I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Heavy Hope, and Carrying Darkness.

The soft, hopeful, lit up days of Christmas are heavy upon us.
Yet so many moments are hard, hopeless, and dim for one living with grief.

Five years is nothing.
How can this be?  That seems like such a long time.  I had a toddler when she took her last breath.  Now I have a sweet, independent, amazing, beautiful, intelligent, adorable, eight-year-old boy.  Still, somehow, it seems like only five days.  Five moments.  Five hours.

Five years.

I have learned to navigate through the darkness.  I have learned to own up to all the grief I will always carry in missing my Momma, yet still make it through the days I have been given.  How could I not?  It pushed me into a quick reality check of how precious our days are.  It jolted me into realizing how precious my family is, and beckons me all the more to pour myself into them with every day I am given.

I have learned to walk through the despair.  I can’t tell my story without telling about her, and losing her.  It is now a part of who I am.  How could it not be?  I am from her.  Her blood flows through my veins.  I am her daughter.  And like her, I am a mother.

I have learned that time doesn’t heal the pain of losing a loved one.  How could it?  To say that about a living, breathing, loved one, cheapens life.  Time doesn’t heal this kind of pain.  I’ve only learned to walk through each day carrying the darkness.  With His mercies, His comfort, and the comfort from those who love me, I hang on to the breaths I am still given.  I have realized they are a gift.

It will always be heavy. There will always be this dark cloud of grief surrounding me.  That doesn’t mean I stop living, it means I live all the more.  That is one way I honour her.

Yes, we are wounded, heavy-hearted, sorrowful, often lonely, and tears flow in abundance on some days.  And those tears don’t even do the heart justice!

But He also said we are blessed.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

Though I shake my fist at Him still, He holds me just the same.

This hopelessness I carry is born of hope.
This sorrow I carry is born of joy.
This grief I carry is born of love.

And though this may be hard enough for others to read…trust me, it’s even harder to write.  But I know I’m not alone.  And I write about this hard, indescribable thing called "grief" because it is, indeed, too heavy to carry alone.

For those of you living with grief, I write.

If Christmas does anything, it reminds me of the darkness He was born into.
“After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”  Matthew 2:9-10

*Without the darkness, they would have been lost.*

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Birthday Wish. (Edited)

My birthday is approaching, can I ask for something?  : )

In nine days, I’ll have been alive for 384 months.  That’s a lot of months!

Whether it’s needing a hug, needing someone to cry with us, needing a babysitter, needing financial help, needing attention…we are all in need of something.  That’s why we have one another.

This year, I am going to be super greedy, and ask for something from you (yup, you!) for my birthday.

Between now and my birthday, October 11th, would you please, pretty please, with sugar on top, fill someone’s need???

My husband and I believe wholeheartedly that if we have more of something, that means we were given that “something” to help someone.  Of course, we are only human.  Of course we don’t always notice.  Of course, we fail miserably so many times.  So then, we lean on the grace of Him and one another....because we all need grace.

But here’s your chance.  I’m asking you to give.  Your time, your money, your attention, your tears, your laughter, your forgiveness, your grace, your comfort, your hope, your faith, etc…..just give it away.  Without expecting anything in return.  At least one time.  To somebody that is truly in need of what you have to offer. And if you still have more of that something to give after that, then heckfire, find a second, third….and give again!

If you’re always looking for an excuse to help someone, to make a difference, here it is.

There’s a little ol’ gal in Missouri who is having a birthday soon, and I’m asking you to go and help somebody.

Just one person.

That’s all.

You don’t have to share your experience with me, or anybody for that matter.
But, if you do decide to let someone know, I would love to hear about what you do. So feel free to message me privately.

Thank you for reading, I am hoping to hear about many needs filled between now and my birthday, October 11th!  I’m so excited!!

I want to mention one more thing.  There are always extremely hard times in life, sometimes the seasons last so long.  And we may never have answers for the hard times.  Sometimes, we don't have anything to offer besides our grief, tears, and broken hearts.  I want to suggest that if that is you, if all you have is brokenness, grief, frustration, anger, or tears......that is also a gift!  Offer it.  When we offer ourselves, just as we are, to Him and to those who are closest to us, it is STILL a gift.  It is never easy being vulnerable.  Sometimes grief and tears shared with our spouse, or our close friends, may help them deal with their own.  But it will definitely deepen the bond.  Those who love us most will always be accepting of our broken hearts.  Vulnerability, grief, tears, sadness, frustration, and doubts are also gifts that need to be shared.

"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

**“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.  Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.”  Proverbs 3:27-28**

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mommy-ing Without Her

I feel inclined to say that I can’t, nor would I ever try to, speak for every motherless mother out there.  However, I am a firm believer in sharing our stories for the betterment of others.  I’ve said it before…I write for you, the one who is grieving.  I hope that pieces of my story will let you know you are not alone in your grief.

“Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story.  That is his duty”  -Elie Wiesel

There are too many things to mention  that cross my mind throughout the day regarding missing my Momma.  What can I say?  She was the best Momma ever.  I’ve talked about that before.  Here.  And Here

As we enter the beautiful, much adored , colorful season of Fall- I have to tell you, it is a struggle.  It always brings out more memories, happy pictures in my head of her….yet more questions, more struggles, more tears, and yes, more grief.  (Grief of a loved one is cyclical, it’s not a process that ends…it is a process to be lived through.) 

Fall is tough for me, personally, because we celebrate FOUR birthdays in two short weeks…..my sweet, favorite sister, her sweet oldest child, our wonderful Babylove, and then mine.  And of course, the fall season leads right into the holidays that deepen grief for most people I know.   Then….my sweet Biffuh has a birthday, which is the same day my Momma took her last breath.  This makes the friendship we have so precious to me, I am more thankful for that girl than she knows.  To say September through December are bittersweet months would be an absolute understatement.

