I’m. So. Tired.

Do you want to know exhaustion? Try being a single mom to five kids. Then homeschool those five kids. Then throw in work. And school (I thought it’d be a good idea to go back to school? Full time. I’ve lost my mind). And have I mentioned that their dad takes them approximately 5 hours a week? Except for his weekends.

I’m not complaining. I’m not. I’m beyond grateful for the time I have with my kids. I’m beyond grateful for the job I have which allows me to mostly work from home. I’m grateful for the freedom to homeschool my children. I’m grateful that I can go back to school (I’m one of those nerds who just loves school). I’m grateful for all of it.

But I’m. so. tired.

Being a mom is hard. There’s all this pressure to do what’s best for your kids. You want to give them a good childhood and provide them with opportunities and raise them right. Discipline them but not too much. Give them good things but don’t spoil them. I’m telling you, though, being a mom who is divorced is like taking that pressure and multiplying it like a million times. You have all the normal pressures of being a mom, but now on top of that, you’re worried that them coming from a “broken” family will set them up for an entirely different set of problems. Some days I’m convinced that no matter my efforts, I’m going to screw them up.

And all that confusing parenting stuff becomes even murkier. For instance, if one of my kids is being moody, is it normal kid moodiness or is it rooted in something deeper related to their parents being separated? If it’s normal kid moodiness I might be tempted to tell them to snap out of it and get a better attitude. But if it’s something bigger…deeper…I want to be sensitive to that.

It’s the emotional/mental stuff that makes me the most tired. The physical stuff doesn’t get to me as much. I’ve always been somewhat of a go-getter. But there’s a heaviness to the day to day life that wears on you. And then it’s exasperated by the fact that at the end of the day there’s nobody here to share that heaviness with. There’s nobody here to put their arms around me and tell me it’s going to be ok. The kids go to bed and it’s a quiet, lonely place. And for as tired as I am, I don’t like the loneliness so I stay awake until ridiculous hours of the night.

Anyway.

I’m tired. But I’m glad I’m tired because I know it’s caused from me doing all I can for my kids.

But still, I could use a massage, a good night’s sleep, and maybe a husband.


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Dipping my toes in the dating pool…

 

 

…and I’m not liking it.

I’m coming up on my 2 year divorcaversary (that’s a real word according to Urban Dictionary). It blows my mind that it’s been that long.

The dating game is not fun, I’ve discovered. I’ve gone on numerous “first dates”. A couple have made it to date #2.

But there was this one guy that I became friends with and I thought it might actually turn into something. A really solid friendship was formed with this guy. One that went on for months. It didn’t start out as some awkward first date that feels more like an interview for position as “wife”. Speaking of, I went on a first date with one guy who was shooting off questions interview-style. Questions like “Do you like to cook?”, “What kind of food do you make?”, “Would you consider having more kids?”, “What’s your parenting style?”. Um….

With this guy it was different, though. There were no intentions of us even dating. We were just friends. But the friendship grew. It deepened. It started to turn into something more. Until that “something more” was too much. And then it ended. And the friendship went away.

It was the first time in 2 years I’ve put myself out there. Opened myself up to the possibility of a broken heart. It was the first time I became hopeful. But now I sit here with a broken heart anyway. What makes it so sad is that he was such a good friend to me. And now I’ve not only lost the potential of something meaningful, but I’ve lost a good friend in the process. It’s such a sad ordeal.

This whole dating in your mid-30’s being a divorced single mom is not fun.

I went on a date once with this guy who spent the entire dinner talking about how his ex-wife left him. For another woman. And how him and his ex-wife’s girlfriend’s ex-husband (are you following me?!) are now best friends. A sort of support for each other. I mean, sure….I guess? I think this guy was confused. He was on a date; it wasn’t a therapy session. And to top it off, the check came and he just gave me a blank look as if he were saying “aren’t you going to offer to split the check?” Ha, my dad taught me better than that, buddy. I looked him straight in the eyes, crossed my arms, and said “Thank you for dinner.” Maybe I would’ve considered splitting the check had I not felt like he owed me for the free therapy session. Nah, I wouldn’t have. I’m old-school. You want to take me out, you’re going to pay.

