Tag Archives: story

today: My Sister Had a Baby

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Betsy Claire decided to be born on a Friday. The day before my sister Bridget told me she felt different, that she thought the baby would come early. Bridget was just shy of 36 weeks pregnant, so she thought early meant in a couple of weeks. I got a text in the middle of the night: her water had broken. I awoke that morning after a fitful sleep at 5 a.m. and saw the text. I called Bridget, prayed with her and spent the day waiting to hear Betsy had arrived.

Our family prayed and hoped that all would be well, that her tiny lungs would be ready, that she wouldn’t need any time in the NICU. Babies who decide to come early sometimes need a bit of help.

Not Betsy. She arrived ready to go. Bridget’s labor was relatively easy. Betsy was all-together lovely, a pretty little baby with a gorgeous disposition. Everyone who meets her falls in love the minute the see her fluffy red hair and huge blue eyes. She’s calm and laid back and much loved by her mom and dad and brother and by all the aunties and uncles she inherited by birthright.

Our family needed a baby, I think. Jakey, my youngest brother just turned twelve, and all us Blinn kids grew up with a deep rooted affection for babies. It’s not that we all long for a baker’s dozen of kids like our mom had. It’s just that we see all the grace and beauty and hope of what could be when we stare at a newborn face. Few things bring greater wonder than cradling brand new life. Our hearts collectively cry “yes,” an affirmation that we see evidence of good in a world proclaimed to be just that from the beginning.

This is something I love about my family, our open arms towards the littlest of humanity. We tend to be rough around the edges and opinionated, but every last one of us softens around a baby.

I get to hold babies and photograph them day in and day out when I go to work, and I marvel at every last one of them, breathing prayers of thanks to a God who knew that new life beckons tenderness and gentleness, awe and warmth. I get to witness miracles in the expansion of love that engulfs a family when they add a little one.

The miracle named Betsy Claire who joined our family brought a brand new tiny miracle into our family, and I think about her and find myself celebrating life. It is good to see her. Life is a gift, and here she is, amazing and alive. Here she is, ours.

Return to Writing

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It’s been months since I penned a blog, months since I wrote outside of my journal or work blog, months since I played with poetry because I can. I miss writing. Collin told me he thinks of me as a storyteller.

Not just a writer.

Not just a photographer.

A storyteller.

I know he’s right. The mind formed within me thinks in stories. My heart beats story. I try to retain the stories I see passing me by when I run. I watch families through my camera lens and most love the sessions that tell a story. I need stories.

I’ve taken a hiatus from storytelling, in written form anyways. I’m not sure why. I’m writing tonight as something of a confession. I’ve stopped doing this thing I’m made to do. It’s time to start again. Story is how I process life, see God, love others. I don’t want to miss out.

Life is full of doing the stuff of life: cooking and cleaning and running and being in relationships and going, going, going- always going. I’ll say it again. I don’t want to miss out. So I’m returning to writing. I’m returning to telling stories. That will soon look like a new space and new ideas, but for now I just wanted to put some words on the blog. For now I need to commit.

tonight: twenty. love matters.

we’ll wish along the Milky Way that time will never fly…
Brand New Day, Orba Squara (listen here)

last night his knees pressed against the bathroom cabinets,
and I stood behind him and cut his hair
that wavy mop that first caught my eye in the prelude to our story fell to the floor
and I’d resisted this role, not wanting responsibility of destroying
the wild mess atop, but it needed doing
love in the shape of hands holding scissors,
our story yesterday

Saturday he raced his bike down South, but he drove home
so that Sunday he could wake up early and go with me
Sunday when I ran my own race, and he brought a bike and a map
he cheered me along the course
and he did this gladly, yielding sleep to cheer-leading, and he chose freely
love in the shape of feet peddling to chase a girl chasing a finish line,
our story Sunday

here I see we keep choosing each other
just two days that could have been any two days of us
we keep waking up to get-to-dos in this story, ours
and I keep finding myself wide-eyed in the midst of this truth
here we are, twenty months in with days and weeks of stories

learning love.
learning trust.
becoming, little by little, more us.