At least daily, I wish she were here.  I wish she were here to sweep in, take this sweet grandson of hers out for a day to spoil him rotten.  I wish she’d sweep in and babysit so my husband and I could take some time alone.  I wish she’d call and tell me what a great Mother I am.  I wish she’d answer so many of the questions that enter my brain about her life, her childhood, my childhood, her dreams, etc.  I wish….I wish…I wish.  Of course, wishing all that isn’t abnormal.  When she was here, she did all that.  And I know there are other Mommas out there who have that, or who also wish the same things. 

When you’re used to that kind of praise (which I was, because when she wasn’t telling me how proud she was of me, she was telling me how proud she was of  my sister) you’re not quite sure what to do with the silence.  Not that we all need flattering words,  or need someone constantly building our ego, not like that.  But every person needs affirmation, especially from those they love the most.  Affirmation  molds us.  So many days I wonder…”Am I doing a good job?  Am I being a good wife?  Am I showing our sweet son how special he is?  Am I doing a good job mothering him?  Am I doing a good job homeschooling him?”….and the list goes on and on. 

In the book “Motherless Daughters” by Hope Edelman, (please read, it is such a great book) one of the doctors speaks about  the motherless mothers he worked with-

“…motherless mothers report higher levels of stress, sadness, and depression than other mothers do.  They also think of themselves as less competent in the mothering role than other women, are more preoccupied with their roles as mothers, are more focused on how well they’re doing, and, not surprisingly, frequently report they ‘feel different’ from other mothers.” (page 282)

Another expert follows up by saying that the mothers interviewed “were kind of hard on themselves [as mothers], but they seemed to be doing the good job they were afraid they weren’t doing.” (page 282)

**”…they seemed to be doing the good job they were afraid they weren’t doing….”**

I needed to be reminded of that today.

The months ahead will hopefully be filled with so many happy things.  New memories.  Birthdays.  Thanksgiving.  Christmas.  And there is so much to celebrate!  There will also be moments of grief, as you who long for your loved ones know. 

I’ll also say that seeing our sweet Babylove turn eight, and knowing I’m another year older in just a couple of weeks is really getting to me this year.  For many reasons.

I write all that, share all these parts of myself with you to let you know you’re not alone.  If you are like me, busy Mommy-ing without your Momma, no matter your age…..you are loved. 

Hang in there, keep going, keep grieving, keep hoping, keep laughing, keep crying, keep living.

“More than anything I have learned that we are all frail people, vulnerable and wounded; it is just that some of us are more clever at concealing it than others! And of course the great joke is that it is O.K. to be frail and wounded because that is the way the almighty transcendent God made people.”  -Sheila Cassidy-

“…so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.”  I Thessalonians 4:13b

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Better Thing

I'm so weary from all the talking about who needs to do what, how we should all live, what the best line of thinking is.....and so on. Whether it is pertaining to God, politics, education, marriage, families, etc....I'm just tired of all the vast knowledge people feel they need to pass on to those around them, to enlighten them.

Talking is good, and needed.  We need to talk about life. But after a time, all the thoughts, opinions, and philosophies need to be actually lived out.  Because if they are not, they are useless.

Yes, education is needed. Yes, we need to listen and learn from one another.  But when I look around at the Church, politics, the academy, social media, etc.....all I've seen for years is people picking sides and trying to convince the other side how wrong they are on countless issues.  Instead of extending a hand (or even better, a heart!) of comfort to people experiencing any type of hurt...they are just told what they need to do to "fix" themselves.

*Ever notice that the assumption is always that the other person needs fixin'?  When in reality, the other person needs lovin'!*

"Well, if you would just *fill in the blank*, then you'd *fill in the blank*!"
(Translation...."Well, if you would just do what I think you need to do, then you'd get the result I think you need to get!")

Want to know one of the reasons I'm so drawn to this Jesus?  From what I know about His story and His life, He was compassionate.  He cared for those who were hurting.  

He let those who were busy telling everyone else how they ought to be living continue to argue amongst themselves.....and He just kept doing His thing. He lived.  Even for the ones who "knew better" than He did. (Yes, he still did have MANY conversations with them....I often wonder if He knew most of them wouldn't budge on their beliefs...)

I'm tired of the talks.  I'm tired of all the over-analyzing of every issue over and over again.  There IS a time to talk.....and there is also a time to LIVE.  I just want to live.  I want to do what it is I've been given.  I want to live out these priceless days that are numbered, with this husband and son I've been given.  I want to breathe in every beautiful moment with them.  I want to do the work we get to do, together. To get through the days we are given together.....

My Love often says, "Let's just start a new conversation...."
Yeah.  I think that's a good way to do an old thing....L O V E one another.

I'm just tired of listening to all the arguments.  I'm not joining in anymore.

**There are better things to do.**

Like this--

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."  John 13:34

And this--
"Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." Colossians 3:14

And this.--
"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."  Galatians 6:2

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Silver Story.

If it’s not make-up, vitamins, or medicine, it’s camera tricks that so many are wanting to make themselves believe they are younger.  We try to look younger, feel younger, act younger….and the media spends millions feeding our distorted fantasies.  In turn, we feed that machine.  Silver hair?  Color it!  Wrinkles?  Make-up! Or better yet, go ahead and just get a facelift!  Parts of your body drooping?  Get the surgical enhancements that will make you look 21!  Dress to look younger!  Buy the latest cream and apply liberally to wherever you’re wanting to tighten right up!

In my case, the irony is that most Hispanic people look younger.  It’s true.  My Daddy is 60, but looks much younger.  My sister is eight years older than I am, the woman is beautiful.  Could pass for ten years younger than she really is.  Admittedly, I’m often told I look way younger than I am.

But as I looked in the mirror today, I spotted a silver hair.  Then a second one.  Most people I know would cringe.

I love them.
Let me tell you why.

My Momma unexpectedly, tragically, passed away in 2007.  (seems like a a day ago….yet 20 years….such a paradox)

My sweet, amazing, wonderful, loving husband took me down south to OK/TX to visit my Daddy, his wife, and my Grandma.  She’s my only living grandparent.  It was so much fun.  I am always missing them, wishing they lived closer.  I adore taking our sweet Babylove to see his PawPaw and Nonna, and his MiMi.  He’s always asking about them.  I love telling him stories about them, telling him stories about my hometown, and his Daddy’s hometown.  I love showing him the places we often went to, the cotton fields that wreaked havoc on my allergies.

