Saturday, July 14, 2018

Roots and Wings

Its almost been a year since I've written.. It seems whenever I take a break I always jump start with a poem.

I will never forget how blessed I really am. Or the pain in the 7 year struggle it took to reach here. I've been broke down, but there was always a hope that I often didn't know I had...and always

 Psalm 37:4

"I am reminded"

As I sit here with you
I'm reminded of the sorrow,
in the struggle
Oh, my joy is greater for it.

Here you are a Tree
grown from a River.
I'm reminded of 
shadows in the dark,
hope in the light.
A reflection somewhere
deep inside. 
What I've lost 
What I have.

A fighter will bear a fighter
you were worth all the tears
it took to hold you.
I've loved, I've lost
and beyond me
here you are.
I am reminded
Rivers run free,
Trees stand strong.

I take comfort in the revalation
I have them both
A baby that can plant roots,
one that has wings.

You will know of all the beautiful things
you will know of His endless hope.

River Munson born into heaven 8/16/16
Elowen Louise Munson born 7/8/18

Thursday, July 20, 2017

one of the problems of the status "Married, no children."

Yep, I'm going to whine... eh who's perfect anyway?

The whine:  No options for girl time.

 My closest friends are either single, or married with children. Like those close BBF friends. With the exception of two (Jasmine and Katie) that I live too far away from.

Married no children.

The single friends you make (because they have the time spend with you and you often have more in common with them than your friends with children) don't really want to hang out with a married person for an extended period of time....who will more than likely talk about her husband and don't really get what it's like to be single either.  I mean I don't like hanging out with my friends with children because well it often hurts...makes me long, or feel one likes feeling jealous. Though you are great friends there is a sort of different level or connection with others in your walk in life. A connection I dearly miss and have missed for a number of years now.

But most of my closest friends who are married have children and don't have the time to get away for a weekend. Sometimes it's a fight for a night and even than because their children are amazing  (and I love each of their kiddos) they are huge part of their life they are often talked about. Like I stated above it often hurts my heart though I love them dearly and again it's a different level of connection...

Those missing levels don't make a friendship less or more...just makes them different. Unfortunately for me there are a lot less females with my status (Childless not by choice) then with either of the others (single, married with children)

So here I am

Married. No Children.

In desperate need of girl time but live too far away from some, while not having the right status for others...

with an understanding that I love them all and they love me...I'm not angry or upset (well maybe a little but not at them just at things in general) as it's no ones fault that this is the way things are.

It does not change the fact...

I'm in desperate need of some girl time

I've never been on a "girls weekend" where I traveled somewhere with two or three close girlfriends. I've had girls nights but i guess I've never held the right status at the right time with enough people to do more than that.
Bucket list #21 go on a girls weekend.

 I normally just settle for alone time.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

But one day...

It's been almost 9 months...I've survived Christmas, my due date, countless pregnancy announcements, births, and mothers day..(barely I thought I hated mother-day before this past year happened) I've cried, I've been angry, I've been on meds for depression and anxiety then off them again (for now)...a lot has gone wrong in the last year and honestly little has gone right. But each day is new and every breath is a miracle.

I still struggle with a unrealistic fear of the dark or more the shadows that shift and sneer at the edge of darkness. As if they followed me home from the dim shadows of a hospital room.  After a night that apparently will never, I no longer have to have some sort of light on at night, but sometimes it takes an awful lot of deep breaths and a lot of praying to keep the panic at bay while laying in bed.  I'm sure the shadows are closing in and I can't watch them all at once...driving at night is almost impossible. I no longer take walks alone at night(those who knew me in college and after know that was a huge coping mechanism for me). I try my hardest to be home before dark unless someone is in the car with heart gets funny.

Its on the rough nights, (like this one) that follow a fantastic day (like I just had)... That I can't help but wonder...

what is wrong with me.

Whats wrong in my brain to make night so hard...and darkness so overwhelmingly dark.

Almost 9 months since I had to un-tell something wonderful.
A full school year.
A classroom full of three and four year old children who hug me and love me and absolutely slay me each and every day.
17 kids who I helped make their Mother's a Mothers Day gift  and watched give said gifts to their mothers...this mothers day that was FINALLY suppose to be different.

