Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Paradox of Grief

I think we can all agree 2020 was a crazy year that just flew by. But great things still happened in 2020. For example, my wonderful sister got married, 💖 and I started a business making earrings and magnets out of polymer clay! (www.ellsworthcreations.etsy.com if you're interested. I'm also on FB and Intsagram!) I love it and am so excited about the creative outlet it has opened up.

But I come here now in grief. 2021 has already been a rollercoaster... and not just because of insane winter ice storms.

Back before Christmas, the Monday before to be exact, we got a very unexpected positive result on a pregnancy test. With much trepidation and excitement, we told our family and were slowly telling friends. Until January 8th when it was confirmed that I miscarried. This is the first some of my friends and family will hear about this.. and I wasn't even sure I was going to put it out there.. but there it is.. It was a blow and, to be honest, we are still recovering. But God is the great healer and I know his plan is so much better than we could imagine.

Beyond that.. last Thursday my Mom had to sign the papers to put my Grandpa into hospice.. He's been in a lot of pain and not eating much, if anything.

This morning, I got the call. He's no longer in any pain. My heart rejoices in that. But it also breaks because I won't get to see him again on this earth. I wish I'd talked to him more.. or at least texted and sent more pictures and videos of Eden. I keep wracking my brain as to why I didn't think to send a video... why I didn't just shoot him a text to tell him we loved him (which I know he knew.. but still... ya know)...

I take solace that he is with God, and Grandma, and that he does know how much we loved him. Even though we - I - didn't say it more. And he gets to be with our would've been August baby, along with Grandpa and Grandma Hunter. I'll see them all in paradise.

So in this paradox of grief I'm in, being sad and joyful simultaneously, I fix my eyes upon Christ and trust in Him to heal my wounds.

I leave you with the words from Even If by Mercy Me:

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I'm losing bad
I've stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it'll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can't

It's easy to sing
When there's nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I'm held to the flame
Like I am right now

I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Good thing
A little faith is all I have right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You'd just say the word
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

You've been faithful, You've been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
'Cause I know You're able
I know You can

I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You'd just say the word
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

My hope is you alone

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

To the Bride and the Groom...

Over a month ago (August 2nd) I was the Matron of Honor at my sister, Meredith's, wedding. She was gorgeous. I teared up... a lot. Nonetheless, I am over the moon happy for her and Joseph. Being the Matron of Honor, I had the pleasure of making a speech during their reception. To make sure we always have it, I thought I would post it here. Granted, it didn't come out EXACTLY like this, but it's mostly the same.

So, to the bride and the groom: I love you both so much. 💗

     Good evening, everyone! Thank you all for coming to celebrate the union of Joseph and Meredith. Thank you to Neal and Melanie and Paul and Julie for both raising wonderful people and making the vision of this day that they had come true. And a thank you for all of those who helped decorate and make this event the best it could be.

     For those who may not know, my name is Elisabeth and I’m Meredith’s big sister.

     I was 5 when she was born and only slightly disappointed that she wasn’t immediately the playmate I had envisioned. When she was old enough, we had many a good time building massive forts in our room or the living room, watching movies together (sometimes on repeat), decorating the Christmas Tree, pretending we were mermaids in the pool, and telling our own stories with Barbies. Though when I became an angsty teen, there was more of an Anna and Elsa feel in the summers… Meredith would knock on my door, most of the time with a towel in hand, and ask if I wanted to go swimming. Most of the time she was met with a resounding “No” from underneath the covers.

     But that is Meredith. Bold, persistent, and extroverted. Unafraid to speak her mind and irritated that a lot of times she had to help her shy older sister find the restroom. Even though our personalities are practically polar opposites, I am insanely proud to call her my sister. Watching her grow into the beautiful woman she has become has been one of my greatest joys.

     Despite growing up in close proximity at Saturn Road, Meredith and Joseph didn’t get to know each other until the summer before her last year at Harding while she was a Children’s Ministry intern. I knew he was the one for Meredith when she told me how he was determined to spend every weekend possible with her once she was back at Harding and that he called her almost every night. His persistence rivaled even hers. He was sweet and thoughtful. He put together some of her furniture for her room and was always looking for ways to help her and spend time with her.

     Joseph makes Meredith more confident. He lends her his strength when she needs it. He is kind and compassionate. He is fantastic with kids. He loves deeply. He is honorable. He is gentle. He loves God and he loves my sister with all of his heart. While I, regretfully, don’t have many memories with Joseph, I know that we have many great memories ahead of us. I couldn’t ask for a better brother-in-law.

