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!

Just here

I do not consider myself to be a person who rapidly and randomly changes moods.  I have a strong preference for people (myself included) who are stable, joyful, thoughtful, compassionate, tolerant, grace-filled, merciful, humorous, insightful, wise, cherish the moment, deeply reflective about life sorts.  Those characteristics give me a sense of trust and safety; both are significant to my heart.  That being said, I have struggled this last week with all of these.

I have not externally changed moods, (I don’t think), yet inside me it’s a constant storm of ‘shoulda’s’, ‘what if’s’, and the dreaded shame and guilt tapes.  UGH!  Yes, ugh!  Here, again.  I am stuck in the belief that nothing in life is stable.  My joy is hiding in the deep.  Compassion, thoughtfulness, grace, and mercy all are abundant for others, unfortunately I haven’t saved much for myself.  It’s tough to find humor, insight, wisdom, and gratitude in the moment when one is only reflecting on what I fondly refer to as the “familiar muck”.  We all have our muck, right?  No accident that it rhymes with my favorite curse word.  (as in ‘f$*@ the muck…but for my sweet Momma I’m going to not write the word out…this time!)  I’m trying my damnedest to keep my eyes above the waves, but if you look closely ,you will see me bobbing up and down, fighting to keep treading water.  I’m kinda pooped.

Anyone who spends 30 minutes or more with me will probably figure out that I do not enjoy the negative feels.  I will deflect with humor, talk nonstop, busy myself to the point of exhaustion, and turn the conversation around to take the focus away from me purely for the purpose of not feeling my muck.  I’m quite good at this.  It helps that even strangers feel compelled to share their life stories with me, I tend to be perceived as a safe person.  Thus, when someone wants to know about me, I am a pro at getting them to tell their story instead.  I am fascinated that this trait, which will help me be a fabulous counselor, can be so detrimental to my real life.

The other night, my 12-year-old daughter and I were hanging out.  My phone rang and she started to pick it up for me (normally I am in a stupid mad rush to answer)…because…SOMEONE NEEDS ME!!! The following conversation ensued…

Me: “I don’t want you to answer,  I don’t have it in me to be a very good friend right now.”

Stella:  “You are always a good friend.  Do you mean you don’t have the energy?”

Me:  “I do mean that.  I’m teary and sad feeling and I just can’t.”

Stella: “Mom, I want you to try something, okay?  When you feel like this, why don’t you call a friend who is having a good night and get some energy from them instead of feeling bad because you can’t help them.  Sometimes you need help too.”

This is my baby girl.  She is a boundary setter galore, so much so that it takes me aback at times.  I treasure this quality in her.  I’m thankful for it.  I’m baffled by it.  She is such a natural at something I am still trying to comprehend!

Perhaps this is why writing is incredibly healing for me.  I can write and anyone can choose to read/or not read it.  I’m not ‘bothering’ anyone.  I tell my story in this manner with ease.  Vulnerability here is simple for me, even though I know people will read and may judge.  I don’t care…in written form.  When I write, I do not have to ‘receive’ anything but feedback, I can share only what I want to share and though it’s a great lot…there is so much more brewing inside.  My new promise to my readers and myself is to practice the same vulnerability that I practice in written word, face to face.  A challenge from me and for me.

That’s that!

No better time than the present to share vulnerability….  I am certain I will write more on this after I have processed a bit…something to look forward too!  I am reading “Made to Crave”, by Lysa TerKeurst.  I’ve always loved her books and knowing that she has experienced infidelity in her marriage makes me love her even more.  Anyway….doing lots of thinking on my relationship with food and wanting that relationship to be different from whatever it has been in my entire life.

Just a few days ago, I had several (I am still ashamed) handfuls of Oreo’s for dinner.  As in over 1/2 of a box several.  The shame lies in the fact that I ate them as if I were desperately hungry, like I  hadn’t eaten in days. I didn’t even enjoy them.  (They were Oreo thins and why overeat Oreo’s if they don’t even have the good gooey artificial crack like stuff in the middle?)  Also, I had no milk.  What a waste.

I NEVER would’ve eaten cookies or anything else with that kind of animatistic drive if someone was watching.  I did it in secret.  I did it to stuff something I did not want to feel.  (Remember, I said I do not like the mucky feels).  I know that like any addict, I am comforted by my source in the moment.  I think my source is sugar.  There is a numbness that accompanies the comfort, again, in the moment.

