Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Job not going right?
Feel unappreciated and overlooked?
Spill coffee on your new cream colored tights?
Hair look ridiculous?
Sister mad at you?
Mother-in-law hate your guts?
Boyfriend forgot your birthday?
Missed a doctor appointment?
Loose filling in your tooth?
Dog run away?
Mortgage company misapply your payment?
Speeding ticket in a known speed trap?
Neighbor's garbage cans out for the third day in a row?
Can't get those concert tickets last minute?
The holiday "it toy" completely sold out?
Coworker throw you under the bus?
Client humiliated you in a very public meeting?
Teacher called you in because of your kid's behavior?
A simple misunderstanding morphed out of control?
There's a whole culture watching you quietly: we're the Mama's who have experienced a level of rough that frightens you. We're the ones you say, "I wouldn't be able to live..." after hearing our story. We hear your complaints and read your posts and we stop ourselves from saying back to you, "you have no idea what rough is."
Rough is your child being rushed to the hospital with yet another seizure with no understanding of why.
Rough is the insurance refusing to pay for a procedure that will keep your baby comfortable... and alive.
Rough is picking out a coffin instead of a Christmas present. Laying your child's body in the ground instead of lifting her up into your lap.
Rough, we know, is dependent on your own personal circumstances. We get it. We really do. We get that you have no idea where "car troubles" land when that truly is the worst thing that has ever happened to you.
But, as we listen to your complaints, we wonder if there might be a way for you to understand without ever having to go through what we do. A way for you to see your day not as a series of inconveniences, but rather of a beautiful, glorious, magical experience there for the taking.
We wonder if there is a way for you to feel the incredible joy a sunrise can bring without having to sit hostage through the dark.
We wonder if there is a way for you to taste the crisp air of December without having to experience what it feels like to fight for breath.
We wonder if there is a way for you to celebrate the wins instead of focusing on the losses... because the losses have a way of wrapping themselves around you like a python intent on slowly strangling the life from your soul, leaving your eyes dull and expressionless.
From all of us struggling Mamas:
- the one's who have experienced a forced and sudden without still struggling to put one foot in front of the other,
- the one's with too many womb losses holding their plastic smiles on their hurting hearts just to let everyone know they're okay and sometimes this happens (when really all they want to do is scream WHY?!),
- the one's hanging on by a thread making desperate deals with God to please just keep their child alive....
our wish for you today and throughout this holiday season is that you RE-EVALUATE... look for the joys, search out the happiness, revel in the light, and choose to fight against any "rough day" that threatens to dim your world.
We need your happiness.
We need your joy.
We need your laughter.
Because, especially at this time of year, we need you to light the way.
Friday, October 23, 2020
Eight years ago I paced alone throughout a house wondering where my daughters were. An inquisitive 3-year old boy as my shadow. I remember feeling so utterly alone.
I called their phones.
I sent texts.
I posted on Facebook.
I called my sister.
I called the police.
I called my mom.
I drove to the church.
I called the police again.
I walked in circles.
I answered the door.
And my world went dark.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
But sometimes we pick up pieces where the shape fits but it is obvious when we look at the color and pattern that it isn't supposed to belong there.
It takes every ounce of strength to ask for help getting rid of it.
It is not for the faint of heart to admit that when we look in the mirror we don't even recognize the person staring back.
But it's not just chemical addiction that can take us seriously off track. Some people are so scared of dealing with the holes in their soul that they fill it with things that look good but are taken to the extreme... like exercising. That's a good thing, right? But when you're working out so much and so often that you're unable to nurture friendships or get enough sleep or attend family gatherings it's time to acknowledge it isn't the right piece.
Some people like taking care of others. And that is a super noble thing to do. But when your worth is wrapped up in doing everything for your children or your spouse or your boyfriend/girlfriend a red flag is being raised. You cannot change someone. You might be able to influence them but you have no control over whether or not they want to change to be the way you want them to be.
If you're ready to start over and take a step to a new kind of freedom - whether it's your first time or your thirtieth - give Celebrate Recovery a try. Just enter Celebrate Recovery and your city or town in your search bar and find a meeting near you. Most likely, you'll be able to find several meeting places around you throughout the week. Go to however many you need to go to for however long you need to go. I promise it will be one of the most welcoming places you will ever go. And they'll help you take out the pieces that need to be removed and you'll start finding the ones that are supposed to be yours.
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
As a Christian, we've heard this story a thousand times. The Israelites, God's Chosen People - special, marked, loved, cared for - were exiled into the desert where, although not ideal, God took care of them. We learned how daily God performed miracles just for them! He made manna (bread) fall from the sky so they could eat and he brought water out of a rock to quench their thirst!
