I wrote this poem in 2015 and shared it on my other old blog for National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance day and I wanted to share it again on my new blog this year.
I know this little poem doesn't even begin to tell of the suffering and heart ache that women go through from a miscarriage, but this is my own little way of remembering those women, many of whom are friends, and praying God's comfort and peace for them as they are probably remembering today, too.
I have not experienced a miscarriage yet myself, but now being married, I do know what it feels like to have false hope. There have been more than one occasion that I thought, maybe even just for one day, that I was actually pregnant only to discover that I was not. To think, even for a little while, that I may actually be carrying life in my womb only to have that dream crushed and hope destroyed is heart rending. So how much more heart ache for the woman who knows she is caring life and looking forward to the day she will hold that child in her arms at last, when suddenly that little one is taken away. This little poem, though poorly written and not nearly expressing everything it should, is written for those friends.
Tiny little toes, tiny little fingers,
Tiny little ears, Tiny little mouth.
Little child, little baby,
I’ll never watch you grow any more.
You’ll never see the light of day.
Never see the moon at night.
Never hear the lullabies I wanted to sing you,
Never fall asleep in my arms,
Never cue, never laugh, never smile,
Not on this earth anyway.
You went to the father’s home too soon,
Or so it feels that way.
There were stories I was going to tell you,
Memories we were going to make.
There were adventures we were going to have
And lessons I was going to teach you.
You were supposed to grow into an adult some day
Or so I thought it was supposed to be that way.
But God has different plans,
Different dreams for your little life.
He formed you and made you,
But only for the womb to live and abide for a time.
But you died and God took you home
And I cried because I could not understand.
I had waited and I had longed
For the day we would meet face to face.
But God has different plans than mans.
Why did God give you life for such a short time?
Why did he make you, only to take you home?
That is something I may not ever understand.
I love you little one,
And some day I will hold you again,
But this time in my arms and not just in the womb,
But waiting sometimes feels so long.
As you know (probably), I do a ton of reading.
Sometimes I read light and easy books, that are cute sweet stories, but that I will probably not remember much of in a couple months. But sometimes I read books that tend to stick with me all through life.
There are books that I have read maybe only once and maybe even years and years ago when I was young, but the story some how sticks with me and makes an impression on my heart. I may not remember the name of the book or the name of the author, but something about the story just sticks. Those are some of my favorite books.
I love a book that can touch me emotionally and cause me to think or feel deeply.
Two books I have recently read that I think have done this is a new novel called Beloved by a young author Kaitlyn Krispense and a classic called The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.
Beloved is written by young new author and you can visit her blog here. I didn't read the book thinking the writing style was absolutely amazing. There were times when I thought it was well said and times when I thought it was a little choppy or awkwardly said. There were times when I thought that I would have written it a little differently, too (but I am not the author of that book, so I don't really have any say). But the truth is, the author did have the ability to make me think and feel deeply and I think that is what makes the book stick in my memory. I don't know if I underlined anything in this book or came away with any grand quote, but I did come away from the book having a greater desire to love and reach out to hurting children who have no family. I came away from the book longing to be able to adopt or foster care or both, some day myself. I would definitely consider reading more from this author.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte I just finished reading, as well. This story was really sad at points. Anne wrote it as a kind of warning for young women to be cautious in the kind of man she marries. I don't think she was ever married herself, but she did have some very hard and difficult experiences which influenced much of the book. The book was beautifully and creatively written. After getting into the book, I had a hard time putting it down. I still like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte better, but I really enjoyed reading a book from another Bronte sister. I have still not gotten the courage to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and don't know if I ever will, but I would read more by Anne or Charlotte.
What are some books that have stuck in your memory recently? Any book suggestions, especially if I can get it free on kindle? Classic or new fiction?
This week is a little more busy then most of my weeks in Israel have been so far.
We have friends from our church back in Minnesota who are here visiting on a tour. We got to join up with this tour group yesterday and see some sites with them that we hadn't visited yet.
