Grace for the green…..

Living miles below the cloud line
while my heart strums chords of blue,
and I cry sometimes over shadows I find
looking back at me through you

Yeah,  I’ve been writing sad songs:)
It’s what I do when my heart holds close a story that I can’t yet tell
because it’s muddy waters and timing is everything
and my love for one born to me while I was still too green
is stronger than my need to turn loose the stormy waters
from inside myself.


But I’m done being mad at the little girl green that I was,
the one who tore out her heart and tucked it into the soft white blanket that I bought at Belks
when they told me I could choose one gift.
One impossible gift to wrap her in,  with my heart stowed away inside.
I still remember how it burned like electricity the first time someone spit
“you gave your baby away?”

But the tears wouldn’t come.
Oh,  they came in floods for the wanting her.  For the missing her.
For the not being enough for her.
But I never cried it out, the pain of landing hard on the cold floor of judgment
as one who abandoned her child.
Those tears swelled in a tender place behind my ribs,  un-cried until now.


 At last they pour
because it came like a surgeon’s knife,  her words
crisp and clean,  and somehow Love has a hold on me
and I’m bleeding out the tears from a place scarred deep
and pouring on forgiveness to the girl I used to be.

I release her, too,  this other child,,
5 months pregnant,  scared and green,
caught up in a story way bigger than me
at the edge of seventeen.


~ I share this for all of us who carry grief over impossible choices.
No matter what we decided.
Because there’s a hefty sort of grace for it all

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process
is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”
-Brene’ Brown

I blog out my living and breathing,  sometimes messy, and it’s been swirling waters
and tear-stained keyboard for a few weeks and I’ve got to be true;
it’s just where I am.
Thank you for coming around and sharing the road even when it’s muddy.
~ ~~~~~~~~~
I do have an October zine to give away
Leave a comment and you’re in the drawing
with a heap of joy and love.


  1. Elephant's Child on October 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    As always. Heart-felt hugs and oceans of caring.
    That frightened, sad, and bewildered you gave birth not only to that child you were forced to surrender, but to the beauty loving, beauty sharing, growth of integrity that is you today.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Healing happens in layers sometimes, doesn’t it.
      Big thick layers of goodness happening,
      making well my soul:) I love restoration!
      Just love it…..thanks for your kind, balmy words:)

  2. gotham girl on October 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    So very powerful…

    The image – living below the cloud line? – absolutely gorgeous.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks, friend. It tells a story, doesn’t it.
      Big hug,

  3. Jane on October 4, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    All I can say is that I love you, little girl green.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      You always say the most wonderful things:)
      Love and thanks, Jane,

  4. judy Hartman on October 4, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Jennifer, I am glad I came by to read this post. It has been far too long since I visited. As always, I am deeply moved by your words, your sincere emotions and your beautiful images. I felt a tug in my gut as I read this, but, as you put it, it was an impossible choice. I hope that you have tremendous compassion for that child you were, making a heartbreaking choice, and then living and learning and creating beauty with your words and your life.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      I feel such a rumble of healing happening:)
      Big glad healing. It’s a beautiful thing.
      We can not “visit” for months or years and it’s still good;
      still connected:) I love that. And you:)

  5. Lynn on October 4, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I absolutely adore you! I love your heart, the way you find words to sing or shout the way you live, see, and hold tight to life.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Big thanks, my friend.
      I treasure you. You know that, right?
      Much love:)

  6. Julia on October 5, 2015 at 6:37 am

    A big warm and tender loving hug to you Jennifer.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Big thanks and tenderness right back to you,
      Julia. I’m doing so very well. Thank you:)

  7. Wanda on October 5, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Love and hugs to Jennifer. The sting of some choices we make in this life leave a lasting impression but as you said we did the best we could at the time.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      I love how the jagged edges of life get smoothed
      and love is able to grow
      when I believe that we’re all really doing the best that we can
      with the tools that we have at the time.
      Makes life sweeter. And forgiveness heals a world of hurt.
      Thanks for coming by and sharing your lovely heart,

  8. LISA MORELAND on October 5, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Courage encourages others. May God’s peace enfold you.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Enfolded:) With a whole heap of joy:)
      Thanks for coming by and sharing,

  9. jeanie on October 5, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Dearest Jennifer, waves of love come pouring over you, not to stop the tears but to give them a deep, safe place where they can flow unconditionally. We all do what we can do with what we have at the ready when the time comes. I suspect pretty much all of us have grown in our years since seventeen. (I certainly hope so). But one does the best they can. And you did. You made a tough choice, the toughest ever. And you don’t need permission to cry.

