This post has been rolling around in my head for over a year now, which is fairly believable to you all since I haven’t written here much in about two years; right?

Just know – it’s not you; it’s me.

I don’t even know where to begin. I shared our tainted hope, my begging God for more miracles, and painful transparency as our family held on by a thread. And yet, when that final thread broke, I was too afraid to share it with you – fear of judgment, fear of saying the words out loud, fear of admitting to myself the reality of it all.

So I hid. I abandoned both the blogs that guaranteed a circle of friends and followers, and prayer warriors, and I hid in the shadows for nearly two whole years. And two years of life and changes happened to us and around us, and I have no idea where to begin to catch you all up.

When it came time to send out Christmas cards last year, I chose to hide once again. Normally we send cutesy family photos out with holiday greetings to piles and piles of people in our past and present. But last year, I couldn’t bring myself to take a family photo with one person missing, to write the holiday greeting and leave his name off.

A year and lots of healing and processing later, it’s time to rip the bandaid off, folks.

The short version -

I am now a single mother of three amazingly challenging, strong and resilient children. And we are now back in our little corner of North Georgia, not in the house we loved, but just down the road. And life goes on. Survival mode is almost a thing of the past. The blessings far outweigh the bad, though there are still days we all might forget that a little. But God is good, and faithful, and holds us all tight in His hands.

The rest of the details are… well,… personal. Understand that, if you please. Judge, if you must. Love and pray for us, if you will.

Oh… And Christmas cards will be going out soon.

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Of Mommy Guilt, Goodbyes, and Letting Go…

by Mandy on December 6, 2013

I began this post nearly four months ago…  It was the beginning of my progression toward acceptance of our “Plan B” life…

If you are wondering where on earth I have been these past several weeks, well… I’ve been the one running around like a mad woman trying to accomplish everything on the to-do list and complete all tasks handed down my way! I may very well have bitten off more than I could chew when I agreed to teach part-time at our sons’ school this year, and it consumed far more of my time than I realized or anticipated.

I’m afraid that, over the past few months, I have done many things, but I have done nothing well!

So please accept my apologies for neglecting you, my readers and friends, and for not following the Lord’s calling in regards to this blog.  He called me to share our story, our ups and downs, and to provide encouragement. Instead, I have wallowed in self-pity, utter chaos, and time over-spent.

As for that over-spent time, and the constant chaos of our lives, it has also brought around a shockingly huge wave of mommy guilt. I have not been around very much since January of this year.  Daddy has done the afternoon snack, homework, and chore routine with the kids each day… While I love him dearly for even being willing to attempt it, that’s always been my time with the children, and they have not let me forget that for a day! Daddy is not as patient {what? am I patient?}, he doesn’t fix their snacks just right, and he rushes them through the chores, or just forgets to ask them to do them… Either way, no one has been happy with the way this semester has gone.  And we are all very thankful that it is now over!

Add to the above craziness the fact that we have recently evicted our tenants from the house we left behind to move here nearly two years ago… and said tenants managed to do thousands of dollars worth incredible amounts of damage, and we have a whole new emotional roller coaster to ride! This scenario alone has warranted many unplanned 500 mile long trips back to our property for repairs and legalities.  Again with the mommy guilt, as these trips are emotionally difficult for everyone, especially our children!

We all want to go home. We all, all five of us, long for our house on a hill in the countryside of North Georgia, our friends who were more like family at times than even our own families, our church that is remarkably unique and uplifting,… the life we left behind for the military life that was not in our plan! For whatever reason, still unknown to us, we have been called away from the location and the life we would have chosen, the friends we dearly love, and the home we still long for.

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After re-reading this post, I realize once again that I have this enormous tendency to take on more than I should. Having again committed my time to our school, our routine at home is not looking much better than it did last school year.  {At least this year, my husband is working days rather than nights, so that is some small improvement.} Our house in Georgia is in the process of being sold, which is vastly bittersweet for us.  And though our summer of travels and repairs swiftly zipped by, it did allow a few more visits with our dear friends, and we all enjoyed making some more memories with them!

Please pray for our family as we find our way and try to find a “groove” that works for us!

How do you do it all? Where do you draw the line on what is “too much”?

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Not at all sure why I never published this post… The last edit of it was in late 2011. My how life has changed since then! I will update soon. Just wanted to let anyone who is still here know that I am too. ;)

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Remember 9/11

{source} Today, we remember. Today marks an anniversary, but one of a less than happy occasion. Ten years ago today, the lives of nearly every American changed ~ in an instant. In an horrific act by misguided and angry men, thousands of lives were taken and the course of history changed. No longer did America […]

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A Divine Appointment

We bought the tickets. We booked the hotel room. We chose our seats for the event. We listened, learned, and praised. But the event we paid for was not all God had in store for us. After a long string of delays, and walking many unnecessary blocks to find food in the middle of the […]

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Plan B

In my high school dreams, I planned to go to college and move on to a mission field. Instead, I traded my college diploma for wedding bands. The mission field for motherhood. After a teenage whirlwind romance, we eloped and planned to stay married forever. Rather, the greatest of intentions ended in divorce shortly after […]

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Breaking Free: Final Thoughts…

If you read my summary of Week 10 yesterday, then I’m sure you noticed I stopped at Day 3 in the week’s lessons.  There was a reason for this… and not just because I had already written so much about Days 1-3! Remember when I said this…?? It’s not that I possess a greedy spirit […]

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Breaking Free: Week 10

This is it… we made it to the end of Breaking Free! Although ten weeks of Bible study may have turned into more like twelve or thirteen, I still cannot believe this is the final week.  I pray that, despite my faltering, you were still blessed, encouraged, and changed through this study! Looking over my […]

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Quick Note…

I warned you guys… I told you there would be times when life would get in the way, and I would struggle to keep up with the Breaking Free study. I just didn’t think it would truly be this hard!  Once again I find myself apologizing to each of you, as life has in fact […]

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Breaking Free: Week 9

I sincerely hope you found Days 1 and 2 of this week’s study quite empowering ~ contrasting the “views” from the old perspective and the new! What a powerful thing our minds can be, and that power can be used to glorify and praise the Lord or can be used as a tool of manipulation […]

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Breaking Free: Week 8

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.” ~Isaiah 54:10 What an incredible verse to base this week’s lessons on!! I don’t know about you, but I could […]

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