Exercise: “Breaking the Sound Barrier”
Prompt: Jump right into the middle, and do not explain yourself.

And now we come to the part where those who love Shari are anxious because the words do not come. Some of those people, not in touch with her daily life, say, “Are you writing another book?” Some, closer to home and aware that she is most definitely not, drop suggestive remarks in diminishing levels of subtlety: “Just know that when you write again, I’ll be happy to see it,” and then, “Looks like that would make a good blog post,” and then more boldly, “When are you going to start sharing pieces of your college work?”

And so today I am going out to the library to try some typing. I do not call it writing.

I cannot live without words. When I am not displaying them, I am sticking them into hidden Word documents and my journals grow fat. I have continued to generate thousands, but only a few worth sharing. Words are everything, and nothing.

I have always wondered how people receive a “word for the year.” How do you know what the year is going to be? How do you magically hear a word, one word, on cue? But as we began this year of 2024, I experienced it, and there was no mistaking. The word He gave me was COURAGE, which I interpreted to mean, Buckle up girl, it’s going to be a wild ride. In the first five months of the year, we received diagnoses among my family members of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, head concussion, ligament damage, pinworms, autism, and mono. Six different family members. Three of them within one week’s time. No easy fixes on any of it except for the worms, which are vanished into the abyss where they belong.

Adoptive moms talk about the all-hell that breaks loose around adoption time. They are not joking. Our new fridge went on the fritz repeatedly. An outlet shot sparks at me. We received crazy, unbelievable, heavy news. Someone threw up every other day. My new children pitched meltdowns to end all meltdowns, the worst of which, a four-year-old descending naked and feral from anesthesia, I would rather re-experience childbirth than, if you can hear what I mean in this sentence here. We have been in and out of doctors’ offices. Our support team still brings us a meal every week and a date night at least once a month, and in between they listen and pray. I have caught vomit and wiped poop and cleaned blood and some days I am too tired to move. So many other days, I am full of joy. This is the life I wanted. Want. Still want.

Most days I do not have time to write, and other days I have no words.

I have three adopted children, newly Zooks, all ours: bless God for his goodness. This is my family and my whole heart is here. I am lying. Most of my heart is here, and the rest is slightly broken, like before. Broken can be okay.

Hello again.

Credit for header photo: My friend the honored and generous Shaunda Stoltzfus.
How have you been keeping?

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Tabitha Schmidt
24 days ago

Your words never fail to move my soul. It’s good to read them again.

Jeanette Huber
24 days ago

I hear you Shari. Keep up your courage. With God all things are possible.
He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:1&3

24 days ago

I’m glad you are back. God bless you and your family.

24 days ago

So grateful you are back. I’ve missed your words.

Kim Z
24 days ago

So happy to read your words again. You all look so happy!!! Can’t wait to hug you all!!!🩷

Phoebe Wiley
24 days ago

Today I took a copy of your book “Peanut butter and dragon wings” to the women’s prison where I teach as a volunteer, and put it in the class library. I didn’t want to give up my copy because it meant so much to me, so I bought a second copy for the women. I forgot to look if it was checked out. I can’t imagine having time to ride with seven children!

Phoebe Wiley
24 days ago

That should be “write,” not “ride,” though there probably wouldn’t be much time to ride either if that’s what you wanted to.

24 days ago

Welcome back! You were missed.

Irene Myers
23 days ago

God grant you grace for your journey!! Ours was a difficult one, but He brought us through! I marvel at His ability to bring good and healing to even the most broken and wounded. He is able. Praise His name!!

Priscilla F.
12 days ago

I’ve just spent lots of time catching up on your posts, not having known you had written now and again for the past few years, until a post randomly appeared in my inbox today. I’m overjoyed to read that your family has grown. ❤️ As always, I’m blessed by the words written. Thank you for sharing.

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