I’ve been praying about this, and something hit me yesterday like a ton of bricks.  I have probably acknowledged ‘around this’ many times, but this time provided a deeper truth than I have ever felt surface.  Do I eat in secret only to numb?  Do I eat in desperation only for comfort? Do I stuff myself until I feel nauseous to stuff my feelings way down?  Yes, yes and yes.  Wait!  There’s more.  Here it is… (drumroll would be cool except this thought is anything but cool).

I EAT TO PUNISH MYSELF.  It’s a brilliant form of self-flagellation.  It is in the moment that I choose to overeat, ‘self-medicate’, stuff, numb, comfort; in that moment, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of shame and guilt for ‘whatever’ it is on my mind.  It could be a multitude of ‘whatever’s’, and that is what I will save for another post. I stuff myself with food (‘bad’ food, not ‘good’ food) and then I can feel even more guilt and shame for making such a miserable, hopeless choice.  All of the diets in the world are useless when the desire to diminish the feelings is stronger than the desire to heal.

This is a gigantic AHA for me.  I must figure out what to do with my new discovery.  I hate the way this knowledge makes me feel.  It makes me feel dirty and ashamed.  I’m  flooded with uncomfortable, ugly memories and truth. I have been praying for endless ‘something’s different’ and my relationship with food is among the top five, it wasn’t coincident that this my eyes have been opened to this revelation.   What to do?  I guess I’m going to sit in the discomfort for a ‘moment’ and prayerfully seek direction so that I may continue on the road to healing.  Life begins outside of our comfort zone, right?

I do not consider myself to be a person who rapidly and randomly changes moods.  Oh but my deepest desire is that my insides are always congruent with my outsides.  Stable, joyful, thoughtful, compassionate, tolerant, gracious, merciful, humorous, insightful, wise, moment cherishing and reflective….I’m going to be these for myself even amidst the muck.  These are part of my soul.  Don’t worry, I won’t desert me.

The Ugly Thing

There is this  ‘thing’ that keeps coming up for me in various, uncertain forms.  This icky, ugly ‘thing’, I think…is rejection.  It’s not even tangible rejection…it’s the feeling that overwhelms me when something just doesn’t go right.  Of course, we all have tapes and feelings, this rejection seems to be the one I am massively struggling with right now.

  • I got in an argument with one of my closest friends.  I attempted to offer something I believed would be fun.  My friend interpreted the intention of my offer as negative; absolutely different than I had hoped for.
  • One of my precious children is in the habit of meeting anything and everything that comes from me as “stupid, retarded (no, the approval of this word isn’t mom approved), mentally unstable, ‘boosted’ (my current favorite use of teen slang), ridiculous….any term or attitude this kid can pick to deliver an effective gut punch works.
  • The cable company refuses to let me out of the two year contract (that I swear I never agreed to), despite my willingness to write a letter of financial hardship…because, you know, my bill will certainly make or break their huge corporate business.
  • The scale in my house keeps computing numbers that do not match the effort I am putting into healthy eating.
  • On a bigger scale, my D I V O R C E is nearly final and this makes a series of tapes scream loud enough in my brain to drown out any notion of rationale I might grip onto.

These are just a few examples.  Unfortunately, they occur in a bundle because recognizing one form of rejection triggers a memory of another rejection and it just all snowballs together.  In all honesty, I have been pretty nasty to myself  lately in the constant chatter that goes on between my head and heart.

  • My friend doesn’t react like I’d anticipated?  I must really be naive and dumb…why would I have ever thought my initial idea would be fun?  No wonder my friend rejected my idea, I’m expecting that he’ll reject my friendship next.
  • My child probably hates me.  Don’t take it personal?  This is normal for this age.  Is it or have I screwed up again?  It’s likely I have screwed up.  Most children might go through a phase, yet I’m sure mine really does wish for a different Mom and probably is deserving of a better one.
  • The cable company is going to win, face it.  Their corporation has more power than I do, they don’t care what I believe I agreed or didn’t agree to.    I am small and insignificant in this.
  • I will never win the battle against the scale.  Maybe I should just give up.  Trying to find contentedness where I am and still want to find my place of best health is exhausting.
  • D I V O R C E…enough said.  This was never my dream and there are days I accept it and acknowledge it’s best.  Other days, I get swallowed up in what it says about me to not be able to hold my marriage and family together.

In all of these, I do not hear the truth.  I hear gut wrenching, heart tearing lies.  Today , the lies are louder.  Rejection tells me I am not enough, I am not worth doing hard, I am not acceptable as I am and I probably never will be.

Logically, I know the other side.  The truth would tell me I am more than enough, it assures me that numbers aren’t everything, some things have nothing to do with me but everything to do with another, I am a great Mom and I am worthy.  I will get out of this, I don’t want to be Eeyore for long.enough

I am accepting where I am today but have no plans of staying in this place.  It’s okay…it’s a hard day and hard days must come.  What to do?  Reaching up, reaching out and reaching in….the journey continues….

