Beauty in the Brokenness: Hope and Resources for Children of Divorce

Hi! Today I delivered a message to deliver hope to children of divorce (of all ages) and their loved ones. There is not a lot of truth spoken except for what Hollywood and popular culture tries to tell us, and a lot of that is not very helpful. All you need to see is how the Brad and Angelina divorce is being covered. It's all about the drama, and that's not what people need - especially not the kids. So I've delivered a video (that I'm still trying to get posted on here), and compiled a list of tips and resources for you. If you'd like to watch it, jump on over to my Facebook page here to today October 19th.

3 Ways I mentioned we have to close the gap: 1) Encourage kids to find a faith that works and be okay with the fact that it might not look like ours, 2) Don't force them to believe, especially if they are harboring anger. It will push them further away. Show them by your walk, 3) Find your own relationship with God so they can learn from you, how you depended on your faith in the hard times.

3 Scriptures to share with kids who may be struggling with one of these three things. 1) If they feel broken, share with them Psalm 34:18. Show them that their brokenness is exactly why Jesus came, 2) If they feel alone, share with them Psalm 68:5-6 so they can learn about how God is Father to the fatherless and sets the lonely in families, 3) When they feel abandoned, show them God will never abandon them with Deuteronomy 31:6.

A final note for the parents I mentioned to help you out so you aren't blaming yourself or trying to fix your kids (I know hard to do) but here goes:

Don't beat yourself up. Best thing you can do is work on you. Get your own help. Don't try to fix your kids. You can't. They will have to work through it themselves, just like you. It's a gaping wound that can't be fixed with a band-aid But give them (and yourself) permission to do these things: to feel it, to talk about it, to be angry about it, and to find someone who gets it so you don't have to walk it alone.

Here's a little excerpt from the movie Moneyball. I forgot to mention it, but the song, "Enjoy the Show" is one I think many children of divorce relate to because it talks about being caught in the middle. Ironically it's with the guy who is going through one of the biggest Hollywood divorces.

Here is the link to the children of divorce statistics I mentioned..50% of North American kids will witness the divorce of their parents and 50% will experience their parents divorce before the age of 18.

Here are the books:

1) "Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce," by Elizabeth Marquardt

2) Smart Stepfamilies is the ministry of Ron Deal who has got various books on his website including ones for the Stepmom and Stepdad.

3) "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study" by Judith S. Wallerstein

Here is the Washington Post article from September 27th, 2016 I mentioned. It's called, "How Decades of Divorce Helped Erode Religion," by Julie Zauzmer. 

The song I mentioned I'd share that goes with the verse about "father to the fatherless."

Learning to Show Up More Authentically by Giving Ourselves Some Grace

So, last night I posted this image on my Facebook page. I'm reposting it here so I remember it.

This morning in devotion, God was really speaking to me about showing up courageously, authentically. What I didn't realize, is that I hadn't completely, and he dealt with me about that. I'm real in my messages, but where I'm missing in authenticity is my ability to just write and roll with it. What do I mean? Well, write to you, the reader - more frequently, instead of trying to make it fit into a perfect day or package. If you follow me, you know I deliver video messages on Wednesdays. These usually come to me a week in advance. I take notes on Monday, and then write out the thoughts on a yellow sheet Tuesday. Then Wednesday I put it on a card and deliver it from the heart. Those messages are important to me. But guess what, they aren't all I got. 

The content is flowing through me and I realize that if I'm only sharing it with myself, it gets hidden in my Evernote. What does that mean? Well, I want to show up more authentically outside the box of Wednesday. I want to write blogs, like this one, from the heart on the day they come to me so you can see where I'm at and maybe meet yourself where you are at.

It's amazing how when we think we're being authentic, we're still trying to perfect that. But it can't be perfected because it's about us just being us. So, instead of striving for perfection, I'm going to SHARE my progress. It would be awesome if I could write everyday because I love the accountability of that honestly. But God only knows. All I got is today. So I'm going to write freely, for you, right now from my heart. I'm going to try hard not to save it for a book someday and worry about when I'll write those, and just give it to you now. 

