Let it go

I recently was handed a bible study about “letting it go” from a dear friend.  My first thought was “I have let it go, I don’t need this.”  But this girl walks so close with Jesus, I knew if she was offering it, Jesus was gift wrapping a precious lesson that I truly needed to unwrap carefully.  So I graciously accepted it.  Besides, it is delving into the story of Jacob which I am already strongly feeling I want to delve into.

Two weeks ago church the pastor started a lesson on Jacob, focusing on the image we portray to the world and the image God wants us to really show, the image we may not even know we are meant to be.  The first two chapters of this study I was handed were similar to this teaching I had just heard.  What I heard while reading this though, that I didn’t hear while the pastor was talking…. Let go Pink.  Let go of your fear of rejection….. um, wow  Ok.

Fear is deep, rejection is deep, fear of rejection… a whole new deck of cards.  It first and foremost is obviously telling God, I don’t trust you.  It’s saying I believe in everything you say but if I speak up, people won’t like me therefor I think I will pass this time and let you speak to me about a different topic later because I know better than you.  Fear of rejection pushes away those we love.  For years in my marriage I was so scared that Fishy would leave me, that I was the first to shout “I’m leaving”, even though I never ever meant it.  I didn’t want to leave.  But I was so scared he would, I jumped on it first…. Fear of rejection.

Now, with the reality in front of me that my ex is gone,  I am rejected.  One of my children is gone from my life right now, I am rejected.  But guess what, I am surviving.  Each day that passes…. Life is good.  Life has joy.  I feel promises for my future.  So…. how exactly has the rejection I was so scared of actually hurt me?  I didn’t die.  I walked through a storm and survived stronger.  I am discovering that the storm still comes but I see rainbows so much more often. Most importantly, I am loved more dearly than I ever have been in my life, by one that will never reject me…. Jesus.  The peace and comfort that comes from this is beyond any explanation in words.

So I guess I have some things to let go of.  Fear of rejection for sure. Stay tuned for updates as I work my way through this study.

When we minimize ourselves

An inspirational thought from my reading yesterday…. “when we maximize our weakness, we minimize God.”  Throughout my quiet moments since, it has bounced around in my head.  The weight of this reality is so heavy.

The more we self talk ourselves down (maximize our weakness), we talk God down (minimize God).  Do you like hearing your children call themselves names, say they can’t do something because they think they are stupid, or focus so hard on their failures that they are unable to focus on their wins.  That’s pretty much what God thinks too.  But God is more than we are as parents.  He is protecting us in ways we can’t see or imagine.  He knew us before we were born and he knows our future. All it takes is to look backwards over your life to see all the moments God WAS there.  Answering prayers we didn’t even know to ask.

So how about we start minimizing our weaknesses and maximize our gifts, wins, qualities, potential, etc.  That shows real trust in the one we know is going to take care of us no matter what.  And that is a peace beyond all explanation.

Orange

Orange has now completed one week of Middle School.  To many this is just a typical right of passage.  We all hit 11 or 12 and get to finish up our first week of 7th grade.  For Orange this is huge hurdle in itself.  He spent the last few years isolating himself from classmates further and further.  By the end of last year he didn’t have lunch with other kids, avoided PE, and stayed far away from recess.  So for Orange to go to a school with 2000 kids, go to his classes, and even enjoy lunch in the lunch room with all the other 7th graders…. well I would say he has accomplished all of his 7th grade goals in the first week!

Last night while we were working on his homework it hit me.  One of his questions for humanities… “what are your goals for this year?”  Even Orange commented that he had already accomplished them all.  So he decided his goal would be to improve his writing skills.  WHAT???  If you know my Orange you know this is just… WOW!!!

I got an inspiring message yesterday from another mom.  She explained how we have our little babies and feel we’ve got it… we have it all under control.  Then hard times hit them, and we find ourselves begging God to protect them, help them, heal them.  A few years ago, after my storm, on my journey of healing I handed over all four of my children to God.  I prayed for his will in each of their lives.  I’m not saying I don’t worry about them still.  I do.  But I hand those worries off to God as quick as they enter my mind.  Or at least… As quick as I remember too 🙂  Today during my run, I found myself thanking God for being in Orange’s life even though Orange may not recognize it.  If this is the start of a really good year for him.  I still admit and recognize that I don’t got this, I do not have it all under control.  My kids need their heavenly father.

