Friday, September 12, 2014

On Choosing Joy & The Heart Behind my Fall Line




This time last year, I felt so fragile. Life was chaotic and the Lord was allowing us to feel one struggle after another. 

1. We were kicked out of our apartment when the windows started leaking copious amounts of water due to all the rain from the Boulder Flood. Our carpets were soaked and previous tenants had cats so when the carpet got wet, it released bacteria and odors that were unbearable from urine ((tell me again why ANYONE would want a cat?)). Chase is allergic to cats so the now exposed dander made it impossible for him to sleep. Every single hotel in a 50 mile radius was booked from people whose homes were entirely flooded. We were fortunate, but still down & out.

2. We celebrated our 5th Anniversary with all of our furniture pushed to one side of our apartment with the carpet removed and fans blowing everything dry. We ate pizza on the floor while Knox snoozed. 

3. We stayed with some generous friends from church that we hardly knew at that time right when Knox started cutting his first tooth and was still not even close to sleeping through the night at 5 months old. I definitely hadn't gotten a hang of the whole "being a mom and living on no sleep" thing...I was on the verge of tears at all times. 

4. I was preparing to go to a conference and sell my handmade items at a market. I couldn't even get to my sewing machine. My life felt like it was in shambles and traveling to Indianapolis was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to hunker down and pick up some pieces. We road tripped to Arkansas for a friend's wedding. We found out the hard way that Knox does not like being in the car for more than an hour. ;) 

5. Just prior to all of this, my car broke down when we tried to get away and go to the cabin for less than 2 days and it was a pricey fix. We had to get it towed back to Boulder from Buena Vista.  

Looking back, it was the beginning of a year that was spent being knocked down to the Feet of the Father and also being picked up by Him by the armpits while I was limp and helpless. It was a year of heartache and changes.  

Fast forward to this past May. We bought a house and the next weekend, my life seemed to crumble.  Chase was out of town for a class he had to finish for school. We had found out about a month or two prior that we were expecting baby number two, for which we were surprised by and giddy about at the same time. It was a huge reason why we sought to buy a house in the first place. 

A happy change and an event that was supposed to be joyful and exciting was tainted by heartbreak. I had been "spotting" all weekend but didn't know until I had to bump up my doctors appointment for an emergency ultrasound Monday morning that we had lost our baby. A child that we were so excited about and had already been making plans for. We loved that baby just as much as Knox and we had yet to meet them. Sitting in that ultrasound chair while the ultrasound tech failed to find any sign of a heartbeat was the most heartbreaking moment of my life. I think I was just trying to hold onto hope that everything was okay until proven otherwise up until that point. I remember thinking...hm, she must be new at this...just to try and not believe the actual outcome. When she labeled two things "baby A" and "baby B?" - I lost it. I asked her to turn off the tv monitor and the sound while she finished. After an excruciating two hour wait for my doctor, it was all confirmed and I was sent home - in complete shock and devastation - to let nature run it's course.  I'll spare you details,  but after a sweet friend stayed the night with me while I labored, after complications and some amazing friends rushing me to the ER the next morning, after my parents flew in from Texas and Chase flew back early from his trip. After a surgery and the hardest 48 hours of my life - I still couldn't wrap my head around it all. 

Over the next few months, I tried to let myself grieve and process. Many days, I would just try to distract myself. There were days that I felt the joy of the Lord and saw beauty - whether that was in gorgeous summer weather or the therapeutic nature of planting our garden and landscaping around our home. There were days that the Lord showed me over & over that He was right there beside me, but I didn't want Him there. I fell into this dark state that was hardened, calloused and cynical. I truly doubted the goodness of the Lord at times. 

In one of my darkest weeks, Chase asked me to read a section of a book by Eugene Peterson ((a long obedience in the same direction)) and I said "No." He read it to me anyways. We were driving somewhere, he had the book in his backpack, and he started reading it to me. It was a turning point in my grieving. 

