Encouragement · Grief · Hope · wounded healer

Winter to Spring

It looks like I’m pondering in this pic. fullsizeoutput_457f.jpeg 

And I guess I am.

I’m pondering the weather.

When everything turns cold and bare, some of us tend to believe that it’s winter in our souls too.

It’s a kind of winter that seems like it will never end.

All the leaves on our Tree of Hope are gone, and we feel barren.

I have to admit that when Ryan was killed in the fire, it took years before there was anything green growing on my bare branches.

It’s when you think you have only one season in your life–winter.

And you get to where you stop expecting springtime and stay under the covers to sleep it off.

Maybe you’ve heard the voices in your head that keep saying, “Don’t get up, don’t get up!”

Can you identify?download

Or, is it like you have only one word in your vocabulary;  “Unfair!”

And it repeats like an echo.

Girl, I do understand the unfairness of life, and feeling like you’ve been robbed of your future.

You might be close to giving in or giving up.

That’s the bad news, but here’s the good news…Spring always follows Winter.

It’s as perennial as perennials.

And Spring is best spent with somebody you love. (“I” to “We”)

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Tyler(3)

Dawn

 

These are my thoughts today. Please join my daily Instagram @dawnraymondhirn

 

Family · Hope · Relationship

One more kiss

After Ryan died, I was desperate for one more look at him, one more hug, one more word, one more kiss, but that was not to be.

The only thing that I could do was to be more intentional, more emotionally available, in loving our other children.img_6210.jpg

(Wait! I forgot our move from “I” to “We”.

Do you see it 2 sentences above? I was desperate…The only thing I could do…”

I need help, too, in making the life transition from “I” to “We”.

So, here’s how it goes; ‘’WE  were desperate …” “All WE could do is be more intentional.”)

It’s ‘’WE, WE, WE, all the way home!’’

When the thoughts of my heart turn to our other three boys, I realize that Ron and I (copilots of our Family Adventure) will have around eighteen years with them.

Imagine only having eighteen years out of ninety with our kids at home.

We’re getting one-fourth of our lifetime at home them.

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Ryan’s Montessori graduation

Think about that when you can’t stand having your children around.

I figured out a way to make up for all the love I lost with Ryan.

I’m constantly giving my boys one more look, one more hug, one more word, and one more kiss.

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Cape Town, S. Africa

dawn

These are my thoughts today. Join on my daily Instagram @dawnraymondhirn

 

Family · Perfecting Dysfunction · Relationship

It’s not too late

What I want to show you today is how Ron and I are making the leap between “I”

and “we” in our family.

Our quality time with our children happens without a screen staring back at us.

Sometimes we play cards and board games together (my favorite is “Bananagrams”).images-1

We try to have weekly family nites, and one-on-one ‘date nights’ with each one of them.

We are consciously and constantly working to fill their “love buckets,” and to honor their life as it is, right where they are.

It feels natural for parents to insist that their child meet them at their level. (“Grow up!” or “You’re my little  man.”)

But children aren’t adults.

Another thing we try to do at our house, and, believe me, it’s not as easy as it sounds, is to bend down to our children’s level, get eye-to-eye with them.

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Life at its best is lived horizontally, not vertically as if parenting is a ‘’pyramid scheme,’’ lived from the top down.

That starts with the copilots of the family, the two adult partners. We must relate to each other on the level of mutual respect.

And frankly, I’m often too tired to do what I know is best.

We’ve all made our mistakes, you and I, said things we wish we could take back, but here’s the bottom line: it’s never too late to make a happy childhood, even if you’re kids are grown.IMG_3235

And it’s not too late for us to have a happy childhood either.

dawn

These are my thoughts today. Is there anything–dreams, thoughts or adventures–that I’ve missed?

Encouragement · Family · Family travel · Relationship · Travel

Confession

Diving Heart-first into the Adventure from “I” to “we,” I had to stop reading about everybody else’s Adventure and remember that we’re on an Adventure ourselves. (It’s not too late).

Before we go on, I have a confession to make:

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Ryan ’94

I never really wanted kids in the first place.

I figured they’d just get in the way of everything that matters most to me.

But somewhere along the way, this ‘loner’ changed her mind.

Which led to Ron and I talking about family, children, and our future and found that we were on the very same page.

The birth of our first son, Ryan, was the most life-changing event of my life.

I learned that family relationships were paramount. But you probably already know that.

So, three children later, we packed up the boys and went on a 6-month around-the-world Adventure. And I saw immediately that they weren’t ‘in the way’ like I thought.

