Decking the Halls

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Last year, I survived Christmas. 
There were no perfectly picked cards mailed out. No stockings were hung and no lights at this home were strung. There wasn't even a tree. Not a real one, not an artificial, not a tree at all. In fact, I don't even think there was Christmas music because it was more than I could bear.

With an empty home, an impending divorce, and a child so deeply longed for, there was simply no energy to celebrate. I was absent of joy and excitement and I couldn't even muster the ability to pretend. One more "tis the season of good cheer" quite possible could have sent me over the edge. So, I simply survived. 

I took a three hour nap during my family's Christmas gathering at my grandparent's house  because I didn't have the strength to even converse. And, when my immediate family went to the Plaza for our annual shopping/dinner tradition, despite going late and leaving early, I was nothing short of miserable. There just wasn't anything in me. I was depleted, I was empty, and I was just going to each event to check it off the list and longing for January to come so the holidays were behind me.

 Aly, who had always blasted Christmas music with the passing of Halloween, who loved to bundle up tight in search of the perfect tree in the field, and who tinseled anything that wasn't moving, just wasn't Aly.

Looking back {friends that just a year ago...only a year!}, I just want to hug the person whom I was. That Aly didn't believe that a new normal would come. That Aly didn't think that joy or happiness for Christmas let alone life would ever be felt again. I will forever remember what it felt like to be so broken. What a different a year makes.

My Christmas cards are ready to be mailed out, the carols started the first of November, and come Thanksgiving weekend, this home began to overflow with garland and sparkly lights. 

I know I have said it before, but it can not be said enough...He redeems. I know it to be true because this Christmas season, there is joy, there is hope, and there is peace within me.

Come let us adore Him.

Running With The Sas {Our First Half}

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ladies and Gents...We Did It!

In May, Abby {or 'The Sas' as she is affectionately called} and I ran our first 5k
We enjoyed running together so much that we decided to dream bigger and began training for a half marathon. Neither of us fancy ourselves to be runners nor did we even think in our wildest dreams that we could run for two solid hours, but we did!

 We didn't follow a set training schedule nor did we set out to obtain any records, we just wanted to prove to ourselves that we could run a Half Marathon. 

We had pretty perfect running weather and the best fan club we could have asked for. 
They were loud and encouraging and it made me smile to see them.

{Abby really did enjoy the run, not so much this particular incline.}

And with us always, my beloved daughter. 
She has made me stronger than I ever knew I could be.

I am pretty darn proud of us. 
I could not have asked for a better sister/roomie/running buddy! 
She keeps me grounded yet motivated and I adore her. 

Off to train for a marathon {just kidding Sas}. 
I am just giddy that we ran 13.1 miles...check that off the Year29 Bucket List!

Thank You for Sharing...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

When I first learned of his affair, I was not sure how or even if I would openly share. 
There was a fine line between over sharing and casting stones while balancing being authentic and protecting the innocence of my deceased child. 

It took me months...and several drafts mind put my shock factor feelings aside and turn my true feelings into cohesive thoughts. And for the record, he read and we discussed the post before I published because I wanted to be open with him before I put it out there for the interworlds to know. 

I shared to free myself from hiding, to lay it all out, and to be downright real.

What I never considered was how my story would impact others.
I didn't start my blog for any other motive then to just write about me. 
This is my journal where I write out life as I live it.

In the past eight months after sharing my story, so many have reached out to me to share that they too battled infidelity. There is refuge in knowing that on some level, someone understands. Some remained together while others are left with a crumbled marriage and a divorce decree. Some are years removed, while others are knee deep in the midst. Some were newly married while others had been together a lifetime. Some were pregnant (no, I am not alone!), some have young kids at home, and some have kids that have their own kids. With each story, my heart breaks.

I catch myself gasping, "What is wrong with people?"

And then wanting to shout, "You vowed to FORSAKE all others not FORNICATE with others."
 I guess I can see how you could confuse those two words because they both start with f...#UmmNotAtAll.
Sorry, was that too far? Please accept my apologies if I crossed the line. Forgiveness is a work in progress.

It makes my heart ache to look into the eyes of those who just learned of the affair and feel their fresh pain. To see them battle self confidence, and raw anger, a broken heart, and be left yearning for the life they thought they knew. 

 What a broken world we live in. 

I, in no way claim to be an expert. I don't have it all figured out nor do I always have good days. 
But, opening up has stirred up conversations that I think need to be had. Authentic and real conversations about life.

So, to those who have reached out to me to share your own battle, I just want to say thank you. 
Thank you for being brave and honest about how hard life can be.

I feel your pain.
I see the emptiness in your eyes.
And though our stories may not be identical, I sense your hurt.

But more so, Jesus knows your pain, your emptiness, and your hurt.
In the face of my healing, I continue to cling to the hope promised in Jeremiah 29:11.

I am certain that God has a plan bigger than I can comprehend. And though it doesn't always feel like you will surface or ever utter the words 'it is well,' I believe in the promise of a future...for me...and for you.

So friends, keep your heads up. 
Surround yourself with those who support you in the muck.
And cling to faith in a Creator that is capable of redemption grander than we can fathom.

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