But they weren't thrilled about it.
They whined. They complained. They felt they deserved more. They forgot to say thank you.
And, as every good Christian girl and boy does, we reacted in shock! How could they not see their God providing for them?! How could they be so ungrateful? How could they lose faith in their great and holy Father? How could they forget who He was and how much He loved them?
We would never act like that! We would learn from them! We would not let down our God with our short memories of who He is and what He promises to His people! We would be better than the Isrealites, we promised.
Friends, we haven't even been in the desert for 40 days. (That was the amount of time Jesus spent in the desert. Remember? He went without food and water and he was completely isolated except for the presence of the enemy. Literally.)
You guys! How can we be the light of the church during such a time as this if we're posting our complaints about how we shouldn't have to spend all this time teaching kids and doing school work? How it's ridiculous that restaurants are closed? Or complaining about how we haven't had a good night out with friends in ages. Or how unfair it is that our family doesn't get to go on the vacation we booked before a global pandemic thwarted our plans?
How can we convince others that God will provide for them if we can't see how God is providing for us right now?
How are we showing how great our God is when we spend more time arguing and defending politics than we do sharing God's grace and mercies of the day?
How do we share God's love and light and faithfulness and goodness and wonderfulness and powerfulness and beauty and greatness when all we're doing is whining that we deserve more than the pitiful manna piling up around our feet?
We're moving - whether we realize it our not. Our thoughts, our words, the habits we're forming - they're either moving us closer to God or closer to the enemy.
We're not sitting still through this. We're moving - whether we realize it our not. Our thoughts, our words, the habits we're forming - they're either moving us closer to God or closer to the enemy. And it's all our choice. All our doing. All our decision making. And most of us can't even see how far away from God we've actually become.
This is our desert. And why not? What makes us so special that we wouldn't have a challenge? It's not the way of our people; of God's people. God has never disillusioned us. He told us straight out that our lives here would not be easy.
John 16:33 (NIV) tells us what Jesus said. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The Message describes it like this: "I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace." Are we showing the world how at peace with God we truly are? Do we feel unshakable and assured through our faith in God? Or are we filled with worry and fear and doubt?
How many stories have been passed down through the generations, how many scriptures have been shared, how many Sunday School lessons and church sermons have illustrated the fact that God's way is not easy - but that he HAS a Promised Land in store for us!
That he never leaves our side.
That He's with us in the battle.
That we're not forgotten.
That He will give us the strength we need to endure for one more day.
As Christians, our greatest battle isn't COVID-19. It isn't being laid off. It isn't the dwindling check book and the empty pantry. It isn't hours of school work battles around the kitchen table. Our greatest struggle is with our patience in God and our gratitude to God.
We're not forgotten by God. But we have been forgetting Him.
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
I am 46. By this point in my life I have slept away at least 15-years, but it's actually probably closer to twenty. If I remain healthy, I have about thirty good years left, but I still have to sleep.
If I were to be honest, I would admit I have spent the majority of my life in a state of reaction to someone or something else. I am not exactly known as a trailblazer or a leader. I will happily pass the leadership baton to someone else and let them decide what my life should look like. Where should we eat? You decide. Where should we vacation? You pick. What should holidays look like? I guess I'll just deal with whatever you come up with.
I have always had these grand plans to pick up and move to someplace quaint and quirky, fall in love with a man who was much more level-headed and rational than I, and have a bunch of kids that would be the pride of my heart. I'd know everyone in town and would get my coffee at the same diner every morning. In my dreams, I'm always someplace south. (Also, I drink coffee in my dreams which I do not ever do in real life.) But instead of making choices that would lead me down the path to that quaint and quirky town, I hopped in the car of the first boy who paid attention to me and ended up going nowhere but staying here trying to raise babies alone.
I often picture myself hiking alone, invigorated, soul-filled, balanced, but nature scares me. I used to run long distance throughout the trails in the DNR land at the back edge of our property. Nothing but my breath and the sound of my feet crunching leaves and small sticks. I loved every step of it! Then there was this crazy encounter with a fox that took me immediately and forever off those trails.
I have always done whatever I had to do to get by. To get from the step I was at to the very next step. Conservatively move from job to job to get to the top paying one with the best benefits. Buy the car that makes the most sense. Purchase the sofa that's on sale even though it's not the one I really wanted.
So, I think I'm going to switch things up in 2020. Instead of watching my life waltz by with each passing day and trying to follow it around, I'm going to be intentional about where I step and what decisions I make. It's about time I lead instead of waiting to be asked to go out on the dance floor.
It's going to be hard for me. It goes against some really bad, ingrained habits. But I'm going to try it.
This year, I'm going to learn how to lead me.
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