Grief and Suffering, Marriage and Motherhood

Horse Faces and Updates

So a horse walks into a bar, and the bartender looks up and says,

“Hey! Why the long face?”

Badump. Chhhhhhiiiiiing.



I legitimately could not think of any other way to start this post. Ha!

It’s mid-August! Back to school time, back to routine, back to school pick-up lanes, back to multiple colors of take-home papers to be read and signed, back to parent-teacher partnerships and remembering not to hang my identity on how my (very independent) children behave.

It’s been a rough several weeks, I’m going to be honest. Coming home from Serbia meant facing some things I’ve been shoving to the side for a good long while. Heart work, mostly – nothing outwardly significant – but vital nonetheless. And just like it’s never a convenient time to schedule a surgery, sometimes you just need to get in there and take care of business, because putting it off any longer could have life-threatening consequences. So I called my therapist, and down on the operating table I went. And the recovery time has been slow and sensitive. Just like with surgery, sometimes things get a little worse before they get better. 

But, I did want to just pop my head up for a moment and say Hi!

I sent my sophomore, 8th grader, and 5th grader off to their first full day of school today, and as sad as I am to see the summer end, I’m excited for these little guided test-flights they take each year. The older they get, the more keenly aware I am that I am raising future adults. It feels like there is so much to teach them and so little time.

We’ve got a driver, folks.

This season is particularly crazy parenting-wise, because we have one in high school, one in middle school, one in elementary school, one who would be in preschool (if she would just use the potty!), and a one-year-old.

Tuesday, for instance, I helped edit an Honors English paper, changed 10-ish diapers, warmed 3 bottles, filled up a water table and searched a half-dozen toy bins for Lemon (from Strawberry Shortcake) because she was essential to the plot of the water table saga, shopped for black flip-flops and gym shoes, and negotiated the need for another 500 gig hard drive because all of those files are important and none can be deleted.

I put one in time out, redirected another approximately one million times, threatened to take phones away from two others, and gave a very long lecture to the last. There is no single system that applies across the board to every one of my kiddos, so I’m manufacturing my own. And yes, I do occasionally ask my children to just tell me their names so I don’t have to run down the list again.

They’re going to be stronger for it, right? 

I’m not complaining. Just describing. I know I’m not the only one out there with a crazy kid-age-span. And I’m not the only one with wounds still healing while raising a family. And I’m not the only one leaning hard into GRACE, because without Him, I’d be a puddle and nothing more.

But also, I am so grateful. Do you feel it? Under all of the chaos and hurt, the thankfulness for safety, for shelter, for friendship and family, for beauty and abundance and privilege. I don’t want to ever take these things for granted. People would bleed and die for less, I know.

Writing reminds me of these things. Sometimes I just need to get it out so that I can give my soul a little pep talk.

“Hey, horse-face. You’ve got it pretty good, ok? Don’t forget.”

Anyway, Hi! 🙂 Love you all. Let’s talk more soon, ok?

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again – my Savior and my God! – Psalm 43:5


5 thoughts on “Horse Faces and Updates”

  1. Emily, boy did your post bring up a lot of memories of my crazy life growing up, and my kids’ growing up! I love love love your outlook! It’s vital! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me anew!


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