Family · Hope

A total eclipse of me

As far as I know, I’ve never really been afraid of the dark.Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 9.08.27 PM

That’s because I was born without the experience of Fear.

I outranked Fear.

When there would be a noise in the kitchen, my brothers and sisters would hide under the covers, while I would go downstairs alone to investigate.

Then, Ryan died, and Fear barged into my world.

It was like I was stuck inside a total eclipse of me.

I couldn’t see me.

I couldn’t feel me.

It was like when ‘’the lights went out on Broadway.’’bulb

And, I was lights-out in my heart.

I’d think the best thing I could do for everybody concerned was to swallow a bottle of pills and die.

Then, the sun would come up and my little Tyler would touch my arm.

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me and tyler

And I would know, “I’m still here!”

dawn

 

Family · Friendship · Relationship

Com-PAN-ioning

“The word is ‘’pan.’’

It means ‘’bread’’ in most every language.

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Trenton & Colton w/ Singapore friends

It suggests that ‘’breaking bread” together is at the heart of our companioning with God, family, and friends.

This is the center of our journey together that we’ve talked so much about.

There is an episode in the Book of Revelation where Jesus says, “I am knocking at your door. If you will answer and let me come in, we will eat together” (Rev. 3:20).  

What if Jesus is saying that eating together is a key to building relationships?

That he would choose food that we are homesick for?  A table is heavy with good grub. Think back for a moment over all the great meals you’ve shared. 

Did you ever feel that the one sitting across from you is the richest choice on the menu?

bread companioning.jpgIt suggests that ‘’breaking bread” together is at the heart of our companioning with God, family, and friends.

This is a part of our journey together that we’ve talked so much about.

There is an episode in the Book of Revelation where Jesus says, “I am knocking at your door. If you will answer and let me come in, we will eat together” (Rev. 3:20).  

Jesus might be saying that eating together is key to building relationships. Think back for a moment over all the great meals you’ve shared. 

Did you ever feel that the one sitting across from you was the richest choice on the menu?Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 3.39.44 PM.png

dawn

Exclusive Instagram content @dawnraymondhirn. Loved for you to join me there.

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.

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 · 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 · Family · Motherhood

Badges of Love

old woman hands:piano

Take a look at these hands. They could be the hands of your mother. Hands that carried you, changed you and nurtured you. These are hands that have been lovingly lived in.  If you look carefully at them, they look like a MAP. With veins like highways and age spots like Scars collected along the way. Hands that have been somewhere and I don’t mean on vacation.

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Don’t be taken in by that silly commercial.

The one where a mom and daughter are holding out their hands while the “hypster” asks us if we can tell which is the mother and which is the daughter.

And their point is you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

I say that if you’ve completely invested yourself in the life of your family, your hands will tell the truth about you. If you’re a mother, your hands will tell a hundred or more stories.

They get cut and bruised. Scarred. The idea that a mother’s hands should look as young as a daughter’s hands is crazy-sad. In the name of beauty, we try to erase the wear and tear of a person’s body as they grow older. I get that.

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Ry and me

But when I look at my hands, I see the evidence of the sacrifices I’ve made, and my Scars are somehow transformed into Badges of Love.

dawn

#myscars, #badgesoflove, #motherhood