Yet every time we go, I can’t help but feel those same daunting, overwhelming emotions…the bitterness, the anger, the sadness, the frustration.  I’m “supposed” to be taking him to see Her, his Nana.  And all there is to see is a tombstone with her name on it.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

It never was.  We weren’t created for death.

I miss her.  We won’t be able to see her grow old.  We won’t be able to see those precious wrinkles appear on her beautiful face.  All we have are pictures, memories….stories to tell.

Grief is a heavy load…one that we’re never able to put down.  Nor are we expected to!!  Love is just *that* way.  Love lasts.  So naturally, grief lasts.

For all the time that many spend wanting to turn back the clocks of their bodies…..I want to spend my time embracing this body’s clock.

I want to L I V E these days with this amazing husband, this wonderful son.  I want to embrace this time we have, to live out our story together.  I want to be able to tell our sweet son stories about his Momma and Daddy.  Our love story.  Our family.  I want to be able to tell him about when we were little.  I yearn to hear Her tell me the same things about herself.  Often, I just want to call her and ask questions about myself when I was a little girl.

We learn to find ourselves when we’re told these stories from those who love us most.  There’s so much emptiness when we’re not able to do that anymore.

As time keeps passing, I’ll live in the moments.  Of grief, of sadness, of despair and tears…..of happiness, joy, of dreams and laughter.

I want to keep seeing these wrinkles arrive on my face.  Sure, I only have a few now.  I only have a couple of silver hairs.  But I want so much more time with these humans!

They are precious.  I am so in love with them.  I love Us.  I want to keep aging with them.  Because it’s more than many people are given.

With each wrinkle, every silver hair….we have more time to live our story together.

Don’t buy into the lies of turning back the clock. Rather, just turn with it.  The age old cliché is true; time is precious.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Beloved.

Happy, happy, happy 9th anniversary, My Beloved, My Best Friend!!!!!!!

I would like to say, "I love you!"-
But that won't really do.
I can't seem to find language rich enough
To describe what I feel for you.

I've seen the sickness of innocence shattered,
I've felt the loss of death's cold door.
I've been without a place of my own,
I've been broken, depressed, and poor.

I've stared my best friend in the face
as she laid there taking her last breath
I've held the hands of the maternal
As she crossed over to another land.

I've felt hurt from close friends
Who've betrayed and turned away,
I've seen loved ones scar you deeply
So much more than words can say.

I've felt life inside my womb,
The beating heart of a fragile child.
I've seen his spirit so full of life,
One that is hopeful, free, and wild.

I remember saying our vows,
Through cracked voice and eyes full of tears.
I remember the feeling of knowing
We would have each other through all fear.

I look back and don't see how I
Would have made it through some days.
You being here and loving me
Has kept so much more hurt away.

You've always been so loving,
Always faithful, comforting, true-
Never because you felt it a duty,
Simply because you have wanted to.

Each time life takes another twist,
And brings another change our way,
I'll hold onto you, my husband...
The love we share will grow each day.

So, "I love you, you're the greatest,
My soul lights up when you are near!"-
Those words don't come close to describe
The love I have in here!!!

Jessica Nicole Schafer
October 2010

I look forward to the rest of our lives together.

I love Us.

I love you, My Beloved.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Life can often hurl (jackhammers?  chainsaws?  shuriken? silver bullets?) curve balls our way.  Usually, we do not anticipate them coming.

If you're breathing, I'd be a bettin' woman that you've experienced them once or twice.

Lord knows I've had so many dreams and goals.  Some of the biggest ones I've had were laid to rest with The Deep Sadness.  Others, I cling to....even though life seems to keep winning, time seems to strip away the dreams that linger in my very spirit.  Still, I hang onto them--many days, barely able to keep them in my grasp. Even when loved ones may try to prevent the dreams that hold us....we have to remember they were placed within us for a reason.  We have to hang on, even when EVERYTHING and EVERYONE around us say they can never happen.

There is something to be said for pushing through, and making your dreams happen.  There is something to be said for changing the way we see things, getting out there and altering our circumstances. For taking control of life, and getting out of it what we want.

BUT… here's the exception to that school of thought;
There are countless things in this life that we canNOT control.
There are some things we can't conquer, because try as we may, what is happening is NOT in our hands.
…But in His.

So, some of us wrestle.
I have wrestled with this God for countless nights.  I have shaken my fist at Him.  I have cried bitterly--asking, begging, pleading for Him to JUST DO SOMETHING!!!
Regarding most of my prayers, the biggest ones, the dreams....the very ones He placed within me......I am STILL WAITING.  I'll even be transparent enough to say there are moments I look in the mirror and ask with tears streaming down my cheeks, "What are you doing, Jes?  Why are you still holding onto this dream?".....

Foolish?  So I’ve been told.
Hellish?  Indeed.

Faith can be foolish.  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Hope can be hellish.  "…for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it." Romans 8:24-25

God help us, we NEED faith and hope.

I would much rather err on having faith and hope that this Divine, Loving, Comforting, God will reach down, wrap his arms around me, and answer the prayers I've been incessantly crying out to Him for years...

Than to let go of Him in defeat…

I would much rather have moments that are so full of darkness, full of His absence, laden with fear, drenched in my tears of frustration....asking that brown eyed girl in the mirror why she's foolishly clinging to a dream that seems to never be realized----than to look at the reflection of  my smiling lips....
But empty eyes.

Wrestling with Him has been the theme of the past five years.  That’s quite a long time.  And I believe it was Him who started this…….
But I believe we will continue together.

I need faith and hope.
I need that foolishness.
The foolishness of faith and hope keep me waking up every day.

They keep me pushing on, in spite of life clawing its way towards the inside of my very soul.
They keep me from passing down a legacy of callousness, numbness, unfeeling, and shallow living to our son and future children.

The craziness of faith and hope keep me sane!!!