Moments

Teal is off to Ashland for a few days to visit friends and the campus and I am being hit with the realization that this stage is all going to end to fast. These last few weeks of unemployment should have had me so freaked out but it hasn’t. I’ve been at so much peace knowing my future was in good hands. At this particular moment right now, I am so thankful for the quality time with two children old enough to remember. Afternoons like today with a game of clue at the park will someday be a memory. Money can’t buy time, and this time has been such a gift. Money comes and goes, but memories I will hold onto forever. One of the great things I learned from my loss…. cherish every moment. Even the hard ones, cause they too have a hidden treasure!

Sometimes you just can’t help sharing

Last week our pastor finished up his series on “good neighbor”  It was a great series on recognizing need and doing it just as Jesus did. Not waiting for others to start the domino game, but starting it ourselves.  He said something last week that has sat with me all week.  He said “if you have walked through fire and found God, you can’t help but share”  Then he gave several examples of people that have walked a storm unfathomable to most of us, and how God used them to spread word.  I guess that is where I am in life.  I had a great marriage, a best friend for a husband, and a beautiful family.  Sure we had our problems, there is no perfect so please wipe that off your vision for your future.  Desiring and envisioning perfect is setting you up for failure.  How about you vision trials but strength, tears but laughter, hurt with faith, and a whole lot of love.  But anyway, back to my amazing husband and the trust I had in him… in us.  It ended, in the blink of an eye it was over and I went from being his adoring wife to somebody he couldn’t stand.  Someone he hated so much in fact he could only talk to me through text messages.  Can you imagine the agony?  Ya, I can… I was there.  The unthinkable happened to me and my vision of life.  I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t still hurt when I think about it.  It does.  But, I am filled with peace about it rather than panic…. why might this be?  God.  One simple, yet beyond complicated, all knowing, all seeing, and all loving…. God.  God knew this was coming.  He set me up for it, he protected me as best he could while still letting me make my own choices and grow in his image.  When I look at so many other options and choices I could have taken I can only thank him on my knees for being there and opening doors and choices that I was able to choose to walk through.  So when the pastor said that those of us that have walked through fire and not only survived it but turned it into glory because of God… ya, sometimes you just can’t help sharing.

A mothers love

He really does move mountains for you. It may not always feel like he is answering your prayers, let alone hearing them at all.  He is.  The thing about God is, he knows all.  We see one tiny little fragment of life which is right here right now.  We have no idea what is around the corner from here, but he does.  So when it feels prayers aren’t being answered, it may be because he knows better, he knows more.  There are times that this is so difficult for us to understand or appreciate… a marriage ends, a child dies, and a parent dies.  These are a few times that we tend to want to question how, why.  God’s desire for marriage to last through all things is beyond clear in the bible… yet despite constant prayer, many still end.  A dear friend of mine went into the hospital on the most joyous day of her life to deliver her sweet little Clara… yet she came home empty handed.  Clara spent less than 1 minute on this earth before passing on to her joyous future.  But for mom and dad here on earth, it has shattered every piece of their life.  It has had my sweet friend questioning and even completely turn her back on any prospect of God.  So if God moves mountains for some things, why not all things?  This, I don’t have an answer for other than God see’s so much more than us.  I try to find peace in this simple truth.

Maybe so many other lives are being changed because of sweet Clara’s 60 seconds here on earth and her mother’s determination to keep her name alive through her blog.  Maybe God knew that Sarah’s love would carry Clara to every corner and make a change our world so deeply needs.  Maybe love has taken on a whole new meaning to so many because of Clara and her mom.  What if Clara’s 60 seconds made more of a life debut than many of us do in 40 years.  Clara has one of the sweetest mom’s I know.  Giving, caring, compassionate beyond words.  She is also a very talented writer.  From the very beginning of her tragedy, I felt that her writing through this was going to change something.  I had no idea what, but something.  I encouraged her to write her days out.  She has started a blog a while back and I know it is read by many.  She hurts beyond words still.  I can’t imagine the pain she is walking through daily.  Her journey is not one any of us would ever willingly take….. Ever!  She has no desire to see a God even exists right now.  Yet I pray for her almost daily.  And as I read her blog I see so many God moments in her life.  So many gentle whispers of his truth and his love for her.  I will continue to pray for him to move mountains and show her truth while she continues to bring her little Clara to light in a world so dead to real love.

Why Clara?, Why my friend?, Why her husband?  I don’t know.  I truly don’t know.  But I do believe mountains are being moved for their future.  I do believe that little Clara is making a change in so many more lives because of her mothers love for her.

