Wednesday, December 21, 2022


 I've been sitting here trying to find some kind of Christmas joy. I have done all the things. Baked some cookies. Went to all the programs and banquets and recitals. 

Christmas is in 5 days.  I'm very selfishly dreading it. I don't have the brain capacity to make it fun and happy and cheerful for everyone. Its be freezing cold so we will all be home together. Which can be joyful or stressful. 

So many of my friends are suffering and struggling through things so much worse then a houseful of needy kids. My heart has been hurting for so many and yet I have no extra time to serve others. I pray frequently and try to speak encouragement. But so many people in my life are walking through hard hard things. Deeply horribly painful things. 

Tonight at bedtime I was discussing the story of Jesus birth with the kids. Graci is really grasping that Jesus was born in a barn. She wonders if he was scared of the animals. If he was as tiny as her friend's baby sister. 

I was mulling over this. I had seen a meme on fb something about Mary was favored. But she suffered deep pain. 

I realized we forget the true story of Christmas. The angel told Mary she was favored. The world told her she was promiscuous. She was judged and an outcast. She was young. I can't imagine this was easy for her. Her fiancee wanted to dump her. He too thought the worst of her. It took an angel to get him to believe her. Can you imagine all the embarrassment and pain she suffered during this time? 

Then... She had her baby in a barn. How many times do you think she questioned how she could be favored and this be the son of God if God didn't even provide an inn for her to have her baby?! She must have felt abandoned by her people and her God. She must have had so many questions. 

Then it wasn't her mom and her relatives who came to see the baby. It was dirty shepherds. Now imagine how people talked about her and her baby?! 

Over the years people probably forgot all about that. Time marched on. Then then he started preaching. She knew who he was. She knew he was the son of God. By now she also knew that this would not being her honor and fame. But it would bring her pain and heartache. It would probably bring loneliness because people probably thought she was crazy. 

So a shout out to all my hurting friends, my struggling friends and my friends walking g dark valleys. Your hard stuff doesn't mean God abandoned you. Your hard stuff my just be happening because you are one of God's favored children. Because it is through suffering that we really get to know who Jesus is. 

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Holidays and Healing

 Holidays. Family. Relationships. 

Last year one of our members was not here for Thanksgiving.

Last year we celebrated thanksgiving with my extended family for the first time in many many years. 

This year I had my entire crew home for the holidays. 

This year we didn't travel for the holidays. 

I invested a lot of time and energy into making our holidays memorable and fun for everyone. I scheduled a 5k race for the active ones and left the ones who prefer quiet sleeping in at home. We put up lights and the tree. We watched a movie. It worked super well and everyone had a great day.

We have an entire weekend at home. I have a couple kids who need scheduled activities and kept busy. I have some kids who would prefer to not move at all. We have a house to maintain, food to cook, and laundry to keep after. 

 We had scheduled cooking baking and decorating today. But momma is just done. Done. Done. I'm done making everything wonderful for everyone else. I'm done pouring out. 

I took a long nap, then I put on headphones with music and washed the mountain of dishes and deep  cleaned the fridge. I thought deeply over what the holidays mean for me. 

There are multiple levels and parts to every holiday. 

There is the mom part..the biggest, strongest part of me. I will do my very best to make sure my kids have wonderful memories of holiday fun. I will adapt and modify and make it a fun day. I set boundaries for anyone creating drama. I don't allow complaining or negativity. You have two choices, participate or shut up. 😂 But at the end of the day all of the hard work and planning is worth it because my kids have a secure loving home where no matter what they know momma loves them. 

There is the widow part of me. There is not a holiday that goes by that I don't miss Mesh, his big personality and the way he made me laugh. I think of what it would like if he was here to balance me on these special days and walk this road with me.   I think of how different life would be. The secondary losses that come with widowhood. When you are the only adult in the house. 

There is the daughter/sister part of me. There is much I don't share publicly. There are two perspectives to every story, I've chosen to not share that part of my story.  But just because boundaries are important for my mental health and good for my children, doesn't make one wish things didn't have to be that way.

There is the friend part of me. The one who knows that without all my amazing friends who know how hard the road is, one might just give up. The friends who keep me focused on the good and listen to me vent and help me remember that in this fallen world we all have our struggles. 

I was listening to a podcast by Nancy Demoss Wolgamuth on gratitude this morning. She said this might not be the way you imagined life to be. But this is the story God wrote for you. The hard things ,the rough edges of life are what is making you more Christlike. I have been reflecting on this alot today. 

The world tells you to live for yourself, to protect yourself, "you do you". But God asks us to let Him work in our lives even if it doesn't look like you think it should. 

Part 2

This should probably be a separate post but it falls under the same umbrella..

Raising young adults from hard places is a rough road. Turning 18 is hard and scary when you have been abandoned and rejected by the people who should have loved you the most. Adulting can be hard and overwhelming when you have had multiple mothers before the age of 5. That little person inside you needs to heal before you can fly. Healing that little child inside is messy hard and painful. 

Being the anchor for these young adults learning to navigate the adult world and the emotions that come with all of that is not for the faint of heart. I'm thankful to be entrusted with their hearts, but it's a heavy job. One that I couldn't survive were it not for my Father who promises to carry us through the hard days. 

I always go into the holidays with a bit of melancholy. A good bit of sadness and pain. I reflect on relationships and Healing. It's a time when I am extremely grateful fory crew. My people. My crazy bunch. This year as I reflect I see a lot of healing and growth. I see super hard and heavy things. I see God's hand all over our lives.