Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dear 2018

Dear 2018,

NYE 2017


I am so glad that you are finally here! I counted down to when you would make your appearance with such expectancy in my heart.  

As I said good bye to my lovely friend, 2017, I realized that I had some pretty incredible memories. I made new friends, went to my professional baseball game, had a first date, started a new job, finished DivorceCare, became a member at my church, found even more healing, had great conversations.  I turned 30, Seth learned his letters, Jayden opened up talking so much, had two amazing birthday parties for them. I bought my first house and moved in. I had funny little rewards given to my by my work. It was a joyful year overall. 

But you, oh you. I am so excited for you to be here. 

I hope you bring more peace in my home. 2018, I am expecting great things for you. Laughter, friendships, adventures, and growth. 

Now that you are here I want to embrace the beauty that you hold. The excitement in a new beginning. Saying good bye to yesterday and hello to all that is in store for me. 

I look forward to birthday parties and get togethers with friends. I look forward to challenges and learning new ways to overcome them. I am looking forward to a deeper spiritual walk and for the Lord to reveal Himself to me more. I look forward to dates (wink wink) and getting dressed up. I am so looking forward to my sweet boy starting kindergarten (tear) and for a brand new daycare for them both. I look forward to new recipes, new restaurants, more coffee, and even some desserts. 

Overall, 2018, I look forward to new grace that waits for me each and every day you are here! 

So glad you are with us! 

new years, new growth, new love, Monica

Saturday, December 23, 2017

'Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas.



'Twas the night before the night before Christmas and all through the house my toddlers were shouting and calling me out.
Testing my patience and wearing it thin, while I try to practice all the "gentle" parenting that I can manage to muster in.
No cookies are baked, no presents are wrapped. The house is a mess and momma could use a nap.
There are dishes in the sink and a long list of to'dos, how did Christmas come just so soon?
The children are not tired, oh not at all. Because they ate their weight cookies and candy canes from the mall.
As the day gets later and the night grows close, my eyes get heavy and I'm feeling like toast.
But there is still bath time, and story-time, and sugar bugs to brush. I will try to go fast but my boys hate to rush.
Lotion, and snuggles, and kisses on foreheads too knowing that they will come crawling out of the bed in just a minute or two.
When they are finally asleep ( and lets be honest... it will take a bit) its time to attack that to do list since I have been ignoring it.
Wrap presents, wash clothes, bake cookies, and sweep.
Pick outfits, clean dishes, and then hopefully sleep.
I walk past my love bugs as they are soundly asleep
Knowing that the magic of Christmas is still one they keep.
To them its not lists, fancy dinners, or matched clothes.
Its not clean houses, homemade gifts, or the list that always grows.
To my sweet children, with the wonder in their eyes,
They don't think about those things that sometimes make me wanna cry.
Its about moments and memories with the ones that they love.
Its about those sugar snacks and kisses and a big bear hug.
So as I drift off to sleep to wake up to Christmas Eve, I tell myself "next year, just enjoy it.
You don't need to fret. You don't need worry. And you don't need to stress. "
So a reminder to all you moms out trying to find their brave face
Enjoy this season. In the chaos, in the mundane, and make sure you give yourself grace.

Merry Christmas!

xxoo, Monica



Thursday, August 17, 2017

to my son on his first day of school




You started school. It was only preschool but still my momma heart leaped for joy at how old you are while simultaneously aching at how old you are.

You venture out into a new world today my sweet boy. A place of learning and expanding your mind. A place of sweet new friendships and brand new experiences. I am so so proud of the little boy you are.

But I hope for so much more... and here are just a few of my heart's prayers for you and your younger brother as you both get older

- I pray you will always know the love of your Father.
  Of course I want you both to always experience the love of the your dad but more then that I want you truly know and understand the love that Your Heavenly Father has for you. The infinite love He has for you (John 3:16). The fact that He knew You and set you apart while you were still in my womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Your God knows everything about you, even the numbers of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). I pray that you will not just know that in your mind but experience that in your heart. That that love will guide you in your life.

- I pray that you will walk with boldness and courage.
 Life can be scary.. I can never downplay that fact. I wish I could take all the evil away in this world but I cannot. Everything from the boogie man in the dark to frightening life events... I would take it all away. But I do not have that power. But you, my precious boy, were not born with a spirit of fear but of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) Declare that over yourself in times you are feeling scared. Walk in the confidence that God has given you. Not in the world's cockiness but in the confidence that only God can give us.

- I pray that you will be a leader.
 You are feisty. You are energetic. You are strong willed. You are determined. All of these things can help you to become an amazing leader in the Kingdom. I hope that these things wont change but that you see the strength in it and that as your mother I can cultivate it well.

- I pray that you always seek compassion.
 From comforting your brother when he is upset to helping me with cleaning, never stop seeking compassion. Keep your heart tender, sweet boy. Don't allow the world, circumstances, relationships, or short comings to harden your heart. I pray that God will always keep your heart soft.

- I pray that no matter what you will desire to serve the Lord.
  One of my largest prayers for you and your brother is that you will not just be a believer of Jesus but a follower of Jesus. Even when its hard. Even when its confusing. Even when you stand alone in the crowd. Lets us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9) I pray you and your brother will sow goodness and reap goodness.

I love you beyond measure my son. You and your little brother are such a gift to me and I thank God daily that I have the honor and privilege of being your mom.

Always and Forever,
Mom


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Messy

Embrace the messy.

Literally I wish I had more to add to that but life has been messy.

My house has been messy.

My heart has been messy.

My hair has been messy (thank the Lord for dry shampoo).

My children have even been messy (hello summer!).

