Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two out the door....

this morning for Boy Scout winter camp. One left at home to be this week's lonely only.

I have mixed feelings about all of this today. Thinking of the reduction in numbers makes me count what God has done.

We spent yesterday with family who have four boys ranging in age from 13 to 3 months. I have four boys ranging in age from 16 to 9 but only three are with me, and yesterday watching all these cousins together, talking about past history, I went to bed emotionally weary.

A Christmas card of a mom and dad with their four boys left me in a teary puddle last week. Because my Christmas card, while named a Smilebox, is partly tear streaked knowing that one boy is missing from our card.

I can thank God for His many gifts but I will not deny sorrow that has come with those gifts.

The years have blessed my family but not always in the ways we like to count blessings. Every year marks the sweet and salty milestones. Twenty years of marriage and fourteen since I almost walked out. Three boys with us and one boy not with us. Twelve years in this town and nine of those longer than we thought or desired. For every number of smiles, sometimes three times as many tears.

Our shadows of pain streaked with the light of His goodness to never forget us. The works of God both terrible and brilliant. He is still the One to whom we look for grace. Grace for this day and every one future.

For He knows the number of our days. May we count them for His glory.


  1. I know what you mean, Elle. Lo, these many years later I still get a catch in my throat when I hold a sweet little girl, or see a radiant bride, or a young mother with her baby. Sorrow and longing never go away, but as you write, they are "streaked with the light of His goodness" and grace. He takes away, but He softens the void with the knowledge of Himself. And one day, what a glorious reunion we'll have. Oh, the joy!

  2. I so appreciate your honesty, Elle. There are times I feel so guilty about unexpected tears that fall when a grief that is still a part of my heart makes itself felt even as I rejoice with a friend over her joys. I'm so thankful for the grace that allows us to grow through joy and sorrow and with the joy that comes from knowing Jesus who gives us His peace, and who allows us the relief of tears as well. It isn't wrong to shed those tears, and it doesn't make us any less thankful for the light of His goodness and grace, either. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Terrible and brilliant. I agree! My journey through cancer has felt this way. Always love your discerning words.