The Not So Long Drive Home

There is no where else on this planet that I would rather be than at home, near my extended family and friends, near the Okefenokee Swamp, the muddy St. Marys River, and Fernandina Beach. I do not live that far away–2.5 hours easily. Yet, as much as I want to be there, I often make excuses not to get in the car and drive where I know I am loved, where I know my dogs are welcome, where I know I can just relax and be myself, and where I absolutely am certain that I will know half the people in Winn-Dixie.

I deny myself this occasional refuge, because four years ago, my mom fell asleep at the wheel of her car driving from where I live home to have Christmas with family and friends. She hit a tree head-on off Interstate 10, less than a mile from a sign for the Lake City “Rest Stop.” Oh the irony of that extremely large sign, which actually gives me a brief sense peace when I pass it. She is at rest.

The trauma of stopping at that location to lay a wreath four years ago, of claiming her demolished car with my son’s Match Box toys scattered everywhere, of arriving at the funeral home with the clothes I had purchased for her that morning… As much as I miss home, the trip over is almost unbearable, because of the anxiety I experience.

But that cannot happen anymore. I have an upcoming trip planned that is out of my norm and am very excited to head to Jacksonville. In this Year of Yes, I will choose to focus on the destination, rather than the road. I will fill my car with the joyful sounds of the praise music Mama loved, and I will pray, knowing full well that my Mama’s spirit is in a far better place, and that I am free to live fully in the meantime.

It’s time to move on.

“Saying yes . . . saying yes is courage. Saying yes is the sun. Saying yes is life.”
Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

On a much lighter note, one of my favorite songs out right now is by Ed Sheeran. “Castle on a Hill” reminds me so much of my tribe– all the close friends of mine with whom I have grown up and old with. This will be playing on repeat as I pull into town.

Castle on a Hill.jpg

Contentment in Motherhood

I have joined a Wednesday night Bible study group for women at the church that we have been attending for a year. I do not know anyone in this group well, and it is completely out of my comfort zone. We are reading Walking With God in the Season of Motherhood by Melissa B. Kruger. Thankfully, there are several other single moms in the class, so I do not feel like I am the only one on this solitary trek.

Last night, the kids were at their dad’s and not here chomping at the bits to go to the Wednesday night children’s program that they love. I was relaxed and had to make myself get off the porch swing for Bible study, but I am glad I did. God laid a special message on my heart.

My plate is full. Single parenting is hard, and the truth is I often find myself impatient, overwhelmed, and discontent.

However, I was gently reminded that what I often perceive as “Have Tos”– dentist and doctors appointments, hair cuts, errands, laundry, play time, birthday parties, extra-curricular activities, school engagements, reading, discipline, homework….the list goes on and on — should be turned into “Get Tos.” Children are a blessing. Not everyone gets to be a parent, as my friend Jack lovingly reminded me this week, and they grow up so very fast.

swinging-mason

Photo by Captured by Casey

Today, I got to volunteer in Miss Julia’s class and watch her practice ballet; this weekend I get to fold their tiny clothes and smell their hair as they snuggle next to me in bed; if I’m lucky, I may get to play catch with Mason in the yard; and, on Sunday, I get to worship Jesus with them at church. One day, I will miss cleaning up after them, and I will miss holding them in my lap. Mason’s already almost as tall as me.

So my prayer tonight is this: Lord, “Let me live that I may praise you (in this season of Motherhood), and may your laws sustain me.” Psalms 119:175

Amen.

 

A Prayer

It is funny how God puts people in your life. Mrs. M, a sweet lady that works at my kids’ school has become one of my prayer warriors. She keeps a close eye on my little ones for me, and has also started texting to check in on me occasionally. Over the holidays, she composed this prayer for me, and I have begun incorporating it into my time with Jesus.

marriage-prayer