Pain & Our Babies

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Since I am two years past my divorce, and close to five years past the beginning of the crazy downward spiral, my pain has been dealt with. The pain I feel is no longer my own personal heartbreak. Healing, time, and prayer have been there along the way to help rid that pain. However, the residual pain is different. It’s less personal and more channeled for my daughter. I feel pain that I anticipate her feeling because of our divorce. I feel pain when I think about how she was the innocent victim of two people’s choice to sin. I think about how she will feel if she finds out what I went through, what her daddy did to mommy. All of this hypothetical pain can get exhausting.

One of my favorite authors about all things self-help and overcoming hardship is Glennon Doyle. She was actually a huge motivator for me to finish my book. Anyhow, she wrote this recently about our fear as parents. It resonated with me and as much as I still resist the thought of my babies ever experiencing pain, I do see the beauty on the other side. And that is not all bad. Quite the opposite.    

“I always feared that my babies’ pain was my failure. But if learning to step into life’s struggle is my warrior journey, isn’t it theirs too?

More than anything, I want my kids to grow up to be brave, kind, wise, resilient humans.

So what is it in a human life that creates bravery, kindness, wisdom, and resilience?

What if it’s pain? What if it’s the struggle?

The bravest people I know are those who’ve walked through the fire and come out on the other side. They are the ones who’ve overcome again and again – not those who had nothing to overcome. They are the ones who no longer avoid the fires of life – because they have learned that they are fireproof.

What if we are trying to protect our kids from the one thing that will allow them to be the men and women we dream they’ll be?

Maybe our job as parents is not to protect them from pain, but to hold their hands and walk into their pain with them.

If we want to invite our children to be warriors, we need to look at them and say: ‘I see your pain- it’s big and it’s real. But I see your courage, too – and it’s bigger and more real. That fire won’t burn you, you’re fireproof.”

Be encouraged, friends. Don’t let fear bog you down. Walk in the pain with your children. Hold them, pray for them, hear them, and show them the beauty that can come when we let courage take over.

Light of the Broken

FullSizeRender (2)I hope this post finds you all enjoying summer and finding moments of joy wherever you can! Summer has me traveling and enjoying the sunshine with my family.  My prayers, of course, are still with you! And thank you for those of you who reach out to me for guidance. I truly love helping you through whatever stage you’re in.

I am working on a few side projects right now that I am eager to share with you. One is the much-awaited piece on co-parenting that I’ve had brewing in my mind for about a year now. That dynamic is not one to be explained simply, so it’s not surprising it’s been difficult to craft.

All that aside, I read this quote a few weeks back and it really encouraged me. I hope that you too find that there is much beauty to be seen in the pain.

“The broken will always be able to love harder than most. Once you have been in the dark, you learn to appreciate everything that shines.” -Zachary K. Douglas

My hope and prayer for you is that the darkness you’ve endured through your divorce will be the means of seeing the world in a brighter light than before. I know that I certainly appreciate the life God has blessed me with now all the more because I lived through such a season of darkness. Divorce is dark and painful, no one is denying that. However, the brightness that comes in the rebuild is beautiful. Love and prayers to all of you, my friends.

Divorce is Not Failure

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I came across a really powerful article and wanted to share it with all of you. I related so closely it was as if the words were my own. It’s so easy to feel like if your marriage ended in divorce it failed. This not the case, friends. Give this article a read and be encouraged that divorce is not a failure, but an avenue for strength.

To choose divorce is not to choose failure.

To choose divorce is to sink lower than you ever thought possible. Then once you reach that abyss, when you are in your weakest hour, divorce grabs you by the scruff of your neck, slams you against the wall, and demands that you find the greatest strength and courage of all — an inner strength from somewhere deep inside — to carve out a new path. It is a strength that takes a long time to find and an even longer time to recover from.”

Find the article, To Choose Divorce is Not to Choose Failure, over at ScaryMommy. If you’re a mommy, I recommend following this blog anyhow. It’s so spot on and quite hilarious!

