Confessions of a rotten heart

Yesterday I told someone off.

I used all the words.

It was ugly.

It gets worse.

Yesterday, I told someone off in front of my kids.

“That’s pretty classy”… said no one ever.

As it turns out, the whole, “love your enemies” thing is much harder when your enemies are terrible people… when YOUR heart is not right.

For a moment, I felt strong. As though I was somehow made heavy by the weight of the bullets that flew from my mouth.

For a moment, I felt justified, gratified, satisfied that I had the courage to cut instead of walking away.

For a moment I convinced myself that righteous anger could still be righteous even when it produced an unrighteous result.

For a moment, I believed the lie that love and kindness are reserved for the loving and the kind.

For a moment, I forgot the sweetness of gentleness and self-control, and chose the rottenness of hatred and discord.

But the moment didn’t last.

And as it turns out, word bullets spewed in anger leave an insufferable taste of poison on your tongue.

They are reckless.

Lies disguised as truth.

Weakness disguised as strength.

Cowardice disguised as courage.

Pride disguised as justification.

Selfishness disguised as standing up for yourself.

Hate.

Rottenness.

Symptoms of a sick heart.

When we got home I sat the kids down and cried. I told them I was sorry. I told them I was wrong. I told them, mommy needs more self-control! Together we prayed to the giver of good things and we asked for more of Him and less of me. They laughed, we hugged, and they kissed my cheek. To them, grace is as easy as breathing.

I don’t know what makes a heart turn sour. I think it begins with a careless choice to chew on toxic thoughts and swallow them whole instead of taking them captive and challenging them with Truth. A diet full of poison will invariably make you sick.

 “You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” Revelations 2:5

But just as some choices bring sickness, other choices bring healing. I want to make better choices. I want to love my enemies.

Is it enough to WANT to do something?

No.

But it’s a place to start, and I think God can work with that.

 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10

So… what now?

My darling friends,

By now, most of you know that my husband and I are divorcing. For some of you, this news is a huge disappointment. My heart hurts for you. I assure you, in many respects there is no one more disappointed than me.

Divorce is vicious, and ugly, and painful, and super sad. Like… SUPER sad. Honestly, I have worn my sweet friends and family ragged with tears over the past 6 months. My friends are rock stars at letting me go crazy and loving me through each outburst. (Seriously, if you don’t have friends like that, do whatever you can to find some… better still, BE THAT FRIEND). Also, my parents are super hero’s…so there is that.

But, that is not why I’m writing. I’m writing because of a question I’ve been asked several times. More like several hundred thousand times. A question that swirls around in my head and my heart like thick smoke making me dizzy with heartache. It’s a question I honestly don’t know how to answer.

“So… what are you going to do now?”

In short, I have no fricken clue!!!

The long answer is this; I am going to hope.

I’m going to hope and I am going to believe in the things unseen just like I always have.

I’m going to trip and fall and learn new things. Things that I might not otherwise know.

I am going to proceed with caution, guarding my heart, and watching where I walk. (There is all kinds of sh** out there ya’ll… it’s good to watch your step.)

I’m going to watch my head for signs of bitterness and pray my heart stays supple.

I’m going to ask for a miracle that allows me to grow strong without growing hard.

To exude confidence without arrogance.

To be satisfied but never complacent.

To give and receive grace often and without expectation.

Hope.

This world is messy, and complicated, and frustrating as hell. So, while I am going to allow myself time to be angry about how unfair life is, I am going to put a timer on that crap. (Like, a literal timer. 15 minutes max). Seriously, those kinds of thoughts will poison your heart faster than a McDonalds diet.

Instead of allowing negativity to consume me: I’m going to love people. Better than I ever have.

I’m going to love my two babies. Maybe I’ll squeeze them a little tighter or rock them a little longer.

I’m going to teach them about faith, and family, and failure, and hope.

I’m going to pray. I’m going to rest. And I am going to give thanks for every new day.

And I might blog about it every now and then. ;0)

This life is a bit of a mixed bag, but there is so much sweet, so much joy, so much silliness, and so much hope.

To my sweet friends. Thank you for your letters, phone calls, texts, gifts. They kindled a flame that gave hope of a future fire. You are world changers and I love you. Xoxo, S

“Stay at Home Mom” needs an upgrade

Image

I HATE my job title. It is in dire need of an upgrade. Until then…

Please don’t ask me what I do. I might cry.

And even if I don’t, I will read between the lines of your well-meaning,

“It’s the most important job in the world”.

Because, let’s face it, hardly anyone really believes that. If they did, they would rally and riot for better pay, benefits, and equal opportunity! They would fight for justice so no mother is left behind, and every woman in America is able to stay home and raise her own children if she wants to. At the very least, they would come up with a better job title!

Please don’t ask me what I do. Because experience tells me that depending on who is asking, answering, “I’m a stay at home mom”, might not sound important enough. And might be followed by disappointed looks and an awkward silence that aims to shame.

