Merry Christmas!

It has been a busy month.  I have had so many conversations with our Lord, so much love, so many blessings…. yet every time I have sat down to type it out, my mind has literally gone blank.  One thing I promised myself early on was if I had nothing to say from God, no message to give, I would not share.  This gift of writing, is not mine without him.

In the last month I have studied my butt off and passed my CNOR (certified nurse of the operating room).  A challenge I gave myself over a year ago but promised to finish prior to the end of 2016.  I barely made it but I did and I finished my two step process of getting my bachelor’s then my CNOR.  Next up I think I will get my CPN (Certified Pediatric Nurse).

Tomorrow the kids and I are moving into a new place.  It’s our final big change of 2016.  We have had so many changes this year.  All of which have brought us closer to each other, closer to our heavenly father, and closer to healing.  I look at my little family now, two dogs, 1 cat, a boy, a girl, and I…. blessings.  So many blessings in this little family.

Tonight my daughter received a message from her dad.  She didn’t want to respond.  I encouraged it rather heavily.  I felt that I was going to be very pissed at him for not contacting his kids on Christmas (He didn’t on Thanksgiving, they actually haven’t heard from him in months.)  then I should be equally pissed at her for not responding.  It’s hard to be that parent that messages and messages your kid you miss and hear nothing in return.  And honestly, it speaks poorly on the child, or the situation which in this case, would speak poorly in her.  So she responded with a pointed messages saying Thank You but letting him know why she really was shocked he contacted her and why she is still very hurt by him and why she really needs him to leave her alone.  His response…. “what are your grades? How is school?”  Well isn’t that a Merry Christmas to his daughter that he has chosen to quit contacting!  Tears and pain later, I wondered why I encouraged her to respond.  Why I continue to put their feelings on the back burner when it comes to him.  A big slap in my face, that I have a long ways to go on this guilt train and the need to constantly push my kids to be the bigger person when their own dad continues to devastate them.

I had such an amazing Christmas.  The focus wasn’t on gifts, but on family.  Their was laughter, stories, and so much love.  There wasn’t yelling, grief, or going overboard for perfection or impressing anyone.  There was just us.  I won’t let him, and his lifestyle choices affect me or my children.  And so, the best way I can do the latter is live an example of Jesus for them.  Forgiveness…

Last night at church I felt so much peace feeling the love of Mary for her own child.  Talk about the reality of unending love and sacrifice.  I miss two of my kids like crazy.  And sometimes I just hate Mingo for doing to me what she has.  I may actually have very cruel dreams of her lonely years ahead with her family all divided while full circle hits her.  But then I wake up feeling bad for her.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, deserves to live this story I live.  And I decide again to live the life of grace.  I choose to demonstrate Jesus’s love in my own painful story, and show my children the right way.  To break the cycle. Then last night, I hear the whispers of Mary’s life.  And the sacrifices she took as a mother for all of mankind….  That is love.  And that is a story carried on to all of us year after year.  Digging deeper in Mary’s life  I find the real reason for the season.  And I am thankful for the real reason of the season.  So as much as I hate where I am, I love where I am.  I’m given a rare and beautiful opportunity to show love when everything worldly says not too.  ūüôā

 

Parenting

http://podcasts.ibethel.org/en/podcasts/cultivating-prophetic-families

I recently listened to this sermon.  I love what he said about parenting.  I think as parents we doubt a lot. I think society and modern times encourage that. Which is a lie in my opinion. The truth I have found in this journey is this… is our intent right? Did you do what you’ve done for love? If there are areas we wish we’d done better are we willing to admit it and move forward?  God watches us make poor choices but never gives up on us. Repentance and Forgiveness is his gift to us.  I think it’s our job to demonstrate and live (show) that same lesson to our children.  We are not perfect, God is.  Expecting perfection from ourselves as parents is ridiculous, truly. I think our mistakes in life, and as a parent, are as much a gift as anything else from God. Not that God causes our mistakes, but that he is waiting with Grace to offer us when we keep on trying. We learn from them. We can use them to show our children we are real. And we too are navigating this thing called life as best as we can. I also think Satan is on a mission to destroy families by planting seeds of regret and doubt in our hearts. Don’t listen to him. You know the truth. ūüôā

I have spent the last three years loving my children as unconditionally as possible.  this next year I want to dream with them and for them.  I want to dream they can be anything.  I want them to believe that dream. 

