_Grateful like Esther.
My week starts on Fridays and I love it.
For the past 3 years I have been meeting with a woman who I now call my spiritual mentor. But as you can imagine- she is even more than this to me. She was my neighbor and now she is my friend.
I get asked frequently how our relationship started. I think that whenever someone mentions “spiritual mentor” it sparks intrigue (among other things I am sure). So, I’d like to share with you now how the best Fridays all began.
I was 5 months postpartum and still deep in depression. I had recently started the position as a Faith Community Nurse at my church. [Little did I know, that position would change my life in so many ways]. When I accepted the role I thought of how I have always wanted to work for my church in some way but as a Nurse this seemed next to impossible. I also thought of how I thought I would be a good fit for this role given my leadership and community nursing experience. I thought of how the part time hours fit in perfectly with my new little family. I thought that amidst the depression, the closer I can get in the proximity of God the better. So those were all the reasons I accepted the position. But as you have read in other posts, God had so many other things in mind. I have said it before but will repeat it here in case you have just joined us. I know that my relationship with my biological father has been reconciled because of the community outreach center where I worked. I don’t know any other way that God could have stirred my heart towards restoring the broken wounds that were left from my father’s absence. But that’s not the only reason I was at that job.
Another reason is my friend, Linda. As I mentioned above she was first our neighbor. Being only a few houses down from ours, we shared many sidewalk conversations usually with her husband over the years. We had seen them both at our church and definitely knew them as close acquaintances but it wasn’t until I ran into both Linda and her husband at the community center where I started working that we truly connected. God put this sweet woman in my life when I needed spiritual nourishment and prayer the most. She offered to pray for me one of the first days that I was there. After that prayer, I knew I wanted to be around her as much as possible. I didn’t even have a plan in mind but after the prayer I just blurted out “Will you teach me about prayer?” She responded with a calm and confident “Yes, I would love to” and our Friday mornings began.
Prior to these Friday mornings, I next to dreaded the old testament. I wasn’t shy in sharing my straight up disgust with Leviticus. I never really made it all the way through Job’s woes and Chronicles was about as exciting as watching water boil. But since these meetings have begun, I never imagined that I would fall in love with Daniel, Zechariah, Isaiah and Revelation. It is because my dear friend said yes. She said yes to pouring into someone much younger than her (both physically and spiritually) week after week.
Friends, my week starts on Fridays because they get my heart on the right track. I would challenge you to find this. Find someone who can pour into you and challenge you. Find someone bold enough to not only share their story but also push you into the uncomfortable places of your own. It is because of Linda’s suggestion that I picked up the phone that first time to text my Dad. After a few attempts of calling him and going back and forth with leaving each other quick, awkward messages I would have given up. I wanted to. She simply yet boldly said “Just try again.” She shared her story of a broken and now repaired relationship with her sister and she promised me of the fruit that came about in her life and her sisters was worth the perseverance past the awkward and unknown. She wouldn’t let me give up even though everything in my heart, mind and soul wanted to. And if I would have never started that job, or asked her to be my mentor- I am quite confident that these words would remain unwritten. This story would have gone untold because it wouldn’t exist in the pages of my life.
I want to leave with one last story about this Friday and the photo you see on this post.
So Hadleigh and I decided to return our mountain of library books back to the church library. As we walked in, we noticed a series of paintings on the wall. Immediately I recognized it and knew that Hadleigh would as well. I asked her who she thought it was and she proudly said “Zacchaeus!” I said she was right and told her how smart she was and how it was so cool to see these paintings on the wall. And then as I turned around, a woman was sitting there and what she said pulled on my heart strings. She said “Good job Mom!” I hadn’t even noticed her sitting there so it took me entirely by surprise. She didn’t stop there. She repeated her statement and several other very thoughtful words of encouragement. (I don't remember all of them because I was too busy wiping the few tears from my eyes). But what I clung onto was how much she was touched by watching just an ordinary and seemingly insignificant moment. You see, the evening before Hadleigh and I attended her preschool ball. Of course the photo I posted on Facebook the night before was of the picture perfect family, all dressed up for the ball - happy and smiling (even Daddy dressed up as a footman!). The evening went well until the last 5 minutes. Meltdown city all because I didn’t want her to take off her boots. I was carrying her out screaming as I attempted to not fall in the heels (that I wear never so often that they look brand new!). It felt like a Mom fail moment. The evenings that end in consequences that ache all of our hearts leave a sting. Discipline feels like failure. But God sent this sweet woman into my life at the exact right time. To everyone else, her name is Sue. But as she promised to pray for me and my family she became an angel in disguise. And for her, I am grateful.
Perhaps we too, can become an angel in disguise to someone else?
Praying for you all friends.
_Grateful like Esther.
_Grateful like Esther.
"Children's Children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children". Proverbs 17:6
Gratitude needs to become more and more a part of our everyday emotions. Often times it is easier to let other emotions and feelings drive our attitudes. But how different our direction would be if we CHOSE gratitude instead?
This category is a way for me to focus on being content and making a gratitude attitude intentional.
Our little girl is so loved by all 5 of her Grandparents. She brings joy to them like I have never seen.
I am grateful.
I am grateful for this Grandma and Papa, Oma and Bumpa for doing anything that needed to be done when Hadleigh first came home and I had postpartum depression.
From taking the night shift, sleepovers, doing the laundry, making meals, cookies, gift baskets and helping in any way possible so that all 3 of us were taken care of.
As I write this, I have tears in my eyes. Literally. The pain that I felt during those first 6 months is still so real. Perhaps this post is for another category but I felt so robbed of what I wanted to experience as a new Mom. But praise God he gave me an army of warriors disguised as grandparents.
Oh the prayers Grandma prayed for me as I sobbed on the floor unable to stop. The Papa who came over the minute we said we needed help and reassured me that everything would be OK.
The card and gift basket from an Oma who remembered me amidst my pain but also did her love language of hospitality in a home that was not her own. The Bumpa who mowed the lawn and picked up whatever was needed from any store, regardless of how far or the cost.
The other night we watched Inside Out during family movie night. Hadleigh loves talking about the memory dump and family island. Oh friends...never forget the sacrifices others make for you. Tell them. Thank them often. I know I need to do it more. For their love for our family did not start nor end here.
But these memories will never be in the memory dump and family island is my favorite.
_Grateful like Esther.