     Meredith and Joseph, I love you both and wish you martial bliss. I can tell you from personal experience that not every moment will feel happily ever after. But if you keep God first, keep your eyes focused on him, and lean only on him to fulfill all your needs, the two of you can overcome any obstacle.

     Here is to the new Mr. and Mrs. Burnam! May your love for each other grow more and more every day.


Also, my baby girl was a flower girl and was just too cute!! 😍😍

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Gratitude During COVID

Louisiana has extended the stay-at-home order until May 15th... UGH. So, I thought it was time for a list of gratitude to combat the craziness. Here goes...

The mental health benefits to writing a gratitude list and ...
(This image was found on Google. I do not own this image.)

Elisabeth's List of Gratitude: (in no particular order)

1) I started working out again.
2) I started drinking more water! 16 to 20 cups a day!
3) Tanner is working 4 10 hour days instead and gets Friday's off (usually) giving us more time to spend together as a family.
4) Tanner only has 14(ish) weeks of Greek left! (Last class of Greek will be over the Summer semester.)
5) Eden is beginning to go in the potty... all of her own desires. We've had the potty for a month and she had practiced sitting on it.. now she WANTS to sit on it and go potty. (The first time she made me sit on the regular potty while she sat on hers. Haha!)
6) My sister-in-law is back to work at her chef job!
7) Tanner has not lost his job at any point because of COVID (the drop in oil prices may change things in the future.. but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. God will always provide.)
8) Zoom. Because of Zoom, we can meet with our friends and still go a version of game night or Life Group or do a devo with the Youth Group.
9) Because of my renewed healthy lifestyle goals and plan, I have lost 3 pounds so far!
10) I'm learning more about Instagram and how to use it to accomplish personal goals.
11) I've stayed with the Riverside Bible Reading Plan! This is the first time I have read my Bible EVERY DAY. I am SO thankful that Riverside came up with this plan at the end of last year to start January 1st. Getting in God's word is SO important and something I've struggled with all of my life.
12) Tanner has done a workout with me and gone on a walk with me and Eden!
13) We started gardening.. sort of. We currently have chives, green onions, spring mix, and basil in pots that are growing! (Thank you Kaylee for the green onion, spring mix lettuce, and basil!) Soon we will have gold potatoes and hopefully spearmint as well! (Still looking for a citronella plant...)
14) Tanner and I did much needed yard work to hopefully make our swamp of a backyard into something Eden can play in.
15) My sister is getting married!! I am over the moon excited for her and her husband to be.
16) DAVE RAMSEY. I can not imagine the kind of bind we would be in if it wasn't for Financial Peace University. I am SO grateful we took it years ago and recently lead our own class and got back to being more Gazelle intense.
17) Online shopping. I am still able to get what I need without the insanity of going places.
18) Family and Friends... just having them is amazing.
19) Coffee. GOOD coffee. And I am grateful that the small company I have become obsessed with (Expedition Roasters) is still up and running as much as they can so I can get my flavored/themed coffee fix on the days I want THE GOOD STUFF. (Seriously. Go check them out. So worth it.)
20) Tanner. He does so much for Eden and me.. working every day and schooling when he gets home while still trying to carve out some family time and us time. He is so good to me. I couldn't have asked for anyone better. I am so grateful for him and that he is the Godly man he is.
21) Eden. I am so grateful that God gave us her. While we have our good and bad days, I am always grateful to be her mom. She is so precious, and smart, and gorgeous and I love her more than words can express.

Well, there you have it. My list of gratitude. This was really great for me and I challenge you to do the same. Remind yourself of all the good in your life and that no matter what GOD IS GOOD. He is sovereign over all of this and he works all things for good. To God be the glory. Amen.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Day 11 of Who Knows How Long...

It's day 11 of the Stay-at-Home order here in Louisiana. There is something psychological that happened when this order hit. Though my life didn't change very much, already being at home most of the time anyway, the thought that I shouldn't go anywhere or invite anyone over made me a little crazy. All of the things I would have done, all of the events that were canceled, not being to go to the church building on Sunday and fellowship with my church family in person, having to really plan what to get at the store and when to avoid all the insanity; it all just boggles my mind a little. And in short, it makes me SO SAD.

I'm sad for my sister who didn't get to go back to Harding after Spring Break and show off her engagement ring and do all the fun things that go with that. I'm sad that she won't get to be Piper Meredith again because everything got canceled. I'm sad that her graduation that she worked so hard for was pushed to August.

I'm sad for all the seniors in High School who are missing all the fun things that come right before graduation.

I'm sad for all the kids who will be moving to different schools next year and are missing these last few weeks with the friends at their current school.

I'm sad that the Women's Retreat was postponed until January. I'm sad that the Youth Beach Retreat was canceled.