I got to this place with a little help. We get by with a little help from our friends. This morning I talked with a writer friend who just so happened to work at the White House with me in a previous life. She challenged me not to focus on all that writing in the future, and just write for today. We challenged each other to gives ourselves grace to be authentic, which is funny because I was just telling a friend the other day going through a loss to give herself grace. How often we need a dose of our medicine right?!

Even this morning, I went to the gym. Since the Spring I've been going to a barre studio called B Present. I haven't talked about it much because I've really just been showing up first and foremost. 2 years ago post-surgery I couldn't even walk around the block. Now I can show up in a way I never thought I could again, and guess what? It's not perfect. Today I can show up at the gym and know I don't have the body I had 5 years ago but still appreciate where my body is at and give myself credit for showing up for it. 

I have to say going to this place is making a big difference in my ability to give myself grace. I'm around women who are trying to do the same thing, and when you see you aren't the only one - you fall into grace without even thinking about it. Even today, I had some pain in my shoulder, but told my instructor so I could be accountable to give myself some grace. She helped me do that because it wasn't about showing up perfect.  Mind you, this is the same woman who I wrote about earlier this year, being envious of her success. There's that grace again. I gave God my envy to work out in me and He gave me grace. I had to push past my own ego and pride, and just show up. (Here's the blog if you are interested in the backstory.) What he did was awesome. He showed me how to find my courage, push past my fears, and even better? I get to show up without taking these workouts to an extreme or expecting perfection of my body. I get to just take care of it and feel better each day about being in my own skin. That's grace again.

Funny, here are just a few of the things that spoke to me with this message since last night:

And here was my favorite post from Emily Joy Rosen, from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating:

So what am I saying? I'm saying, how are you going to show up more authentically? Come back tomorrow as I'll be posting a video message about children of divorce and talking about how they are the missing link in the whole debate about divorce. And after that...

Oh, and since I can't not share music....I just found this music artist on Spotify this morning and it is AWESOME. Lights and Motion. Go Listen. So good! I have found my new favorite writing band.



Why You Don't Have to Feel Ashamed About the Weight You Carry

Today I'm talking about weight and shame, and the fear attached to it that can keep us hiding behind the weight instead of feeling free to be who God created us to be. 

If you are someone that's always focusing on your flaws - on fixing them, obsessing over them, or hiding them - the enemy is distracting you. Take a listen and see what I'm talking about.


WEAKNESS and THORN IN THE FLESH. All of 2 Corinthians 12.

DON'T HIDE. Psalm 32:7, "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."

SEEK THE LORD. Psalm 34:4-5, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame."

BELIEVE. Isaiah 61:7, "Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. An so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours."

STUDY the WORD. Proverbs 4: 20-23, "My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body. Above all else guard your heart because everything you do flows from it."

Quote: "The devil tempts us to bring out the worst in us but the father tests us to bring out the best in us." Warren Wiersbe


"Anatomy of a Food Addiction: The Brain Chemistry of Overeating,"  by Anne Katherine, M.A.

"Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food," by Lysa Terkeurst

"Good health, Good Life: 12 Keys to Enjoying Physical and Spiritual Wellness," By Joyce Meyer.

For those of you who need to remember that you don't have to be a slave to your fear...

For those of you struggling deeply with an addiction to food, this video is for you...

Finally, just in case you missed my Facebook post of the clip from This Is Us, here it is:

Don't Hide Your Gifts: A Reflection on Your Gifts, Talents and Purpose

So this week I talked about gifts, talents and purpose. Too many of us think we don't have them to give and I don't want you to believe that. You WERE created on purpose for a purpose and God wants to show you how. The best way to find out is to get to know Him, or at least that's how I've found it. Knowing it, I don't have to reach for things that I'm not called to do because I know they are not my talents or gifts. Let me tell you, it has taken me a LONG time to get here, and I am still in process. But I've fallen, failed and made mistakes many many times. But every time, I've gotten back up. So don't stay down when you fall or fail. Get up and see what God's got next. But don't try to do it on your own. Let Him show you.

Here are the two verses I shared:

The first one was from 1 Corinthians 1:26-29:

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

Check out the Amplified version here (Crazy):

26 Just look at your own calling, believers; not many [of you were considered] wise according to human standards, not many powerful or influential, not many of high and noble birth. 27 But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty]. 28 God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are, 29 so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God.

