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Friday, September 22, 2017

A Note to the Suddenly Separated

I am so sorry for the turmoil that brought you to this place of separation.  I have been where you are and I know it’s bad.  But you are going to live through it.  I don’t know the circumstances that lead you to separating from you husband – whether it was his choice, yours, or mutual – and I don’t need to know unless you need to share.  In that case, I will be understanding and confidential.



I remember when my husband and I separated, it was one of the most challenging times of my life.  The grief was crippling and almost overwhelmed me.  You may feel this way, too:

  • You are disoriented.  What of the past is real?  You will doubt your own judgement and view all your past shared experiences through the lens of what is happening now.  Eventually, you will readjust your perspective and be able to accept what you didn’t know or couldn’t comprehend then.
  • There is no immediate resolution.  This marriage may be healed and reconciliation may mean this is just a season in the overall story of your life.  The union may dissolve and forever change the trajectory of your path.  You just don’t know, cannot know, and the uncertainty is terrifying.  In the middle of this unknown outcome is where you will learn to truly live in the moment.
  • All of the sudden, every decision feels huge.  Every single choice feels like one that will have enormous ramifications and it is just overwhelming.  Slow down.  You don’t have to make life changing decisions while in the middle of such strong emotions.  Let yourself process truth, consider consequences and make wise decision.  Avoid reactions and focus on intention.
  • Your instinct is to isolate and harden your heart against anything that might hurt you or offer false hope.  It’s natural to become cynical, yet you must fight that tendency if you desire to be open to joy.  When you numb yourself to the hard parts of life, you are also numb to the wonder and goodness.  A frozen heart may feel safe, but it will never satisfy.  For a moment, feeling frozen is a blessing but for the long term, it will just leave you cold.  Find safe people who can be supportive during this time.
In the middle of all the turmoil and upheaval that can be hard to make sense of, I want you to remember two things:

Don’t worry about normal.  You are in a season of transition.  Embrace that.  Whatever the outcome of your current circumstance, your life will be forever changed.  This is not a bad thing, even though it can be frightening.  Change is what moves us forward.  Let go of the pressure to solve this right now and rest in the fact that you are becoming more of who you are created to be, even in this.  Trust the process.  Trust yourself.

You are not alone.  I am praying that God reminds you of all the ways He is with you and goes before you in this season.  It’s so hard, but things will get better.  Good things can come from this season only if you keep moving toward the future, even when you don’t know what that looks like.  Choose the next best thing for today and trust God to reveal when He knows that you’re ready for more.  

Dear friend who is newly separated, you're on my mind and in my heart.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Five Simple Pleasures I Enjoy Everyday (Almost)

Life is not easy or simple, but sometimes we do make pleasure too complicated.  My days are full, there are countless tasks that remain unfinished and many ways I could "improve" myself.  Yet, I've learned to find joy in focusing on simple pleasures each day that truly bring joy into my life.

With all the concerns of our world, weather, unrest, I needed to remember the little things that are still good everyday.  I have so much for which to be grateful in my privileged life.

1. Coffee - I like it mild and sweet, with cream.

2. Time outside - Nature is the antidote to so much screen time and noise in life.

3. Reading and Praying - Finding truth and identifying my true concerns grounds me in all the chaos.

4. Touch - one of the most healing parts of any day is when I take time to snuggle with my children, reach over to hold a hand or relax in the arms of Mr. Wonderful.



5. People - My mixed up, blended together
family is just more awesome than I could ever have imagined.  I love that even when we aren't together, we can call or text.  I love the memories and history that we share.  I love the connection and foundation we have as a group.  I'm thankful for my family of origin - parents who are still available and that I chat with often, a sister who is as close as can be.  I'm grateful for long term friends that enhance my life so much from daily laughs to deep spiritual wisdom.

Our world is so full of trouble.  Discouragement is real and the media shines a spotlight on the negative.  What do you have in your life today that is simple but brings true joy?


Friday, September 1, 2017

Storms of Life


Like most of the nation, I've been watching the unfolding story of the flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  It's so sad and seems unreal.  I know many of us are looking for ways to help.  

But I am also reminded of the fact that storms come.  Into every life events happen that shake up the norm and usher in a new climate.  Sometimes we see the storms on the horizon, and other times we are blindsided by the unpredictability of disaster.  When you are between storms, you can be sure the winds and water will come again.  During the storm is when our faith becomes real and active.  That's when faith has the most power.

In the storm, you have the ability to parent well and to become the stable protection that your children need.  Mothering in the storm is what will give you purpose and vision to continue during the most challenging days.  

And when the storm passes, you will be able to survey the damage and the loss.  It's real and it's necessary to grieve.  Then a new life will begin as you rebuild after the storm.  There may always be "Before" and "After."  There may always be watermarks on your soul.  There will be new beginnings and life may be forever rearranged.

I'm in a season of fair weather.  It's easy to forget the things I learned in the storms, yet lessons learned there are the life rafts that kept me floating.  I can't help but think of the little girl in the news this week who was saved when her own mother literally became her life raft.  Every mother I know would do the same for her child, and in that I find comfort.  I can look back in the storms of my own life and mark the life rafts that kept me afloat. 

Storm: Broken Engagement
Life Raft: God's timing is better.

Storm: Miscarriages and Infertility
Life Raft: God is good, no matter what.

Storm: Difficult Marriage
Life Raft: God will provide, He is enough.

Storm: Infidelity
Life Raft: Your name is Faithful and True.

Storm: Divorce
Life Raft: God accepts me with my flaws.

Storm: Financial Difficulty
Life Raft: God is providing before I even know my need.

Storm: Loneliness
Life Raft: God is enough and when I reach out, others reach back.

What storms do you face, literal or figurative?