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Posted in Messy Mommy

He died for even the worst parts of you.

The day that Jesus Christ was beaten and nailed to a cross is considered “good”.

Insert Good Friday.

If you’ve ever lost someone you love, you know that the date they left this Earth does not feel good. It’s actually the opposite. Downright heartbreaking.

Which is what all of the people closest to Jesus were feeling as they watched him die on that cross.

They didn’t understand why this was happening. Why God was allowing this to happen.

He was dead and buried in a tomb. I’m sure their grief was unbearable. By all accounts in the natural, it was over. He had been defeated.

Their Lord was gone. They must have felt abandoned. Alone.

What would they do now that he was gone? How would they carry out the mission that Jesus had given them? I am sure the weight of all of this was agonizing and left them feeling heartbroken and hopeless.

Their hope was in Jesus. And now he was gone.

But God.

We know that he did not stay in that tomb forever.

We know that death did not defeat Jesus Christ.

Which is why today is Good Friday.

It is good because it is holy. His death was to save us from our sins. And if you really take the time to reflect on this, you will realize it is absolutely good and holy- and the biggest act of love that could ever be shown.

He died for YOU.

The you that you were before you were saved.

He died for you, already knowing every mistake you’d make.

He died for every part of you. Not just the filtered versions you choose to show the world.

Jesus Christ took those beatings, withstood insurmountable pain for the worst parts of you. Every part of you.

He died for the you that you’re ashamed of.

He didn’t just die for the you that you are on your good days. He died for the you that you are on your worst days.

He died for the person that you were in your past. He died for the person you are now. He died for the person you are yet to become.

Can you even imagine a love like that?

A love that would die such a painful, cruel death for you?

May today be a good day. A day for you to reflect on everything Jesus did for YOU on this day. May it bring the realization that He is GOOD.

And may Easter be a day of even more reflection. A day for you to remember and truly grasp what it cost God to save YOU from your sins.

It cost God His Son.

When God created the world, He spoke it into existence. But when He redeemed the world it was with the precious blood of Jesus…which poured out for YOU.

You are so loved. Beyond what you can even comprehend.

“Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning.

But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:6-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You are a child of God. He died for you. He was thinking of YOU when he took on death.

I pray that you will let go of your pains and your sins and hand it all over to Him.

I pray that you will ask God to come live inside of you so that you can finally experience what true love feels like.

He loves you so much that he doesn’t control or manipulate you into choosing him. You have total free will.

He lovingly pursues you over and over. I pray you’ll finally answer him today. I pray you’ll ask him to come live in your heart and I pray you’ll ask for forgiveness of your sins.

There is so much more to life than a life covered in sin. That’s exactly why he died for you- to save you from this life and give you a life of peace, love and JOY.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Run to him. He is waiting with open arms. No matter what you’ve done. No matter where you’ve been.

You can be forgiven.

His blood was shed for ALL of YOU.

He is GOOD.

Happy Good Friday ❤️

Courageously yours,

CS ❤️

Posted in Messy Mommy

Why Me?

When I held my dad’s lifeless hand and walked away knowing I’d never see him again, I found myself at a crossroad.

I could turn left or right.

There was no going forward because a huge sink hole was now in front of me.

At the same time, there was no going backwards because what was done, was done. There was no turning back.

My journey was now detoured and I needed to choose a different path.

The trajectory of my life was changing- and as much as I felt out of control of everything, I had complete control over one thing: which path I was going to take for the rest of this ride we call life.

I was going to have to decide which detour I was going to take.

To my left was Why Me Avenue.
To my right was Try Me Lane.

Immediately, I turned left.

The further I drove down that road, the more I shook my fist at God and screamed WHY ME?!

I was looking out the window, envying everyone who still had what was taken from me.

I became filled with resentment and hate.

I began to even hate myself and blame myself.

I felt like God was attacking me. I thought he was out to get me.

What did I do so wrong to deserve so much pain?

And why would I trust a God that could do the opposite of what I was begging him to do in my prayers?

Why Me Avenue was almost where I ended up.

Until I parked my car and refused to drive another foot until I sorted this out with God.

The more I pursued Him, the more He made himself known to me.

I began to take my focus off of me and my pain and put my focus on Him and His plan for my life.

I was still wondering why but I was shifting the focus away from me and onto Him- I was allowing him to guide me.

I began to trust Him to lead me down the right detour for my life.

