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If you've ever wondered if it's possible to dread something and be excited about it at the same time, trust me.... it's possible.

Day 182 - June 2nd at 8:03am

I woke up this morning with the stark realization that I forgot to buy cupcakes for Annabelle's school party this morning. So I throw some clothes on to bust a move to the trusty grocery store, leaving instructions to the kids to get themselves ready for school, only to realize I left my purse on the porch all night long. I get to Fair Value and I purchase said cupcakes, along with 2 lovely geraniums for the porch, and quickly return home where ride share dad is patiently waiting and now Annabelle has her cupcakes and all is well in the world.... at least for the next few minutes. 😍 Happy Friday! It's gonna be a great one!

Day 184 - June 4th at 11:00am

My heart is a little heavy this morning. I have a fellow pastor friend who will lay his wife to rest today as she unexpectedly passed away this week at the age of 48. I often relied heavily on my widow/widower friends at the early stages of Mike's passing because I sought to talk to people who would understand what I'm feeling. But during that time, I often wondered if I was being selfish. I wondered if I took them back to the place of unbearable grief that they had since worked through. Now, I know that for me at least, helping others through their grief is an honor and privilege. The Lord sent many people my way to help me during that time, and He opened a door for me to say, "Thank you," to those at Lenoir Presbyterian Church this morning. I walked through the church doors and felt such an amazing presence of the Lord. Tears filled my eyes and spilled down my cheeks as they sang, "Forever God is faithful, forever God is strong, forever God is with us, forever." I have learned many lessons throughout the past 6 months, one of those lessons being that denominational lines were blurred and the love of God boldly proclaimed when Mike passed away. From frozen breakfast foods to Disney gift cards, from financial support to phone calls, from hugs to texts and even friends who popped by my office and sat down in a chair, just to talk and see how I was... I never realized how much people would pour their love on me. I never want to be like the lepers who didn't return to say, "Thank you." I want to be the one who came back! God has been so very gracious to me. It was my honor to return thanks today and share my love of a precious preschool with their loving congregation. ❤

Day 186 - June 6th at 11:20pm

It's been 6 months today..... I almost feel a little happiness inside that I'm half way through the first year, but a little anxious too, knowing I've got 6 more months to go until we have hit all of our "firsts." Today was awards day at the kids' school. It was definitely a little emotional knowing that Mike wasn't there to do his part in our yearly tradition. I'm so proud of the kids. Annabelle had A/B honor roll for the entire school year. Eli received A honor roll for the school year, as well as the Holy Spirit award, and a Bible award. Abi made the A honor roll for the entire school year (which I think is amazing as a 7th grader) and she received a Bible award and a math award as well. I find it amazing that as difficult as their year has been, my kids still stayed on top of their grades. I think that's impressive. I'm such a proud mom..... 😍

Day 187 - June 7th at 10:22am

I have never so divinely walked in favor as I have in the last 6 months. I know some people would question how that's even possible since I lost my husband, but I'm telling you that I have found favor in every single turn. Whether I'm buying something, or selling something, or fixing something.... I have found favor. Our catch phrase around the church was always, "That's what ya get for living right," whenever blessings would come our way, but what I am experiencing now is different from that. Just absolute supernatural favor. I was afraid my sump pump had gone bad in the basement and this morning, a plumber came to check it out. Naturally, because I am trying to sell my house, I want to get something like that fixed asap, but when the plumber came, he tugged on a cord and the pump started up as pretty as you please. The float had gotten stuck so once it was unstuck, everything began to work perfectly! He charged me $20 to drive out to the house, which was much better than the large cost of a new pump. The extra blessing is knowing that I had the funds to make the repair if that is what it called for, but didn't have to. #favor #thatswhatyougetforlivingright