Maybe someday I’ll get back to regular blogging.

tonight: mud

“I love a God who makes mud on the Sabbath.”
-Trent Sheppard

I’ll wear this mud on my face from here to eternity
if it means sight for these blind eyes
because in wearing this mud, a reminder of this
God reaching down, reaching in, holding on
God making mud, setting free
hands letting go
feet running home
depth coaxing soul
life taking hold
this is the process of broken pieces
made whole
God reaching down, reaching in, holding on
God making mud, setting free

I do believe; help my unbelief.

today: christmas

a thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

O Holy Night

“…I do believe; help my unbelief…”

Mark 9:24

In the midst of anticipating Christmas this year, a funeral. She was an 18-year-old college freshman from Collin’s cycling community, struck by a car while riding her bike in North Carolina. She died ten days before Christmas. I met Megan only once, but Collin knew her. Attending a funeral for a girl just stepping into womanhood shocks the system with a forced focus on the aching fractures that exist in the world. The heart breaks, because what else is it to do? The heart breaks and the soul longs for a different story. We long for the world to be set right.

Reading the Scriptures and pondering the Christmas story following Megan’s death made me hunger for God who became man to meet me, to meet us here, now. In any untimely death the questions that come first are often why questions, but that’s not exactly where I landed. My questions arose from looking at the celebration of Christmas coming so soon after the funeral. How does this get set right?

My love of the Bible sometimes leads me, perhaps, to over-familiarity with the over-arching narrative. I forget to remember the significance of a God who came, of the word made flesh, of his life, of his death, of his resurrection. The Hebrew Scriptures foretold the story of a poor baby born to restore history, God swaddled in tattered rags, fully Himself in human skin. It’s a magnificent story, really, that God so loved, that God so gave. That we have life. The world left to it’s own devices is indeed weary. Without the Jesus story, our hope falters and fails.

Last night I prayed for grace and peace for Megan’s family and friends. May they know their loss and longings grieve God. I remembered the Jesus who wept before he raised his friend from the dead. Death wasn’t a part of the story when God made and called this world good. I feel wide awake to the reality that we need something, someone greater to come, to heal, to touch, to redeem.

And we have God, who humbled himself, who became like us, who came. And I don’t understand how it all works, but I do know this: we have great hope. And so I hope. Living that hope out here and now looks like grace and peace. It looks like food for the poor and wholeness for the hurting. It looks like love in the face of hatred, plenty in the hands of want. May we so live.

today: the wonder of it all

“Wonder is the basis of worship”
-Thomas Carlyle

No matter where, no matter where, no matter where my story- or your story- takes me or you, the deep breath yielded by a few minutes outside really looking at creation provokes wonder. It steadies me to see flowers and trees, sun and sky, and the cycle of life. Seasons shift and change. Transformation occurs. The world retains so much of the good God saw when he made it. In the midst of war and failing economies and broken relationships and sickness, even in the midst of death, a walk outside reveals new life. Some days that’s the grace to regroup and calm the heart and slow the pace.

God is here, everywhere. And we are his, loved and capable of loving. I’m captivated.

It’s outside that I most often find myself beckoned into his kingdom and story. I know I am small in the midst of a great grand scheme that is the world. That humbling reality- that very revelation- invites participation into the story of God’s great plan of redemption. I’m certain that truth ought to be taken literally and metaphorically.

today: month fifteen

It was fifteen months ago that Collin turned to me and said he didn’t want to leave things undefined. We didn’t have much of anything figured out. We did know we wanted to see if there was something there worth figuring out. And I suspected he meant business about pursuing me. Today I know that he did.

For this I am grateful. It’s been quite a year and a quarter. I see God’s handiwork in our story. I know that this is grace.

Yesterday Collin had flowers delivered to the house I’m staying at in Kentucky. I’ve been away for work for this past week. I love his thoughtfulness, ever looking for ways to make me feel beautiful, wanted, loved. I love that when I called to thank him I could hear the smile in his voice. I love that this is the page we are on.

Someday maybe I’ll write some thoughts on dating and love and how we’re walking things out. But that’s for another day. Today all I want to say is this: it’s a good story we are living, fifteen months in.