Afterall, that is what faith is- trusting when we don’t understand. Believing He will make a way when we cannot see one. Knowing that He will guide our lives when the life we planned doesn’t work out.

Why Me Avenue is a dark and lonely road to travel because it’s all about Y.O.U.

You will not find anything on Why Me Avenue except more pain.

There is no healing down Why Me Avenue.

You won’t even ever get the answer to Why Me down this road.

But the moment you take your eyes off of you and fixate them instead on Jesus, you’ll find yourself moving towards Try Me Lane.

When I allowed Jesus to begin healing my heart, I found myself fighting back.

I realized the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. And I decided he may have stolen from me and he may have manipulated me for a season, but he wasn’t going to anymore.

He wasn’t going to have the final say on my life.

He wasn’t going to distract me.

He wasn’t going to camp out in my thoughts and torment me anymore.

So I made a U-Turn down Try Me Lane.

And I told the devil to TRY ME.

When I find myself being tormented with self hatred, regret and pain- I remind the enemy who God says I am. I remind him that I may have lost a dad, but he inherited eternal life.

Nothing is lost with Jesus.

When the devil fills my mind with lies, I remind him of God’s promises.

Now that I am fixated on Jesus and trusting his perfect plan for my life, nothing the enemy throws at me can stop me.

I may never understand why it happened to me, but I do know Jesus is for me. Not against me.

And I dare the devil to try me.

If you find yourself down Why Me Avenue tonight, I hope you’ll pull over, park the car, and refuse to go any further until you work it out with Jesus.

I hope you’ll stop allowing the enemy to distract you with his why me detour.

I hope you will not allow him to destroy God’s plans for your life.

I hope you’ll get the strength to look in your rear view mirror and dare the devil…

“Try Me.”

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Posted in Messy Mommy

Is Your Marriage Worth Repeating?

“Is your marriage one worth repeating?”

We watched Ted Cunningham the other night and he asked this question and it was one of those moments when you just know God is talking right to you.

I thought about my kids watching how I interact with their daddy on a daily basis. Then I began to wonder, is that what I want them to repeat in their marriage?

Am I being the kind of wife I’d want my son to choose?

Am I being the kind of wife I’d want my daughter to become?

Your kids are watching how you react to conflict.

They’re watching how you argue.

They’re watching your body language. Do you kiss and touch or are you cold and far apart?

Whatever type of marriage you show them is the only thing they’ll have as a definition of love and marriage.

We are all imitating things we saw growing up. Because, well, what you’re shown is all you know.

We are all still those little kids living in adult bodies. We are all the products of what we saw and heard.

I’ve got a long way to go. I answered the question above with a loud NO. My marriage is not worth repeating at this moment, but I am striving to get there.

And I think that’s the key…to realize where you’re falling short and have a heart to listen to God’s correction and conviction.

So maybe you feel convicted on this topic too. I’m right there with you…

Make sure the marriage your kids are seeing is worth repeating…because statistics show it will be repeated ❤️

Posted in Messy Christian

Why Christians Need to Take Their Masks Off.

We are all a hot mess. We are faking it til’ we make it. We are all struggling in ways we don’t talk about. Yet, we are all trying to mask our mess and insecurities from the world in order to appear as perfect as possible.

Let me take a second to address the girl reading this thinking “I don’t try to mask anything, I’m not fake.” Oh, okay.

So you’ve never had a full blown fight with your partner and then posted a cute, smiling photo together for social media? #hesperfect #smitten #hesthesweetest

You’ve never cried in your pillow all weekend and then posted a cute selfie with a caption that declared your happiness to the world, followed by a bunch of hashtags like #blessed #happy #canthidethissmile #independent

Or what about that day you screamed at your kids all day, ignored them completely while you watched Netflix or scrolled through social media, and then forced them to smile and appear perfectly poised in a picture with some crazy caption like “I don’t know what I did to deserve these little miracles. Thank you Jesus for these babies.”

Or maybe you’re barely making ends meet and your bank account just went negative when you bought groceries, but you just posted pics of your latest expensive outfit you bought on a credit card with #independent #moneyonmymind #successfulwoman

We’re all guilty of putting on masks. But I don’t think we realize how harmful these masks are to everyone around us, as well as to ourselves. If we are all fighting the same attacker and dealing with the same lies, then in reality we should all be looking around and realizing none of us have it fully together and we are all in need of Jesus.