This is the next verse I shared. It's Matthew 5:14-16 NIV:

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

There were three books I shared:

#1.  "90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Life and Death" by Don Piper and there is also a movie

#2. "Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?" by Rick Warren.

#3. "S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life" by Erik Rees.

I'm adding a song to this that's pretty popular right now but heard it yesterday and thought it was perfect for today's message. It's by Switchfoot and it's called " Live it Well." It's got awesome lyrics. Listen in.

Just the Way You Are: How to Be Still and Enjoy the Season that You're In

I love the changing of the seasons because they are a reminder of how life ebbs and flows. As we watch nature change right before our eyes, we see that we can trust the beautiful picture God is painting. I remember this really hit me as I drove up North the fall after my Dad died to go write my book. As I grieved, I just had to be still and even enjoy the season I was in surrounded by the beauty of nature. I'd lost my Dad and it was devastating, but it was also really beautiful. My focus at the time was letting my heart heal from the loss. Working out, was not. I did what I could with the season I was in. 

What are you doing today in the season that you're in with what you have? Are you keeping it simple? Or are you hurriedly planning for the next because you are afraid to feel what's going on in this one? If you are piling on a million things so you stay busy, I get it. I had a recent bout with that and didn't even realize I was doing it. It must have been the post-high school students/empty nester brain. As soon as the house was empty it was like, "Okay, let me do everything on my list!" I'm sorry, what? 

Let me tell you what I am doing to be still and enjoy the season I'm in. I'm working on a new book, as I mentioned last week. I'm also focusing on getting back into my body.  We all go through seasons where our body is more the boss than we are and I am coming out of one of those. Now I have the time and the space to get healthy again. But as someone who has been an exercise addict there are two principles that are incredibly important to me:

#1. I come into it knowing that my body is a vessel for the Holy Spirit but also knowing that it's not a god to be worshipped. 1 Corinthians 6:19 AMP tells us, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body."

#2. It's also true for me that physical health is important, but spiritual health is even more so. These are important things for me to remember on my journey of health. 1 Timothy AMP tells us, "For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come."


So, I've been, as Fergie says, "up in the gym just workin' on my fitness."

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Here's the thing though. This season I've been in with my health, I'm not coming into a new one trying to "fix" myself so I can be good enough or accept myself. I accept myself as I am today. I want you to know that you don't have to wait until you are "fit" to be accepted. When we accept that we are loved by God, we can accept that God wants us to change for the better. In John 10:10 it says, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." Part of that is feeling good in our bodies so we can be vessels for Him! It's not about getting better looking or fitting into better clothes, but ultimately it's about Him. The healthier we are, the more able He is to use us. But that doesn't mean He's not using us now! He wants to work with us to improve our health, he's not EXPECTING us to get it right so He can accept that. If that's what you believe, please listen to me, that's not who God is. He loves you JUST the way you are.

When we can see ourselves as God sees us, we can meet ourselves in the season we're in and begin to move forward. That means accepting where we're at and totally ENJOYING that part of the season! And yes, that means not focusing on our plans or a goal weight. It means focusing on HIM. Focus on the journey, not the goal. Focus on  Him in the midst of it, not down the road. Imagine God is the yellow stripes down the middle of a road and just keep your eyes on Him. 

Some of us aren't in seasons where working out is really an option. We can't get away because work is too busy, kids are busy, or a beautiful baby has come into our life! That's okay! I truly believe THAT is where God is wanting YOU to Be Still and ENJOY the Season you're In. If you can get away and go for a walk or hit a yoga class, then go for it. But don't beat yourself up for where you are at my friend! 

Oh, and guess what I've got to do this every day too!! Right now, not having kids in the house has allowed me to get up early and go workout to get the day started. So I've been doing a mix of walking, barre workouts and yoga. I love it because they all are low impact, and the classes have awesome instructors and atmospheres. I'm not running miles that kill the knees that I have left. I'm being gentle on my body and mind.

