Let Me Introduce You to a Few of My “Friends”

When I was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, one of the things people asked me was whether or not I was really okay. I blogged about it, I shared my story with others as I was living through it, and I took advantage of the opportunity to spend more quality with the people I loved.

Ironically, during that time, I laughed more than I cried. I felt God’s presence from the very beginning so I was really okay. But my friends and family didn’t always think so…which is understandable. When someone you love is diagnosed, the word cancer brings out all kinds of emotions, and usually, sadness rings the loudest.

One of things that helped me get through that experience was reading. I read blogs regularly, and my favorite types of books to read are non-fiction – ideally faith-based non-fiction. As soon as I was diagnosed, I started subscribing to even more devotional emails than usual so my email inbox could be infused with a little bit of Jesus and inspiration throughout the day. Because the bloggers and authors were a part of my daily life, they helped me through the cancer experience. In my mind, though, they became my friends.

I saw a meme the other day that said, “I saw my boyfriend today. And by boyfriend, I mean the guy I have been internet stalking secretly for months. So today, in the spirit of that meme, I want to tell you about a few friends of mine who have actually made a huge difference in my life…most of them via YouTube.

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This. Is. Hard.

One question that I get asked a lot about parenting is “How do you do it?” My answer is simple. “I have no clue.” The fact is that I don’t have a clue. I am convinced that when God called me to the realm of parenting – especialy parenting three children who are all one year apart – He knew that I would need Him more than ever. There was probably a time in my life where I would try to do it all and take credit for it all, but I’m here to tell you that the absolutely only way I can do anything in my life – including parenting three teens – I do with God’s grace, mercy, and guidance.

I’ve written here about some of our challenges and how God has definitely used them to make me not only a better parent but a better person in general. This year alone,  we joined a new church, I got a new job, I rediscovered a passion that I allowed to lie dormant for almost 20 years, and our family re-joined the world of homeschooling again.

While I am glad I followed God’s direction on all of these things, I can tell you hasn’t been easy. Part of that is because sometimes I’m not the most obedient follower of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know – don’t judge me.

Y’all. Life with three teenagers can be amazing and fun and exhilarating. They are busy and bustling with energy, and of course, there’s always something going on. Routines are beautiful, but just when we get settled into a new one, things change. Basketball practice is rescheduled, study group session times have changed, and SAT and ACT registration dates conflict with what we put on the family calendar.

So we adjust. And we laugh. A lot. And we pray. A lot. But the truth is this: We also cry. And some days are just hard. Continue reading