But that is not what we look around and see. We scroll through social media and feel so alone and inadequate compared to our peers.

We look around for support, yet all we see are all these people who seem to have their crap together. People who would never understand the battles we are facing.

We see the masks instead of the people.

It leaves us feeling like we don’t belong. It leaves us crying alone in our room as we scroll through the internet comparing our lives to other people our age. Never knowing that those same people sit and cry as they look at our fake masks, too.

We don’t realize that our lives appear better than theirs too.

We don’t realize that all of our desires and efforts to appear put together and “godly” actually make others feel inadequate.

There is nothing wrong with loving your life, despite the pains and heartaches you face. However, sharing that pain and sharing your story is so important. When you share all the great blessings God has provided for you, make sure you never forget to share how you got to this season of blessings.

Make sure you are more than a picture-perfect Instagram family. Make sure you are more than the perfect couple on Facebook.

Please remember that there’s a woman facing infertility scrolling through your page, and maybe all she sees are the three beautiful children you have now, but she has no idea of the pain you dealt with through miscarriages and infertility.

Or maybe the girl with bruises on her skin sees your posts about how amazing your marriage is, but she doesn’t see the season of your life when you were being abused and manipulated by a man. She doesn’t know your story about how you escaped abuse and began realizing your worth through Jesus. She doesn’t know that there’s hope for her.

Or maybe the girl who just found out her husband is having an affair sees your husband treating you like a queen today, but she doesn’t know you have experienced restoration in your marriage. She thinks her husband will never treat her the way yours does, yet your marriage has experienced a past of affairs and lies. Maybe you handed your marriage over to Jesus and he restored it and did the impossible through your husband. Maybe she needs to know that so that she will fall to her knees and pray instead of curl up in a state of depression and allow the enemy to win.

Why don’t we share that part of our story with others? Why don’t we share our testimony? Why don’t we show God’s glory through our own stories? Why do we only want others to see us in the season of God’s blessings?

When God restores your life and works miracles, the world needs to hear about it!

He doesn’t save you from your demons just so you can sit on your blessings and take all the credit.

You only have the blessed life you have because of God’s grace. He needs you to tell others what he’s done for you because he is also working things out for other’s good too. Your story of God’s goodness could be the story someone needs to hear while they’re in the middle of their storm!

He wants to use what he did for you to bring others to him. He needs you to share your story.

We are supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus while we’re here, so why would we sit on our success and take all the credit? Isn’t it only because of God’s grace that you have such a successful marriage, career, etc?

Do you remember the days before you found hope in Jesus? Do you remember how lost and hopeless you were? What if those special people God placed in your path wouldn’t have shared their stories with you? What if those mentors God placed in your life wouldn’t have taken the time to help develop and nurture you?

Allow God to use you right where you’re at. Begin by sharing the not so glamorous chapters of your story. Begin by sharing who your success belongs to- Jesus Christ.

Share with someone how Jesus made a way where there seemed to be no way. Let someone know how God completely restored the things that you lost. Tell someone how your life began to change once you surrendered to Jesus and acted on faith.

Let’s make HIS name famous instead of our own name.

Let’s gain HIM more followers instead of ourselves.

Let’s put HIM in the spotlight and take it off of us.

Let’s stop taking ourselves so seriously and applying multiple filters on our pictures in order to be idolized by followers. Sometimes the raw, unedited moments of life are the best ones worth sharing. And those are the moments others can relate to.

Be someone that makes others feel understood and comfortable. Be someone that leads others to the name above all names.

Be a servant instead of an idol.

Serve Jesus and allow Him to become what others love about you. Let Him shine through your life!

If you’re wearing a mask, you are covering up the light of Jesus. We have to unmask the dark seasons in our lives in order to show how the light of Jesus shined through.

Courageously yours,

CS

xoxo 💛💛💛

Posted in Messy Marriage

Messy Marriages are Magic .

Don’t be afraid of a messy marriage. That’s where the magic is.

But that’s not what they’ll tell you on your wedding day.

“Never go to bed angry.”

“Never stop being friends.”

“Have a date night weekly.”

That’s what everyone told us when we got married.

No one told us that we would fail at all of it, though.

No one told us what to do once we went to bed angry.

No one told us what to do once our marriage felt more like two enemies against each other instead of two best friends.

No one told us what to do when we were too broke for date nights and kids were too needy to even get in alone time.

