Mother’s Day Without Mothers

What’s a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips?

What’s a halloween party without a costume?

What’s hanging mistletoe without someone to kiss?

And what on earth is Mother’s Day when your mom isn’t here anymore to celebrate?

I know that I can still celebrate her legacy and her life, even though she is in Glory-but it’s not the same, you know? I want to get her a gift. I want to write her a card. I want her arms to wrap around me in a tight embrace that is better than any other hug I’ve known.

I know and believe truth. I know and believe she is in a better place, that God has purpose for all the pain, that he took her at the perfect time-though I don’t understand why. I know how fortunate I am to have had her in my life for 28 years and how grateful I am for all God did in and through her.

But it still sucks.

It hurts.

It’s sad.

I don’t like it.

So this motherless, Mother’s Day, I am going to feel the incredible weight of that sadness, with the soothing peace of that truth. I am probably going to cry, and that is sooooooo okay.

But, because of my faith in Jesus, I am not going to stop there. I want to be what he would want me to be. I want to have his heart. So I am going to pray to be used on Mother’s Day. I am going to pray that God puts on my heart and mind, other people who need encouragement or love that day. Mothers with children who are not emotionally healthy enough appreciate them the way they deserve to be appreciated. Mothers with children who are not older enough to understand the constant sacrifices they are making. And mothers who are mothers and grandmothers themselves, who, though months or years have passed, will still be feeling the still of missing their own moms.

Join me in aiming to love these women well, and let me know if you have any thoughts on Motherless Mother’s Day ❤ 

With Tears of Heartache & Gratitude for the Gospel,

Betty

To the Uninvited…

People have favorite questions.

When you’re a high school/college senior it’s: “So, what’s your plan after your graduate?”

When you’re expecting, it’s: “Girl or boy?”

And when you’re engaged, it’s: “So how are wedding plans going?”

For me, wedding planning hasn’t been TOO stressful (there have been 2 moments that I dreaded it, but other than that-it’s been chill!) and I try and keep the mindset of– “I get to throw a giant party with the friends and family who love Nathaniel and I the most to celebrate God’s goodness and eat really good food.” And that doesn’t sound so stressful to me at all!

Details aren’t my jam-so I’ll be figuring out everyone’s table setting here in the next few weeks, but I do have all the invitations stuffed and sealed and probably going to the right address, so that’s exciting!

But as I prepare to mail them out, I can’t help but think of the dozens and dozens of people who won’t be receiving an invitation. People that I love and laugh with. People that I’ve been shaped by, and have had the privilege of helping to shape. Our venue is lovely, but small compared to the number of people I have felt connected to or loved by in my 28 years on this earth.

So to you-the college suite-mates that grew with me, the church families that took me in, the church friends that saw me through ugly seasons and loved me anyways, the coffee date buds who steadfastly care, and the amazing old and new co-workers who make work a wonderful place to be- i love you. I love you and please don’t interpret my inability to invite you as a mark of your value to me, or your impact in my life. Don’t think you’re lack of an invitation means anything except we have a small budget and a big family. If you feel some sort of way about not getting an invite, PLEASE message me and talk with me. I’m happy to affirm our relationship and schedule a time for us to get together soon. xoxo

Much love and gratitude,

Betty

 

Also…kind of regretting that we didn’t do this…

Birthday Reflection Poem

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Today is my dad’s birthday.

And it kind of makes me want to cry.

He is such a precious gift to me.

And I am so glad that he’s alive.

 

Mom gracefully left the pain of this world,

and went Home 160 days ago.

It’s dad’s first birthday without her.

And he’s missing her fiercely, I know.

 

But he never complains, never questions,

On Christ the solid rock he stands.

He trusts God’s goodness and timing

Even in the darkest of lowlands.

 

He teaches and taught us kids & countless others

to laugh through tears,

To love through heartbreak,

And to serve constantly and creatively year over year.

 

What unconditional love looks like.

What commitment to the Church looks like.

What selflessness and humility looks like.

What a really clean kitchen looks like.

 

His gentle and patient responses

have molded me to see

the wisdom of being slow to anger,

and apologizing when you’re wrong-immediately.

 

Mom went Home-

“At the perfect time” says my faith-gently and with love.

“But so early” my heart mutters as it chokes back tears indicative of

The solemn reality that I am not guaranteed

any days in this life.

 

 

And so I treasure each one.

Each day, each sweet relationship

Knowing even this difficult side of eternity

is a gift worthy of rejoicing and worship.

 

Knowing God gave my dad to me,

Is something I’m grateful for-staggeringly!

He’s a comedian, a supporter, a prayer warrior and guide.

He’s a confidant, wonderfully nonchalant-knowing God is by his side. 

