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:

img_3740
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.

IMG_1480

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.

IMG_5874
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.

Colors of India
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.

img_3342

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?

IMG_0178
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

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!

images-1

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!

IMG_0671.JPG
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.

fullsizeoutput_3d53

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.

railroad

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.

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-12-6,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-ve
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.

train asey-horner-490781-unsplash
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.

girl thinking railroad kyle-broad-29486-unsplash

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.

woman & cross keem-ibarra-560576-unsplash.jpg

 

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…