My job is so rewarding and so heartbreaking at the same time.

Two people mentioned River to me last weekend and assured me I was a mother even if I didn't get flowers or gifts...and yes they undid all the tears I had swallowed, but their acknowledgment of what never got a chance to be, helps me know I don't remember alone it meant the world to me. I needed them to know that.

9 months and I have absolutely have zero desire to ever be pregnant again. I have friends who say that will pass, but deep down if I was completely honest I very much doubt it. I was a mess pregnant I didn't want to be that way and I often wonder if my emotions had been more stable everything would have been different. I can't help but wonder...I know it changes nothing all this wondering.

 what is wrong with me.

I want to love all the children now...all those who's parents couldn't realize the incredible privilege and blessing their child if my existing ability to love all children has be magnified by the love I have for a child I never held...

I just suck at waiting...
Like really really suck.

waiting on a savings account (or a miracle) to buy a house with...then waiting to find a house and actually closing a deal on it, after that waiting to get through all the paperwork and red tape to become approved for foster care. It all seems so far away and so absolutely impossible.

I just suck at waiting
Like really really suck.
and something is wrong with me

Its the anxiety thing, the "it's been a rough year" thing, it's an inability to believe something could actually work out. Because my hope has been deferred so.many.times.

It's been 9 months, I'm okay really I am...just sometimes, some nights I'm not. It's not a lack of faith. its an inability to remember that my faith is founded on someone who has overcome the things that creep and sneer in the edges of darkness. Peace is easier to hold when the sun is shining and the 2AM  blog entry seems to be silly.

Hi, I'm Leah,

I haven't been here in a while at least not really not fully.
I don't want to make anybody sad.
I don't write for pity, or sympathy

I write so I can hear my thoughts plain, so I can convince myself that there is nothing wrong with me. I write so I can talk myself out of feeling insane. I'm an insomniac who is scared of the dark. I'm 1 in 8..I'm a mess. I've lost a baby..but thats not it. This is not my defining qualities...It's part of who I am but life is so much more.

Hi, I'm Leah,
I'm a teacher
I'm a wife
I'm a daughter
I'm a sister
I'm an aunt
I'm a friend
I'm a writer
I'm a book worm
I'm a creator of beautiful things
I'm a line dancer

most importantly of all

I'm a Redeemed Child of God

I've come through a dark time and almost gave up on life.

but one day...

So it seems

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Country by definition because I'm so very over political posts.

Something unnecessary because all you read now scares you. 

A non political post.

Inspiration from this obnoxious photo, not unlike most ill thought out/ judgmental posts you come across on social media.

Though I "get" what point is trying to be made here. I think aside from this photo calling names and judging people by what they wear it still fails to hit the true meaning of "Country" a vague elusive term that would be served better broken down into multiple subsets including but not limited to; Redneck, Farmer, white trash, hick, hillbilly, hunters, gun nuts,  (I'll let you decide which categories the subjects in the above pictures fall into)

Websters has a list of definitions for the term "Country" for my intents and purposes I am going to focus on the ones I've posted here.

nounplural countries

rural districts, including farmland, parkland, and other sparsely populated areas, as opposed to cities or towns:
Many city dwellers like to spend their vacations in the country.

of, relating to, or associated with country music :
That Nashville station plays country records all day long.
rude; unpolished; rustic:
country manners.

13. Made me laugh, not sure if anyone wants to be defined as "country" after reading that definition. I my as well end my blog here because it may define every person in the above photo perfectly.

So lets redefine the title "Country" the heart and soul and simplicity of country life. Before this mantra of "Don't tread on me"

lets go back to the roots because no one is entitled to anything we are just taking care of what God has given us...not a political post moving on...

I don't belong to any of those pictures...maybe I've never been country...because country is "cool" and I've never been cool...

I've picked out my own photos of what it means to be country.  

some of the people in this pictures grew up in big cities or other countries...

To me, to be country means to know what it is to work hard, sacrifice family vacations for fair and cows, loving others, giving when you have very little yourself and lastly to raise something that benefits others (crops, cows, pigs, fruit...etc...)  okay maybe I've confused "farmer" with "country." 