But more than the sites we visited are the friends that we have been able to visit with. It is so sweet and special to have friends from the u.s.a visit us in our home in Israel. It is going to be sad to see them leave again at the end of this week. It reminds me just how much I miss my family and friends back home.
Tyler and I caved in to our Settlers of Catan addiction and bought the game at a shop near by. It will give us something to do with each other on our quiet evenings by ourselves or open the door to making new friends.
My computer charger broke last week, so I haven't been able to do as much writing lately. But thankfully I can use Tyler's computer when he is not needing it for school.
I made some Vegetarian Chili this week which turned out quite delicious if I do say so myself. I am definitely not a vegetarian myself, but because meat is rather expensive here, Tyler and I have been eating a lot less meat then usual. It has been fun to learn new things in cooking and learn to cook without some things.
I also made Shakshuka, a popular Israeli dish, last week which turned out really delicious, as well, and definitely something we will be making again.
I think most every sincere writer has an author they are inspired by, either because of the content, the style, or the topic.
I have a few authors of my own that I am inspired by.
I think one of my favorite authors is Jane Austin. Jane Austin has the unique ability to make her characters come alive as real humans through the way she writes a dialogue. Most any Jane Austin reader can say that they are like one or the other of her characters or they can say they no someone just like that character. Also as one who enjoys romance, I find her love stories some of the best. She also has a good sense of humor and I love her use of sarcasm.
L. M. Montgomery is another favorite. I love how she describes things. Sometimes I struggle to read a book with lots of description, but I think Montgomery knows how to do it well. She's the kind of writer we quote today because her words say it better than anything we could try to make up ourselves. Her stories are heart warming and sweet and the places she takes you make you want to go in real life. How many of you long to go to Prince Edward Island all because of Montgomery?
Charlotte Bronte's book, Jane Eyre is another inspiration. I am not always one who likes a sad story unless the author can do it really well, and Bronte can. Jane Eyre is one of the few sadder stories that I have read and absolutely love and have read more than once and will probably read again. I am inspired to be one who can write sadness into a story in such a way that it makes your own heart feel just what the character in the book is feeling.
Jan Karon still writes to this day, but who is also an author I admire. I have read the first few books in her Mitford series and loved them. She takes you into a small town and makes you feel as if you are there yourself. You grow to love this town filled with varying personalities and you even love those who are maybe less lovable because they are people, too, each with their own unique story. I love her stories because they're heart warming and cozy. They may not be filled with some great mystery or suspenseful plot, but they do feel realistic and cozy and I love books that make the realistic enjoyable to read. Sometimes maybe we find the real world a little too boring, so we create stories with an exaggerated plot and life, but I love when a writer can take the simple lives of realistic people and make that exciting and enjoyable, too.
One more writer who you won't find his works anywhere is my brother, Micah. He would write about his hospital visits and turn them from visits that could seem mundane and boring to something of an adventure. He would see the humor and excitement in the little things of life or even the not so fun things of life. I am not always so good myself at laughing at things that are in the moment not so pleasant, but Micah would often see the humor in life and write that humor into his real life stories. I want to be a writer who takes the mundane of life and shapes it into something beautiful because it is.
Who are some authors who inspire you in your writing?
I have been having fun discovering young bloggers and authors seeking to make a difference in the world through their writing. But one thing I started noticing for a lot of these young writers and authors is that many of them have been writing stories since they could hold a pen.
I cannot say that for myself. However, it did make me ask myself the question of when did I start writing and why?
I think I started writing during maybe the last year of my brothers life. That last year was a year of lots of changes and growing up and becoming an adult. It also ended in sadness and grief and confusion.
I believe it was around this time or not too long after that I got into journaling. At one point I became so devoted to journaling that I journaled every single day. I have a whole box of my journals, about life or a scripture that stands out or thoughts or feelings or sibling adventures.
