Tomorrow is my birthday. Another August 22nd on the horizon. And, I’m already thankful for it. It’s the first one I can remember that has organically fallen on a Saturday…when I have my kids. All of them except my bonus son who will be at work.
I plan our lives (and all our birthdays) knowing we have specific weekends with and without the kids. As they get older, I recognize that even this starts to change. So, getting to wake up knowing they are home, that I don’t have to rush and leave for work all day, that my husband will be home too, and that my family is coming over is the greatest gift. Time. A day together.
I’m thankful for the other family members we get to celebrate tomorrow. I’m thankful for the house and space and health to do so. I’m thankful for the lessons learned this year and the desire to learn more next year.
We plan to go to church in the morning. It’s the first weekend it’s been open in awhile and I’m thankful for that too. Not only that we can go and worship with others, but also that my daughter asked to go. No greater gift than that. The desire to worship and time together. Makes me think of heaven one day. Nothing but worship and time. Togetherness with no awkwardness, no grudges, no paranoia, no shame, guilt, or blame. Only what we love and desire about togetherness. Peace and harmony.
I don’t expect this tomorrow. I expect food, family, and some fun. But, I also realistically expect a house full of people, littles, and teenagers. In all it’s imperfection, I say thank you. To each one. Even if the choice isn’t theirs to be there, I am thankful they will be. Because we never know how many birthdays we have left. Especially ones that fall on a Saturday.
What if that choice is where He’s leading?
What if that fear is what He’s asking you to face?
What if that conversation is where He’ll be found?
What if your willingness will open the flood gates?
What if your honesty loses that person?
What if it inspires them?
What if that person can unlock the door?
What if that person will close it?
What if the friend you wanted so badly doesn’t feel the same?
What if opening up is where the healing is?
What if closing off is what’s necessary?
What if something you’ve always thought was true turns out not to be?
What if someone disapproves?
What if it’s family?
Will you still?
Jesus whispers “Peace, be still.”
He says He’s got you. He’s got this. He’s leading you.
He’s bigger than all of it.
Anyone else know what I’m talking about? Leaving for work the next day, your house a wreck, feeling puffy from all the food and sweets, money spent, and wondering what all just happened…
This year, there was a happiness, a fullness, a contentment. More than years past. I still feel “hungover”, but happily so. A messy house that I’ll tackle one thing at a time. A puffy face and tummy that I’ll treat well over the next couple weeks. A warm heart that has been ever so loved on.
My favorite part of this Christmas? Was the engagement and care from my family to my significant other. The man joining us was embraced and treated well. This is a gift neither one of us could ever buy. Rather receive thankfully.
Today, I’m tired. Six Christmases later, I’m tired and thankful. I used to feel sad and frustrated in the scheduling of my divorced parents and, now, my own kids and future step kids separate Christmases. Now, I embrace and am just so thankful they are all alive, willing, and close enough to schedule one in. This year, I let few memories go undocumented. This is not my norm. But, I wanted the world to see how thankful I am for my family and the new one I have coming early next year….
I’ve had all kinds of hangovers (emotional, physical, spiritual). But, this one I can say was 100% worth it. Now, on to the new year and new chapters in so many ways.
I’m thankful for…
- The lessons
- The strength
- The wisdom
- The courage
- The perseverance
- The time
- The support
- The friendships
- The quiet mornings
- The crazy mornings
- The family close by
- The prayers
- The steady paychecks
- The unexpected help
- The help with my girls
- The closer relationship with and dependence on Jesus
- The forgiveness
- The ones who have made me laugh
- The ones who have helped me cry
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
When you’re living in your God given purpose. When He’s backed you up, picked you up, and broken chains. When it’s His approval you live for…Nothing compares!
I’m thrilled my girls have the opportunity to dance their hearts out. I’m thrilled my girls get to attend the church school I went to. I’m thrilled I was able to buy a house in my hometown. I’m thrilled I get to serve at the church I grew up in….in a whole new way. And, excited for what’s next for us. Because, I know now. He’s there too!
I’m thrilled for the courage the Lord has provided for me to write and share my story. And, I’m thrilled and humbled by the people it’s reached. To God be the glory!!
