, and then, suddenly, I'm just not sure: seems like I might be as sorry and weak as I've ever been. He proceeded to affirm who I am, today, and the marriage I have, today. He encouraged me in every respect. It was a strange and beautiful moment.

I don't even know what I want to say, here. Part of me would like to be at a writers' conference, but here I am on the sofa, breastfeeding and blogging. I try to look beyond this day and feel instantly overwhelmed. I knew with more certainty what the rest of my life would look like, when I was ten, than I do at almost forty. Often, I don't know how to share my heart with my husband, let alone people I've never met in person. I don't know how to make my home a pretty and peaceful place, let alone the country, the world.

But when I look to Jesus, He says:

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes (from the end of Matthew 6, MSG).

So I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I just keep trying to make sense of this moment, with the people just in front of me. I just keep going. I just keep trying.


  1. On the banging heads with Charleigh thing- stay the course. I've done some impressive heading banging with some of mine, that I thought we'd NEVER get past and we did. Ask the Lord to show you ways to work with the issues that don't turn into a showdown between the two of you- he will. He desires you to have a good relationship and to enjoy one another, and sanctify each other and He is there to give grace to both of you. I'll be praying...K

  2. Deep breaths, friend. I'm sorry for your personal struggles as well as the bigger headline ones. Jesus cares about and enters into all of it. Thanks be to God that this is not all there is; we have a better Home awaiting us. Come soon, Lord Jesus!

  3. Hi Brandee, I believe this is the first time I'm visiting your page.

    Be at peace with what you have decided upon this day. God is at the heart of all realities in the world ~ and it may seem difficult at times to see His hands working on them. We ask several questions and that is okay.

    I laud you for taking one step at a time... and take those 'little' realizations as miracles...

    Lots of love and peace.

    P.S. The image of Mother Teresa in my blog is my drawing that's why it had my signature. It was adapted from the book, One Heart Full of Love by Mother Teresa. I could send you a copy via email if you like. Thanks :)

  4. your kids are so adorable. You're such a love. You bless me.

  5. You, my friend, are beautiful. Your words speak volumes to me and I feel like we are sitting across from each other sharing our day. As you are sitting on that couch breast feeding you are giving life. And, as I read your words tonight you breath life into me. Bless you and all you do! I will pray for you and those adorable kiddos of yours.

  6. Yes - I definitely had more (different??) certainty on how things should look/be at ten than I do now. And so I too keep putting one foot in front of the other. You and JoAnn both make me think - make me grow - with your words.

  7. when I was reading this, I kept thinking, "I love her." And also, I love the way you write. I don't think you even tried, but you gave me so many images that carried the emotion, I don't know, I just think "WOW" a lot when I read your words. You rock in all kinds of ways.

    And that sharing your heart're not giving yourself enough credit, I don't think. Your heart shares itself, maybe? because I feel like I've seen it and it is beautiful.

  8. So much better to get counseling to help you two work through things than to go along and not deal with stuff and let it fester. And that Charleigh, I'm SURE she's my four year old granddaughter's twin! Her recent escapade has been refusing to clean her room and telling her mama that the mess makes her feel "polarized". Polarized???