It's more than rebel flags, strong opinions, big belt buckles, camo, short shorts, fancy boots, beer, (I love my boots and I love my beer) guns, toys, mud, trucks,...(and because I grew up on a dairy farm and I have to...horses ;)  ) Country is not about being better than anyone else.... Country is about loving and respecting someone regardless of where they are from and what they are. It's also being able to sustain yourself..something I wish I could get back to.

Lastly, you don't even have to to be raised in a rural area to be this kind of country if that's even the term I'm defining anymore. 

In fact forget it, I'm not "country" define me as a Christ follower (you all know how I feel about the term "Christian") call me a farmer, teacher, wife, friend...but please don't call me "country."

My  husband was born and raised in Phoenix AZ, and while hes far from the "country boy" I thought I would marry... he is good, kind, honest, and hard working man after God's own heart....and by this definition hes way better than country!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Welcome to my world

I've always been amazed at all the ways God works to get a message across. Sometimes humans are so broken, so unfocused that he has to make it hurt. Boy but when we finally get the message man do we get it.

Ouch... do I get it.

The power of words and the thoughtlessness of some common used phrases often amazes me. Some I've written about such as asking a couple "when will you have kids"  or worse yet "the biological clock is ticking" or asking a single person when they are going to get married...I could go on for a long while. Right now God has brought to my attention the phrase "Welcome to my world"

I can't count how many times I have used this phrase and have never even for a second stopped to think what I'm really saying. Then yesterday, when someone used those words while talking to me it irritated me. So I thought...why did it irritated me so much? Four words, and because of my irritation my response was not pleasant and it all went down hill from there.

The power of words. To build up or tear down. to Speak Life... to prove how selfish we really are.

From the overflow of the heart...

 Lets start by thinking of the context of the conversation when those words might come out of your mouth. When talking to someone else, who is expressing a frustration or trial in their life. Why might someone express their pain or frustration to you? To hear how you have it worse or to hear words of encouragement?

If someone has just told you what they are feeling or struggling with and you respond with "Welcome to my world" you have just taken their pain/frustration and belittled it by saying "so what I have the same problem." Is that speaking life? As I'm writing this I'm cringing at how many times I have done this to someone in my many missed opportunities to reach out and help someone with their burden because it's not about you...or me...

It's about God.

Oh, how I have forgotten, I've been so wrapped up in my pain and my misery and my fights. I've forgotten that nothing is mine and we are hear to share Christs love with others.

but why stop with just "Welcome to my world"

How many times has someone expressed pain to you and though you didn't say "welcome to my world" you told them how your pain is worse. A while ago I was having a conversation with the very  individual that inspired this whole blog. She expressed an issue she was having and how it was effecting her. Instead of saying "I'm sorry, or that sucks" I had to tell her that I've had the same issue but for weeks. As if she has no right to be struggling, or miserable. That conversation has bothered me ever since. Yet here I am instead of talking to her about it, I'm writing it in a blog...(social issues much)...that's a whole other topic.

Next time you find yourself in a conversation with a brother or sister in Christ that is hurting or struggling. Instead of taking their hurt away from them and focusing it on you. Maybe you can see past your pain and help or encourage those who are hurting with you.  It's not about's not about me...its not about me.

This world is a enough of a struggle with out turning it into a contest of who struggles more.

The power of words...

The power of love.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hope for your future after miscarriage...maybe my story will make someone else feel less alone.

I've been on a journey more like living a nightmare...

It's not over yet...but the light is coming back into my life...slowly, steadily, thankfully.

I know that most people would rather not know the gory details of what I've been through, and I've struggled with this post because I've no desire to make people pity me. Some of the thoughts I've had dance in my head this last month have not been pretty honestly they where down right ugly.

When you go through something horrible you suddenly find lots of people that have done it, yes the story has variations but the end result, a lost the same.  Everyone handles things differently and in their own way.  Yet its been on my heart to share this experience and the things I've learned from it with the hopes that maybe, just maybe my tiny little blog might reach someone standing where I was a month ago...with the bottom of their world gone, a broken heart, and no hope left.

