Posts tagged divorce
Do You Need a Little Hope?

Hope.

There’s nothing like it. Sometimes it’s all we have and sometimes it’s all we need.

That was me this past Monday morning. After a fun, but full week at Disney, then coming home to settle back in and the girl child getting the flu, and then her daddy getting the flu, I honestly didn’t think anything wonderful could come from our quarantine as I watched my productivity slip through the couch cushions.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

 
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Our time in Disney and the few days after transitioning back into real life was just crazy enough to put me over the edge with Josie (4 going on 16). Just crazy enough that I ordered a book on parenting. A book. Me. (For those of you who don’t know me, I can tell you that unless it’s the Twilight Series or Hunger Games, I’m probably not going to read any books. And I haven’t touched those since Josie was born, so you do the math.)

And my time in basement quarantine with a flu-ridden Josie watching animated movies dawn till dusk was just crazy enough to make me actually want to read the book. You guys, I read a book. Well, not the whole thing…yet. But stay with me.

I started reading this book Sunday afternoon while I plopped the kids in front of the TV (#iammotheroftheyear) and made trips up to the bedroom to make sure flu-daddy Ryan was still breathing (#iamwifeoftheyear). And I was caught up in something so amazing that the only word I can use to describe it is HOPE.

Everything this guy said was making sense to me. My brain and heart were consuming it at an amazingly powerful depth and speed. I pulled myself away from it to feed the children (#iammotheroftheyear) and throw them into bed before diving right back into these pages that were filling me with life. I saw a future for my family come alive on the pages that I want to sprint toward. Peace. Freedom. Confidence.

Victory was so sweet that I woke up the next morning ready to take on the entire world. My posture was changed. My demeanor. The way I interacted with my girl child. And here’s the important lesson in this for us. I hadn’t even gotten to the how-to section of the book. I merely read the heart behind the book and let it cover me in hope. And that hope was so tangible that it changed me. Motivated me to love better. Think deeper. See more clearly. Hope did that for me.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness..png

So what’s in it for you? Hope:

  • Cling to Hope: No matter what you’re going through, when you feel even a shred of hope, cling to it. Soak it in. Remember it and keep looking back on it as often as you need until the next piece of hope comes along.

  • Bring the Hope: Whether you’re waiting on hope or have it in full supply, you can be a hope-giver to someone who needs it. Never underestimate the power of sharing a smile or kind word with a stranger. Mailing a sweet note to a friend. Buying the cup of coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru. Giving another mom a Mother of the Year Award Sticker. Bring. That. Hope.

Remember, hope isn’t the end result. Hope isn’t a plan. Hope is the momentum to take us where we need to go. I still haven’t gotten to the how-to section of the book yet. But I have remembered the feeling of hope I had waking up on Monday morning. I remembered it as Josie lost her ever loving mind over me trying to tie her shoes. Losing her mind over the wrong color toothpaste. Losing her mind over you-name-it-and-she’s-lost-it. That sweet Monday morning was as close as I’ve come to living the verse that says, “His mercies are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

If you need hope like that, I have faith you’ll find it. I’ll pray you see it when it arrives. And if you’ve got all the hope you’ll ever need, let it spur you on to what’s ahead with confidence. And do me a favor, share your hope with another. Seriously. Be a hope-giver. We really need you out there!

Need some amazing inspiration to GET IN ON THE Mother of the Year Award Sticker Hope-Giving? Check THESE out!!!

 
 
"I'm Terrified and Struggling with Guilt and Shame" : One Mama's Confession Holds Lessons for Us All

Leslie heard about the I Am Mother of the Year Facebook group on KTIS radio station in Minneapolis, where I have the pleasure of chatting with Andy from the morning show every Wednesday. And what she heard was that we weren’t judgmental. That we were FOR ALL MOMS. That we root each other on no matter our differences. Turns out, we were exactly what she needed at the exact right time. I love when God works stuff like that out.

Here’s what she said, “I'm hoping that this group truly isn't judgmental because I could really use a great group of women for support. I'm 35, separated almost 2 years and going through the divorce process, going through bankruptcy, just started a new job, 10 1/2 weeks pregnant, and going through the pregnancy alone as the father flipped a switch and decided it was best if I terminated the pregnancy. I ended the relationship and am now a bit overwhelmed by everything that's been going on. I recently started attending church services again, which helps, but I'm terrified and struggling with guilt and shame over how this has all come about. Can't say that I would qualify as mom if the year at this point but maybe someday.”

 
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Oh my goodness. If Leslie was looking for support, she got it. More than 60 moms commented to give their shout of encouragement, hope, and prayers to this mama. And she was grateful.

When I reached out to her to get permission to share her story, she was willing, but doubtful that her story could be used to help anyone. And Leslie, friend, this is where you’re wrong!

Here are the two things that stuck out to me about your story that are a lesson for us all:

  • You are hopeful. Your story is evidence that there is hope for us all. No matter our circumstances, no matter our choices or the poor choices of others that impact our lives, no matter if we’re feeling like we deserve it or not, there is hope for us. You, Leslie, have made it your mission to look for hope in all of the right places. You sought community in a local church and online in our Facebook group. You found hope in and for the sweet, unborn baby growing in your belly. You found hope that was strong enough to end what sounds like a relationship not worth investing in. You found hope that maybe someday you would feel like Mother of the Year. (Of course, as many moms mentioned to you, you are already Mother of the Year because you are a really great mom who shows up for her kids!) From where I sit (several states over and a computer screen away), you are staging an amazing comeback! I’m so confident that you will look back on this hard road and smile because God brought you through it step by step. It won’t be easy. Comebacks rarely are. But it will be so worth it and you are well on your way!

  • You are vulnerable. Of course, part of being hopeful is being vulnerable. Author Ann Voskamp has this incredible quote that says, “Joy and pain. They are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living.” I am a firm believer that our stories are the greatest gifts we can give to those around us. None of us have it all together, but few of us are brave enough to be the first one to admit that. When we are honest with ourselves and others, we are able to free ourselves from the lies that would keep us lonely, shameful, and hopeless. And we get the great joy of freeing others who will speak up second, third, or fourth. Leslie, you are one of the brave that has gone first, and for that, we are all grateful. God is in the midst of redeeming your story, and we all need to see that because it expands our imaginations to see how God might redeem our stories as well. All the hurt, the pain, the good and the bad…my prayer is that as your story continues to unfold, you keep living with the knowledge that your life matters, that fear is your enemy, and when you know your worth, you will change your world. Keep taking that next tiny step, and watch God show up big time!

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There’s not much more I can say than that. Thank you, Leslie, for inspiring us with your story. Thank you to all of the amazing moms who did exactly what we have promised to do – encourage, celebrate, and support. I’ve got one overflowing heart over here!

Listen, if you’re lacking hope and not sure what the next step in your comeback story might be, make sure you join the Facebook group, download your free Self-Care guide, and register for the Spiritual DNA online course and live workshop. You will find so much clarity, peace, and hope! One step at a time, mama. And, as always, if you need anything, email me or drop a comment below! You are loved, friend!