 

Even Princesses Fall

As I was dressing for work this morning, I took a moment to marvel at the cute black strappy sandals adorning my feet.  They have a slightly Bohemian look with a bit of gold in all the right places and they coordinate beautifully with my red, perfectly polished toenails.  I am especially proud of them because I paid for and purchased them at Target early this summer.  They have a “feisty, fun, more expensive than they are” look….and since I’ve been on a bit of a purchasing freeze, these shoes were a delightful treat.

I made it to work in one piece and was having a fairly uneventful, happy day.  Lunch was leftover spaghetti and green beans from last night (why is spaghetti so much yummier the day after it is cooked?)  I remembered that I told a co-worker I would deliver an envelope to the courthouse for her this afternoon.  Glad for the opportunity to get fresh air, I grabbed the envelope and headed out of my windowless office, (which used to be a holding cell in the old jail) and into the beautiful sunshine.

It’s warm and humid, like it usually is before an Oklahoma storm.  The sun’s warm rays felt like a soft blanket on my skin.  Downtown near the courthouse is quite the place to be for anyone who enjoys people watching…thus, I could occupy myself there for quite some time.  While I was observing everyone around me, I noticed a family of four whom I assumed to be homeless,  in front of me.  Mom, Dad and two young children…they intrigued me and I wanted their picture.  Instead of taking a picture, I cursed my phone for being dead and totally missed turning on the block where the courthouse is.

This missed turn meant that I had to walk all the way around the block again to reach my destination.  I was thinking that although my sandals might be adorable, walking comfort they were not.  I reasoned with myself, “If you are going to traipse all over town in this job, you will need different shoes.”  Guess what happened then?

Coinciding perfectly with my self chiding, the front of my sandal caught in the sidewalk grate and I WENT FLYING FORWARD.  I hate to fall.  I hate it, hate it, hate it.  It sounds silly, yet I believe it’s  likely a PTSD response from sudden falling in past passing out episodes.  What is the natural response of falling?  At least for me, it doesn’t matter initially how bad it hurt, innate pride takes over.  I jumped up, worked hard to straighten my boo boo’ed knees and walked on as I held my startled tears back.

I recomposed myself before walking around the corner to the big courthouse doors.  I put my purse and envelope on the security conveyor belt before I greeted the guards.  One of them looked at me and asked if I was alright.  I affirmed that I was with a nod, and put on innocent airs of not knowing why she was asking.  She nodded down at my foot…which was gushing blood, mixing nicely with the blood running down my leg from my scraped knee.  LOL!  “I’m FINE, I fell but it doesn’t even hurt.”  She gave me a blank stare while I looked down at my blood and asked where the restroom was so I could clean up.

I am truly okay.  My foot hurts a little, my knees are tender, my pretty sandals are scuffed, my perfectly polished toes are now imperfectly polished, my  pride is punctured and I am okay.  However, I wasn’t FINE when I said I was.

My mind went instantly to a Ted Talk that a dear friend sent me this morning.  The speaker’s point was that we stay stuck in life because of the four letter word, F$%@!  (Not the obscene English language word I had first thought)  I wonder…how would our lives be different if we were all honest and vulnerable with each other instead of often presenting the world with “FINE”?  This is definitely a thought worth pondering.

Knights in shining armor fall.  Goddesses fall.  President’s fall, children fall, parents fall, Princesses fall too.  WE ALL FALL.  Trust this truth.  Why the fear of falling?

Now…I’d love to present my readers with a picture of my injuries…but my phone is dead.

Princess of all Princesses

Unfiltered, as usual…
This morning, I was at Robertson tires getting my oil changed and my tires rotated. Rich and Renee got me started on this track, so I give them many thanks for the gentle prompts and love.

While I was sitting, waiting, and getting impatient (I arrived at 7:30 so I wouldn’t have to wait before work, but apparently others had the same idea), so I waited.  

This man starts talking to me and at first, honestly, I wanted him to hush because I was in my own world of deep thought. As he continued talking, I became fascinated. 

He was obviously intelligent and is a messianic Jew (I understand today from my Jewish friends that this is quite controversial), but that’s not the point. The point is he was fascinating, wise and is an expert who speaks on the Holocaust. Mad respect for his passion.
Further discussion and I tell him that I have a friend or two, who I love dearly, who claim that I love an incredibly hateful God and we had great talk about that. Next, he asked my last name and I told him, “Tronnier” but really “Puroff” was my maiden name but I’m getting divorced…but I’ll still probably keep “Tronnier” for the kids….and I babbled on like I do when I’m processing out loud without consideration to the actual point. (I do always have a point though, even if others don’t get it!)