Anyway, so here I am. I’ve been dipping my toes into the dating pool and I’m not enjoying the temperature.


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embracing the journey

Embrace every moment of your journey. Every high and every low…they’re all part of your story.

You’ll look back at the joyful moments with smiles and fondness. You’ll look back at the hard times and you’ll be able to see how each and every struggle shaped and molded your heart.

Don’t despise the sadness. Don’t despise the loneliness. Don’t despise the struggle. Embrace them for they are opportunities to lean in on your Heavenly Father. Your heart is malleable in your brokenness.

Find your joy in His comfort. Find your joy in the transformation He’s completing in your heart.

He’s restoring you.

He’s healing you.

He’s showing you His truth.

Your soul will only feel completely loved by the one who gave you life. Find your completion in your relationship with your Creator. As you go through the struggles of life, lean into Him and enjoy the journey He’s taking you on. If you’ll let Him, He will use this path you’re on to bring you closer to Him.

Embrace the journey…it’s taking you to a wonderful place.

A place where He is.


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JOY

Your joy doesn’t take root in the people or things around you. It takes root in the truth that you are known and loved by your Creator. That joy then manifests itself in the world around you. When you see where your joy truly comes from, you can then feel joy no matter what your circumstance. To be rooted in the truth that His grace and love are truly sufficient will bring such an unshakeable, uncontainable, and unbelievable joy that others won’t help but notice.  It is not a happiness based on emotion but an internal force that gives hope despite your emotion.

Emotions change.

Circumstances change.

People change.

But God’s love for you NEVER changes.  And that is joy.

 

Those were words I wrote to myself in my journal over a year ago. But here I sit, once again, needing reminding of where my joy really comes from. It amazes me how quickly I forget.  It’s so easy to get caught up in life and placing my happiness in the circumstances surrounding me. It’s a maddening way to live, in all honesty. To let your inner peace and joy be determined by fleeting emotions and every-changing circumstances. All the more reason I’m convinced I need my Savior. If left to my own devices, I’d be spending my life in all sorts of highs and lows all dependent on what was going on in the world around me. There is no stability there. There is no peace there. But with Christ I have all I need. My world could be crumbling beneath me, but with my eyes focused on Him, I can have a peace that passes all understanding.


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Love, Hope, Dream

I hadn’t been divorced all of 3 months before I knew I needed to radically change the way I spoke to myself. To change the way I viewed life and love. To change the way I viewed myself. For so long I had looked in the mirror and spoken such ugly, hateful things to the girl looking back at me. I didn’t think she deserved to be spoken to with words of love and acceptance and encouragement. After all, that girl must’ve been something awful to deserve what she was getting from her husband.

So I bought myself a journal and I made the decision that I was going to start writing that girl letters of truth. Love letters. I found a spiral book with “Love, Hope, Dream” scrawled on the front. Yes, this was the journal I needed.  I needed to love myself.  I needed to find hope.  I needed to dream again. And that’s just what I started to do. Many days I would wake up and write about the first positive thought that popped into my head. Or maybe I’d write about the truth that I knew I needed to hear, but wasn’t hearing.

Here is a snippet of what went into that very first entry….

“Today I’m closing the door on all the hurt and pain and lies that have filled my heart. Today I reject the lies that tell me I’m not enough, that I’m not valuable, that I’m not beautiful or important or special, that I’m unlovable. Today I choose to heal. To grow. To learn. To HOPE. Today I choose to believe that I am special and beautiful and desired and valuable and ever so loveable. Today I will set boundaries for myself. I will set goals and make plans and dream and hope and THRIVE. Today I will embrace that I am ok right here and right now exactly the way I am. God is doing a work in me and I’m perfect in this place of brokenness because through my healing He will be glorified! Today I heal. Today I hope. Today I love myself.”