Have a happy Wednesday. My prayers are with you!

“God Gave Her to Me”

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This past week I went to an adorable celebration at my daughter’s school called Moms & Muffins. I don’t say this to sound like mom of the year nor to be cliche, but one on one time with my daughter is gold. My daughter and I spent four years, just her and I. And now, with our present day blended family, I share her with three other parents. Are there perks to sharing in the parenting of this beautiful little girl? Absolutely (another post I am working on)! Qualities, attributes, and love shown to her by four parents instead of two is not all bad, folks. Okay, let’s stay on topic here … I am convinced the days and nights we spent just the two of us created something real special. She was my drive to keep my shit together when I was on the verge of losing it. She was this insane beauty beaming through the ashes of my dead marriage. That bright bond we created through such darkness will always be there.

Our morning together, celebrating Mother’s Day at her school is a time I will always treasure. We ate muffins, read stories, and she showed me all of these insanely cute projects she had been making for me. When her teachers asked her why I am special, her response was: “God gave her to me” and then of course, what I was good at: “sweeping the floors” … Oh my, I freaking love her.

Her first answer really did make me want to weep on the spot. “God gave her to me” … I think as mothers we can agree that this is how we feel about our children. God gave them to us. They are our gifts. For divorced mamas especially, they are this silver lining that came from so much heartache. And here I am reading her words, God gave ME to HER. ME? Ugh. I am not sure how many of you are with me in that I feel like I fall short as a mommy more often than not. Yet through her eyes, I am this amazing gift. Humbling, no doubt.

I read this really great piece about the Good Shepherd last week and it spoke to my mama heart pretty hard:

“You know yours, and they know you. Just like the Good Shepherd, you rise every morning to lay down your life again. Even in small ways the world never sees. But the Father sees you and loves you. He knows your heart longs to be like the One who is Love.

If you listen, you will hear His voice. What you long for will lead you.

He promised you this. His promises do not fail. He is the Good Shepherd.”

What an incredible encouragement for mothers. Knowing our shortcomings, our sin, and the stuff we lay down morning after morning is made whole through His love and promises. God’s good grace fills in the gaps of our mommy fails. And our little ones? They have hearts eyes for all that makes up our beautiful mess. We are their gift and they are ours. Let us not forget this truth!

Divorce and single motherhood can really magnify the ways we think we are “failing” our littles. Promise me this, if this Mother’s Day greets you mid-divorce or as a single mama, read some advice I wrote when this too was my reality. As most of you know this will be my first Mother’s Day in four years that I do have an amazing husband to celebrate with (there’s hope!). However, I feel deeply for you ladies on the other side. Give my words a read from last year describing past Mother’s Days.

I pray that ALL the mamas out there will feel loved by their little ones, peace from our Good Shepherd and overwhelming gratitude for the many amazing ways they’re raising these incredible gifts we’ve been given. ❤

I Do (take two)

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I shared my story over on one of my favorite blogs this morning! It’s my first article where I talk about God’s gift of a second marriage and all the feels that go along with starting over. Excited to write more about this current stage of remarriage, co-parenting, and living out our blended family in the best ways we know how. Enjoy!

My Superheroes

Happy International Women’s Day! I know this day can be pulled in a million different directions of social, economic, cultural and political greatness that women have accomplished in the past and hope to continue in the future. While this is obviously worth celebrating and then some, the greatness that came to my mind was the strength that makes up all of you.

The greatness that is all of the women who are fighting to save their marriages. Or the ones who have rocked their life after divorce. The ones who didn’t sign up for this path, but are overcoming it like a champ. The ones who take it (whatever it is) and handle the heck out of it. Today we celebrate all of YOU, my superheroes. 

One of my favorite quotes by the dear Elizabeth Gilbert seemed perfectly fitting for this day:

“The women I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong and they handled it. They handled it a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”

Take Heart

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Oh dear ones, I can’t believe the last time I wrote to you was during the Christmas season! Well, from one holiday to the next, here we are at Valentine’s Day (sigh, for some). I wanted to connect and let you know that even though my blogging has been sparse, my heart is still woven in with all of yours. I pray for all of you, I think of all of you, and I am here for all of you!