It's funny because last week I was at an early barre class and I talked with two ladies after class. As we rolled our eyes to share in the exhaustion, we laughed about how we're moving slow and how we used to be able to do push-ups, planks and runs a lot more in the past but we are meeting ourselves where we're at. Where? Right NOW. And just the night before I went to that class, I made a remark to my husband (not beating myself up, but just noticing) "Wow, I'm kinda out of shape." Thankfully, I'm doing something about it. But you know what my husband said, "Honey give yourself a break. You've been in a season." He was right. The last four years of our life together had been one crazy season with every kind mixed into it. But it was a beautiful thing to hear Him say that.

The next day after I got home from the gym, I started to prepare this week's message and listened to Billy Joel's  "Just The Way You Are." Started balling, just realizing that my husband truly loves me just the way I am. What a gift God!! I realized how crazy it is that we always think in the demanding seasons of life we're not beautiful or something.  But if we're showing up, however we're supposed to show up in that season, being still and enjoying it? That's where we're beautiful. Right now, in the season that we're in. 

So here's my message. Ladies we are all beautiful - just the way we are in whatever season we're in. I don't care if you've got scars or baby puke on your face, you are beautiful. I don't care if your pants size went up or you need a haircut (like me). I don't care how much you want to say, "But I'm not as pretty as so and so." I care that you ARE. You really are beautiful JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. I know you may not be feelin' me right now but believe me. Be kind to yourself, and your body. Forgive yourself for not being further along in health or some other area. You are where you are and God's okay with that because that's exactly where he wants you to be...still.

Here are two verses that God gave me in devotion time recently that I think speak to this message:

You ARE fearfully and wonderfully made. "I will give praise and thanks to You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my Soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14 AMP

You faith is worth more than gold (Amazing!!). "In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6-7 AMP

Finally, here are a few videos that I think speak to it as well. Maybe you can add them to your workout playlist to remind you: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

Here's Your Playlist for the Week With Videos Below: 

Alessia Cara, Scars to Your Beautiful
Bruno Mars, Just the Way You are
Pitch Perfect Girls, Just the Way You Are
Billy Joel, Just the Way You Are


When Our Plans Don't Work: How We Can Trust God's Instead

“In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

So, I had a plan to have a Podcast started on Monday. It did not work out as I had planned or expected. But when I got in prayer that morning God established my steps. He gave me what he always does - good sound direction. So I wanted to share it with you so it can help you when your plans don't workout. 

I was fighting hard not to beat myself up for this launch not happening. Thank God the verse of the day on Monday was Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Our hearts are something many of us don't pay attention to - and I'm all about giving them some more attention! They are our will, emotions, thoughts, desires and all the stuff inside that we just follow. My heart was wanting me to believe that I had failed once again because the "product" hadn't launched. But there is something I'm learning (slowly) about what the Lord has called me to do. It's not a product. It's heart. It doesn't mean that there won't be a product. I do believe that he wants the words I write and share to get out to the world. But it also mean that I have to focus on what he's put on my heart. I can plan all I want but if he directs, I have to follow him.

Here's what else he reminded me of Monday - that I'm not in charge. He builds the house.

"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain." Psalm 127:1

He reminded me that He is the one that meets all my needs. I'm not in charge of meeting all of my own needs. It's why I so need Him. 

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

His ways are higher than mine and even though the world tells me that I've got to focus all my efforts on self-promoting, I need to focus on God - because HE is the only one who will promote me. Again, it doesn't mean I will do nothing to promote. But I do have to keep in check my motives - am I doing this for my glory? or His.  I was taken to 1 Peter 4:13, 

So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
— 1 Peter 5: 6-7 MSG

What an awesome reminder. How often do we think we have to meet our own needs? Really that's what the world teaches us, that we can't depend on anyone but ourselves, let alone God. Isn't that why we put our plans together, so that we can have control of the outcomes? I know I have had times where I felt like I was in God's will, but then he showed me I wasn't by not letting it workout. Every time though, it was for good. I have so often struggled with God's call on my life, because it isn't traditional work. I struggle with what others think (just like everyone does) and what it looks like. But writing is not a traditional job and I am absolutely okay with that because God is guiding my steps and I trust that if it becomes something more, he will make it that - in His time. Over time I've slowly learned to trust Him more and more. I know that God wants me to feed his sheep and share the Word with the world, to bring people closer to Him but I can't do that if I'm beating myself for what didn't workout. I always have to understand that he has a better plan. Not only that, he's got a purpose for me and for you. 