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I was wrong.

They were the way.

A blind man could see that the value of our time with our children took us down a whole new, and necessary, path of Adventure.

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St. Petersburg, Russia new family

On top of that, we found brothers and sisters we’d never met before, and it was our children who introduced them to us.

We were so much larger than just 1 family.

We are worldwide.

We are the universal family of God.

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Our new Indian friends in Agra, India

dawn

(We’ve started on our new Adventure together like we talked about last week, and I swear to you that it won’t be the same, for me, if you don’t come along.)

These are my thoughts today. Is there anything–dreams, thoughts or adventures–that I’ve missed?

 

Encouragement · Friendship · sisterhood

I cannot navigate this planet alone

It was a rude awakening for me to discover that I cannot navigate this planet alone.

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I’ve always been known as a Maverick. I dare people to tame me.

But, I’m learning that Relationships–God, family, and friends–are more important than anything. They’re more important than your resume, your reputation, your pay scale, or your feelings.

I know it sounds simple–opening your heart–but it sure ain’t easy. I’m not talking about my family right now.

I need Relationships outside my home. I need fellow strugglers, on-the-road.

New relationships
Fellow strugglers

I don’t think I’ve ever said that before. But I see now that we were born to connect.

Except for love, I think God’s favorite word might be “connect.”

Just connect.

I know this seems out-of-the-blue, but I hope what I’m saying lets you know how important you are to me. But I have to get it off the page and into my life.connecting

Are you tired of flying solo too?

You know there are competent copilots all around us.

 

I think it’s time to share the stick.

dawn

 

Daily Insta @dawnraymondhirn

Encouragement · Friendship · sisterhood · Travel

On the Road again…

Do you remember the first time you left your childhood home and moved everything somewhere else? We’ve all done it. This isn’t your first  “Road of Life Adventure.”

woman suitcase.jpg

I found that there are 2 kinds of travelers, those who are ‘leaving’ somewhere and others who are ‘going’ somewhere.

I’ve done both.

When I think about my first Move at 19–Georgia to New York City–I see now it was more like ‘leaving’ my home and my family; answering to no one–and giving myself endless permissions.

Now, for my next Move, I wasn’t ‘leaving’ anywhere, I was ‘going’ to Europe.

It’s not that I was ’leaving’ the USA, I was running toward my first big finish line.

And it was big, kind of like your first kiss.

But this is bigger than that.

We are accepting all the risks that come from being a stranger in a strange land.

Which is more typical of you, ‘leaving’ something or ‘going’ toward the finish line?

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me, at 19, backpacking Europe

Like I said, I understand both. I’ve done my share of running away.

You’ve got a week to think about it. I’ll do the same.

dawn

Daily Instagram @dawnraymondhirn

Friendship · Relationship · sisterhood

hearts full of Hope

I’m glad you’ve agreed to partner with me on our Adventure. But, first, I need to warn you about something.

Do you remember the poster of the robo-cat hanging onto the rope with a knot on the end? It’s the one with the caption, “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on?”img_3342

I have lived by this manta as long as I can remember.

Everything about it sounded true.

It was the only way I knew to be safe&secure.

But, like cotton candy, you take a big bite, get the explosion of sugar, then when you bite down to savor it, it’s already gone.

But we’re here talking about something that lasts: moving forward from “I” to “we.’’ It’s a fairly scary move in that it’s all about trust. The opposite of fear is ‘’trust.’’

I have a friend who’s dad took him into the backyard with one of those kitchen ladders, and he told his young  son, “Step up to the second step, turn your back to me, and just fall into my arms.”trust boys

So the boy did.

And his dad stepped aside so that the boy crashed to the ground. His dad leaned over him and said, “The sooner you realize you can’t trust anyone, the better.”

No wonder this guy has been tying a knot in the rope and hanging on for more than 60 years. But I think, for the first time, he’s slowly beginning to trust again.

I understand how this feels. Especially when it comes to relating to women. It’s my instinct to tie a knot in the rope and hang on all by myself, never entertaining the possibility to trust. But lately I’m hearing a quiet voice, maybe God’s own Voice, that says, “Go for it, Dawn. Take a chance. Then, take another chance.”

trust

Believe it or not, I want to trust women’s intentions again.

I hear myself, sometimes, sounding so cynical and I’m not positive I can change.

There are no guarantees, but maybe it’s enough that we travel together with hearts full of Hope.

dawn

Instagram daily @dawnraymondhirn