I look back over my life, and where I was three years ago.  It’s hard to feel sad.  I have been gifted a ladder to climb out of the hardest journey of my life. A ladder of faith.  It’s been so hard at times. The sadness that grips my heart when I think about purple and green is unspeakable. The pain I feel when I think about Fishy with my best friend, and the lies and pain they directed at me to help them protect their secrets…. it’s no joke! God knows this pain more than anyone.  There hasn’t been a moment that has gone by that he hasn’t helped me grow from this experience. He’s gifted me a few rare years to grow as a mom.  

Three Years

December 6th came and went.  It was the first year I didn’t fear it.  It was also the first year I didn’t catch myself having difficulty focusing, breathing, or smiling.  The panic is gone.  The what, how, why…  not so gone, but not so in the forefront of my thoughts anymore.  I have learned it may always be there but I have also accepted I will never know.  Focusing on the what, how, why only drags me down.  And truly, at this point.  It doesn’t matter.

Does my heart still hurt?  There will always be a broken part in my heart from the loss.  A crack that serves me as a reminder.  A reminder to why I strive to be who I am today.  Why I choose to ignore so many things and focus on what really matters.  Why I will always choose love, rather than hate.  It’s a reminder of who I was, who we were, and who I am now.  Yes, it’s also a reminder of what we could have had, could be right now.  But one thing I have learned through all of this is that I can only control me and my choices.  And no matter what, I have to learn to accept the choices of others that may or may not affect me.  So to dwell on the “could haves”, helps no one.  No, I don’t still hurt.  But I do still love him and my two other children very much.  There hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t thought of them or asked God to please watch over them for me.

On the third anniversary of my world shattering to pieces…. I focused on being thankful.  Thankful for how far I have come.  Where God has lead me.  And the multitude of blessings along the way.  God took my broken life, shattered into a thousand thoughts, memories, and wants.  He took my broken spirit filled with a pain and agony that has no words to describe.  And he guided me slowly to joy beyond words.  Joy I haven’t felt in years.  He gave purpose back to my life and a drive I had lost somewhere along the way.  I learned to love me again.

December 6th will always be “that day” for me.  It will forever  be a reminder of why I am who I am now.  Why I will never again focus on the minor trials of life but rather trust and have faith there is a plan, a reason, and a purpose for me.

Thanksgiving 28, 29, 30

‚ÄčIt’s December 1st. And I have the last three days of November to share thanks. So… Nov 28th after a relaxing Thanksgiving I’m thankful for safe travels for us to be together and getting back to work.  Nov 29th, I am thankful for the sun and my crazy energetic dog that loves to run with me (he was doing flips when he realized I was gearing up for an outside run rather than the treadmil). Nov 30th, I am thankful for my son’s school and the calmness that it has brought to my youngest child.   So that wraps up November the month of Thanks! ūüôā  happy holidays everyone!!!!

God meets you

It’s so easy to think that what God desires for you he must also desire for others… thus we judge. ¬†We need to remember, God meets us where we are. ¬†He convicts us individually of what his desire is for us. ¬†And it may not be the same for our children, loved ones, neighbors, or coworkers. ¬†We are all individuals in God’s eyes. ¬†Honestly, that is the best way to be.

Self Aware

Be careful when you judge others. ¬†It’s so easy to look at other’s actions as wrong and not even see what we ourselves are doing wrong. ¬†Sometimes God is working in our heart to change a behavior, yet we see others do it and seem to “get away with it”. ¬† This is between them and God, not me, them, and God. ¬†Take your struggles to him, but remember he may not respond… it isn’t your concern.

When my ex left and I first discovered he was actually having an affair with my best friend. ¬†I struggled with this. ¬†I wanted him to be convicted of his errors and come home. ¬†I wanted the whole nightmare fixed. ¬†I so clearly saw the sin, but my ex and best friend didn’t. ¬†I would argue and argue with God about how it was wrong, how it was unfair, etc. ¬†What I only got was how to fix me. ¬†How to work on me. ¬†What happened with them wasn’t my concern. ¬†Yes, he listened to my rants, but it wasn’t my issue to fix. ¬†God instead showed me where I have gone wrong in relationships, and how I too have hurt others. ¬†He helped me fix that.

Be self aware of your own problems, issues, struggles, sins. ¬†Work on those with God. ¬†Don’t complain about others problems. ¬†We all have them, we all have areas to work on.

Happiness

From my morning devotion. ¬†“Take responsibility for your happiness”

There was a time when I held my husband responsible for my happiness. ¬† It wasn’t intentional. ¬†I honestly don’t even think I realized what I was doing. ¬†It wasn’t until my relationship with God grew that I was able to reflect back and realize the harsh reality of it. Only I can make me happy. ¬†I have learned that when I struggle with a choice, situation, or action I take it to God first. ¬† Before I have a chance to react, before I mess it up bigger, ¬†before I belittle myself and begin that cycle I used to live trapped within, I talk to God.