Time

Time is a funny thing.  When you are in it, it seems seems slow.  Change seems so minuscule it’s hard to even notice.  But then you look back and it was as if leaps and bounds of miraculous change were occurring.  A lot has changed in my life, and my children’s lives since last March when I was blogging.

First off last fall (almost a year ago now) I placed my house on the market.  I had finally finished off the remainder of my tasks to update and refresh it for the market.  I wasn’t honestly even sure if I wanted to move yet.  I loved loved loved my home.  But I wasn’t enjoying how much energy it was taking to upkeep it, especially in the summer. I wasn’t enjoying the constant memories lurking in every corner.  And I wasn’t sure if continually working at the one and only small hospital in Tillamook was such a great idea either.  I also pondered continuously if a move might be beneficial to Orange as well.  So after much prayer and lot’s of debating within my head/heart/soul I put it on the market and pretty much prayed that when and if it was God’s desire for me to move, it would sell.  For months it didn’t.

May of last year I had a weird feeling to apply at a day surgery center that I happened to walk past almost monthly when I would bring Orange in to see his doctor in Hillsboro.  After a phone call, sending my resume, an interview, and a tour of the facility, I was offered a job.  The day before I was offered the job, I got an offer on my home that I accepted.  Two weeks later, school was out for the summer.  And just like that…. It all fell into place.  This last summer was a busy time of packing up, yard sale, relocating, and settling in to a new home right in the center of shopping, food, and the city.

It is now August and in 5 days my son will start a brand new middle school where he can be anybody he wants to be.  It is a huge school compared to the country school we left behind.  But like I have told him, he is now a tiny fish in a big big ocean, rather than a large fish in a small pond.  He is large for his size and then if you throw on his disabilities, he sorta stood out like a big red beacon at his prior school.  One of the things about my amazing Orange, is that he wants to fit in so bad.  And as he is maturing I am seeing social ques become so much more obvious to him, so he is able to navigate boundaries better and enjoy friendships. This summer has been a huge growing time for all three of us.  We have spent so much time together and honestly, I think it has helped a lot of healing occur for each of us.  Lots of encouragement and fun.  Lot’s of time to really feel like we are each loved despite all the other circumstances going on.

Oddly after only a month at the surgery center I had to resign my position.  The patient care was being compromised, the management was young and had no clue, and after a few sticky situations I felt it was best to just resign.  I couldn’t continue working in that environment for my own heart and soul.  So I was blessed with a few weeks off with my children before they head back to school.  I have asked myself if maybe I wasn’t supposed to move.  Maybe I missed some big red flag and I followed my own desire rather than God’s.  But I look around and I don’t believe so.  I looked for a place to live very close to my work, which happened to put Orange in one of the best school districts in Oregon (I had no idea!). Today I discovered that with Orange’s IEP, the middle school we live by happens to be the only middle school he would have gone to if in this district, which means he would have been on a different bus for a long time to get bused to this school but instead he gets a 5 minute bus ride to school and is picked up literally 15 minutes before school starts!  For Orange, this is huge.  Too much bus time = naughty boy.  Had I worked anywhere else, I would be living somewhere else, and these are key components to why I moved here in the first place.  Besides, I have had a few weeks off of work to handle meetings with school, enjoy time with both kids before life hits us again, and just settle in to the community.

Moving has been so healing for my heart.  Fishy’s not there all the time.  I don’t see his truck randomly through town, I don’t see him at work.  I don’t see him and Mingo still at the Y together every day yet at different times according to their schedule.  I don’t see his truck tucked in the tree’s by her house hidden by someone just passing by.  I don’t have to know he was doing something at midnight because I saw, yet he and other girls deny it.  I just don’t know his life now, and that is how it should be.

Seek the Truth

I took a break from blogging.  Roughly 6 months ago I received some difficult nasty messages that sent my heart and head spinning.  They were full of lies that Satan used to hurt me, destroy me, but more importantly blind me from the truth.  I spent the last few months seeking truth through his word.

