Friday, January 30, 2015

Wreckless Abandonement

I first want to say that I meant to spell "wreckless" as it is, instead of "reckless" which is actually the correct spelling.

I have been in two marriage wrecks. Crash and burn on both accounts. It really does take two to for people to part company and move on. Sadly there is often that one side you hear.  I really try my best to honor, now two ex-husbands. You will never see me sharing the scoop on what that story looks like.

I have invested a total of 27 years in marriage. It makes me sad that I could never figure out how to keep my marriages in place. As a Christian woman, especially one who was a Sunday School teacher, Young Life leader, and mentor to many young women, one might think I could get it together.  Sadly two households divided.  Why?  Always the question that people want answered.  Perhaps I just suck at being a wife.

Or perhaps I have done all the things we learn to be a good wife and in so doing giving up who I was in both marriages and after years of trying to be this or that there is this break, this wreck, this person crashing into a wall and although it takes two, I truly had a big part in both.

Now that I have been single, and adjusted well to being a single mom life has been easy and breezy.  I launched two business's in the Fall with both going well. I have moved to a darling little 1910 farmhouse in the middle of no-where land. My boys love their school.

I decided four years ago when David and I first split up that there would never be another person to step into my life. If I get it wrong once, then twice is there really a 3rd time? Does "three's a charm" really mean in relationships, too? I think not. And because I think not I have abandoned ever meeting someone, let alone dating. If each marriage has been a wreck then I will abandon the hope of ever loving again. Thus we have "Wreckless Abandonment."

I have had many suitors come my way.  Asking me to dinner, to lunch, to coffee, a concert, etc.  I have said not to every single one. I have joked that even when  I am offered to have lunch brought to me, and I can be dying of hunger, I will still say no as not to ever lead any interest in the direction of hope.  I might just say I am a wee bit flattered that at almost 50 there are still many kind souls who have an interest in me. My cold heart is closed for business.  Actually I have a loving heart, but just one that can not ever be taken down a path in a relationship, so keeping things on the level of friendship.

Merrily I have gone along enjoying life and being very content. God has shown me much favor in the transitions of this past year and my  heart leaps with joy daily over how HE is showing me true and lasting love. My identity is in HIM alone.

I have always encouraged the young single women I mentor to focus on living your life in the design of how God made you. If you are finding LIFE in HIM, then He will give you the desires of your heart. Sometimes we don't even know what those are, but He will show you.  Because I believe that the Word of God is truth, I may not have my own life figured out, but God gives me the words to encourage and inspire these young women who desire to find Mr. Right. And, now as a single gal I am living out what I share.

There truly is not this heart abandoned to love or be loved again. There is a heart that is healing and finding a place of new kinds of joy and contentment. There is much joy in this world. There is also much contentment if we are living in the designs of how God made us. I have not had an experience yet that has robbed me of joy. Thanking God that in each day, as wreckless, or reckless as it may seem, He continues to show his love of me.
Blessings and Love, Elizabeth

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Living In An Outward State of Processing

It's been seven months since I posted here. I have been paralyzed in my blogging habits. There has been so much change. I would sit down to share my thoughts and realized that no matter how I write I can not mask the simple fact that divorce sucks.  Being a single mom sucks and I am in the best possible place and can still say all this. Why?

Divorce simply means two people could not figure out life together. There is much behind that statement.  I will not post my laundry here on this matter, nor will I say or do anything to cast a shadow on the father of my children, but who can honestly say, even if for the best, that their divorce was easy. It is not.  People get this idea that I am strong and solid and can handle life with fun, grace, savvy and ease.  No, I can not, but I am trying. It's hard on kids going back and forth, it's hard wrangling three boys, and homework, and dinner on the table, and yet in all of this kind of hard is it possible to be the happiest I have been in a very long time?  I mean really? I am by nature a happy person. With all the changes and new level of hard I am living an outward process of life. Meaning, life has not taken me out and I am present, doing, finding new love, and raising boys to be young men. I love what I see in them and how they are growing.

That all being said, I really am in a very good place. I know many single parents who have a hard, hard life and quite honestly I am very happy. Aside from all the laundry in this house being strewn on both floors of my house, I truly am happier. I think the title of this post, "Living In An Outward State of Processing" simple means that I am sharing my journey, talking about my struggles and even now going to be blogging more. Social Media also makes it quite easy to have outward process.

In that outward process I find that God is showing me more each day how much care he has for my heart. How even the hurts that went unresolved are beginning to surface and as I work through another day of life, releasing to Him the pains of my past I am freeing up space in my heart for bigger things he has for me.

As I begin to write again and share life's journey I hope there is one person reading who is encouraged, inspired and can know the love God has in all the details of our lives.
Love and Blessings, Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cleansing and Purging My Soul

“What a wonderful day of being blessed and cleansing and purging my soul. It's hard sometimes, but it's done. Over, moving on….”

