It only takes one word to give you hope, or strength, or encouragement.  It only takes one word to help make the day and all that it brings easier to handle.  Some times, that word will stick with you for days, weeks, even months.  Other times, depending on the events of the day, as well as the emotions, your word might change to convey what you need most.  That word gives you a handle, a rope, something to hold tight onto.

This week my Illuminate photography assignment was to think of one word.  Then go out and find those letters to make up the word in a series of photos.  Sounds simple right?  Well, the catch is you can’t use the easy things like street signs.  My word…is trust.  It is a word that has been with me since we were in labor and delivery.  The plaque in the picture was given to us at the hospital.  Trust, it seems like a simple innocent word, but it is really a strong, powerful word, that can bring so much with it.  The verse that goes with this is Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord, your God will be with you wherever you go.”

So, my journey began.  St. Paul is filled with so much architectural detail it was fun driving around town to find hidden letters.  Incidentally, when it came down to it, most of the letters I ended up using were from my own backyard.  Trust… 

This week I have also been challenged to write about the future.  Where might I be in 1 month, 6 months, 1 year from now.  This is our last Illuminate assignment and for whatever reason, this has been my hardest.  The letters I found easily.  It is the writing that I have needed time to let sink in.

Before thinking forward, I needed to reflect on the past year.  It was a year ago this week that I found out we were pregnant with Samantha.  She is our first baby.  We had decided earlier in the year to begin to grow our family.  Last December our family grew by one more.  Samantha was our, as well as our families special early Christmas present.  Had the pregnancy gone without complications, right now a year later from that moment, would be a lot different.  Then again, so would have this past year and a year from now would have been a whole different path.

Instead, my path had different intentions and decided on a different way to go.  This way that it went was not a choice of mine.  However, I have learned to walk in this new direction.  This past year has been filled with loss and also filled with joys.  Even though Samantha is now in heaven, we celebrated a lot this year with weddings, holidays, a 95th birthday, and life.  I have met new people, gotten closer to others, and built stronger relationships.

Thinking ahead I know I want to continue doing some of the new things I picked up this year, I want to expand things, and I want to readjust other things.  I want to move into more of a simplier mode.  I hope down the road I am able to continue to do the things that bring me the most joy.  I will continue to spend time with family.  I hope to take more  time to have  coffee and chats with friends.  I will take an active approach in my health, making the simple step of being more active.

In a year from now I hope to be “living the backyard life“, as my husband puts it, still and having that life include little feet running around the house.  My wish is to grow our family.  To go from 3 to 4 or 5.  Whatever it may be.  To be raising a family is my dream.  I also hope that my photography has grown.  I hope it grows into something where I can share it more with people and where I can create something special for families.  I hope my path continues to introduce new people into my life in hopes that bonds can be formed and relationships built.

In the year ahead I plan to continue blogging/journaling, creating a place for others to find help & healing on their infant loss path, as well as a place to share their story through my website, and continue to find ways to honor Samantha.  I hope to find beauty in the world around me each day, find great joy in the simple things, and grow (mentally, spiritually, and emotionally)

I will be adding another word to make my one word motto into a two word motto.  As the new year begins I plan to carry two words with me…trust and strength.

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