Dear Lord,

Some thoughts.

I saw this photo earlier this week, and it really resonated with me.

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You don’t need big, beautiful, “churchy,” poetic words to talk to God. Nope. You don’t even need words at all. HE KNOWS. You don’t have to explain anything, just go and rest in Him.

This week has been a tough one for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons.  Losing someone unexpectedly is SO VERY HARD. While I had not known this person long, it was a wake-up call as to how things can change in an instant.  How life is so fragile.

It made my heart ache so deeply for those I know and saw and talked to who were close to this person.

It reminded me of the sermon that was preached last Sunday at Life Vineyard Church and words that I have heard from a few mentors.  You have to let yourself feel all of your feelings to be able to move through and heal.

But I will admit, I didn’t take that advice.

While I felt and grieved for everyone, I didn’t really let myself. I tried to numb my thoughts and feelings by eating and drinking junk so I could sleep and not think and feel my feelings.

Not my proudest moment, but I wasn’t sure if I could be a good support if I was grieving too.    *insert eyeroll*

So yesterday I went to God. I went to God and cried for everyone touched by this loss and  for myself.  I didn’t have words. HE KNEW.

Being in HIS presence is peace-giving, life-giving and healing.  While the sadness isn’t all gone, I have a lighter heart than I did before I went to HIM.

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One last thought.  Yes, Heaven is rejoicing by this good and faithful servant returning home.  BUT, I believe that Jesus is weeping with everyone touched by this loss.  It breaks His heart to see us heartbroken. Instead of the awful “everything happens for a reason” statement, I find more comfort in knowing that Jesus is weeping right along side of us.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay not to have any words.  HE KNOWS.

One Year Into Our Autism Journey

One year ago today, Gemma was officially diagnosed with Autism. In some ways it seems like there is no way a whole year has passed, and in other ways I feel like a lifetime has passed. Some of that is just life with kids (the days are long but the years fly by, amiright?), but a lot of it has been the continual, nonstop learning about autism.

Gemma’s diagnosis came only a few short weeks after my divorce was final. Yeah, that was fun. It was like life was handing me the ‘ol one-two-punch.

But, you know what? After the dust settled and we got into the groove of our new normal, I really started to find my passion through advocating for Gemma. You see it IS true, things are scary when you aren’t educated on the subject. So as I started researching, talking to her doctors, meeting fellow “AU-some” friends and getting Gemma enrolled into an incredible school, I replaced my attitude of fear with a warrior attitude.

When I first publicly talked about Gemma and autism, I was SCARED. TO. DEATH. to his “publish.” But looking back it was one of the best decisions I have made. There is so much freedom when you are vulnerable and when you are your authentic self. It gets easier the more you do it (my experience), and it also can make you feel lighter even going through heavy circumstances.

So many people reached out to me with similar stories, there is so much power in the two words “me too.” Not just the movement our country is embracing, but in anything… Divorce, autism, grief, parenthood struggles, the list goes on and on.  When you start talking about these things you quickly find out that you aren’t alone.

While I am not an expert on anything, if sharing my stories can help one person feel seen and less alone, it is so worth it.

While this last year has had huge leaps and bounds for Gemma, I have found that I have gained just as much (maybe more) from everything. Life is actually really sweet.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me, I appreciate all of you!

TUESDAY THINGS: 7 Fun Things About My Birthday Month (yes, it’s a month long event)

It’s heeeeere! My birthday month… and this one is a doozy…

On May 29th I’ll be re-celebrating my 39th birthday. Kidding, I’m actually 100% A-OK about turning the big four-oh-em-gee.

Fun things about birthdays:

1. Cake.

2. Parties.

– actually this is probably more like it:

Zzzzzzzzzzzz… #kids

3. Presents.

4. All. The. Pizza.

5. Wine.

– It’s fine. 40 is fine. I’m FINE. –

6. Friends.

7. More cake.

Here goes nuthin!

Thursday Things: Thinking About Resolutions

I’m a New Year’s junkie, and I am sharing one of my resolutions!

HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!! I’ve missed this space!!!!!

I had to take an unexpected hiatus due to L I F E.

^^^ Me handling life the last month ^^^

But now that life is settling a bit, I have started looking forward to 2018.  New Year’s is quite possibly my favorite holiday.  New beginnings, fresh starts, new goals, clean slate.  There is such promise, and I get so energized by it.

Also ^^this gif ^^ makes me so happy because I am over the moon about her engagement to Prince Harry!

I digress.

So in thinking about the new year, I am going to let you in on one of my resolutions. Why?  Because I am hoping some of you will join me!

I am letting myself fully enjoy the holidays… So. Many. Desserts.

But January 1st I am starting Whole30, and this time I am determined to CONQUER!

I know you all are sitting there like:

But I am serious:

This gives us (yes, US) a month to prepare.  It’s 30 days, WE CAN DO IT!

Also the Whole30 creator is coming out with a new book this coming Tuesday, it is a daily companion for the 30 days… Perfect timing!

Click here to see the book.

So, who’s with me?  Who wants to jumpstart your health in 2018?  It’ll be like a hard-reset for our bodies, and I am reeeeeeallllly looking forward to it!

Thursday Things: A Silent Retreat.

SHHHHHHH!

So this weekend I am going on a silent retreat.

I am excited.

And I am nervous.

We are talking (I mean NOT talking) Friday evening until Sunday afternoon with ZERO WORDS. I haven’t heard (or not heard) silence in:

4 years, 2 months and 3 days (when Ashton was born).

I am excited to heal, hear from God and rest, but I am nervous I will accidentally say something or laugh out loud.

I can’t wait to spend the weekend journaling and praying.  Lots of emotions going into the weekend, and I will probably have lots of words to share afterwards.

Whatever this weekend brings, I’m sure it will be fabulous!

Choosing “And”

A recurring theme of “AND” has been popping up in things I am reading, listening to and seeing online. We (me) too easily box ourselves, ideas, beliefs, God etc. in instead of being bold & free by accepting that things can and do coexist. This quote from Glennon Doyle really struck me yesterday:

“In life, the brutal won’t break us because the beautiful will sustain us.”

Life can be brutal & beautiful.

We can be brave & scared.

We can laugh & cry in the same hour.

We can have joy & have our heart can break for people/situations at the same time.

We can be messy & have moxie at the same time. (Jen)

We can be great moms & great at something unrelated to motherhood.

We can care about the suffering in our country & the suffering across the globe.

You better believe Jesus lived a life of “AND.” Can you imagine all the emotions he felt (at the same time) walking himself to his crucifixion? Jesus loved God AND wept. He also changed so many lives because he did life with so many different types of people. I want to live a big, bold, moxie-filled, Jesus-life of “and.” Who’s with me?

OH BOY, OH BOY, OH BOY!!!

Some exciting NEW things!

Oh I am SOOOOOO EXCITED to tell you guys about some fun things happening!!!!

 

But, you’ll have to wait another day or two before I can spill the beans…

 

I know, I know, that is soooo annoying, right?!?!  This is probably you right now:

I promise it will be worth it.

Aaaaaaand I might have a little sumthin sumthin just for YOU!

Stay tuned!