Today, a dear new friend sitting on my sofa and hearing the intimacies of my heart. She does not offer wisdom or words. She bows her head and prays. The holiness of God and His love and care pours in.
I did not tell her how to pray for me, she just did. Her prayers and words speaking the freedom in pain that God gives. It only comes from God, because on my own I would not be able to sail off into the afternoon and go swimming with my boys and friends.  A much needed day to breath in friendship, the fresh  air and love back my life as it is.  Living in the joy of what my life is, who is in it and how I live it.

Earlier in the weekend another orchestrated blessing. Desperately needing to be with close friends. and one friend drives in from Portland to play, hang out and spend two days with me and the boys. Her timing of friendship and extending her ears to listen and heart to just love me right where I am. 

There is truly joy in hardships. My joy, in the midst of private storms keep my sails up, and moving forward.  I don't try to be strong and I don't pretend to be strong. I ask God for comfort, for peace and the blessings of friendships bring exactly what I need.  My faith is made strong in this storm. The strength anyone may see is simply God's hand holding me up through friendships, faith, and loving care.

God cares for our hearts. He knows our story and we do not have to be held captive to our situation or circumstance. Seek Him in all things. Cast you cares upon Him. I did that at 1am two nights ago, and last week, and this morning and right now. Casting over and over because I am an imperfect example of not doing it all at once. And each time I cast, HE gives me a greater peace.  

As the weeks unfold, a new chapter is going to be written. The pages will ring with the awesome and amazing wonders of God. May your heart learn, grow, and be strengthened. Blessings, Elizabeth

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Five Tips On Kids Summer Fun

Five tips on summer kids fun could easily turn into 100 tips. After all ever kid is different and we all know that even with 100's of Lego's and shelves full of toys our kids still say they are board.  I think sometimes people think that because I have five kids I could write novels on this stuff.  The reality is I learn so many new things with each season, and each stage of mothering deepens my understanding of each of my kids.

Tip #1 PLAN to take time doing what your kids want.
I do not like playing Monopoly. There I said it. Yet it is Eric's favorite game. He will set this game up and just beg for someone to play with him. I can spend all day saying, "later" "not now" and really it's just delaying some of the finest moments with Eric.  Planning time to sit with your child and play what they love grows your friendship with that one child. It also eliminates the begging for mommy time when you plant that special time with your child.

Tip #2 PLAN and encourage your kids to write. As in paper and pencil kind of writing.
Ethan will talk your ears off. He loves making up stories and sharing every detail.  Each day we planned a time for writing a chapter a day. I then planned some work I could get done. I loved the time watching Ethan write. I loved our interactions around the breakfast table, as I sat working. Ethan was only required to write one chapter a day, but he loved it so much some days he wrote two or three. Setting a time, and requirement will  fill up some time in the day. Also keeps your kids writing and thinking all summer long.

 Tip#3 PLAN cozy time & sleeping in.
It's not just the kids who are on summer break, it's you, too. Why not plan that cozy time in the mornings.  Our children spend 3/4 of the year jumping up, and out of bed and heading out the door. Encourage and plan those cozy times and sleeping in. Emerson would come in quietly, climb into bed and draw pictures while chatting away  When you "plan" these times the night before, and stick to the plan. Your kids learn to lay low during that time and you get that lazy slow wake up.

Tip #4 PLAN your kids TV time.
I love that the boys have an entire room to hang out in and for TV time and they are sitting close.  Kids spend more time being board after hours of unsupervised TV.  Plan your TV time the same time every day.  With limited TV time, they seem to have more creative play with less fighting. Trust me on this one. 
Tip #5 PLAN time with friends.
Make your home the home that kids want to come and visit. Encourage your children to be friends and invite kids into their space.  Plan and be willing to drive and get other kids.  Helping out a single or working mom.  When you plan these kinds of playdates your kids have something to look forward to.

Notice I use the word "plan" in each of my tips. When I make plans, my days seem to fly by and more importantly my kids stay happy, active and busy. They can see what has been planned and seem to like this kind of loose structure.  I want to make sure you get your money's worth from this post so here is my bonus Tip.
Bonus Tip PlAN outside play daily and join your kids. 
Getting out daily with your kids breaths not only fresh air, but breaths life into our souls.  Our kids spend most of their childhood in a classroom. Wide open places to run, play and explore.  No agenda, and lots of packed picnics. 

Kids are not great at planning out 14-16 hours of awake time.  I am very blessed that all of my kids love reading. I never have to plan reading time. They read often, and if they didn't this might be a six tip post.  These tips on summer fun will help make for a very chill and nice summer. Start  planning now as summer is just around the corner.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ever Feel Like a Mommy Failure?

