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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Children of Divorce

Recently a video was flaming through the internet called The Child of Divorce.  Because I am mother and step mother to five children that have divorce as part of their family history, I watched,  I was interested.  Basically, it was a verbal letter written from the point of view of a child of divorce.  It was clearly painful, and there is much pain in divorce.  However, it left a terrible taste in my mouth because it ended without any hope - as if the divorce doomed this child to a hopeless, sad and unhappy future.

I think we need be very cautious and not allow shame or regret dominate the conversation regarding children of divorce.  It's not the way God intended families to work, but there aren't a lot of things in our fallen world that still function the way God intended.  Intact first-families also create cycles of negative behavior, dysfunctional relationships and false realities.  It is easy to blame all woes an adult will face on the divorce, but we know God overcomes evil and will do so in our families.  The trials we face are the ways He reveals our dependence on Himself, whether children of original families or not.  Knowing these specific fears, hurts and relationship challenges allows me to focus my energy on the needs my children will have.  Every child will face issues in their life - I have a head start and know some of what ours will need to deal with.  That makes a good starting point for a healthy emotional life.

If you read here often, you know that I am not "The Christian Divorce Advocate."  I believe divorce is only a viable option in extreme circumstances and efforts to salvage the marriage have been attempted over time.  I do not think it is an 'easy out' for dissatisfied spouses.  I do believe children have the deepest and most ongoing sacrifices.  But the tone of many is to discard these children as unable to thrive because of divorce.  We need few labels and less judgement.

I don't want the divorce to be what defines my family (more about that here) I do believe God heals fully and will fill in the gaps where we have fallen short.  This is not a rant - I genuinely believe we need to shift the conversation regarding children of divorce.  Sometimes they are treated as if they are plagued, doomed and destined for failure.  I don't believe it.

Do you instantly label, define or judge others based on their family background?  It's so easy to do - I'm working hard to change the stigma!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Blind Hills and What Lies Beyond

The way I get my exercise is to get outside and run, walk or jog.  I love to be in nature, to observe the neighbors, note the changes in seasons and wonder what goes on in the homes around our own.  But one thing I don't love are the hills!  And we've got so many where I live.

There is no flat space - seriously - and the minor hills aren't concerning.  But there are many serious hills where you cannot see over the top.  Blind Hills.  Blind to what lies ahead.  Blind to the view, the traffic, blind to the next phase of the road.

Does the road get easier once I get over this hill?  Is there a curve?  Sometimes, I can't even tell how long I will be climbing!

As I run, I spend a lot of time thinking and I was thinking about how life is like the journey through my hilly neighborhood.  Often, I am just doing my best to get through the next hill.  I don't know if there will be relief ahead or if I will face another challenge.  I can't tell if the path is going to even out or if I'll be navigating downward terrain.  The only thing I can do is just keep going.  To slow or stop prolongs the trial.

In the trials of life, we don't know how long our hills will take to climb or what lies beyond them.  We could reach the top and enter a season of easier travels or there could be higher climbs and rougher trails.  Regardless, we have to keep moving in order to continue the journey.  

Have you climbed any hills lately?  Do you find them challenging or defeating?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

TBT Stories: Summer Splashes!

Taken in June, 2010 I love remembering the days when a wading pool kept my three entertained for hours.  I love the carefree smiles, the uninhibited trial and error and the sibling bonds forming.  I remember this day taking photo after photo after photo, just wanting to capture the moment.  I still treasure so many of these images.  I am reminded that summer is a time to slow down and enjoy simplicity.

I linked up with Jessica at The Mom Creative - She's doing a giveaway!

What is one of your favorite summer memories?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

TBT Stories: Beachy Days

This photo was taken three summers ago.  It was the first big vacation I took as a single mother with my three children (only two are in this photo).  I was so proud to be able to take them on a big trip and we just had the best time.  Last week we were able to go back to the beach and it reminded me of this sweet time we had together.  I'm so thankful for these breaks in our normal routines to just enjoy each other!

I'm linking up with The Mom Creative and her Throwback Stories.  I'm so glad you stopped by today!

PS - I feel so brave for putting my thighs out there on the interwebs!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Where I've Been ...

Yes, it's been a bit quiet on the blog lately - We ended the school year and headed directly for vacation!  While there, I completely unplugged and soaked up time with my family.  I love that we got to enjoy nature and time together - it's the most time this blended family has been together in our back-and-forth worlds of co-parenting.  We loved the time to be together, we bonded and we loved having a relaxed schedule that included daily adventures.  I'm just going to share a few photos and then jump back into blog posting later this week.  Has your summer started yet?

I'm so thankful we were able to do this - it's the first big vacation that I've taken with my children in several years and we made wonderful memories together.  I can't wait to do it again!