A few things I wanted to update you on …

First and foremost, for those of you who’ve followed my story for awhile now, you knew that I had met an incredible man who I was starting my Life #2 with. Well, we got married two weeks back! Yay! There is SO. MUCH. HOPE. for life after betrayal and divorce. I will be writing a separate post on that, but had to give it a shout out!

Second, I am doing a Valentine’s book giveaway. Just like last time, first five to message me will get a free copy of my book in the mail as well as a valentine from me!

Lastly, if you’ve been dreadddddding this upcoming Hallmark holiday, head on over to the Valentine’s Survival Guide I wrote last year about getting through the gushy love days. It will help you survive the 14th of this month. Whether your heart is waiting or broken, there is hope and joy to be found during this season. My prayer is that you find it real good. 

Tis the Season

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Hello, all! And a happy Christmas to you! This season feels rushed each year and as much I attempt to press the slow-mo button, it never seems to happen. Maybe next year when I have a tad less competing with the holiday spirit (marriage/wife prep, home renovations, motherhood, working full-time, wedding planning, and book launching) I will be able to slow it down a bit. Enough of the rambles, I have two gifts to share with you!

First! I am doing a HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY. The first five followers to email/message me will receive a FREE copy of my book! I would love to give the gift of hope to the broken and hurting hearts out there during this holiday season. So go ahead, be the first five! And my story will be all yours to read.

Last year I wrote a post about co-parenting during the holidays. Give it a read because if we are honest, we all need that refresher when it comes to dealing with co-parenting. Even with the progress of each passing year, triggers will come up that need to be handled. Prepping your heart in the best ways you can will set you up for a smoother holiday exchange.

My prayer for you during this time (and always) is that you will hold on to the hope of healing and peace that will come. If you don’t feel them now, I am sorry. Keep taking care of yourself: mind, body, and soul. My heart breaks for your breaking hearts, but please be encouraged and know that you will be whole again. Sending you many prayers of peace. Trust in God’s ability to redeem the pain and suffering.

Image by The Hipster Housewife

Give Thanks

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One of my all time favorite sayings about this time of year reminds us to act as the changing leaves, taking all that is dead in our lives and letting it go. This truth applies to any part of your life that needs to stay in the past.

For wives who are mid or post trauma in their marriage, my prayer is that you would be able to completely let go of the dead relationship you’re recovering from. I pray that you would see a fresh start as exactly that and move forward full of hope for your new life.

For wives, who are now exes. The ones whose marriages died and that was that, my prayer is that you will be able to fully let go of that life. Grieve it, but let it go.

Either way, reminders of the former life will come, both good and bad. I pray that you’ll thank God for the happy memories and that He’d heal you from the bad ones. I pray that God would give us all the peace to leave the dead things in the season where they belong, the past.

In addition to leaving the past right where it belongs, we must remember what we are thankful for in the present. I remember seasons where it was difficult to be thankful. And currently, I have pages upon pages filled with gratitude. Whether you find one thing or twenty things, keep your heart focused on what you are thankful for. Gratitude combats bitterness. So start your list and keep it close. Meditate on all that brings you a thankful heart. ❤

Book Launch!

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Today marks the official launch of my book! Stop Wrecking My Home: How to Come out of a Broken Marriage in One Piece is now available for sale on Amazon. As many of you know, this project has been in the works for going on three years now and I couldn’t be happier to have it out there, ready to help women. Thank you to everyone who supported and encouraged this endeavor of mine. 

If you haven’t yet picked up your copy, just know that my story will help your heart heal. There’s nothing quite like hearing the words of someone who’s gone through what you have to move your life forward with hope.

Photo by Elissa Voss 

Cover Design by Kurtis Schureman, Caveman Crayon Design