 


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there’s always hope

My morning starts with a prayer.  “God, you’re in control. Help me get through another day and remind me constantly that you’re in control. I trust you.  I love you. You’re in control.”  Then it’s time for my little pep talk.”You can do this.  You don’t need to find fulfillment in a man.  Through God’s grace, you’re strong and capable. Find your joy in Him, not some man. You can do this.”  Ok, I can open my eyes and face the day.

I hadn’t even left my driveway yet before my best friend calls with her morning check-in.  It’s what we do.  We’re both divorced and trying to figure this whole thing out. I guess in a way we’re sort of each other’s platonic mate. She’s the one I call in the middle of the night when panic creeps in and I feel like I might fall apart.  She calls me at the first sign of feeling in a “funk”. When we’re excited about anything in life, we have the other one on speed dial. We tell each other every dirty little secret we have and she’s the first one to talk some sense into me if I’m starting to jump on the crazy divorcee bandwagon. If a girl doesn’t have a husband then she sure as heck should have a bff like I have in her. Anyway.  “How’re you doing this morning?  You good?” Sigh. “Yeah, I’m good. I feel like I can do this, you know? I mean, I don’t want to be jaded and I’m losing all hope in men, but I can do this. I’m strong. I’m capable. I can be alone. I can do this.” Not even 6 hours later and I’m texting her how I’m so scared I’ll be alone forever.  It’s how this whole year has been. These little pep talks that give me temporary boosts of encouragement but it never takes long before life and emotions start telling me that nobody will ever choose me and I’ll grow old living in a house by myself with a dozen cats.

There’s a really fine line between feeling like you can be ok being on your own without letting your heart become hard. I’m afraid that if I tell myself too often that I can do this on my own then maybe eventually I’ll only want to do it on my own. Like my heart won’t be open to someone else coming alongside me because I’ve convinced myself that I don’t NEED somebody else. It’s a line that I feel like I trip over constantly.

She talked me through my moment of weakness and I know for the next few hours I’ll be ok. This is what we need.  We need these little reminders that there is hope on the horizon. That things won’t always feel so lonely or dark or sad or disappointing.  Those reminders from people in my life are like reminders straight from God. So, I take those reminders of hope and I cling to them.  And then when my spirit starts to falter yet again, I go back and I search for more hope.  And every time it’s there.  There’s always hope.

 


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Three years and one divorce later….

It’s been three years since my last post. Wow. Does anybody even read this silly blog, anyway? Ha, I highly doubt it.

So, why three years between postings?  Well, in three years, I had a baby (a homebirth, mind you, that was horrific and wonderful all at the same time), moved 2 days later, moved again one year after that, continued to work from home, homeschool my kids and then earlier this year…I got a divorce.

So, yeah, maybe “Christian Housewife” isn’t such a suitable blog name for me anymore.  However, I’m still very much a Christian and I still work at home while I homeschool this little crew of mine. All whilst navigating the waters of divorce. It’s been ridiculously challenging and eye-opening and healing and awful and every other good and bad thing in between.  It’s been a ride.  An up and down, over and under, loops and dips, screaming, stomach dropping, exhilarating ride. And I don’t ever want to ride it again.

But I’m here.  I’m surviving and healing and growing in my faith.  No, I’m LIVING off of my faith.  It’s the only thing that keeps me from crumbling into a giant divorcee mess.  Anyway.  Maybe I’ll start blogging again. I feel like I’ve learned so much this year.  SO. MUCH.  And I’m humble as all else right now.  No righteous indignation for this gal.  No “I’m a survivor”, independent woman crusade going on. Just a broken woman who is finding healing through the love of her Savior and seeing it in unexpected ways.  So, if anybody’s still out there and you’re curious to follow along, please, feel free to come back and listen to what it’s like to be a 30-something year old, divorced, single mom of five who’s trying to figure it all out and not drown in the fear that she’s going to forever be alone.  Also, look at my old posts and laugh along with me at the naïve and probably arrogant way of thinking I used to have.  Ugh, I didn’t know I could be real and raw and authentic with people.  I didn’t know it was liberating for others to know that everyone’s life is a mess in some way.  I wish I would’ve known.  I wish I had had more people who openly admitted they didn’t have their act all together.  There’s freedom in knowing we’re all a mess.  That’s why we need a Savior.  Because we’re all a big, giant mess.  Every last one of us.  And that’s why He’s just so amazing.  Because of grace and mercy and unconditional love.  Oh, how my soul heals as I bask in His love.

