Tuesday, June 19, 2012

father's day...

there are some amazing men in my life...fathers, dads, grandpas...exceptional examples of what it takes to raise little people and to then continue loving and encouraging us not so little people. some of these men have been in my life forever, and some i've met over the years, but each have taught me something...each influenced me in valuable ways.

i went to lathrop sunday...spent the day with the man who loved me first, the man who showed me what true unconditional, Christ-centered love means. i walked into our church, sat with my sister, and spent most of the service thinking of him...of all the ways i've seen him in that building over the course of my life...of all the words he's shared...and all of the silent ways he has spoken to me. he's not perfect by any means, made his share of mistakes and quietly owns up to them when asked. in the same respect, he has given the three of us room to mess up...space to create our lives, ready on the sidelines to help us back up if we stumble. he is quick with a smile and slow to criticize, smart and witty, yet humble and kind. his love has carried me when i was certain i mattered to no one...gently encouraging me to stand back up and live my life.

we spent the afternoon together at the lake...and it was perfect. his happiness is one of simple indulgences...working in the shop, taking communion on sunday, hearing his grandchildren laugh...and watching his daughters...stopping whatever he's doing to listen to us, even if we're rambling or stumbling over each other as we often do. his blue eyes were full of contentment sunday...sitting in that lawn chair...beer in hand...surrounded by the people he loves most in this world...telling stories and laughing like i haven't heard him laugh in a long time. it was his happiness that mattered most in those moments, his smile i loved seeing the most...it was such a good day...one we couldn't recreate if we tried, but one i'll remember always i'm certain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


what defines you?  how do you see yourself, especially when no one else is looking?  do you see confidence, or hidden defeat masked by sarcasm and wit?  do you see strength and courage or fear and weakness that you try and keep under wraps by showing just how "fearless" you are?  are you empathetic and generous...or self-centered and greedy; controlled by the need to fit in with others who truthfully don't deserve your time or attention?  do you find yourself afraid of what others think or certain that you are right where you're supposed to be in this moment...finding peace and contentment in the life you're living?

it occurred to me the other day that i no longer feel like i'm defined by my divorce...that i see myself as a single mom for sure, but not so much "divorced".  now, don't get me wrong, of course i'm divorced - i can't erase that from my past and there are scars and demons from that portion of my life that will always be with me...some visible and some contained deep within my soul where only i can feel them.  but, i remember reading that there comes a point where you no longer feel so burdened by that label; when you realize that you are just...you...a new version of you no doubt, but simply you none the less.  not faith, the divorced mom...but, rather, just faith...me, the version of me i've spent the last several years creating...carrying with me parts that existed before and discovering new things about myself that i'm not sure i ever knew were there.  i hated being seen as that...as the divorced mom...especially when we went to school events where families are out in full-force and i always seemed to stand out...strangely, in an environment i had always loved, yet had grown to feel extremely uncomfortable in because of my own insecurities.  i almost dreaded those events and never quite felt like i fit.  i was certain that the two of us had some sort of a "scarlet" letter across our chests...something that visibly defined us as different...or, worse, not quite equal in the eyes of our peers.

i realize that really isn't the case...that there are way more single-parent families around than my eyes seem to see during those moments...that people don't necessarily look down on us because we are on our own...but, it's something i've struggled with and still do to some extent. 

but, with this new realization comes something i'm fairly certain i've never really done before...taken time to stop and figure out what i want for my life, for our life...without taking someone else into consideration...without basing my decisions on the "hope" that someone else will fill the holes.  instead, i'm filling them myself...allowing myself to look forward just as i am, to really think about what i want my life to look like.  so, i'm thinking about things like...where do i want to be?  do i really want to try and write - not just on here, but legitimately try and make something of it?  where do i want to go to church?  who do i want to truly influence m?  how do i prepare for the future?  and all sorts of other random things.  i finally don't feel "stuck" and am really okay with stepping forward on my own...i like it actually, and have realized that i'm good on my own, that i like defining my life...that i'm way stronger than i ever thought and that i have things to offer...that i don't need someone else to make me complete. 

as for what defines me...well, read the "me" page and you'll get the idea.  but, for the most part, i'm a mom who loves her daughter more than anything...a woman who wants so much from this one life, yet is sometimes afraid to truly chase after her dreams for fear of failing...and, i'm completely human...i screw up more than i want to admit, but am thankfully saved by the power of grace - given in great doses by not only God, but those He surrounds me with...