Friday, November 1, 2013


In true page-turner style, the night before heart surgery,
I was rain-checked.

For a good month, I gnawed at this news like an old bone,
waited to hear if the docs would favor heart surgery after all,
or have me remain in this temporary place of not-quite-well.

What can we do when things aren't all better?
How can we meet the sacred in illness,
in poverty, in sadness,
in our imperfect selves?
Drink tea. Read good fiction. Take bubble baths.
Go outside and watch clouds.
And then, take a serious look around. 

Ill or not,  I am rich!

clean water. warm home. books.
food. literacy. art.

waves on the beach. limitless sky. stars. 

music. beauty. family.

I could recount these riches all day.

Even ill, I am abundantly well.
I haven't been able to write.
That's the outlet that's suffered most since the stroke.
I'm tired, dizzy, and struggle with an aching head.
My dear friend Margaret Bloom of We Bloom Here
sent a breeze of wisdom my way,
likening this time to winter.
Sometimes leaves dry up and branches are stark,
but roots still go deep. 
Every time we struggle, may the roots go deep.
to grow us in compassion.
to grow us in perspective.
to grow us in steadiness,
and light.

What do we do with our troubles?
Find the gifts in front of us.

Even in our troubles,
there is sacred to be found:
laughter, forgiveness, grace, love.

Here's to deep roots and good dirt, my friends.

I finally made peace with this middle ground,
and the next day: news!
Heart surgery is back on.

Friday, November 8, here we come!

Feel-good books:

15768811 15815400
Violet Mackerel's Remarkable Recovery,
by Anna Branford, ill. by Elanna Allen
(Thank you for the get-well-read, Margaret Bloom !)
The Mighty Lalouche, by Matthew Olshan and Sophie Blackall
Tea Rex, by Molly Idle
!, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
A Sick Day for Amos McGee,
by Philip C. Stead, ill. by Erin E. Stead


Barb Davis-Pyles said...

Beautiful family -- beautiful life! Many thoughts and prayers headed your way, Faith. And here's one of my favorites -- "The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness." -- Dalai Lama. Clearly, you're creating more sacred dirt each and every day. :)

M. Bloom said...

peek-a-boo, I see you... I found your sweet words and lovely thank-you-note here on your blog.

continuing to send you healing thoughts and all the best for that surgery Nov. 8. here's to a healthy thanksgiving 'round the table at the end of the month, with so much to be thankful for...


grammarducky said...

Ah, but you ARE able to write, dear Faith! It may not be what you placed on your goal list for today, but your reflections send a power-packed message for the reader (and writer) to pause, deep-breathe, and allow the Author of Life to fashion your words. Prayers abound for you, John and children during this coming week's journey! Love, Connie

MollyMom103 said...

Sending you happy thoughts. I love the treasure of every day. I really do.

Jan Morrison said...

I marvel at how much I can adore someone I've never met in the flesh. Nonetheless adore you I do! And this is writing kiddo - real writing! I'll be including you in my meditation practice and reflecting on ordinary magic which you are a master of!

Shawna said...

Faithy....your friend Anna Moats told my bestest friend Elizabeth (Kennedy) Hedwall (who was YWAM friends with Jesse) that you are having your heart fixed! And she sent me here (which I have actually been before because we love, love, love good book reviews, and some homeschool blog sent me here a couple years ago.....) ANYWAY...this is called the 6 degrees of YWAM separation, with Facebook and blogging and you can just about find anyone....ANYWAY, the actual reason I had to comment is to tell you that a couple years ago, my dearest brother-in-law, and super-daddy of 5 little boys had the SAME thing happen! He had a big ole' stroke at the tender age of 34 and it freaked us all out, and he felt really, really terrible and is was so scary. And it turns out his heart has a hold in the middle that lets blood clots swim where they shouldn't. And so under the heart-knife he went, and down on our knees we all went...and God is SO good, and all went perfectly well. He's ship-shape and back to climbing mountains and chasing his 5 wild indians. So all of the Morris/Barr/Neitsch clans will be on our knees for you, and expecting a terrific outcome! Fear not dear sweet mama. xoxo

Kjersten said...

I'm thinking and praying for you Faith! Your post brought tears to my eyes. I'm richer for reading your blog and knowing you, even if only a little. Many blessings!

Dawn Simon said...

You are wise, wise, wise. Winter is difficult, but the leaves will return. Yes: deep roots and good dirt!

I'm sending wishes of good health and saying prayers for beautiful, talented you. xo

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Your words are so packed with truth and beauty. I am visualizing you as a grand tree with roots that reach down into the rich, dark earth, drawing strength to grow stronger. My thoughts are with you, dear Faith.

Faith Pray said...

Here is an update, precious friends:
I am home from heart surgery! It went really well! I hope to feel tip-top as soon as everything heals up. Thank you so much for the wise thoughts, encouragement, cheers, and prayers. Love to you! Hugs! Happy hearts!

Obaitori said...

Really happy to hear about your successful surgery Faith. I'm sure your healing will be steady, gentle and strong. Take precious care of your sweet heart. Love Katie x

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh! You are back and sounding great! I'm so happy the surgery went well. Tons of best wishes for health and healing and love all around you.


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