I love that irony.

(Or maybe they keep me crazy....you’ll need to ask my husband about that one.)

Either way, I'll continue on this frightening, chilling, sorrowful, tear fallin', faith-filled and hopeful journey.......

I can't help BUT do it.

I’d much rather be crazy in my faith and hope that He will answer my cries, than to never cry again.  Because when I’ve stopped crying out to Him, I’ve stopped wrestling with Him…and I’ve stopped dreaming.  To ignore the dreams He put in me would be to ignore Him, and I can't bring myself to do that.

I’ll continue to cry out to Him how all around me makes it clear these dreams will never happen, until He answers with, “But now, my daughter…”

I’m either that hopeful, or that crazy.
Time will tell…

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Loving Ours with Our Lives.

There are days I want to (ring someone’s neck? toss a brick at someone’s head?...) scream when I hear some of the heartless words tossed about when a person doesn’t dare want to walk a moment of grief with me (or anyone else, for that matter)…. “Move on, get over it, time heals all wounds, find something to keep you busy, focus on the positive and ignore the negative”…blah, blah, blah.

It’s such an empty notion, right?  “Hey, your Mom’s dead.  She is no longer living.  You will never see her again. You will finish your days here without her.  She will never see the rest of her grandbabies that you have.”

No big deal, just get over it.  (Translation: “Or simply quit mentioning it….it’s too hard for anyone to explain, so quieting you is an easier alternative!”)

It will always baffle me.  I, a griever, am expected to move on as if unchanged by the absence of the one who carried me in her womb.

It’s toxic.
It’s such a toxic, lifeless, heartless thought to tell someone who will forever live with the great amputation of their loved one.

Still, while the fifth Momma’s Day without her creeps up…I weep.  I weep for her.  I weep for that ear to hear my heart, as only a Momma can.  I cry out for that voice that will tell me I’m doing great at this thing called “life”….that voice to soothe my aching spirit on those days  I really don’t think I can bear anymore with a simple , “Everything will be okay”…

Still, my heart is broken….because I know it will only be mended from this hurt when we are reunited.
Naturally, I ponder being a Momma to our sweet, sweet, brilliant, crazily awesome, Babylove.  I think of the wonderful, loyal, brilliant, amazingly HOT husband I have been given.

And all this hurt, all this grief, all this brokenness, all this LOVE…..it makes me all the more milk every delicious, beautiful, blessed moment I am given with this husband and son I get to live for.

It makes me remember when my husband told me just after the Deep Sadness, “You have every right to grieve for her, you both had a relationship so filled with love that it only makes sense to hurt this much…”
So I will spend all my energy, every bit of it, loving on this Loving Husband of mine, and our Offspring.  I will love them with a love that can’t be tamed.  I will remind them of how valuable, amazing, and adored they are by me.

Don’t you see??

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about being a momma, daddy, husband, wife, son, daughter, or friend…….

It doesn’t matter if we live in a box on the side of the highway, or a mansion by the beach…

It doesn’t matter what language we speak.

It doesn’t matter what job we hold, what titles we have, or do not have.

It doesn’t matter if we bring home six figures a year, or have to depend on others to feed, house, and clothe us…

What matters is how we spend our days, how we invest our time in our loved ones, our closest ones, those relationships that will never be replaced.

Do we get it yet?....We are all born with this same skin, and we all have days that are numbered.

HOW we spend those days, how we love our spouses, children, parents, friends…….

THAT is what will always matter.

THAT is what will echo love to the world.

THAT love…..that love is what will remind our loved ones, as well as those around us, of a God that wildly desires to pursue us, pouring out His love on each and every one of us.

THAT is the LOVE we should be giving.

THAT is how we live out this vision of the Body of Christ.

Husbands and wives, marriage has a huge part in that.

And for whatever reason we are not…….use your time now to fix it.

LOVE your spouse.  LOVE your children. LOVE your family.

Because for now, as long as we have breath…it’s NOT too late to pour yourself into them.

 “The rich and the poor have a common bond, the LORD is the maker of them all.”  Proverbs 22:2

“Marriage is to be held in honour among all…”  Hebrews 13:4

“FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:31-33

“Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My Birthday Love

My Love, My Best Friend, My Husband…

 It’s your birthday in a few hours.

 I just want to remind you of your awesomeness.

 I can’t help but spend time with you, I love you.

 I can’t help but always invest my days in you, I love you.

 I can't help but kiss you, I love you.

 I can’t help but share myself with you forever, I love you.

 I can’t help but talk about how wonderful you are, I love you.

 I’ve told you before. I’ll say it again. I’ll always remind you.
  I love you.

I’m beyond grateful that you decided to let it be me who spends the rest of your life with you… I’ll always do all I can to remind you how much I love you, and how special you are.

  Happy birthday to my always loving, always caring, always loyal, always witty, always brilliant, always HOT, always very tall Husband. 

I love Us.

 I love being One with you.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Better than Dumbledore's Pensieve.

“Easter is all about the wiping away of tears. In our fear of terror and joy, we have forgotten the purpose of tears. We have become embarrassed by them…..We have deemed tears to be childish, whereas in fact they are childlike; and Jesus told us to be childlike. We have allowed our proper dislike of emotionalism to deceive us into trying to ignore our emotions. But if Good Friday and Easter don’t stir our emotions, then the tyrant has indeed enslaved us. We have become like a garden paved over with stone slabs. Many people live like that; God help us, many of us even choose it, rather than face the terror and the joy of our own hearts, let alone of Calvary and Easter.” N.T. Wright in “Following Jesus; Biblical Reflections on Discipleship”

Time is such a precious thing. It can be such a blessing, and yet so cruel. Whether it is living through glorious days, or grief-filled days, time simply ‘has’ us. We usually remember the most extreme times…..the happiest and saddest moments.

