Bricks & Mortar

Being laid off from a job.

Having a marriage end.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis.

Losing a child.

These are all things that, when I hear about them, I think "I don't know if I could handle that".  I bet you have thought the same thing....

The last one is the hardest for me.  As a mom who fiercely loves her 4 children, the thought of losing one brings me to tears.  How could I survive that?  How could I ever be a happy gal again?  How would I ever be able to go on?

Here is the thing.  I know moms who have had to find answers to these questions.  They have had to struggle through the heart breaking grief.  They have had to go on.

I marvel at them.

I admire them.

I pray for them.

I learn from them.


A few story snapshots...

Recently a family within our church suffered an incredible loss.  Their family of 4 were having a picnic at a local park when a car lost control on the nearby street and hit them.  They lost their 7 year old, precocious, sweet little boy in that moment. How do you get past that loss?

A special woman in our family got the call that 2 of her 4 daughters were in a car accident.  Inexplicably, she lost a daughter that night.  How can you smile again after that unfairness?

A young woman from our town was abducted and killed.  Her mom is what has prompted me to write this blog entry.

I have been thinking about these questions for a few months now.   In each of these situations the parent have shown grace, perseverance, and illustrated that there is a way to "get through". I have wanted to write about it.  But I didn't have any good answers to the "how" questions...........


Until the other day.

I was grocery shopping.  I had finished and got in line to check out.  Who was my check out gal?  The mom of the murdered girl.

I love this woman.  I don't know her at all, but I love her.  She is a shiny bright light every time I see her.  She is always smiling.  She is kind and personable.  She is amazing to me.

So what happened the other day to bring an answer?  Glad you asked. :)

She was talking about something that was a hard time for someone else....a job loss.  She said, "sometimes you just have to get through by laying one brick on top of the last one....till you have a big strong wall".

I have not stopped thinking about this since.

Bricks and Mortar.


What are the bricks?

I think that the bricks can be:

~a day

~an event

~a success

~a relationship

~a story

~a feeling

~a goal

~a tragedy

Each brick in our life's "wall" symbolizes something that make us who we are.

Each wall is unique.

They can be laid in different patterns.

They can be different shapes.

They can be forming different size walls.

What is mortar?

Mortar is the the workable paste that binds the bricks together.  Mortar is usually made up of limestone, sand and a cement.

The mortar is the glue.

The mortar is what helps to build a strong wall that can withstand many things.

The mortar creates a mighty structure that can endure an impact.    

It forms a sturdy barrier that can survive a storm.

I live in the midwest.  Tornados can appear in a blink of an eye and wipe out a town, village or neighborhood.  I am always amazed at the home that is vanished....except for the brick fireplace.

Except for the built-to-last-with-steadfast-mortar brick fireplace.

I wonder what makes up the mortar of the parents of the 7 year old boy?

I wonder what ingredients are in the mortar of the woman who lost one of her 4     beautiful daughters.

I wonder what is in the mortar blend of my favorite grocery store check out woman?

Everyone's mortar will look different.  But what does mine look like?

What makes up my mortar?  What do I have in my life that will is helping to build my life's wall?  Will it stand strong if, or when, I need it to?


For me there are a few ingredients.

Faith, Family and Friendship....and in that order.


My faith in God is the ever growing foundation for who I am and who I want to be. He is the ingredient that can endure any impact, sustain any storm wind and remain standing at the end of it all.  I can hold strong to my life's wall and survive anything.

Would it be bearable?  No.

Would it be easy?  Not a chance.

Would I do it with grace?  Probably not every day.


But...could I do it...and still shine a bright light?  Yes, with the help of my mortar.

May your life's wall be built strongly.

May your life's wall endure the storms.

May you know what makes up your mortar.

July 12, 2012 — Sarah Stevens

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