Monday, January 3


we're home.

after 18 days of travel, 3 family christmases, one wedding, my niece's birth, 5 different beds with varying shades of comfort... we are finally home. and i really love my home. it's a good one, with ginormously comfortable couches, a wide selection of teas, soft lighting, hundreds of books, and a delicious bath. and of course, our giant bed with a memory foam topper.

blair and i arrived around 5pm, and started the business of unpacking our adventure... laundry to do, christmas gifts to be sorted, groceries to put away, mail to read. now i have taken a bath, the tea kettle is warming, and i am settling in to digest our trip. expect that these snippets will have no particular order or flow:

we spent the first week in denton, with my family. christmas eve was rough... i definitely was the woman walking down the street, looking at christmas lights with wine glass in hand, yelling at the Lord and crying my eyes out. ( i did enjoy the rest of the night, and the time in denton as a whole.)

i think that i'm learning the hardness of God. He is completely Other;  we prefer to think only of His soft or easy attributes, and regard anything that is difficult or harsh from Him as a punishment for wrong doing. I don't think that paradigm is biblical. For reasons I cannot comprehend, it seems that God allows and even arranges sorrow in our lives, regardless of our standing, effort, or obedience.

During our trip, we went to sheboygan, wisconsin for a wedding. Blair's "brother" Jeremy was getting married, and blair was a groomsman. Jeremy's sister Mandi, one of my best friends since i was 11 years old, has an seven month old daughter. His sister-in-law and my friend, Ashlee, has a 7 and a half week old daughter. Over the weekend the three of us were alone, spending the night in one room. And of course, it is unfair that i'm with them, they who have their daughters and I who am without mine. We all cried about it, and i appreciate their love for me and gwendolyn.

and then, the difficult Love of the Lord steps in. He, who gave me a choice - see this as half empty, as you without your gwendolyn, bereft, surrounded by women whom i have blessed with living children. or see this as my kindness to you- i have allowed you to be with those who love you, who grieve with you, who have daughters in the same year as yours, which you can choose to love and hold when your arms ache to be filled by gwenny.

and so i chose to enjoy my nieces, and hold them and cry and be thankful for the severe mercy of the Lord, that comforts and heals where it has wounded. thank you ashlee, mandi, debi and danielle, for sharing your daughters with me, and allowing me a few moments of motherhood with your precious girls.

during the wedding reception, jeremy and his bride put a twist on the traditional "ring the bell for a kiss" - they required that the guests would come to their table, perform a kiss, and then they would match or master it. very very cute idea, and sparked some hilarious performances. as i watched, i saw so many stages of life represented in kisses - married couples, innocent children, families, grandparents... and i wondered, "can your love withstand the death of a child? of a parent? of hopes and dreams, of your best laid plans? can it endure seasons of doubt, sorrow, wounds, busyness, joys, hectic schedules, the everydayness of life?" my prayer for those two is that they will know the deep, abiding faithfulness of our God, and relish in His character and His will, and prove to the world the glory of our God through a marriage well lived.

off to enjoy my magnificent bed, next to my wonderful husband, who walks through this season with me.

I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and save you.
Isaiah 46:4


  1. Love the verse Erin. Aren't we so thankful for our men? I know that if I had to walk this road there is no one I would choose to do it with other than Dan. He has been an amazing partner and our love for each other and God has only grown stronger. We are so lucky to be blessed with such great men.

  2. There is no place like home. Especially when you're hurting.
    I too am so grateful for a strong man to walk through this season with.
    I love you deeply sweet girl.

  3. Thank you for being tender with Jayden in the midst of your great pain and grief over the absence of Gwen.
    I really missed her this past weekend. Jesse must think I'm a wreck over how many times I've cried wishing Gwen was still on earth with us.
    Ever since we found out that you and I were pregnant and due around the same time I have looked forward to meeting your little one and had great plans for our girls to be as good of friends as their dads are. I know that my grief is nothing in comparison to what you are experiencing, but I wanted you to know that I have grieved over Gwen for these past almost eleven weeks.
    I wish there was something I could say or do to comfort you and Blair, but I know that I really have nothing to offer other than constantly bringing you both before our God in prayer.
    I love you Erin...