rollin’ on a river of relief…..

It was war,  barbed and ugly
and I could feel it sharp inside myself,
the fear growing tighter
like a bag across my face
and then came the  message from an unlikely angel,
my son’s buddy who wasn’t on this mission
like a care package dropped into my heart
“Petey is okay….I promise”
and how it rolled me like a river of relief

sending a warm rush of dewy peace
trickled soft and easy over my mind
like the game I played when I was young
when they would pretend to crack an egg on my head
and then slowly fingers rippled down light across my hair
and I would feel the tight in my temples relax
into the slow slipping down of soothing balm.

Relief. … like the sweetness as our storm-scared pup
settles and sighs
into her crate
once the thunder quiets down
and the house stops shaking
and so does she
and sleep finds us all at last

 Relief…. like when you’re in labor
and the pain is so loud
it’s hard to keep perspective,
then panic hits you like a rogue wave
and begins to swallow you
but your coach helps pull you out
and you ride it together
until you feel the release…..the pressure lifts….the birthing happens
and there is only joy.

My heart is disheveled,
my floors are well-vacuumed,
my body is limp and a little weak
but I’m rolling on  this river
of deep long sweet relief.

Heaps of bright warm thanks to anyone and everyone who helped pray
and encourage me
through this gnarly dark-night-of-the-soul experience.
I’m grateful through and through.

It’s just about over,  this long deployment.

Feels as if I’ve been holding my breath
for a really long time. up with some of my favorite joy-seers!


  1. Mary on July 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Thankful…may Your heart ease into rest after being on high alert!

    Grace, peace and love to you dear Jen.

  2. S. Etole on July 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    What a remarkable image that last one is. Prayers for you and your son continue. May the Lord be your every breath of peace.

  3. rachel awes on July 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    petey is okay…
    oh my goodness, friend…
    my mama heart reaches out to yours
    with the huuuuuugest hug!
    SWEET DREAMS tonight. yes, rest peacefully.
    what a gift to know.
    how badly we want our children to be okay.
    forever safe. always and forever.
    i pray it with you.

  4. Michele Bergh on July 22, 2012 at 2:24 am

    I am so glad to hear it is just about over. Enjoy your slumber. Sweet dreams to you, my friend.

  5. Lindsay on July 22, 2012 at 3:24 am

    I’m so glad to read everything turned out ok!
    Relief is such a wonderful feeling after all that tension.
    Sending you and your family much love! <3

  6. Lynn on July 22, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Wow. Related to much of this post. Felt it all. I remember the egg game! I have since taught it to my young. And labor? Let’s not even go there! But a child deployed. I thank God every day my children are safe and sound under my own roof. Blessings to you and yours and prayers for a safe home arrival.

  7. Judy Hartman on July 22, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Oh, Jenn, what a wild ride of anguish you have been on. Your word images are exquisite as always, and I send you my prayers and support. So very happy that this last unimaginable fear has been quieted, and wishing blessings on your son and on you, his dear Mom.

  8. Meg on July 22, 2012 at 9:42 am

    This is gorgeous…”my heart is disheveled”… my life is in no way like yours But your writing has given me a really intimate insight into your life…thank you

  9. Louise G on July 22, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I can’t imagine
    the fear
    and worry
    I can’t imagine
    the waiting
    I can imagine
    your son
    his heart beating
    its unique tattoo
    of courage, love and beauty
    I can imagine
    he is okay
    because where ever he is
    his mother is in his heart
    and he knows
    he is loved.

    Hugs my friend.

    Blessings to you both.

  10. beth on July 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    you have been holding your breath sweet friend….you truly have been….all while holding his heart in your heart !!…xo

  11. Marcie on July 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    What an amazing journey! You’re a true inspiration to all of those who wait..and wait. I’m so glad to hear this storm has passed..and that everyone is safe.

  12. Bren on July 23, 2012 at 7:19 am

    As always you’re gift of words to express our humanity reaches out and grips us. My heart is thankful right alone with you, for a son who is safe and a family that walks this walk right along side their soldier son.

  13. Simone on July 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

    A really moving and gripping poem.x

  14. JBR on July 24, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Sweet hugs to you Jen during these times. We cannot say uncertain times, as we know our Savior is stable and is always with us through every thing…..

  15. LindyLouMacinItaly on July 24, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I cannot imagine the pain you must feel when your son is deployed. I do think of you though.

  16. Barbara Koob on July 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Oh Jenn…. I can’t imagine the anguish of having a son deployed. I’ve been praying for Petey’s safe return in wholeness. You are an amazing mama!!!! Love you so much!

  17. sharon leaf on July 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Your words make all that we are going through a little less serious. Thank you for sharing this journey; it makes us all that much more thankful for our daily blessings. And you, dear friend, are our blessing, and that we are very thankful for. Oceans of blessings.

  18. suz on July 25, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I think of you and yours often, and in prayer
    I remember my mom when my brother went off to VietNam
    a unique club
    mother’s hearts holding fast in prayer
    bless you ….love the photos……we’re proud of him

  19. missing moments on July 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Can’t imagine the fear! Glad to hear he is ok and the time of deployment is drawing near an end. Beautifully expressed.

  20. leslie on July 26, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    so glad you had news to lighten your heart. may He who watches over your son neither slumber, nor sleep, until he is safely home. (and thank you, for your prayers for me and mine recently.)

  21. Sandra L. on July 26, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Hello! I am glad your son is nearly home and his friend is OK. I will keep them in my prayers.

    I’ve been out of touch a bit–some family stuff (mom was in hospital but is OK), job stuff (I may have some good news soon) and just life in general. Not sure I want to keep blogging so I haven’t updated in a while.

    Your work, as always, is glorious.

    Sending hugs!

  22. kamana on July 27, 2012 at 9:25 am

    wishing you joy and contentment and smiles… i love those first and last images. wishing you peace my friend.

  23. Connie Smiley on July 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Good to breathe with you, Jennifer. Love the soldier/puppy picture. Is that him? In any case, I’m still praying for you both.

  24. jeanie on August 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Oh, Jennifer, I would think that each and every day would be difficult, never knowing, always hoping all is well and he is safe. You are in my thoughts and prayers. (And that is a fabulous photo.)

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