Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Strange Good

This is a post I wrote but never posted back in August.

My heart is heavy tonight.

I put on my most comfortable socks and I climbed in bed with A LOT on my mind and even more on my heart.

Last week a family on base (Camp Pendleton) lost their 13 year old daughter in a house fire. The tragedy has really rattled the entire community. Today I had a chance to sit with the grieving mother over a cup of tea. I didn't do or say much. Mostly I just listened.

And cried.

I saw so much of my own grief and pain in her. Her words made so much sense to me as she described the thousands of feelings that seemed to ebb and flow in her heart and mind. I remembered feeling just like she does- hurt, confused, exhausted, checked out, scared, angry, and sad. And my heart hurt for her.

And it hurt for my girls too. And for every mother anywhere who ever lost a child at any age under any circumstances. I just don't get it. And it breaks my heart.

I wanted so badly to take her pain away. I wanted to rewind time and change what happened. I wanted to say something profound or offer a special gem of wisdom that would make it all ok. And I didn't like the feeling of helplessness that lingered in my chest as I sat, frozen, listening, hurting, and understanding.

My own heart is still so tender even after three years. And it wrecks me to see that same pain in someone else because I know how horrible it truly is.

I drove home talking to God the entire way. I will admit I did not give Him much opportunity to speak as I did all of the talking, but I did ask some very important questions:

1) HOW MUCH LONGER? A lifetime seems so long God when my children are missing. Please sustain my broken heart until that day finally comes.

2) WHY ME, WHY ANYONE? Although I was honored to share my tea and the ministry of comfort it represents, I couldn't help but feel gypped a bit. It does not feel like a fair trade to me. And I still hurt about that. All the good that has come through the short and valuable life of my Aubrey and Ellie does not add up to the good of them.

It ended here. I guess I never posted it because I never finished it. Yet the final thought is the thought that has been heavy on my heart of late: All the good does not, and will not ever, add up to the good of them. At least that is the way I feel about it.

Recently a wonderful opportunity came my way. My company Teamotions has been given a special opportunity to extend comfort and healing through tea to our troops. Working along side The Wounded Warrior Semper Fi Fund, we created three new teas to support the emotional well-being of our troops and their families. As the wife of a Marine myself, I have a heart for our troops and their families as I have experienced many of these emotional challenges first hand. Long periods of separation, the demands of military life, and the realities of war take an emotional toll. These three new teas will help ease the emotional burden on our troops and their families and help comfort them as they serve our country and protect our freedom. A portion of the profits from the tea sales will support the Wounded Warrior Semper Fi Fund to help provide injured service members with the medical care and technology they need to recover from injuries sustained in combat.

We are so honored to be able to support such a worthy cause and work along side an organization doing so much good. It is a privilege to reach out to our military with tea to offer them much needed comfort and emotional support. Sometimes I am amazed at the opportunities that have come our way and the lives being touched through Teamotions. It is all so very good.

But when I sit alone and think about all this so very good stuff it still stings a little. It is SO good, but it isn't as good as them. It is my privilege to carry a torch for my little girls who came and went too soon and I have found so much healing in building a meaningful legacy for them through Teamotions. Yet, all this good has come at quite a cost to me and I can't lie and say that if I was ever given the opportunity I wouldn't trade it all for them in a heartbeat.

Despite the hurt in my heart I do feel amazingly grateful though. I see God working and moving and healing and touching lives, all because Aubrey and Ellie lived and died. I see the miracle in that. I honestly don't know what else to call it. It is truly a miracle.

Speaking of miracles...Teamotions is hoping for one! We are currently seeking to raise funds for the creation of the three labels for these new tea blends to support the emotional well-being of our troops and their families. You can donate to our campaign or learn more about it on Please tell all your friends and family about it as the more people who know the more likely funding will be met. We are also pre-selling the first of the three tea blends. It is called Courage and it is a caffeine free Plum Spice Rooibos blend with Eleuthero Root to help prevent emotional, mental, and physical burnout during prolonged periods of stress. Pre-orders can be made on our website and each order helps get our tea to our troops and their families as quickly as possible!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and are able to find comfort in the hope we have in Jesus and the celebration of His birth this Christmas. Without His birth there could not have been His death and resurrection of which made possible the most good that could ever be. He paid the ultimate cost for what is the ultimate good, and He did it for us. For that I am eternally grateful.


  1. Rachel, I didn't know you were at Camp Pendleton! I was there for Thanksgiving visiting some friends, I would have contacted you. I actually saw a Teamotions poster there, and thought it was a strange coincidence. If you have not met Mary and Eli Henson yet, they are great folks on base there. :)


Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved