divorcehope

My divorce story…picking up the pieces, making sense of the mess, single parenting, and other encouragement along the way!

Filling the Voids March 15, 2013

Filed under: Divorce,Encouragement — justmejesusandsippycups @ 3:27 pm

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In my brokenness and selfishness, in my desperation and gasping for a breath of air, droplets of water, crumbs to feed my love-started soul, I betrayed a friend….a sister…someone I deeply loved, respected, admired, and envied.  I betrayed myself, my family, my faith, and I tested everything I believed to be truth.

I became a master of self-deception…..someone I never imagined I could become, especially as a born again follower of Jesus.  I failed to draw on the fountain of Living Water for life and love – I failed to go to the only One who could really meet my needs and satisfy my soul and instead, I fell for the lie (once again) that I could get my needs met apart from relationship with the Living God.

I got tired of waiting, of hurting, and of fighting for the kind of marriage and family I wanted. I took my eyes off of Jesus and began looking around, comparing myself to those around me (bad idea!).

Over time, I became so self-deceived (living a religious life, doing the works and going through the motions) that without even realizing it, I turned my back on my first Love – the Lover and Creator of my soul….the only Answer to my pain and brokenness.  I believed the lies of the enemy that I was doomed….destined for a lifetime to a hopeless unequally yoked marriage. I believed that I would never truly be seen, understood or loved for who I really was. I believed the lie that my dreams of partnership and ministry in marriage were just a fairy tale. I was desperate to experience real love, but I became so desperate and frustrated with my circumstances, that I lost faith and hope for a moment.

Its Christianity 101 really…  We were all created by God for the purpose of living in constant communion, dependence, and relationship with Him (John 15) — abundant, fulfilling, exciting, loving relationship – out of which all of our other relationships should flow.

We were all created with a God spot in our souls that only He is meant and able to fill.  When we look to Him to meet our needs (physical, material and emotional), and when we find our security and purpose in Him, we are free to have healthy relationships with others.

When sin entered the world, however, everything got confused and muddy.  We were ashamed and began hiding from God (Genesis 3) rather than going to Him openly for everything, and we began looking to all kinds of other things to fill that void created by sin and separation from God.  For me, it was approval and acceptance.

You see, I was raised in an alcoholic home (more to come). By nature, I am driven, determined, passionate, funny, fun-loving, perfectionistic, loyal, discerning, caring, and committed.  Firstborn, beloved and wanted daughter, it wasn’t until I was 17 that I realized the brokenness in my own family.  Eldest sister to three younger siblings, it was in my latter high school years that I realized my father was a functional alcoholic.  Hard-working, faithful and committed husband and father, he was also addicted…present physically, but not emotionally, and for me, it left huge voids.

I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was five years old and then made a more mature commitment in junior high to really give my life to the Lord and walk in His ways. In high school, I was serious about my relationship with God and passionate about ministry. I was a leader in my youth group as well as a couple of Christian clubs at school. I went on summer mission trips and was on a ministry team that traveled and did special ministry in churches as well as street evangelism.

While my faith in God kept me pure and from the temptation to party, etc., I still dated and had a tendency to look for fulfillment in relationships. I had a deep desire to be married at a young age – to be free to create my own life and home – one that would be different…

Before I knew it, I found myself 19 years old, freshman in college, cheerleader, living at home – and getting swept off my feet by a boy….a young determined boy that fell for my looks, passion, and naivety.  He was a hunky football player, who wouldn’t take no for an answer.  He said the right things and did the right things to make me believe he was worth the risk.  So, despite the red flags, we got engaged within a few months and were married the following summer.

More detail to come, but the years that followed were filled with loneliness, pain, turmoil, betrayal, and agonizing frustration.

Unless you have experienced it for yourself, I’m not sure I can describe the depth of anguish and frustration I felt to be ONE with someone who did not share the same passion for our Creator. Someone who did not know how to love a wife as Jesus loved the church….someone who did not choose forgiveness and mutual submission, but instead was emotionally neglectful and often emotionally abusive.  Someone who regularly shamed me and held a double standard.  I am definitely guilty of allowing it, but regardless, it caused great damage to my soul.

He was also unfaithful over and over again….to varying degrees, but unfaithful nonetheless. The first time was just a little over a year into our marriage.

Stay tuned for Part 2!  But for now, I’ll leave you with this….whatever you are facing today, whatever voids you are trying to fill – as excruciatingly painful as they may be and as unbearable as they may seem, God is BIGGER and God is ABLE.  It may not happen overnight, but when you call out to Him, truly surrender your will to Him, and ask Him to fill your voids and meet your needs, He will.

Trust Him.  He is the only One who will never leave you and never fail you.  His way is BETTER…believe me!!

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Eat Your Veggies!! March 14, 2013

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — justmejesusandsippycups @ 6:40 pm

So before I delve into the first part of my story, I wanted to share one of my favorite quick, easy, and healthy recipes! This is a sure fire way to enjoy your veggies and to get your kids to eat theirs! I’ve adapted this recipe from a dear friend who is the best I know at getting her kids to eat healthy! She makes her own chicken broth from scratch, but this is the working mom’s version!

I made this soup late last night and was so excited to eat it, I had it for breakfast! Give it a try, let me know what you think!

Easy and Delicious Veggie Soup

2 T. Butter
1 small onion
1 c. chopped carrots
1 c. chopped celery
1 potato, chopped
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. poultry seasoning
Additional seasoning of choice (thyme, seasoned salt, be creative!)
48 oz. chicken broth
1/2 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. frozen corn
1/3 cup quinoa or barley
1 small zucchini chopped (optional)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (optional)
Any additional veggie you love!