It's really heartbreaking how common miscarriage really is, how often you never find out why. Our baby looked fine, the heart the liver, it should have been fine. I digress.

Most of you know we waited almost 6 years for our turn to have a baby.  We were told almost 5 years ago we would never be able to have a child. That journey was enough of a nightmare for my husband and I. The process I went through to get to where I was at the begging of summer took nearly 5 years and I had more peace with our circumstances then I'd ever had before. Than I took a positive pregnancy test.  Its hard not to be bitter. Emotionally I had a rough start to a pregnancy just the way my hormones reacted...but eventually I found the excitement and we started planning and dreaming and moving forward. Life was finally happening for us in more ways than one. Until the day we were suppose to go in hear our babies heart beat for the first time.

3 weeks before we had gone in for our 12 week appointment (we measured at 13 weeks and 3 days and were able to see our baby moving, and waving on the ultrasound.) oh the joy, I'm so grateful for at least that experience.  This was going to be the first official ultrasound... and other than what I thought was a flu bug a week and a half before I had a very healthy pregnancy.

Then when your midwife is holding the wand on your abdomen and searching for a heart beat...and well she can't...and she tries to play it off as okay that maybe my baby is just riding low...but she can't find the heart beat...That's when it starts to hurt..because you know even if you don't want to know. Then you get to cut in line for an ultra sound and go through the back doors to get to the ultrasound know and you are already trying not to cry. You get to see your little precious baby, but its not moving...not at all...and the ultrasound tech isn't talking and your midwife isn't saying anything...and a flash of red and blue falls away with your dreams. silently the tech leaves the room and your midwife says.. "I'm sorry" and you hear nothing else...for your floating...out of your own body...

I'm crying all over again...God I wish no one else ever had to go through this...but I know they will. There are a lot of choices to be made the next day. I tell you when you can't process anything these choices are crippling... So if you are standing by the abyss and you have no clue what choices you should make. Its normal.

Our midwife was amazing, and my husband was a rock I kept breaking against... but I couldn't understand anything that was going on. Not when we were on the phone with her discussing what happens next. We could wait a while but because I was 16 weeks she would rather we come in. we were too far along she didn't think we could do a D&C safely I would have to have labor induced...I'm sorry yesterday I was told my baby was gone and now I'm being told I'm going to have to birth the child...yes things can always get worse. I could't do it...we decided to try to wait a while.

For us this was our first wrong choice. For others it could be the right choice...mentally knowing my baby was still inside me and dead was the worst. I give huge credit to the woman who though they miscarried earlier were strong enough to wait for their bodies to take care of itself. I couldn't do it... I couldn't sleep, I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't stop crying. I needed it to be over.  So we called and got in.

The darkest night of my life. Here is another point where you are given choices and you have no clue what to do...none.

you are asked if you want another ultrasound just to be sure. K did because he didn't have the feeling in his tummy to know like I did... so you get to see your still little child one last time on a screen but K needed it and I understand completely....I kept my eyes closed.

You are than asked to decide about testing beyond what the hospital already does we opted out due to money and the fact that most of the time you pay for that and still have no answers.

You are asked if you want to see your child, hold your child.  The first choice through this whole process we made that I have complete peace with. No. Again I give huge credit to those who would chose to look at yet alone hold their little baby. I could see the closer you could get from such a process but I didn't want that memory I wanted the dream memories.

 You are asked what you want to have done with your child. Do you want the remains to have your own burial. Do you want the hospital spiritual staff to take care of it. We asked what the hospital does. They told us they have a mass burial every month or so with all the little lost babies that its not individual graves, we would be given the option of attending, and a map to the grave site in this huge cemetery by the hospital...Such impossible choices...and i just sat and stared angrily at nothing still trying to process the words, "I'm sorry".  At the time the easiest choice was let the hospital take care of my child, maybe that would be easier than taking ashes home.... If you find yourself standing at the point you need to know that no choice you make is wrong. But some may very well be wrong for YOU. This was wrong for me...

It was the longest night of my life...with contractions, shadows, pain, blood, tears, and some wonderfully nice so so grateful for the midwives who cried with me, prayed with me, talked with me, and during the waiting even made me laugh.