For this reason, make every effort to supplement our faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self control, and self control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1: 5-7

God is love, forgiveness, faithfulness, self control, faith.  When being hit with ugly comments, harsh words, difficult text messages or emails… seek the truth.  Those words may or may not even be meant to hurt you, they may be a cover up to someone else’s difficult choices, situation, or hurt.  In my situation I was told my blog was filled with lies and condemnation.  Two messages from Fishy and Mingo was enough to shut me down internally, question myself spiritually, and deny myself all of the wonderful comments I have received from others.  Two little tiny rude comments sent me unglued.  Broke my brokenness into shattered pieces and had me listening to lies from Satan, rather than the truth from God.  But here is where truth comes in and in humble sweetness takes over. God never gives up.  God loves us even when we fall.  And God takes the broken crushed up inner spirit of us and grows some of the most beautiful flowers.

I have spent the last few months seeking Jesus behaviors.  Seeking a life filled with love and forgiveness, and finding pure joy through difficult situations.  When life or moments hit you with harsh condemnation, open his word.  Seek the truth.  Does it follow?  Sometimes, yes, it is a sweet conviction from him and an awesome opportunity to seek redemption and make some changes.  Sometimes it is an opportunity to shine through with grace and love.  A popular verse most of us are beyond familiar with.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on it’s own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoice with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.  1 Co 13: 4-8

This verse so simple, yet so deep.  It is full of so much basic truth.  If all relationships; coworkers, spouses, parents, children, siblings, friends, relatives, etc. followed these tiny few words…. AMAZING!  Over the last few years I have really come to love vs 7, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”  When I am struggling with hurt from a message from my ex, this is one of my go to verses.  I ask myself are his actions out of love? Then I ask myself are my actions out of love?  In other words am I seeking self fulfillment or Jesus fulfillment?   Honesty isn’t always easy.  For some people its not only painful to hear or read, but attacking feels like the best action.  We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it.  Somebody says something to us regarding our actions yesterday and we attack back in pain.  Right away God starts settling the truth in our heart and working from inside leaving us a nagging feeling that we need to look deeper.  We feel hurt, sad, and upset, not entirely with the other person who spoke in honesty, but toward ourselves.  Open his word… that is where he speaks such truth to our heart.  And like I tell my son, every day is a new day.  Every day is a chance to try again, try right, try different.

I have prayed over every post that I have typed in my blog.  Some were filled with more emotion and maybe they should have been left out.  But the truth is also that leaving out all of the emotion doesn’t portray the real journey I am walking.  There was a time I would have given anything for my spouse and family to be home.  That time lasted for over a year from when he walked out the door filling my head and heart with lies as to why he was leaving when the real truth of it was so blatantly obvious I was blinded by love for him to see it.  And when I discovered the affair, I hurt.  I hurt on levels I can not truly explain.  The time to beg him home and desire him in my life has now passed, and it’s not because of all the hurt he has caused me or all the wrong he has done.  It is because being willing to give up anything for him was hindering my relationship with the one true God that I needed to be willing to give up anything for.  I still love my ex very much.  It is because of God that love doesn’t die.  It is because of the truth, his truth written all over the bible.  Forgive, Love, Forgive, Love, etc.

So when I was accused of spreading lies on the internet through my blog I shut my blog down and dug deep for answers.  What I discovered was this:  First off this is my story, a story I am choosing to tell because I feel like it is God’s desire for it to be.  Marriages are falling apart all around us, hatred is being spewed between partners that once professed love.  If just one marriage can be saved by my public display of determination to seek love and forgiveness and even take my ex back, then God wins.  And the second reason I have chosen to share my story is it is healing to me.  It helps me digest through thoughts I have, both ugly and joyful.  It gives me something to chew on as I pray.  I often open my computer with no real clue what I will write about and my fingers just start typing and God puts a message on my heart.  This blog has zero intention behind it to hurt others.  It is in fact my journey on how I want to seek love, and forgiveness and the stumbling blocks along the way.

Nothing would give me greater joy than to hear both my ex and his girlfriend repent, and seek the Lord.  There was a time I would have never thought I would say this, but I have reached a point that I would even be happy to see them together happy and public rather than hiding and shameful.  So secretive and full of lies that are hurting them so much more than anyone else.  Sure, the four children and I are still suffering consequences of those lies, but I have faith that no matter what choices these two individuals make.. Love always wins.  Again, seek the truth.

A Battle

Yesterday was one of those days.  I had my ACLS re-certification to attend in the afternoon and I knew Fishy would be there with one of his OB friends which was one of my friends.  I knew it would be hard emotionally.  I woke up with it on my mind and trying hard to focus on positives.

