Family · Friendship · Parenting · Relationship

Love in the Lockdown

I am going to take a break from writing my blogpost every week. We’ve been at it for more than 4 years!

Can you believe it? Me neither.

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Like most every college student, Tyler is home from Auburn and our family is all together here in Alexander City, Alabama. Every chair is filled with remarkable young men, and a couple of ol’ schoolers.

Our blessings outweigh any of our own fears because we know that God has the whole world in his hands.

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My singular priority during these uncertain days is my family. Talk about limitless family time!

I will return when everything is clear.

In the meantime, we, at ryanshines.com, will continue to abide with you in unbreakable faith, hope and love.

dawn

Encouragement · Faith · Hope · Parenting

My God was too small

My relationship with God had never been challenged before the accident.

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Tyler’s baptism ’99

My faith was on autopilot.

I never really needed that much from God.

My life was mostly of joy.

Ron and I baptized the kids, said our prayers, and went to church.

We even put two kids in religious school.

What more could God want?

We were a happy household until the accident.

That’s when I learned that my God was too small and If I was to survive everything I had to find a bigger God.

It all started with the question of heaven.

I knew that if I didn’t believe in heaven I’d never see Ryan again.

So I took a leap of faith.Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 2.38.24 PM

It seemed like the next natural move.

We’ll dig into it next week…

dawn

 

Encouragement · Friendship · Perfecting Dysfunction · Relationship · Travel

If it is to be, it is up to me

The theme of my life used to be, “If you want a job done right, do it yourself.”images-2

And if I’m honest, and I am, it’s still mostly the theme of my life. 

You get what I’m saying, right?

When I think about all my years of mothering, I realize that most of it was on me.

In other words, partner or no partner, life is a ‘’Do it yourself.’’

So, what in the heck am I doing pushing all of us to make this “important’’ move from “I” to “We”?

Is it even workable in a mother’s life?

Most of us want a partner who’s really a partner.

That means moving from “I” to “We”.

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Which necessitates moving from “I” to “We”.

But I hesitate to say that because it might turn into one more thing on our ‘to-do’ list.

Then I remember we are traveling together on this Adventure, and the way I look at it, there’s no mountain we can’t climb.

Look. download

Here’s what I know for sure.

Not even Jesus could “do it himself.”

He had to find 12 friends.

dawn

 

These are my thoughts today. Is there anything–dreams, thoughts, adventures–that we share today?

Daily IG @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 · Parenting

Infertility!(part 1)

I’ll go out on a limb here and bring up the subject of infertility. It’s such a private issue for those couples desperate to conceive their own child and it is seldom discussed in public. But it impacts more people than you can count and runs the gamut from A – C:

A- ‘No hope’   

B- ‘Slim chance’

C- ‘50/50’

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It can really mess with your head.

For some couples, it can lead to pain, heartache, and spending more cash than you ever imagined. It breaks individuals, it breaks relationships and it breaks the bank.

Not to mention how unsexy it is?

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Those of you who have experienced infertility know exactly what I’m talking about. You learned it the hard way.  

So when Ron and I wanted to start a family, it wasn’t quick and easy. When we didn’t conceive after a year of trying, we were baffled.

How could this be? We both worked out daily, we ate healthily and were not overweight, and, unlike some unsuspecting high school girls, we WANTED to get pregnant.

Which is strange in itself because for most of my life, I did not want kids. Maybe my body was getting back at me for saying that.

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Or, do you think it might be God?

dawn

(Part 2 coming…)

#ryanshines#infertility

Perfecting Dysfunction · wounded healer · wounded Mother

Taking a bullet for your child

I swore that I would take a bullet for my sons.

But when it came down to it, I ducked. I knew I would take that bullet, but when it comes down to it our instinct is to save ourselves. That’s very hard for me to admit because I don’t want to be like that.

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I fully expected not to leave the fire without my babies in my arms. If I’m not responsible for my children, who is?

When you think about it, Life is a series of choices. And the choices are ours. Yours may not be as dramatic as mine but you have to admit every day and every night we are bombarded with choices.

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It’s why some of us can’t sleep.

There are things that happen to us in life that are not our choice. Like Ryan dying in the fire, or somebody ‘gets’ cancer. They didn’t choose it.

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But that’s when we learn the deepest truth about choices. It doesn’t matter nearly enough what happens to us as what we do with ‘what happens to us.’

dawn

Encouragement · Hope · Parenting · wounded Mother

An Attitude of Gratitude

If I have to choose my favorite of the  ‘7 things I learned from my son,” (previous post) it would be the first one,  “Appreciate Life.” Or, another way to say it is ‘living an attitude of Gratitude.’

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When Ryan died, I came to a real crossroads in my way of understanding life. The first road I traveled was: “the accident as highway robbery.” There was nothing ‘right’ about it. It was wrong, wrong, wrong. Ryan was stolen from us.

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Ryan

 

Quite a few years later, I stumbled onto the second road. It was a whole new way of understanding loss. The fact that we had one day with Ryan was a gift because the truth is we didn’t deserve even a day with Ryan.

You get what I’m saying?  That every day we spent with him was a little miracle for our family. Think about it, we had 2567 days with him.

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Xmas 2000

How can that be wrong?

To look at something this horrendous thru the lense of gratitude is life-changing. It would have been easier to be cynical (nothing ever really works out the way you want it) but I am not.

Here’s an idea: why don’t you put on your gratitude glasses and look at your life? It can change the way you see the worst of the worst.

I’m living proof.

Dawn