My Assignment – Watch Me Work

I’m so gooooood at my ministry.  Each day I seem to get better at it.  Sometimes for a brief second I think maybe God is giving me a different focus…but then almost immediately I realize, “Nope, this is my calling.”

My ministry – my calling – seems to be to make other parents feel better about themselves.  Seriously, I’m so gifted at this.  Give me an assignment and watch me work!

Today I realized that I’m particularly equipped – or ill-equipped – to do this well…or not well….

This is Teacher Appreciation Week at my children’s school.  I’m room mom for one of my kids, which was a dumb decision in the first place!  Someone should have known better than to allow me any organizational responsibility.  I can only assume it’s an assignment from God so that some other room mom will feel better about herself.

As I dropped off my children this morning – running later than I planned (as usual) – I rushed in with my trays for the chocolates and cookies the children were supposed to bring in for today’s treats.  Some other mom had already collected the treats from my students – thank goodness!!  I had about 3 minutes to assemble the trays and deliver them to two different classrooms all with my 5 year old meandering behind me.  I say meandering because I could NOT get that girl to move faster than snail’s pace.  I’m sure I looked as harried as I felt.  She and I needed to race to her tutoring which of course was on the other side of town.

I had an awful realization as I took all the goodies into the kitchen to assemble them.  The other room moms were decorating the trays!!  I mean REALLY decorating them.  Doilies, ribbons, bows, cute candies….ugh.  I had NOTHING to decorate and NO TIME to do it.  I decided to just rush my pathetic trays to their respective classrooms and hope that the teachers didn’t notice how lame their trays were.

Thankfully everyone knows me by now.  They know my situation, that my heart is in the right place (most of the time), and that I can’t give the illusion of having any part of my life “together”.  The bummer is I really want to be that awesome room mom – the one that does everything well.  The one that blesses with her creativity.  I used to be a creative and organized person – now I’m a gitterdone person, a please-let-me-just-do-whatever-it-takes-to-check-this-off-my-list person.  Oh well…maybe my teachers were still blessed.  The trays DID have chocolate on them. It’s the thought that counts right? (And the chocolate.)

Just to prove my point, I’ll give you some examples of my ministry successes :).  When my little girls are wearing mismatched clothes, sock and shoes (on purpose), other mom’s smile, nod and feel a bit better about their clothing battles.  (It appears that I lost my battles but in reality I didn’t fight them – as long as they are clean, I’m cool.)  When my children are often 5 minutes late because it’s difficult to be in 3 places at once – it’s got to make someone feel great about being on time. When my kids are getting out of the car and papers, hairbrushes, water bottles and various odds and ends fall out behind them – someone has to think, “At least my car doesn’t look like a giant purse!”  When my yard looks like I’m raising the Beverly Hillbillies minus the oil money – my neighbors must cringe, but their yards look great in comparison.  When my youngest daughter is used as a sermon example not once but twice – other parents just gotta think, “Thankfully my child doesn’t say stuff like that!”

It’s funny (kinda).  I used to be that parent – the one with well-behaved kids, a beautiful lawn and a life pretty much in order and on time.  But God allowed all that to change – my children are still well-behaved for the most part, but now I have two precious little girls who challenge all my previously-attained parenting wisdom.  I used to have a well-manicured, weed-free lawn but then the lawn caretaker (a.k.a. husband/father) left and I decided it was better to work on keeping my family weed-free in the spiritual and emotional sense.  So now the yard is clover green – which my girls think is just beautiful because the weeds have flowers!  Life used to be what I expected it to be until suddenly it wasn’t …

Thankfully God works miracles even through me and my difficult circumstances.  And I’m up for however God wants to use me – whether it’s words that encourage or a life that blesses through its brokenness.

Tomorrow is the 4th day of Teacher Appreciation Week – wonder how God’s going to use me next?

