Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I have seen perfection.
I have held it. I have kissed it and loved it.
I have counted perfection's fingers and toes and shed my tears over it.
I have given perfection a heartbreaking farewell and then...I buried it.
Physically, I buried perfection in the Earth. Symbolically, I buried the image of perfection to protect it.
This perfection needed to be protected from shallow opinions of harsh critics. Perfection needs to be protected from a world that may not be kind to him. Perfection is hidden under the wings of his mother.
But today, I received an incredible gift. A gift that will allow me to share my glimpse of perfection with you. A gift that will allow me to share my son with you.
 Barrett's pictures are sacred to me. The ones from the hospital didn't turn out well, and I only have two beautiful images that my mother thought to capture at the funeral home. They are a treasure to me. I keep them with me at all times. And, for the most part, I keep them to myself, only sharing them with people I truly trust who first ask to see them. Protecting these images are how I protect my son.
Keeping them sacred allow me to protect his beautiful image from people who may not be so kind. I have no intentions of ever publically sharing his photographs. They are my sacred treasure that I selfishly hoard for myself and those I am closest to.
Yesterday, a beautiful person that I met through a common love of babywearing reached out offering to do a portrait of Barrett. Tears. Immediate tears.
I haven't even shared with her yet that I had been thinking of having that done for awhile, but the problem is finding someone willing and who I trust with his image. I absolutely feel like her reaching out was a God thing for sure.
This amazing, kind, beautiful, amazingly talented person created an indescribable gift for me. This portrait of Barrett is one that I can share. One that I can hang on the wall beside his sisters. Another image to carry with me.
Since receiving the digital image this morning, I have caught myself just staring. Not only did she give me the gift of incredible artwork, but she gave me the gift of being able to share my son.
So, for the first time ever, I am sharing him with you. My angel. My little piece of heaven. My only baby boy. My son. My perfection.
JoyLynn is also the author of Carried Away, an incredible book displaying her talent of creating fun scenes with her son and woven wraps--a favorite book in our house!
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Sunday, January 11, 2015


I need to make a confession. Or two. Or three.

I fail a lot. I let people down. 

I confess that I struggle daily. 

Most recently, I have struggled with God. They say that there are stages of grief. I agree with that. Though, grief is its own monster, and it doesn't always go in the order that they say it will and it's not guaranteed that you won't revisit some of the stages a hundred times like a song stuck on repeat. 

I've had a tight grip on something that I've refused to let go of. I've clenched it tight until my knuckles turned a permanent white. Bitterness.

I want to let it go, because I am exhausted by the amount of energy it requires to carry it with me. But I'm scared to let it go. The bitterness allows me to feel something. And since losing Barrett, I've experienced so many moments of "numbness" that the thought of letting go of any feeling at all is quite terrifying.

This bitterness has roots. These roots are deep in my heart. They started growing the day he died. WHY? A root grew. WHY ME? Then another. WHY MY SON? Another root. 

A holiday passes without him. A root grows.

I look around and see how blessed I am. I realize how thankful I am. Shouldn't my thankfulness outweigh the bitterness and make it disappear? Another root. I am bitter because I am bitter.

And over two years, this bitterness has formed a solid system within me. Between Barrett's death and other events that year, I have clung to it because it is familiar. Familiarity is "safe". 

I've been wrestling with God over it. God wanting me to surrender it and me clinging to it like a safety net.

But what good has come from me clinging to bitterness? None. I should have been clinging to God.

This is not news to me. I've known all along what I should do. But I'm stubborn and I fought God over it. I ran and hid away with my bitterness. But you can't hide from God and at each turn, He has been working on me.

And so, little by little, root by root, one finger at a time, I'm letting it go. And I'm giving it away. I'm tired of running. Tired of hiding. Tired of clinging to the wrong truth.

Confession number two. Barrett's death rocked my world. It shattered my fairy tale views of the world. His death has forever altered everything about me. How I think. How I feel. My hopes, my dreams, my fears. 

Along with that has come severe anxiety. About everything. I hide it well, but it eats away at me. I've wrestled with God over this too. What do I do? How can I ease this and let go?

And you see, God has been giving me an answer all along. But it's been an answer that I didn't want. It is pushing me out of my comfort zone. 

I'll discuss this more in a later blog, but I felt an immense relief and weight lifted off of my shoulders when I finally said "Ok God. I will try".

But for now, my point is, I am broken. I am a mess. I make a lot of mistakes along the way.

But my Jesus has been with me every step of the way. I don't know where I would be if not for that truth.

It's ok to be broken. It's ok to be a mess. Just lay it down.