Even when I don’t see it

During worship at church this morning I was moved to tears. Not just a pretty little tear traveling down my cheek. I mean tears upon tears. I’m talking make up streaking, snot slinging, ugly crying. I was so overcome with the presence of God in that time and place. Worship is how I most often hear from God – when I am open and listening for him. Worship for me is not just about singing a few songs. For me it is a time to lay my burdens down, open up my heart, praise my God, and listen for what he has for me.

Right now life is really heavy. I am bone tired and soul weary. I have been mad at God. I have argued and yelled at him as I asked him “WHY?!” (as if He owes me any answers). I have then changed to crying out to him and begging him to “fix” it. I have pleaded for a miracle from him. I have tried to turn it all over to him…casting all my cares…but in all reality I was not truly turning them over. I was sharing them with him and then trying to tell him what outcome I would like.

Today God used a song that I have sung a million times to still my spirit and to remind me of his love for me. The song was “Way Maker” by Leeland. During the pandemic, when this song came out I listened to it on repeat. I loved the timing of it as it helped me navigate the fears that came along with the lockdown. I wore that song out! It really spoke to me then. I honestly had not heard the song in a while until today, and I guess God just knew I needed to hear from him!

Even when I don’t see it, you’re working
Even when I don’t feel it, you’re working.
You never stop, you never stop working.
You never stop, you never stop working.

Way maker by Leeland

Regardless of how I feel about all of the troubles around me, God is at work. When I feel that he just isn’t hearing my cries for a miracle, he does, and he is at work. When I can’t feel his presence, he’s still there. He is working it all out. God is in control and he never stops. He knows. He sees. He has the answers.

I think the entire song shares a powerful message about all that God does for us day in and day out. But today, I think God really wanted me to open up, listen, and believe that he has not gone anywhere. Rather he’s been waiting for me to fully trust and listen to his voice. Even though I may not see what he is doing and how he is working, he is still at work. God will never stop working – and for that I am grateful beyond measure. I know that God’s answers may not be the ones that I am desperate for, but I also know that he is in control and no matter what, he is at work. That is who he is.

I’m so thankful that when I get mad at God, or doubt his presence in my life, he still loves me and is at work in my life. And he will never stop. He never stops.

Just call me Mimsy

This summer I gained a new title…Mimsy. My son and his wife made me a grandma! Zach and Katie live in Columbus, about two hours away from me. They went to the hospital on the evening of June 15th. I knew (thought) that it would be a slow go, being there first child, but by the next day I was hovering over my phone waiting for an update. Zach was very good about sending the play by play to our family group chat…”she’s at 10 cm.”…”she’s ready to push…” But after that, it was radio silence. I paced. I ate (I’m an emotional eater). I called my daughter. It felt like a century went by before I got the call. That moment in time will forever be etched in my memories. I was sitting at the house alone. Jason Aldean music was playing on the Alexa in the kitchen. My phone rang and Zach delivered the news I was not so patiently waiting for. Baby boy was here. He and momma were both healthy and doing great. He came into the world at 7 pounds 8 ounces. He was 21 1/4 inches long. I was a grandma! The phone call was brief as Zach went to be with his wife and new son. When I hung up, I sank into the couch and sobbed. I gushed the happy tears. Alone in the moment I didn’t even know what to do with all of the emotions. I have never felt anything like what I was feeling in that instant. I thought there could never be a better feeling than that.

Parker Williamson Smith

Until the moment I finally got to hold him in my arms and introduce myself to him. The plan was to wait until Zach, Katie, and Parker were home and settled in before I went up. I remember those days of being brand new parents and feeling completely overwhelmed with a whole new reality, wondering if you’ll ever sleep again, and having constant people in your house. As hard as it was for me to wait, I wanted to respect their time as a new family. I had planned to go up a few days after they arrived home. However, the morning of my planned trip, Covid struck our household and my plans were sidelined. I was devastated, but also thankful that our daughter’s results had come back so quickly and that I hadn’t exposed my son and his family. Thankful – but beyond disappointed. So I waited some more. Thankfully Zach and Katie sent tons of pictures and face-timed often.

After a five day waiting period, and two negative Covid tests, Carty and I hit the road to Columbus. My anticipation made the drive pass quickly. The moment we stepped in the door and I saw my son holding his son, the tears came again. When people tell you there is nothing like being a grandparent…well, now I get it. Seeing the man that I gave brith to and poured all of my heart and soul into, now doing the same with his own child left me breathless. Holding Parker for the first time was all that I ever dreamt it would be. He was absolutely perfect! Zach and Katie were so at ease with their new roles as parents. I was amazed at how natural it all seemed to come to them.

Meeting Parker

I know that people become grandparents every day. I’ve watched two of my siblings experience it before me and listened to them tell me how fun it is and how much they love their family additions. I knew I would experience all of those same feelings. What I did not expect to feel so deeply was the overwhelming awe and pride in watching my son be a daddy. Words are escaping me right now as I attempt to share those feelings. This man, who I spent all of my time and energy raising and shaping and molding was now responsible for another life. He was taking care of this tiny human. And he is so good at it. Watching Zach and Katie love on their son was and is, by far the most amazing part of this whole experience. I love being a Mimsy! But I also love being momma to Parker’s parents.

The Smith Family

It’s not my ugly

Sitting here staring at my computer screen with so much on my heart, but searching for the right words. When I started this blog several years ago, I did it for me. As an outlet for all of the things that life throws at me. I did it for me. As a way to process my feelings and frustrations about family and friends, work and play, highs and lows. This is more than just a social media outlet to blast out my “highlight” reel. I always promised myself that I would be real. My posts would be authentic and would share the good, the bad, and the ugly of real life. There is so much good in my world and I am a blessed wife, momma and soon to be mimsy, and I have some really special friends who truly lift me up. But I am also at times a messy wreck of a human being who struggles with confidence, has a hard time trusting, and feels hurt and betrayal very deeply. It would be a lie to only post the happy moments and not share the ugly.

One of my biggest struggles that I have lived with my whole life is the feeling of not being valued. Of being unseen – invisible. Of being taken for granted, not appreciated, and used. These feelings run very deeply. I have some thoughts about where those come from, and why they are such triggers for me – but that is for another time and another post. Today, I am broken. I am so wound up in these feelings that I cannot free myself of them to find any peace. And quite honestly I’m not sure what else to do but get them out here.

In the past, I would crumble and cry when I felt betrayed or disappointed in the actions and words of another. I would unpack my suitcase of pity and set up camp. I’m not sure when that changed, or what changed it, or perhaps this situation is different – but I am not sad or depressed or crying tears of despair. Today I am seething with anger and frustration. I am not hurt – because I am strong and have been hurt enough in the past that I almost don’t feel it anymore. I am mad. I am angry that I have been taken advantage of and used. I am livid that I have been treated the way I have been – unappreciated for my passion and heart and disrespected because of someone else’s insecurities.

As I type and cry I can feel it already – the sense of clarity and calm that expressing myself brings. I am going to be okay. I will learn from this and refuse to be pushed by a situation like this again. Life’s lessons aren’t always easy to take in the moment…but what understanding they can bring when I allow myself to feel all that I am feeling. I can’t just “let it go” without first processing it, understanding it and truly taking time to allow all of the emotions. But wow what an eye-opening process it is. No, I can’t just let it go – but I can see things for what they truly are, and then light it and let it go. I will not let my anger cause me to say things that I know to be true but will fall on deaf ears. But here’s the thing…I will use these feelings to help me become more of the person I know I am and I will not let it change me into someone I don’t want to be.

So thank you. Thank you for helping me see the reality of it. Thank you for pushing me to be so angry that I had no choice but to stop and work through it all – and learn the lesson that I needed to be taught. The lesson that this isn’t really about me. This is about you. And I can’t process your ugly for you. That’s your work to do.

It’s my process

This weekend I had an encounter with someone who I don’t really know that really shook me up. It was not a “big” encounter, and I truly don’t know this person enough to even care about her – or her opinion about me, but I just can’t shake the way she left me feeling. I can’t shake the whole thing for many reasons.I am a thinker. I spend sleepless nights replaying words spoken to me, trying to understand why certain things affect me the way they do. I reflect a lot on the “whys” of my own emotions and dig down into past hurts that are quickly brought back to my mind by current situations. At times, this is a really good character trait to have. But at other times, it is near torture. It’s why I just can’t let some things go. It’s why I take so much to heart and am still crying over nasty words days after they have been spoken. When a “normal” person just brushes things off and tells me to just “get over it” or “let it go” I want to scream and attempt to explain my feelings, but find the explanation buried in a lifetime of past emotions.

As I wade through the emotions that feel way too deep for a simple snarky comment from a practical stranger, I wish that I could climb out of the muck and walk on. But I can’t. And here’s the thing…no one else gets to tell me how to feel about any situation. I own my feelings. I get to process them for as long as it takes me to understand them and work through them. I will not go into the details of this moment in time, because I have already replayed it too many times in my head and heart. But I will share the lesson that I am taking away from this ugly moment in my day. It’s okay for me to not be okay for a while if that’s where I’m at. I will move on eventually. I will not unpack my suitcase and stay here – but I will take the time I need to “get over it.” And I will pray. I will pray that God helps me use this hurt to process all of the unhealed layers that still remain. I will pray for a more forgiving spirit. I will pray for those who excused this woman’s behavior and chalked it up to “that’s just who she is.” I will pray for all of us – that we will learn to see each other the way God sees us. Beloved children.

Enjoy the Joy

Yesterday morning I began planning my future daughter-in-law’s bridal shower. (I tried out the new stories feature on here and shared that tidbit). My son, Zach and Katie will be married in September of this year. Zach is my oldest and my only son. He has always been a momma’s boy…but now he’s about to outgrow that title and become a husband. A husband to an amazing woman. When he was little I began praying for the woman who would become his wife. I have prayed for this young lady for many, many years. God answered in a BIG way and brought Katie into our world.

As I went through my day yesterday, the plans for the shower were on my mind. Katie has a very keen sense of style, and I want to give her a beautiful shower that matches her style. So all day, I was thinking about ways to create this perfect party. More than once – okay at least a dozen times – I was overwhelmed with emotion and began crying. I would find a picture that inspired the flowers, and then I would cry. I would think about sharing this time with Katie and all of our family, and then I would cry. I envisioned all of the smiles and laughs and pictures of that day, and I would cry.

Initially I was confused about these emotions that were bubbling under the surface. Were they sadness from the feelings of “losing” my son? Were they happy tears at the thought of having this special family time to celebrate Katie as a new member of our family? Did these tears come from a place of worry and anxiety about planning the perfect party for my son’s bride? I thought deeply about these emotions (its just what I do), and sorted them out in my head and in my heart. I think that may some of those tears were from each of the things I had thought, but the overwhelming and overpowering emotion I was feeling was pure JOY.

Joy was what was bubbling up from my head and my heart. There is no other word for what I am feeling as we prepare for my son’s wedding. Joy for the joining not only of two people but of two families! Joy at the thought of my daddy being the one who will perform the ceremony for his grandson and bride. And here’s the thing, joy feels good.

I am sure that as the day approaches for the shower and the ceremony, there will be some times of stress and maybe even some not so joyful emotions. I know that worry and anxiety may set in, but none of that will steal the joy of this very special time for our family!

How I am is not Who I am.

hootieAnother gloomy morning. Gray. Rain. Swampy back yard – which means muddy paw prints everywhere in the house. Twice this morning the tears have flooded my eyes, threatening to spill over and not stop. Holed up in the house for one week. Anxiety hangs in the air – unspoken but revealed in actions and eyerolls. I am truly seeking to be a positive source for my family (and for my own well-being). Sometimes though, I’m just faking it. And sometimes that can be exhausting. I feeling…scared, worn out, overwhelmed, tired, anxious, on edge. But these are just feelings. They are currently how I am but they are not who I am.

I am human. I have fears, but I am not fearful. I have worries, but I am not worried. I have so much to constantly do, but I am not buried. Who I truly am is a child of the one true King. I am His. And even though I am feeling all of these things, He still loves me. Even though I cry over the situation, He is not disappointed in me. I am His. The power of His spirit lives in me and I am a child of God. These are the things that define me – not the things I am thinking or feeling. I have been redeemed by Him and in His eyes I am perfect. 

Sitting here in sweats, a Hootie and the Blowfish concert t-shirt, and my third (ish) day of a messy bun, I feel unworthy and broken. But soaking in His word and in prayer I am reminded that I am whole. How I am is not who I am. Resting in that right there!