Heaping on My Heart

My heart’s desire is to write about real things – not just the fun things that happen in a day but also those gut-wrenching things that drop us to our knees — I’m realizing that is more difficult than I originally thought.

Part of the problem is I’m usually an upbeat person, and when I write about the things that I’m really struggling with my family and friends tend to get worried.  So here’s the warning and the admonition:  I AM FINE.  This is my life – been living it for 3 years now and doing okay.  So please don’t worry…I’m asking it and God commands it!  So don’t worry…I’m just sharing honestly.

Tonight has been the culmination of a rough week.  Rough in every way possible it feels.   I started to make a list, but I’ve decided against it.  We all have our lists.  Looooong lists.  Little things that pile up and drive us nuts.  Or big things that just wallop us and leave us stunned.

This week has been an equal opportunity week – make me crazy with a thousand little things then finish me off with a strong wallop (or ten).  And being crazy and stunned makes me fussy and my words harsh.  And I’m sure when I’m having a particularly awful week my children sense it and are compelled to make it worse.  I’m kinda joking – I know they don’t do it on purpose.  I set the tone for my home.  Fussy mommy = fussy kids = not so peaceful home.

It’s 11:42 pm to be exact and my head is throbbing, my feet are sore and I should be asleep.  Unfortunately, I’m wide awake out of annoyance.  It’s Friday night. I really want to be hanging out with my teenagers, but I figure I should end this day as soon as possible and go to bed.  Sometimes it’s just really important to make the day stop.

When I came upstairs I discovered two little people chatting the night away in their beds.  Needless to say, that was unacceptable and pretty much ushered  me into Grumpy Mommyland – never a good place to go with a headache.  A visit to Grumpy Mommyland looks surprisingly like a toddler temper tantrum.  I’m frustrated with EVERYTHING!!!

Seriously, I want to change so much – and not just my little world but everyone’s world.  Unfortunately, I simply can’t.  I’m left again with prayer being my only option.  Only option…as if it’s a bad option.  It’s the best option.

There is one benefit to being completely overwhelmed, I don’t waste time trying to figure out other ways to fix things.  I know my limitations…there are a lot of them…and fixing my life is a glaringly obvious limitation.

Only God can handle this messy life… and only God can handle my fist clenched, teeth gritted, head aching, exhausted body self.  He can, thankfully, take care of me and all my stuff.

I decided I would indeed write a list of the things that are stressing me.  I was surprised that really none of them are things I can actually fix or change.  Well, actually I’m pretty sure I can change things for the better if I just stop focusing on them as if I had some control over them.

Why can’t I just trust that God has it all under control?  I KNOW God has it, even when it feels like there’s not one thing under control in my life.  I believe He has a plan….a good plan.  And seriously it just has to be a faith-thing because there are days….

I do struggle. Even though He has proven Himself to be completely trustworthy, I still struggle.  I pray and ask God to take it.  Tell Him I know that He can be trusted to handle it.  But apparently after I give it to Him, I steal it right back.

I guess this week I haven’t even really let God take any of it at all.  I just keep heaping all the cares, concerns and issues on my heart and in my head until it feels like collapse is imminent.  This never serves me well…never.  Case in point – this night.

The reality of this divorced, single mom life is there are a lot of things to stress about …a lot!!!  But, dang!  I do NOT want to keep doing weeks like this past one.  I gotta figure out how to live without focusing on all the difficulties, challenges and issues!  I just gotta.  Sometimes it just seems near impossible.

My plan is to pray that God will show me how.  I know He will.  And I’m excited to see what He will show me.  I’ll be sure to share!

Strong Arms

Sitting by the sideline of my son’s soccer game, I had an interesting halftime conversation.  Another single mom friend and I were talking about how we miss being hugged, maybe I should say held.  I’m blessed to have many friends who will give me loving hugs.  But there is a big difference between sweet friends who hug you hello, goodbye and to comfort, and big, strong arms that hold you tight.

You know the hug I’m talking about?  The “I gotcha” hug.  The “I care” hug.  The “you’re special to me” hug.  I’m sure there are more descriptions we could come up with but basically they all have the same effect…the opportunity to rest for a moment in the strong, protective arms of another.  I miss it.

As single moms, we carry the burden of all our families’ issues in our arms…and granted our arms are growing stronger with each task before us.  But sometimes I’d love to lean into the arms of another.  To find some comfort there…to shed some tears on a shoulder…to allow someone else to strengthen me a bit.  It isn’t a romantic thing truly.  It’s just missing the comfort of strong arms wrapped around tired shoulders.

It stinks being single.  The most difficult time in my life was walked on a lonely road…still is.  There have been so many times I just want to fall into the arms of someone and beg them to take care of it all.  This is where I have to say that Jesus is enough.  I have to say it not because it is expected, but because it is true.  I can look back over the past 3 years and see that God has held and comforted me.  He most definitely has.

I don’t know if I would have or could have verbalized it… I mean said, right then and there, that Jesus was holding me tight. Because it’s in the looking back that I see it.  It’s in my journal entries that I sense it.

There are times when I’m simply a mess – when I’ve mushed my face in my pillow and I’m crying out to Him for comfort.  And quietly I’ll sense His presence and His peace surround me.  I find myself, quite unexpectedly, relaxing and resting in that comfort.

There are those times when something great happens and I really want to have a celebratory hug with someone…but I’ve discovered that all my kids together is a pretty strong hug!

But…sometimes I long for a real, solid set of arms around me.  Sometimes I want to let my tears flow hidden in the shelter of strong arms.  Sometimes after a weary day, I just want to lean heavily on someone.  What do I do then?

God is real and He is strong, but He doesn’t hold me like that…you know what I mean?  I don’t mean to sound fussy…I get it.  I believe that God gives us what we need.  I know He is enough.  I KNOW it.  He has proven it.  I guess this is one of those times that I just gotta step out in faith and ask God to hug me…”Jesus hold me, please.”  I believe that somehow or another at the end of the day I will feel held.  I will feel comforted.  I will feel strengthened and peaceful.

And maybe someday I’ll feel those big strong arms again…and maybe I’ll just have to wait until I’m greeted by the biggest, strongest arms of my Savior!  That’s definitely worth the wait.

The Big White Box

In my garage is a giant white box.  It’s an albatross of sorts.  It’s been sitting in there for months.  It’s my wedding dress, and for the life of me I can’t figure out what to do with it.  I got married in 1990 so it’s big and poufy – beautiful, but big and poufy nonetheless.  I doubt, unless fashion comes WAY back around, that any of my daughters will ask to wear it.  I don’t know if I’d want them to – I’m not superstitious but ugh.

I keep thinking that maybe I could donate it, but where?  My oldest daughter recommended making pillows with it – those would be some gaudy pillows to be sure!  I’ve thought about keeping some of the fabric – it’s gorgeous, but truly it’ll just end up in a box in the basement with all the other fabric I’m not going to do anything with for the next 15 years.  (The number of projects I’m saving for my empty-nest years is staggering!)

There is probably some interesting psychological issue for me keeping it in the garage, haphazardly thrown between the freezer and the bikes.  Keeping it is probably the bigger issue – not the throwing.  Throwing it anywhere including away would be more understandable in some ways.  What am I doing with this silly dress – or maybe I should ask, “What am I going to do with this silly dress?”

I have a box of wedding and marriage memorabilia in the basement.  It‘s full of those sweet things you keep from your wedding day and honeymoon.  There are love notes and cards – even ones I received during the months before my husband left.  I keep them because I want my children to see that we really loved each other.  I hope that’s a good idea.  The dress won’t fit in that box – otherwise I’d probably cram it in.

There are plenty of pictures of me in the dress.  That should suffice.  I guess I want that blasted dress to mean something it can’t anymore. My dress is just a picture of lost hopes and dreams.  Betrayal and lies.  Wow, that sounds like a made for TV movie, “The Wedding Dress”   “Lace and Satin turns to lies and scandal!!!!  Watch this weekend at 9 on Lifetime!!!”

I guess in some ways I’m blessed because I don’t look at it with any regret.  I’m thankful that I had 17+ joyful years of marriage.  There is something to be said for blissfully unaware.  Marriage wasn’t always easy or fun, but I loved being married – maybe that’s why I struggle with what to do with the wedding dress.  I don’t have bad memories – well, not until the end.  Ugh…and those memories were about someone very different than the man I walked towards down that church aisle.  God is so gracious to give me good memories and a pretty okay perspective about the present.  It is ALL Him!  I’m so thankful.  Otherwise, I’d probably have burned this dress in the middle of the cul-de-sac!

As I write this I’m realizing that it really doesn’t symbolize anything good or bad.  It’s just a dress I wore not anything more.  It was lovely and a joy to wear.  I’ll leave it at that.  Maybe there is some dear young bride who would enjoy my beautiful dress?  Maybe they can de-pouf it?

I suppose I have my answer. Clean-up day at our house is fast approaching.  I think I will add one more thing to the list.

#142  Find a good home for that big white box.

Changes – the good, the bad and the just different

Today is a wistful feeling sort of day for me.  I’m not sure what prompted it – maybe its planning for college for my oldest or planning kindergarten for my youngest.  I’m missing a simpler time.  When a perfect day involved reading on the sofa, math on the patio, and memory work in the cul-de-sac.  I miss being with my children 24/7.  It was beautiful chaos.  Of course, there were days I would have LOVED to forget about grammar, biology and lap books.  And other days I just wanted to read my book rather than “The Vikings” to 5 squirrely kids.  But oh, what I wouldn’t give to have one of those days again.  I miss them – the sweet simplicity of our life back then.

When my husband left lots of things changed.  Some things became something different, not necessarily bad.  Some things became better.  And then there are those things that became something altogether unwanted.

I had to go back to work full time which meant 5 children to school or day care.  A huge challenge for us all.  We survived and, dare I say, thrived.  We figured it out.  Not pretty but doable.

Now my children are 3 years older and I wish I could say that I was 3 years wiser…maybe.  Some days I think I’m doing pretty well and then other days, I can’t seem to keep the muttering mommy away.  She grumps around the house fussing at everyone and acting annoyed at everything.  Where did fun mommy go?  She used to be here all the time…even on the most stressful of days.  Now, she’s lost in the work and worry.  I have so much to do and so much to deal with and so much less money than I’d like.  But then I have to ask myself…is this the mom I want my kids to remember?  Is this the woman I want to be?  Do I trust God or not?

Recently I’ve been studying James – a very challenging book of the Bible.  It got me thinking.  This whole faith thing isn’t just believing, it’s living.  I was trying to encourage a friend’s faith recently and now I’m finding that everything I shared applies very much to me.  (Dang it.)  My faith needs to be the place where I start, and end, and all the stuff in between.  James calls us double-minded when we are half-hearted in our commitment to God.  I’m committed to God…truly, but I’m finding that this single mom life really makes it difficult to keep my focus on Christ rather than my circumstances.  I’m so busy looking at the train wreck that is my life, I’m missing the beauty of the life God is building before me.   James also informs me that the ultimate result of my double-mindedness is instability and vulnerability.   Ouch.  I see the instability in my life especially in my overly emotional reaction to things.  I’m vulnerable to fear, anxiety and sleepless nights.  I must ask myself, “Do I believe what I say I believe?”  Do I believe that God is enough – He says He is!  Do I believe that God will provide?  Do I believe that God will give me His peace and strength – for my heart and my mind?  Do I believe that He loves me?

I have to say that I do.  I do believe.

