Out of shame and into Grace

A few weeks ago, I was blessed with a surprise that goes beyond anything my wildest dreams have dreamt.   I have wanted to share my gratitude and joy with the whole wide universe, yet I have stopped myself from doing this multiple times.  Tonight, as I sat folding laundry, I felt such a tug on my heart to stop arguing with myself immediately about what this blogpost would look like, and instead, just write.  Thus, this post is going to be unfiltered, possibly a wee bit scattered and certainly vulnerable.  It’s likely to seem a little raw, because raw is simply where I am these days.

In January, 2013, I began a brand new job as a Resource Coordinator for families who had  kiddos with special needs.  The day I was driving to get my drug test, a man just barely older than me took his own life by jumping off of a bridge.  He landed right on the windshield of the truck in front of me.(I think I wrote about this in an older blog).  Reflecting back, not only was this heartbreaking; it was seemingly a mirror to what my life would be like for the next few years.  My whole world would be turned upside down in ways I never could’ve fathomed.  In those years, there might have even been a time that I thought it would perhaps be easier to not be alive than to bear what was.  This was a fleeting thought, I don’t believe I was ever tempted to take my own life, and every time I was feeling destitute, I would think back to that man and how he must have been so desperately hopeless.  I didn’t realize in the midst of my pain, he actually further lit the fire in me to reach out to the hurting and to do all I could to ensure no aching soul would ever walk alone.  Lofty ideals…they are strong in me.

I’ve no desire to trudge up past pains, yet it’s beneficial to give a background for those who aren’t aware.  The rest of 2013 included the deepening of my Daddy’s war with Alzheimer’s; infidelity in what I thought were the happiest years of my 15 year marriage; a never-ending battle with contractors whose work had devastating consequences on our  home and finances; and a spiral into the depths of Hell as clinical depression took hold of my then spouse.  Simultaneously, my anxiety had me constantly spinning in the eye of my own tornado

2014- 2015 were in many ways years of restoration.  My ex and I found a beautiful souled, wise counselor.  We worked our asses off to get to a better place.  We had a plethora of healing take place between us, individually and in our family.  Daddy continued to decline and was moved into a memory care community.  Even so, Momma, myself, my siblings and extended family drew closer together.  I applied for grad school and did not get accepted.  I see now that this was the very best thing, for I didn’t know how hard life was going to get.  At the time, it was another rejection and I felt more defeated than ever.  I had quit my wonderful job and worked several little part-time jobs so that I could help with my Dad and work on healing my family.  Though I have no regrets, because I will never have that time of healing again, it was financially stressful.  I baked for extra cash, picked up every odds and ends job I could and tried to maintain my sanity at this time.  My ex and I rarely saw each other with our crazy schedules, kids activities and my Daddy.  If we were given a life stressors assessment at the time, we would’ve been able to check many of the major stressors, we were in constant survival mode.

2016-2017  sadly brought another separation, and finally, a divorce after nearly 18 years of marriage and 23 years of knowing.  It also brought the death of my precious Daddy; a move for my extraordinary Momma; school changes for the kids; returning to work full-time for me; and getting accepted into grad school (YES)!  A roller coaster ride full of high’s and lows, with minimal in between’s.

In 2013, when I first found out about the affair, I went searching for  a bible verse that I could hold on to.  I didn’t want anything too pretty sounding; for life wasn’t pretty and I often was certain that it would only get worse.  Besides, I was building up walls between God and I and I only wanted to be slightly comforted.

