Can I highjack 2.5 minutes of your day for a motherhood rant? In return, I would love if you could please tell me, this week, what the hell is going on in this land of all things crazy with a slight chance of being smothered in a dollop of love on a random, unexpected day.
In the Land of Motherhood, a dollop of love is even a stretch, my friend. A far stretch on some days and for some mommas.
I’d feel more comfortable with this conversation if I could just take a second and lay this out before we go any further —I am NOT a parenting expert on said topics:
I do not help single mommas teach their littles how to clean up their toys or eat those ugly green vegetables.
Sleep training? Not that either.
Nor can I keep your teen from sneaking out your kitchen window or blasting steamy photos all over Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter like yesterday’s dinner.
You will not see me giving strong advice on how to potty train over the weekend while enjoying your trip to Cancun or groom your seventeen-year-old to Sainthood.
You won’t. It’s what I am not good at. It’s what I have not mastered.
To save time and to clarify, here’s a link to learn more about what I can help with…
I have heard about this concept though.
To my husband–curbed for public view–an open letter from my heart to yours,
On some days it probably seems like you took on the world.
My sweet goodness, in all of its craziness.
During most of my days, as messy as they are, I see very clearly you took on all of my world.
I like to think it was my irresistible dance moves and mad cooking skills but as time has lent to the truth, through the hardest of our days, I hear over and over —God put me and my little girl on this man’s heart.
I’m pretty sure I can speak for both us when I say…
Three of the best questions I was ever asked during my ten years as a single mom came after what seemed like eight thousand years of strategically placing the pieces of my life together.
December 2009, I was given the opportunity to work with a team of individuals that were doing really big things.
What made it so great?
Dear Single Momma,
In the busyness of the holiday season, during the hecticness of jingle bell shopping and reindeers dancing in the night sky, I have to stop and share my heart with yours.
From one momma who has fought really hard to climb out of some really messy places, I can’t help but think you might be struggling with feeling discouraged and losing hope this December.
And Christmas time is never a good time to be sad. All that hurt tends to settle in — a little bit deeper.
Maybe you are barely hanging on by a thread. Maybe your thread broke off several months ago and you don’t even know how you’ve made it through each day. Maybe you can’t buy your kids Christmas gifts for a million and seven financial reasons. Maybe you are struggling with an illness with an uncertain outcome. Or the sad reality that the family you’ve worked so hard to save is falling through your fingertips and no matter how bad you want to make it work, it’s not.
For all these reasons and so many more, I’ve been carrying in my heart the heaviness of yours.
For just a few minutes can I speak into your hungry heart something that might be really hard to hear? Something you might even reject as soon as the words hit your sweet spirit?
Because it’s Thanksgiving and because I turn FORTY, this Friday to be exact, I’m hand delivering a list of FORTY items I am most grateful for —today.
Whatever life has you busy doing, stop for a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite drink and sit right here to chat it up about what makes us grateful.
After reading my list be sure to write your own or share your heart of gratitude with a friend or loved one.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here’s my list of most grateful items from the four decades I’ve been blessed to learn and grow in this place called — earth.
“Sometimes, Cassie, in order to fully understand how to give, you have to have received much.” That afternoon, as soon as her words rolled off her tongue and hit my thirsty soul, I knew this carved out sentence would be the beginning of new understanding for me. There are many gifts to receiving.
Because I’ve been abundantly blessed to have been given so much during my single motherhood journey, from finances to favors, to an outpouring of God’s mercy and forgiveness, the words of my friend hit my heart hard. She, too, had been in the same place of great need. Coming all the way from Indonesia, her family was very well taken care of and comfortable in a variety of ways. Upon her arrival to America, life was unfamiliar and incomparable to the life she had known.
Maybe you have experienced this too. The vulnerable place of dependence. A need to receive.
Fear. Unfortunately, it exists. I like to think that I am untouchable by its presence but that simply is not the case. And so it is, thus far on this short journey on planet earth, I’ve yet to be convinced fear will ever be eradicated. From my life and yours.
But I also don’t believe we should do things afraid.
So what does that mean for those of us who struggle with fear?
I walked through those doors pretty certain of the outcome. If I had to put money on it, I would’ve bet a win. For me. As I set waiting for the judge to come out to deliver his truth, I wrote this one line, “God, your will be done. Not mine.”
Then our turn came. The request I was asking for would be decided. The peace I was trying to give my daughter would be on the line. And it was in the hands and at the mercy of a Los Angeles County judge.
While on hold for the court’s lunch break, I had hoped while enjoying his pb&j sandwich or milk and cookies, this judge would be hit with the epiphany of truth. I was hoping his stack of cookies would give him the wisdom to ask the right questions and my girl would get an extended break from the emotional rollercoaster that she so desperately needed.
But that wasn’t the case. That wasn’t the case at all.
“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt.”
With a gorgeous desert backdrop and rarely hesitating to shovel some of his savory life tips my way, he leaned back in his patio chair relishing in a favorite cigar.
“It’s how you play your hand.”
At thirty-eight, I enjoyed more than ever hearing my dad’s superpower — wisdom. My dad’s always had a sweet way of pouring into my hungry heart.
I know there is pain that I do not know, nor will I ever know all the pain delivered by this worlds heavy hand. I’m a firm believer we all suffer in deep places of discomfort to a degree that is painfully hard for each of us. The point of which we feel that pain arrives at different seasons and ages for each of us.
It is what we choose to do with the cards dealt us that separates, as they say, the wheat from the chaff.
It seems like most recently I’ve had a wave of opportunities piled onto my plate. A warm and savory serving of uncomfortable opportunities.
I’m unsure if this is a sign of how fabulous I will be in the next ten years, love from a God who knows I am in need of His continuous mercy or both.
I like the idea of both.
Perhaps you know what I mean.
The email you had thoughtfully laid out, fuming with greatness, went to the wrong co-worker. With good intentions, you gave untimely advice on an honest whim that dug deep into a good friend’s heart who really just needed prayer and not your words of ignorant wisdom. Damage control from too many glasses of wine topped with a splash of your favorite mixed drink — at your husband’s work party.