The ugly truth is we’ve gone to bed angry.

A lot.

Heck, my husband has passed out peacefully while I was still blowing smoke out of my ear holes and nostrils beside him 🤣

We have had seasons where we felt more like enemies than friends.

The ugly truth is it won’t always be playful and fun.

There is bound to be at least one season in your marriage when you seriously wonder, “are we really going to make it?”

We have gone months without a date.

When you have a house filled with screaming babies, lack of sleep and lack of funds in your bank account, date nights are the last thing on your mind.

This is the ugly truth.

But it doesn’t make marriage any less beautiful.

The ugliness in the journey is what makes marriage a true fairytale.

What is more magical than two imperfect humans somehow finding one another on a planet of 7.8 billion humans- and then making it to the end still in love…despite the mess in the middle?

Nothing.

The mess in between is what makes it magical.

So yes, strive to apologize and make things right before you lay your head down at night. But give grace and forgiveness when that doesn’t happen.

Always have each other’s back and never disrespect one another- even if you don’t feel like friends right now.

Understand you won’t always have the money, time or energy for date nights each week- but never stop making intentional time together. Even if it’s scheduled sex or a tv show you watch together.

And I think my biggest piece of advice I’d give- that wasn’t given enough to us- is beyond all of that, keep Jesus at the forefront.

When everything else fails, take it to the cross.

When your spouse feels like the enemy, remember who the real enemy is- Satan. And he hates marriage. He loves to bring chaos and discord into your home. You have power in Jesus- use it.

Don’t be afraid of your mess.

That’s where the magic is ❤️

Posted in Messy Mommy

Weightless.

Did I hug them enough?

Was my tone too rough?

She lays down and begins to scroll…

Her life suddenly seems so dull.

She neglected the laundry today, but only so she could get on the ground and play. The house is a mess because it’s filled with more to be thankful for, not less.

This is only for a short season.

And yet, for some reason,

She spends so much time beating herself up. Thinking she’s not enough.

She’s the first to wake up and the last in bed.

She puts fires out all day

While the rest of the house goes about their day.

She cries alone because she never wants anyone to worry.

But, oh, the irony.

She’s so busy comparing and beating herself up, she never has time to notice the miracles she makes happen.

The memories she creates.

The childhood she’s giving to her kids,

Which will be the foundation that creates

Our future.

She does so much and gets so little.

She is super woman.

Yet, her confidence is brittle.

But isn’t it funny,

How we give so much of ourselves to others just to get lost peeking into the windows next door.

Always wishing we were more.

Always wondering what else is in store.

We fail to see there’s so much right here…

In the thick of it.

These are the good ol’ days.

But you never know you’re in them until they’re over.

So don’t worry about the other moms.

Don’t compare your mess to theirs.

Maybe your house is a mess…

Guess what?

No one cares.

It’s not what they’ll remember

And neither will you

It’s not about what’s in those walls

It’s about what you do while you’re in them

How you treat the ones inside

I know you feel like a failure as you rush to throw on makeup in a bathroom stall.

But I want you to remember

All the teeth you fought to get brushed

How you got everyone to school on time with hugs and kisses

How you danced in the car just to put smiles on their faces.

Their hair may be a mess

But they’re sitting in class today feeling no stress.

They feel loved and wanted.

Their mind isn’t filled with worry or pain.

And do you know why?

Because you shield it all from their sight.

You wear the world on your shoulders so they can feel light. You’re weighed down in stress, but your babies are weightless.

Posted in Messy Mommy

The Late Night Scrolling Mama

I’ve always found it pretty freaking hilarious how the number one thing I wish for is rest, but then when I finally get my kids to bed….I do the opposite of rest.

Am I the only one?

Something tells me if you landed here, I’m not alone. And good news for you- you’re not either!

This weekend was a freaking whirlwind. I’m not sure how else to describe the current state of my life other than a whirlwind.

A tornado.

A hot mess!

My husband starts week 7 of working out of town tomorrow…in a row. 7 weeks in a row I’ve been doing the single mom life. PROPS TO YOU SINGLE MOMS.

He is gone Monday-Friday. Which means I am raising kids alone 5 days a week.

Can we just talk about homework for a second…specifically, SIGHT WORDS.

Bless their hearts.

I’m over sight words. Im over spelling words like IS and FROM over and over again just to watch my daughter’s face look so confused when we go over FROM for the 10th time…as if we didn’t just spell it NINE times.