“So I will restore the years the locust has eaten.  You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied.  And praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.  And my people shall never be put to shame.”  -Joel 2:25 – 26

Truthfully, I have no recollection of how I landed on this verse, I only know that I have held it in my heart for always.  Every time I recite it to myself, I remind me that I will have to surrender my picture of what restoration looks like to God and trust him in the process.  If you know me at all, you know this is nearly impossible for me at times.  My favorite game is “Here God, here’s (what, who, struggle), I surrender it to you. ” (5 seconds pass)  “Actually God, I’ve got it, thanks for being willing to help.”  And so it goes…

Like the rest of the world, I have had struggles.  When that big blessing came to me a few weeks ago, it was quite public…I was on two news stations as a matter of fact.  I have received numerous accolades, encouragements and hugs; everyone is happy for me.  In that happiness, I keep hearing how much “I deserve this”.  I am truly humbled and honored that anyone would even believe I deserve such treasures; I have a hard time believing I ‘deserve’ anything.’  We all are deserving.  Even more, it is a challenge for me to ask for much less accept help.  I am getting LOTS of help here, help that was just bestowed on me without my asking.  Help because someone (s) see my heart and my struggles and they followed a prompting to nominate me.  I am touched deeply and no fancy words could ever express that.  I am just going to have to express it in hugs and cookies, we already agreed on that!

In short, my dear friend, Mike G. is the person who had me on his heart and started this ball rolling.  He connected with my precious friend, Trena T. and the ball started rolling. The kids and I were one of three families chosen to win a new heat and air unit from the fabulous Air Assurance.  (WHAT?  SO THANKFUL!)  Many more people were involved, including Mike’s lovely wife Melissa and a handful of professionals who are going to (are you ready?  Drum Roll!) make my dreams come true.  Our beloved home is receiving renovations and remedies.  These people who I don’t even know are going to contribute to the lives of my dear children and I simply because they are choosing to.  I am eternally grateful, humbled, giddy, shocked, amazed, and in disbelief.  I’ve posted the link to the news station interview above.

As people began to step forward and tell me what they would be doing for us, in our home, as a gift, my verse kept speaking to me.  HE WILL RESTORE THE YEARS THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN.  He has been restoring, he is restoring.  It does not look like I would’ve defined it, but God is a good, good Father and his restoration is nothing short of supernatural.

Tonight, I hear the part of my verse that says THERE IS NO SHAME IN HIS PEOPLE.  Maybe it is okay for me to accept the ‘deserving’.  I’m working on that.

My prayer for 2018…the year Sarah learns to step out of her shame and into His grace.

Merry Christmas 

I baked a plethora of Christmas cookies last night for sharing at today’s family gathering. I am pooped. 

I thought about how many times I have stood in this exact kitchen and baked Christmas cookies. It’s a relaxing activity for me and something that brings back fond memories Of my grandma. It makes me happy that people look forward to eating my cookies every year because it’s one of the few things I feel I can tangibly do and share to make people feel good.

After I finished the cookies, I began to gather the ingredients to bake a little pumpkin gingerbread for everyone. I realized I was almost out of the oil and that I would have to go to the store but at this point it was nearly midnight. I was making a plan for running to the store, making the batter and not baking until morning. The more I considered it, I realized this meant I would be baking all of tomorrow.

I made a very different decision than what I would usually make and decided that I would not be baking pumpkin gingerbread loaves this Christmas. More than anything, I want to rest, reflect on the gifts my Savior has given me and be present with the people that I love.

.In this season, it’s easy to run myself ragged and I don’t want to do that. I’m certain God will provide me with other opportunities to bless those around me….. and in case you are one of the people that usually find a treat for me on your doorstep, please know that I love you dearly… With or without the gingerbread.
Merry eve of Christmas Eve!🎄🚵🏽‍♀️

Certain uncertainty

“Sometimes I am the mess.  Sometimes I’m the broom.  On the hardest days, I have to be both.” -Ruby Francisco

“PEACE.  It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.” -unknown

It’s been a terribly ‘off’ day.  Nothing in my world feels centered and each time I try to choose peace, chaos charges in.  Since early morning,  I have been a colorful storm of emotions; tonight, I desperately seek the rainbow.

I woke myself up from a deep sleep by loudly sobbing into my pillow.  It took me a moment to wake up and piece my dream together.  I felt such a heaviness in my spirit; I was yearning for a quick fix to clear my head and heart.  I transcribed my dream with as many details as I could recall into my notes and headed out in the brisk morning air to walk.  The walk was short, I longed for peace and God connection.  I went to my favorite spot behind the shed and sat in the sun.  I was intentional in picking my prayer spot, I like to remind myself that I’m literally, ‘walking in the son’.  I spent a good amount of time there considering my dream and I actually read it out loud to God.

