Today’s guest poster is near and dear to my heart.
Last year, I watched as this dear friend struggle through a Thanksgiving and Christmas alone, with four small children (including her precious littlest one who was very very small), I constantly prayed the Lord would bring her peace, restore her happiness, protect the hearts and minds of her children, and carry her through some really rough times.
Christine owns and operates Treasures and Pastimes, a wonderful internet page where she sells her amazing antique finds and collectibles, all operated like an auction. I personally own some of her finds, and they have prominent places in my home. She has fantastic taste, and hopes to build her business so that she can support her family through rough and the good times. Please take some time to go over there today and check out her photos…
But I want to say this about Christine. When adversity comes, it affects people in two different ways. They either become sour, and angry, or they grow deeper and stronger and richer, more beautiful with through the trials.
Christine has totally, and completely, become the last one. Her smile, her sweet spirit, and her core of strength through Christ has not only survived, but gotten richer with the last year. I am honored to call her a dear friend. I can not wait to see what the Lord does in the next year….
And if you, too, are facing this season of holidays alone, and scared, and feeling abandoned, then this message is for you.
Blessings to you and yours,
I am a single Mom to four absolutely beautiful, healthy, smart and happy little children. Two boys (6 and 4 1/2) and two girls (2 and 11 months). To make a long story short, when I was 19 weeks pregnant with my 4th child, my (now ex) husband walked out on us. I suppose having a girlfriend is way more fun than a pregnant wife, 3 very young children, and responsibilities. I filed for divorce because I wasn’t going to beg anyone willing to cheat on me and walk out on his family, to come back.
The days, weeks and even months after this happened, were some of the hardest times of my life. I couldn’t simply fall into the dark hole that was threatening to suck me in, I had 3 small children and one on the way to care for. There were many tears, many sleepless nights, many times when I would walk outside, shut the door behind me and scream at the top of my lungs. I got counseling, the kids got counseling, and little by little, there was a light in our lives again. I remember the day I looked at my oldest son and his smile lit up his whole face, and I remember thinking, we’ll be ok!
Phew! Now we got that out of the way! Heather (my friend and the lovely owner of this blog!) has asked me to write about thankfulness.
I just don’t think there’s enough time in the day, or room on this page, to tell you all the things I am thankful for!
Blessed by God is how I would describe my life. As I have mentioned, I have 4 beautiful children, and I am reminded almost every time I look at them, how much of an honor it is to be their mother. To be entrusted with the upbringing of a child is, in my opinion, the greatest gift one can be given. My heart literally swells with pride and joy when I look at my babies, and I do as much in my power to keep them safe, healthy and happy as I can!
God has given me an amazing family, they have always been my greatest supporters and kept me going when I was too exhausted to even think! I am lucky to live next door to my Dad and sister on one side, and my brother, sister in law and nephew on the other side, so there’s always someone around if I need an extra set of hands!
I was blessed last year, to have gotten a phone call from my church offering help in getting the kids Christmas presents and warm winter coats. I was also surprised and very blessed to have been visited by my neighbors down the road, and also a friend from high school…both of them bearing gift cards to help me with making the holiday a nice one for my family.
Believe it or not, I’m even thankful for the time last winter when the baby was 1 week old and my younger son got the stomach bug. He threw up over every inch of the floor from the downstairs bathroom, through the upstairs hallway and on my bed. It was during the middle of the night, of course, and as I scrubbed the floors for two hours, taking breaks to clean up and nurse my newborn while soothing my sick toddler, I realized just exactly how strong I am. I also realized it again and again when the other two got sick in the following couple weeks! Ha ha!
It’s because of those difficult times, those dark hours when you think you can’t go on, when the tears of frustration and exhaustion and heartache won’t stop and you can’t see the light at the end of the very long tunnel…because of those times, and making it through, I have come to know myself in a way that would never have been possible before. I am now confident in my abilities as a mother and confident in how I raise my children…I am a strong and confident woman and I no longer look for approval from anyone else.
A few months ago, I was at the wedding of a friend. It was a gorgeous fall day, and the kids were visiting their father for the weekend. The ceremony was beautiful, and the love between the bride and groom was heartwarming… and it got me thinking of when (and if) God would ever put a man in my life to stand by my side and enjoy the little (and big) moments together. That very same night, I met a man and his family (many mutual friends, including my own sister!)…He is kind and hardworking, honest and supportive, compassionate and respectful…he loves the Lord, my children and me. I truly believe he is the perfect match for my heart and life that God has intended for me, and I am very much honored and blessed to have him in my life.
I smile, not because my life has been easy, but because I recognize the blessings (big and small) that God has given me and I am forever thankful to Him for this amazing life (heartaches and all) I have!
Christine is one of the strongest women I know. She has dealt with one of the hardest things anyone can go through and done it with such grace and a smile on her face. Not only is she blessed with four beautiful children, but they are blessed with a loving, strong mother.
Amen to that!!!!!
Wonderful story, Christine. And we prayed for you throughout the whole ordeal. You have so many friends, both real and cyber who have been cheering you on in the last year. You are truly blessed, and such a wonderful, sweet, caring woman. God Bless you, always!
Great post. Trials do make us stronger. It is so comforting to know that the Lord truly knows each of us individually and the struggles that we have. He is always there for us. It was wonderful to hear the blessings that have come your way after enduring the trials.
I can’t even imagine all that you’ve gone through. Thank you for sharing your story.