Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Without pretense.

I've been feeling blue lately.

I think it's a number of things.

Big things, like all the anger currently in the U.S., and the deep sadness I feel about all that. 

Then bigger things, like realizing there are mothers in Africa trying to decide how to feed their children today and only wish their problems were *just* political. 

I think a lot of it also stems from being back in Kuwait after a whirlwind trip back home.

Don't get me wrong, I'm SOOOOO glad I got to go, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. But, it was a crazy amount of travel in a short amount of time, which messed with me.

Also, it was incredibly special to get to see my family and friends.
I feel like I got filled up on so much love and great times with my people, and I'm grateful.
But the downside of that is remembering all that we're missing while being here.
And man do I miss our people sometimes. I miss our families, I miss our friends. I miss our stores and our restaurants and trees and our couch and our rain and our doctor's office and our TV channels.
I miss the warm, fuzzy feelings I have when I'm surrounded by our loved ones.

So all that has made for weird, blue days lately.

I've tried many things to fight these blues.

I've been intentional about being happy! Finding joy! Counting blessings! Focusing on gratitude!
It helped temporarily.

I've tried to love my family well. Create a warm environment in our home. Candles lit. Lamps on instead of rude overhead lighting. Fresh sheets for everyone. Long, warm showers and clean jammies. Comfort foods.
It helped some.

I've tried to restore order to my surroundings, thinking that might be helpful. I've scrubbed surfaces and purged items we don't need or use. I've dusted and dusted again.
It offered a feeling of temporary control. 

I've read my Bible, and my encouraging book, I've prayed and carried on long conversations with the Lord about all that I'm feeling.
(In all honesty, a part of me feels compelled to tell you that these things - God's Word and time with Him- cured all that was ailing me... that it tidied everything up with a neat little bow and all is well nearly feels like blasphemy to admit otherwise, which is crazy, because I believe my God already knows my heart, and longs for my honest dialogue with Him in all things. He is transparent, and I believe He asks for the same in me. He wants me, all of me, without pretense. He can handle my doubts and fears, and so I tell you that while it did help a great amount, it has not (yet) restored my peace, nor my joy.)

I've allowed myself to feel the sorrow. I've decided to dive head first into it and just let it have it's space for a bit...which has given way to bursting into spontaneous tears. Twice at home, once at the grocery store (God bless sunglasses), and once at work on my lunch break.
This didn't bring the release I'd been hoping for.

My dad always says when you're hurting, the best way to heal is to lift others up. 
I've spent time intentionally smiling at others. I've reached out to people I know who are down. I've tipped generously at any opportunity given.  
This has helped...but I've still felt empty. 

I've stared out the window at the sea, savoring each long sip of hot coffee, thinking through my feelings and allowing them all space...where do they stem from? What can I do about them?
I can trace most my sadness to all the reasons listed at the top of all this ranting, and also acknowledge that my subconscious is always aware of seasons and dates, and that it was exactly ten years ago today that we learned the baby inside of me no longer had a beating heart. 

But I think most of it is all the general brokenness in the world right now. All the hurt. 

And so today, I declared a Sabbath.
I'm not sure if it was watching this movie last night or what, (If you didn't like The Hangover, you will not like that movie. If you thought The Hangover was funny, you will laugh at this one)
but when I went to wake my daughter this morning at the unGodly hour of 5:45am, and she said "Momma? I'm too tried. Can you please tell Ms. M that I don't feel good and can not come to school today?" 
I said "sure." I mean, let's quit trying so hard. Let's just take a break.
Here's the thing about Sister...she LOVES school. I'm not even exaggerating, Girlfriend hops out of bed each morning, giddy to head to school. The very first Thankful Leaf she put on our tree was for "getting to go to school". She recently told me that she tries not to go to the bathroom very often during the school day because she "doesn't want to miss the learning" (she 100% gets that from David). So when she doesn't want to go to school, I listen. 
Also, when she is tired, she lacks coping skills (she 100% gets that from me).

We were all coughing yesterday and whining about sore throats last night,  so it wasn't a stretch to decide to keep us all home today.

And as I went to text my boss that I wasn't coming in, and the kids' teacher that they'd be home today, I realized maybe this was something we all needed.
A day of rest.
No chores.
Paper plates, leaving zero dishes to be done.
Dinner ordered in.
Comfy clothes.
Blankets straight out of the dryer, warm and cozy.
No one leaves the house.
Lots of cuddles.
Rest, rest, rest.

And here it is, nighttime, again.
Did today help? 
Yes, it did. I feel calmer...less anxious.
But peace? Joy?
I still feel just generally...meh.

This is not a post to say I have it bad, because I do not. It's just to be real. To be candid. To say I'm not quite well and I don't have the answers as to how to get there.
Will it all be okay?
Most definitely. 

Until then, I'm left with this...

Image result for cs lewis quotes on desire


  1. I wish I could be there to give you a hug. Instead, you need to keep hugging all those wonderful memories from your dash to and from America and know that it won't be that long before you all will be back here and making more wonderful memories. And, in the meantime, you'll be making wonderful memories in Kuwait that you'll cherish when you're here. Take whatever time you need to gather yourself back up, but I don't believe it will be long before you are fully back and happy in the "now" and looking forward to enjoying this final part of your Kuwait adventure. Love, Aunt Carol


  2. Sending you some solidarity hugs, my friend!

  3. This one line from a blog post by Chris Guillebeau last year has really stuck with me: "Let the wave crash over you. Don’t try to run from the pain." (

    I try really hard to remember that. It is so hard to just sit with the sadness, to be in the moment with it, even when I remember that the fastest way through it is...through it.


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  5. I really really appreciated all of your honesty in this post. Praying for you and thinking of you and eagerly awaiting reuniting with you.