Month: April 2020

View From My Window CV Lay-off Day: 39

View From My Window CV Lay-off Day: 39

When I was a young girl, I often sat in the backseat of our car and gazed out the window. I wondered about other people’s lives in the car traveling down the road next to me. In 15 seconds, imagined what their homes might be like, how many kids they had, and contemplated what problems they might from day-to-day. 

Last week, a friend invited me to a new Facebook group called “View From My Window.” The group compiles more than two million people from all over the world. The idea behind the group is to help people know that they are not alone. The members share a picture with a view from their window; they include the country they’re in and the date the photo was taken. Often, an individual will share a little of their story with their picture-these are my favorite posts to read. 

It’s been quite a journey looking through another’s lens, and getting a glimpse of what life is like in diverse places that I will likely never visit. I am gobstruck by the fact that the entire world is on hold, sheltering in place; it’s unprecedented for our time. 

Seeing God’s Faithfulness in my Journey to Wellness

Seeing God’s Faithfulness in my Journey to Wellness

One Sunday evening, thirty-three months ago, I made my promise to my son Justin to get healthy. Six days later, we lost him in a car accident.

Around our first Christmas without him, I started to feel sorry for myself. My friends were posting pictures of delicious holiday foods, and I longed for that familiar comfort. But, after years and years of going through various diet cycles, I knew those specific edibles were off-limits to me. Because when it comes to sugar, my self-control vanishes.

So, I got the idea to start an Instagram account to keep myself accountable to my promise. Do you know what I never expected? Freedom. Although I prayed to be free from my enslavement to food, I’m not sure that I thought freedom was possible. Food and I go way back; I remember finding creative ways to sneak and consume sugary treats as early as four and five years old. As a parent, I see that some of that is typical behavior. However, over the years, sugar became all that I wanted; it was my comfort.

Since I eliminated sugar before we lost Justin, it wasn’t an option for comfort after we lost him. I see it as one of God’s kindest gifts to me; because it forced me to turn to Him in my most profound anguish. Initially, It was scary, kind of like how you feel when the GPS suddenly disconnects when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Well, in the same way, this was a road I’d never traveled. Would God meet in my pain? And, how could I possibly feel the enormity of such loss without reverting to my former ways of coping?

Forget Not, Even When It Hurts CV Lay-Off Day:35

Forget Not, Even When It Hurts CV Lay-Off Day:35

y heart has been in my throat most of the day, and it took me until dinner to pinpoint my angst. I miss Justin. I still find it nearly impossible to understand that he is gone fully. This morning as I walked, I was grateful for the empty sidewalks that gave me the freedom to allow fresh tears to drop without inhibition.

I guess in hindsight, that should have clewed me that this might be a tough day. But, the thing about grief is that, sometimes, it’s sneaky. It clouds your mind with countless unintelligible thoughts while stealthy depleting your energy reserve. And, grief, coupled with the added stress of Tim’s now extended lay-off, has me feeling a smidge undone. 

One of the most impactful lessons I am learning since losing Justin is how to lament and simultaneously remember God’s character. In my “before,” I did not want to sit in my heavy emotions and wait for God to comfort me. Instead, I skipped the lament and eased my ache on my own terms. But, after losing my boy, the previous coping practices that I honed so well were inadequate in the face of such anguish. 

An Update CV Lay-Off Day: 33

An Update CV Lay-Off Day: 33

Today, we got word that Tim’s company extended his furlough. Initially, their goal was to bring everyone back on May 14th; now, they are hoping for June 30th. The travel industry has taken a hard hit, so this turn of events is not shocking. Even still, it is not the news we were hoping to receive.

For the last few days, I have been camping out in Ephesians 6:10-20. Today, verse 10 especially caught my attention.

When Mama Loses It CV Lay-Off Day:32

When Mama Loses It CV Lay-Off Day:32

When I was a new mom, I promised myself that I would not use the term, “shut-up” when disciplining my children. And then, one day, I took Justin and Sarah to ROSS; they were probably around six and four years old at the time. As I turned for a quick second, Justin and Sarah decided that it would be fun to hide in the middle of the racks of clothing. When I turned back around, they were gone. My heart dropped as I called their names until I heard a familiar giggle. In the blink of an eye, my fear turned to anger. I grabbed my purse, took their little hands, and marched them directly out of the store and to the car. As I worked to buckle them in their seats, they began to protest and whine. I slammed their door, got in the driver’s seat, and shocked all of us when I yelled, “SHUT-UP!”

I was devastated. I did exactly what I didn’t want to do;

When We Don’t Understand CV Lay-Off Day:30

When We Don’t Understand CV Lay-Off Day:30

About a year ago, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I read a headline from a social news site about someone’s child dying. I made the mistake of reading through the comments, and I’ll never forget the woman who wrote, “Well, I pray for God’s protection over my children every day.” I thought about writing back, “Well, so do I, but sometimes God has a different plan.”

The day we lost Justin, I prayed for him and his safety. I asked the Lord to protect him. When the sheriff’s deputies arrived at our door early Sunday morning, I was dumbfounded. When the shock wore off, I was hurt and confused. 

Hope that Surpasses Fear CV Lay-0ff Day:28

Hope that Surpasses Fear CV Lay-0ff Day:28

Christmas was in the rearview mirror, and the new year was only a few days away. My social media newsfeed contained post after post laced with excitement for 2020. I, on the other hand, felt complete dread. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get excited about a fresh new year. 

Things came to a fever-pitch one evening as I was preparing dinner for my family. As I stood with my back to my boys grating cheese at my kitchen counter, tears ran down my cheeks. I felt so anxious, I could hardly speak. No matter how hard I tried, I could not shake the feeling that another tragedy was imminent. 

Tender Mercies in the Morning CV Lay-Off Day: 26

Tender Mercies in the Morning CV Lay-Off Day: 26

This morning, the birds serenaded me out of bed extra early. Grabbing my Bible and journal, I crept downstairs. After opening the blinds by my favorite blue chair, I headed to the kitchen for my first cup of coffee. None of this is ordinary, because 99% of the time, Tim wakes up first.

I had just a few minutes in the Word before I heard movement upstairs. Soon, our resident early riser, Luke, joined me. As he snuggled in next to me in my chair, his little hand was soon caressing the onion skin pages of my Bible that lay open on my lap.

Quarantined Easter CV Lay-Off Day: 24

Quarantined Easter CV Lay-Off Day: 24

Tomorrow is Easter, and like most everyone else in America, we won’t be gathering together with our church family.

Since COVID-19, we’ve tried as a family to preserve our Sunday mornings for a time of worship. Although I don’t make the boys wear their Sunday clothes, I do get myself put together, and then we all meet in the living room. Our church sends out the bulletin ahead of time, and Tim prints them for us to follow along. Together, we read through the liturgy, and then, watch our pastor’s sermon on Youtube.

As we listen to the sermon, the two youngest boys become restless just like they do on a

Waiting for One Day CV Lay-Off Day:22

Waiting for One Day CV Lay-Off Day:22

I was surprised by the fresh waves of grief that came rolling in this week. Yesterday, they hit so hard that I put myself to bed early. It’s been two years and eight months without Justin, and I can still hardly believe he’s gone.

We’d been in our house one year to the day that we lost Justin. But, there are still traces of him everywhere. Like the way he’d stand in our doorway at night with his hands on his sides, telling us about a girl he liked or a funny story from work.

I remember him half-asleep, sitting in the overstuffed recliner in his bedroom, reading a big fat theological book before he went to bed. In the mornings, my heart rejoiced when I’d see his Tabletalk magazine and Bible laying open on his bed bookmarked to where he’d left off.