The Forgotten Ones

A year of reconfiguration. 

From when my world was blown open. 

And I’ve done most of my thinking in empty parking lots. 

Perhaps this year, your world was blown apart. Grief. Heartache. Depression. Anxiety. Anger. Addiction. Death. 

There’s a hole in your life, and it’s in the shape of your worst shame, your worst fears, your worst pain. And every good, joyful thing keeps slipping right on through the rend.

And now, it’s at Christmastime when perhaps you feel the most displaced.

You dream of home, but maybe you have never really had one. You dream of home, but maybe in yours there’s a gulf between you, and the ones you love. You dream of home, but the faces of the ones you long for have faded with the fires of time into nothing but ash.

You dream of home, but maybe it’s more that you’re wanting a place to belong, a place to rest, than a place to lay your head. You want a place to set down what ails you behind walls that feel safe. 


It’s allegedly the most beautiful time of year. Meanwhile, you feel like a sojourner. Like you’re driving down rows of homes slowly and silently on snow covered streets. Headlights illuminating the pavement, your muddied reflection in the window. You’re outside looking in at the joy of families, of people.

And it’s worse than realizing that you don’t have what they have. You’re beyond feeling the ache to have what they have. You feel like maybe, it was never for you. You want a plug for the shame-shaped hole in your life, and it can’t be filled.

You felt forgotten this year.

Others were allowed to carry on, while you just carried pain.

You’ve worn the mantle of hardship this year, and you’ve really just wanted a place to set it down. Maybe it’s been longer than this year that you’ve been carrying the luggage for loneliness. 

You’re in a place where pain feels like the primary nerve, and you forgot what it feels like to belong so much that when your heart beats in your chest, it’s actually thudding hard against hope, and with the reality that you were made for more than this. 


We think our pain sets us aside and ostracizes us. That it casts us out, like a vagrant flung out into the night to skid across the sidewalk beneath streetlights where no one sees them. That we have to carry our anguish alone. That it discards us.

This is the lie of pain that I have become versed in on dozens of starry nights, in empty parking lots while groceries melted in the backseat, and the streetlights were the only ones who knew.

In the place where I finally breathed. Where I exhaled. Alone. I let it out. My anguish. Where it couldn’t hurt anyone. In between running errands so that I didn’t have to stop. Where I didn’t need to bother anyone. Where no one might miss me for an hour.

This was and is the wall I built tediously. Encased inside the mistruths of pain and grief and hurt and anger. The belief that the only one who should have the burden of what hurts me is…me.

After many days of feeling forgotten and discarded. Like my pain was a hot potato for others that they didn’t want to end up stuck holding. Hardly anyone wants to talk about it. Who could have even said what I needed to hear?


The lies of pain. The ghosts of failures past that tells you it won’t ever be the same. That it might not even be worth it anymore. That tells you that you are a ship lost as sea, already forgotten and mourned before you’ve even sunk.

It took many internal dialogs with myself and with God while the radio crackled for me to see. To see how many things…never really belonged to me in the first place. That I wasn’t just grieving something lost, I was really grieving what I really am: my humanity. And grieving the reality that I controlled nothing.

I was grieving that thing that left a hole in me, wondering why God wouldn’t just patch it for me. When the truth is that we are actually the patches that belong in HIS tapestry, and have been all along. He doesn’t fill our holes, He makes us a part of his woven glory for all of the tomorrow’s. And each imperfect square tells a story of how He has hemmed us in.

It took me a while to realize that my pain doesn’t shut me out. It is my pain that actually gives me a seat at the table, and a portion beyond words.

Especially at Christmas.

We forget that Christmas was really about saving. About the frailty of humanity. About needing something to fill us and plug our holes.

The peel of the bells pierce through the dark of the night telling all to come close.

A star in the empty skies that shone forth the way.

Angels and heavenly hosts that illuminated the crests of green hills dotted with their flock, and bid strangers, the least amongst them, to not be afraid. Not anymore.

I remember that the shepherd went out to find that one last sheep, and left the other 99 who were safe while he did. And it was His joy to do so.

I remember the father who welcomed back the prodigal son who left, and got lost along the way in his own mistakes and pride. Whose redemption had nothing to do with him, and everything to do with a Father’s unwavering love.


I remember that no matter where I go, where the wings of the day take me or where my days might eventually end, that there is nowhere hidden I could go. Because I have been seen since before I came to be. And because nothing is hidden from Him. 

I remember Mother Mary of sorrows. At the foot of a rugged cross wondering why, and what it must have felt like for her three days later. 

I see time and time again that being in pain, is never reason enough to not be found. Never a reason to be forgotten. That it is never a reason to be lost entirely.

I see time and time again that pain is actually the reason that God came for us. That the author of all of me must know what it means to hurt. That to taste sorrow is to taste God.


We find that we weren’t forgotten at all. We had just forgotten who are. 

Or maybe, we had to learn who we have really been all this time. 

And when we arrive at the place we were always been destined to be, we find He has already been there. Before us. Each step measured, each point charted in His map of the stars and eternity.

