Amazing Day When Grief Turns to Joy!

Do you know the feeling when  you realize you're in the middle of a moment that is a lifetime coming and the fulfillment of seeds planted and watered? A few Sundays ago I experienced just that moment when grief turns to joy!   My niece Jennifer was born to my sister when I was 18 years old. Brenda was such a good mom, fearlessly … [Read more...]

Living with Grief and Heartbreak

January is off to a quiet start here on the blog, partially with intentionality and partially completely out of my hands. When I scheduled my carpal tunnel surgery for Jan. 5 I knew it would be hard to do a lot of my daily tasks, including computer work, which was fine because I wanted to spend some time focusing on my purpose and vision … [Read more...]

Mexican Wedding Cookies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGDeal #CollectiveBias. My sister Brenda and I were born 15 years apart, with just enough time in between for her to be like a second mama to me.  I’m sure my birth caused her much grief and embarrassment because she had to help … [Read more...]

I Am Not Alone….and Neither Are You!

 One of the hardest parts of my brother-in-law's recent death has been knowing the grief that my precious sister-in-law and her girls are suffering through. Yet I'm always reminded that none of this surprises God or catches Him unaware. I have heard the worship song I Am Not Alone by Kari Jobe several times recently and the … [Read more...]

Just Breathe In and Breathe Out

   I take a deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. What was that breathing technique I saw online? 4-7-8 Inhale for a count of four. Hold for a count of seven. Exhale for a count of eight.  Heart still flip flopping an extra beat. I open my email and watch as the messages flood my … [Read more...]

When a Heart Breaks

There are joyous seasons in life, days filled with sweetness and precious memories, almost to the point of taking my breath away. Then the seasons of grief arrive, days filled with inconsolable heartbreak, crushing the wind from my lungs. Blessedly I've known both seasons and every one in between. Ordinary days full of diapers … [Read more...]

Unafraid: Why I Went to See a Therapist

When I started this post several days ago I had no idea that our lives would again be filled with a new crisis with our adopted son. I just knew I needed help coping with my own feelings and hurts God had been revealing to me. As we continue to walk forward with our son, loving him and getting him help to continue the process of healing his … [Read more...]

What No One Wants to Talk About at Christmas

Today I went into the attic and pulled out the baby clothes I had saved from my two biological children. It's been years since I tenderly went through them. I touched them almost prayerfully, letting the memories roll over me in waves. As a new mother you can never imagine that the little infant you cradle will one day be cradling their … [Read more...]

Marshall Hall “When I Cry”: Simple Gift Sunday

  Get the hanky out. This song pierces my heart and moves me every.single.time. With my mom's death on Christmas Eve 2010, my sister's unexpected death at the age of 53 and the relationship loss of an adopted daughter I know what pain feels like. I don't just listen to this song. I weep. I grieve. And I thank God that He has … [Read more...]

Christy Nockels “Healing is in Your Hand”: Simple Gift Sunday

I have written a lot through these last years about my journey through grief. My sister, dead at the age of 53 from a sudden heart attack. Our oldest adopted daughter, unable to live at home during her later teen years and, sadly, estranged from us now. My dad passed away in 2009, my mom on Christmas Eve 2010 from neglect by her … [Read more...]

Tenth Avenue North “Worn”: Simple Gift Sunday

I started Marty's Musings as a way of sharing our adoption story and connecting with other moms who were experiencing heartache in impossible situations. Over the last almost six years of sharing my heart with my readers I have written about my sisters death at the young age of 53;  the struggles we faced with our oldest adopted daughter … [Read more...]

Josh Groban “O Holy Night”: Simple Gift Sunday

My husband told me recently that I run when I'm sad. Usually I would argue with him, but this truth settled into my spirit. He was right. I don't like those close to me to see me grieve. Grief stings. It isolates. It takes the most ordinary day and turns it into pain. I know this because I know grief. Some days it … [Read more...]

Hope for Hurting Hearts

I have no profound words of healing to offer here. Only a mother's heart that has wept at this week's tragedy. Just one more person trying to make sense of the senseless. The brokenness. The unimaginable. I have listened to the media coverage, holding my breath with fear. I am familiar with mental illness. Experienced … [Read more...]

Santa Ornament Wreath

Those of you who are new to my blog may not know that I have experienced some big losses in my life. My sister died in 2000 from a heart attack at the age of 53. My dad passed away in 2009 and my mom died under tragic circumstances on Christmas Eve 2010. Sometimes I will be reminded during this special time of the year that the three most … [Read more...]

Plumb “Need You Now”: Simple Gift Sunday

I had never heard "Need you Now" by Plumb before, but I can so relate to the desperation, the wounds in need of healing. Holding on to Christ, barely moving one foot forward, crying out for understanding in the pain. I know that each of you who reads this has a story to tell. I hope this video will remind you sometimes strength is to "just keep … [Read more...]

Draw Me Nearer, Lord

Last week I was asked by  a local funeral home to sing at the service of a 52-year-old woman who had died while waiting for a heart/lung transplant. I sing fairly often for funerals, for people I know and some complete strangers. I consider it both an honor and a responsibility. I am intimately acquainted with the grief and devastation at the loss … [Read more...]

Women Encouraging Each Other

I am at the Southern Bloggers Conference this weekend but wanted to make sure you know I'm thinking about you! Here are some words of encouragement from one woman to another (written originally here). There are some things that only time and perspective can teach you. If your mom is still alive (or you are blessed with a relationship with … [Read more...]

In Honor of my Sister

If you've read my blog for a time you will probably say now, will she ever stop talking about grief? For those of us who have lost loved ones intimately close to us, (for me my sister and both parents), it is a pain that sneaks up on you when least expected. I went away this past weekend with two close friends for a time of scrapbooking and … [Read more...]

Grief Revisited

(family picture from Easter 2012) I don't want to write about grief, and I certainly don't want to experience it. Yet it's a part of my life and the process of letting go of those I've loved and lost. I feel like I have written quite a bit about it on my blog, but it is a subject that I have lived through for several years. Death touches all of … [Read more...]

Five Minute Friday: Beyond

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 2. Link back here and invite others to join in. 3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day Loss

I shared the story of my mother's death at our church this past Mother's Day and I thought I'd share it here for those of you that may not be familiar with my story. Over the last 3 years of my parents’ lives I was responsible for their care even while they were in a nursing home, with my dad passing away in February 2009. … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day Thoughts

Warning: have kleenex handy! Letter from a Mother to a Daughter:  "My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, … [Read more...]


One of my most read posts is the one below. As so many of us struggle with family crisis, relationship failures, church disappointments, financial needs and health scares, let this story encourage you to stay strong and "thank God for our thorns." The Blessing Of Thorns Sandra felt as low as the heels of her … [Read more...]

Defining Moments

  We all have defining moments in our lives. Those times encapsulated in our minds that forever changed the direction of our lives.   I have a few. 1980  Senior year in high school I planned on majoring in piano performance in college. My first theater audition, first show, first tour and I was hooked. No longer piano but … [Read more...]