The Greatest Commandment

Love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

It was a rough day. So rough that I have no pictures of the day because quite frankly I don't want to remember it.

That said- I'm counting my blessings. I took some time to hang out with the girls tonight and watch a movie. (The Incredibles) We enjoyed being all snuggled up together on my big king size bed- and giggled our way through the movie. I love hearing them laugh. It's the best medicine around.

Here are some things I am thankful for:
  • wonderful children who make me smile and remember why my life is so good
  • smelly dogs who greet me at the door- wagging their tails- even though I forgot to feed them before I left
  • a good friend who helped me clean my kitchen today
  • a bed big enough to let 3 children snuggle together with mom in
  • a family who doesn't understand what I am going through- yet special and wonderful none-the-less
  • leftovers
Blessings are wonderful, and even when sadness is overwhelming- I'm thankful to have things to be thankful for...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A time for everything

People die.

People die every day. We know this and we expect this... but we don't expect it, either. So when a young father... 42 years old... dies and leaves his wife and 3 young boys behind- we're all shocked. We all are sad beyond belief for the loss of a father... for the widow, and the children... for the parents and the friends... for the students.

What do we do? We remember... he was a wonderful husband, daddy, teacher, coach, believer. We grieve. He is gone. We pray. God be with his family- his widow/children/parents who lost their other son only 5 years ago... We hug our own families a little closer. We forgive those around us who we should have forgiven a long time ago.

And then... after a few days... we go back to our own normal lives. We go back to taking things for granted and acting immortal. Why do we do this?

What I have questioned since Brian died on Sunday is this: What- if I were to die today- would I be remembered for? I know I am going to spend eternity with Jesus- so the thought of dying actually doesn't scare me. It bothers me that my children would grow up without a "mother" - but I know they would survive and God would give them the tools to thrive. But what would I be remembered for?

I hope and pray that from here on out- no matter what life throws in my path- that I can set an example of grace. I may be a nobody, a regular mom who does nothing other than ordinary... but I want to live through God's eyes and show the grace that only He can give. I don't know how He will make that work in my life, but I know He is trying every day. I am living "day-by-day" right now, and despite the fact that my soon-to-be ex-husband has me madder than a hornet right now- I hope to set an example of grace. I hope to set an example of wisdom. I hope to show the love of Christ- no matter what. I hope that my children would remember how much I love them.

If you were to die tonight- what would you want to be remembered for?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I always wished I was from the north so I could say Gads and it not sound weird. Oh well!!

I am in a mood tonight. I had to listen to the sounds of one child grieving the "loss" of her father, another child worry about whether or not her father would be coming to Thanksgiving at school (despite me saying he would), and another child- who barely knows his father and probably won't ever know him any better than a grandparent- cry for the same hour as the 1st child mentioned.

Battlefield of the Mind is the bible study I have been working on. It's wonderful and could not have come at a better time... but I still struggle. Not just on a daily basis... not just on an hourly basis... sometimes on a minute by minute basis. I don't know if it is Satan or just my situation, but I am having a moment of incredible difficulty being positive and finding positive in all.

Damn it. I don't understand. If I don't understand- I can't even begin to put myself in my kids' shoes. It is simply awful to watch your child struggle- and yet not really be able to help. It's not fair, either.

Daddy has become the "fun" one. He takes them to dinner, he takes them to ballgames, he takes them to movies... and every now and then he helps with homework. Mommy is the one who makes them clean their rooms, bedrooms, play areas, dishes, toilets and anything else they come into contact with. Ok- I'm the bad guy. I admit it. But someone has to teach them about life.

But I'm also the one who has to soothe the tears, guide the anger and help them understand why the person they used to trust the most in this world walked out on them. They don't hear it when he says "I'm here for you- you can come to me anytime." What they hear is what they see... Daddy left us. I am also the only one who has to cook, clean, bathe, wipe, etc.... It is very very tiring. Having a baby in the house is hard enough- but doing it as a single parent is exhausting.