Today was not a good day.  Today I cried and felt like a mommy failure.  Many things broke today.  Things got dirty that made me upset, and I took a three hour nap in the late afternoon. In addition to feeling like a failure I have allergies like I have never had, thus the three hour nap. Apparently the pink colored allergy tab makes you sleepy.
Cupboard door that will not close and will not edit on this page.

Writing on brother's desk. Tsk! Tsk!

Duct Tape art of broken glass.

Starting with what broke. The dishwasher leaked, the cupboard door got hung on and bent the hinge so the door does not close. My one son was angry for having a time out on his bed and threw something that literally cracked the glass in his window. He was mortified that a stuffed animal could do this, except he forgot he had tied a matchbox car around the neck of the stuff animal weeks earlier. So we have dishwasher, cupboard door and window broken.

If that was not enough one child decided to use a blue sharpy and draw a stick figure with big buns on his brother's desk. Then tried to clean it with my fancy expensive bathroom towels.  No one liked the healthy smoothies I made and laundry is everywhere.  Allergies are in fact compromising my coping skills because today I could not just laugh it off. I cried and then slept for three hours. Which was easy since one boy was grounded on his bed, one was lost in Ipad Heaven and another had control of the remote.

What happens on days like today.  Don't we all have a little of this every day.  Of course we do.  I thank God that this is just a day.  I felt like a mommy failure, and the minute little arms are wrapped around you saying I love you it all passes.  The one who broke the window had so much remorse.  I know how he feels. I broke a window once. I can not get mad.  David was calm, and got the duct tape to cover the cracks.  He is getting good at this quick repair. Last summer a flying rock broke another window, and that is still artfully duck taped.

Did I mention this is a house full of boys. I have learned that no size of a home can contain the energy of boys. Thanking God we have space and lots of outside play.  Now it's 2am.  That 3 hour nap was great, but the morning will come....oh wait it's Spring Break and this mama will be sleeping in.  Mommy failure day has passed.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Addition of Sarah

Notice one more in this picture?  Notice David's smile as he stretches his Papa arms across Sarah and Elliot.  This was taken the night that Sarah and Elliot got engaged and our first picture with a new family addition.   I have to be honest in saying that my prayer life is changing and I could not be happier.  I never dreamed what this day might be like.  What a blessing from God,  that the many years of praying for a sweet bride, someday for my son has been answered.

The addition of Sarah is the result of  26 years of praying for that little girl who was growing up to someday be Elliot's wife. That little girl who might be out skipping, and drawing flowers with chalk on hot summer sidewalks.  I prayed for a little girl that she was being loved by parents. My prayers were not deep, long hours daily.  They were moments throughout the past 26 years. Hand written notes in my journals of prayer for her.  Whispers of prayers as I watched Elliot growing up.   Praying that some day a young woman would know how to love, cherish and boldly come alongside his life with an identity in Christ.  The prayers of a mama's heart over who that little girl might be.  Praying that her life dreams would be to wrap her heart first around that intimate relationship with God, that she could understand the holiest of loves which would guide her heart in loving a man.

This precious girls loves boldly and out loud.  Sarah embraces the her newly extended family. She has our DNA.  When you carry the DNA of the Lord most high it's no jumble of emotions in fitting in.  She just does. She is passionate and caring and those around her can feel that care and love.  I sit back and watch her love that man I have raised.  I would be lying if I said I did not cry, with deep emotions over the magnificent way in which God answers prayers.

Sarah, in her fun spirit wrote that she prayed for a pony and prince charming. God gave her a prince.  I prayed for a princess of the Lord most high for my son. A beautiful girl that could come alongside the ministry God had set before Elliot. A girl who would know how to love and serve others right where they are at. Sarah has her ministry that God has grown her into.  She serves others and seeing her love the boys, Ethan, Eric & Emerson, and seeing her wrap her heart of sister love around Emily is a natural addition and progression of family and holy community.Our newest picture of our children.

Mama's don't ever stop praying for those who will someday join your family.  My prayer life has changed in that there is now a name to  young woman. I can now pray with a name a new prayer for both Elliot and Sarah.  God hears the prayers of our hearts.  We often wonder just how long we must pray.  We pray as long as the life we are given.  I encourage a journal of writings, scribbles, notes.  Looking back over the journals of over 20 years ago, I was but the age of Sarah when I started praying for her life.  I delight in the joy of this next season as a mother. 

Thank you God for you beautiful blessings, Elizabeth

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mother of the Groom Diaries.....

On March 10th my oldest son Elliot asked the lovely Sarah to be his wife.  It was a splendid affair.  I could write this lovely event in 1000 or more words, but instead take a few minutes to watch this video.  I am very proud of my son and his love for  sweet Sarah.  Enjoy!!!