Though I never read the books, (please don’t hate me, they’re on my list!) the Harry Potter movies are very dear to me. Harry is one of my favorite characters. I can empathize with him, regarding not having his Mother, and the emptiness it left in his life. Glimpses of the movie come to mind….particularly the “Mirror of Erised”, and Dumbledore’s Pensieve. These parts fascinate me, because they are exactly what so many people would love to be able to have; the opportunity to re-visit those exact moments that are so divinely precious to us, or to live out what we so crave to happen in our lives. (Often, they are the same thing.)

I remember so many people, (with good intentions, mostly) saying things like, “Well, at least you have great memories with your Momma, those will always be there”. And that’s just it….they will always be *there*. Not here, not now…not in the future, but *there*…in the past. That’s what we all do, after all…..live out our moments as best we can, making memories with those we love. But the caveat in all that is memories are not meant to be re-lived. The very definition of it is something in the past.

Yet, what an amazing opportunity to go back in time, right? To go back, to live again those amazing, fulfilling moments that are so dear to our hearts. Or, what an amazing opportunity to jump forward! To live out the dreams we hang onto….the dreams that keep us going, that give us great determination in achieving these goals we’ve set up for ourselves. Noble goals, noble dreams. And some of them, we may just live out. In the future.

But we can’t do that today. It’s impossible. Today is today. I can’t hop back and re-do yesterday any easier than I can skip today.

Enter Easter.

Enter Jesus.

For all our ways of minimalizing grief, brokenness, sorrow and tears….Easter draws us all to the fact that we cannot ignore death.

Easter reminds us that pushing aside our pain and ignoring the Oh! So many days that may give us heartache after heartache will NEVER do.

Easter reminds us that doing the Good work now, His will being done here in our “todays”, as it is in Heaven….is something we get to take part in.

Easter reminds me of Momma.

Easter reminds us that memories will not suffice.

Easter reminds us of a Hope that is bigger than death.

Easter reminds us that there is no Resurrection without a Dark Day.

Easter reminds us that one day, time won’t have us anymore. It will “catch up” to the Resurrection…….

But for today, all we can do is the best with our time.

I’m convinced how we do that is to live these moments, exhausting them with our whole selves….whether we need to laugh, cry, hug, hurt, grieve, travel, run, plan, or just rest…..we need to be all we are, which is totally present in the moment we find ourselves.

Easter does away with our empty, callous, futile efforts of re-living a memory.

Easter replaces the Mirror of Erised and the Pensieve with something far better…something that cannot be held in mere words, images, wishes, or mirrors.

It will replace memories with LIFE again.

We can’t celebrate this thunderous, joyous, indescribable event of Easter without the reality smacking us in the face that it all started with a Man dying on a cross.

“Without Easter, there is no reason to suppose that good will triumph over evil, that love will win over hatred, that life will win over death. But with Easter, we have hope; because hope depends on love; and love has become human and has died, and is now alive for evermore, and holds the keys of Death and Hades. It is because of him that we know---we don’t just hope, we know---that God will wipe away all tears from all eyes. And in that knowledge we find ourselves to be Sunday people, called to live in a world of Fridays. In that knowledge we know ourselves to be Easter people, called to minister to a world full of Calvarys. In that knowledge we find that the hand that dries our tears passes the cloth on to us, and bids us follow him, to go to dry one another’s tears. The Lamb calls us to follow him wherever he goes; into the dark places of the world, the dark places of our own hearts…..and share his ministry of wiping away the tears.” N.T. Wright in “Following Jesus; “Biblical Reflections on Discipleship”

Easter reminds me of a Hope that is FAR better than any memory re-lived.

Easter unravels our broken hearts, all the while piecing them back together.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Distant Dream.

I see you in the distance
Though you're just beyond my grasp.
There's so much I wish I knew,
So many questions I long to ask.

As moments turn to months,
And I so often think of letting go...
I try to cling to tiny flashes,
The smallest glimmerings of hope.

Time turns into years, and often
Even loved ones tell me to just give in.
But then this God who loves me
Whispers to my soul within.

I see you again, even farther away,
All around me doubt abounds,
And some days I listen to the emptiness,
Because hope seems to have no ground.

Still you keep shining through, yet small
Though all logic says you're dead,
Hope is hanging on dearly to me,
Trying to find a home in my head.

Through countless tears, I'm swimming,
Broken inside and ripping at the seams,
Yet somehow He keeps me hanging on to you,
My hope, my reason, my dream.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

300! And Doing Good for Image Bearers.

This is my 300th post!! Woo-hoo!! Not that big of a deal to many, but to me, it is. There was a time (amidst the Deep Sadness) that I didn't think I'd ever have the ability to feel, laugh, sing, create, or write again. But here I am. Evidence of the Grace-giver. Evidence that taking the long route of living through grief, rather than avoiding it, can indeed happen. Were it not for my husband, who has loyally, lovingly, patiently, stood beside me and carried the daily burden of tears my heart bleeds....I'm not sure if I'd have a care to take part in creating anymore. Thank you, My Love. The way you always love me is indescribable. I only hope I am able to spend the rest of our days together reminding you of your worth, and how much I love you.

For the big 300, I wanted to talk about something that is very dear to me.


And loving one another.

For all the things out there that we can fight about, whether it's gender wars, religion, motherhood, or whatever else we constantly choose to bicker over.....
I would hope that we choose to have a hand in building up the Image Bearers. I would hope that we always choose acting, speaking, doing things out of love.

For all the reasons, all the causes, all the different doctrines we've made for ourselves, and even the Bible verses we can quote that support our reasons to hate, tear down, and oppress any other person(s).......the common theme I've seen throughout the story of this God I know is one of LOVE.

There's always a reason for love, the question is whether we'll believe it enough to live it out or not.
Because we all know how we speak, act, live, and love is a mirror from within our very souls.

I hope we all choose to mirror LOVE. It's always the answer. Always.

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.

Do not say to your neighbor, 'Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,'
When you have it with you."
*Proverbs 3:27-28*

"See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people."
*I Thessalonians 5:15*

"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." I John 3:18

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
*Matthew 22:36-40*

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mommyhood and Lent.

I often find myself saying, "Hold on, Momma's busy...give me a minute....one second..."

And it's so true, there's so much to do!! With just everyday life, taking care of everyone else, cleaning, laundry, Bible studies, church, meals, ministries, homeschooling, and somewhere in there, time to rest.

But the days, the months....the years. They can FLY. Before I realize it, I look around and see my SEVEN year old son. 7. Not only that, but this summer my amazing husband and I will be celebrating our 9 year anniversary! Wow! How did it happen? I am in awe at how much love is experienced in our family....I wish I could bottle all the time up, to live in the moments forever. Over the years, I've heard so many Mommas say things about time flying---and I knew it to be true. But it goes even quicker when we're not really taking the time to invest it in our loved ones.

There is ALWAYS plenty of work to do.
There will always be deadlines to meet.
There is always another job that needs doing, another meeting to attend, another event to plan, another sink full of dirty dishes, another load of laundry to wash, another box to check.....
But there will NOT always be today.

For Lent this year, I didn't have a definitive thing to fast from. I told myself I would try to be much more intentional and attentive in taking care of my family and myself. Lord, how I fail! Every day, time after time. I am reminded of how human I am. How I am not perfect.

Then I remember the reason for Lent....to be reminded of Him, and how He is the Perfect One. He offers grace. He offers love. And He is faithful in helping me keep my eyes open to the OH, so valuable people in my life. The job I have the highest privilege of doing everyday is SO much more than a job. I find such pride in pouring myself into these precious people I get to share the same home with. They are my home. They have kept me awake through many seasons of grief. They have reminded me of the God who loves us always, and I only hope to always remind them of the same.

So not only for this season of Lent, but everyday, I am just trying as best as I know how to love, love, love on these precious guys. If I learned anything at all from the days we got to share with my Momma, it's that life is MUCH too short. It truly is a gift.....and I am trying to see each day as such. Someone once said, "Life is short, and death is long".....so very true.

Whatever season we are in....whether it be summer, spring, laughter, or mourning.....
I hope we are living the HECKFIRE out of it, with and for those who love us most.

I came across this poem today, the author is anonymous. Get a tissue.....

"My hands were busy through the day.
I didn’t have much time to play.
The little games you asked to do,
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes. I’d sew and cook.
You’d ask and I’d read from your book.
I’d tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers; turn out the light.

Then tiptoe softly by your door,
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life was short, the years rushed past,
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at my side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away.
There are no longer games to play.

No Teddy Bears or misplaced toys
No sleepovers with lots of boys.
No goodnight kiss,
no prayers to hear.
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to do"

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dreaming of a New Thing.

Sometimes finding a New Way is the only way to keep a good thing going. Sometimes thinking outside the lines that have been drawn, and the worlds that have been built, is the only way to progress.

I realize I am a dreamer. I never have really tried to fit into anybody else's mold for me. But admittedly, it can get lonely. And I've been quite discouraged over the last few years for so many different reasons. On our little vacation to Ohio, I was very much encouraged.

We visited the Wright Brothers Museum with our dear friends in Dayton. Mainly, we wanted to take our sweet boy to see it all. He is a lover of all things involving science and history....I knew he'd just learn so much. At one point, I leaned down and whispered in his ear,"Even though everybody thought they were crazy for doing something nobody had ever heard of, they kept going. And because they did, there are hundreds of airplanes in the air everyday! They NEVER gave up dreaming, even after they failed!"
They had a hand in revolutionizing the world.
They failed countless times.
They got discouraged.
They were put down by other people.
But they kept working, learning, changing, inventing, dreaming.......
As soon as the words were out of my mouth, as soon as I caught myself reminding our sweet little bean to always keep going, even if it was something new, something different...
I reminded myself.

"Keep going, Jes. Keep doing the good things, keep building up, keep loving, keep living."

I long to do something different, to strive to think progressively. I want to have a hand in helping those in need. To help end the fighting, and instead start a movement that is inviting to all of humanity, rather than exclusive and divisive. I want to live out these words:

"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

I have been hearing about a Man who changed things. He did things differently. He didn't fall in line. He accepted the foreigner, the alien. He defended the women and children. He stood up for the oppressed. Others called Him crazy, a heretic, unfaithful....but He kept doing a new thing. He calls us out, inviting us to join Him.....
So I think I will just keep working, thinking, learning, and doing. I will continue to do my best to fall on the side of love and grace.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start something new.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Broken Tune from Within.

I don’t know if it’s only for today, but I’m ready again…….

Life can bring so much sorrow. Even in my own life, I’ve faced things I know I’m not alone in, but still…..too tragic for any person to live through. But in 2007 (which still seems like yesterday, yet fifty years all at once…..it’s such a paradox) when we lost my amazing Momma, it just changed me. Of course, it would…..absolutely. A daughter losing her mother affects her for the rest of her life. Whether one had a good relationship, or a bad one with their mom, losing a mother affects you. That’s the difference between that, and all the other pieces of grief I’ve been dealt…..so many of them can be fixed. They can be mended. They can be redeemed. Circumstances can get better. There is hope that things will get better. There’s hope that people will change. But death is final……in death, there’s only hope for what comes after this life. That is why losing her was so pivotal.

I miss how she always wanted to hear me sing. It’s such an odd thing to be talking about, I know. Music is such a special thing, no matter your faith, culture, age, sex, etc. It moves us. When she spoke of how much she liked hearing me sing, it just….I don’t know. It stirred something. It made me feel like I had something to offer. More than that, something to offer her, the one who brought me into this world.

Since she’s been gone the “song” in me hasn’t been around much. I’ve belted out a tune here or there in church, but it wasn’t the same. Oddly enough, some of the times I cry the heaviest, most bitter tears, are when we sing songs in church about “when we all get to heaven”. Because I don’t just want to see her THERE, I want to see her HERE. So many times, I’ve just stood silently, holding back tears of frustration, brokenness, bitterness, anger, sadness, sorrow……and I know God “gets” that. I’ve written for years about how He is big enough to handle that. If He’s big enough to give me breath, He’s certainly big enough to catch my tears….and even shed some with me.

