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behind the letters

In nature, solstice occurs twice each year, heralding the longest and shortest of days. The first lures us outside to fireflies and cricket serenades. The second chases us back in, to fireside fairy tales and mugs of warmth.

Motherhood mirrors nature in this rhythmic dance. But the long days are filled with nagging worries, multiplying messes, seemingly mundane tasks, and little contact with the outside world. Time seems to stand still. The short days, all magic and mystery, shimmer and vanish like a comet’s tail. We savour every minute and as night falls, we kiss sleepy eyelids, turn out the light, and wonder where the time went.

Round and round we go. Long and short. Short and long. The days ebb and flow and run together. This business of bringing up farmers and physicians, warriors and poets, is not for the faint of heart. And yet my heart does faint. The demands of the day press in and I grow weary in the thick of it. In the process of keeping up with my car keys, the laundry, and a beloved stuffed sheep, I often misplace my faith. I place it in my husband. He is, after all, strong and nurturing – yet fallible and human. I hang it on the approval of others. If they think I have it all together, surely I’m doing something right. But more often, I simply neglect it, be it for busyness, boredom, or the incessant bantering in my own head.

These letters are not sermons or sentiments. While there are vast numbers who doubt the existence of God, I believe there are countless more who simply doubt His goodness. Many days I am one of them. Life gives us plenty of material with which to make our case. I stumble and squander, rage and retreat. I have questions and doubts. But in the throes of uncertainty, if I gather my wits about me long enough to look over my shoulder, there’s no denying I’ve been carried along – sometimes kicking and screaming, but carried, nonetheless. There is much mystery in the world. I think I have suffered, not from asking too many questions, but from asking too few. The ponderings here are for the certain and the cynic, the faith-filled and the fainting. For every answer that Grace has given, I have yet another question…and an inkling that I’m not the only one. Thankfully, He’s big enough. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “The prayer preceeding all prayers is this, May it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real Thou that I speak to”.

This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.
1 John 1:5, The Message paraphrase

†C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcom, Chiefly on Prayer (New York: Harcourt, Brace, & World, 1964).

15 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/25/2010 1:10 pm

    breathtaking. beautiful. what a gift, Solstice Letters will be…

  2. 01/25/2010 3:59 pm

    Oh, I’m definitely in!

    You come up with the best stuff!

  3. 01/26/2010 2:57 am

    This is wonderful! Your words flow together in such a sweet rhythmic fashion that shines the beauty of life and motherhood all around. I LOVE it!!

    :)Lisa

  4. 01/26/2010 3:17 am

    stunning sentiments, i look forward to this series!

  5. 01/26/2010 8:11 pm

    oh, this is great. wow. what a neat idea and way to share. i will look forward to these letters.

  6. 01/27/2010 11:41 pm

    Beautifully said. Utterly true.

  7. Stephanie Smith permalink
    02/01/2010 8:49 am

    i am a new mother too, it has been a long, amazing, bleary eyed, sleepless, relentless, 10 mo.’s so far. Your words are beautiful and encouraging. You have a lovely gift. Thank You for sharing it. You have inspired me!

  8. 6512 and growing permalink
    02/03/2010 3:02 am

    Beautifully put.

  9. 02/05/2010 6:02 am

    what a gorgeous place
    I’m completely honored to take part:)
    xo

  10. 02/05/2010 6:51 pm

    gina,
    this is truly a lovely message of your idea of solstice letters. i appreciate every honest morsel of it…and thank you!!

    i really enjoy your writing….♥ kim

  11. 02/07/2010 3:56 am

    Gina,
    I just want to gush. This is such an inspiring blog. I am so glad to have found you, you have a very special gift and I thank you for sharing it with me. I am a new mother, my little boy is almost one and what a journey it has been so far. You express motherhood beautifully.

  12. amy permalink
    02/09/2010 4:58 am

    i am so happy to have stumbled upon these letters. your words resonate loudly within my own often tired and empty spirit. i long for more. where did you come up with the weekly journal questions? i have been looking for something to give me focus to gather my own thoughts, and these questions speak to me. i too am honored to read along and journey down the road with you. you have a good way with words. blessings…

  13. 02/15/2010 11:00 pm

    A new happy place to visit… nice to “meet” you.

  14. 02/25/2010 1:07 am

    So beautiful. Again–so happy I found you!

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