Truth and a Trip to the Fair

Life is life. It goes on in spite of everything. I go grocery shopping, wash socks. I write lesson plans and order curriculum and spend too much time online. We go to church, to the library. It’s just life.

Except my heart is in two places. Even as we drive northward to church on Sunday morning, a part of my heart is heading east in a big white van.

On Monday, we go to the fair while she drives still further east.

Goofy the Cow

This is one of those surreal moments of life– to know that while we’re basking in our little family tradition at the Iowa State Fair, my sister is journeying farther from home than she’s ever been.

jump roping dog

I love these times with my family. I love seeing the joy on my kids’ faces at the wonder of the world.

baby chicks!

I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here.

A butter cow sculpted from sand. Maybe you have to be an Iowan to really get this one.

And yet– I would give my left arm to be there with her right now, just helping her through.

face paintings

I’m not sure when life got so complicated. Being a grown-up is ridiculous sometimes.

admiring the spider on his cheek

I thought about it last winter, when we lost our baby. How in spite of my grief and emptiness, life just kept going on.

Pirate of the Cow-ibbean

And how now, I walk daily with the weight of the should-haves and the should-bes.

The boys wanted to take this one for Grandpa, who likes old cars.

The truth is, I should have a new little tiny one right now. Or I should be ginormously pregnant and miserable.

steam engine

And I should be there with my sister, helping her, right?

I have no caption for this picture.

After my first miscarriage, I read the book Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. She talked about the should-haves and the should-bes.

little farm girl

I have to be so careful not to live my life in the place of the should haves. Because that place is not a true place, not a real place.


And we are supposed to think about whatever things are true.

Little fireman

The harsh truth is, my sister is moving to Spain, I am not pregnant, and a whole lot of other unpleasant stuff that I can’t ignore.

The good thing is, these realities are not my only truth.


A beautiful day for a trip to the State Fair– that is truth as well.

big pickle!

A comfortable home– food to eat– clothing– running water– indoor plumbing– all truths of my daily life.

my best friend. and my hat.

A husband who loves me and tolerates me and spoils me rotten– truth.

To hear my boys describe it, you would have thought the "Wacky Worm" was the biggest, scariest coaster in all the world.

Three amazing, beautiful, hilarious, smart, awesome kids who love me even when I forget to wash their underwear– truth.

Squeezy and I rocking the Dizzy Dragons.

A church family. Friends all over the country, and the world. Parents and siblings and grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews. People who love me– and, most importantly, a Savior who loves me and who gave His life for me– this is truth. This is reality.

Funnel Cake!

Yes, my heart is in two places today. This is truth. But an even great truth is this– my heart, and my sister’s heart, are in His Hands today.

There is no better place to be.

Not even the Iowa State Fair.



4 thoughts on “Truth and a Trip to the Fair

  1. All those things are true. (funnel cake is especially true.) Living in the shoulds is one of my biggest traps. My life should(n’t) look this way, I should feel this way, I should do all these things (and perfectly). When I get caught up in the shoulds, I have to take time to remember whose word I’m taking for truth. That helps.

    Praying for you and your tender heart. Always. ❤

  2. erin, i want you to know that you have been on my heart this month. the Spirit reminding me of you and your beloved child, born into heaven. reminding me to pray for you to live in Hope and in His truth.

    i mourn for you. i do. and i rejoice that this is not our home, one day we will be Home, and “together for good” with our children, in Glory for eternity. God surely longs for us, as we long for ours, and Him.

    a few years ago i went through a very dark time (3 yrs). a friend mentored me with “loving God with all your mind.” so good, so necessary. i praise God that He knows we will struggle with this, so He instructs/commands us to “love the LORD your God with all your mind, heart, soul, strength, and your neighbor as yourself.”

    enjoy your week before school starts! and “mooooooo” (cute cows)

  3. and i didn’t make it through without crying, even though you have the greatest fair pics to smile at!!!! and your best friend and your hat made me laugh out loud… through just a few more tears. i’m thankful for the truths… for the reminders that the truths are what we have, no matter what we want. love to you… and a bundle of prayers for your heart. what i’d really like to do is to come knock on your door and then we could go skipping down the street until we could find a place to have a big hot fudge sundae and laugh together. lets make that a truth someday 🙂 xoxo

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