The Hardest Peace

Do you remember when Kara wrote here on my blog awhile back?  Her story is hard to hear.  Sometimes I selfishly plug my ears when I hear stories that are too hard to take in, too much to process.  Because I always put myself in their position, in the hard position.  And when I imagine myself there, I CAN’T DO IT.  I can’t see myself getting through the hard, the difficult.

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But Kara’s story of hard has been eye opening for me.  She’s doing it beautifully and honestly and gracefully.  Beyond the ways that she views her battle with stage 4 metastatic cancer is even more beautiful how she walks her children through it with a vision of heaven and filling them with her love (and KNOWING her love) before she goes.

I had the privilege of reading Kara’s book The Hardest Peace over the last couple weeks.  i am not a reader.  But this story had me longing for more, picking it up during breakfast and lunch to just sneak in a few more pages, excited to sit for the hour during swim practice 3 days a week because i knew i’d be able to read even more!  Not only is her story well-written, but i felt like i was learning lessons over and over – feelings of “yes!” and “I need to hear this”.  I also had several occasions in public where i was reaching for tissues or popping on my sunglasses to cover my teary eyes.  This is a beautiful love story – between Kara & her husband, between Kara & her children, and between Kara & Christ who is walking through the hard with her and teaching her a peace she would only know through this experience.

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I was reading Kara’s blog, Mundane Faithfulness, and trying to figure out a way to describe the book in a neat little package.  My words were failing me – “It’s a book about a mom with 4 kids who has cancer…” no, its so much more than that!  Then i found this paragraph that Kara just wrote after snuggling her youngest and whispering about heaven: “The hardest peace is to walk through and not around what is hard. But peace is present. It is so painfully present- I am able to imagine heaven with my baby with wonder and not bitterness. It’s beautiful really. I go to sleep thankful.”  

If you have a chance, pick up this book.  Then share it.  Also, head over to Kara’s blog and dig in.

fall mantel

fall mantel

i really do think that fall is one of the prettiest seasons we have.  however, our fall tends to be more like great summer weather (it was 90* today)  come christmas we have the cool, crisp weather with the pretty leaves turning, but not now.  the idea of putting out pumpkin decor and bouquets of wheat just feels so contrary to what our season actually feels like.

so i decided this year to go for a fall-ish mantel.  just a little nod to the traditions of the season, but really just a pretty mantel ;)

fall mantel

owls are fall-ish, right?  and they are black & gold, so more fall-ish, right?  but i wanted to make this fun and i stuffed one owl with feathers and the other with antlers ;)

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these birch bark candles add a touch of nature (store bought nature – ha!), and the black books feel a little bit halloween-y.

fall mantle

and after a few tries, i landed on this double framed look.  i stole the gold frame from silas & lily’s room and added this print i framed from nap time diaries.

fall mantle

this was attempt #1.  too busy.

fall mantle

i spray painted the frames since the yellow seemed too bright, but it was still too many little things on the mantel.

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this felt a little quieter and more of what i needed!