When Mother’s Day hurts…

“Julie, I think I’m going to sign off of social media. Mother’s Day hurts too much…”

I was talking to someone recently, and they were telling me how difficult it was to see all of the ads, photos and posts leading up to tomorrow.

As we scroll through Facebook, it doesn’t take long to realize that there are so many different emotions going on this weekend.

There are everything from blog posts about the blessings of motherhood, to trusting God to give you grace through the pain… photos of kids making faces at the camera to a bouquet of flowers next to a tiny tombstone.

You may have never lost a child, but the pain of your circustance is just as real…

To be honest, I don’t know what every heartache feels like… I may not even know how to empathize, because I’ve never been in your shoes. And as a naturally empathetic person, I wish so badly that I could.

But this Mother’s Day, even if you don’t read anything else, I hope you’ll read this:

Thank you for choosing to serve and love Jesus and others in spite of your pain. You are teaching me how to do the same when I don’t feel like it.

Thank you for letting others feel joy without guilt, so they can praise Jesus for the circumstances He has given them.

Thank you for making others feel like they are a part of your family. The world is a better place because of it.

And thank you for loving with transparency, honesty, and depth… I can see Jesus in you.

Your price is far above rubies…


When your best doesn’t seem enough…

When your best doesn't seem enoughPreview

You’ve been there… When your best doesn’t seem enough.

My husband and I got married right when the economy took a nose dive. We were both poor college graduates and had very little to call our own. He struggled to find employment in his field while I managed to find a part time position teaching music. He took up a job as a machinist until that company had to down size and had to start letting people go, starting with the newest hires.

Fast forward several years. We went from working multiple part time jobs, to a full time job, to an unexpected pregnancy, to losing another job to yet another company downsizing. One day when my son was less than a year old, I had just come home from working one of my three jobs to find a pre-eviction notice taped to our apartment door. You would have thought that I would have spent the next several hours bawling my eyes out, but I didn’t cry a single tear. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to cry, but because I had no tears left to cry.

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.                                         Jeremiah 31:3b

The months leading up to that point, our pantry had a grand total of ramen noodles, a bag of beans, rice, and a handful of random seasoning packets. We would go to our local pregnancy center and take their classes just so we could earn ‘baby bucks’ to buy the diapers that we couldn’t afford otherwise. My husband was working as a freelancer, and he was very much in the beginning stages, but since he couldn’t find employment elsewhere he did that while taking care of our toddler since we couldn’t afford childcare.

We tithed to our local church, we lived on next to nothing, and we did our best to continue to be a blessing to others when we got the opportunity, but it still didn’t seem to be enough. We had reached out for help, but the lack of consistent employment really hurt us. So here we found ourselves staring at this piece of paper with no tears left to shed. I wish I could say that something amazing happened at that moment, but it didn’t. The next week, I numbly watched as we moved the tiny white crib out of our studio apartment, and did the last of the cleaning.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

If I stopped there, that would just be a depressing story that probably wouldn’t help you in any way, but fast forward 4 years. My husband and I are still happily married, we found out that our son has autism, but he’s such a happy boy that’s learning so much every day, and my husband’s freelance business has become our full time income. I’m not telling you that to make you think that every rough story has a fairy tale ending, but I’m telling you this because God has a plan for your life. Sometimes it means that we’re going to face difficult times. Sometimes it’s going to feel like your best really isn’t enough, but that’s because that isn’t enough to get through life.

In the darkest hours of life, it’s not your best that will get you through… It’s God’s infinite grace and love that He puts all around us through every step we take. He shows us great love through other people, through His grace to get through things day by day, and while it’s heartbreaking, He’s right there beside you, seeing and knowing.

Did you miss today’s Periscope show episode of Stand Up and Sparkle? You can watch the replay here!

Our family staycation.

‘What’s a staycation?’ you ask. Why, a staycation is what you take when you are on a super tight budget, but you realize that you haven’t had a family vacation in over a year and half! All joking aside, it had been way too long since we got out and did anything big, so we took advantage of Sean’s school break.

georgia aquarium family staycation vacation

I was fighting a cold on Wednesday night, so I was a little nervous as to wether or not I would make it, but thankfully by Thursday I felt well enough to go. This was the first time we had been back to the aquarium in seven years, and Sean’s very first time getting to go, so he was very excited! I think he was a little overwhelmed because, any time I would ask him which fish was his favorite, he would just look around with wide eyed wonder. It wasn’t until bedtime that he finally told me that the tiny sea dragons were his favorite. (so cute)

We spent several hours at the Georgia aquarium because that place is HUGE! Our tickets included an evening dolphin show, and we were having so much fun going through all of the exhibit’s tunnels.

switchyards atlanta

After we got done, we swung by a building that Scott had designed the signage that was painted on the front that you see in the picture above. Switchyards is a creative, community office space and the inside is so amazing! We did a little tour on Periscope so I thought you might enjoy the replay.

Remember how I was sick on Wednesday? Thankfully it held off till about dinner time on Thursday, but then it came back with a vengeance. It was aches all over, headaches, and a stuffy nose kind of nastiness. Thankfully I was able to get some much needed rest and do a lot of long term planning for my shop, blog and Periscope. Plus I got a new mug at the aquarium, so it kinda made drinking tea in bed a lot more fun. =)

sick day coffee in bed

You can watch the show replays here!