bittersweet

Some of you know some of my story — of how my husband of twenty-two years insisted on walking away from our marriage. This happened over four years ago, and sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s my story. Friends have encouraged me to write more about that experience and what I’ve learned, but it’s really hard for a variety of reasons. First, it’s not only my story. It’s also my children’s, and I’m sensitive to that and to the fact that he is their father. Second, I don’t want to overshare, and I don’t want to dwell. And, honestly, it still stings. But I think I should share what I can, because I remember how very desperate I was for every morsel of encouragement and hope when I was in that deep, dark valley. If my story can help someone else, I’m selfish to keep it to myself. So if I can figure out ways to put my thoughts together, I’ll share them here from time to time.

One of the things I’ve found curious as I’ve moved through these past years post-divorce is how my previous life seems like it’s not my life. Everything I found out was such a shock, such a complete and total up-ending of the life we built for over two decades, that I really don’t know what was real and what wasn’t. I’ve questioned everything.

But as I decorated the Christmas tree last week and unwrapped hundreds of mementoes collected throughout all those years, I was reminded that YES, I did live that life. It happened. The memories are real. I really did visit those places, make those friends, worship in those churches, make a home over and over again. I cared. I loved. I didn’t just dream it. And even thought that life is gone now, I still remember.

hulasanta

so many memories of our 8 years in Hawaii on the tree

mosaicstar

evidence of my brief foray into smashing plates and making ornaments

japanorn

a souvenir from our 2 years in Japan

britorn

I bought this one in my favorite city — London

So I decorated the tree feeling that now ever-present sense of bittersweetness. I felt sorrow but I wasn’t crushed by it. I took joy in remembering and was thankful for that. Surely that’s progress, right? I can’t take credit for the progress, but I know the One who can.

If you’re where I found myself about four years ago, or if you know someone who is, I can tell you that it gets better. It’s not a straight line, but more like a crazy stock market graph with lots of highs and lows. Pain hits at the oddest times , and it still hurts to say “ex-husband.” But God is always good and faithful, and I’ve found that He comes through for me. It’s often not in a way I expect or even want, but He’s faithful. Even when I’m hanging ornaments on a tree.

This I know.

signature

“We have allowed our love stories to end way too early.”

courseofloveA few lines from The Course of Love by Alain de Botton:

Our understanding of love has been hijacked and beguiled by its first distractingly moving moments. We have allowed our love stories to end way too early. We seem to know far too much about how love starts, and recklessly little about how it might continue.


…and she is curious because she knows, better than most, that there is no one more likely to destroy us than the person we marry.


He would find it so much easier to give blood to an injured child in Badakhshan or to carry water to a family in Kandahar than to lean across and say sorry to his wife.


Kirsten wants a blow-by-blow account because that’s how she copes with anxiety: she hangs on to and arranges the facts. She doesn’t want to let on directly quite how worried she is. Her style is to be reserved and focus on the administrative side. Rabin wants to scream or break something.

random thoughts

~ It really rubs me the wrong way when I hear the word ‘gift’ used as a verb. What’s wrong with ‘give’?

~ I’m listening to rain falling, and it’s a sweet, sweet sound.

~ I’m listening to my husband snoring, and while it’s not a sweet sound, he’s a sweet man, and I’m glad he’s mine.

~ 2016 has whizzed by faster than any year I can remember, and it’s also been one of the weirdest.

~ I’m in a bit of a reading rut, but that’s okay because I’m on a knitting binge. If I could just figure out how to do both at the same time, I’d be in hobby heaven.

~ I rarely use my laptop anymore except to blog. I love my iPad. So this seems like an awesome idea.

~ Are any of you watching This Is Us? I’m really enjoying it. It’s filling the Parenthood void in my life. 

Gotta get back to my knitting!

“…we end up achieving the very opposite of our goals…”

courseofloveFrom The Course of Love by Alain de Botton:

But calm is precisely what is absent from love’s classroom. There is simply too much on the line. The “student” isn’t merely a passing responsibility; he or she is a lifelong commitment. Failure will ruin existence. No wonder we may be prone to lose control and deliver cack-handed, hasty speeches which bear no faith in the legitimacy or even the nobility of the act of imparting advice.

And no wonder, too, if we end up achieving the very opposite of our goals, because increasing levels of humiliation, anger, and threat have seldom hastened anyone’s development. Few of us ever grow more reasonable or more insightful about our own characters for having had our self-esteem taken down a notch, our pride wounded, and our ego subjected to a succession of pointed insults. We simply grow defensive and brittle in the face of suggestions which sound like mean-minded and senseless assaults on our nature rather than caring attempts to address troublesome aspects of our personality.

monday miscellany

An overdue round-up of links from ’round the web:

~ The best Christian novel you’ve never heard of. You’d better believe it’s on my wishlist.

~ My kids don’t eat organic.

~ Webb Simpson on marriage

~ Breaking News from 1973: Burgers Won’t Kill You

~ How is your Bible reading going? A peek:

The more I read the Bible the more I learn about God and about being one of His children – and the more I find comfort and courage in some of the most unexpected places of this big book.  There are certainly many “go to” passages in times of trouble or despair but the more I get to know all of God’s Word, the more I see what I know to be true about God – His love, mercy, faithfulness, patience, justice, wisdom, sovereignty, holiness – in every page and so I can receive comfort and courage not just from the “go to” passages but also from simply reading the next bit and being reminded afresh of God and His good promises.

~ I recently made this Very Greek Grilled Chicken (I did the marinating, and Paul did the grilling.). It’s a definite do-over. So good!

I hope your Monday has been a good one,

signature

why i love my husband wednesday

Yesterday I had a bad sinus headache all day. Nothing helped. And to top that off, I had to stop for groceries on the way home from work. I don’t usually mind grocery shopping, but I really, really don’t like to do it after work. It’s always busy, and the two Publix supermarkets I pass by on the way home are on the wrong side of the road and are a hassle to get in and out of. So I stopped off at Walmart. I know. Ugh. But it’s easier to get to, and sometimes it’s a necessary evil.

Anyway, headachy and cranky from going to Walmart, I came home and made a quick supper for us. Paul was cheerful and sweet, and he told me to leave the dishes — that he’d take care of them. And he joked around and got me to smile and laugh before I crashed at 8:30.

So today I was thinking about that and how he loved me when I didn’t feel well, and I am very grateful.

Just wanted to share,

signature

“…start behaving as if you had it already.”

mmattersFrom Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments by Winston T. Smith:

When you are not feeling particularly friendly but know you ought to be, the best thing you can do often, is to put on a friendly manner and behave as if you were a nicer person than you actually are. And in a few minutes, as we have all noticed, you will be really feeling friendlier than you were. Often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already.

 

monday miscellany

cottonA few links I’ve collected here and there:

~ One of my favorite John Newton hymns

~ Don’t mess with Tama Starr: The Ugly art of Trump’s deals

~ Tim Challies’ 2016 Reading Challenge update

~ A Plea to the Mission Minded

~ Deep-frying vegetables make them more nutritious.

~ The most important ingredient to improve your marriage

Happy Monday, y’all!

signature

 

 

why i love my husband wednesday

As we all know, December is crazy busy. Paul and I have thrown a potential house purchase into the chaos, and today we had a set back there. It was also another super busy work day, and I was easily annoyed by interruptions. When I heard my phone ding, I grumbled and expected bad news. Instead, I saw this:

text

 

Awwww. As I recently told him, if we’re good, it’s all good. It’s all good.