But then about nine years ago is when I started actually sharing more of my words with the world. That is when I started my blog over here at Graced with Grace which was originally called The Kings daughter. I wrote several posts about my brother on that blog and also shared several poems that I wrote about him.
I think the reason for why I started writing is that it became a way for me to sift through my thoughts and feelings in a chaotic and confusing season of life, especially for a twelve year old girl.
But confusing and chaotic seasons of life did not stop there. I have continued to have my own ups and downs in life just like everyone else. And I always find myself writing the most when life is the hardest. Its my way of processing. Some people just need to have someone to talk to, but although I need people to talk to, as well, I find that sometimes I just need to write instead.
Sometimes I write to simply get my confusion out on paper. Sometimes I write so that I can refocus and get my mind on what is encouraging and true and upright. Sometimes I write so that I can simply process something.
But more recently, having more time on my hands, I have delved into story writing. I had done this a little growing up, but had not thought seriously about publishing anything until more recently.
So you ask why I am interested now in publishing a novel. Well, for maybe a few different reasons.
Right now I have a ton of time to pursue and nurture my skill as a writer, so what better time to pursue writing an actual book than now.
Secondly, I have loved reading fiction and classics for a long time, but sometimes am sorely disappointed in modern day authors and the stuff that they publish.
Take for example romance novels. I love a good love story, however, so many of the romance novels that are being written today are either plain trash, poorly written, or so unrealistic. Or its all about the physical and the sexual when there is so much more to love than that.
So my desire is to write stories that I hope can be a little more realistic, wholesome, and pure. No girls swooning at first site of a man and falling madly in love with someone just because they look cute. My own story of how my husband and I first met and ended up dating and getting married is testimony to the fact that it is not usually love at first sight.
But more than my love for a good love story, I want to help my reader to understand suffering a little better by reading a book by one who has walked through suffering herself. Having a brother who died when I was only twelve years old gives me a unique perspective to life and suffering.
Suffering is a topic close to my heart because not only have I faced it, but I have watched as my seven living siblings and my two parents have walked through and faced suffering too. But I have learned that each one seems to face it in different ways. We all have our way of coping with pain and deep sorrow and not all those ways are good.
I want to write fiction that can portray some of these ways that people cope with pain and sorrow. But I want to also offer hope and comfort and encouragement through the stories I write. I also hope that my readers who have not had to walk down the road of losing a loved one yet, may know a little better how to be a friend to those who have walked down that road.
This post, Why I Write, also may be helpful in understanding why I want to write for others.
Are you a writer? Why do you write? When did you start writing? Do you have a particular message that you want to give your readers? If so what is that message? Why do you want to give that message to your readers?
I made some Lentil soup for the first time a couple days ago which, I feel like turned out decently well for being my first time. I googled a couple recipes and looked up how to cook Lentils and then just made up my own recipe with the vegetables and seasonings that I had.
I am one of those cooks who feels that recipes are only there to give you a guideline, but not to actually be followed (unless I really don't know what I am doing).
I think I got this from my mom because I don't think she hardly ever sticks to a recipe when cooking. If you ask her for the recipe of something, she might have a recipe she semi-followed, but most likely added this or that and left out something else.
So back to Lentil soup, I didn't make anything fancy. I added some carrots and onions and several spices and then added some chicken flavored broth. The test was to see how Tyler would like it. I don't think he will ever call Lentil soup his favorite meal (unless I manage to work wonders with it), but he definitely did like it.
We had been eating so much of the exact same combinations, so it is good to finally have another cheap meal to add to the list.
I will continue to want to mess around with it and try new things. I found a recipe for curry lentil soup that I really want to try out. No, I probably won't follow the recipe precisely, but it's there for a guideline. ;)
On another note, for those of you who put baking and cooking in the same category (Sorry! They're not in the same category!) I do tend to be much more careful about following a recipe when I am baking.
However, even there I generally do fail to be exact. I rarely ever level off a cup of flour with a knife or something to make sure it is absolutely flat and no I don't use a scale either. Yes, I have been known to use the palm of my hand to measure something. I have used a liquid measuring cup for dry ingredients or vise versa. And guess, what? It almost always turns out delicious.
