Shop the fall collection ➔

Technically, she was my great aunt, but we called her Aunt Marjorie. For most of my childhood, it was Aunt Marjorie and Aunt Mildred, a dynamic duo. Although both had married, neither ever had children. By the time my brothers and I came along, they were old, I guess. All I know is when they came to our small town for a visit, it was a family time of eating, visiting, and playing games. When you’re playing games like Spite-and-Malice and Aggravation, you know you come from a family of card sharks. No matter my age, my aunts never let me win a game. 

Aunt Marjorie outlived all of her siblings. In fact, she outlived most people, passing away in her sleep at 105 years of age. The last six years of her life, she lived in assisted living. My family  didn’t live in the area anymore, but when were in Kansas City, we’d always stop in to see her. What a blessing, she knew who we were every time we visited. With great pride, she’d introduce us to all her friends at the retirement home. I mean, all. her. friends.

She got forgetful though. She’d start to tell a story, and a gap would occur in her mind. We’d just move on. Things that had happened recently blended in with things of the past, and she had a hard time keeping a straight timeline.

The time we visited her shortly after my parents got a divorce was a hard one. We didn’t know how much to tell this elderly aunt who meant so much to us. The other visit, after Dad died and we lost the family farm, that was even more challenging. We had decided we wouldn’t tell her about this turn of events at all.

Which, of course meant the things she kept asking about were the forbidden topics. She asked about my dad. She asked if my parents were happy. She wanted to know how the farm was doing. Was there enough rain? How was the old home place? We stumbled around in our answers, tears welled up in our eyes. 

Based on what she’d already been told by other family members, and the hesitation she sensed from us, it was obvious she knew bad things had happened. Her feeble mind didn’t remember it all clearly, but she knew her loved ones were hurting.

Again and again, as if on repeat, she said, “This too shall pass.” I will never forget the intensity in her gaze as she looked each one of us in the eye, one after another. Her voice got shaky. She felt the pain, even though her mind wasn’t holding in the details. 

This too shall pass.

Over the years, I’ve internalized these wise words from my aunt. This woman who lived through the Great Depression. This woman who held a full-time job for most of her adult life, and saved most of her earnings. As a girl, she’d lost her four-year old sister to pneumonia. She said goodbye to her parents, grandparents and all five of her siblings in her lifetime. This woman who told us at one point in her later years, she found herself spending most of her time visiting friends at the hospital or attending funerals. She knew it. She’d lived it.

This too shall pass. 

Time has redeeming power. The things that are weighing us down will not keep us down. The marriage troubles you might be having. The struggles with your teenager. The loneliness you feel because you had to move again. The financial troubles that threaten to drown you. The unemployment line. The depression you can’t seem to manage.

This too shall pass.

Traci Rhoades

Traci Rhoades is a writer and Bible teacher. She lives in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area with her family and an ever-changing number of pets. Connect with her online at tracesoffaith.com or @tracesoffaith on twitter. She is the author of "Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost."

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading