Friday, October 16, 2015

Single Parenting. Co-Parenting. Just, Parenting.

Single Parenting. Co-Parenting. Just, parenting. 

This is not for the weak. I'm exhausted. Raising children was not created to be done alone.  I want to tap out sometimes, I want some back up. I want to be the good cop sometimes. I don't want to follow through. I don't want to make dinner and then argue with her about eating it, or not eating it, or eating something else i.e. turkey sandwich that you seem to never tire of, and then deconstruct every. single. time. I also want to share in their successes and really really funny things they often spout off.

This was meant to be a team effort, and by that I do not mean a few days here and a few days there. There are days, ya'll, that I don't see an end in sight. When will the fits stop? When will she stay in bed after only getting up 5 times? Why is the bedtime battle over an hour long some nights? When will he stop throwing his food on the ground? When will he not HATE getting his teeth brushed? When will I stop breaking a sweat trying to get him dressed?  When are they old enough to teach grace instead of the constant follow through? 

Some days ya'll, some days I cannot wait for the break that they spend with their dad, I enjoy my weekend and play catch up and relax and rejuvenate as much as I can, and by Sunday I'm pumped and ready for them to come home. And then some days... Some days I've only been away from them a few hours and I feel like I'm walking through the day in a haze, like something from within my being is missing. All is not right in the world and something unnatural is occurring and I'm reminded again that our family looks different than families were created to look. 

My babies have an incredible love from their mother AND their father that they only experience one at a time.  I can't help but be concerned about how they will view love and relationships with another when that time comes for them.  I pray for them every day that the Lord provides in them a love and commitment beyond what they understand or have experienced.  

I pray that the Lord bless their dad with a God fearing woman who will love my children fiercely and intentionally, who will discipline them in love and grace. Someone who will speak life into them and who will thoroughly enjoy these children for who they are.  Who will constantly encourage them to be silly and exactly who they were created to be.  Someone who will hold them to a high standard of being good and honorable humans.  I pray that my babies enjoy who she is and sitting with her at a table and chatting about the day.  That they confide in her, trust her and love her. I pray that their father is genuinely happy and finds a partner that he can create a strong healthy relationship with that proves to be a positive example to our children.

Of course I pray for all of these things for myself, but I have control over myself and who I allow in my life. I know the standard I have for myself and trust that the Lord has a great plan for me.

My hearts cry is also that eventually, as time moves, wounds are healed and respect is grown they can see their father and I enjoy life simultaneously in their presence. That they see a healthy relationship between their mom and dad - their two constants.  Although separate, our love for you both will never fade or take second place to any other person or thing.

Because of our family dynamic, and what their family portrait looks like, all I can do is continue to teach them to be good humans as well as I'm able.  Teach them to be kind to others, patient, at least TRY new foods, and that the Spurs are the best team ever.  I can make sure they know how to two step and that they understand that creamy peanut butter is the only acceptable kind.  I can love them with my whole being and remind them that as I disciple and continue to follow through that it's BECAUSE I love them. I can be humble and apologize as I make mistakes again and again.

We have days ya'll, that I just don't know that I'm good at this at all. My house is a disaster, she's sighing heavily at her brother for not listening to her, and he is yelling "no ma'am!" at me...both responses they have learned from yours truly.  Some days I realize I haven't just sat and played or laughed with them longer than that laundry has been on the couch.  Some days I decide my failures on how much I have in the bank, or the fact that I haven't even been able to get a hair cut in at least 9 months.  I have dishes in the sink, un-made beds and un-decorated bedrooms and things growing in Tupperware in the fridge (I threw that away.)

Yet, she still looks at me with heart eyes and calls me 'best friend.' He still grins with one thumb in his mouth and the other combing his hair, like I did as a child, and says 'lalalalala you."

Lalalalove you too, babes. always always.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's Time

Deep breath. It's time.

It's time to take ownership of who I was. It's time for me to put a name to things in my past so I can stop living in fear of repeating them or fear of them being thrown at me so I continue to feel shame.

The enemy wants me to stop living, yes physically he is out to seek, kill, and destroy... but emotionally too. He wants me to live in the darkness with him. He wants to continue to whisper my failures and faults in my ear like deadly sweet nothings.  He wants me to be so scared of my future that I stop creating one and stay inside the walls I've built up.

But, I refuse.  I refuse to get depressed. I refuse to live in the darkness. I refuse to let my past self keep me from becoming who I was created to be.

I feel in order to take control of my life now I need to take control of my past, and that means owning up to who I was. Not excusing them as sin for sin or pointing blame to other circumstances.  Not being passive about my mistakes or minimizing them, but putting a name to them.  This takes away the power the enemy thinks he has over me to live in fear and shame.

So, its time. I've not been a great person. I've tried really hard and then sometimes not so much- but I've failed over and over. I've lied. I've cheated, had inappropriate relationships. I abandoned my marriage. Lived in offence. I've not been a good friend.  And the list goes on... I'm sure some of you can add to it.

But its time to believe this truth deep in my bones.

 I am not the mistakes I have made. These things are not my name. These things are not my identity. And to most of you, they really haven't been my identity. I've been able to keep them covered well enough, but I've carried them as my own identity.  And these are the heaviest name tags.  

I'm taking them off. I'm not these things anymore. This is who I was, not who I am. No one can shame me more than I have myself, and I'm done with self-shaming. 