In reading my dream aloud, it was obvious that I had blended several issues that are bothering me during wakeful hours into one crazy, scary, heavy dream.  The subconscious can be it’s own monster I guess.  Details of my dream aren’t what bothered me most; the feelings I had upon waking threw me into a tizzy.  I’ve discussed them a million times, I’m open with my struggles.  I wish that made them go away.  I was feeling overwhelmingly unworthy, ashamed, resentful, mistrustful and sad.

We must travel through our feelings to get to a better place, right?  I really didn’t want to travel through…I’ve been here more times than I can count.  Nonetheless, here I was.  I am aware that my M.O. when I’m feeling these things is to grip the reigns tighter; get ‘control’ where I can in my life; withdraw or pick arguments and maybe throw in a few oreos for good measure.  It’s not like we plan to do these self destructive behaviors, but they are comfortably convenient and familiar, so why not?

I’ll tell you why not…because I am worthy of the best life for me.  My kiddos are going to get to see their momma continue to not just survive, but thrive.  How awesome in theory this sounds, yet living it is another story.  Here is where the first rainbow of the day came in.  My dearest friend called and processed through this with me.  I sought wisdom from my precious Momma.  I have a new very special friend who was extremely patient and kind with my verbal vomit; and is still my special friend this evening.  Best of all was my overwhelming guilt for reaching out to God only while I’m in a valley and forgetting him on the mountaintops (I believe this was ‘ironically’ part of the message at church last week.)

I had the opportunity after this mini journey through hell to settle in and work on a school project.  Instead, I made myself a brilliant to do list where the biggest task was to, “Save the World!”  This should be a big joke, yet I get so caught up in taking care of everyfreakingone that it’s really not.  I sat down to start typing and began to feel extremely nauseous.  It’s just a little antibiotic side effect, and although little, it was awfully distracting.  I decided to go do a load of laundry and take the sheets off my bed.  Oh yes…I needed to add a few things to my said to do list.  I have a washer to do laundry, a comfy cozy bed with warm blankets to sleep on, hands to write a to do list with….more rainbows!

My son’s girlfriend came over.  I was visiting with the two of them for a bit, before I resumed my project.  There was a knock at the door.  I was surprised to find that rather than a friend; it was a very angry man who believed my dog attacked his son.  Long story short, I was terrified as were the kids.  I called the police and it seemed like they took forever to arrive.  In the meantime, my brother in law and dear neighbors came.  I am still feeling horrible tonight for involving them, I didn’t know if this man was dangerous, I only knew he was out of control yelling, cursing and pounding on my doors and windows.  The situation was resolved, my kids were horrified as was I.  However, definite rainbows here.  First, my 16 year old son totally stepped up and directed his girlfriend and I to stay put in the bathroom so he could make sure the police were really here.  He is brave, he is a protector and he really does love me!  Sometimes 16 makes that hard to remember.  I am incredibly blessed to have friends and family that will rush to aid us and thank God for the police officers.  On a deeper level, this is the first time I have not felt safe since Nathan left our home and it has just left me feeling the teeniest bit emptier than I like.  My brother is here with us tonight….yet another rainbow for which I am grateful.

I stubbed my toe when running into the bathroom this afternoon and half of my entire toenail on my big toe came off a little bit ago.  There was blood…my blood.  I am not a fan of my blood and my sweet 12 year old daughter doctored me up.  She is sunshine, rainbow, goodness and love.

I am a bundle of uncertainty right now.  That’s okay.  I remind myself that I have to be certain of nothing but uncertainty.   I am blogging; I have accomplished not one iota of my project or my bills. (Our Christmas tree is now decorated and the nativity set is up….priorities!)   Tomorrow is a new day.  It’s on my to do list to find my sanity….I might be looking for a while.