I have to remind myself (as you probably do to) that we don't need to be doing what  everyone else in the world is doing. I'm doing what God has me doing. Are you doing what God wants you to do? I'm not saying everyone needs to be doing what I'm doing. But he gave us all gifts, are you using yours?

I've been blessed and gifted to do a lot of cool things in my professional life like planning Presidential events. As far as cool goes, I've had the cool job. But now I have the amazing job that deeply satisfies me. It feels right and when words hit the page, I get lost. It's just how I communicate. My writing doesn't come by trying harder. It just comes. So I dare you to think about what it is you really love to do. What do you get lost in? You may think you have to do something that fits in a certain box, because it looks good - but what feels right? Where do you feel God tugging you? God doesn't want you to build a house alone. He wants to help you build it. But you gotta trust that he's right there beside you ready to lay another brick. Now, I say this to myself and you! Don't get ahead of yourself! I know, when you do find what you love to do, you get excited. But God's got the plan and  it's much better than ours. 

So, that being said, if you are wondering what I'm up to. I'm spending my time focusing on what God's called me to do. That is writing. The extroverted part of me spends time with others in various communities, but this is where I feel called to help the world. You may already know that, but isn't it funny how long it takes us to figure it out ourselves? Right Now, those of you who have read my book will be happy to know I'm working on the next one and in two weeks I'll be at a Writers Conference to get some feedback. And those who like the videos, they are coming back in October. So, take a rest. Take a listen to what God may be doing by changing your plans. Don't expect an answer right away. Just trust, that he will provide the way in His time.

Seasons Change: How We Transition From One Season of Life to the Next

Today's post was supposed to be about how I've learned to navigate the grief over the years since Dad passed. Well, that's not what it's turned into, because as an empty nester today, I'm navigating an additional kind of grief - of not having kids in the house. So I thought it was appropriate to widen the scope of this, cause grief and change aren't all tied up into a nice box with a bow. They are messy. So this one's for all of you who are walking into a new season of your kids going back to school, your kids being off at school, or in their new careers, or your parent or loved one not being on this earth. Maybe for you it's even about mourning a relationship that you have that has changed. Whatever the case may be, we all need a little bit of God's grace.

So, here's the story. I thought my husband was going to be the one to have a much more difficult time than me with the whole empty nesting thing. Ha! I was wrong. I totally got blindsided. Day one of a regular week with the kids not there, or even just Sami there was a little shocking. The routine of everyone gathering together at the end of a day to come to the table and nestle into home was something that comforted me. It was a routine.

So when Mike got home, I didn't expect to snap at him about something as dumb as clothes of Matt's we're giving away. Then I'm in the kitchen, cooking our turkey for dinner trying to get in touch with my feeling and realizing I had anger. Wow, hadn't had THAT emotion in a while! What's behind anger? Fear. Of course I had fears of the change with this next season. I had fears that I wouldn't be able to get back to my dream after all these years of putting the kids first. I had anger that one day they are here, and one day they are gone?! It wasn't them, or even my husband that I was angry at. It was the situation changing - cause we all hate change, right? And it was the enemy wanting me to beat myself up for all the stuff I haven't gotten done in this season of parenting. Yeah, no I wasn't going to let him do that. I wrote about it, apologized to my husband, named what I thought might be going on and kept moving forward. That was that. I could process my emotions. Of course, they came back again the next morning but guess what? I don't have to hate myself! This is normal and part of the process of changing into a new season!!!

So here's what came as I sat with this lovely grief. Much of it has helped me since Dad died too...

