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

Monday, December 29, 2008


It's hard enough that my own husband has rejected me, but when my 7 year old looked up at me with tears covering her face and asked, "Why doesn't Daddy want to live with me anymore?" I was speechless. As much as we have explained that they have nothing to do with him leaving, it is incredibly hard for them to comprehend. They take it personally, as they should. They feel rejected, too.

I want to say that I don't understand, either. I want to tell them how I don't understand how he doesn't want this life anymore. He doesn't want to be a family with us. He will always be their father and will always love them, see them, and always be there for them (though not always physically... or in the middle of the night for illness or bad dreams or for snuggle time when they are cold)... but he doesn't want to be a part of this family anymore. I want to explain that he feels that his life will be better without me being his wife, hence the separation... but they are a part of me so he must sacrifice living with them as well. I understand how they feel rejected.

I suppose that he is happier now. Free from daily family responsibilities, free from commitments, free from caring for an infant on a daily basis, free from us, free from me. Free from working on a marriage. I wish I could explain to them that his need to be away from me are greater than his need to be with his children or to provide them with a stable 2-parent family while they grow up, and that his happiness depends on meeting this need; that the grass is greener in the other fields out there, and he is going grazing. He loves them and wants to be with them, but he needs to give it all up to do what is right for him. What is right for him may not be what is right for the whole family, but evidently he has been miserable for so long that his needs now come before the needs of the family.

What about God? What does God want? Well, God is pro-marriage. God is forgiving and loves us no matter what, but God is pro-marriage. Marriage vows are important. They are promises. Broken promises change lives. Clearly.

I wish I could tell them all of these things. But I can't. Not only can they not understand it (well- nor can I really...), they don't need to hear these things. They just need to be held while they cry. And I will do just that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tis the Season...

Bah Humbug.

Haha... Kinda a family saying in my mom's house, as she was known years ago for "canceling Christmas." But tonight- perhaps I understand it a bit more as to why she would even want to call it (Christmas) off.

As I was attempting to do some Christmas shopping this evening (which, BTW, was a complete disaster...and I now have 5 days to complete it all???), I realized and had to admit to myself that if I did not have children- that this year- for the first time ever... I would indeed "cancel Christmas." It is so hard to get into the spirit of things when deep in the middle of grief. Especially when the spirit includes wonderful FAMILY traditions that are having to be carried out despite the situation. We really do try to make things majestic for our kids, don't we?

This leads me to this: Last week (or maybe the week before- I don't remember) I posted something about loss. I guess it was my small effort to actually address to my self- and the world- the loss I have experienced recently. For a few weeks now I have felt the need to shout something about it from a mountain top- though I know most people would not even hear or acknowledge the fact that a divorce- especially when one party is having it thrust upon them- is indeed a grandiose loss. No- he didn't die and his children can talk to him still when they need to... I KNOW it's different... but it's not, either. And I have not known how to express this without sounding ridiculously self-centered... that is until tonight. In a book I am reading I found this: (This is Judith Viorst, in her book Necessary Losses, describing lost love, separation and possible divorce as bring similar in many ways to death.)

Although my focus here is on mourning the death of those we love, I should mention that the other marital death is called divorce. For the breakup of a marriage is like the death of a spouse, and will often be mourned in closely parallel ways. There are some important distinctions: Divorce evokes more anger than death, and it is, of course, considerably more optional. But, the sorrow and pining and yearning can be as intense. The denial and despair can be intense. The guilt and self-reproach can be as intense. And the feeling abandonment can be even more intense- He didn't have to leave me; he CHOSE to leave me.

Wow... talk about hitting the nail on the head. There is one other thing I would like to add to that, though- and that is the element of support. Though I could go on for awhile here about the differences, I think the biggest one is this: When someone dies- the whole world surfaces to show support and love. When your husband walks out on you- the world whispers and avoids the topic- and at times, even you. Should I own that? When MY husband walked out on me, the world whispered and avoided the topic... and at times... even me. I even have friends (and family) that are so uncomfortable with the whole situation, they simply don't even acknowledge that there is one.

The stages of grief are real, and as I walk through them slowly and unpredictably, I am glad that the one true constant in my life has not changed. Jesus Christ. Happy birthday, Jesus... and I'll try to be less of a bah humbugger this year...

For now you know in part, but one day you will understand it all... (
1 Cor 13:9)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


So... this year... Christmas is going to be rough. For several weeks I have played games in my head pretending that by pulling off our usual traditions (for the kids), I will be just fine. The anxiety that grows inside me each time I think about it proves otherwise.