Blessings all.

Now

I got home from school around 10:20 tonight. (BTW, I am loving school!) Anyway…I came home wound up as all get out so I used that energy to do a quick clean. Laundry is in, kitchen sink scrubbed, all floors vacuumed, and the smell of bleach is permeating the air while the whites wash. All of this makes me happy…and suddenly, my abundance of energy has vanished.

My heart is slightly heavy tonight as I process letting go. I talked to a very wise soul today…(you know who you are). I was tearfully sharing my fears that there will not be another side to my journey, as well as the other terrors that haunt me. I shared that after Pathways, I had the BEST two years of my marriage that I never could’ve imagined and then, whoosh!, it was gone. I let her know I have a wee bit of mistrust and anger with God for not making this better and lots of mistrust and disappointment in myself for losing my magic wand.

She asked me something I truthfully have never considered and am pondering carefully tonight. “What if God gave me those two years to give me a glimpse of what a future love could look like? She asked me some other things, and the permeating thought I have left over as my summary is the one that begs an answer to the question…”how I am going to spend my now? Am I waiting to arrive at the other side before I settle in?”

I likely am waiting in ways, I tend to freeze a little when I am afraid. I have had to say too many goodbyes lately, as I discussed in my previous post…no way around it, they suck.  There have been goodbyes through a death, goodbyes through divorce, goodbyes and a goodbye to a dear, dear friend by choice.  None of them is better than the other.

My heart is telling me there are other goodbyes to say…another bit of  letting go that is weighing me down.  It’s time to say goodbye to things that aren’t working in my life as I learn to replace them with what is better, healthier, wiser.  It’s time to say goodbye to control (or my illusion of it), yet again…which means, hello surrender my friend.

 

It’s time.  It’s time.  It is time.

Grief

I recently read that the best cure for grief was to grieve.  Duh, sounds simple enough.  No big deal until one just feels weary of grieving.  The grief “process”; it’s flabbergasting.  It’s an exhausting, painful, crushing, hard to breathe process and every time your get your head above the waves to catch a breath, the wave crashes over you once more, and you are drowning.  Again.

It’s a lump in the throat that says, “don’t speak” or the torrent of tears will come, but what choice is there?  Swallow the bitter bile down into your seemingly empty soul?  It’s the endlessly sour tummy that won’t go away no matter how many Tums are downed or how cautious the diet is.  It’s the tightness across the back that burns and is only alleviated by deep pressure; because the pressure reminds us that we are alive.  It’s the clenched jaw accompanied by tense neck muscles that are holding the world in place and the twitching eyelid that is imagined to be the worst kind of tumor in the anxious, exhausted mind.

It’s joyful laughter when a certain scent, song, memory…anything comes to surface…but then it is followed by an unsolicited, salty rain…running down soft cheeks without warning.  It is the penetrating sense of emptiness that ravishes the soul and the nightmare that haunts in the daytime.  Grief is the reminder of loss….over, and over and over again.  It is said that time heals all wounds.  I find this to be an intricately woven unreality that was designed to protect hearts from further pain.

Grief is obviously front and center in my world today and the effect is snowballing.   I am hurting for people that I love dearly because they lost a man precious to them.  He was a father, a son, a once in a lifetime dream love, a friend, a brother, an Uncle, not- simply…an honorable man who lived to make others smile.  I hurt for my niece and nephew who have never experienced this kind of loss before.  The first time with grief is unlike anything , the last and the middle griefs are no better.

Heartache.  Loss.  Tears.  Unutterable prayers. Pain.  In all of it, the healing has begun, I think.  Maybe the healing begins the minute we even connect and the pain of loss reminds us just how important love and each moment are.  It doesn’t matter right now though, right now is not celebration…right now just hurts.

I cry for their losses.  I cry for my losses.  I cringe at the thoughts running through my mind.  I wish I had a grief formula to follow.  Do blah blah blah and then do yada yada yada and in a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months, everything will be okay.  Getting to the point of celebrating what was before the loss will come but your life has been forever changed.  My life has been forever changed.  This is truth and for now, I’m kinda tired of grief and all that accompanies it.

