Honoring the Pain

david, hope, the meaning behind By August 30, 2016 37 Comments

David was four days old and asleep inside his little bed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit {NICU}. An adorable blue plaid baby quilt my sister made was draped over the side and a paper tag with David’s name written in cute, happy lettering was taped to the edge. His weight had dropped since birth a few days earlier and he was down to 3 pounds, 12 ounces. We had been told he had a rare genetic disorder but a million questions loomed in the air. We were in shock. We’d been expecting a healthy baby and everything had gone wrong. Both Steve and I were walking around in a daze. Steve sat near David and I stepped outside the NICU with a folder of bills and the checkbook. Even in crisis, real life demands to be lived. Bills have to be paid. Cars need gas. Clothes have to be washed, dried and folded. Well, maybe they don’t have to be folded. It’s surreal to do normal, everyday tasks while you’re world is crumbling around you. I remember clearly, sitting in the lobby right outside the NICU, opening the folder to pay bills and thinking, “This is so strange. Who cares about the gas bill? My baby was born with two fingers on his left hand.”

As I wrote the first check and tucked inside the envelope, our friends Josh and Maggie walked into the lobby. In the early years of our marriage they were our upstairs neighbors, worked in ministry with us and were some of our closest friends. They spent time with us during hospital stay. They brought groceries and arranged meals. On this afternoon, when our tiny David was only a few days old they sat down with me on the uncomfortable lobby couch and said nothing. They just sat, no words. I set the bills aside, buried my head in my hands and began to sob. The tears came from a bottomless well inside me. As I gave into the grief I wondered if I would ever stop crying. I held the pain in all its unbearable heaviness.  They sat with me, their arms around me and cried with me. They were powerless to change the situation but they stepped inside the darkness with me. I wasn’t alone.

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Pain demands to be felt. It won’t be rushed. It won’t be pushed away or minimized. There is no set timeline for grief. There is no bible verse or life truth that can lessen pain’s grip. No matter how much we may try to push it away or pretend it isn’t there, it manifests itself. There are no tricks or tips to lessening the agony. Pain is moving through darkness, one tiny step at a time with faith that eventually a ray of light will break through. We honor our pain with tears and time. We honor our pain by acknowledging its heaviness and hurt. We honor it by recognizing loss and the hole it leaves behind.

love and loss rings lisa leonard

We honor pain by allowing it to wash over us like a tidal wave, and in its own time it recedes a bit. That first ray of light breaking through the darkness is fresh air and we breath it in as deeply as we can. We breath in hope. And hope is the balm that soothes the pain. Just as we can’t expedite pain, hope also won’t be rushed. It comes in its own time. It comes as we honor the pain.

When Josh and Maggie cried with me they honored my pain. They honored our tiny baby David and the difficult road ahead of him. They honored broken hearts and lost dreams. They didn’t minimize the journey before us with advice or easy answers. They loved him exactly as he was—a whole soul inside a broken body. And they breathed in deeply with us as the first ray of light broke through the darkness.

Are you honoring the pain of a difficult situation right now? Are you walking with someone through pain?

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hello good things

hello monday By August 29, 2016 3 Comments

Lately I’m trying to fill my life {and my soul} with good things. It’s a way of seeing myself and loving myself. Many times as women we care for other people and put ourselves last. It’s often necessary. But it’s also necessary to care for myself. I’m trying to grow in this area.

Sometimes filling my life with good things is simply noticing all the good things around me and being thankful. It’s Monday and a brand new week. How about some hellos?

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Hello bright pink car standing out in the middle of a very gray day in Paris. Love it!

Hello new podcast. Do you love podcasts like I do? I listen to them while I clean the house, fold laundry or take a walk. Smartest Person in the Room with Laura Tremaine is brand new and so good!

Hello second week of school. We made it through the first week. The boys have great teachers and we’re getting used to early mornings again. I love having only one drop off and one pick since they’re at the same school again!

Hello french press. Since I’m talking about good things I have to include coffee. We pulled out our french press over the weekend and wow! it makes such good coffee.

Hello Christmas planning. I don’t know if Christmas is on your radar yet but having a retail business we plan for Christmas all year long. It’s getting close!

Hello new bed for the pups. They have loved sleeping in bed with Matthias but he’s not getting good sleep lately. So we got them a new cozy bed and we’ll try it out this week. I hope the like it.

Hello trying out my new Instant Pot and loving it. Have you heard of it? It’s a pressure cooker and more. Cooks food fast and keeps meat tender. I’ll share more soon!