Saute onion, carrots and celery in butter with lid on. Add potato and continue to sweat veggies for about 5 minutes. Add broth, grains, and additional veggies, and a little more salt, pepper, seasoning.
Simmer on low for about 30 minutes and ENJOY!

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What if I Fall? March 7, 2013

Filed under: Divorce,Encouragement,Parenting,Uncategorized — justmejesusandsippycups @ 5:39 pm

Psalm 37:23-24 (AMP)

 

The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.

 

I heard a great sermon recently on dreams. It was so inspiring, practical, encouraging, anointed and worth sharing! God wants to breathe life to the dreams inside of us that we have let die.

 

This is something I am believing for this year, 2013!  My dreams are coming back to LIFE!  Basically, for our dreams to become a reality and for God to direct our steps, we have to be moving. We cannot expect God to guide us when we are standing still, not doing anything, not willing to step out, step forward, or just take a step!

 

Sometimes, at least for me in my hard-headed perfectionist nature, I am afraid to move because I am afraid to fail, afraid to take the wrong step, go the wrong direction, make the wrong move, say the wrong thing, whatever! Fear can be paralyzing…and if we allow it, fear will keep us from achieving our dreams because God cannot direct what is not moving.

 

My son, Finn, just started walking this past week. It is so precious to see him take his first steps and become more and more confident as he learns to walk. However, if he was afraid of falling, he would never learn to walk, never run, never jump, and so on. He had to be willing to take those first steps and risk falling down. And guess what, he did fall, he has fallen many times, and he will continue to fall.

 

As his mother, have I viewed these falls as failures? Have I given up on him, turned my back on him, and deemed him a failure? Of course not!!! I certainly don’t want him to fall as I know it may cause him pain and maybe some discouragement, but these falls actually make me love him MORE.  These falls are a part of the process, they make him stronger, and they make me more proud every time he gets back up, shakes it off, and tries again.

 

I believe this is the same way the Lord views us.  We are His dearly loved children. He is cheering us on as we learn to walk in Him and as we mature in Him. We will stumble and fall from time to time…..but He wants us to get back up with a childlike faith and determination and keep walking toward Him and we will grow stronger and stronger!

 

When Finn makes me his goal and takes steps toward me only to fall into my arms, I am overwhelmed with love, joy, and prideJ  So friends, let’s choose to keep moving today, toward JESUS. Let’s keep taking steps toward our dreams, trusting that as we are willing to move, He will guide us and be there to help us up even if we stumble and fall.

 

I did a dance to this song when I was in high school.  Little did I know then how true it would be for my life.

 

 

Crooked Places March 6, 2013

Filed under: Divorce,Encouragement — justmejesusandsippycups @ 9:30 pm

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A Little About Me:

 

I am……..Christian, lover of Jesus, divorced, 29 and holding! (31), single, mom, single-mom:), daughter, sister, friend, broken, healing, saved, redeemed, restored, believing, trusting, and depending on God. Just a few words to describe me.

 

After mulling over the idea of writing for some time, I’ve felt compelled recently to start a blog….to begin to share some thoughts…mainly as a part of My OWN healing process, but hopefully to someday be able to help others who have struggled or who are struggling.

 

Mine is a scandalous story.  One that could easily be the content for a movie or dramatic TV series.  One of brokenness, sin, pain, and failure; but also one of forgiveness, healing, redemption, restoration, and hope.  Never in a million years would I have dreamed that this would be my story or my life (stay tuned).

 

I am not proud of some of the choices I have made.  But I also know the end of my story is not yet written.  In fact, in many ways, I believe my story is just beginning!  I have hope….not in myself but in my God.

 

I am praying and believing for complete healing, redemption and restoration for all of the lives involved.  I am praying Isaiah 45:2 –

 

“I will go before you and level the mountains to make the crooked places straight.” 

 

Friends – there are some crooked places in my life that need to be made straight and there are some mountains that need to be leveled!  How about you??

 

One thing I have learned – apart from Jesus Christ, I am nothing and I have nothing. I feel qualified ONLY because of what He has done in my life, how He has changed me, and the lessons I have learned as a result of doing things CONTRARY to His ways!  Going forward, I claim the words of Paul for my own life, “I will boast in NOTHING but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

 

In this blog, I hope you will find encouragement.  I hope you will LAUGH and CRY.  I hope you can relate to the joys, sorrows, and frustrations of parenthood!!  I hope you will be drawn closer to God, and I pray your understanding of Him and your personal relationship with Him will deepen.

 

In addition to my love for Jesus, out of which everything else flows, you will find stories and lessons I’ve learned from being a mommy of 2 tiny but spirited sidekicks; you will find posts about my passion for health and fitness, maybe some recipes, and who knows what else!!  The journey is just beginning!!!

 

As we begin this journey together, I want to share the words found in Isaiah 61  –  beautiful promises….ALL of which I am claiming for my life and YOURS

 

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor,and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,

2To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor][a]and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

3To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

4And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

5Aliens shall stand [ready] and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

6But you shall be called the priests of the Lord; people will speak of you as the ministers of our God. You shall eat the wealth of the nations, and the glory [once that of your captors] shall be yours.

7Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs.

8For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong with violence or a burnt offering. And I will faithfully give them their recompense in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenantor league with them.

9And their offspring shall be known among the nations and their descendants among the peoples. All who see them [in their prosperity] will recognize and acknowledge that they are the people whom the Lord has blessed.

10I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness and justice and praise to spring forth before all the nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word].