Shadow Dance

My internal world has been filled with an abundance of “AHEM” moments today.  AHEM moments don’t feel like the progress I like to feel after I’ve done the hard work of processing; they have yet to lead me to any “AHA” moments; and honestly, those are usually my goal.  AHEM moments are more like scathing, scary, scolding, self scuffling conversations that go on constantly between my head and my heart.  These moments are anxiety provoking…the kind of anxiety where although I continue to be productive and sufficiently distracted with work, there is the constant gnawing in my belly, the lump in my throat and the uptight breathing that accompanies the tense certainty that everything cannot be as okay as it seems.  I went through my day, doing the business of living and forgetting to find my place of surrender, my calm center, my joy…I just go and go and go as fast as I can.  No matter how much I do or how amazingly efficient I am, the chatter in the background will.not.stop!  That’s my day today.

Writing, praying, reflecting and sharing are healing for me, and I know there is something deep inside of me in need of healing as I write this or my heart wouldn’t be so overflowing with trepidation in this moment.  Selfishly, I’m ‘getting it out’ in hopes of being rewarded with peace.  Altruistically speaking, I hope the reader gleams some sort of self awareness from reading.

  • I made a decision a couple of weeks ago to do something totally out of character for me…I think.  As I ponder my actions more, I consider the possibility that this was absolutely something within my character but something I’ve never felt the freedom to do.
  • I had a hard and precious conversation with my ex husband today (I still feel as if I am speaking of someone else when I say those words…I’m working on owning them).  We are at a place of peace and we are able to ask questions of one another, this is beautiful but does not make the answers easier to bear.
  • I have had to distance myself from someone precious in my life in order to guard my own heart.  Boundary setting sucks.
  • It is less than a month away from the 9th anniversary of the stroke and just a few days away from what would be our 19th wedding anniversary.  My soul reverberates the echoes of what my mind wants nothing to do with.
  • I’ve been playing Words with Friends when I need a little break.  One of the men I have been playing with invited me to download an app on my phone today so we could ‘talk naughty’ to each other.  (I don’t know him, he is a ‘random’ stranger from the game).  I don’t really believe in random and after I found out his story, my belief that there are no accidents has been confirmed.  He is married and wanted to be honest with me, but felt that ‘talking dirty’ wasn’t a big deal.  He asked if I thought it was and I let him know that I guess that depended on where your personal boundaries were and that mine would not permit me to engage in these conversations with a married man.  We talked further, I shared with him my heart on the matter and my own story.  I encouraged him to find out what was missing within himself or his marriage and not go down this road, no matter how innocent the intentions were.  I don’t know what he will do, but I pray that our ‘meeting’ was of value to his heart.
  • We celebrated my beautiful sister Beth’s 60th birthday this weekend.  I have no words sufficient to describe the fullness in my heart that the love within my family provides to me.  No words.  No matter how many years go by, when I am naming my siblings, I always feel like I leave one out.  It’s my big brother Brent and he definitely left an empty space.  I celebrate his life in partiality by always ‘counting him in’.  My Daddy would’ve loved the party thrown for Beth, and he would’ve been immensely proud of all of us.  I miss him so.
  • I have haunting background thoughts that tell me I will never be the object of a worthy man’s love, that having extra pounds makes me less than valuable,  that I will get Alzheimers and not have enough money to have good care, that I won’t fulfill my purpose before I die….all of these crappy lies that won’t go away.  I don’t actually know if they are truth or lies, I do know that I am living my purpose right here and now, that I will have everything I need when I need it and that God’s plan is much better than my own.  I KNOW these things deep down but when the shouting between my head and heart gets louder than my knowing, I forget my truth.

So here I am….dancing with my shadows but the shadows mean that there is light, so I know I am okay.  That’s an AHA moment and the only one I really need right now.