Has anyone ever hurt you so much that you cannot even look him or her in the eyes? I mean- get -past the anger and the stare-down phase... go right to that hurt. Can you do it? Can you look them in the eyes?

I am at that place. And to think- that for the sake of my children (and a good "sake" at that) I will be spending a significant amount of time with the person that has ripped me in two... and I can't even begin to look that person in the eyes... because I know I'll cry... and I've done enough of that... well......... geeze.

Back to Christmas. I know that if I set myself up for upset,sadness, misery- that is just what I'll get. So in turn I am trying my best to be positive about all of this. What happens, though, is that I am reminded that I have spent the last 19 years celebrating Christ's birthday with the same person. While it still seems that we still still be celebrating the holiday together (again- for our children), this year will also hold a prodigious element of rejection.

Sometimes it is just plain hard being positive. It is my choice... I can either make the best out of it, or wallow in misery. I am choosing to be positive! Some days it doesn't work so well, but it is getting easier and easier to recognize negative thoughts and replace them with better, more uplifting ones.

I have a lot of people in my life that are very supportive, but also think they know what I am feeling by their own personal experiences, or just trying to put themselves in my shoes. I am told frequently what I must be feeling or thinking- and a lot of the times it's not quite right. I think that sometimes people can get an idea of what I am thinking or truly feeling if they will just listen to me and stop projecting their own stuff onto me. Sure, I have my sad days and my angry days- but I am a mentally healthy individual who can recognize these times... and knows when it is time to retreat into personal space for a while.

I am ok, and will be ok. I am moving forward and making plans for the future. My biggest problem is exhaustion... but probably a lot of folks with 3 kids are exhausted. Bedtime is the hardest, because my girls like cuddle time and the baby likes cuddle time... and sometimes it's 11:30 or 12 before everyone is in bed, stuff is ready for the next day, things are cleaned up, etc... The times that I just wait until morning to do- well... I regret it in the morning. It's much better to start the day off fresh without dishes that need to be done, bags packed, yada yada yada. So you see, doing these things until midnight leaves little to no down (or "me") time... Hence the exhaustion. These are the times I fight anger the most. But... as I said... it's getting easier.

God has given me some awesome tools and amazing strength. He is wonderful!! Thank God for God- right? And thank God for 3 wonderful kids and a great supportive family and awesome friends and... the list could go on forever. Every night when the girls say prayers we have a thankful time... we say what we are thankful for. Last night we were thankful for game night. It's so much fun to sit around playing games with each other. I will cherish these times forever. I know they will, too...

Sunday, December 7, 2008


It is loss. That is what this is all about. It's a loss. Whether you lose a spouse by death or by divorce, it is a loss. I have prayed and prayed... and tried pinpointing what it is that is so hard for me to deal with. Without awareness of the issue, I cannot work.

It came to me today. It's a loss. I can handle the responsibilities of being a single parent. I can handle the stress of hearing the gossip that continues to fly. I can handle it all... it is a growing experience- but it's ok. God has and will grant me any tool I need to make it survive... All things work together for good for those who believe...

The loss... it is monumental and that is the issue I have now realized I must work through. It's a broken heart that must mend. Grief is grief, no matter how one looks at it.

A time for mourning is allowed... and it's necessary.

Taking the high road...

... is not always easy. I am at a place of peacefulness in knowing that I tried everything to save my marriage, and I upheld the vows I made. However, the peace that comes with knowing that in time, God will provide something wonderful because I trust in Him, is not there with everything. I am still very, very angry. Most of my recent days I have been too angry to even look him in the face. How can someone I love (loved?) so much be ready, willing and able to cause so much harm? I don't think any of it has been intentional... I just feel that he is simply in a place in which he cannot think of anyone but himself.

So... even though I know I will be fine, and I know God is in control, I just can't help but wonder how to get past the anger part. How do I stop thinking vindictive thoughts? Even if I would never act on them, I want to be in a place where I don't even think about causing him/HER hurt. Prayer, I know. But is that all? Do I just keep waiting for prayer to work? It's a constant battle...

It's my choice. It's my choice to be positive. It's my choice to find the good things. It's my job to take the bad and find good. I want to, too. It's just not always easy. Taking the high road is not always easy. But Jesus did and he would still today. He's in my heart telling me what to do... I just feel like a 2 yr old wanting to disobey.

My little man was baptized on Sunday. We made a public profession of faith and promised to teach him about Christ. What an aweome day it was!! Pictures will be up later of the special day...