I’m thrilled for the lessons I’ve learned about love…and that now I actually have it in return. Beyond thankful for the friends I’ve made along the way. They’ve prayed me through. They always will. They have been my backbone, my confidants, my encouragers to follow where the Lord is leading me. I pray for that honor in return. That’s exactly what it is. An honor. To love and to be loved in return…Nothing compares. It’s God’s design and will for us.
Life after divorce is hard. There are difficulties you’ve never even considered if you haven’t been through it. Some things will never be the same. But, some things will be so much better! God knew. God knows. And, joy DOES come in the morning. For all the sadness and heartbreak I’ve encountered, He fills and uses in His most precious and perfect time.
Thank you, Lord! For loving me before, loving me during, and loving me after. Loving me always. ❤
I think letting go has got to be one of the most difficult things we encounter as human beings. Letting go of a person is hard, letting go of a dream is harder. What we WANT isn’t always what’s best for us. We understand and enforce this as parents by not allowing our kids to eat whatever they WANT all day long. My girls would survive on cheese sticks and Junior Mints alone if they had their way.
How much more should we trust our Heavenly Father with our wants vrs. needs?? If He knows that removing something or someone from us will lead us closer to Him, our circumstances may very well take a turn we don’t expect or want in the short term. We need to trust that His “nos” are every bit as loving as His “yesses”. No one loves us like Him. He is a heartsick Father longing for each of His children to return to Him. To choose Him. To want Him.
There are so few things in this world that we have actual control over. We can’t control another person’s thoughts or actions. We can’t make them feel a certain way. We can’t make them treat us a certain way. We can’t make them see our point of view or agree with us. What we can do is make our thoughts and requests known. Our actions may influence their feelings or immediate actions, but we can’t change them. We have as much control over changing someone else as we do controlling the weather. Nill. We can love them, but we can’t control them.
Go where the love flows freely and soak it in. Surround yourself with people who love and accept you for who you are and who you are not. Be thankful for friends and family that love and accept you, even at your worst. These people are blessings.
Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIRV)
Remember that God loves you enough to let go. Remember that He sees the bigger picture. Remember that this world is not our eternal home. Remember that He made you to love you. And, know that it’s His love that releases our grip.
This has always been my personal favorite Christmas decoration. It hangs on my laundry room door.
I pull it out in late November and it grows over time. The pictures come in slowly so I wonder if it will actually fill up and it always has, always does. This year there are fewer cards than in years past. I am well aware that that is not at all for lack of love or friends, only a surplus of technology. We all see most of each other’s faces and children on social media these days. So much so, that cards may see pointless. I know they are an added stress this time of year, I didn’t send them out last year in attempts to cut myself some slack.
I appreciate them, I know the sacrifice, the struggle for the right picture, the hassle of accumulating addresses, the foreign trip to the post office for stamps, the mad rush of the Christmas to-do list. I know this all very well. But, still, it’s my favorite decoration. I’m admiring it this morning and cherishing it. I know each year in this technology age it will get sparser and sparser. But, I’ll continue to put it up each November, watch, and wait.
My Christmas wreath may not grow over the years anymore, but I am thankful. I am thankful for the friends that do. I think of you all. I pray for you all. I love you. From my heart to yours…
Here are a few things I learned from my grandma. She was one of the smartest, funniest, strongest women I’ve had the privilege to know and love….
- Keep God first
- Work hard
- Save money
- Tell the truth, even if your voice shakes
- Humor is always welcome and usually necessary
- Be straight with your man, he’ll appreciate and respect you for it
- Give to others
- Pray for others, both international and domestic
- Be a witness
- You are a living example
- Love hard
- Time is precious
- A timely joke can cut the tension in a room like nothing else
- Chicken taco and spaghetti tastes better (to me) with veggie-meat instead of real meat
- Fried okra has never tasted better (to me) than straight from Grandma’s skillet
- Heaven will be the greatest family reunion any of us can ever imagine!
As a child and adult, my grandma took me to lunch and shopping for my birthday. This tradition continued until she couldn’t physically do it anymore. I looked forward to it every year. That special time she carved out just for me was the best gift she ever gave me. With my birthday quickly approaching, I am reminded of how much she loved me. I am forever grateful and blessed to be her granddaughter.
This is a blog about the love we crave. It’s about the love between mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives. We all crave it. What happens when we fall short? What about when they fall short? My prayer is that this blog will help us all learn how to love each other better, how to stand up for ourselves in a healthy way, and how to let God love on us as never before.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)