 

Be blessed,

Sarah

 

 

 

I AM WOMAN

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace;

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…

Ecclesiastes 3


I mentioned recently that I am a late bloomer.  This persona goes with this whole “old soul'”, “wise for my age”,  “good girl” theme that I was dropped smack in the middle of on September 5, 1972 (this would be the day of my birth).  This has always been a belief about myself that I bought into…until recently.

Sometimes, one’s world is turned upside down by the uncontrollable circumstances of life.  Personally, things that have rocked my world in the past few years include, but are not limited to:

  • Walking through Alzheimer’s disease with my precious Father and losing him after he bravely battled it for 12 years.  Every day in Alzheimer’s land is a day that you say goodbye in some way to your loved one and hello to a new change in them.
  • Infidelity, followed by three years of intense therapy with my ex husband
  • A divorce from my best friend after 23 years together
  • A big move for my beautiful Momma out of our family home and into her new home (which is lovely by the way)
  • Helping children cope.  Children teaching me to be a grown up.  Welcome to teen world.  Enough said.
  • A couple of career changes
  • Financial stress, financial stress, financial stress
  • Weight loss, weight gain and now onto loss again

Goodness knows, there is much more.  This is an excellent starter list though.  Surprisingly, I’m still here to tell my story and for that, my gratitude is overwhelming.

There are “firsts” happening too:

  • There have been a couple of dates for me.  Shocking, but dating at 19 is a completely different game than dating at 45.
  • My kiddos are experiencing tons of “firsts”…growing up; junior high; high school, dates (kind of); and all the challenges that accompany their experiences
  • I have begun graduate school, tonight as a matter of fact
  • I have a new career that I treasure!
  • New friends.  I feel like I am in college all over again with the new friends I am making.  I was just discussing with one of them (my new friends) how cool the process is; we agreed that there is a feeling that some of the friendships we are forming now, in our 40’s, are forged for a lifetime.
  • I am making grown up decisions for myself without regard (or less regard) to the judgement’s of others.  This is a drastic change for me.
  • I’m working on replacing words like shame, guilt and should’s with surrender, forgiveness and healing.
  • I am letting my mistakes be what they are…a growing experience that does not indicate I cannot accept myself with imperfections.

So….back to the late bloomer.  I have come to the conclusion that I’m not ‘late’ afterall.  I have certainly not arrived.  I am simply journeying along, just like we all are.  I wrote out Ecclesiastes 3 because it’s always been a favorite of mine, yet it’s only now that it seems to apply to my own life.  (I know…forgive my recent egocentricity.)  I am viewing myself in a different light.  There is a path ahead of me that is full of beauty and delight, I get to decide (generally speaking) which directions I will go.

During a party I recently attended, I watched in awe as several beautiful women danced to the song, “I am Woman” by Helen Reddy.  The lyrics fit where I am right now beautifully…..

“I am woman, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore, and I know too much to go back or pretend cause I’ve heard it all before and I’ve been down on the floor No one’s ever gonna keep me down again.  Oh yes, I am wise, but it’s wisdom born of pain, yes I’ve paid the price, but look how much I’ve gained.  If I have to, I can do anything.  I AM STRONG.  I AM INVINCIBLE.  I AM WOMAN.  You can bend but never break me cause’ it only serves to make me more determined to achieve my final goal and I come back even stronger not a novice any longer cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul.  (chorus)  I am woman watch me grow see me standing toe to toe as I spread my lovin’ arms across the land.  But I’m still an embryo with a long long way to go, until I make my brother understand.  (chorus)  

Yep…this is right where I am and right where I am is EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.

Midnight Java….the Aftermath

My dear friend Traci let me know this morning that she is not concerned about my becoming an alcoholic.  She is, however, worried about my frequent late night coffee consumption.  I’m wondering if her unease about my exuberant consumption is something I ought to investigate further.

Though I have always found the aroma of a fresh brew intoxicating, I was never a consumer of this ‘nectar of the gods’ until I was a Preschool Director and momma of two babies.  My energy was low and the needs of those I cared for were high.  Simultaneously, they put a Starbuck’s in less than a mile from my home.  I took it as a sign, God was smiling down at me and it was a love at first sip!

