Even Now

It’s been 108 days since the life that I knew and loved began to crumble.

108 days of walking in the Wilderness, (sometimes) literally watching dreams die.  The pain and shock have been so great they take my breath away.  I am forced to make choices I never dreamed I would have to make, and the only answer I’m able to gather the strength to give, is Yes.

Yes to His will, Yes to what is calling me to do, Yes to what is asking me to lay down.

Yes Lord.

When the facts of my husband’s infidelity are revealed.

When divorce is the only option I’m given.

When my home is boxed up and put in storage and I move in with my family.

When the pregnancy tests read positive and the reality is, I’m about to be a single mom parenting a child with the man who betrayed and abandoned me.

When the ultrasound revealed there was no heartbeat, no more life.

Yes Lord. Even now, yes.

Precious Father in heaven. Give me the strength to say yes to You, even now. Only You know why it was time to bring my baby home.

I thank You, Father, that I can rest in the knowledge that Baby J is safe in your arms. Please take care of her for me and hold her close, since I cannot.

And I thank You, that one day I will be with You and you will hold me close also, and answer every question.  I believe You will show me the vials where you have collected every tear I’ve cried and the books where You recorded every one of my prayers.  And then I will experience the sweetest joy of holding my baby’s hand and walking with her in the place where there is no sorrow.

Until that day, Almighty God, help me to say yes.

Jillian

Good Girl, Good Girl

These days have been a little different around our household.  2/3 of the adults have been in Cabo and the remaining 1/3 (that’s me) have been responsible for 2/2 dogs.

The most (only?) challenging aspect of this arrangement is that the pooches are alone all day while I am at work.

For Lucy the 8-Month-Old-Golden-Retreiver, the point of contention occurs when I (finally, finally finally mom!) get home. On one hand/paw she reallllllllllllly needs to go potty while on the other, she will not allow herself to be parted from her mother dearest for even a moment after the TORTURE she just endured.

Never-the-less, one of my greatest desires in life is to clean up as little pee as possible so we compromise….Lucy goes out for a potty break and I go out and stand in the grass with her.

Without fail, she trots into the yard and proceeds with her business, all the while maintaining steady eye contact with me.  And without fail, I find myself telling her that she is a good girl, good girl and this is good potty. Every time. Now Lucy has been fully potty trained for a good long time now, surely she knows she is a good girl and that this here, is the good potty.

I feel strongly that she needs to be praised and she certainly seems to appreciate it.  At the conclusion of her business, the nugget gallops up for a hug and kiss, plus a couple more good girl, good girl reminders.

A pointless exercise perhaps, but doesn’t this perhaps give us a gentle reminder about our own lives?

Let’s not stop giving praise for things we appreciate, or reminding the people in our lives that what they’re doing is good and valuable.

And let’s most definitely not feel ashamed to ask for support when we’re afraid or lonely – or to go running towards those who love us when a hug and kiss would make it better.

 

You are loved,

Jillian

The New Leaf

There is a particular brand of tragedy called Loss. There are no visible scars, no physical evidence.

It changes everything, redefines who you are, and takes your breath away.
When you least expect it, when it is what you fear most.

Some day I can tell you the whole story. For now let’s just say that in 2013 I got married. It’s 2015 now, and my husband is gone.

I can’t say that I was not prepared for this, because I believe that my heavenly Father knew this was coming from the day I was born, and He has been preparing my heart and my mind…for such a time as this.

This isn’t the blog of a person who is through a difficulty, and looking back on it with triumph. This is a person in the throes of the chaos and uncertainty.

If you are in that place right now, dear reader, we are there together.
Reach out with me for the pieces of your life that still ring true, for the people who love you.

I walk this journey, not one day at a time, but one moment at a time, one breath at a time. Sometimes leaning into the grief, sometimes drawing back away from it. Always moving forward.

Walk with me.
You are loved,
Jillian

Give Up

I’d like to buck the trend on something here for a second (especially with the New Years resolutions abounding).

In my own opinion, it’s perfectly okay to give up.

Soak that up.

It’s okay to give up.

In certain situations, for certain reasons, I think it is okay, nay, best to give up.
As living breathing humans and children of the almighty creator, each one of us is given the talents and inclinations that make us….us. And along with those talents and skills that we hone and practice and utilize, we have in equal measure “untalent” and “unskill” (I made those words up, but I think you know what I mean).

What great freedom in choosing to believe that you don’t have to be successful at everything that you try. Who ever said to finish EVERYTHING that you start?

Why must we allow Pinterest peer pressure shame us into thinking that each project and party and “life hack” must be DIY’d or we are a failure as a person, woman, home owner, hipster, etc.

Embrace the lack of skill and move on to the things you ARE good at I say!

With this is mantra on my lips, I am giving myself permission to donate the Rubbermaid full of craft supplies and half-finished projects that I will never finish and which bring me no joy. Even better, I give you permission to do that same!

With that done, I’m off to the sewing, knitting, cooking, and make up that I love!

You are loved,

Jillian

Trying Again

I know how to ride a bike. I just don’t do it.

Or so I would have said up until Saturday.

I learned to ride as a child as nearly everyone does although I was never my best thing.

I loved the feeling of the wind in my hair and I hated the feeling of falling on the pavement.

When I got older and my friends were into bikes again, I never took to it. I’m an itty bitty girl and I had never sat on a bike that wasn’t too big for me since I turned 12.

Stopping the bike consisted of me squeezing the break and then hurtling my body forward off the seat and somehow landing on the grounding, usually dropping the bike and losing balance.
Getting started riding meant me stepping down on one pedal and then leaping up into position and merely hoping my balance would be stable as I wobbled back and forth for several feet.
It wasn’t fun.

To top it off, the issues plaguing my knees resulted in pain for the next several days.
So I decided bike riding was not for me.

 

But then I went and married a bike riding enthusiast who wanted nothing more than to go on a bike ride with me. I explained to him the issues, telling him of the times I had fallen and pointing to the aching knees.  He understand, but instead of settling as I had done, challenged me to try again.

He coaxed me into the bike store where I reluctantly talked to the store staff about the height issue and the knee issue, telling them that biking just wasn’t a good thing for me. Those kind people talked me through my options, showing me bikes aligned differently to take the impact off my knees and that were perfectly suited to girls a mere 5’0” tall.

I didn’t event want to test ride one.  I was certain I wouldn’t mount it properly after years of the step-leap-wobble method and promptly fall in the parking lot. Mr. H asked me to just try. I couldn’t bear to be so afraid as to let him down on a such a simple matter.  So I tried again.

It was glorious!! I loved that bike and I loved riding. Oh the joy of a bike that is my size.  Further, not a twinge of pain n my knees was felt.

We took this darling bike home and I am thrilled to join my husband in bike enthusiasm.

image

What a stunning reminder of what can happen when you are willing to refuse to settle and try again.

 

Gotta go ride!

You are loved,

Jillian

Audacious

It’s a quite audacious thing, I think, to start a blog. It implies that I have some to share, something of value that someone, anyone will find useful or encouraging.

I don’t know if I do or not. I hope that I do and we shall soon find out, won’t we?

What I can tell you for sure at this very moment is that I’m just a lady in the middle of her twenties who is doing her best at life, marriage, career, and family.

I love cooking for my husband, reading hardcover books, knitting with wool, Harry Potter, wearing lipstick, hugging puppies, and traveling across the world to always return back home.

I do not love cat videos (sorry!), snow that falls outside of the months December through February, spicy food, anything relating to zombies, or dishonesty.

Let’s just see where this takes us shall we?

 

You are loved,

Jillian