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

 

Encouragement · Faith · Hope · wounded healer

Scars On Jesus’ Hands

 

A major turning point for me came when I tied together the way Tyler held out his hands to me and the way Jesus held out his hands to his friends.

Focus on those hands for a minute.  See the holes in his hands and remember the giant hole in his side from a well-aimed Roman spear? There’s nothing he could do to make the scars go away because, just like ours, his scars are permanent.

Think about the way he honored his scars.

I’m thinking about “Doubting Thomas.” He told them that he would not believe unless he saw and touched the scars. Because somehow Jesus’ scars are at the Center of his life story.

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And my scars are the Center of my life story and I can’t get away from them.  I don’t need to tell you that people do not want to look at our scars. And they even encourage us sometimes to hide them, as if Jesus wore gloves for the rest of his natural life.

Jesus had scars like ours: Physical scars. Emotional scars. Mental scars. His scars were the proof of his single-minded Love for the whole world.fullsizeoutput_3dc4

Our minds don’t tell us the truth always.

 

But our scars always do.

They tell us what is most perfect about our body and soul.

There is a story behind every scar that we carry. 

Listen to your scars.

 

dawn

Share this freely.

#myscars #ryanshines

Hope · Motherhood · wounded healer

6 Things I’m Grateful For Today!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Gratitude! Did you ever think we’d get to Gratitude? And I’m not talking about happiness. For me, it’s taken 17 years to make this move into Gratitude. But I’m getting closer. And so I’ve gathered a list of things that I am grateful for since Ryan’s death.

  1. I am Grateful that we had Ryan for 7 years.

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    Rr-Ry

 

      2. I am Grateful for our little boy, Tyler, who saved us all.

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Ty-Ty

        3. I am Grateful for Ryan’s brothers, Trenton and Colton.

       4. I am Grateful for the wisdom Ryan is still bringing to us.

       5. I am Grateful for all the Undercover Angels that I’ve met along the Way.

       6. I am Grateful that my faith is becoming natural to me.

Am I grateful for Ryan’s death? NO. And, by that, I mean, “Hell-No!” But, I am grateful for what God has shown me from it. It’s impossible to even say this aloud so I’ll write it–

If I had it all to do over again, I want Ryan back now.”

But I’m beginning to see Ryan’s death differently. Looking at our 3 boys now, I realize that Ryan did not die in vain. It is so like Ryan to leave living, breathing gifts to us– the gifts of Trenton and Colton. And he’s still opening doors. He’s still changing our family and our family MAP into the future.

IMG_6630It’s the most unexpected gusher of Gratitude, to see Ryan’s death as I do now, knowing that I don’t have to give up the tragic sense of it. Ever.

Have a Thankful Day!

dawn

#ryanshines #myscars #childloss #thankful