After a morning blogging and praying I headed in to the gym for a run.  It was the hardest run ever!!!  It was only four miles, which is my daily easy run.  But it was anything but easy.  It was almost as if there was a battle going on in my spirit between Satan and God.  Satan was telling me I was worthless and wouldn’t finish the run, I was breathing too hard, people were watching me, I needed to just stop and head home, I’m not really a runner and I need to give it up.  God was telling me to keep moving forward.  I wanted to stop at 2 miles so bad… I was seriously dying!!!!  But I wasn’t about to let Satan win.  So I kept at it and I kept pushing through watching a tenth of a mile tick off the treadmill at a time.  It was agonizing.. but I finished.  And I smiled, it may have been just a run yesterday morning, and later a wise food choice, or a calm demeanor toward my son while he was hysterical about spilling milk.  All small choices that really mean nothing, but together they become a positive spirit.  I may have rough days on runs, rough days with my son, rough days missing Fishy.  Satan wants me to have rough days, he wants me to fail.  Rough days need to be taken as a positive challenge that I CAN DO THIS!!!  And I can find my joy while I am.

Once I finished that run and stepped into my speed walking I heard something… “write down your love story, and let it go.”  I had spent the morning blogging and delving through old emails.  Emails that spit hateful words back and forth between us.  An era where I couldn’t figure out what was going on and he wasn’t willing to tell me other than hateful words and accusations.  A time when some of my friends decided I wasn’t there friend, but they were his.  It was a rough rough time.  And I found myself sitting there wondering again, what happened and how did we get here.  Which is probably what ensued the battle in my heart during my run.  So maybe I will write down my love story.  Write it all and enjoy that happy time and then let it go.  No delving into where it went wrong, no questioning in my heart why he never tried, no begging God to please change his heart and bring him home… just let it go.  Be happy for what it was, and happy for where I am now.  It has been a rough 2.5 years, but looking around my room, and my life right now…. I am an overcomer!  I have enough of what is important to be blessed.  I need to enjoy this right now, and not let the ugly ending to my love story define who I am.

Rough Few Weeks

I haven’t written in a while.  It’s been a really rough few weeks with my youngest son.  My heart is just breaking for him and I don’t know what to do!  It’s so frustrating, overwhelming, saddening…  and it takes patience!  Last night was particularly rough and I had to stop and tell myself.  “It’s okay Pink, you are doing great.  You are staying calm and that is HUGE!”  There was once a day I flipped into panic mode quicker than anything else.  I don’t anymore and difficult times like this struggling with my son, reinforce to me how far I’ve come.  I also have to remember how far he has come.  Once upon a day he too yelled, screamed, slammed doors, and broke things… almost daily!  Now it is rare.  So a rough patch like this, is hard because it isn’t normal anymore.  And I’m guessing it is harder on him, because he can’t understand why life has gotten so hard for him again.

My sweet, funny, compassionate, loving son struggles with impulse disorder.  When his feelings are hurt, when he is sad, when he is misunderstood.. watch out!  Well the last several months, school has suddenly gotten easy for him.  What was once a challenge and took all day to complete, he now completes in just a few short hours.  So the remainder of the day is very boring to him, and he winds up getting into trouble.  Adding on more school work was not something he wanted or was willing to do.  He felt that he had finished his work…. why should he be punished!  While I understand his point of view, I also feel the school work may be too easy… and he should be challenged.  After several suspensions due to difficult afternoon behavior… we had a meeting.  Several meetings actually, but one that I feel may have finally moved Orange to realize… he should do more work, and be proud.  Anyone that knows Orange, knows he struggles with change.  He went to school the following day and his entire schedule had been changed to accommodate more block times and more school work.  He was beyond furious, came home in tears, and was PANICKED!!!!!  It took roughly three hours to get him to sit calmly with me, discuss his old schedule, go over the new schedule, and develop a better schedule for him that he liked which included less wandering and more work in the afternoon.  He ran off to his room 5 times to freak out!!!  5 times!!!!  He got so mad at times his face turned red and every muscle in his body was clenched.  He struggles with coping skills.  He goes straight to mad rather than taking a deep breath and telling his brain that it will be okay, it is always okay. We finally developed a plan that he was smiley about, and the remainder of our evening was giggles and snuggles.  As a matter of fact at 9pm when I went looking for him he was snuggled in his sisters bed with her watching a show.

We will get through this challenging phase… Orange will be better for it.  And, so will I.  Life is just a journey one step at a time.  It’s an endless list of choices… which choice do we want, which one will lead us to joy, and peace.

Weathering the storm- one day at a time