Because sometimes, we don’t “get over it”

I’m a list-maker. I just love making lists.

I love that feeling of putting a check beside a line, of crossing out a line. It gives me a thrill.

When it comes to dealing with the though stuff of life, I want to put it in a list too. I want to deal with it and get it over with so that I can put a check beside that line.

But it just so happens to be that you can’t deal with everything by throwing it in a list and checking it of. A pity.

I started writing baby names in my journal when I was 13.

99% of them girl names.

I made it my mission to repeat my favorite names to my husband before we were even married, to get him used to the ones he didn’t like.

It worked (yay me), but we didn’t need the girl name for the first, the second or the third baby.

And I had the hardest time with that.

I brought it to God and tried to leave it there, I read this wonderful book about how God redeems our pain, and wrote down in my journal that I was […]

When you wonder when you will find yourself

A myth persists that as a child we grow up and develop a character, as a teenager we discover who we truly are so that by the time we are adults we are ready to step out into the world with self-confidence, ready to be who we are out there.

And then we don’t find out who we are and we don’t feel very grownup and we think our life has started of without us.

What we don’t realize fully, what flutters evasively just out of reach? Is that we are who we are and have been all along. We change and we keep changing.Discovering that you enjoy something when you are 30 doesn’t mean that you didn’t fully know yourself up until then. Or maybe it means exactly that, and that’s just it: God made us in such a beautifully complex and changing way that we need a lifetime and more to figure out ourselves.

As something new enters the story, it doesn’t say that who you were up until then was a lie. It was just a different chapter of your story, but the last chapter is just as much a part of the book as the […]

Een foto zegt niet altijd 1000 woorden

In the evening I sit on the steps that go from the kitchen down to the living room, and I want to take a picture.

For Instagram, you know. This moment is perfect, and I want to remember it. If perfect food goes on Instagram, shouldn’t perfect moments?

Because there is Mike, with Caleb on his feet, dancing to Billy Joel’s Piano Man.

Gabriel jumps from couch to couch to coffee table.

Abel dances around his daddy and two brothers, running and skipping.

But Caleb’s worn out sweatpants are sagging down. His t-shirt is dirty. Then there’s Gabriel who still has a considerable amount of food on his face, with a generous helping of snot wiped over and around it.

Abel’s one sock is falling off and the other one is pulled up high over his pants.

I don’t have a white wall, and they always do so well on Instagram.

So I sit here, looking as hard as I can. Sitting in the 3-D picture and it’s going viral in my heart.

To this perfect moment that looks so incredibly imperfect.

I send a laugh to Gabriel, who is telling me about the dragon he will kill. Dancing and […]

The unaesthetical Christmas tree

After 10 years of Christmas Trees being forbidden, they were welcome in our house again. In 17-year-old enthusiasm I attacked the tree.

It would be gorgeous. And perfect. And totally awesome.

My 8-year-old sister agreed but dear me, did she ever have different ideas of gorgeous then I did!

For some reason, someone thought it was a good idea to give her a gigantic, flashy pink and yellow heart and my sister believed it to be an ornament for the tree no matter how many times I told her it wasn’t.

In a frantic pursuit of perfection I bossed everybody around and tried to limit the damage my 4 siblings aged 3 to 8 could do to a perfect Christmas tree. In the end I let them hang things wherever they wanted because they did anyway, and planned to redo the tree after they were in bed.

With a cup of tea and a critical eye I stood before the tree and rehung most of the things. I relegated the Pink-Heart-Ornament-Wannabe to the back of the tree and went to bed satisfied with a job well done.

The next morning I got up, later than my siblings because […]

The time I wanted to break my legs, otherwise titled, ‘In which I feel like sh*t”

I’d like to have energy and feel great. That is to say, I wish I did not have fibromyalgia.

That is to say, I wish I did not have continuous headaches, I wish I did not have a sore throat and earache 6 out of 10 days. I wish I didn’t feel like I was burning right under my skin down to my bones on the worse days. Like a huge elastic band snapped back and stung all over on the better days.

I wish I didn’t have lower back pain, shoulder and neck pain and I wish I didn’t have sharp pains in random places and I wish I wasn’t exhausted and feverish-feeling all the time. I wish stirring porridge and mashing potatoes and lifting children and fastening seat belts and sitting and standing up and not lying in bed all day with a hot water bottle didn’t hurt and exhaust me quite so much.

I wish I didn’t have muscles that tell me I have an infection that really is just a figment of their imagination. Who knew muscles had an imagination?

I wish that even though I do have those things, I didn’t have the depressing feeling […]

It is well

There are busy people and calm people, fast and slow ones. Happy-go-lucky and melancholy people. There are al sorts of people and all sorts of days.

Busy ones and calm ones. Happy and melancholy. Days full of plans, dreams and energy, days that are empty, tired and without vision.

There are people who live in extremes and I might maybe possibly be one of them. If there is a happy day, I am certain that all days will from now on be like that, or I want to make sure they will be. When a slow and visionless day comes along I become instantly depressed and convinced that all days will from now on and henceforth ?always be like that.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that I have learned not to pay overly much attention to my feelings about it.

Because like in one of my favourite songs…It is well with my soul. It will always well with my soul. Because there is an all consuming presence, it doesn’t swallow me up in uncaring blackness. It covers me, holds me, fills and?loves me.

It is not a nameless and unpersonal force, it is […]

Waiting

At the end of the sand, the beginning of the water, and the water comes and goes. Feet in the wet sand and the wave comes back, covering my feet.

Waiting on the next wave, staring at the blue sky and the clouds far away. Seagulls fly there and come back and I want to ask them what they found there, far away in the golden sky. I can almost feel my wings as I imagine flying there but they are missing and so I stand and wait. I don’t know what I wait for, really. It’s always something different, something small and insignificant yet important to me at the moment. Underneath, surrounding that, there is a mysterious longing for something I don’t know and something I haven’t seen yet. It’s on a child and a house and security. A husband who comes home, the oven timer that goes of. The washing machine that’s done so I can empty it out. That vacation and that meeting, a visit from a friend. It’s on a home in Heaven, in which I believe and look forward too, for which I received a longing, built into me and wrapped with mystery […]