I'm sad that people are losing their jobs. I'm sad that people are trying to figure out how to work from home and home school their kids at the same time. I'm sad that hours are being cut and people are suffering.

Y'all. I'm SAD.

However, it's okay to be sad. And while God is sovereign over everything (EVEN COVID-19), there is a period of mourning that is allowed to happen. We NEED to mourn the things that we are missing out on. To try and move on without acknowledging the grief of all that we were looking forward to would truly be insanity.

So, if you're at home and you're not being as productive as you could be. It's okay. If you're just sad and want to sit on the couch and binge watch shows. It's okay. Take the time to mourn. Take the time to grieve the loss.

But whatever you do, DON'T STAY THERE. Grieve and let God heal you, then get back up and LIVE. We may not be able to do all the things we want to, but there are lots of things we can do. Pick up that to do list of things you keep putting off because you never have time. Call a friend. Video chat with a friend! Take a walk outside. Have a picnic outside. Enjoy the time you now have with your family.

In all things, PRAISE GOD for he is GOOD.

Friday, July 26, 2019


I have the best job in the world. Being a stay-at-home mom is really the best.

It's also the hardest job in the world.

There are no words of wisdom or warnings or anything that could have prepared me enough for this job. Especially now that my wonderful 9 (closer to 10! 😭 ) month old is crawling and pulling up on everything. And trust me when I say, I was warned and I believed all the warnings.

My job is the most rewarding and the most exhausting. Because it's not just about raising her, and keeping her fed, and changed, and bathed, and healthy, and out of trouble, and alive. Nope. It also means that I am the manger of the house. Which means keeping the house clean (and hopefully company ready), doing the dishes, doing the laundry (and putting it away), doing the budget and paying the bills and managing our finances (because I'm the nerd and it's just what I do), making dinner, planning meals, grocery shopping, keeping the calendar (again.. I just like to be organized and make sure we don't double book or anything), and organizing the house. Then, of course, I have to take care of myself! Which means, making sure I eat (healthy), getting some exercise in, and making sure to take a shower hopefully once a day, and try to squeeze in some me time so I don't go completely insane. By the end of the day, I don't want to do anything except sit on the couch and watch something or read a book.

And as an insight, as I write this, I still haven't gotten my exercise or shower in.. so I'm still in my workout clothes..

And let me tell you. There is nothing like a small child to open your eyes to the mess and chaos of your home. It doesn't matter if you have hardwood (or a look-a-like), tile, concrete, or carpet; your floors are dirty. SO dirty. I am struggling to even wrap my brain around how to get my floors clean so I don't have to wipe her little hands and feet off all the time. Because I can't just vacuum them.. No.. That would be too easy. With my downstairs (which is where we are 99.99% of the time), we have vinyl that looks like hardwood. (I struggle to see why it's such a fad..) So, not only do I have to vacuum or sweep the floors, I have to mop them as well! Add all of her toys and such that I need to pick up or do something with before I clean the floors and my brain just spazzes out.
(Seriously.. give me carpet any day over these floors.. not to mention, carpet is softer to fall on. 😛 Though I do understand them in the eating, bathroom, and kitchen areas.)

It doesn't stop at the floors either! They learn to pull up, and you realize even more that the nicely organized shelves are no longer safe for.. well.. anything. So, now you need to find a new place in your home or buy new furniture so you have a safe place for the things in those now easy to reach places. For example. I have craft shelves with gel pens and cards and such. There is currently and obstacle in front of these, yet my dear Eden has still managed to find a way to try and grab them. So, I'm shopping storage furniture as there isn't another good place for these things.

It's enough to make one dizzy or go mad. And I'm exhausted.

This is where I take a deep breath.

Because I'm not doing all of this completely alone. I have a wonderful husband who works daily to bring home paychecks to make this all possible. I couldn't be home with our baby girl if it wasn't for him. He's the best.

I have friends and family that are willing to help if only I'd reach out to them and ask. (I'm really bad at asking...)

And most importantly, I have God on my side. He is the giver of life and peace and the great provider. He is mighty!

So, if you read this and can empathize with my plight. If you can relate on so many levels. If it sounds like exactly what you're going through as well. First of all, you're amazing! Remember that you are loved and that you have the almighty God on your side. He will lift you up and walk right beside you. Reach out to your family and friends when you are feeling overwhelmed and in over your head. (I know I need to.) You're not alone. We are better together.

And if you have any helpful suggestions on any of my predicaments, seriously, leave a comment! Shoot me a message! Find a way to let me know! Because I'm all ears! 99% of the time, you know something that I would never have thought of in a million years. So, thank you in advance!

To all of my exhausted parent friends out there, you got this. Keep on keeping on.