And, here is the deal, even if there is nothing between the lines for me to read, I will just start making *STUFF up.

And I’ll hear things like:

“What a shame. Another female lost in the wake of the feminist movement. Left behind without a brain, or a dream, or the drive to use her brain to realize her dream. So instead she stays at home all day long, eating bon bons, keeping up with the Kardashians, and watching her youth fade into oblivion; while her children raise themselves”.

Things could get ugly. So please don’t ask me what I do. Because, the best title someone came up with when describing what I do was, stay at home mom. And lets face it, that sounds lame.

The truth is I am:

  • A student first and foremost, because when I started this job I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
  • A nutritionist
  • A chef
  • An artist
  • A musician
  • An interior decorator
  • A personal shopper
  • A therapist
  • A nurse
  • A dentist (pulling teeth like a boss)
  • A soccer coach
  • A ballet instructor
  • A motivational speaker
  • A mediator
  • A sheriff
  • A teacher
  • An entertainer
  • A playmate
  • A maid
  • A chauffeur
  • A nanny
  • A party planner
  • A gardener (though arguably the worst… hooray for zero scape)
  • A plumber
  • A stylist
  • A scientist
  • A pastor (gasp)
  • A story-teller
  • An adventure seeker
  • A dream maker
  • A friend
  • A confidant

 Okay go on, ask me what I do.

I do all these things and more… sometimes on the same day. And still have time to change the world one snotty nose at a time. So for goodness sake can we give this job title an upgrade already? I was thinking:

Stay at home mom

Domestic Goddess

People Farmer

Superhero

What do you think? Suitable upgrades?

Love to all the moms out there. So thankful for you. You are invaluable.

Xoxo,

S

“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31

 

 

My Everyday Mom

Image

Well I have been missing for two weeks. If you haven’t realized that it is because you are among the billions of people who do not check this blog for weekly updates (Hi, I’m Shaena).

For those of you who’ve missed me, (Hi mom!), I’ve missed you too!

There is just something about the holidays that makes me want to do LESS and do it BETTER.

As a rule (self-imposed), I am not allowed to blog unless I can blog AND be nice to my kids and my husband… the busier I get, the harder that gets… so… anyway.

 A little grace for the holidays? For sanities sake and all.

 But before you go, I shared a little about my journey as a mom on Kelli and Vanessa today and I would love it if you’d swing over there and send me a virtual high five! I love the Everyday Mom segment and have gained wisdom and encouragement through sweet glimpses into the ordinary lives of extraordinary women. Anyway, somehow I snuck in so check it out. Here’s a snippet:

I never felt called to be a mom. Some friends of mine felt called. But I am pretty sure I just volunteered. 

Our (I’ll say “our” to include my husband because that is what married people do) first pregnancy ended in a painful miscarriage, forever knitting my heart to women who walk the lonely road of infertility and pregnancy loss. Our second pregnancy ended early, exposing us to the miracle of premature birth, a depth of gratitude for neonatologist, and the wonders of the NICU. Our third pregnancy ended with a return to the NICU, and a month of wondering if our child would be “normal”…whatever that is. 

I still never felt the call. 

Somewhere along the way, I guess I learned to embrace motherhood as a gift rather than a calling. A gift that challenges me to the very core of my being, and a gift that sometimes leads me to question my mental stability. A gift that, through it all, the good and the bad, is making my heart look a little more like Christ’s every day. (read the rest at kelliandvanessa.com)

 Love you all. May His Shiny face shine upon you while you love, serve, and give this Christmas season!

 Xoxo,

S

Let Us Be Women Who Love: A Poem by Idellette McVicker

Image

Hello Friends! Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for you! You inspire and encourage me every week. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

I wanted to share a magnificent poem with you. It is one of my favorite! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Let Us Be Women Who Love

Idelette McVicker

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth with extravagant Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who make room.

Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an honest, spacious, glorious embrace.

Let us be women who carry each other.

Let us be women who give from what we have.

Let us be women who leap to do the difficult things, the unexpected things and the necessary things.

Let us be women who live for Peace.

Let us be women who breathe Hope.

Let us be women who Create beauty.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be a sanctuary where God may dwell.

Let us be a garden for tender souls.

Let us be a table where others may feast on the goodness of God.

Let us be a womb of Life to grow.

Let us be women who love.

Let us rise to the question of our time.

Let us speak to the injustices in our world.

Let us move the mountains of fear and intimidation.

Let us shout down the walls that separate and divide.

Let us fill the earth with the fragrance of Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us listen for those who have been silenced.

Let us honor those who have been devalued.

Let us say, Enough! With abuse, abandonment, diminishing and hiding.

Let us not rest until every person is free and equal.

Let us be women who love. 

Let us be women who are savvy, smart, and wise.

Let us be women who shine with the light of God in us.