#1. SIT WITH IT. Yes, that's what I said. That sweet rollercoaster of emotions is yours, so own it. But don't let it lock you into the ride. If you don't feel it, you stuff it. You gotta feel it, whether it's anger like that I felt Monday night, or plain old sadness. Maybe it's not even a feeling. Maybe it's purely physical, like you feel like you can't do anything. Be in that. Maybe you are in your head. Okay, maybe don't stay in your head. But put it down on paper. Get it out of yourself the minute it starts to take you for a ride (even if you hate writing!). If we don't sit with it, we won't heal it. Yes we have to move on, but our feelings have a mind of their own. "The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still." Exodus 14:14 NIV "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 NIV

#2. BE COMFORTED. There is so much stuff out there to "comfort" ourselves with, whether it's food or Netflix - we can just seek it in those things. But here's the thing about healing. You aren't going to heal it, if you just seek comfort. You've got to let God heal it. You've got to let God get to the root of your pain, and be comforted knowing that He isn't doing it to hurt you, but to heal you. Believe me I get it. I get wanting just something to take the edge off. Hello food! But I have found when it gets tough, there truly is only one who can comfort me and that's God. Not only that, he's the one who puts people in my life who I get to share my grief with that get it so we can comfort each other. How beautifully God works in our lives. He is..."the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV. Galatians 6:2 NIV says, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

#3. RECOGNIZE WHEN YOU ARE BEATING YOURSELF UP. This may not make sense at first, but listen to what you tell yourself. Do you tell yourself things you should have or could have done? Do you do what I did the other night and beat yourself up for not "measuring up" and doing more in that season? Stop yourself. Get out of your head. Recognize that those are NOT your thoughts and they are certainly not God's, because He would not be beating you up for everything you haven't done. He would be telling you that He had you in that season for a reason so be nice to yourself. "See how much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1 NLT

#4. LOOK AT THE GOOD. Gratitude, contentment, acceptance, love. Have gratitude for the entire season you've been brought through and for what God is already doing in the next. Let God show you by reflecting on the previous season, just how lucky you are to have loved or to have been present to the kids God has given you or to love the parents you did. Think for a minute just how much God must love us, to show us love and to put people in our lives to love! Accept where you are at, maybe in all the messiness and realize that God is going to do a new thing because out of every storm comes a clear sky somewhere! Love. Just BASK in the love you got to feel because you've gotten a small taste of just how much God loves us. "But God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 NIV.

#5. PRACTICE SELF-CARE. How hard is this one? In 2 days I have found this statement to be true, "Kids are an awesome distraction from dealing with your own stuff." Yes, I said it. It is a beautiful thing to raise kids - a tremendous gift from God. But, wow. When they aren't in front of us 24-7 and we're left with ourselves? What a time to look at ourselves and say, "It's time to take care of you." Yes, we do our best at taking care of ourselves when we have those people in our life. But I see where God just kinda opened the skies enough to show Mike and I, "It's time for you to take a real rest and take care of yourselves." I can just feel it in my bones almost. What does that look like for you? For me? It's going to yoga more. It's being in nature more. It's getting a massage to release the toxins!! It's even letting the cortisol in my body rest by eating foods that don't inflame my system. It's doing all those things that connect me to that love of the Father - watching a sunset, listening to a song, video chatting with the kids. It's so much about just being in the season I think. And I know I'm only a few days in, but I can see how much it's about that acceptance and contentment, and even healing.  I mean I'm excited for how God's going to show me how to take better care of my body this season! "Don't you realize that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT This verse is one I think I'm going to put on my wall, "Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. 3 John 1:2 AMP

#6. DREAM AGAIN. It is so important to feel our feelings. But we cannot let them run our lives or stay stuck on a pity pot of the past. We must dream again. We must know that God's got good plans for us in the next season. The other night I was beating myself for all the stuff I haven't done with Healthy Voice in this season, and all the work we have to do in our house. But that doesn't serve me. What does serve me is everything I've mentioned above, and this. Dreaming again about all the things I can do with Christ in my work, in my marriage, in my home, with my time. I was walking around St. Mary's and ND campus yesterday, texted my husband to say, "We gotta come back over here and do our Sunday morning runs." They were so important to us for a long time, but kids schedules took it away for a season. But that's okay, because we have new ways to dream!! God will do new things in this season ahead. "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19 NIV

One last fun thing. Did anyone look at the title of this blog and think of the old eighties song by Expose called "Seasons Change"? I did for a minute. So if you need a little extra dose of reflection (or a laugh at the eighties outfits). 

On another note, if you just need to be with it, here's a more appropriate video. This is one that's with me now as I Be with it.