"For God does not want us neurotically dependent on him but willingly trustful in him. And so he weans us....God hasn't abandoned you and you haven't done anything wrong. You are being weaned...You are free to come to God or not come to him. You are, in a sense, on your own with an open invitation to listen and receive and enjoy our Lord." 

For me - I felt the Lord was weaning me from my own self-sufficiency. Even from my instinct to simply distract myself with work and designing. I couldn't control what happened. I couldn't stop it once it was happening. I couldn't even control my own emotions after it happened. But once I realized that it was a choice I was making to be cynical and doubtful of the Lord's goodness - I could truly start to turn that on it's head and CHOOSE to find joy and CHOOSE to trust that He is for me and CHOOSE to believe that He is good - EVEN especially  in those days that are hard and sorrowful.  

I've hesitated writing about this because it seems way too vulnerable and personal and raw to expose. But I wanted to explain how much this change of seasons is meaning to me. So what does my miscarriage have to do with my Fall line?

This Fall is more than about pumpkin flavored beverages  and flannel and boots...it's about a fresh start and a reminder to choose joy as a new season approaches - whether it's smooth sailing or full of refining and devastation. It's part of the reason I am so excited for this Fall line I just launched. To me, it's a tangible symbol of getting my feet back on the ground, trusting God to use and shine through the creativity He's given me, and hoping in the new mercies He's promised every morning. Because sometimes, we have to take things a day, even  an hour,  at a time because that's all we can handle. Putting our hope in our to-do lists or distractions or elusive "me time" won't get us anywhere. So, this might just look like a pretty font on a flattering tee - but it's my heart on a product. It's my hope for y'all : That you would choose joy instead of wallowing in despair for so long - like I did. That doesn't mean that you just brush off your feelings. I'm still sad about those few days in early May several times a week and I don't think the heartbreak will ever truly go away.  Please feel your feelings and take all the time you need to grieve. But believe that He makes all things new (2 Cor 5:17) and that He cares for you (Zeph 3:17). My heart and soul are both so intertwined in this line of headbands, kimonos, and tops. I hope you love it as much as I do. The excitement of a new season is so refreshing and rejuvenating - I want to embrace it and squeeze it for all it's worth.


love.

((photo details: tote & skirt from gypsy threads, choose joy tee found here ))


23 comments:

  1. kim - you're a rockstar. I look up to you so much. Wishing you the very best for you and your little family. xoxo - luciana

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  2. I just want to hug you! God's ways of showing us His promises and love ate sometimes amazing when we step back and really see. Love the collection!

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  3. I had ideas of things that could be going on when you first vaguely posted about stressful times in your life, but of course I figured you would mention them when the time was right. I'm so sorry you had to go through so much, and within such a short time. I hope that your faith brought you extreme comfort during this time. It sounds like you're slowly moving past it but most surely let yourself grieve and take the time that you need. I can't wait to see the happy things that will most def come to you next!
    Lauren
    1sweetfairytale.blogspot.com

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  4. Beautiful blog. I follow you on Instagram because I love all of the fun products and stuff you post! I've only been to your blog a few times, but I saw you posted about it today and decided to come on over. I'm glad I did. :) I've been through some "struggles" recently that are in absolutely no way similar to yours, but I arrived at the same conclusion...to just choose joy. I loved reading your thoughts on it. I wrote a very simple blog sort of along the same lines if you ever feel like looking: http://kalenacreates.com/2014/02/21/claim-joy/ (not trying to get you to follow my blog or anything 😉). Here's to choosing joy and loving these lives we've been blessed with!

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing you heart, Kim. I saw you at Influence last year, and you looked very put together. ;) I never would have guessed you were having a difficult time. I am so so sorry about losing your baby/babies. I truly am sorry. This post was encouraging to me as my husband and I are having difficulty conceiving (since Jan. of 2013). Even though it isn't the same struggle as yours, it's still comforting when other people share their hearts. Can't wait to see what the future holds for you all! <3

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  6. Thank you for sharing this. It's a wonderful thing when you are finally able to realize it's time to 'choose joy.'

