Thursday, June 9

a new canvas

Before Gwen was born, I started writing her letters. Not very many... less than I wish. But I cataloged the pregnancy with her, and told her about our life in progress, waiting for her arrival. Since she's been in Heaven, I've kept up with writing her. I have this idea that just maybe God reads her my thoughts, and when I see her again she'll understand me a little better for it.

I write them in a journal and occasionally on here. Here's my letter from Tuesday:

Dear Gwendolyn,

It's a Tuesday morning, during the second week of camp. Your dad has already started his day, and let me sleep in from my morning duty of cabin checks. 

It's been a challenging few weeks. I've felt lost, and out of place. I'm not technically employed, but I'm working quite a bit. It seems wrong, NOT to work... I don't have a good reason not to.

I used ot have this idea of what I wanted to do with my life; a mental picture of my story and how it would -- generally, not specifically -- unfold. We would have four children, I would stay at home, I  would be an all-natural, "granola" mom who knits and takes you on field trips and out camping. We would stay in camping ministry for awhile, then move to a city so Blair could get his Master's.

That was about as far as I got, but it was my plan. And I worked toward my goal of being the best mom and wife, and knew what I thought that should look like.

Without you, I've taken up the mantra: "I live by faith, one day at a time." And I've had 233 days since you arrived, going from hour to hour, trying to live faithfully and hope-filled.

I don't have a plan. And I don't have a goal, or a mental picture that I'm trying to construct. And i wonder if I'll ever be the way that I was, confident about who I was trying to be and enjoying the simplicity and the chaos of life.

And i know that I could keep taking it one day at a time, and that there is wisdom in gleaning and investing in what is at hand. But there is also wisdom in planning and setting goals, and having the courage to dream. 

I haven't had the courage, or the desire, to dream again. I've loved the dream of you and how our family would be. I haven't wanted to give that up.

How is it that I am the mother and also the pupil? Your life continually reminds me  to let go and trust God, and walk in faith. And now God is using your life to remind me to dream and plan. 

I love you forever, Gwendolyn. I'll see you soon -- sooner than I could ever imagine. I'm off to dream.

love you always,


After writing her, I spent time praying for courage and new dreams, and an attitude that yields to the Potter as He spins and molds us into the family He wants us to be.

I'm a visual person. So when I'm planning, I like having a big canvas to splatter with my ideas. So I spent the last two days turning our bedroom into a canvas for creativity: we now have a massive chalkboard wall. And I'm feeling a soulful-level of joy that I haven't had in awhile.

So I'll keep you posted on how the dreams emerge. :)


  1. I was hoping to see a picture of your new canvas. :) Mother and pupil ... so true. Hope and dreams seem to go hand in hand, don't they? Take care, my friend.

  2. hey! you finished your bedroom then? i'm so glad to hear that there was joy in you today ... those days remind me that God has not left me to despair ... nor you. i look forward to hearing your dreams as always :)