This post is going to cover some serious ground, so hop on the crazy train and strap in. Here we go...
I am deep in preparation for the Blessed is She brunch I am hosting here at my home on Saturday.
There will be 25 women, most of whom I do not know, coming together over coffee and brunch. We are all in different seasons of life and we all have different stories to tell. I have been praying that God guides me and helps me to open wide my doors and be hospitable to all who enter here. It is my deepest desire that every women feel welcome and safe here. It will be a judgement free zone, one filled with joy, support and encouragement.
I have taken the opportunity to do some serious deeeeeeep cleaning and de-cluttering of the house. I have not done much in that area in the last year. Once Courtney entered hospice, I did the minimal to keep the family functional and that was it.
Now, I have the time and am in a more emotionally stable place to be able to handle such a task. It has been cathartic to say the least. It feels like a new beginning, one that has been hard won.
Last weekend we made some changes in the living room and hallway. This week, I have been working in the kitchen and closets. This is not for the faint of heart. Closets are filled with everything you don't know what to do with. It's where everything is shoved into when company comes over. They were very scary my friends.
It got me thinking as I was cleaning, how much we hide of ourselves, in those closets of our lives. What is it we don't want people to see? What are we so afraid of that we have to hide who we are?
I know, it sounds a bit cliche'ed with the closet analogy but I was cleaning them out all week, so let's go with it.
I have lived the majority of my life in fear. Mostly fear of rejection. There I said it. I am terrified on a daily basis that you will not like me, you will walk away from a friendship, you will reject me, you will not include me in your little group, that I will be an outcast.
Surprised? Don't be. We all have our shit.
As Jerry and I walked through the final year of Courtney's life, God really began to work on my heart and my fear of rejection and isolation. After all, I would soon be facing the most feared thing in any mother's life, the death of my child.
As we humbly ( with great hesitation) brought each need before you all, it felt like we had failed our daughter again and again. We were the ones who were responsible for her. We were tasked with caring for her and yet, we didn't have the resources to do so. So we prayed and God said "ask and you shall receive". So we put our fear and pride aside and you all overwhelmed us and our daughter with love.
It was a moment I will never forget. Actually, it was more than one moment, it was hundreds of them where God's love was more powerful than my fear of parental failing. I remember every single time Jerry and I trusted in God's crazy plan to leave the provision of Courtney's needs to him. He hit a home run every damn time.
I learned through the loss of my beautiful daughter that sometimes God asks us to have a crazy faith, where we open those closet doors and let all of who we are be seen without fear of judgment. It's the only way we can live an authentic life, to be who we truly are.
I am hoping and praying that when those 25 women arrive on Saturday, they know they are loved and accepted exactly as they are, in all their awesomeness. I hope my smile and hug helps them to feel even a teeny tiny small bit of the love and acceptance you all have shown us in the last eight years here in this space.
It is overwhelming and it kicks that fear, that bubbles up in my chest from time to time, in the ass. God's love is so much greater than fear could ever be. Truly it is.
Today I still struggle with that fear from time to time. Then I remember how God showed us his love and provision with our daughter and most recently with Jerry's new job.
Today was Jerry's last day at NG after almost sixteen years of service. He is ready for a new challenge, a new beginning. I am so damn proud of him and all he has done for us to provide for us, no matter the cost to him. My love for him grows by the second. I am honored to walk beside him. Please say a prayer for an easy transition and for safe travel as he begins his new position on Monday.
I have been babysitting two little girls to bring in extra income and will add on to that with other work in the near future. I needed to be ready emotionally to move forward before stepping out.
We have three weeks before we will receive Jerry's first paycheck from his new job. For a family who lives paycheck to paycheck, that is a very long time. I was praying about this this morning and God was so clear on encouraging me to trust in His provision once again. I have confidence that over the next few months we will be able to establish some financial breathing room...but we need to get there first.
By God's grace we shall.
Here is the final piece for today accompanied by the BIGGEST THANK YOU EVER!!
We will no longer be friendraising.
We will leave the PayPal button up on the right side of the blog for those who wish to help in that manner. The need is still there but I will not be asking for more donations. There are so many families who need help and are in crisis right now and there are only so many pools of resources to draw from. Jerry and I will figure it out as we always have. God has been so faithful in his provision and I know that will continue.
YOU have been there for us and for our family through thick and thin. I know that some of you are facing your own hardships. Know that we are praying for you. I don't know how we would have gotten this far without so many helping us along the way.
Jerry, Jonathan and I are forever grateful for your generosity toward our family.
Blessings and Thanks from the bottom of my heart,
Labels: Blessed Is She, building community, catholic life, homemaking, seasons of motherhood, women of faith