    Abandoned? No. Doing the impossibly difficult thing to give a newborn the life you can’t give? That is a gesture of courage. And your courage continues to grow. Tons of hugs coming to help heal the hurt.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      Jeanie. I feel your waves and the healing that they bring.
      Thanks for your beautiful heartshare. Just big, grinning thanks.
      You are balm and light:)

  10. susan troccolo on October 6, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    “..landing hard on the cold floor of judgement…” I know that Jennifer. I had a baby that was forming in my body when the doctors said: You CAN”T be’ve had no thyroid gland for one year and so it’s impossible. And now this radioactive iodine, we are sure the baby was hurt.” So, I terminated. It tore my heart out. It wasn’t planned, but I know the truth, my body was crying out for LIFE, to survive. So it created something to show me how, to make me live. I still cry, but I believe myself to be a nurturing woman. A loving woman. So, I write the story: For the Daughter I Never Had. And it is almost enough. Not quite. But almost. Today, but maybe not tomorrow.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 6, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      Leaning in, shoulder to shoulder, with understanding of every word
      your heart beats out. Unspeakable choices. Impossible pain. I get it.
      And I affirm the nurturing, life-giving, loving woman that you are.
      So many ways to be a mother. I honor your mamaheart:)
      Thanks for sharing, brave Susan,

  11. Kathryn on October 6, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Forgiving our self. It sounds sometimes like it should be simple, but it has been the hardest challenge. For me. I feel pain and I wish I could take some from you still. Tears for strength, arms for hugs, to you my dear sweet strong honest friend. I love you. Kath

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 8, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Exactly. Thanks for the love, friend. There is pain in healing.
      More healing happening inside than I can say.
      I appreciate your care:)

  12. Barbara on October 7, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    I believe carrying a child you know you cannot, or should not, raise is so full of bravery, courage, and sacrificial love that I can’t even imagine it! How do you forgive someone of love? You don’t need to be forgiven, dear friend. You need to be hugged. xoxoxo

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 8, 2015 at 11:17 am

      So many feeling swirl around in the birth child’s heart. Feelings and impressions that are deeper than ration and reason. I think maybe the heart always asks “why” and maybe the answers never seem to be enough. It’s swirling waters and mud. Everyone has to find their rock to stand on.
      I so appreciate your kind words.
      Love always,

  13. Relyn on October 9, 2015 at 6:00 am

    I love your words. I always do. And that first image? Just amazing!

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 11, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Thanks dear Relyn…..I so appreciate getting to share the road
      with you:)

  14. Susan on October 9, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Oh, sweetie, I was still too green at seventeen, too, and still living with the pain and struggles of knowing now all that I didn’t know then. I did know from the start that the two of us share so very much … you are a very loved and cherished sister of my heart.

  15. Kimber Britner on October 9, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Oh, there is such beauty in showing up as we are, beyond chandeliering, numbing, stockpiling and more. So loving the beauty of messes where grace presides. xoxo

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      So incredibly encouraging, you:)
      SO much thanks for your bright voice of hope
      in my life!

  16. elaine on October 11, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    thank you for being you …in good times and not so much…love & light friend!

  17. leslie on October 12, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Thank you for trusting us in the midst of your muddy waters. Praying. For healed hearts and quieted storms and still, clear streams. And His love over all.

    • Jennifer Richardson on October 12, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      You are dear, leslie; thank you:)
      Love and lift to beautiful you,

  18. Donna on October 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Oh yes those tough choices and the regrets they bring about….still trying to forgive myself completely and unburden myself! What a weight we carry….I am learning to let it all go….wishing you peace my friend.

  19. Relyn on October 21, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Praying for you, my friend. Still praying…

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