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  7. Wishing I could just wrap you up in the biggest hug. I can only imagine what you've been through these months, but to see you choosing joy is the most incredible thing.

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  8. oh girl. your heart and your vulnerability. thank you for opening up and sharing so much in boldness, in faith. God is using you in powerful ways.

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  9. I had a feeling that was what had happened when I read your blog earlier this year. I am so sorry!! That is heart-breaking, as a sister in Christ, for me too, even though I haven't personally been through that. Praying for continued healing of your spirit and choosing joy!! Thank you for sharing this painful but important part of your life!

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  10. Thanks for making yourself vulnerable. Posts like these are the hardest to write but the most meaningful to read. So grateful for God's faithfulness even when life looks so bleak.

    "Make me hear joy and gladness,
    That the bones You have broken may rejoice." Psalm 51:8

    God breaks us, but He can teach us to hear joy and gladness through the pain.

    Love your new line and thanks again for sharing your story!!

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  11. Wow. Thank you for sharing your heart. I pray God will continue to shower you with his comfort and encouragement.

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  12. I thought I sent this the other day but it didn't go through. Kim, I had a feeling when you posted a while back. I have been thinking of you and praying for you ever since. I am truly so sorry for you loss. I know what it feels like to lose a child so precious to you. When I saw your choose joy shirt I immediately loved it. It is something I struggle with still almost a year after loosing Claire is to choose joy each day. Sweet friend, please know if you need anything, want to talk through anything I am here. I know what your thinking and feeling and it is sometimes nice to have a person who truly understands. Praying for you and your sweet family.

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  13. Wow.

    What a powerful piece of writing. Thank you for sharing a part of your heart, and for finding the beauty in it all. I will "choose joy" always.

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  14. I just want to thank you for sharing your heart. I know being vulnerable and sharing our hearts can be so hard, but I just want you to know how encouraging it was to me. As someone who has been unable to get pregnant for the past five and a half years, and who has watched some family and friends very near to me go through some really hard things, your choice to choose joy and focus on trusting God is such a huge encouragement. My prayers are with you.

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  15. Tears for you...sending you a big hug. And thankful for you too. Such wise words here and strength. Strength for sharing and for your honesty. (Also love that shirt!)

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  16. Thanks for the vulnerability and heart you've shared with us. Your story and your joy will bring life to many—it already has! There is no end to his faithfulness, no end to your joy. Praying for you and your family. I'm thrilled to share some goodies from the fall line with friends & fam!

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  17. so glad that you shared this with all of us. it encouraged me greatly. such a good reminder to continue to choose to let God in and to let Him help take care of us, even during the most difficult times.

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  18. Thank you so much for sharing this, Kim. So vulnerable. So honest. I had no idea this is what you were going through. But it's beautiful to see the road map of how God was with you and brought you through it back to joy (love that Zeph 3:17 verse!) again. My heart weeps for the sweet babies (yours, ours and those of our friends) whom none of us got to meet, but I am confident they are together in the arms of our Father and we will see them again one day. Bless you sweet friend and thanks again for sharing this!

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  19. I came across your blog through a friend and just wanted to say I so appreciate you sharing your heart. I have five babies in heaven and five children here on earth. I had a very similar experience to you where I went in for my ultrasound only to find out I was having twins and neither one had a heartbeat. What a shock! What devastation! I ended up having surgery, complications and then another surgery. It was a grueling experience physically, emotionally and spritually but I loved how you shared about God being there because I always felt him closest during those times as well. I bless you for being real and pray for continued healing and wholeness and freedom to grieve when you need to. I also pray you recieve your heart's desire! Thanks again for sharing! Much love, Heather

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  20. Oh girl I am so sorry. I had a feeling this had happened because of a vague post forever ago. Miscarriages suck. I'll continue praying for you. Also, I noticed you said you were pregnant on your juice post. So congrats on that. Beauty from ashes, friend!

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