These Boys.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010








These boys are my life. These boys....These boys give me a sense of purpose and a reason for growing and being the best I can be.

These boys love each other so deeply it sometimes makes my heart want to fall apart watching them. These boys have souls that are as deep as they are wide.

These boys are both big kids.

These boys.... Both the center of my life.

One boy-- the one that asked me to marry him--- is in one of the most challenging intervals of his life thus far. My Joe... waiting on jagged pins and needles for news... ANY news... of where his future lies. Where he will bring his small, treasured family, for whose well-being he is 100% responsible. He waits. This boy waits and worries and sweats and wonders and feels moments of utter worthlessness... in the darkest hours. As he waits and waits and waits.

And he is given trial upon trial in the midst of his waiting-- heaped upon him like so many boulders... Like God or fate or something is saying, "How much more will you endure? HOW MUCH MORE? Can you take THIS?" Another boulder. "And THIS?" Another.

This boy is now fighting a case of Bell's Palsy. My sweet husband, weighted down with the worries of his world, now has the added anxiety of worrying about his own physical health, and the side of his handsome face that won't respond to anything right now. He can't smile his FULL, bright smile. He blinks a bit slower on one side.
It is going to be okay. Most cases clear up in two weeks or so. But this boy-- on top of everything else he is feeling, fearing, and handling, didn't need this added anomaly.

My boys. These two boys.... They are so dear to me. The little one, fighting a fever this week and trying to get back to his normal, energetic self... The big one, trying to have faith and find patience and endure to the end, even when his very body gives up on him....

I wish I could do MORE for them. For both of them. Mostly for Joe. I wish I could say the magic words that utterly reassure him that I am at his side no matter what, no matter where, no matter how we end up getting there. I wish I could infuse him with golden confidence and hope and enlightened understanding of what the future has in store for him. For us.

But I am as human as they are... and as in the dark. And all I can do is love them so hard that they KNOW I am here. And let go of my own selfishness a bit more, a bit longer... and hold on. Hold to both of these boys as tightly as I can.

I love my boys. We will be okay. We ARE okay.


(I wasn't sitting down to write THIS. I was sitting down to talk about the photos... how much I LOVE the truth they capture. How much I love my new lens. How much I love the boys in them. But the rest of REALITY snuck in, and this is what came out. Looking at the images again, how can you NOT see the weight of the world and worry resting so heavily on Joe's shoulders? How can you NOT see the light that Noah brings to him, and the way he helps Joe let go for a minute? These photos are STARK in their truth, and they make my heart hurt and make it sing in the same moment.

Thank you for sharing my love, my life, and my words with me... For letting me be REAL when the fingers start flying and this comes out instead of peppy, light writing. It is soothing to write a bit and find my center through exploring and examining with word and image...
And oh, my heart... those last two images? Heaven, to me.)


  1. I hope your first boy reads this... because he will know that without a doubt, you admire him and will go to the depths of the Earth with him, just to be near him. You're a great wife, and a great momma. Both boys are very lucky!

  2. This reminds me of a time when the world was weighing on me and you reminded me of Giles Corey, the man involved in the Salem witch trial who was "stoned" instead of hung - in the sense of being crushed by the weight of added stones. Remember that?

    You asked me if I would be like him and tell the universe to "bring it on", but when you're the one under the boulders, it's nearly impossibly hard to say "bring it on". So instead, from this side of the "stoning", I say, "God be with you". You can pass it on to your boy if you'd like.

    Keep me posted :)

    Love ya...

  3. after talking to the big boy a little in these last few weeks, and hearing the love and concern for you in almost everything he said, and then reading this..... it WILL work out. in whatever way is the right way.

    seeing him go from missionary, to crazy guy with a mohawk working at a bungee jumping tower, to this great MAN who was lucky enough that you said yes to him.

    i just...for lack of a better way of saying it LOVE you guys. and selfishly wish that someday we would be neighbors.

  4. How you speak to my heart when you share the truth of your world, my dear Emily. And I know it doesn't help, but I have complete faith that things are going to turn out wonderfully for all of you - because you have each other.

  5. Wow! What a beautiful tribute & testimony of love (and more).... The beauty of your words, what they have captured, what they say, and the many things that they "don't"... My dear Emily, you made my heart swell (for all of you) and moved me to tears.

    You are all in my prayers.

    Much love,

  6. Love your writings as always.

  7. Chris came down with Bell's Palsy 6 weeks before our wedding... stressed much? Haha, I can't imagine why in the world he would have been stressed, staring down being linked to me for eternity! :P We had some fun with his "pirate face" as we called it, since his smile looked more like a pirate's "arg!" face. We had our engagement photos taken while he was still Palsied, but only I can tell in the photos that something is off. :) He's not much of a smiler.

    Well that was a totally purposeless, all about me comment, wasn't it??? Anyways, loved this post. Mmmwaaa!

  8. Emily- you love so deeply! Your words touch my heart and bring tears to my eyes. Happy tears because of your love and dedication to your family! Sad tears for the unknown and stress of life that you and Joe are enduring! My prayers are with you and your boys! I know that HE has great things in store! I hope this verse brings you comfort!

    It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

    Much Love!

  9. Beautiful photos and such a well written post. I know that feeling of wanting to do more for your husband. Wanting to help. It hurts. Hope you guys get news soon and that Joe's face heals soon too. I've been wondering about lensbaby and now I'm really intrigued!

  10. Love you all with all our hearts... thank you for the pictures and writing... oh Em...
    you write beautifully about your real feelings that become even more real to us as you write.

    All the hugs and prayers a Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa can send

  11. May God bless you in your time of need! Love from Las Vegas!

  12. Thank you for this post. I'm sorry for the pain you feel right now. I had a friend who had bells palsy and it terrified her and depressed her, but she recovered in two weeks. But even the assurance that it will most likely recover still doesn't take away the fear of the moment that is as real and often more paralyzing than the disease. You'll be okay. It will pass.

    As to the waiting, having my own boy recently endured a career threat I totally understand the frustration and sorrow of watching someone you love so much question everything he is and has worked for. Months of anxiety and feeling the burden of responsibility certainly take a toll and all you can do is give hugs and remind him of his worth. My own experience this past year has swung from debilitating devastation to watching the awe some vision of the windows of heaven opening and pouring down their blessings. I can honestly tell you that in time you will look back and see this as a period where God's hand came in to move you to a place far better than you could have hoped for. Have faith.

  13. My heart and love go out to you and Joe so much right now. We know this season well and it is so difficult. You don't need any advice from me- I would only be repeating what others have already said here. But our prayers will be with you and we will be anxious to hear more news. We love Joe and hope the Bells Palsy goes soon. When it rains, it pours sometimes.

  14. Anonymous9:52 PM

    totally lovely post Em! You have such a wonderful little family :) I am thinking of you guys and hoping and praying that you get the outcome you hope for with your life changes. Miss you. oxoxoxox

  15. Oh, Joe. I had no idea. You'll all be in my prayers...

  16. Oh Em, you are such a wonderful wife and mother. That goes without saying.

    And your boys...they are so lucky to have you in their lives...

    Praying for Joe, who does look like he is carrying a lot of weight...God has something special in store for him, and he needs to have faith in that -- I have faith in it for you/him.



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