When a Heart Breaks

When a Heart Breaks - Marty's Musings

There are joyous seasons in life, days filled with sweetness and precious memories, almost to the point of taking my breath away. Then the seasons of grief arrive, days filled with inconsolable heartbreak, crushing the wind from my lungs. Blessedly I've known both seasons and every one in between. Ordinary days full of diapers … [Read more...]

Unafraid: Why I Went to See a Therapist

Not sure when or how to ask for professional help with a personal situation? Blogger Marty's Musings shares a personal story of encouragement.

When I started this post several days ago I had no idea that our lives would again be filled with a new crisis with our adopted son. I just knew I needed help coping with my own feelings and hurts God had been revealing to me. As we continue to walk forward with our son, loving him and getting him help to continue the process of healing his … [Read more...]

What No One Wants to Talk About at Christmas

What No One Wants to Talk About at Christmas - Marty's Musings

Today I went into the attic and pulled out the baby clothes I had saved from my two biological children. It's been years since I tenderly went through them. I touched them almost prayerfully, letting the memories roll over me in waves. As a new mother you can never imagine that the little infant you cradle will one day be cradling their … [Read more...]

Marshall Hall “When I Cry”: Simple Gift Sunday

Marshall Hall When I Cry video and devotion

  Get the hanky out. This song pierces my heart and moves me every.single.time. With my mom's death on Christmas Eve 2010, my sister's unexpected death at the age of 53 and the relationship loss of an adopted daughter I know what pain feels like. I don't just listen to this song. I weep. I grieve. And I thank God that He has … [Read more...]

Christy Nockels “Healing is in Your Hand”: Simple Gift Sunday

Healing is In Your Hand from Marty's Musings

I have written a lot through these last years about my journey through grief. My sister, dead at the age of 53 from a sudden heart attack. Our oldest adopted daughter, unable to live at home during her later teen years and, sadly, estranged from us now. My dad passed away in 2009, my mom on Christmas Eve 2010 from neglect by her … [Read more...]

Tenth Avenue North “Worn”: Simple Gift Sunday

And all that's dead 1

I started Marty's Musings as a way of sharing our adoption story and connecting with other moms who were experiencing heartache in impossible situations. Over the last almost six years of sharing my heart with my readers I have written about my sisters death at the young age of 53;  the struggles we faced with our oldest adopted daughter … [Read more...]

Josh Groban “O Holy Night”: Simple Gift Sunday

Simple Gift Sunday: O Holy Night

My husband told me recently that I run when I'm sad. Usually I would argue with him, but this truth settled into my spirit. He was right. I don't like those close to me to see me grieve. Grief stings. It isolates. It takes the most ordinary day and turns it into pain. I know this because I know grief. Some days it … [Read more...]

Hope for Hurting Hearts

Hope for Hurting Hearts from Marty's Musings

I have no profound words of healing to offer here. Only a mother's heart that has wept at this week's tragedy. Just one more person trying to make sense of the senseless. The brokenness. The unimaginable. I have listened to the media coverage, holding my breath with fear. I am familiar with mental illness. Experienced … [Read more...]

Santa Ornament Wreath

Santa Wreath

Those of you who are new to my blog may not know that I have experienced some big losses in my life. My sister died in 2000 from a heart attack at the age of 53. My dad passed away in 2009 and my mom died under tragic circumstances on Christmas Eve 2010. Sometimes I will be reminded during this special time of the year that the three most … [Read more...]

Plumb “Need You Now”: Simple Gift Sunday

Need You Now by Plumb

I had never heard "Need you Now" by Plumb before, but I can so relate to the desperation, the wounds in need of healing. Holding on to Christ, barely moving one foot forward, crying out for understanding in the pain. I know that each of you who reads this has a story to tell. I hope this video will remind you sometimes strength is to "just keep … [Read more...]