I know she *still* loves to hear me sing. And even though I may not sound like Adele, Mariah, or Christina…….I sound like my Momma’s daughter. And that’s how I want to sound. Because that is who I am.

For today, for some reason, I’m ready to sing again.

In more ways than one.

I don’t know what that will look like. I don’t know if it will last even more than today. But I’m ready again. I’m not even sure why. For years now, my heart has been aching, yearning, crying, and mourning…for so many different reasons. And some of that will never change. But I am so overwhelmed with the desire to sing again that I feel as though when I do...I won’t be able to handle the words and the tunes that will escape my lips, and my broken heart.

“Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:1-2

Jesus, My Husband, My Daddy, Our Son

There are a few men in my life that I love and respect the most.....Jesus, my husband, my Daddy, and our son.

Why? They have always loved me. They have always encouraged me to be myself. They accept me. They never objectify me. They never try to "put me in my place". (And yes, I mention myself quite a bit here....because I can only speak for myself on this matter, on how the main guys in my life treat me.)

Allow me to be more specific.

Jesus welcomed women! He entered into humanity through a woman.
He loved, accepted, and (I believe) respected them, in an age when it was unacceptable to do so. Women were the ones who stuck by his side until the end. (I will NEVER forget when my husband pointed that out....it has been lodged in my heart since then, thanks Love!)

My Daddy loves his girls. He spent years working hard, alongside my Momma, to raise us as best as they could. He and my Momma always told us we could be whatever we wanted to be. Daddy always saw me as a beautiful girl, and encouraged me in my dreams...he still does.

My husband. He is a reminder everyday of God's love for me. He supports me, loves me, is loyal to me, and in doing all those things....he reminds me of my worth. In an age when it's very (disgustingly) common for men to use the Bible and religion to silence their wives, and to "make them submit"....my husband has decided to instead live out those handful of verses in Ephesians. He simply loves me, day in and day out, as Christ does His Bride. He lays down his life for me, and puts my own interests ahead of his own (and I try with all I am to do the exact same for him). Instead of finding very select Bible verses to tell me how I "ought to be behaving"....he just keeps on loving me. That speaks volumes to me.

Our son. He loves me day in, and day out...as only a son can do. We are raising him to celebrate the differences between girls and boys. We are raising him to honor every human. I cringe to think that society may STILL be oppressing women when he is older. I hope we instill a "pro-life" attitude within him....that EVERY life is sacred, beginning to end. No excuses.

So while some people choose to bicker back and forth about what women can and can't do, how we should behave, when we should speak or be silent, how we should dress, etc, etc..... I'm just going to let you keep fighting. You can have it. I won't try to change your minds. You've already got them made up, and I'm quite sure you won't listen to me.....I am merely a woman.

(A woman created in His image...just as you were.)

But while you're fighting, demanding, oppressing, and trying to define me....

I will simply keep doing the good things I love to do. While you continue to tear down, I'm just going to keep trying to build up. I will keep working, everyday, to answer your oppression with love and grace.

I will remember that Christ defines me. And as you keep fighting your battles....I will remember that the war has been won. I will remember Jesus, my husband, my Daddy, and our son.

They are the ones who remind me how valuable I am.

They remind me that there are still a few good men.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Battles, The Cross, The Cost, The Irony.

People fought, and incessantly demanded their own way.
They believed they were the righteous ones.

They believed those who disagreed with their thoughts were unrighteous.

They wanted to stake their claim on power, to show their “rightness”.

They didn’t care to what end.

They didn’t care who got caught in the crossfires of their holy battles.

Love had no place in their ideologies, in their struggles for power.

There was no room for love while they were busy fighting the holy battles.

So they sacrificed love.

They sacrificed Him.

They killed Love, because they had to be certain their ways were right.

And in killing Love, they would know how right they were.

So He allowed it.

They let their own rightful thinking win out, they allowed themselves to be consumed with hatred and power, and they thought doing so would make them winners.

Still, He allowed it.

Not only did they sacrifice Love, but Love sacrificed itself.

And in doing so, Love was the message that ultimately won out.

The irony always astounds me…the irony that we think (still) today, that fighting and demanding, oppressing all who don’t think just like us, will usher in the Kingdom.

The battles....oh so many to name. Battles over religion, doctrine, gender, race, sexual preference, birth control, science, money, education, jobs…..the list of battles are endless….

As we sit back and see the battles. As we hear the hatred being said. As we view the oppression they cause. As we view the hearts broken all for a means to an end-- I hope each of us can look back, no matter our beliefs, and remember that in the end, we will absolutely consume one another if we choose to take part in the battles.

We can stand up and oppress all who disagree, picking up our Bibles and bashin’ heads, citing scripture after scripture of why we are so right….or we can love every person He created in His image, and take care of one another. Not only lavishly loving those who live out hatred, but loving those, bandaging those, helping to heal those who have wounds….who were caught amidst the battles of entitlement.

Even though it constantly happens, decade after decade, time after time, we can still choose to stand together in LOVE. We can join in the fight, and list all the reasons we need to be fighting, or we can choose love. Our lives, our words, our actions, our inactions will ultimately tell the tale of what we truly believe.

Take care, sweet humanity…me, you, every person we know….take care that we don’t choose to be consumed by hatred. It’s oh so easy, and oh so justifiable in the world we live in.

After all, He did mention those two “greatest” things we ought to follow….and I don’t remember fighting being mentioned.

Love is a powerful thing. Ultimately, it has already won…but there’s still that LARGE matter of it winning today, now, in the lives we have been given.

I hope we do our best to side with love, at every turn. Contrary to popular belief, our own ideas are NOT the end all of this life. Love echoes out, erasing the lines that have been drawn, embracing every sweet person who draws breath.

I hope we choose to live in a way that rings in beautifully with His echo that calls out to each of us.

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. *Galatians 5:13-15*

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Good Is It?

What good is love if it's
something we don't live?
What good is forgiveness if
It's something we don't give?

What good is abundance
If we will never share?
What good is honesty
If we're only putting on airs?