My car is finally ready and so I say goodbye to my new friend, Michael, the Messianic Jew, whom I am thinking I will never forget. As I was checking out, he comes and asks if he could just speak to me for a moment and I said ‘sure’.

In a gentle, yet firm tone, he said, “Sarah…your name means not just ‘princess’ but princess of all princesses’, investigate that. Then he spoke these words…”God does not create junk. He creates beautiful, worthy things. You are not junk. I am so sorry for your loss, because people forget divorce is a loss, but YOU ARE NOT JUNK.” Lastly, he said, “Remember the scripture, ‘He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion’, and Sarah, you have much to do.” “When one door closes, many windows open.”, He said.

People! My heart has been forever touched by this once stranger. What a beautiful reminder to share what’s on my heart with anyone I feel led to do so for.

Finally, and then I will finish for now….I am just going to reiterate how very proud this non junk, princess of all princesses is. I am turning in my final divorce papers today. I purchased a tag for my car 30 days before it was due. (If you don’t understand why this is so awesome, please let me share with my head down…I have gotten excessive fines three years in a row for not paying in time). I had the oil in my car changed and my tires rotated help (ok, a gentle prompt). I have paid my bills out of my paycheck immediately and I am not caught up, I’m working on it though. I’m making time for fun!

Living life without my head up my ass is a wonderful thing. (excuse the ineloquence, I was going for accuracy.

I looked in the mirror today and I saw a beautiful woman looking back at me. What?

I am Nearly 45 and Exactly Where I am Supposed to Be…

Almost 45, and a little over one year ago, I was handed a “gift” that I tried with everything in me to return.  My husband of 18 years asked for a divorce…again…and this time, I conceded.  We had taken turns putting divorce on the table yet one of us always stayed grounded and talked the other down.  This time was different, I knew that my only choice was to let go.  Heartbreak had become a too comfortable friend and we were both weary.  I knew that he was trusting me enough to ask for what he truly felt he needed, I finally recognized that I loved him enough to graciously (a process indeed) give him what he was asking for.

In June, my sweet husband moved out of our family home and into his own apartment.  July brought the death of my precious Daddy, who had fought a brave battle with Alzheimer’s for 12 years.  August was full of transitions for the kids, one beginning a new journey with homeschooling and the other entering high school.  September was the beginning of returning to full time work for me.  In October, my precious Momma sold the home we all grew up in with she and Daddy and moved to a new home of her own. Alas, November and December brought bittersweet holiday celebrations, as we all adjusted to the consequential firsts that come with change.

Whew!  I have to catch my breath just remembering. This is life though, right?  It’s full of change.  Joy in the suffering, lightness  in the dark, triumph in the tragedy, beauty out of ashes and growth out of doing hard.  We have to search for the gifts…seek out the God in all of it.  Man, that is tough.

Only now am I beginning to get my feet back on the ground (that’s giving myself a ton of grace) and barely able to reach out my arms, hands open, ready to receive.  Only now am I embracing trace amounts of gratitude for my journey.  Only now….and this is okay, for only now is all we ever have.

Countless gifts in the mix, and the one gift that keeps re-emerging as a theme in my life is the opportunity to believe that I AM ENOUGH.  Despite a delay in my cooperation, I am now absorbing the truth that until I believe this and until I truly love myself, I don’t have all of me to offer anyone else. I wonder if I ever have truly and fully loved me for me, just as I am?  Even if I never opt to offer myself to another in a romantic relationship, isn’t it just as significant to offer myself the fullness of this kind of love?  I think, yes.

I am exceptionally gifted at meeting others where they are and loving them well. On the other hand, I am extremely inadept at doing so for myself.  I have an ongoing list of things I want in a future partner/relationship.  Ironically, all of the things I am seeking in someone else are things I really am seeking for myself within my own heart.

It is my soul’s desire to reconnect with God in a way that my human self has forgotten to do.  I know that He loves me and sees me in a light that I cannot easily fathom; I yearn to have  a glimpse of that view.

Here I am…nearly 45…with amazing opportunities before me.  This year is stunningly different than last year and next year will be incomparable.  I don’t know what all of this means, I just know this life is a one time gift and I intend to live it well.

 

“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here, they are not accidents and those moment’s weren’t in vain.

You are not the same you, you have grown and you are growing, you are breathing, you are living.

You are wrapped in

Endless

Boundless

Grace

and things will get better, there is more to you than yesterday.  

-Morgan Harper