Tonight I am negative. I don't want to be- but I am so I must just accept it, pray about it, and move on. I'm sure I'll wake up tomorrow and feel better, assuming the kids sleep some. I'm trying to remember that no matter what I will be a better person in the long run. I already am...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wonderful friends and a refreshing afternoon

The kids and I were able to spend this morning (through lunch!) with some wonderful friends that we have not been able to spend "quality" time with in awhile. Don't you just love those times? While we missed services (and a huge stewardship lunch!) at our home church- it was just just so uplifting to be able to take a Sunday and do this. See- I sing in a praise band at our church, and any time I have to be gone I feel like I'm letting the band down. When an opportunity comes up like it did today- one in which we only had one combined service- and I didn't have to sing- I took my rare chance and went visiting! So fun and I'm looking forward to getting another Sunday to visit with other folks!

The afternoon was spent building fires (in both of our fireplaces... nice!) and playing board games. We had the best time, and although the girls did not let me win a single game (not even UNO!), we had an awesome time hanging out without any place to be.

In getting to spend the afternoon playing games in front of the fire with my kids I realized how many things I have taken for granted over the years. I never realized how important these times we have together as "family time" are. I mean- I knew it... but I didn't take it seriously. It's the total "cliche" you don't love what you've got until it's gone.

But then it made me think about my husband (is it weird that I can't call him my ex?). How on earth can he be willing to give up these precious times as a family. Can you really and truly grow to dislike being with one person so much that you are willing to sacrifice your time with your children? Is this a mom thing? Do dads not feel this way? I simply cannot fathom not being with my children a majority of the time. The times in my life I have been so busy that I have not been with them- well... I regret a lot of that time missed. Some of it was ok... some of it was self-care. Some of it was to help generate a better income for our family... regardless- I wish I had that time back.

So this makes me ask myself several questions...
  1. What makes a good parent?
  2. What makes a good spouse?
  3. What makes a good friend?
  4. What makes a good Christian?
Today I am thankful for the fun things I enjoyed with my kids. Even if we are not a whole family anymore- I am glad that I have my precious children. I miss my husband- but I can't imagine life without those babies.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This is it. This is living!

My world has been rocked. It's the only way to describe what has happened to my family. My husband of 12 years, and partner of 19, decided that he was not happy anymore. He has done some things I never would have thought possible... and said some things I never thought I would hear... and has left me with more responsibilities than I ever could have imagined. But you know... I'm ok. I'm choosing to be ok. I am CHOOSING to be happy. I AM AT PEACE.

I am learning a new way of life and I am learning how to be happy- even when life isn't fair. God is almighty and I praise Him... for HE IS GOOD. He has good things in store for me- even if I've gotta go through a fire to get 'em. I LOVE him. I TRUST him. I SURRENDER to him. He is teaching me how to live again.

I've never done an online journal... and certainly never let anyone READ my journals... but this is cool. I'm learning to live again! Why not?

The girls struggle on a daily basis with their daddy leaving. He is so important to them, as they are to him. This does not make any sense at all to them (well- to anybody really...), but they dare not rock his boat and ask him. He has taught them, just as he learned as a child, to not question what he says. Authoritarian... sometimes it's easier that way, huh? He really is a good father. A good husband, too. Aside from physical abuse, is anything really ever worth divorcing over? I promised him and I promised God... till death do us part. I meant it, too. Even when I didn't like him (which is now!) and even when I wondered what else might be out there... I never broke that promise. This sweet baby boy will never know his daddy like he could. Who could give that up? Someone who is thinking of their own needs, I suppose.

God is pro-marriage. Will he forgive us if we divorce? Certainly. Does he want us to work this out? Even more certainly. Does he want me to wait patiently while he does his work in all of this? Umm... yeah. And that is the hard part. I don't know what the outcome will be, but I am certain of this; God is IN CHARGE. Something good is in store. While I hope it's a better marriage... to my current husband... I know whatever it is will be great. All things work together for Good for THOSE WHO BELIEVE. I believe...

So the question in bible study yesterday was this; What is the difference between grief and self-pity. So far this is all I can come up with: For me- I know I am in the middle of a pity party when the sadness turns into vindictive thoughts. It's ok to be sad... but it ain't ok to want to get even. Can you imagine if Jesus had gotten even for all the times he was wronged?? He had the power, too...

As I passed the funeral home visitation line of a high school friend tonight I got to thinking... if tomorrow I were the one diagnosed with cancer- what would I change? You know what I would change? I would begin to LIVE. I choose to be happy. I choose to love freely. I choose to give. I choose to be positive. I choose to be ME. I choose to live for God.

Thank you, Father, for the wonderful work you are doing in my life... and thank you for giving your son- who never ever would have gotten even. Thank you.