What good is integrity
If we hide our sin behind closed doors?
What good is compassion
If we don't give it anymore?

What good is friendship
If judgment and jealousy get in the way?
What good is encouragement
If it's something we never say?

What good is edification
When we're busy tearing others down?
What good is our faith
If we've buried it in the ground?

J.N.S. 08-26-09

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Irony and the Waiting Place.

As I ponder the irony of this poem, I find myself thinking the exact same thoughts I wrote four years ago. I see the irony in how I keep adding to it. Waiting. Yearning. Longing. For a dream. Asking the same God for the same thing, only to sit back and wonder....when? It's oh so easy to tell somebody else to be patient when it's not yourself who is longing for something so dear. It's a whole other thing when it becomes you...thrown into a room of "wait".....praying the same prayer, awakening each morning to the same Waiting Place. Waiting. Crying. Yearning. Yet still, expectantly waiting. Hoping against hope. Hanging on for dear life, even though it seems impossible. As I wait, long, dream, hope, and wish....I share this again with you. I hope it can bring comfort, because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt there are others in another kind of Waiting Place. From my heart to yours.

"The Waiting Place"
















*new lines added in 2009*
*newer lines added January 28, 2012*

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How do You Measure Your Worth?

Several years ago, when I was pursuing a different career, I unexpectedly (yes, I know how babies happen…but still, work with me here) became pregnant with our absolutely amazing, wonderful, bright, beautiful son. He was a HA-UGE surprise. He was so VERY much welcomed into our lives. I knew the second I was a Momma, I wanted to be a Work at Home Momma. (I say “work”, because the term “stay at home” seems to imply we do nothing but merely “stay” at home.) Anyhow, that’s what I did. That’s what I do. And I’m going to take this opportunity to speak out for other Mommas who do the same. Because quite honestly, I don’t hear many other people doing this. And brutally honestly, I think I need to hear it myself, as I’ve been wrestling with my own problems of feeling de-valued.

There have been countless articles, I’m sure you’ve seen them, that break down all the things a WAHM does. They’re always true, mentioning all we do, and then break it down into a paycheck, mentioning what a WAHM is TRULY worth. I will not post these articles. I will not give you a chart, breaking down all you do into financial terms. I have an ENORMOUS problem with this. Because for some reason, we have this bassackwards thought that to be “worth” something, we have to break it down financially…..much like we do to a pure-bred animal, placing a price tag above her cage. Get the point? Listen, folks, we’re not cattle. We’re not top of the line horses, being viewed by the highest bidder. We’re not up for auction.

Dear, sweet WAHM….. Your worth is NOT in a paycheck. (Neither is anybody else’s worth in what they make at their job(s)!!) If what we bring, or don’t bring, into our bank accounts is how we measure our value, then our faith is absolutely EMPTY. Jesus would’ve been an absolute FAILURE if we measured Him according to our standards of success in today’s world.

It’s so very often about language. I can’t even begin to count out the times I’ve been asked, usually after we’ve talked about what my husband does, “So, do you work?”….or, “So, what do you do, or do you just stay at home?”. Yes, I just stay at home. Yes, so many women I respect just stay at home. They sit there, on the couch. The entire workings of the home take care of themselves, schedules take care of themselves, husbands take care of themselves, children take care of themselves, things run smoothly on their own. We, however, just stay.
We WAHM’s knew the second we chose to do this, we wouldn’t get all the appreciation, pay raises, plaques, words of acknowledgment, etc. We knew we wouldn’t always be talked about. We knew we wouldn’t even have a lot of grown-up human interaction throughout our days. We knew what we were signing up for. However, we never, not ONCE signed up to be put down and demeaned. We never signed up to be ignored. We never signed up to be called “just a stay at home mom”.

If we truly want to talk about “girl power”…..let’s do it. Girl power doesn’t have to mean joining the corporate face of America. It doesn’t mean we have to hold countless degrees, sell books, teach lectures, become CEO’s, own businesses….etc. It doesn’t mean we have to join alongside every man we know and do what they do. (Many women do, and that is SO VERY good for them, they are doing what they love, and I absolutely support that!! And one day, I just may do that as well!) But for now, for me, THIS is what I’m doing. This is what I LOVE. This is what I talk about, think about, dream about, what I do day in, and day out. And many other women do the same. We wanted to do this, THIS IS OUR EMPOWERMENT. And it’s even better if your husband absolutely supports you in your dreams, just as you do in his!!! Girl Power.

So no, I don’t have a TV show. I don’t hold countless degrees. I don’t own a business. I don’t bring home six figures a year. I don’t sell books.
I work here, at home. I invest my time, my energy, my days, my very soul, into all I do here for my family….which in turn affects others around us. Hopefully for the good. (Just as many other women invest themselves in other things, which is absolutely great that they’re doing what they love, as well!!) This is what I chose to do. I guess this is my way, in my little corner of the world, standing on a chair, raising up my fist and shouting, “SOLIDARITY, SISTER!!!”. Just as we support our spouses, wholeheartedly….just as we support our friends who do the complete opposite of what we do….we, too, need support. We need encouragement. We need to be reminded that we are valuable. This is me, for what it’s worth, reminding you of that. You ARE valuable. And I won’t demean you by putting a price tag on all you do. Because I’ve been learning, just as my parents always told me, “Money isn’t everything…..sure it’s nice, but it’s not everything.” It’s not. There’s so much more to life. Keep doing what you love, WAHM’s!!! I notice you!! I acknowledge you!! Spread the word…….Girl Power!! (Which for me, by the way, means not only empowering girls, but guys as well….after all, I’m married to a great guy, and Momma to an amazing son.)

***Disclaimer, please don’t read what I’m NOT saying. I have had many other jobs while being a “work at home” Momma. Also, My Momma worked outside the home her whole life. Very obviously, she is my Hero. So please don’t see my writing as diminishing others….I’m not, in any way, shape, or form. I think we’re all on the same side!! One of my closest friends works outside her home. I’m just wanting to remind you sweet girls that you are valuable, just as each person is. Sometimes we need to hear it.