And I don’t know why, but for some reason I feel like yelling the word louder and louder will somehow make her suddenly be able to spell it.

Me: From…FROM….FROMMMMM!!!!!

My daughter: 🤔😦😳

I’m over microwave dinners because my husband is the cook.

I’m over moving the elf every night alone. I’m over watching the magic of Christmas in my kids’ eyes without my husband there to see it too.

I’m so blessed to have a great husband that loves to cook.

I’m so blessed to have two kids that require me to help them with homework and run all over town to get them to and from school every morning and afternoon.

I’m so blessed that my husband has a great job that sends him away sometimes.

I’m freaking blessed.

But dang girl, I am also very stressed.

That saying “too blessed to be stressed” is a BLATANT LIE.

The more blessings God gives you, the more Satan tries to stress you.

That’s the real truth.

So if you’re scrolling through your feed when you should be getting sleep, I just want you to know you’re not alone.

I’m up late, too.

I’m crying into my pillow tonight with you.

I ate a few too many Oreos tonight feeling sorry for myself, too.

But beautiful mama reading this- we will get though this hard time. We will wake up tomorrow morning, throw our hair in a crazy looking circle thing on our head…and we will kick butt.

Just like we always do.

I’m not sure what you’re story is. Maybe you’re a single mom stressed out beyond belief.

Maybe you’re a mom that has no idea how you’re going to afford your car payment this month, much less Christmas.

Maybe you’re the wife of a firefighter, police officer, or any other job that sends your husband away from you. And maybe you’re up worried about their safety or just missing them beside you.

Or heck, maybe you’re a wife whose husband is sleeping soundly beside you with a loud snore that is making you think about ungodly things you could do to him because he’s driving you up the wall.

Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard.

It’s all freaking hard.

So I just wanted you to know we’re all in this together, mama. And we will get through this together.

Stop beating yourself up for yelling too much this weekend.

Stop beating yourself up for going off on your husband in the car while your kids were in the back seat.

Stop replaying every mistake you made this weekend and give yourself grace.

Apologize to the ones you love and take this as an opportunity to show them how to handle mistakes.

Show them what it looks like to ask for forgiveness when we hurt the ones we love or when we fall short in life.

Keep showing up and fighting for your family.

Don’t spend another second comparing yourself to that influencer on your IG feed. Your life may not be as glamorous as hers, but you are doing kingdom work in your own four walls. You are raising up the next generation. You are raising world changers.

Your work is so important, mama.

We don’t have time to mope around feeling sorry for ourselves and beating ourselves up. We have work to do.

Like loving on our family and dusting off our bibles.

So tonight, I give you permission to lay your phone down on the nightstand and lay your burdens down on the cross.

Good night, mama 🌙 🌚

Posted in Messy Mental Illness

Sobriety

I start out as a friend, someone you can trust. You’re nervous to get to know me, but before long you must.

I slowly build a friendship with you, proving I’m harmless. Until, slowly, I make your life one big mess.

At first, I hold your hand and give you all you desire. You’re too shy for the party? I light up that inner fire! I give you all the right words. I make everybody laugh.

You’ve found the cure to all your shortcomings! It’s me- I am your cure. But before long, I make your memories a blur.

What started out as innocent and fun, turns into your entire life coming undone.

You bring a baby into this world. It’s love at first sight, your newborn baby girl.

You want to break up with me. You want to be the dad she needs you to be. You try, you really do but you forget how I own you.

The baby cries and money gets tight. And your marriage? It’s always a fight.

You can’t seem to dig yourself out of this hole. Everything I’ve given you, is nothing compared to what I stole.

You can’t handle life on your own anymore. I’ve stolen your freedom. I’ve become your god of choice. Now you live in my kingdom.

Before you know it, I even control your actions. You hate what you see in the mirror- you want the old you back, even just a fraction.

But each time you try to change, each time you pour me down the drain, your world caves in, reality sets in.

You only know of one cure to numb the pain.

Me.

So you drop to your knees and pour me back into your soul.

I always win. I always have control.

I am the only thing you’re faithful to. You can’t give anyone your love, even though you try- you really do.

Your kids beg for you to play with them. But their need for attention it’s just a burden. It makes you hate yourself even more. Because it reminds you how far gone you are.

It reminds you that I own you, right down to your very core.