Hello to YOU! It’s a brand new week with beauty and good things to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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ocean walk in cambria

adventures, family By August 25, 2016 3 Comments

For my birthday I got to choose our weekend activity. So I asked for lunch and a walk in Cambria. We ate at Moonstone Bar and Grill {excellent burgers!} and then took our time walking. It was simple and beautiful and I loved it!

ocean walk in cambria-01 ocean walk in cambria-02 I’m biased but I think my boys are the cutest.

ocean walk in cambria-03 ocean walk in cambria-04 ocean walk in cambria-05 Leaning in for a kiss.

ocean walk in cambria-06 ocean walk in cambria-07 Sweet pup.

ocean walk in cambria-08 Purple wildflowers and blue ocean.

ocean walk in cambria-09 Matthias took a turn pushing David in the jogger. He ran a bit and took some sharp turns. David loved it!

ocean walk in cambria-10Steve got me these adorable yellow shoes for my birthday.

It was a really good day. I felt loved and celebrated and thankful. I look forward to seeing what my 42nd year holds!

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hello trash to treasure

hello monday By August 22, 2016 6 Comments

I worked on a couple projects this weekend. Things that have been on my inspiration list for a while–and I finally got to them! I got this ugly lamp at our local goodwill for $4. And it lived in the flowerbed in our front yard for a couple weeks. {Please tell me I’m not the only one with random projects waiting to be carried out!} I got it out of the car, but it never made it into the house–until this weekend. Woohoo! Well, the pretty part is in the house, the rest is recycling.

It’s Monday, a new week and our first day of school–a big day around here! How about some hellos?DIY repurposed macrame planterHello talking something that is almost literally trash and turning it into something beautiful. I love that!
Easy steps…
1. take apart lamp
2. wash glass portion, toss the rest.
3. place some rocks or terra cotta pieces in the bottom
4. add a succulent and some soil

DIY repurposed macrame planter lisa leonard 2 Hello learning how to macrame. It’s suuuuper easy. I used some twine I had on hand and followed this tutorial.

DIY repurposed macrame planter lisa leonard 3Hello impressed pups. They just LOVE the new macrame planter over their bed!

Hello first day of school! Matthias is in 7th grade and David is in 8th. Hooray!

Hello feeling very loved on my birthday a few days ago. {thank you!}

Hello meetings and more meetings. Now that summer’s over I have some work to do!

Hello sniffles. David has a little cold and I think I’m getting it.

Hello looking for fun movies to watch with Matthias. What are some good movies for kids ages 12-14?

Hello walking the dogs and taking walks alone. So good.

Hello to YOU! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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adored ring

celebrate the every day By August 18, 2016 37 Comments

I’m turning forty-two years old. It’s feels different than I expected. I’ve changed so much this last year–and I’m ready to welcome this next year with open arms.

I’m learning to listen to my heart even though sometimes she speaks in a quiet whisper.
I’m practicing speaking my mind–even when I make waves.
I’m beginning to understand the importance of self-care (and that I can do it without guilt!)
In big, amazing ways I’m seeing with a fresh perspective that my three boys whom I adore, also adore me. And I’m beginning to believe in a new, deeper way that I am worthy of love and adoration.

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At forty-two I’m learning how to simply be me in new and powerful ways. It feels humbling and empowering.

Today, on my birthday, I’m slipping on the adored ring as a reminder that I am loved. The X and the O represent the beautiful, imperfect, enduring love that surrounds me. And that is definitely something to celebrate. Thank you for being an important part of my journey–I’m thankful for this community!

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hello beautiful, hello colorful

hello monday By August 15, 2016 1 Comment

Hello friends. I have pics from Cassis, France to share today. We visited friends in Aix de Provence and made the short drive to the seaside one evening. I was captivated by the color and beauty. The south of France felt to me the way I imagine Italy to be. Breathtaking.

It’s Monday, how about some hellos for a new week?hello cassis france-01 Hello castle on a cliff with the carousel below. So charming!

hello cassis france-02 Hello boats lined up.

hello cassis france lisa-01Hello Lindsey looking very much in her element in Cassis. She helped us with boys. So grateful!

hello cassis france-03 Hello trying to get a family pic and settling for this one!

hello cassis france-05 Hello time with friends. I cherish these memories.

hello cassis france-06 Hello exploring another part of the world with my favorite partner-in-crime.

hello cassis france-07 Hello Matthias. Hello green eyes. I love those eyes.

hello cassis france-08 Hello baskets. I wish my suitcase was a lot bigger!

hello cassis france-09 Hello taking a walk with David because his tummy was hurting and stumbling on this charming little street.

hello cassis france-12 Hello pretty shutters and colorful tiles. Love!

hello cassis france-13 Hello soaking up kisses and cuddles with my sweetheart.

hello cassis france-15Hello gelato before we hit the road! Cassis you were good to us!

Hello making time for organizing this week.

Hello carrying my sketchbook because inspiration has been finding me lately. I’ve been writing down ideas and doodles.

