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.

summer bbq

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with the summer nearing the end (today is our first day of school!), we decided to host a bbq with a few other families from our neighborhood.  we are blessed with awesome neighbors!  having something on the calendar is always good motivation for me to clean the house, and this time the backyard, too!  silas was my little workhorse this day.  he asked me to pay him $15 an hour.  we negotiated down to $3.

i went simple and summery with my decor:  a rainbow of bandanas for napkins, white plates, hydrangeas in mason jars, all on top of layered white table cloths.

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we pulled a few pillows from our porch couch to soften up the fireplace since we were going to have a fire once the evening cooled down.

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i set up a little drink station on our potting bench to make serving yourself easy.

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and i’m still kicking myself for not taking any pictures during the gathering!  we had a great night, good food, and lots of fun!