But if you ever discover my secret- if you ever realize who I am.

No, you can’t. And you won’t. I’ll be damned.

You can’t know I’m just a Band-Aid. Covering up wounds from your past. You can’t know I am what’s making the pain last.

Because if you ever just ripped me off your wounds, you’d realize I’m the cause of your pain, not the cure.

Before me, your intentions were pure. When did your wounds get so bad that you felt like there was no cure?

It all began when you started using me to cover up your insecurities.

I’ve always been a Band-Aid to cover all your pains. But each time you applied me, I latched on and left behind my stains.

If you ever rip me off each wound, you’ll discover they can heal.

I can’t allow you to do that. So each day, I steal and I steal.

I numb it all just long enough to make you believe life is too rough…

without me.

I could never let you figure out what’s on the other side of me.

I can never let you discover a world of sobriety.

So drink up. It’s just you and me.

As long as you never put me down for sobriety.

Posted in Messy Grief

To the girl that’s missing a parent this Christmas.

To the girl that’s missing a parent this Christmas.

I assume if you’re reading this, you’re just like me- grieving a parent this Christmas. I assume you’re already annoyed at how everyone in your family is moving forward with holiday parties and fun, as if there’s not a huge branch missing from the family tree this year.

I assume you hate yourself a little sometimes because of all the coulda, woulda, shoulda scenarios you play in your mind when you’re alone. I assume you’ve found something of your parent’s belongings and you’ve smelt it like a druggie snorting cocaine, just dying to catch one small scent of your mom or dad. And if you are like me, and your sniffing escapade ended in smelling nothing but wood and laundry soap, you have fell to the floor in inconsolable cries because, again, you were reminded how gone your parent truly is…even their scent seems to be impossible to grasp.

And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to believe it’s just me, so I’ll assume it’s you too, that you’re filled with some anger and resentment and secretly wish you could give a couple people a piece of your mind instead of a present this Christmas. Because that’s what grief brings to the surface- a lot of anger. A lot of realizations of self. You realize your own faults and shortcomings and you also start to realize how precious your time is, which in turn makes you angry with anyone in your life that doesn’t value your time, your existence, your pain. I assume by now you’ve realized that grieving is isolating. That the people you thought would always be there for you, suddenly have disappeared. Not everyone knows how to deal with grief, and if I’m being honest- not everyone gives a damn. I assume that is also a hard pill for you to swallow, on top of the horse pill you already are trying to swallow, which is labeled the pain of losing a parent.

I assume that you’ve had to grieve over a few friendships this year. Because as I just said, some people just don’t give a damn about your pain. This is a part of grief no one seems to understand. We’re not just losing one person- death brings so many losses, not just the one it took away. It also kills friendships and families. It’s so complex, and yet everyone around you seems to think you’re not “moving on” quick enough. I assume you have felt the same pressure from people in your life.

I assume you’re reading this and connecting with a few of my points and feeling less alone, if even just for a few short moments.

I know everyone says the holidays are so hard when you’re grieving a parent, but are the holidays really the hard part? Because to me, it’s all hard. A normal Tuesday is hard. A normal car ride to the grocery store is hard. I can be totally fine for a few days and feel like “Wow, I’m doing it! I’m getting through this.” Just to suddenly be back at that place where I was told my dad didn’t make it. And then it starts back over again. Christmas is hard, but I assume you’re like me and you wish people would reach out and think about the grieving more than just on the holidays. Because in a lot of ways, Christmas isn’t near as hard as a regular Tuesday.

At least on Christmas I’m surrounded by others that knew my dad and that make me feel connected to him. At least on Christmas I’m prepared for the grief to hit, I’m prepared for the freight train to come. But on a normal Tuesday headed to the grocery store, I’m hit without warning. I’m alone. I’m back in that room, drowning in a sea of grief. At least on Christmas I’m not pulled over on the side of the road desperate for the heaviness to pass, unsure how I’ll be able to gasp for my next breath, suffocated by the weight of realizing you’re gone forever.

I assume you understand. I assume you, too, just want to grab someone and say “No, Christmas isn’t the hardest part of the year. A regular Tuesday, in the middle of toothpaste aisle was actually much worse than the holidays.”

Grief doesn’t come with warnings. It hits you at any moment. At least on Christmas I’m prepared to get hit. I assume you wish people would check on you and think of you on a random Tuesday, because that’s when you really need those kind words and messages, isn’t it?