Happiness comes from within, we choose it. ¬†We can choose it during bad times and good times. ¬†Messing up is never messing up if lessons are learned. ¬†As long as there is desire to walk in his ways, live life with his direction for us in mind…. ¬†Pure untainted happiness is always there for us. ¬†It’s prospective… are you looking where you are going, or where you have just been. ¬†Focus on good, even in bad times. ¬†There always is some.

A moment

On the eve of Thanksgiving ¬†Teal and I went to church with my mom. ¬†It was a small but nice service. ¬†Similar service to the episcopal church I grew up with. ¬†Hymns, readings, and structure. ¬†Different than the type of church I enjoy now with live christian music, personal sermons that speak to me, and not quite the structure of the episcopal service. ¬†None the less, while I think Teal might have found the Thanksgiving eve service to be a bit boring, it has some comfort to it for me. ¬†It brings me back to the safety of being a little girl. ¬†It’s like eating your comfort foods from your childhood and feeling comforted again.

Something happened at this church service that I don’t believe I will ever forget. ¬†Something that caused me to deeply ponder my giving. The offering tray was passed around. ¬†I didn’t have my wallet or anything with me, so I was unable to give. ¬†I looked at my mom and she pulled out some money telling me not to worry. ¬†The offering plate made it’s way behind us where a lone homeless man was sitting with I believe all of his items. ¬†His guitar, a backpack, a few plastic bags. ¬†Probably every bit of his possessions. ¬†Then I heard the “tink” as he dropped coins on the plate. ¬†Teal and I both looked at each other with probably the same expression on our face. ¬†The “I’m fighting back tears right now look” It only took a moment.

I’e spent the last few months giving very minimally to my church. ¬†I’ve had a bit of a time financially being unemployed and felt it was okay to wait until I was working, Then I wasn’t working the hours I had thought I would be. ¬†Excuses, Excuses

God brought a homeless man into my life for a brief moment to teach me a lesson.  To show me giving.  To remind me that even a small gift is better than no gift.  If I give to God, he will take care of my and my family needs.  Hundreds of thoughts went through my mind in that flash of a moment.  Here I am, over 3 days later, and still deeply pondering and thanking god for the homeless man that sat behind me on Thanksgiving eve.

Don’t ever think you aren’t making a difference. ¬†Don’t ever think God can’t use you. ¬†You may not ever know all the ways he has used you. ¬†But he is.

Thanksgiving Day 26 and 27

Yesterday, while I was driving home from Tillamook in the pouring rain, music cranked up, and the heater on high (I was freezing!) I let my mind wander. ¬†The road was gloomy, tree’s without leaves, various shades browns everywhere. ¬†Even the river was a dark muddy brown color. ¬†And I thought how this is the cycle of life. ¬†We just lost the vibrant colors of fall and we are rapidly moving into the white snowfall which has it’s own unique beauty. ¬†But for today, it’s not so pretty. Today it’s rain and grey sky’s. ¬†My mom said several times over Thanksgiving that she was thankful for the rain. ¬†Teal and I kept laughing at her. ¬†The truth is though, we should be thankful for the gloom and rain. ¬†Through the storm comes beauty. ¬†Through the storm comes appreciation. ¬†Because of the storm, the cycle of life can continue on. ¬†New life grows because of the storm.

So yesterday, I was thankful for the rain. ¬†And today as I’m able to sit here and type it all out, I am thankful that my rainy season is ending.

Thanksgiving Day 25

Today’s Thanks…. my ex’s first Ex. My two amazing kids I love so much… their real mom. For ten years I was her ex husbands wife. I was her two baby’s other mom. Sometimes I was ugly, other times I was gracious. But in the end, when I was hurting… this women was my hero. She survived and thrived what I was trying so hard to. She made it, and had two little kids at home, I knew it HAD to be possible. She was my words of comfort and realism. She was and still is my voice of peace on her children. She has shown me the acts of God’s love in ways I can only hope to for others. Today I received a package in the mail from her. A package with notes to aid me on a huge upcoming test she has just completed. She shared when she didn’t have to. I was the other women in her hardest time. And she continues to show me such grace. I feel so fortunate that God chose her to work full circle in my heart and teach me.. ¬†I pray she knows I admire her beyond words. She is one of my many blessings in this storm.

Weathering the storm- one day at a time