The prophet Elijah once asked the people of Israel, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal (the idol du jour), then follow him.”  (1 Kings 18:21)  What are my idols du jour?  Peace?  My children’s salvation?  My children’s character? The future?  Time to accomplish everything?  Sleep?  Health?  An organized house? Financial security? …. There are more but I’ll stop.   I think at one time or another, probably each day, I’ve made those idols much more influential in my life than my faith.  (No wonder I’m a mess.)

I think one of the biggest changes because of my husband’s departure is me.  Although things that didn’t challenge before, challenge now; things I took for granted have become struggles; and things I could never imagine happening, have happened, I can say the changes in me have often been for the better.  Things I could never imagine surviving; I’ve survived.  I understand God’s faithfulness in all circumstances.  I’m learning to count it ALL joy.  I’m becoming a stronger, more focused woman in many ways…I just need to get and keep my focus firmly on the right thing.   I’m choosing Jesus.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.  The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.  The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.  Psalm 121

Things that Go Kerthump in the Night

How sad is it that at 4:30 am I was trying to think of how I would describe the noise that work me up at 3:30 am.  I’m not good at onomatopoeia.  Pahpahumpump kinda fits, but not exactly.  It was one of those times when I wasn’t sure if I’d actually heard it or just dreamt it.  So I laid there straining my ears. Nothing. I realized that if I was ever going to sleep again, I just needed to go check out the noise.  I dragged myself out of bed and instantly had a big old pitiful me party because there wasn’t some big, strong husband for me to push outta bed and check on scary noises.  I’ll blame that moment of weakness on the late hour of the night.

I’m almost embarassed to say this, but I did it, so I’ll share it — I woke up one of my teenagers so someone was awake while I did my security sweep. My poor child.   That made me wish again for a partner to have my back.  But I didn’t dwell…I was on a mission.

With my cell phone handy and ready to dial 9-1-1 at a moments notice, I flicked on the lights and walked around my house checking doors, windows and closets.  All clear – thank goodness!  Don’t know what I’d do if I actually did find someone.  Hopefully something intelligent and brave.

I’ve come a long way.  I’m becoming a strong mama. I can bravely do so many things I would have absolutely dreaded before.  I recall many times during my married life when I was afraid to be alone, feared going out by myself at night, hated going down to the basement (well….occasionally I still do)…  I couldn’t have imagined facing my fears head on without anxiety.  Now I live a new kind of life that requires me to face and master my anxious thoughts.

Many years ago, my mantra verse was Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  I really REALLY struggled with fear.  Then 9/11 happened and I basically had a freakout period – I couldn’t figure out how to begin to protect my children from this world and all its dangers.  Thankfully, God got my attention. I had to decide if I trusted Him or not.  I knew I trusted deep down.  And, if I trusted Him with my life, I needed to trust Him with everything and that included my children.  I still struggled at times (see above – basements can be scary) to live out my trust.  The things I deal with now – fear of the future, fear of failure as a single mom, fear of being alone, fear for the way all this will impact my children, fear of lots of stuff.

The first year after my husband left I had a lot of fears come crashing in.  In ways I can’t comprehend, God was gracious to fill me with His peace.  I found Him to be more than faithful in the big and small.  I know that He still is and always will be my provider, my strength and my hope.  I grabbed hold of verses like Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you.”  I love all those verses that command us to be strong and courageous.  Did you know that God commands us to not be afraid more than any other command in the Bible?  I’ve read that God says it 366 times – one for every day, even leap year!

There will be noises in the nights and dark basements to deal with, but we face our fears because we must.  We will be strong and courageous mommas!  We don’t need to be afraid – not one single day or night!


Were you ever certain that God was asking you to do something that seemed completely ridiculous and a bit unexpected?  That is probably a “duh” questions to some degree.  God seems to always be asking us to do challenging things – I might even say bizarre by the world’s standard things.