Yes, the holidays are less joyful and much more painful for us these days. But no, they are not the hardest days of the year for us. They are not the only time you should think of us or check in. The hardest day for us has already passed- it was the day we lost our parent. So each and everyday is hard. Please don’t forget about us the rest of the year. We assume you didn’t realize the pain that comes with losing a parent, so we don’t hold it against you. But the next time you’re headed to the grocery store, on a normal Tuesday, imagine what you’d do if you were standing in the toothpaste aisle and got a whiff of your dads cologne by a man walking by, or you saw a woman that looked just like your mom from behind…imagine how hard it would be to keep your knees buckled and to make it through such a normal, mundane task…if you suddenly felt like you had your parent back for a millisecond just to be thrown into the realization your parent is gone. Forever.

It’s not the monumental days that are the hardest. It’s the normal Tuesday’s…and Mondays…and Sundays…it’s all of the days that pass since “that” day.

Posted in Messy Grief

Gone for GOOD

YOU LOST A LOVED ONE THAT YOU ALREADY HAD A COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP WITH AND NOW YOU’RE FILLED WITH GUILT, REGRET AND ANGER BUT YOU’RE ALSO ANGRY WITH THE ONE WHO DIED AND YOU HATE YOURSELF FOR FEELING ALL OF THESE TERRIBLE FEELINGS.

Is that you? Did you lose a loved one that you already had a complicated relationship with and now you’re left with all of these raw, terrible emotions? Are you bleeding all over the people around you and causing yourself extreme stress and anxiety? Are you wondering how you will ever forgive yourself and get through this grief?

You tell yourself things like “I should have tried harder”, or “why didn’t I just be the one to make the moves and fix things?”, or “why didn’t I pick the phone up and call more?”

If you are feeling these things I want you to know that you’re not alone. How do I know you’re not alone? Because I’m walking that same road with you right now.

I’m currently in therapy and working hard to overcome the sudden loss of my father. I had to write a letter to my dad and read it out loud to my therapist today. It was gut wrenching and HARD, but it was so relieving and so FREEING.

Usually when you have a complicated relationship with someone, you don’t always get to say the things you are feeling to that person. You don’t want to add anymore strain onto your relationship. You don’t want to bring up things from the past when your entire goal is to make the present and future better with this person.

Being able to tell my dad everything that’s been on my heart for years felt so good. He was not there physically today to hear my letter. He didn’t get to hear my cries of guilt and regret, or my anger towards him, and he also didn’t get to hear the love and adoration I had for him and the way he made me feel so special and adored. He didn’t get to hear the good, the bad and the ugly today. But God was there and I can already feel him working inside of me.

Something I realized today is that when you’re faced with a tragedy you have a couple of options. You can either let the tragedy disrupt your entire future in a negative way or you can allow this tragedy to create something good.

It’s okay to feel all the feels. It’s okay to shake your fist at God. It’s okay to feel anger towards your loved one. It’s okay to feel regret and shame towards yourself.

But I want you to realize something- you have to give yourself a break. You have to show yourself some grace. Your relationship was complicated- but the fault was not solely on you.

You have to FORGIVE YOURSELF. Read that again.

If your loved one was to sit in front of you right now, do you truly believe they would want you to hate yourself and harbor this resentment in your bones for the rest of your life? No, they wouldn’t.

Would you want your child to hate themselves if you died? No, you wouldn’t.

There is nothing your loved one could do to make you love them any less…that is clearly true because of how badly you’re hurting now that they’re gone. That’s because of how much you loved them- regardless of how complicated your relationship was.

There was nothing they could do to make you stop loving them. You had a complicated relationship with this person but you still have SO much LOVE for them. So don’t you think they feel the same way about YOU? No matter what may have happened between the two of you, they loved you endlessly.

They may be gone, but you have a choice now. Will you allow them to be gone for GOOD or will you allow them to just be gone without a purpose?

Will you make something good out of this tragedy or will you just let your loved one be gone for nothing?

I hope you will join me in allowing God to make something GOOD out of this tragedy. My dad is gone but I don’t want him to just be gone for nothing- I want my dad to be gone for GOOD. I want him to be gone for something MORE than this pain and anger.

Gone for GOOD. Gone for MORE.

Join me on this movement to make something good from grief. Share this with someone today and inspire them to turn their tragedy into something good- something more ✨ 🙏🏽