 

Today is my dad’s birthday.

And it kind of makes me want to cry.

He is such a precious gift to me.

And I am so glad that he’s alive.

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Our Proposal Story

Nathaniel and I had been dating a while, and it had been going really well.

I mean REALLY, REALLY well.

We could hardly believe it–but prayers that we both had been praying for years, journal entries with specific requests penned on both sides-we were seeing answered day after day. We had been told “when you know, you just know” before in life, and until meeting each other-we never know what that meant. Now-we totally get it <3.

He lived in New Mexico, but was in Destin, FL for a few weeks for a work certification, and so I planned a trip to visit him down there. I was *pretty sure* that IF he were to propose before Christmas time, he would probably do it around the end of October. We would be celebrating the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation together–and what a magical time that would be! 😉

However on September 14th, as I drove to the airport, I found myself thinking about the possibility of him proposing to me. I got butterflies at the thought of it, but didn’t want to be distracted by the thoughts when a nice vacation with the love of my life was all I was guaranteed. So I did what any girl in my shoes would do–I snooped.

I called my sister and asked her if she had heard anything about Nathaniel connecting with Dad. She assured me that she JUST talked to dad earlier this week, and he hadn’t mentioned anything about a conversation with my boyfriend. She also let me know that Nathaniel never mentioned anything to her. I called my dad too, and he had no idea that I was even headed to Florida to be with my beloved.  After turning off bluetooth, and turning into economy parking at the Philadelphia Airport, my heart was settled with the reality that Nathaniel definitely wasn’t proposing during this time together. All I had before me the next few days was sunshine and sand-with the man that I love. I knew I would be marrying him sometime in the not so distant future, and I knew he wasn’t going to propose during this vacation.

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I arrived in Florida and our time together was wonderful. He picked me up in his flight suit 😍😍😍 and took me shopping for beach essentials. We went out to dinner at one of his favorite spots where I had the best pork chops OF MY LIFE, I gave him a gift I had been working on for months, we met up with some of his friends for drinks, and my heart was so happy and content to be his girlfriend. The next day, we ran (okay, he ran and I mostly ran and walked a little) a 3 mile trail, had breakfast out, hit the clear waters and white sand of the local beach, and then he told me that we were taking a little trip to a local town called Seaside.

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Seaside was an absolutely adorable little tourist town where The Truman Show had been filmed. We walked all around the charming community and chatted about life and love. We talked about family and community, our hopes and dreams for the future, and our mutual desire for marriage and each other. We laughed at the names of the homes down the residential  streets and enjoyed being hand-in-hand on the warm September afternoon. While wandering, Nathaniel pulled me aside to a sort of private cul de sac of trees and shrubbery– he stopped walking.

Wait. What?!

He stopped, laughed at the confusion on my face, and took a step back into a kneel.

“Betty Catherine-Michelle Pompell, will you marry me?”

His voice was as steady as the warm look in his eyes.

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I could barely believe it. I said “absolutely!” and wrapped my arms around him as he stood up from his position of holding out a breathtakingly gorgeous engagement ring. My heart raced as I squeezed him and over and over again, with varying inflections, I just said “Oh my word. Oh my word. OH. My. WORD. OH MY WORD!” He shushed me, laughed at me, kissed me, got the ring on my finger (which brought a whole slew of more “oh my words”) and escorted me back to the main street of the town.

My feet didn’t touch the ground, as I goofily smiled at passerby’s and continued with my steadfast breathless chorus of “oh my word”. He told me that we had a few minutes to make some phone calls, and that our dinner reservations were at 6:30. Calls to my dad and sister proved the sneakiness of both their responses and their knowledge of the life-changing event.

The remainder of our time in Florida was filled with many more sweet memories, and the first few lessons and joys of planning a wedding and a life together. I am so thankful for the gift of being with Nathaniel. Dating him was an ABSOLUTE joy, being his fiance is an ABSOLUTE delight, and I daily look forward to being his bride and his wife ❤ Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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AS LONG AS WE NEED

I needed this today ❤️Maybe you do too.

ERIN QUILLEN

Initially, people call, text, check in, bring coffee, make sure you eat dinner. But soon, they talk only of normal, day-to-day things. And you stand there with holes in your heart saying “Yeah, it has been pretty warm for October, hasn’t it?” as if you aren’t just learning how to breathe again. Everyone else’s moving on makes you wonder –isn’t it about time I move on too?

At first, you bring it up often –almost as if to convince people [and your own self] that it really happened. But soon, you get the sense that it’s time to stop bringing it up. Time to stop being sad. Time to be fine. This quick return to normalcy communicates that it’s probably time for you too to be normal again.

But I have this friend and we have this agreement:
We are staying here as long as we need.

An ongoing invitation…

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