I see you, mama: A word for mothers navigating a different dream

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Sunday, April 23, 2017, I had the honor of keynoting the annual Charles Tillman Foundation’s TendHER Heart Luncheon. This spring 250 mothers of critically and chronically ill children attended a special brunch, which honored them for the sacrifices they make in caring for their ill child. The brunch provided these women with the opportunity to “take a minute” for themselves and enjoy each other’s company and support. 

Here are my words from the luncheon.

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How One Woman is Embracing Plan B After Her Son’s Tragic Accident: A Guest Feature by Kristen Clack

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Hold onto your seats, friends, and grab the tissue. I can’t wait for you to meet my friend Kristen. Her story is remarkable. But what is even more remarkable is her faith in the midst of her circumstances. She has such a contagious joy that can only be understood in the context of her Savior, Jesus.

What if your worst nightmare came true? Could you praise God in the midst? Kristen’s faith is a challenge to us all. Thank you so much, Kristen for sharing your story of going from Type A to Plan B with such grace and joy.

 

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It’s Never Too Late to Find Freedom From a Shameful Past: A Guest Feature By Dawn Stewart

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So…. I can’t wait to introduce you to my new friend, Dawn! You know when your heart is whispering something, and then you meet someone else who says their heart is whispering the SAME thing? That’s what happened! Dawn and I connected through a mutual friend and when she began to share about the beauty in brokenness, trying to keep up, and unlocking the truth– I knew our souls were connecting, and we all would learn so much from the story God is writing in Dawn. So lucky for us, when I asked her to share, she said YES!

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Confessions as I Anticipate Grief: part 3

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This piece is part three of a series of blog posts entitled, Confessions as I Anticipate Grief. You can check out part one or part two here.

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“Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.”

-GK Chesterton-

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I want to tell you I haven’t attended church much after I left my job there back in January. But that will make some of you nervous. It made me nervous. That is until I discovered why. I needed time to breathe. And now, my soul has never been more alive. There’s no scandal; no drama. I just spent nine years working at a church, trying to make it better for everyone else and lost myself in the process. As I created environments, experiences, and conversations that brought people closer to God, I forgot to participate.

We all can get lost in our jobs and forget why we are doing it, can’t we?

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perms and pink socks

When I was growing up I wanted to be Cindi Lauper. I loved her music, but even more, her style. She was so unique, with her vintage, punk-rock outfits, and ever changing hair colors. I tried dressing like her every chance I got and would go around the house dancing and singing all her songs. I loved “time after time,” “girls just wanna have fun,” and especially “true colors.”

transitions, graduations, and change

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Change can be scary.
Messy.

And not conducive to a type A personality like me.

So needless to say, I have been wrestling with my emotions as I transition at work. For the past decade, I have had the honor of walking through countless transitions with students.  And in a few weeks, I am finally “graduating.”  In the midst of my personal transition, I have been thinking about all the lives that have intersected mine.

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how one family navigates open adoption with two different birth moms: A guest feature by Kate Demien

Mark, Kate, Lydia, and Eli Demien
Photo Credit: Rebecca Reale
Friends!
Thanks for stopping by today!
I have been so excited to tell you the newest addition to the Blog….Friday Guest Features!
We, by far, are not the only ones going from Type A to Plan B.  If fact, I think we all can relate.  Right? Think back to 16. Does your life look at all like you thought?  Reminds me of that Garth Brooks song: Unanswered Prayers. There is a line that says, “some of God’s greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers.”  I am so glad some of my dreams fell on the cutting room floor.
Anyway, it didn’t take me long to realize as I started blogging more, that I am surrounded by people that are not just surviving this “new normal” but actually thriving.  Many of them are not bloggers. They are just humble, beautiful people that happen to sit on my couch once in awhile. So, you know me, I just had to see if they would share! Nothing like gently nudging friends out of their comfort zones! Ha! So, at least once a month when you stop by, you may find one of these wonderful friends sitting next to you on the couch.  My hope is that their story will encourage you in your own Plan B.
First up is my dear friend, Kate!  She has graced my couch more than I can count.  I love learning from her.  She is a great mixture of humor and wisdom, listener and story teller, and loyal until the sun comes up.  She’s not afraid of telling you the truth or licking your child’s germs.  She is the woman you always pick first for your team, no matter what game of life you are playing, because you know you have a better chance of winning when she is next to you. And, she happens to be gracefully navigating her journey with two open adoptions.
So this week, meet Kate!

grass is greener

Do you ever have moments where you don’t like your life?
Or moments you don’t like who you’ve become?
I just want out.
I don’t want a husband.
I don’t want kids.
I want to work in a pub outside of London and smoke cigarettes.
I want to wear a faded vintage t-shirt, sequin skirt, and boots.
Alone.

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Whisper

Have you ever felt God moving you in a direction you feel under qualified? 
 
Maybe even scared? 
 
A direction that seems impractical or a bit too audacious?
 
I sure do right now.  
 
For years, I have felt a little whisper in my heart to write.  To actually take my writing seriously.  Maybe even write a book.  In fact, this isn’t the first time I am writing about writing.  Maybe it’s writer’s block, or confidence block, or obedience block, but I never seem to go ALL IN. 
 

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Tension

I wonder how long it has been since I stopped. 
Stopped long enough to really spend time with a children’s book.
Stopped to play with play doh.
Stopped to really look at my child.
Until Monday morning.
Mondays have turned into my favorite day. The best start to my week is slow.  I get to sit in my pj’s and cuddle with Ellie.  Most of the time it is for a few minutes during Fresh Beat Band. Then I get up and start. Manage the calendar. Start the Laundry. Grocery shop. On a good day, I run.

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