Every beautiful AND hurting thing named. 

And our heart will not beat so that we can live. 

It will beat because we are named.

Because we belong.

Because we are free.

Because we are home. 






I’m Really Tired

Hello. My name is Mom. And I am really tired. 

It may sound as though I am just paying lip service to being tired. That I am trying to relate myself to you on some base level, from one mother to another. I can assure you that I am doing neither of those two things. 

As I walked down the stairs this morning and an army of dishes, waiting to be washed, called out to me from the kitchen, I realized that I would have given my left kidney (not the right one, for some reason) to have someone show up and play house for me today. 

Because I am really very, very tired. 

Some parents or people wear “tired” like some sort of badge of honor. They joke about wanting more coffee. They talk about needing “mom time.” They speak of how “frazzled” they are. But then you come to find out that they just ran a 5k marathon, baked 85 gluten free bagels for their kids fundraiser at school, and on occasion moonlight as an aerospace engineer. 

Yea. Tired. Sure you are. 

Then there are us. The very, very tired moms. 

We don’t go on and on about how tired we are. We don’t go on and on about how we feel like we are surely be bleeding from our eyeballs by now. About how we threw cereal bars at our children’s head the other morning, and basically let them fend for themselves for breakfast. 

ellie crying

Because I am not proud of myself.

Because being tired really means you’re too tired to talk to someone else about how tired you are. 

So, when they ask you “how you are doing?” in an attempt at conversation, and you want to give them the true answer. That you woke up to find the baby’s diaper had leaked everywhere, and then had to rush the oldest child out the door for school because you both spent the morning finishing last night’s homework, and then you caught the dog chewing on your bra (again), you instead just give up and tell them, “fine. I’m fine.” 

I am not proud of myself for leaving the house last night to meet a friend for a bite to eat with food in my hair. Or that I left the house with food in my hair, and then carried on a twenty minute conversation before it was discovered.

I am not proud of the fact that I left my house in a pair of maternity pants last night because that was the most expedient option, though it actually made for a good decision since we were grabbing something to eat at Taco Bell. 

kitchen mess

I want to write a cute post about how tired I am, but that would be disingenuous to you moms (and dads) out there who are really tired. 

There is nothing cute about tired. There is nothing cute about leaning over the edge of the counter with your hands in your hair and just wishing to be somewhere, anywhere else. 

My toddler is feral. She drowned my phone in the bathtub a little over a week ago, and she believes anything that is on the floor is a mountain to be stood on, even at her own peril. I am sure now that she has an invisible third arm that she uses for evil instead of good, and that she believes the floor is lava, and her only hope is to be carried around all day. Carried when she isn’t trying to stand on my dining room table to swing from the chandelier, that is. 

We keep getting notices home from school, threatening the end of the world because children are popping up everywhere with lice. As I was scratching my head against the front door trim this morning, I suppressed a shutter and allowed myself to just not even go there. Because if I do have nits in my hair, my best option, the less painful one, is to just shave my head like Ripley in Alien 3. 

I hate that when I log onto Facebook, and I see people with photos of their vacation, their overnight stay at a Bed and Breakfast, or their Sunday spent playing video games because it’s raining outside, that I die a little on the inside. That I become incensed. 

I hate that sometimes, I think everyone else gets to have a life except for me. That is, a life free from the threat of lice, the perils of bra-chewing-dogs, and mornings spent only being obligated to wake yourself up and wrestle pants on to yourself.  


There isn’t a way to make it all better. You don’t want anyone to say anything to you when you’re feeling this worn out. There is nothing they can actually say. 

You want someone to give you a blankey, a cup of warm milk and to send you off to bed. There is no way to talk yourself into feeling better when life is like this. There is only waiting for things to start to resemble a normal existence, the hope that one day, things will either change, or you will change and be able to cope better with what life is throwing at you. In this case, lice. 

The truth is that we are tired because we are fighting the good fight. We are doing work. 

This is not necessarily thrilling work, unless you count the thrill of discovering that your youngest child now knows how to unlock the back door. This is not luxurious work, unless you can sort of count that yogurt your toddler threw at your face as a facial. 

But this is good work. 

We are tired because we are doing good work. Kind of like Batman. He didn’t have the help of being a demi-god in a red cape. Sure, he had billions of dollars and a butler. But he is human. He bleeds just like us. 

So, we can rest a tiny bit easier know that we are sort of like Batman. 

Just whisper to yourself “I am the night,” when things get real, parents. 



Raising Daughters – why I’m not sweating it

It’s International Women’s  Day!

And for the first time in my life, I am actually seeing people mark this occasion. I’m not saying it’s never been done before, I’m merely pointing out that I have never actually seen it acknowledged in a widespread fashion before today.

It’s kind of cool, cus Hey! I’m a woman! Go me! 

I figured I’d join in on the fun

I’m raising two daughters. One of which likes to drop random items in the toilet for fun, the other of which burns with the fire of the sun sometimes, and at others simmers like a gentle rainfall on a tin roof. 

ellie eyes

“Sometimes, my daughters drive me nuts,” said every mother. Ever.