I'm learning to embrace that messiness. I'm accepting that sometimes I don't have it all together. Some days there aren't enough hours and I pack on the dry shampoo and wear yesterday's makeup.
Occasionally my children's socks don't match and their shirt has a small stain. Laundry is everywhere, toys are scattered, dishes are waiting to be washed.
Sometimes my heart is confused or processing. My worry is at an all time high and I'm fighting to put my trust back in the Lord.

But this is life. Learn to love the messy moments and the neat and tidy ones. And everything in between.

Xxoo, Monica

Friday, March 10, 2017

Loss and gain

This past year has been filled with unthinkable pain and unimaginable comfort. I have felt the greatest loss I thought I could feel and yet I gained so much.
Perspective. 
Friendship.
Knowledge of the Lord.
Joy.
Confidence.

When I was first going through the devastation of separation and divorce I could not have imagined all that I would experience.
God truly makes beautiful things out the dust.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What I would have said to myself in the beginning

This single mom thing is hard.

This being divorced thing is so difficult.

This new life and "new normal" is challenging.

I am almost a year out from my seperation and although I know I have sooo much still to learn and experience, I feel like I'm in such a great place.
A place I didn't think I would ever be. A place that 10 months ago I didnt even know was possible .

So if I could go back to newly broken me, just in the beginning of this journey, I would have a few things to say.

1.) The sun will shine again.

When I come across newly single moms or just women who are experiencing a heart break or a divorce or ending of a relationship I often tell them that the sun will shine again.
When I first was seperated everything seemed so dark. Everything was so bland. I couldn't see any happiness and I didn't know if I ever would.
But I did ! The sun is shining so bright in my life!
The sky is darkest right before the dawn. The light is breaking.

2) Your pain has a purpose, God will reveal it in time.

There is a song that I played on repeat during my darkest days.
It's "Thy Will" by Hillary Scott and some of the lyrics says
"I'm so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don't wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I've got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done"

This song became my heart cry. Thy will be done. I'm broken. I'm confused. It doesn't make sense. I'm lost. But I will trust You God.
Now looking back I'm able to see God's hand in my life so intricately.

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." - Isaiah 55:8.

If I wouldn't have been separated/divorced and on this journey I would have missed out on some incredible friendships. I wouldn't have experienced a level of deep love for the Lord in this season. I probably wouldn't have even found my church that has become such a big part of my life! (When we seperated I had to return to working so I had to put the boys in full time daycare. One of my son's teachers goes to that church. She invited me one day and I fell in love. But if I wasn't seperated I would have not put them in THAT school and met her!).
When you get a little further in the journey you are able to look back and see how God is piecing things together.

3.) Feel the feels.

I'm a cryer. Always have been. Probably always will be. I cry when I'm happy, sad, mad, and everything in between.
During the beginning of my seperation/divorce... I cried until I had no more tears left. Until my eyes hurt. It wasn't fun. It was ugly.
But I truly think you need to feel the feels to get to the other side of it. You need to feel the anger.... Don't stay there! But feel it and then release it to God. Feel the loss. Feel the bitterness. Grieve how you need to grieve but always ALWAYS take it up with the Lord.
Don't numb yourself with substances or relationships. You have to go over this mountain to get the other side.... Otherwise these hurts will show up time and time again. Feel it and release it to God.

4.) You do not have to be alone in this.

You need people! You need support. You need prayers. You need advice. You need a shoulder to cry on.
Go to counseling! (I saw a Christian counselor for a few months and it helped me find some amazing inner healing ). Reach out to friends when you are feeling sad. Text that person you know will pray for you.
We are not meant to do life alone as it is ... But In a transition like this... It's even more clear how much we need each other.

 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. - Romans 12:15

*And if you're reading this and have a friend in this type of transition ... Please reach out to them . Go for coffee. Text. Video chat. Let them know you're praying for them. Send them an inspiring quote. You have no idea what a world of difference it makes.*

5.) Keep your hope.

Hope is sooo important to me. I hold on to it tightly like child holds on to their lovey (i mean not my children .. they never caught on the the joy of a sweet stuffed animal to comfort them ).

The Bible says that hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12) and oh boy have I felt that sickness before. 

When our world is spinning and we don't know which way is up, it can be very difficult to see hope in the situation. When our heart is broken and we are overwhelmed with bills and the kids won't listen , hope seems like a far off distant dream. 

But hope is there. 

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God. My hope comes from Him. " - Psalm 62:5. 

Not only hope but rest too!!! Oh that's what I need. God has you in the palm of His hand. He loves you. He is here for you. Don't lose sight of that. It doesn't make sense now and it's not fair. 

I will never ever say that this was God's plan all along for my life. He is too much of a good God to allow my children to grow up in two homes. He is too much of a good Father to have planned this level of heartbreak. But we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people who make choices and have consequences. 

But I trust Him and have Hope in Him. 

 "He has made EVERYTHING beautiful in its time." - Ecclesiastes 3:11

- . - . - . -

I still have so much to learn but it no longer scares me. I love my life... Even though it looks different then what I first imagined. But God has met me every step of the way just like how He is with you sweet one! 

Lessons, hope, and love. - Monica 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Joy - a word for 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Okay, I know I'm like two weeks late but better late then never, right?

I am incredibly happy to see 2016 be over with and so excited for this fresh new year.

I have no resolutions because... Well... Let's just be honest , I probably wouldn't stick to anything and then just disappoint myself.

So, I chose a word to focus on this year.

JOY.

Finding the joy amongst the pain. Recognizing the joy in the midst of confusion. Accepting the joy in the simple moments. Believing in the joy to come in days ahead.

What are your resolutions ? Or did you choose a word?

Happy happy 2017!

- Monica