It's time. It's time to step into who God created me to be. I wasn't created to live in seclusion, crippled by fear. By living in my shame and staying in the darkness is me saying I don't believe in what Christ did on the cross...Or even worse believing it but choosing not to see it.  Isn't that worse?  When we know the deed someone did for us and not acknowledge it?  How rude... but this is on an eternal level, not just someone buying us dinner without saying 'thanks.'

It's time to accept that incredible gift and choose life. Choose to live and to step out of the darkness. Choose joy. Choose to drop these heavy name tags I've been wearing. I don't really know all that God has created me to be or what His plans are for me, but I know it's not what I have been.  

Now, I'm just stuck with the ol' "Rhonda" name tag... I know it's not much better. but I'll wear it proudly over the alternative. 

**Some say I'm painfully honest in my posts. Sorry, not sorry.  I pray and mill over each post and I believe in transparency to show all the Christ has done.  I would rather be brutally honest and make some people uncomfortable in their chair by my honesty than be surface and appear as a fraud.  Life is hard and Christ is amazing and there is no other way to show it than putting all your shit on the table. Yes, I said Christ and shit in the same sentence. Now, go be kind to someone who doesn't deserve it.**

Friday, January 30, 2015

For those not 'in it'

There are some quotes, scriptures, passages, sayings and songs that you just don't understand fully until you're in it such as, "Divorce is a funeral no one attends."

No one knows how to reply. No one knows how to respond. Even those those who have been through it-theres just not much people can do. It's such a range of emotions and theres no where to go but through it and keep going. Even if you're the one initiating the motion, there's still so much to mourn and so much heartache.

I'm in it. I was 1 whole person, and then became a totally new person as I was joined with another 1 whole person, and now we're apart and I am half a person. I know that math doesn't really add up, but it's truth. That's why divorce is so hard. Two people become one flesh and when that's torn apart - no matter the reasoning, hurts you both have or have caused - it's painful and it sucks.

All will be fine;  I'll just be bee-boppin' along, drinking my morning coffee, jammin' to the new Taylor Swift, going through the day the day, the new norm's and BAM it hits. This gut wrenching ache and pain you didn't even know was humanly possible to survive. This overwhelming sadness, heartache, loss and fear.

I'm in it. I'm trying to figure out how to survive being just half a person.

I've not yet had to handle the death of someone in my immediate world, friends siblings, accuantainces, teachers, grandparents in other states, greats, and step family, but no one too close...yet. And I cannot imagine the pain and difficulty of trying to wrap my brain and heart around the fact that someone is just not here anymore.

In death everyone typically finds out about the loss within a couple days. Everyone pretty much knows exactly what happend. We have a funeral as closure. We send flowers. Cook food. A Shiva call in the Jewish culture. Everyone comes together to mourn that loss, or at least begin that process together... although I'm sure it's a much longer journey thereafter. But those feelings are obvious and its just known that you're hurting and feeling loss.

Life around you keeps existing and it doesn't make sense how it does but it does. People go to work; they are in traffic, in lines at HEB, tweeting away. Life around keeps existing.

Divorce is different.

There's no ceremony.
There's no Shiva Call.

Everyone doesn't find out about a divorce at the same time-and if they do they are being nosey and gossiping, and "shame on them," right? It's amazing how many people you havent talked to in years "just wanted to say 'hey" after you change your name on Facebook. Right.

People rarely know the real reasons for what is happening. Often they feel they have to choose a side, or just do naturally without realizing it (please know in our situation, you dont need to pick a side... actually please dont pick a side.) There are a lot of assumptions and tip toeing around and hush hush, and checking the ring finger until just everyone just figures it out and stops asking...or honestly, I dont know... I'm still waiting to see what happens.

But still, life around you keeps existing people still go to work; they are in traffic, in lines at HEB, tweeting away. Life around keeps existing.

No one in the halls of this enormous work place knows the heartache I'm feeling.
No one knows that I have $7 in my bank account and a bill going through tomorrow.
No one knows that I'm not being shy or rude, I just know if I open my mouth and say anything at this moment the tears will fall and then my face will be red for the next 2 hours. Although I must say, I've become an almost-expert at crying at my desk without those around me knowing. (ie. now as I write this blog.)
No one understands why I don't want to hear your advice or your opinions.
No one understands why I will still stand up and defend the person that I'm no longer one with.
No one understands that I don't always need your encouragement, just empathy. Not sympathy.
No one understands that I just don't want to be around people today.
No one understands that tomorrow I just really really really need to be surrounded by people and laugh and laugh...and then half way through that time might need to sneak away because its too much.
No one understands how many individual and seperate things and people I'm currently mourning.
No one understands that I. just. need. a hug.

Don't think that I'm just depressed, hum drum, broken and sad all the time. It's day to day. And sometimes minute to minute. Jesus restores the brokenhearted and I know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord.

Honestly, I dont have a great solid take away from today's post.

I do have many hugs for those that are in it and those will go though it.
I have open ears when needed.
I have no advice, other than just keep getting up, keep going.
I have a kitchen that I can cook you dinner (but I must warn you I'm an awful cook.)
I have sappy movies and a love for ice cream.
I have a Savior that is crying right beside you too.
I have silence because that's often needed.. as well as good playlists on Pandora.

Keep going. And try not to be so nosey, y'all.

I did come across this article that was extremely encouraging to me, and if you're in this place I encourage you to read it as well.

PSALM 30.11