As someone raising daughters, sometimes I feel like I am raising Faberge eggs. Do you feel that way, too? Like you’re one step away from messing everything up? Or maybe you’ve read so many things about the way you’re supposed to do it, and you don’t entirely remember what it feels like to trust your own gut anymore.

A few years ago, in early October, we took our children to the store to pick out Halloween costumes. We casually strolled down an aisle of costumes together, the children marveling at the variety of choices, my husband and I bemoaning the price tag that comes hand in hand with Halloween fun.

Our little boy went first. We let our son make his selection entirely on his own. There was no second guessing him. He went straight for the action and superheroes without giving it another thought.

But when it came to my daughter, who was barely two and choosing her costume herself for the first time, I completely floundered.

While she gravitated towards the princess costumes, I, the mother-who-wanted-to-get-it-all-right-by-her-daughter, flailed about, and made sure to point out all of the other costumes to my tiny, curly-haired daughter. 

The Batgirl. The Superwoman. The scary costumes. The witch. The cat or mouse. EVERYTHING. 

I wanted her to know there was a bevy of options laid out before here. I wanted her to know that she didn’t need to feel pressured to choose anything with tulle or pink on it. Her costume didn’t need to shimmer or sparkle. She could be anything she wanted to be for Halloween and for the rest of forever, so long as it meant that I didn’t screw it up as a mom.

Still, she chose the princess costume, and she was blissfully content while I’m sure I managed to grow a few more gray hairs by the end of the entire process. 

I was so torn over the matter.

I understand the widespread disdain for the superficial princess packaging. I get wanting our children, our daughters, to see past the false veneers of hollow feminism and masculinity that are around every corner. We know that young ladies are especially susceptible to their surroundings, sensitive to the images and ideologies that we thrust on them carelessly, and sometimes subconsciously.

All children are sponges, and they pick up on all of the nuances that lurk in the shadows on every screen, every billboard image, every page of a book.


We are actively paying attention to what sorts of things we present to our girls as true pictures of womanhood, of what it means to be feminine. This is a good thing. 

But at the same time…I felt horribly guilty for all of my posturing towards my daughter and her choice.

I wanted her to know all of her options, which is never in and of itself a bad thing.

I wanted her to feel like she was in control of her own agency, that there were more choices available to her besides the stereotypical options girls are sometimes offered. Again, all well and good. But I did all of this instead of just listening to what she wanted in the first place and and consigning myself to being okay with her decision. In my efforts to get it right, I sort of missed the mark.

In the process of wanting every woman to know that she has a menagerie of choices, we sometimes demean the choices that they actually make. We are the collective peanut gallery, second guessing everything about her life. 

We make the assumption that she couldn’t get on without us, the peanut gallery on standby, while pointing out everything that she could do differently. We make the assumption that a person who doesn’t choose more “modern ways” of doing things is making a huge mistake. We are aiming to check off boxes on a list, instead of searching for what truly gratifies and fulfills us on a spiritual level.

photo 1-1

I’ll be honest: I used to take umbrage with feminism. Because there I was, a new mother, craving to be home with her babies. And yet I felt like the shoes of feminism didn’t quite fit me. I felt like, in the eyes of some, I was a woman who was moving backwards in her life, instead of forward. I didn’t sense the emphasis on being a great mother, on being a great parent.

It felt like it was all about empowerment in the workplace, in the public sphere. Where was the empowerment for those of us at home? We must it be only A, B and C that work for everyone, and nothing else? 

I eventually learned to become comfortable and in control of my choice to stay home. I knew that my day to day life, with my husband or with my children, our routine, could be what I chose to make of it. I knew that my relationship with myself, as complicated as it is at times, was mine and mine alone, my responsibility. I learned, I mean really learned, that my faith breathed new life into the way I valued myself, as I have slowly learned to shed the skin of being perpetually self-concious or feeling like I don’t measure up.

I am learning a new way to be myself with each passing year. I am reconciling myself to something greater with each day that passes. And I hope for the same things for each of my daughters, whether they are eight, seventeen or thirty-eight. 


Sometimes, we get over zealous with wanting to offer so many suggestions that we trounce on what makes the people around us truly happy. Sometimes, we don’t realize that in our zealous efforts to treat a girl the same as her male counterparts, we are instead singling out her choices to be examined even more extensively than her male counterparts. 

My daughter can be a princess if she so chooses. She can be a superhero. She can be a doctor. She can be whatever her heart desires, so long as she pursues it with all her might. So long as she understands that the greatest things we can accomplish in this world is loving others. So long as she knows that she is a valued, wonderful person, no matter what.

So, Happy International Women’s Day, ladies. Whether you are at home with your babies, working hard to shatter glass ceilings, working from home, winding your way through this world with your best friends and a glass of wine in your hand. Whether you are a mother or not, married or not. I hope you know that you are mighty, you are strong, you are loved and you are brave.