I am an imperfectionist who really enjoys baking and cooking, but sticking to exact rules is just so hard.
Would my food turn out a ton better if I actually followed recipes more precisely? I don't know! Never really tried. There's a good chance that it would, but if it turns out good anyway then why add the fuss? I think, why not be a little creative, instead.
Ok, I really love and respect all of you who actually stick to recipes precisely. In fact, I am here to say that you are probably a far better cook or baker than I will ever be myself.
What about you? Are you a recipe follower for baking or cooking? Or are recipes just a basic guideline for you? What is something new that you have tried baking or cooking recently?
When Tyler and I first got married, I suggested that we hang-dry our clothes in order to save money because it cost to wash and dry clothes at our apartment. But Tyler was none too fond of the idea because he doesn’t like crunchy clothes.
Well, now we are in our second year of marriage and guess what? We are hang drying the clothes (I admit, it is much more out of necessity than desire.). We have a small washer machine, but apparently it’s rather common to not own a drier machine.
So I get to do life in a little more of the old fashioned way. I pull out the clothes pins and hang out the clothes on the line that is tied from one end of our tiny ledge to the other end. Its just enough to room to get all or most of the clothes out.
We also take cold showers right now while its summer time, because it costs more to turn on the water boiler to heat up the water. I am sure when winter sets in we will use it, but for right now it doesn’t hurt to save every penny we can.
I think between hang drying my clothes and taking cold showers and living in a foreign land, I feel like the pioneer women must have felt. Ok, may be I am exaggerating a little, but it does sometimes make life funner to pretend.
On another note, Tyler and I decided to buy some date honey and try it out. It kind of tastes like honey and molasses, but with a very distinct date flavor. I think I will need to get used to it, but it really isn’t bad. I would like to be able to find particular recipes that specifically call for date honey.
I was reading a ladies blog in which she said that it is very possible that when God promised the Israelites that he would bring them to “a land flowing with milk and honey” that he was speaking of date honey and not bee honey. It seems very likely, too, considering date honey seems to be much more the thing here in Israel and a good amount cheaper here then bee honey.
This may already be a known fact to everyone, but being an American I guess I just always assumed that it was bee honey, not even knowing that date honey existed. But now that I am living in Israel, date honey makes much more sense.
Bread and Pastries
Last week Tyler and I decided to divulge in buying some fresh Cinnamon roll pastries and we were not disappointed. They were so delicious! Sinking your teeth into the pastries was pure joy itself. The flavor, the sweetness, and the texture were all just perfect together. I don’t know if we will ever eat a cinnamon roll that perfect again.
Several weeks ago we bought a loaf of Challah bread which was also absolutely superb, but since then all the Challah bread that we have found has not been quite as perfect, as that first one.
I would like to eventually try my hand at making my own Jewish pastries, even if just one time. But very likely it is just as cheap or cheaper to buy it at the open markets rather than make it myself.
I have been slowly trying to build up my baking ingredients, but not knowing the language makes it hard to read labels sometimes. And some things that are very easy and cheap to buy in America are not so easy or cheap here.
There is a movement that has started that is all about self-love. Although I don't know a ton about the movement, I see my friends posting quotes here and there that give me the basic idea.
The basic idea seems to be to encourage ourselves to take care of our bodies. Take time to take care of ourselves. Take the time to exercise or eat healthy, or relax or whatever it may be that our body needs.
Taking care of ourself, I have no problem with. I think that it is good for people to see their need to care for their own body. In fact, you can love others better and care for others better if you are taking the time to first make sure you yourself are taken care of in the proper way.
But what does bother me is that it is called self-love and and the way that Christians talk about self-love. It honestly sounds really self-centered. It puts all the focus onto myself. Everything becomes about me. What bothers me is that as a Christian our focus should not be on ourself.
