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. 

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. 

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;

Expectant Waiting: CV Lay-Off Day: 19

Expectant Waiting: CV Lay-Off Day: 19

About nine months or so after Tim and I started dating, it became apparent that I was one lovesick girl. Each night, after he dropped me off at my apartment, I would go to my bedroom, lay on my bed, and cry my eyes out. I hated for him to leave, and I could hardly wait to see him again. I know it sounds dramatic, but I was head over heels. Each night, I poured out my heart to the Lord, telling Him, “Lord, I just wanted to marry that man.”

That’s when I discovered Lord Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” 

Ten Things I am Thankful for Today| CV Lay-off Day:16

Ten Things I am Thankful for Today| CV Lay-off Day:16

Sometimes, when we are in the midst of a storm, it’s easy to become weighed down with discouragement. At the beginning of April, my sister began choosing one thing that she was thankful for each day and then shared it on social media. Isn’t that…

When Fear Comes Knocking CV Lay-Off Day: 15

When Fear Comes Knocking CV Lay-Off Day: 15

Over the last two and a half years, I have struggled through gigantic waves of fear and anxiety. Not too long ago, I was waiting for my daughter to get home from work. I had dinner on the table when I realized she hadn’t made it back yet. I called her to see if she was running late; her phone went to voicemail. A few minutes later, I sent her a text asking if everything was okay. 

By this time, I served dinner, and the boys were full of conversation about the day. Though I appeared calm on the outside, my insides were in complete panic mode. If you know the story of losing Justin, you understand my train of thought. 

As I sat at the dinner table, I was not present, but imagining every worst-case scenario. As the minutes ticked by, a lump sat in my throat like cement. Finally, I whispered to my husband, 

Operation Keep Mama Sane: CV Lay-off Day:13

Operation Keep Mama Sane: CV Lay-off Day:13

It was meltdown central at my house today. Tears were abundant, emotions ran high, and this mama right here was on the verge of losing her ever-loving mind! 

I have a feeling I’m not the only one experiencing this craziness.

In all seriousness, it was a tough day. We started off on a good trajectory, but with each outburst, my patience dwindled, and I grew more irritable.

You know the old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey”? Well, there’s a Proverb that says it even better, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

I feel like I need to plaster that verse all over my house, right. Ultimately, I need the Spirit to give me the grace to respond with gentleness instead of reacting out of my irritation.

Eyes of Faith: CV Lay-Off Day:12

Eyes of Faith: CV Lay-Off Day:12

As I slipped out the front door for my morning walk, my mind was going a million miles a minute. I had awakened feeling overwhelmed and trepidatious for the day ahead. 

While I walked, I talked to God. In fragmented sentences, I poured out my heart. Fear was the center of my thoughts. As I asked the Lord to help me to trust Him, Jehosaphat’s prayer came to mind, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12b)

This Vaporless Life CV Lay-OFF Day:8

This Vaporless Life CV Lay-OFF Day:8

If you are at all familiar with Dave Ramsey, you’ll understand my next statement with ease. Tim and I have “done stupid” more times than we can count. Financially speaking, it’s been a long road of learning how to steward our resources wisely.

We’ve put ourselves on many budget freezes, made oaths to each other that we wouldn’t eat out, and for a while, I even ventured into the craziness of price matching. Everyone in our family jokingly uses the phrase in our best Texas accent, “rice and beans, and beans and rice,” but we’ve never actually eaten only rice and beans for dinner.

Peace in the Storm CV Lay-Off Day:7

Peace in the Storm CV Lay-Off Day:7

When I was a new mom, I met an Irish woman at church named Rosie. She had flaming red hair kept in a pixie cut. Her sense of humor was razor-sharp, and she held a wealth of wisdom in her petite frame.

At the time, Tim was taking a full load of classes at seminary and working fulltime at the hospital. Most of my days consisted of just Justin and me. I noticed that Justin started to misbehave in the late afternoon, making the home stretch to bedtime feel like an eternity. One day, I shared my concern with Rosie. She looked me in the eyes, and with empathy, she said something to the effect of, “Missy, no wonder. the hours from 5:00-7:00 pm are known as the arsenic hour.”

At the time, that sounded a little sinister to me, but now, five kids and twenty-some years later, I get it. By dinner time, I come in limping,