Friday, March 04, 2011

I Am Brave

I received my locket weeks ago. It was perfect. The colors of the beautiful blue Czech glass beads... the perfect font of tiny letters lovingly hammered into into it that claimed, "I am brave." After much deciding about which locket spoke to me, I felt so strongly that I needed it, and I so adore Liz Elaine's work.

But I gave my locket away two days after I received it to someone I felt needed it much more. I gave it to my youngest daughter when she decided at 17, to go out on her own...and now, now I feel the desperate need for another locket. I need that reminder again that I too, am brave. I need the locket with the words lovingly pounded into it with Liz's loving hands....with her intentions of peace for the wearer.

There is such a duality to my life. The joy I feel about my hearts work and my marriage and the myriad of blessings so present in my life...and the joys that being a parent of five children (four of which still live at home) brings to me. The laughter, the silliness, the noise, the love, the dancing....
but lately I feel like I'm crumbling. Crumbling under the pressure of physical pain once again limiting my life and the way I want to live it; but mostly, I'm crumbling under the pressures of being a mother to three older teenagers and a little guy who just turned six.
I feel like life keeps throwing such tough things at me...I get cynical and think maybe to see how much I can take before I break. I have been reduced to my knees in prayer...prayer in thanksgiving, but also so often in tears. I feel I am at war with myself in many ways.
I ask the questions of myself that some parents might ask..."Have I done enough?" "Was I supportive enough?" "Did I make too many mistakes?" "Is it my fault my child has gone astray?" "What should I have done differently?" "Should I have been more strict?....less strict?....more expectations?....should I have made more money?...less of this...more of that..."
 I have truly learned to love a lot of the questions about life...about God....about spirituality....but I am not loving the questions I've been asking of myself.
I know in my heart that I've done my very best for E. It is the hardest thing I've ever had to do...witnessing the destruction and chaos and tears. And I am not unaware of how hard it must be for her to tell me things that disappoint and sadden me. I have had to tell my own mother things that I knew would brake her heart, and make her question her own parenting.

I encourage you to write about your struggles here. Or even send me an anonymous letter...or leave an anonymous comment if you'd like. Talk to me about your heartache, your joy, your moments of clarity.
Because this blog is so public, I cannot reveal the specifics of the experiences I am having as a parent in this moment that are causing me such heartache....I am not anonymous! but I am ever hopeful....ever hopeful still.

I think instead of the "Brave" locket, I'll choose this one:

Yes, I need this reminder...I need this one now.

Dearest Liz, I thank you ...for your healing works of love from the Little Room... for your words....for your gentleness through the many years I have followed you....for your amazing new BOOK,which I adore......thank you for you.
My daughter, E. is back home now. She is wearing her "I am brave" necklace. and She needs it now more than ever.


  1. thank you dear girl for sharing your story so others remember they are not alone, so perhaps you can see you are not alone too. navigating it all is so big, bigger than we ever realize it might be. yet we do it. each day. inhale. exhale. one step. then the next.
    honored to be sending this necklace your way...

  2. Dearest Valentine, you are brave and love will find a way...we all have our own personal moments of darkest despair...atleast I think we all do...I know that I do and that you are not alone! We've all made grave errors in judgement at some time in our lives,I think that's what makes us human, but I know that you have made many more right choices than wrong ones, or you wouldn't have so many who love you. You are always that beacon of light that attracts and sends out hope...please don't ever stop! You are needed and loved and you do make a difference!

  3. Thank you for sharing these parts of yourself, beautiful soul. All I see is a woman who is working so hard to be the best she can be, for herself and her art and for those whom she loves most deeply.
    You are a treasure and everyone in your world is so lucky to have you.

  4. ((Jennifer)) You are brave and inspire me in so many ways. Trust your heart. Keep writing, keep creating, keep sharing. Your boundless love will find a way.


  5. you are amazing. brave. loving. honest. i hear you. love

  6. Dear Friend, Don't you wish this motherhood thing came with an instruction manual?!?! I've always tried so hard to be perfect, only to end up imperfect every time. Whereas I look back and see the failures, I hope and pray my children look back and see a mother who, despite her many faults, loves them and does her best to show them and tell them with all that she has. Praying for all of us mothers, Karen xoxoxoxo


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