Let us be women who take courage and sing the song in our hearts.

Let us be women who say, Yes to the beautiful, unique purpose seeded in our souls.

Let us be women who call out the song in another’s heart.

Let us be women who teach our children to do the same.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of fear.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of our stories.

Let us be women who Love loudly, beautifully, Divinely.

Let us be women who Love.

 

Praying for you this week.

Xoxo,

S

Life Matters

Image

Yesterday I started writing this blog.

And then I deleted it.

And then I started writing it again.

And then I deleted it… again.

I deleted it because there was nothing funny about it. In fact, it is an unpleasant topic, that, like most people, I’d rather avoid completely.

I deleted it because there are women I know and love who are walking wounded, and it hurt my heart to think of reopening their wounds and causing any more pain. But maybe truth can be spoken in love. And instead of hurt, these words can set someone free.

So I started writing it a third time.

And you guessed it; I deleted it a third time.

And then I spent an hour reading stories that will haunt me for a really long time. Stories of botched abortions, partial birth, tiny little jaws, hearts, limbs.

Stories of horror.

Stories of shame.

Stories that, quite honestly, if I could go back and unread, I would.

And then I started writing… because PEOPLE MATTER.

They matter.

People aren’t accidents.

They aren’t mistakes.

They aren’t a consequence of sin or circumstance.

They matter.

They’ve always mattered.

They mattered when they were carefully woven together in their mother’s womb.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Psalm 139:13

They mattered when they were made in the image of God.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” Gen 1:27

They mattered when there were created for a purpose and with a plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11

People matter.

You matter.

I matter.

And so I started writing again, because how can I expect a DESPERATE WOMAN, who either believes she has no other options or is terrified by the options she has; how can I expect her to be BRAVE and TAKE A STAND, when I’m not even in her shoes and I am too afraid to say LIFE MATTERS… at every stage.

People matter.

There is hope.

Tuesday, November 19. The voters of Albuquerque, NM have an opportunity to vote FOR a ban on late term (post 20 week) abortions. Will you join me in praying for this historic day in our cities history? Maybe you’ll even be brave enough to publically declare that LIFE MATTERS.

To the walking wounded: You matter. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and NOTHING, no NOTHING, can separate you from the love of God. Come to Jesus, let Him bind your broken heart.

Praying for you. Xoxo,

Shaena

Say Wha???: On being misunderstood

Image

I could write a book on being misunderstood. I wont because it would mostly be a compilation of awkward moments caused by miscommunication and poor attention to detail. Stories like the time I bought a shirt that said 100% natural, which at the time I understood to mean organic. I.WORE.IT.A.LOT. I was proud to be slightly ahead of the “clean eating” trend. It wasn’t until I wore that shirt to a church camp, that a friend pulled me aside to tell me the “natural” that was written across my chest was not referring to my eating style… not exactly the statement I was intending to make.

Message Fail!

I sometimes think of that t-shirt and smile at how easy it is to be misunderstood. The message we are sending is not always the message people are receiving. And ya’ll, messages have been failing for thousands of years.

Remember when David wanted to show some love to new king Hanun? Oh you don’t?  Well you can read it here 1 Chronicles 19:1-21. Anyway, here is my super abbreviated version:

David wanted to show some love to the son of his old buddy, Hanun. Who had just become king btw (NBD). So he sent some men to express sympathy to Hanun concerning his late father. Unfortunately, that is not the message that was received. Hanun’s commanders convinced him that David actually sent his men to spy out the land and overthrow it. Poor David!! Some people are so misunderstood. And poor David’s men after Hanun freaks out, cuts off their beards and sends the men packing with their butts exposed… as if cutting their beards was not enough!!!! (I have no idea how new kings typically react… I have limited knowledge of royalty, but this seems like a great example of the wrong way to respond to bad news).  I wont spoil the rest of the story for you, but I will say that plenty of really bad things could have been avoided had it not been for this little miscommunication.

As women, we love to read deep into EVERYTHING. The clothing store clerk offers to grab us another size, and we are all up in arms offended they don’t think we are really a size 2. The barista, calls us ma’am and we are sternly explaining that, “we are not that old YOUNG MAN”. Our kids say they want a snack, and suddenly we are a bad mother… okay those are just me, but I really needed to get that off my chest. Thank you.

Back to us. Before we read too far into someone else’s intentions, (you know, like deciding the girl in the 100% natural shirt is a huge skanky skank, and not just a moron) lets commit to the ancient practice of… TALKING TO EACHOTHER.

Matthew puts it this way: “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you” (18:15).

Has a simple misunderstanding caused a rift in one of your relationships? There is still time to make it right. Maybe you need to take the first step towards unraveling the miscommunication and salvaging the relationship.
Dear friend that encouraged me to retire my boobie brag shirt, you’re the bomb!

           

 Love you girls. Praying for you this week. 

xoxo,

S