Since then, I have kept my intake of this delicious cup of energy minimal to moderate.  One cup on a good day, two cups on a rushed day and 3 -4 cups when I was trying to keep the poo from hitting the fan.  I guess by now the poo has hit the fan and been splattered about, so it only makes sense that I have begun the sweet little ritual of late night coffee drinking.  I do this only occasionally, I can stop anytime I want…really.  I limit myself to this practice when the kids aren’t at home and I’m quite productive (sometimes) when I begin to drink coffee at midnight.

What’s the problem then?  I might be a wee bit sensitive to the caffeine but it’s a nice, harmless little buzz. It helps me stay awake so I can create, clean, or stare of into space contemplating my world.   There is nothing like coffee and candlelight!  Countless benefits, right?

It’s been a rough week in this life.  Last night was a cup at midnight…a cup at 1…and maybe a 1/2 cup at 1:30.  (Sorry Traci, I couldn’t bring myself to tell you the whole truth). I fell into a not quite sound sleep at 3:30’ish and was awake, ordering groceries at 5:30’ish.  I was on my way to work at 8’ish.  I’m feeling the consequences of two hours of sleep in a serious way.   No worries…nothing a little cinnamon dolce latte with extra espresso can’t fix!  It’s a cycle for sure…I just haven’t decided if it’s vicious or victorious!

Last night’s bender wound up in a great phone conversation with a beloved friend, a couple of loads of completed laundry, clean dishes, a bit of reading and A LOT of staring at my candle flicker while I chatted with God and weighed on all that is heavy on my heart.  I felt, and still feel, conflicted and afflicted.  As I mentioned, it’s been a rough week in this life.

I am incredibly proud of my ex husband and I.  We fought the good fight for our relationship and although the outcome wasn’t what either of us had hoped, we are still here.  Now we fight the good fight as parents who love their children dearly.  Still, the divorce is new and I find myself deep in thought as I adjust once again to a new normal.

I found myself in the middle of a devastating situation this week, I am thankful that I was present yet this is a situation that hurts every fiber of my being.  The ex and I have had to walk through some really difficult stuff with our kids this week and who knows if we are doing it right?  I am in a state of mind that leaves me aching to ‘fix’ and nothing is in my power to fix.

I think about the tragedies around us.  In my opinion, teens and social media combined have the ability to create a horrific impact and I am seeing this directly in action.  Our elders and our children are not cared for well in our society.  There are endless gaps in this world and too many people are oblivious to the societal impact until they are personally affected.  How do we radically meet those around us right where they are without pushing our own agenda onto them.  What are the long term repercussions for those who are harmed and for those who cause harm?

These thoughts are the aftermath of my midnight java.  Good thoughts….great thoughts…heavy heart and void of solutions for the most part.  Still, I march forward ready to embrace life as it comes and holding onto a mustard seed of faith that there is hope for my future…for our future as a whole.

Most of us are familiar with the quote,

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

I’m pretty sure the original quote was, “You must be the change you want to see in the world, and it all begins with a late night cup of coffee, a candle, and a little chat with God.”

The aftermath of late night java….it’s a beautiful thing.

 

 

 

 

 

A sweet, sad day

Today, my best friend of 23 years, my husband of nearly 19 years, my baby daddy and a precious part of my heart and I journeyed to the courthouse to finalize our “dissolution of marriage”. .

We will stay conscious of the decision we made to create two incredibly special humans. We will intentionally and cooperatively make every effort to co-parent well, and I believe, we will maintain a special friendship. We will stay the sort of goofballs that take selfies while we waiting to meet with the judge

Jokes aside, my heart is filled with a deep ache. It is unfortunate that what is best isn’t always what is easy. After court, we went and talked over sushi. Instead of celebrating our divorce, we celebrated a beautiful history made and the friendship we will continue to have.

