Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Helen's Going to Sleep Poem

Our Weber family reunion was held at Berea College in Kentucky in June. It was a beautiful setting, a cute town and perfect weather, a lovely frame for connecting with family and eating famously good Weber-prepared food. The college put the whole reunion in the Elizabeth Rogers Hall for the weekend, and our family bedded down as comfortably as possible in our assigned dorm room for the night. We tucked the kids into floor nests under the high loft-style bunk beds and said good night, and we all went to bed at the same time so the kids wouldn't be frightened about sleeping alone in such an unfamiliar setting.

Owen zonked out immediately, as normal. Jack and Helen whispered and giggled with each other for a long time. Eventually Jack fell asleep, but Helen continued to talk very softly and quickly to herself until she finally drifted off to her dreams.

The next morning, I asked her what she had been saying. She rattled it off to me, so quickly she had to repeat it several times until I understood:

"I want to sleep like this for a while.
I want to close my cute little eyes.
Please let me breathe whenever I want to.
And sometimes I have to swallow spit."

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Wow. This is embarrassing! This poor blog has certainly not been a priority lately. I'm still thinking of posts, finding I have a lot to say, but nothing to say. I want to write things perfectly, but can't figure out the right words. Some of my thoughts are worthwhile, but most of them are forgettable.

I did write something lately, requested by Jason's uncle Lloyd, to be read at our Kauffman reunion at Bethel Camp in Kentucky. Other than having to publicly read something I wrote, I had a great time catching up with uncles, aunts and cousins, meeting their kids and eating fabulous food from the camp kitchen. Here it is:

Wednesday I was outside, huge Tupperware bowl at my feet, picking blueberries as fast as I could. Suddenly storm clouds covered the sun, thunder sounded in the distance and a cold wind whipped through the trees. The blueberries danced out of reach. I grabbed onto leaves, fiercely determined to steady the waving branches, angry at the timing of the weather and angry at the thought of losing blueberries to yet another rainless storm.

It had been so dry for so long. When our regional summer weather pattern of localized pop-up afternoon thunderstorms had begun, it was our fields, our property, that got missed. Hope would arrive in the shape of cumulonimbus clouds, but it was others around who reported their relieved joy, measured quantifiably in tenths of inches. After a time, I felt my heart hardening each time the sky darkened. Certainly we had been praying for rain. Certainly it seemed our request fell on uncaring ears. "God, have you forgotten us?!" I had to ask, knowing the truth, but feeling something different. I wanted to leave when the storms blew up. I wanted to drive somewhere, anywhere, so I wouldn't have to be home when the clouds left our property rainless.

We want to protect ourselves against physical disaster, and to some extent we can. We wear seatbelts. We eat our vegetables. We own insurance policies, for crying out loud. But if only there were some kind of emotional insurance, to protect our hearts from being damaged or shattered. We live to please God. We make choices to honor Him. We expect His blessings, but we don't expect His blessings to come in a package of pain. Ironically, James says, "Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

The evening of the blueberry picking did end in rain. I was thankful, but in a begrudging sort of way. I felt like the spoiled child who had pitched a fit, manipulated parents, gotten what she wanted and then not enjoyed the undeserved result.

I felt guilty because I had been refusing the trial of drought. Instead of embracing God through my fear and receiving joy in His truths, I was choosing bitterness and hardheartedness.

The truth is, that even if the farm dries up and all is lost, God will still be in control. He will still be available. His presence is far more important than our present circumstances, though He cares about the details of our lives. The far greater tragedy would be success on the farm and loss of access to Him.


We traveled to northern Indiana, my home area, after our reunion. While we were there, it rained buckets back home, so much so that Jason and all his farmer friends joked that we should have left a long time ago.

When I wrote this, there was more than weather on my mind. We are expecting another baby, due January 6th! While we are incredibly excited about the pregnancy, we are also scared out of our minds that it will once again end with no baby in our arms. I wish there were some way to protect our hearts from being smashed to bits. But as one of Jason's cousins articulated, "It's the risk you take by choosing to love."

One thing of which I am particularly fearful is that people might think we have moved on from our loss, and this is our replacement for Quinn, and that everything is neat and tidy in our emotional lives by now. Just the thought of that makes me so angry, and it's one reason I've delayed announcing my pregnancy. So please pray for us as we choose to love this baby, no matter what the outcome may be. We are choosing to trust God, our perfect Father, who has perfect knowledge and perfect love for us.