Love, Joleen

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Difficult Times

I want to talk about something difficult. Ya'll, I'm struggling. The thing is, it's a trying time for many of us. It's been radio silence over here because there are just so many things I want to share, and at the end of the day, I haven't had the energy for it. As a family, we've done things I'm extremely proud of and I want to spend some time [soon] talking about the ways we're standing up for people and social justice. I want to document the marches in this space so that someday my son can see and hear the words behind the photos. Right now, I want to talk about loss. 
As most of you know, I had two miscarriages last year. And while my initial reaction was to cling to hope, and count my blessings, I've got to admit that I've had a rough time in recent weeks. We honored the first baby's due date by going away for the weekend as a family. The second baby would be due in less than two weeks... The baby was due on the anniversary of one of my best friend's death 3 years ago. I saw that as a gift and I think that's another reason why I'm in so much pain right now. I wrote about that friend and depression, here.

Friends, I am hurting. I am angry. I am questioning God's plan for me. Maybe it wouldn't hurt so bad if I was pregnant again but it's been nearly 7 months and I am not. Hormones have wrecked havoc over my body and emotions.

A few days ago I was driving and this came on the radio. Tears were streaming down my face. This. I can't tell you how many times I've sang/prayed this aloud since. I am clinging to this.


"I'm so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don't wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I've got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know you're good
But this don't feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It's hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you're God
And I am not

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store

So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord"

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World with a Preschooler

As most of you know, we recently had our first vacation at Walt Disney World. We've taken Benjamin to Disneyland several times during visits to family in California but I really had no idea what to expect as we headed to Orlando, Florida over Christmas vacation. I am incredibly grateful to my friends for imparting all of their super helpful tips for visiting Walt Disney World with a preschooler. I thought I'd share my favorite (and what I consider the best and most unique) 7 tips here today!  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2/52 Weeks Portrait Project 2017

"A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2017."

I love Benjamin's curiosity. He loves collecting things when we're out on our walks and "forbentures". For his birthday, he got this beginner microscope and slides. I love watching him get excited about his observations.  

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Friday, January 13, 2017

How to be a Wildflower and My Nature Journal

For Christmas, my very good friend, Heather, gave me How to be a Wildflower: a Field Guide by Katie Daisy. I've been following Katie on Instagram for a couple of years now and am a huge fan of her work. This book is an interactive visual journal of sorts. It's filled with inspiring quotes, whimsical artwork, recipes, and prompts on how you can best enjoy your time spent outdoors. Here is the beautiful promo video, she released to give you a better idea of what's inside.
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