Yesterday I sat at my son Peter’s school waiting for him to be presented with a Birthday Book Certificate.  I’d donated a book to the school library in honor of his birthday.  When I filled out the form, I wrote that the book was from Mom, Zach, Emma, Elizabeth and Allison.

Before he even received it, I was dreading hearing them read off those names minus one very important one.  It struck me that maybe I should have included his father on that list.  He doesn’t deserve to be there nor did he contribute to the book, but I believe it would have been a really cool thing to do for my son.  Totally a lost opportunity to bless him.

Tomorrow is Pete’s birthday and I’m planning on taking him out to dinner after school.  Can’t wait!  His Dad just texted me and asked when he could give Pete his present.  I decided to go for it and be the woman I want to be even if I wasn’t totally “feeling” it.  I invited him to have dinner with us.  After I texted him, I felt such peace even as I, with trepidation, tried to think of what a dinner with my ex-husband and our 5 children would look and feel like.  Regardless of my anxious thoughts, it was the right thing to do.

I read a great book several years ago by Watchman Nee entitled, Sit, Walk, Stand.  Listen to this quote, “Nothing has done greater damage to our Christian testimony than our trying to be right and demanding right of others.  We become preoccupied with what is and what is not right.  We ask ourselves,  Have we been justly or unjustly treated? and we think thus to vindicate our actions.  But that is not our standard.  The whole question for us is one of cross-bearing.  You ask me, “Is it right for someone to strike my cheek?”  I reply, “Of course not!  But the question is, do you only want to be right?”  As Christians our standard of living can never be “right or wrong,” but the Cross.”

He goes on to share a story about a farmer in China whose neighbor began to steal water from his irrigation stream.  Each time he would fix it, the neighbor would make a breach and steal the water.  The farmer asked his Christian brothers what he should do.  “I have tried to be patient and not to retaliate,” he said, “but is it right?”  They all prayed.  (How I wish I would always remember to pray before I offer advice!)  One of the brothers responded, “If we only try to do the right thing, surely we are very poor Christians.  We have to do something more than what is right.”  The farmer took the advice to heart and the next day he pumped water for his neighbor’s two fields before he pumped for his own.  His neighbor was astonished by the farmers actions and began asking questions.  Those questions led to his salvation!  The farmer did what was unexpected and the results were beyond his expectations as well!

That’s my hope – my prayer – that God will give me the ability to do more than what is expected or understandable.  I want to be like Jesus.

I’m thankful that I went with the Holy Spirit’s prompting – totally wasn’t my idea to be sure.  Pete’s Dad didn’t accept the invitation, but maybe next year.  That would certainly be unexpected!

Wonderful Weekend of Woes

This weekend was so difficult and wonderful.  My life is sweetness and sorrow constantly vying for my attention.  The quality of my day depends upon my willingness to see the stuff to be thankful for rather than the stuff to complain about, but sometimes its hard to choose the right one.

This weekend began with a college road trip with my oldest son.  It was such fun.  And yet, it was another time when I felt my single parent status acutely.  There were plenty of kids with only one parent there – although all had wedding bands on.  I almost switched my ring to my left hand ring finger just to fake it.  It’s just so awkward having to respond to a question about my husband with, “I’m not married.”  They feel awkward…I feel awkward …awkwardness abounds.  But I don’t know how else to answer.

It bruised my heart to sit in the financial aid meeting knowing that all of it was my responsibility alone.  Filling out forms, filing forms, figuring out scholarships, loans, grants and work-study possibilities is daunting in my already cluttered mental world.  I know I’ll be fine.  I’ll get it done.  It’s just another burden I’d like to share with my husband, but even saying that seems ridiculous because he isn’t my husband anymore.  I could say ex-husband, but I don’t want to share it with HIM…I want to share it with my husband – that guy I married 20 years ago.  He doesn’t exist anymore so there is no point in going there.