Draw Me Nearer, Lord

Draw Me Nearer by Meredith Andrews

Last week I was asked by  a local funeral home to sing at the service of a 52-year-old woman who had died while waiting for a heart/lung transplant. I sing fairly often for funerals, for people I know and some complete strangers. I consider it both an honor and a responsibility. I am intimately acquainted with the grief and devastation at the loss … [Read more...]

Women Encouraging Each Other

Encouragement from One Woman to Another by Marty's Musings

I am at the Southern Bloggers Conference this weekend but wanted to make sure you know I'm thinking about you! Here are some words of encouragement from one woman to another (written originally here). There are some things that only time and perspective can teach you. If your mom is still alive (or you are blessed with a relationship with … [Read more...]

In Honor of my Sister

two sisters in wedding attire

If you've read my blog for a time you will probably say now, will she ever stop talking about grief? For those of us who have lost loved ones intimately close to us, (for me my sister and both parents), it is a pain that sneaks up on you when least expected. I went away this past weekend with two close friends for a time of scrapbooking and … [Read more...]

Grief Revisited

2012 Family Easter Picture

(family picture from Easter 2012) I don't want to write about grief, and I certainly don't want to experience it. Yet it's a part of my life and the process of letting go of those I've loved and lost. I feel like I have written quite a bit about it on my blog, but it is a subject that I have lived through for several years. Death touches all of … [Read more...]

Five Minute Friday: Beyond

5 minute friday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 2. Link back here and invite others to join in. 3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day Loss

I shared the story of my mother's death at our church this past Mother's Day and I thought I'd share it here for those of you that may not be familiar with my story. Over the last 3 years of my parents’ lives I was responsible for their care even while they were in a nursing home, with my dad passing away in February 2009. … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day Thoughts

Warning: have kleenex handy! Letter from a Mother to a Daughter:  "My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, … [Read more...]


One of my most read posts is the one below. As so many of us struggle with family crisis, relationship failures, church disappointments, financial needs and health scares, let this story encourage you to stay strong and "thank God for our thorns." The Blessing Of Thorns Sandra felt as low as the heels of her … [Read more...]

Defining Moments

  We all have defining moments in our lives. Those times encapsulated in our minds that forever changed the direction of our lives.   I have a few. 1980  Senior year in high school I planned on majoring in piano performance in college. My first theater audition, first show, first tour and I was hooked. No longer piano but … [Read more...]

Closer to You

Mark Schultz is an amazing singer/songwriter/musician. If you've never listened to his music, his Stories and Songs is fabulous. He has a gift for telling stories that captivate the heart and stir the emotions.As I was listening to the album today this song popped up on my Nano and I don't think I've really paid attention to the lyrics before. … [Read more...]

Birthday Triggers and Thoughts on Turning 50

Birthday Triggers and Thoughts on Turning 50

How do YOU handle birthdays? Especially ones with a zero at the end? I think I must have some trigger related to birthdays from my childhood. I have never liked celebrating my birthday because it somehow never measured up. Not sure what I was comparing it to, but I know this about myself and was determined to face the big 5-0 with grace and … [Read more...]

Encouragement from One Woman to Another

Encouragement from One Woman to Another

There are some things that only time and perspective can teach you. If your mom is still alive (or you are blessed with a relationship with another woman that is important to you) I want to share some things that I am learning only through retrospect. My sister passed away suddenly in 2000. My mom passed away under adverse conditions in 2010. … [Read more...]


grief is unexpectedcoming when my guard is down my thoughts are elsewhereyet there it isa tear flowing downa catch in my throatmy mom loved UNC Tarheels basketballwith a passioneven obsessively in the nursing homewe would watch the gamesand she would fuss at her teamsome of my greatest childhood memoriescome from watching the black and white tvand … [Read more...]

Remembering Mom

Mom Christmas 1

Christmas Eve marks the one year anniversary of my mom's tragic passing and uncalled for death. 2011 has been a year full of tears and a whirlwind of emotions since my mom died. These are the words I shared at her funeral. Many of my most cherished memories and traditions surrounded the Christmas holidays. Mom loved to decorate, hosted her … [Read more...]