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.”

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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.”

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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

Encouragement · Relationship

Will you ride ‘shotgun’ with me?

“OK, Dawn, it’s 2019. What are you gonna do that’s different this year?valence (1).png

I’m glad you asked!  

2019 is gonna be scary-different than all the years I’ve lived thru.

I am moving into a new phase of my life, where the operative word in my vocabulary will be “we,” not “I.”

What I’m gonna do in 2019 is to ask you to consider traveling this Road of Life with me.

 Sharing dreams, thoughts, and adventures with each other; being honest with each other, even being blunt sometimes. fullsizeoutput_4574

Here is the question that everything revolves around:

“Can I be me, ‘warts and all,’ with you?”

 

 

I don’t know the answer to that, but I’m willing to invest this year in finding out if it’s possible.

I think that I’m willing to accept all the risks of moving from “I” to “we.”

But I know that there are a lot of miles to travel from “I” and “we.”

And I know there are dangers.

So I’m asking you again:

Will you ride ‘shotgun’ with me on this Adventure?

Because I think if I have a partner, I might really try it. 

 

Dawn

 

 

Daily inspiration on Instagram @dawnraymondhirn

 

 

 

Encouragement · Family · Hope

2019: Already in your heart!

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Some of us are just getting over the Christmas rush. I find that there is so much rushing around that we miss what’s going on in the moment. We spend so much of December focusing on the 25th that everything around it becomes a blur.  We end up letting our lists control our days and nights.

It reminds me of the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder where Emily, age 12, gets to come back to earth for one day. Nobody can hear or see her but she just watches her family and all her friends rush thru their daily routines. As her day ends she asks one question:

“Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”

What Emily asks really hits me hard.

 I think about Ryan and I sometimes hear him asking me the same question, “Do you ever slow down, Mom, enough to see what’s going on?”

We all want to live in the present but nobody really does it.  Every month dozens of books about “Living in the Present” fly out of cyberspace and into mailboxes around the world. It’s an every-year resolution for many of us.

We are less than a week away from 2019. Another opportunity to begin again. The slate is not exactly clean because what we went through this past year really happened. But we have the chance to turn the page and begin a new chapter…and right there is the clean slate we’re all looking for!

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Colton, Tyler, Trenton

The New Year is already there in your heart. It is in your hands.

Happy 2019, Everyone!

dawn

 

 

Encouragement · Grief · Hope · wounded Mother

True Confession: My private ride on the Grief Train

Remember all the Stops: Denial, Anger, Depression, Survival. Acceptance.

I realize my grief is a little unusual–the grief of losing a child.

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It’s against the natural order that parents outlive their children.

The death of a child is unnatural and unfair.

It never occurred to me that I would bury my son.

It came out of nowhere.

And so for me, Depression lasted for years and years(12 years).

On the outside, no one could tell.

Not even me.

I acted my way thru so much during the first 12 years: the death of my father 6 months after Ryan; the births of my third and fourth sons; and our family’s move from Texas to Alabama.

Everything was on autopilot. My Depression happened on such a subconscious level that I couldn’t recognize it or name it.

But the symptoms were there: lack of interest,  low energy, and no creativity.

So, I got off the Train at the Survival Stop, built a home and am living there now.

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When you’re just surviving, the best thing you can do is survive, while fully functioning.

On our Train, Survival is a full Stop, and Acceptance is something I’ll take up later with the good Lord.

I’m surviving, but I’m not accepting Ryan’s death.

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Tyler’s HS Graduation ’18

 

 

I just can’t get there now, besides, I know the neighborhood here.

I’m not lost.

dawn

 

Encouragement · Faith · Grief · Hope

Our Journey together on the Grief Train

Remember every STOP:   Denial. Anger. Depression. Survival. Acceptance.

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The Grief Train

 

So, here’s the first stop.

Denial.

Which means, “This is a nightmare I’m going to wake up out of, and Ryan will still be here.” Don’t be shocked at that. None of us are prepared to entertain the thought, “it never happened” for very long. You’ve thought it, now feel it. Nobody knows how long each Stop lasts.

Maybe, for some of us, the rest of our life.

rail stat eric-muhr-636819-unsplash.jpgFor instance, we build a home at the next Stop(the Anger Stop) because we ’re still mad at God, or someone else.

Of course, we are!

Don’t deny your anger!

Feel it…

The church often tells those of us in grief, “don’t be mad at God!”

I say, “Be as mad as you need to be. God can take it.”

So, spend as much time as you need there.

You might even find you need to return to this Stop again and again.

It’s OK. You’re the engineer.

There will always be the opportunity to move forward or return to this Stop.

God built that into our Journey together.

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So maybe you’ve left the Anger Stop for now, and Depression has set in. (Mine lasted twelve years.)

You’re on the pills longer than you wanted.

Don’t stew over the length of your stay.

Just survive. It is enough just to survive.

Stop at the Survival Stop. There’s a red light there. Stop. Don’t run it.

And remember God doesn’t take shortcuts, so stick as close to Him as you can.

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Where you are right now is not necessarily your ultimate destination.

 

And if you need to invent a world where tragedy doesn’t happen, invent the world.

 

Or, reinvent your world.

 

I’m wondering where you see yourself on “The Grief Train?”

dawn

 

Monday..  my personal journey…

 

Encouragement · Grief · Hope · wounded healer

Riding The Grief Train

I told you we were going to get thru this together. And here’s how.

When I was a little girl, there was a miniature train at the park. And you would board the train and it might have a Putt-Putt Golf Stop, a Botanical Garden Stop, or a Horseback Riding Stop where you can get off for a while.

Now I’m building my own railroad, with a miniature train called “The Grief Train.” And every Stop comes from the ride of my own life.

Here are the Stops this train will make:

  • Denial
  •  Anger
  • Depression
  • Survival
  • Acceptance (You will notice I never get to the “Acceptance” Stop.)

I can’t.

I cannot accept Ryan’s death. But that’s just me.

On this train, I won’t suggest you stay on it all the way till the end, without getting off, like well-meaning church people tend to.  I will encourage you to get off at every Stop, for however long you need to, including the ones you don’t want to get off at.

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None of the Stops should be confused with your ultimate Destination. But they can be.

It’s your train too if you’re up for the ride.

God might suggest we make every Stop because God is all about learning, and the way we learn is to go thru every Stop of the learning process.

Stop, unboard the train, listen and learn what’s there, embrace it as best you can, and move on whenever you’re ready. No shortcuts.

This is not microwavable.

That’s not how God ‘bakes’ a person. We’re more like God’s personal crock pot. Low heat, all day long unlike American gods (money, power).  

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God’s favorite speed is slow.

dawn

Will continue…

#myscars, #grieftrain