‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I haven't posted this week, though I've wanted to. I've just been so heavy-hearted, so sad lately, and I hate to spread that around. I think much of my self-esteem is wrapped up in being and doing for others, and lately I have been unable to do anything truly helpful for others, there is so much on my own plate. 

And so, I've been carrying an unwanted burden for awhile. I carry my heavy heart around the house, doing what needs to be done. I carry it to bed with me, where my mind fills up with so many fears and worries as I drift off to sleep, I think they might suffocate me. I hold it out for God to take when I pray, but for some reason, it is still there when I am done. I don't know why I don't feel God's presence or solace, but I don't. But I keep trying.

I had a terrible strep infection a few weeks ago. 103 degree fever for days. hallucinations. The whole nine yards. I feel like I'm still recovering from it, and unfortunately have some scary new health issues that might be due to this recent infection. And tired? I could sleep twenty hours if you'd let me.

And I keep dreaming of Daniel. The dreams are so vivid and so heart-breaking, I wake my own self up from the sound of my own crying. This adoption has taken so long and been so full of obstacles, it feels like what happened with Anya, and so it brings up so many feelings of failure. I do feel like quite the failure lately.

I'm sorry if this is not what you came here to read. I'm sorry I can't make your day with news of anticipated homecomings, stories of God intervening in big ways, words of joy over some great obstacles clearing. None of that has happened. In fact, much of the opposite has, though I can't blog about it for obvious reasons. I know most people don't blog the hard stuff. Even if they feel the way I do, they'll never tell you. I just think that's wrong. There are so many people suffering in silence, and who am I to lie to them, pretending I am one more of those people who has it all together? I don't.

The times in my life where you have thought I had it together or I have felt I had it all together are only gifts from God. I have never done anything to warrant 'having it all together'. I think that's a tall order for a human being. I think if I ever feel I've got it together, it's because God, for whatever reason, is turning His Face in my direction.

Last night Nastia and I were driving home and she, being the intuitive soul she is, sensed my sadness and tried to lift it.

'Mom, you just don't give yourself enough credit for all you do. Just getting me up and off to school every day is a miracle. Don't you ever forget that.'

I am so lucky to have such a wise and big-hearted daughter. So lucky. She asked me after she said this if I would do something for her. I said ok. She asked if every time I felt sad I would make a list in my head of 10 things that make me truly happy.

' If you do ten things mom, I know you'll feel better. That's what I do.'

And so, for my precious daughter, I share here my ten things for this moment, in no particular order, as they come to me:

1. Holding my daughter's face in my hands when I wake her each morning.
2. The adoration of four furry family members that love us no matter what.
3. The pretty flowers growing on my windowsill, a birthday gift from a friend.
4. My friend Carmel, who always accepts me, even in my worst moments.
5. My beautiful Anya, when she laughs that soulful laugh of hers.
6. My unconditionally loving mother, who is always always there for me and accepts me for who I am and never asks for anything in return.
7. Ice cream (this week, anyway)
8. The words of Shakespeare...can't even express how much they feed me.
9. My stand-in brothers (you know who you are) - male friends who fill the role of brother, supporting me, accepting me as I am, and inspiring me.
10. The trees outside my window...for the soft sound of the wind in your branches, the green glow you give to my room, and the reminder you offer of a God who shelters me silently, even when I feel it not.


  1. Anonymous9:12 PM

    Oh, Keri - I'm so sorry for your sadness. Please don't apologize when you post something that's not all sunshine and lollipops . . . I'm glad you are frank & honest. Life is hard sometimes. You've had more than your fair share, something has got to turn around for you soon . . . at least that's my prayer for you. How very lucky you are to have a wise daughter like Nastia - I love her suggestion to think of 10 things that make you happy. I tell my kids to do the same thing when they are down in the dumps. Please try to remember - God doesn't want us to worry, I know you tried to give your troubles to Him - please keep trying. He really is there for you. {{{{Hugs}}}}


  2. Sorrow shared is sorrow lessened, supposedly. Sometimes it doesn't feel that way. But sharing it is another way of tossing it toward God.

    Thank you for your list. It lifted my own heart to read it. And may our God continue to lead up upward and inward, to the rock that is higher than we are.

    I'd like to just sit with you and breathe with you. An old part of my soul is out of joint for being apart from you so long, but tonight I will just have to imagine it across the (admittedly few) miles. As always, love to you.

  3. I come here to read YOU. To know YOU. So this is what I came here to read. I love you, always.

  4. Dear heart, you never have to be in this blog anything other than what you really are feeling. I am so sorry that so much of your life is so hard these days. What a gift Nastia is to you--and all the other things/people on your list. I'm praying for you tonight--that you will feel God's mercies new every morning, and that you never run out of things to list.

  5. Wow. What a great kid. What a great mom.

  6. Anonymous10:59 AM

    MariaG (Canada)

  7. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Nastia is so smart and she is right! :)
    What a girl! Love your 10 happy things. Even though, feeling down is also part of life. We all experience it! People who say they don't, lie or they aren't people but androids.
    Wish you lots of luck for the important things you need it for.

  8. You know, getting her off to school every day IS a miracle! I can't do that for a couple of mine....no matter how hard I try.

    You are such a blessing, Keri, you really are. Danile and Anya know that there is someone in the world for whom they are special. Can you imagine the ENORMITY of that?


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