When words fail

Sometimes my head spins with all there is that demands the pen. At the moment I feel like I’m trying to shovel concrete in order to make room in my head or heart for anything other than #bringbackourgirls, and yet there are these other things, important things, mixed up in there as well. They circle and swirl, looking for a place to land.

1. It was International Day of the Midwife this week.

Oh, how I love and adore our midwives and birth workers and want to shout their praises from the rooftops. Did you know that the United States just dropped from 50th to 60th in the ranking of maternal health world wide? Yes us, in America, with our money and experts and seemingly limitless resources. This is not ok. We need our midwives (and doctors!) and the expertise, care, and birth education that they offer… and we need them desperately.

US drops to 60th in global maternal health ranking
photo source

2. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week.

Oh, how I want to sing the praises of Mrs. Hurley who inspired me to read—actually read—when I picked up Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead in twelfth grade, and write literary essays with fervor. (She’s the first one who called me a writer. Thank you Mrs. Hurley.) Or Mr. Watli in the fourth grade who got me hooked on Holocaust history and was perhaps the first one that exposed me to injustice in a way that unlocked my heart forever. (He also taught me how to play chess, so there’s that. Thank you Mr. Watli.) Gosh, I love dedicated and creative and empowering teachers and want to shout their praises, too.

3. It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Oh, how I want to highlight so many different categories of women who should be honored this precious day (women who have lost babies, women who are infertile, women without mothers, women who give birth on dirt floors, women who mother under heavy hardship or a terrifying diagnosis), and give practical suggestions for how to honor and bless them. Because really, Mother’s Day should be about more than having someone fold our laundry or serve us breakfast in bed. (At minimum I have to mention how ridiculously easy it is to make or donate towards $2 clean birth kits, which can help save the lives of birthing mothers in rural Nepal, or how you can support the distribution of solar suitcases in developing nations to help caregivers assist in childbirth more safely.) To mothers and mother-hearts everywhere, I salute you.

4. It’s #bringbackourgirls urgent TODAY and every day until they are found.

Oh, how I can’t get past this story of the 200+ abducted (and still missing) girls in Nigeria which is haunting my thoughts and weighing my heart with holy indignation and the hope of a Savior. I know these four ways to help #bringbackourgirls and yet I still want to do more.

Bring back our girls

Sometimes the weight of the world rests so heavily on my shoulders that I feel almost paralyzed with the desire to want to doooooo something to change it. I want to write until my fingers bleed in hopes to multiply the message further while simultaneously wanting to curl up under a blanket and mindlessly watch HGTV while eating copious amounts of chips and salsa in hopes it will all just Go Away.

A few days ago I had some dental work done. Sitting in the chair with no small amount of fear and trembling I turned on the news, knowing that the reality of what’s happening in the Ukraine and Nigeria and fires and earthquakes ravaging our communities would help bring perspective to my minor dental woes. I turned up the volume as my dentist turned up the intensity of the instruments, and yet still, I only endured so long before flipping over to Love It Or List It. (HGTV might forever my mind-numbing indulgence.) But even then I couldn’t stop churning over the heartache of the abducted GIRLS who are being mocked even as they are trafficked into sexual slavery.

Friends, I’m learning that the best time to pray is when we have too many words… and when we have no words at all.

When words fail, pray.

So instead of burning the midnight oil writing about All The Things until my keyboard gets worn thin, I’m instead committing to pray more, lean into God more, and trust that my words (and sometimes my lack of words) will find a resting place there within His heart.

My overflow and my lack – none of it makes God uncomfortable (even though most of it makes me incredibly uncomfortable).

So to you friends – happy Midwives-Teachers-Mothers appreciation week and OH DEAR GOD would you please free these young girls.

And because we all need a smile to break the pressure sometimes, give yourself a giggle by reading this. Or this. Or because I just returned from New York City (possibly my favorite place on EARTH), I laughed my way through this illustrated NYC survival guide and thought you might enjoy it, too. (You’re welcome.)

Maybe like me, your heart is imploding and you desperately need help in keeping perspective and seeing the joy and fun life has to offer, too. Ultimately at the end of the day, I know that Love Wins. And I’m counting on it.

Remember friends, when words fail. . . pray.

And then go outside and get some fresh air.

Off to the park with my kids,
Adriel xo

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Nessa
    7 May 2014 at 5:09 pm

    What a perfect post. I have been praying incessantly it seems. Big Anf tiny prayers – at lights and between pages of books. It does seem like things have become so heavy on my heart lately. So much sorrow but all we can do is pray.
    Nessa recently posted..dear deedleMy Profile


Leave a Reply