The next day found us racing back to Fredericksburg for my younger son’s bridging to Boy Scouts ceremony.  My ex-husband had made reservations for all 7 of us for the event.  Another thing that was weird but shouldn’t have been –it’s how it should have been…should be…but it isn’t.  We sat together, took pictures together and celebrated together.  As a family — but not.

Later that day we attended my son’s basketball game.  We again found ourselves sitting together and cheering for our son’s team.  At one point, after the game, my little girls scampered ahead and my ex-husband and myself walked side by side to the end of the game huddle.  I thought, “This is what it should be like.”  Don’t get me wrong…I don’t want that man I was walking beside as my husband.  He isn’t the man I married –not sure who he is.  It’s more the idea of what it should be.  We look like a big happy family but we aren’t.  We are a get along despite these terrible circumstances kinda family.  I don’t want to be that kinda family.  Unfortunately unavoidable.

I’m not sure what to think half the time.  Thankfully, we can walk side by side down the hall without tripping each other on purpose.  Thankfully, we can sit together at a game and comment on our children without glaring at each other.  There are many things to focus on that are heartening, but I can’t seem to get past the actual circumstances which aren’t really positive in the grand scheme of things.

So what now…make the best of it I guess.  Believe that God can and will turn all this gunk into something good.  Our family is a mess in many ways, but the fact that we can sit together and celebrate together is a huge blessing.  Thank you Lord that you work in whatever situation we find ourselves.  Please give me eyes to see opportunities to practice thankfulness even in the midst of struggle and sadness.

My Two-by-Four (P.S. It has a happy ending)

Recently I’ve been struck, like a two-by-four, by the loss of dreams.  It seems we all have lost dreams.  I’ve lost some dreams that I thought were givens.  The biggest being my “til death do us part” marriage.  Lately my dream of a happily ever after seems a bit out of reach as well.  I’ve realized that this life, this single mom life, doesn’t end up happily ever after very easily.  I think I have secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, been hoping for my prince charming to come on the scene.  I don’t think he’s coming any time soon, and honestly, after some of the things people have shared with me about step families, maybe that’s a good thing right now.  Nonetheless, it breaks my heart.

I long to be married again – for a partner in this life and for a stepfather who loves my children with abandon.  I know that apart from God that is unlikely.  I don’t just have baggage, I have a storage unit.  I think it just hit me that even if someone decided to join our chaos, it would be very challenging and not happily ever after from the start.  I was hoping for a rescue, dang it!

I sat down today in tears thinking about what I want and how far aways it seems.  And I felt the injustice of my ex-husband being remarried.  I can’t simply marry for me; I have to marry for 6.  Please know that I wouldn’t have it any other way – sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair.  (I sound like my 5 year old.)  I will tell you, immediately following that thought, God got all up in my face.  He reminded me that I have HIM.  And, truly, really, Jesus is so much better than anyone or anything else.  Why do I forget that so easily?  Well, I know one reason because He isn’t flesh and blood standing next to me with his arm on my shoulder…but God says He is enough and I believe Him.

It’s like I can tell everyone that I trust God – that He is enough – but then I have a disappointing day or a sorrowful moment of reminder, and I spiral down.  I forget that His grace is sufficient.  I forget that this life is about me knowing, loving and glorifying Him.  God forgive me, I want more.  I want someone who loves me with hugs and kisses and looks.  I want romance, love and companionship.   I pray that the Lord will give me grace to see beyond the challenges, beyond the sadness, beyond the brokenness to His unfailing love, His faithfulness, and His healing.

I’m determined that even though there will be moments when I long for what I’m missing, there will be more moments when I remember what I have.  I have 5 wonderful children who I love with abandon.  I have a Savior who loves me with abandon – to death on the Cross and back again.  I have a life to live and I can still dream big dreams because I have a big God.  With God all things are possible – whether that’s a godly man joining our family or me knowing that happily ever after is a given because that’s how God planned it.