Day 188 - June 8th at 5:55pm

If you've ever wondered if it's possible to dread something and be excited about it at the same time, trust me.... it's possible. The next 6 months for me and the kids will be filled with much dread and eager anticipation. We ended up purchasing a home that was already built and will close on it within the next few weeks. We are in the beginning stages of trying to sell our home.... we've made so much progress, but there's still so much to do. I find the loneliness of being single much more difficult than I anticipated. I didn't ask for this, and yet here I am. I never even considered the possibility that I would be a "step" anything in my lifetime and that's a realization of what could be in my future. I don't even know how to jump back into the dating pool or when is the right time to do it. I know everyone has their own opinion, but most people will say it's whenever I feel ready. I'm sure the prospect pool is much smaller than what it was 16 years ago when I met Mike. And I had to kiss quite a few frogs to find him! (That wasn't fun!) My widow friends post horror stories about dating websites, so although I won't say "never" I will say "likely never." Because I have 3 children, I also have to take them into account and know that when I do begin to *gasp* date, I have to make sure that whoever I'm with won't be a danger to my kids. Or that someone won't pursue me under the assumption that I am loaded, because I'm not. (Shocker!) I always said if anything ever happened to Mike, I would pour everything into my kids and just be happy for the rest of my life. I now know that isn't what I want. Dating in 2017 is very different than what it was in 2001. I'm not excited about it, but I know it's a bridge I must cross if I don't want to be alone forever..... eventually. What if my heart gets broken? What if I make a mistake? What if being single was the better choice over remarrying and being miserable? These are all the things that run through my head day in and day out. You guys will comment and encourage me to wait on God and to not worry about stuff like that before it's time, but the truth is, I feel so out of control with my feelings and emotions and most days I'm getting better about it, but today, I feel like my thoughts are a whirlwind circling above my head and the answers to all the questions are, "I don't know." I cut my hair today just because I wanted something new. I painted my toenails purple, for the first time ever. I am trying to figure out this new life I'm living...... what do I like? What don't I like? Is this a big deal or a little deal? I am the type of person that likes to be prepared. If there was a "Widowhood for Dummies" book I would have read it, but instead the manual for how to be a successful widow is being written day by day, by me! I know the Lord is guiding the pen and there's really no right or wrong way to do some parts of it. (Other parts are pretty cut and dry) I have never longed for the rapture more than I do right now. I never really realized how impatient I am, until now. I want to skip the part where we follow the instructions and blend all the ingredients to bake the cake and jump straight to the fun part of cutting into that yummy goodness, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. I know in my head that, "All things work to the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose," but my flesh is kinda kicking and screaming. I know God has a plan..... help me pray that I will follow it no matter what.


Day 189 - June 9th at 8:16am

Every year, when we go on vacation, we do family photos on the beach. This year's beach picture will look quite different. I'll load the bikes onto the bike rack and attach it to the van by myself. I'll pack the luggage myself. I'll pack the suitcases in the van myself. I won't be mad at Mike for running around and doing all the stuff that I don't think really needs to be done before we leave.... I won't get aggravated at him for wayyyyy overpacking. This year's trip will be different. Way different. I've been going to Kiawah Island since I was 12. I have the memories of going there as a child, but my kids have never gone there without their daddy. I wonder what that will be like for them. Last night, Abi wanted to make fried potatoes like Mike used to. Fried potatoes are one of my most favorite foods. I LOVE ❤️ them. She cut the potatoes up really small and sliced the onion, added garlic salt..... and then threw them in the skillet to cook, but she turned them up a little too high, so when they were almost done, she burned them. She was so upset that she went to her room and cried because she "wanted them to be just perfect." I went in there and reassured her that they looked worse than they tasted (and that was true! We ate them all!) but I reminded her that during her life she is going to mess things up that she wants to be just perfect. She's going to have days when the recipe just doesn't work the way you want it to. And that's ok. It was so precious to see her brother and sister come in her room to try and cheer her up by saying that the potatoes were really tasty. :) I think we all have those days when things don't turn out the way we want. But we threw a little ketchup on them bad boys and ate them anyways. We will try to perfect them again another day.... ❤

Day 191 - June 11th at 12:30pm

Every year on vacation, we have a Sunday morning devotion on the beach. Mike, of course, always did the message, but this year someone else stepped in to lead our service. His message was so perfect, precise and timely. Our families have vacationed together for about 20 something years and he recalled how, as a boy, he always wanted to be the first one to see the beach. He told stories of fun times of bike riding and basketball playing and boogie boarding that he and my brother had together on our annual vacations, but he brought it all together by relating the ocean to what it can teach us about our walk with the Lord. And how his desire to enjoy the ocean turned into a desire to enjoy the One who created the ocean. It's such a comfort to know that the same God who knows the number of grains on the vast seashore, knows me by name. He closed with these verses which brought me such comfort..... 1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. He knows your name too. He cares about you. He loves you with an everlasting love. We can never escape it, but we can reject it.... and turn our backs from it. But it doesn't change the fact that He loves us. Let us all desire to know Him more personally, to love Him more passionately, and to live for Him more intentionally.

Day 192 - June 12th at 7:13am

I cannot believe how much my kids have had to step up to the plate now that their dad is gone. They have had to help me find tools and lift heavy things and figure out new ways to do stuff because we couldn't make it work otherwise. And they have done it with no complaining because they realize how much I need their help. I had to wake them up at 5:30am Saturday morning to help me load the van. I feel like we're a team and we all have to work together. I am so very proud of them...


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