Hello last week of summer before school begins!

Hello to my middle schoolers. Both boys will be in middle school this year. So exciting!

Hello walking every day. I’m trying to make space for movement and downtime.

Hello planning to try a couple new recipes.

Hello to YOU. It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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borrowing from grandma and boyfriends

what I'm wearing By August 10, 2016 2 Comments

We’ve been having some glorious cooler weather. It’s been overcast until late morning and when the suns comes out it warms to about 75*. It feels more like fall or winter than summer! It’s nice to layer on a cardigan in the morning and evening.

I found this cardigan at our local Goodwill bins.It’s basically a first stop for donations–and if you’re willing to dig through boxes and bins before items go to local stores, you can find some amazing deals! I imagine my grandma had a sweater like this back in her younger days. The boyfriend jeans are from Banana Republic {not actually from a boyfriend ha!}. Worn-in, broken-in jeans are the best.

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Outfit details: Vintage sweater, thrifted {similar here and here}. Boyfriend jeans, Banana Republic. Tank, Old Navy {similar here.} Lace-up sandals, Amazon. Bag, Local consignment boutique. Rings, cuff, My shop.

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hello sister time

hello monday, san luis obispo By August 8, 2016 2 Comments

This last weekend I got away with my sisters for some down time. It was wonderful! I’m thankful Steve encourages me to get away–I always feel guilty, although little by little I’m getting better at taking time for me. We mamas need time to laugh and play and talk and rest, right?!

It’s Monday. How about some hellos for a new week?
sister birthday 2016-01Hello long shadows and happy hearts.

sister birthday 2016-05 Hello piling into a tiny cottage at Flying Flags Resort in Buellton. So fun and cozy!

sister birthday 2016-02Hello matching blue eyes. We’re definitely twins!

sister birthday 2016 2-08 Hello birthstone rings–my gift to each sister.

sister birthday 2016 2-07 Hello perfect succulent.

sisterbday 2016Hello gorgeous sisters and bright paper flowers. It was fiesta days in Santa Barbara.

sister birthday 2016 2-05Hello amazing painter on the street in Santa Barbara. I really wish I’d asked for his name!

sister birthday 2016 2-06Hello cheese and meat tray courtesy of my sister Ellen. Delicious!

sister birthday 2016-12Hello wishing it could last forever. Now I’m back home with my boys and getting back into my routine. And that’s really pretty great too!

Hello week full of meetings and to-dos.

Hello taking care of a few things before the boys go back to school–like haircuts and immunizations.

Hello soaking up slow mornings before we get back into the school routine.

Hello trying to comprehend that both of my boys are in middle school this year. Our elementary school days are behind us!

Hello thinking of coffee as I drift off to sleep and waking up with the thought of my first cup. So good.

Hello marveling at how Matthias’ drawing skills are growing!

Hello soaking up David’s smile.

Hello to YOU. It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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DIY short sleeve denim jacket

what I'm wearing By August 4, 2016 4 Comments

I saw this short sleeve denim jacket on Madewell and fell in love! Super cute, right? I kept thinking about it and how perfect it would be for summer evenings and fall. When I came across this denim jacket at Old Navy on sale, I thought it would be perfect for simply cutting off the long sleeves and making it into a short sleeved denim jacket. So easy!

DIY short sleeve denim jacket-03 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-04 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-05 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-06 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-07 DIY short sleeve denim jacket-08

Outfit details: Denim jacket, Old Navy. Also this one is super cute and on sale! Black jumper, Old Navy. Sandals Seychelles. Bag, Local consignment shop. Personalized Gemstone Cuff, My shop. Earrings, new design I’m working on!

What do you think of the short sleeve denim jacket? Would you wear one?

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hello addictions

hello monday By August 1, 2016 4 Comments

I mean addictions in the daily-rhythm-things-I-crave category. I can quit anytime. I swear.

It’s Monday, how about some hellos for a new week?

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Hello coffee. of course.

Hello walking. the more I do it, the more I crave it! It’s time where I think and move and breathe.

Hello sparkling water. I cut out soda {mostly} and replaced it with sparking water. So yum.

Hello thrifting. The thrill of they  hunt. So many times I find nothing–but when I discover treasure it’s motivating.

Hello audible. This summer I’ve been listening to book after book while I walk and drive. Mostly autobiographies.

Hello goat cheese. I don’t know why but I love it. So yum. Give me more!

Hello Madam Secretary. We just started with Season one, episode one and we’re hooked.

Hello favorite jeans. I always have one pair that I wear over and over and over. Right now it’s a pair of vintage levis I found at a thrift store.

Hello cuddles with my boys. I’m hooked.

Hello to YOU! Hello August–how can that be?! What are you saying hello to this week?

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