I got sidetracked.  I was wrapping up this post and inviting you to come back.  You know, all 3 readers who might happen to stumble across this blog. Come back and listen to me process out loud what God is doing in the heart of a broken woman.  A broken woman who is healing and learning what “love” really means.





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The Game On! Diet

Last week I finished a month-long diet/fitness challenge with 22 other moms.  The idea comes from this book…

Basically, you form teams and accumulate points for good behavior (healthy eating, exercising, losing weight, drinking enough water, implementing a new good habit, etc.) and are docked points for bad behavior (snacking, not sleeping enough, not breaking a bad habit, etc.).

As a group we lost a total of 123 lbs. over the course of the 4 weeks.  Not bad, huh?!  I, personally, lost 6.8 lbs.  I was hoping for a little more, but overall am very pleased with the results.  I only missed a few days of exercising the entire time and I broke my bad habit of biting/picking my nails and have beautiful, long nails to show for it!

Anyway, if you like competition and you want something effective then I recommend at least looking into this.  It was pretty fun to do.  One girl I know lost over 10 lbs.!  So, obviously it works.

I’m thinking of doing it again after the holidays to get down to my goal weight.  I’m only about 10 lbs. away and I so desperately want to get there.  Plus, I really like how this forced me to drink enough water every day and exercise even when I didn’t feel like it.  It must have something to do with the pressure of having to report to your teammates each week and then sharing your team totals with the competitors on a weekly basis.  I definitely didn’t want to be the slacker of the group!!

I love hearing from my readers…what do you like to do to get/stay in shape?  I’m normally a treadmill/elliptical/30 Day Shred junkie and don’t stray too far from those workouts, but I’d love to hear if there’s anything else super effective and fun that you would like to share!


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Teach

It’s the end of the day and I’m tired.  And although I likely won’t be able to articulate this in the same way I’d be able to when my mind is fresh first thing in the morning, I just want to touch on something with you.

I had someone text me this morning asking me for parenting advice and it got me thinking about the importance about really taking the time (and energy) to teach your children.

When your children do something wrong, make sure they fully understand what they did wrong, why it was wrong, and how they can avoid making the same mistake twice.  Don’t just discipline.  Discipline while teaching.

Become an active teacher in your child(ren)’s life.  They’re already learning from you whether you like it or not.  So you might as well open your eyes and become aware to what they’re learning and be more intentional in what you’re teaching them.  Take advantage of any and every opportunity to teach them.

I didn’t have any plans to write a post today but this has been on my heart all day.

So, dear mothers, I urge you….take the time to teach your children.  This world is a big and scary place and it’s our jobs to prepare them for it.  Teach them to live a life that

 


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My day away

I think every mom should have an occasional day away from all the demands of motherhood.  And last Saturday, I treated myself to just that.  I asked my husband if he would be on Dad Duty for the day and then I loaded up all my craft supplies and spent 6 glorious hours crafting away in my mother’s dining room.  It was perfect.

This past summer I approached the owner of a children’s consignment shop in our area and asked if she would be willing to sell some of my hairbows I make.  I’ve had moderate interest at craft shows in the past and friends/family have purchased them from me so I thought I’d give it a shot.  Much to my delight, she was impressed and told me she would set up a display right up front by the registers.

Last week she requested that I come up with some Christmas bows to replace some of the ones that have already sold.  And that’s what I spent all day doing at my parents’ house.

It was a fun getaway.  What do you do when you need time to recharge and unwind?

Crafts allow me to let go of the stress and let my mind wander and create.

Here are a few that I made…


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