We named our baby River. It's fitting as I cried a river waiting for my baby and I've cried a river since. Rivers lead to freedom and wide open spaces...

The sun rises on a new day, after even the darkest nights.

if it's your night...hold on to that. even if you night lasts for months.

We went home, and tried to figure out what to do do you go back to 3 months before like nothing happened? You can't so don't try... just move forward and don't let your pride stop you from asking for help counseling, pills, your not weak if you need these things your strong for admitting you can't do this on your own.... Postpartum depression. Nightmares, insomnia, endless crying, panic attacks. My poor wonderful husband. Thats a whole different blog.

Peace, I couldn't find peace, I had nightmares about 100's of little tiny tiny babies being tossed carelessly into a huge hole in the ground and one baby would turn it's head and look at me crying. for weeks every night I had this nightmare. I had to sleep with a light on when I slept at all. Finally K called the hospital and we found out we could still get our River they hadn't done the burial yet.

Something I wish they had told me at the hospital is the prices. Part of the reason we shied away from taking our child home was we had no clue on the costs and you don't want to ask because it's such a trivial thing. Some places will do cremation for free for this type of situation. We only paid 62 dollars. and 11 of that was the certificate. If we would have known that then I might have been spared the nightmares and the emotional struggles that come with insomnia.

We now have our baby...the peace the thankfulness I feel for that simple fact is overwhelming. I can't explain it. We haven't decided what to do with his tiny container of ashes yet but at least it will be my way.  Between the meds, and the being able to sleep without nightmares there is light in my soul again.

We are looking forward to the future what ever that might hold. I'm loving on my wonderful children in my classroom. No I'm not over it I will never be over it. I still cry, I still have depression and anxiety. I still ache from the loss a ache no one can see, and that might make it even harder because they can't understand.  K and I have a lot of problems to work through in our near future...but God gave us the strength for all of this...hes not going to stop now.

Don't compare your loss to others. though you will for me it's "but they have other children" our midwife at our follow up talked about the next time I get pregnant...and in my head I screamed "6 took 6 years there is no guarantee we even will." Does that make my loss more than anyone else. No, if anyone even has to go through a little of what I've been through the loss of a child is a loss...and it is felt to your very bones. It makes it different because it's our loss and not theirs...but that difference does not make it more or less.

If you are at any part of this dark journey know you're not alone, and you are strong, and though you won't feel it there is always hope. Lean into your support, take comfort in the people in your life that hurt with you, care for you, and love you. You will get positively tired or hearing the words "I'm sorry" you will hurt when someone missed the memo and asks hows the baby. If your not blessed with other children you will hurt every time someone asks when you will have children. You will hurt it wont go away but you will also heal, and laugh, and move forward.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

when writing shows you the hope you didn't know you had.

I promised myself I wasn't going to use this blog as an outlet for my poetry. but this...this belongs here. Because three short months ago I wrote a blog entry that brought everyone so much happiness...and now I have to write one that will bring just as much sorrow.

Forever music has been my hearts language, music and poetry...  so much of my poetry has elements of the songs that speak to me the most. This poem is influenced by the writer Victoria Erickson, Singer song writer Jon Foreman and band Casting Crowns.

I don't like making people feel sad....I feel as if I'm sad enough for all of them anyway.

but true heartache needs to flow out, and for me it's always been through writing. Poetry holds my secrets like the true reason behind names, and eyes, and sighs, and pain.

come on lets run free.

 River's Poem

It's a common burn
feeling fire-rain in your soul.
reason for such heartache
is often lost, to darkness and pain.

Inside little dreams become dust
and drift away.
All the tears I've cried
have become my Rivers name.

I've watched them float you away
to a better place
and I'll never feel the same
when the clouds let lose their rain

That night the moon rose
to sing you songs I could't hear
songs for angel ears
not a mothers tears.

I had you but couldn't keep you
So, I tucked you away
inside a place called nostalgia
and said goodbye sweet child.

Through the rage and ache
I'll praise His Holy name
The sun will once again shine
after our darkest days.

I'll try to come home
back to where I belong
and love my river depths
with each continued breath

My heart is numb
as my River runs wild
yet diluted by time
the fire-rain will subside

"where the hurt and the healer collide."