etta james - a staple

Sitting on the porch, getting some air. I watch as my aunt runs past and inside. The sound of a party. The music getting louder as the door opens- Etta James, Sunday Kind of Love - As the door closes the music dulls to a muted sound again. The walls from out here seem as if they could burst open. And I imagine if they did, love would come spilling out. An overwhelming love.

This holiday feels different. 
& that statement is starting to sound extremely repetitive in my life. But I think the source of variance comes from the eight months I spent away. Those eight months not only changed myself, it transformed my family. They walked it with me. It changed even the smallest parts of us. The mundane simply feels less mundane(y). 
So the holidays feel unusual - better.

Thanksgiving took the cake this year. I can't wait to see what happens come Christmas.
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Remembrance // Gratitude

There is something holy that comes with the slow work of God. The difficult, and at times, traumatic parts of it all. The parts that in the moment, feel like you will never recover, or never understand the reason of why it came to be. Dark and and at a standstill. Holy.

Then you look around and see what you are compared to what you were. And when what you were - shown against what you currently are -is like looking at the colors black and white, a clear stark difference,
gratitude swells

My 17 year old of a sister gave a talk in church yesterday. Quoting President Eyring she said that 
“Remembrance is the seed of Gratitude”

So I want to remember it all. Agonizing or complete joy- I want it all.

I want to remember slow dancing to etta james with my dad.
That feeling of love that surrounds a new born baby.
That shame does not need to drive you.
That silence & holding still often tells me all I need to know.
That you can always feel Gods presence - even in the darkest hour.
That returning home early from a mission doesn't define who I am.

I want to remember that we were divinely designed.
That the God I believe is not a "one false move" but a "no matter what" God.
That compassion is the answer to every question.

& in the end, I want to be able to say that "I loved it all"
and truly mean it. 
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the nephew

That baby.
He changed things.
He's changed us.

He's been here for a total of what, 72 hours?

I've been in the room for nearly all of my sisters births.

But this was different.
& maybe its because I am a different person, older and closer to that stage in my life.
but the feeling that was around that hospital room, and around our family this whole weekend, is one that I want to feel again.

He came out with barely a sqwak. Sleepy & exhausted from the journey it took to make it into our lives. Surrounded by family on that side saying goodbye, and surrounded by family on this side welcoming him into this world - all the people who love him the most - a very crowded room. A mixture of excitement, nerves, & love made it a sacred place to be.

Its in looking into this little boys face that perspective comes.

Baby Gage from Hannah Waters on Vimeo.

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