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

FullSizeRender

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”

IMG_1146

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. ❤

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

fullsizerender-82

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

fullsizerender-74

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

photo (1)

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. ❤

Let it Heal

fullsizerender-69

First off, if you love Jesus freak worship music as much as I do, please do me a solid and listen to the songs below. I heard them this morning and was reminded how we can get through anything with the Lord’s comfort and presence (divorce included).

Good, Good Father

The Lion and The Lamb

Other great reminders I have encountered this week have been reflections of a past conversation and reading through a motivational piece on healing from painful experiences, both of which I’ll share.

I remember having a conversation pretty fresh after the affair about how I just couldn’t imagine my life without my (now ex) husband. We committed to forever when we got married and when those vows were said I removed the idea that this person would ever leave my life. So when the unthinkable happens, and they are abruptly taken from your union, it feels impossible for life to go on. The advice I received was this: Think of the life you had before the two of you met. We met when I was 22, so that would be 21 years. 21 years of experiences, friendships, adventures, growth, you name it … Rich and fulfilling years lived without this person. And guess what? There will be those years after he’s gone.

Now, at the time, this advice probably caused a scene of me sobbing in public. I didn’t want to imagine life without my husband. It just brought me too much sadness. However, over time this advice rung truth. My life and all that made up who I am was amazing before he was in my life and it will continue to be after he’s out of my life. I totally get that you feel like there’s no life without that person, but I am here (and living proof) to tell you there is plenty of life to be lived without them. And like the good kind of living, not the kind weighed down by someone else’s toxic choices. So please, remind yourself over and over again, that your life existed before and it will more than exist (and then some) after.

On to my next piece of Wednesday encouragement! I was reading a piece about how to recover from painful experiences.

I loved how simple, yet powerful this was:

Let it hurt.

Let it bleed.

Let it heal.

And let it go.

Good stuff right there! Last and certainly NOT least, thank you all so much for your encouragement and support over the release of my book. The “official” launch date is coming soon, but I can’t thank you all enough for the incredible feedback I have received. This community was a huge motivator to finish writing the book as some days I did not have faith that it would actually get done. As always, I thank you for sharing your hearts with me and I am happy we are together as one tribe moving forward from divorce.

Follow Along

FullSizeRender (59)

I am in the process of reorganizing the content on the blog into more defined categories. This was a suggestion from one of my readers. There are so many pit stops on the long journey from an affair and divorce to co-parenting and re-marriage. I want to make sure this community is comforted at all of the various points along the way. As I am putting some finishing touches on my book, I am reminded just how long and continual the healing process is. I want to be your hope for love again and a healthy heart, but I also want to comfort your grief and encourage your healing!

With that, I wanted to encourage you to follow my friends over at Bloom. You can check out their site, but even just their Insta is awesome! Nothing like thumbing through your feed to find just the encouragement you need at the exact time you need it. I recorded a podcast with them a couple months back and partnering with them was a real treat!

So there’s a quick update from my heart to yours. I have much to share in the next month about small triumphs from my summer. Sending an, “atta girl” your way for all of the triumphs made, big or small. Keep it up!

All Your Strength

FullSizeRender (58)

Here’s some inspiration for your Wednesday! Even if your strength level is low this morning and you are feeling burdened, you can still put all of who you are into the tasks before you. I have been praying for all of your hearts, whether freshly broken or on their healing way. Even though my blogging has been less in these summer months, my prayers have not stopped for all of you. Keep sharing your stories with me. We are in this together, pouring whatever strength we have into the beauty of continued healing.