Our focus should be on God first and then others. As Christians we are not to be self focused.
So am I saying that the whole idea of self-love is wrong. No! I am saying that the way we talk about it as a believer is wrong.
Growing up my mom has always been a strong advocate of taking care of our bodies whether in eating or drinking or exercise. But she never once called it self-love. It was always for God's glory and it was always Biblical.
Taking care of our bodies is Biblical, but never once does God call it self-love. We are commanded to care for our bodies as believers because it glorifies God. Taking care of our bodies shows our love for God. Yes, in doing so we show love for our own body, too, but ultimately it puts the focus on God and not on ourself.
Here are a few scriptures that talk of using or caring for our bodies for God's glory.
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercy of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12:1)
I am sure sure I could find more scriptures, as well, but the point is that taking care of your own body is a biblical command. We are commanded to care for the body God gave us for his glory because our body is not our own, it has been bought by his precious blood.
So friends, I am sorry for my long rant. I don't like to be preachy, but I was reading in Romans this morning and it all hit me and I had to share my thoughts.
My request is simple now. I ask that if you are a believer and a part of the self-love movement, that you reconsider what you call it. Instead of promoting self-love, will you proclaim God's glory, by caring for the body he gave you?
Simply turn your focus away from yourself and on to God.
Yesterday I sat in on a lesson one of Tyler's classmates was giving on beginner Latin (Apparently being in a Greek intensive course is not enough.). I was reminded that not all languages are as confusing and hard to understand as Hebrew or Greek. Latin is kind of fun, especially when you can make connections with English and Old English.
Today we visited Bethlehem, walked down a lot of streets, ate good food, and learned some history.
We tried Falafel and Shawarma. I remember trying Falafel in the past and not liking it too well, but this time I found it quite delicious.
I keep seeing social media posts from my friends in America raving that fall is here and posting pictures of there pumpkin spice lattes etc. I am here in Israel noticing that the evenings are starting to get a little cooler, but that might be the most I will experience of fall for a bit longer.
I have a feeling Fall is not experienced here in Israel the same way it is in the vibrant green South of the U.S.A. Trees are just a little more sparse in the desert lands.
I think I will miss experiencing the change of season that is most noticeable through the leaves. The rich changing of colors that is followed by a lovely dance in the gentle breeze that whispers its song in the treetops.
On the other hand, I don't think I am going to miss the bitter cold winters of Minnesota with its never ceasing snow falls, endless amounts of shoveling, and buried cars.
When I first started this blog, I had a whole page dedicated to the explanation of the title of my blog, but then I deleted it. So I thought I would try again to at least give you a post that might explain the meaning behind the title.
Growing up I loved dandelions and I loved daisies. I loved dancing and I loved dreaming.
I loved picking a dandelion and blowing the seeds to the wind. I would watch the seeds dance away and fall to the ground elsewhere to be replanted and pop up again the next year.
My life is sometimes like those dandelion seeds, I am picked up from one place and blown away only to be replanted again.
And sometimes being up rooted from one home and moving to a new home is hard. Its rather painful even. Sometimes its confusing. But despite all of that, I keep reminding myself to dance. To dance through life.
And some times life really does feel like a dance. I can pick up my feet and find joy in that season. maybe its a dream just fulfilled.
But some seasons come that are full of rain or drought and I have to command my feet to keep dancing. To dance in the rain and dream of of the sunshine that will come out again.
Sometimes life seems to be filled with a lot more dreaming then dancing.
As a little girl, my family had a patch of daisies and my sisters and I would go out to pick those daisies.
We would say, with all the other little girls in the world, "He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not........" as we plucked the peddles and threw them to the ground.
And because of that game daisies have always been special and some what dreamy for me.
And so it reminds me of that other stage in life, in which I dream of the future.
Some seasons are for having those dreams being fulfilled and those are the seasons I most feel like dancing.
But some seasons are for dreaming and not giving up. But those are the days I remind myself to keep dancing.