Thanks to all for loving us, as well as praying for, encouraging and supporting us. I have hot tears running down my face and I feel I’ve been punched in the gut. Healing is here.❤️🙏

Compilation

  1. So much going on and it all eventually becomes just another life compilation.   My precious sky blue eyed son turns 16 today.  SIXTEEN!  This means that I will be 45 just a day over a week and my beautiful daughter is 6 months away from being a teenager.  I can barely fathom how fast time truly does fly. 11, 12, 14, 15, 43 and 44  have  been sorta hard on all of us, respectively speaking.

I’m not looking for easy, I’m too much of a realist for that.  I am hopeful that the deep inventory I continue to take of myself is not a futile effort and that there is great goodness in what I find.  I am still searching for freedom from the things that bind my heart…there are many.  I am yearning for the things that make my tummy have the best kinds of butterflies, there are several of those things too.

There was a time that I walked every single day.  My goal was to reach 100 days straight of walking at least 10 minutes a day.  Most days I walked 45 minutes to an hour.  Then, at 91 days of walking…I sprained my ankle and couldn’t bear any weight on my foot.

Looking back, I can’t believe I stuck with a form of exercise that long.  I am a wiggle worm, I have a hard time sitting still.  I normally hate exercise but somehow in that process, I had learned to cherish my daily walk.  I spent the time talking with God and at the end of my walk, I’d lay in the grass and listen to worship music and ask God (again and again and again) to help me surrender everything to him.  This small act made the biggest impact in the way I lived my life and in the peace I had in my heart.  It wasn’t that life was easy, it was that I took time for myself; time to ‘be’ with God and just time to be.

This is definitely missing from my life.  I avoid connecting with myself.  I run from God.  I sure as heck don’t take time to just ‘be’ and care for myself.  I have read countless studies about the effects of long term low stress levels. Weight gain, lack of motivation, trouble sleeping, etc, etc, etc.  Name a side effect and I have experienced it at one time or another.  I am amazed at me.  It’s comparable to my ability to handle 32 crazy kids in a classroom while I struggle with my perfectly imperfect 2.  I can counsel people all day on the significance of self-care.  Preaching to the choir!

I touched on this when I last wrote, I believe that somewhere along the line I quietly decided that I wasn’t worth it.  That’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to my kiddos.  They need to know their Momma is a beautifully confident, capable and compassionate woman who  is doing her best to raise beautifully confident,  capable compassionate kids.

I’m beginning with what I have and where I can. I took a 30 minute walk yesterday.  My phone died immediately after my feet hit the pavement.  That irritated me and I nearly went back to charge it.  I had wanted to make a phone call or listen to something.  I had a dear friend (maybe more than one at times) tell me that I was so stubborn and sometimes needed a figurative smack in the head to listen.

Ouch!  I know why I haven’t been walking and it’s not because I am lazy.  While I might say that I desire that time with God and to care for myself, I truly do not.  I just stated that I’ve been running from God and can’t stand to be alone with my own thoughts.  This is truth.  I would rather read, talk, play candy crush, do dishes, eat, drive….anything that keeps me from being alone with my thoughts.  Sometimes, when I am still, the tears still come.  I’m tired of the tears.  So I run in various ways.  I’m beginning to see what a self destructive pattern this is.

I walked.  I noticed six beautiful geese and I wondered if they were partnered.  (you know…because they mate for life).  They were in close proximity but not right next to one another.  However, when a car drove by or there was a noise, they would immediately pair off with their mate.  It was the coolest sight to observe and I doubt I would’ve taken time to notice God’s intricate design among the geese had I been on the phone.  Ironically, I was able to turn my phone on long enough to snap a few pictures of my feathered friends.  No accidents, ever.

Tonight, I will walk again.  Not because I have to but because I can.  I am on a journey of learning to love myself.  It’s not all bad but I’m honest enough to express that much of it really sucks.  I’m taking some scary steps, pretty consistently stretching out of my comfort zone…because that is where life begins, right?  I’m ready life!  Oh, what’s that?  You say you’ve already begun.  Oh dear!  I better start living!