Posted in divorce

No expectations

If you continue to hope someone who continually disappoints you will change, its best to stop hoping. Most people never change. A tiny few will surprise you and change. I know because I surprised my girls and changed.

However my ex-husband (30 yrs of marriage), has for their entire lifetimes, disappointed them. And now after five years divorced, he has sunk even lower. I endured being treated as though as I was invisible and now he is doing to the girls.

How you ask? Always staying focused on himself and his comfort. Handing over gift buying to his live-in younger girlfriend who doesn’t know either of them. And my daughters have no desire to know her. Every time, which is rarely, they see their dad, they say it’s like he’s on something. He’s not himself. He makes odd comments. He doesn’t follow through on promises.

It breaks my heart for my daughters. I asked my oldest if she thought he treated them so poorly because they are also my daughters and remind him of me and all his betrayals? Her response was no. She believed he saw his parents and his own siblings as his real family. She and her sister were just some unimportant extended family.

So stop and think this Christmas season, if you are a person of integrity? Do you make people feel valuable and loved? Are you interested in those close to you or is your focus solely on your own life? Do your children know you love them and they are the most important people in your life? Change is not impossible, but it does take hard work. If you are someone who continues to hope my advice is to stop. Pray you can accept this person as he is and not to allow his problems to hurt you.

Posted in Jesus

No longer Hidden

I received some exciting news a couple months ago. I am going to become a grandma for the first time. Needless to say, I cried tears of joy.

Before modern science, the miracle was secret. Babies were hidden in their mothers’ wombs. Now we have the incredible privilege of watching the miracle unfold. And I feel so blessed to be able to be part of this child’s life.

As we celebrate the coming of our savior in the form of a baby, it’s a reminder miracles still happen each and every day. I wish each and everyone a Merry Christmas.

**Please refrain from making pro-life vs pro-choice statements. I don’t want this to become a heated forum. I am only writing about my personal joy. 

Posted in Faith, family, Uncategorized

What defines Family?

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to take a moment and ask you to think about how you define “family.” 

Is it just those legally related to you by blood and/or marriage? Or are you one of the generous and loving souls who has a broader definition of family? In the last four years I have sadly discovered the majority of people keep the definition of family very narrow.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family where my parents always opened their doors to anyone who might be left alone on a holiday. I did the same all the years I was married. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter I always checked to make certain everyone I knew had plans. Over the years we celebrated with a wide variety of people. My girls didn’t hesitate to invite friends to join us because they knew I’d always say yes.

How unfortunate that not a single one of my Texas friends checked even once in 2014 and 2015 and now 2016, with me to see that I won’t be alone. With one daughter married with in-laws and the other one on the West coast, I would have been alone this year until a last minute change in plans for my married daughter. The only one to invite me is the family I babysit for and I barely know them. What does that say about my friends who told me countless times we were family?

It is difficult in this electronic world to make friends. It’s even more difficult when you no longer have the natural outlets of children, school, neighbors, or work to make friends. Churches may preach friendliness but I’ve yet to find one that truly reaches out. 

Please take a moment this holiday season and ask everyone you know if they have plans. No one wants to announce she/he will be alone on a holiday, so don’t expect them to ask for an invitation or announce they are alone. Open your doors. If you need help with food expense, ask them to bring a dish. Open your hearts. I can guarantee your life will be made richer by reaching out and pulling people in.

Posted in christmas, Faith, family, Uncategorized

Happy Holidays

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s not surprising to see Christmas decorations going up in stores. While I think it’s a little too early, it has its intended affect on me. I start to get excited. And for young children and many adults, a long period of preparation and build up only leads to disappointment. So here are a few things that might help.

1. Find a good Advent reading guide and spend 10-15 minutes each evening reading Scripture as a family.

2. Discover Christmas traditions from other countries and pick one to try.

3. Find out how to say Merry Christmas in 10 other languages.

4. Look up where the word holiday (holy day) and Christmas (Christ mass) come from and discuss their meaning.

5. Learn one new Christmas Carol. Here is a link to my favorite new one. It’s especially poignant since my divorce. That’s Christmas to Me

6. With older kids, decide on one way to contribute to those in need not just at Christmas but all year long. Suggestions include tutoring younger kids, reading at the local library or to seniors.

7. Wrap baby Jesus from the nativity and unwrap him Christmas Eve while reading the Christmas Story. Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-14, Luke 2:15-20, Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 2:14

8. Start a tradition of playing your favorite game on the Saturday nights in December.

9. Bake cookies, make fudge, a cake, a pie whatever reminds you the most of your own childhood Christmas and pass it on.

10. Invite “strays” for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner. There any many people, including me, who may have nowhere to go to celebrate.

11. Write down a blessing each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Each family member). Place them in a jar and read them on January 1st.

12. Find and go to a holiday concert or play. Many high schools have free concerts and community theaters may offer a low cost alternative to seeing a professional production. There are also community orchestras which are less expensive.

13. Find the best Christmas light displays in your community and make a photo scrapbook.

14. Hold a potluck and invite your friends to a Christmas Carol sing-a-long.

Whatever you do, share it with those you love and most importantly know this: it’s not how many gifts your children receive or how expensive they are. What they will remember are the memories you make together.

My girls in 1991 in dresses I made for them.

Posted in Experience, Faith, family, Fun, games, God, New life, relationships, Uncategorized, values, WordPress

Presents or Presence?

 


No, I didn’t misspell presence. I never thought about the fact that presents and presence are homophones. Two words with different spellings and meanings but pronounced the same way. I think there is significance in this discovery. Why? Because now at Christmas it is so easy to get focused on presents. I won’t lie. I love buying and giving gifts. To see the joy and excitement on my loved ones’ faces brings me such joy. But if I asked them to tell me what they got for Christmas last year they might be able to name one or two things but if I ask them what we did, I am certain they would remember.

Our shared worship experience, our shared Christmas Eve, our shared Christmas Day meal, opening presents together, a movie or games played, the funny family selfie, those are the things we remember. It is our presence together which makes the holiday memorable, not the gifts. Our celebration has undergone a change these last 3 years and it would be easy to focus on who was missing, but we have chosen to focus on who is present and the presence of Jesus. He is the focus of our Christmas.

It is His presence in our lives that adds a fullness and richness which no amount of presents could match. We may not have a perfect family or a perfect home but we have a perfect little baby, Jesus who isthe son of God andthe Prince of Peace. He came to save the world. He came to save me and you.

Merry Christmas and may 2016 find your life full of blessings and peace.