Living for Two

My heart continues to look for you. It doesn’t understand the physical separation and wasn’t ready for you to go.

My soul knows that you are at peace and assures me that we will meet again.

As difficult as it is to accept, I won’t see you again this side of heaven. I will try my absolute best to live, this earthly life I have left, to the fullest.

Don’t Give Up

You may feel weak and tired. You may feel lost and alone. You may be losing hope that things will ever get better, that you will ever truly be happy.

Let me tell you, God sees you. He knows your heart, what you want and need. He hears the cries of your heart.

Your pain is not without purpose.

This is a temporary season.

God is working it all out as you walk through it.

Hang on.

Don’t give up.

Your breakthrough is coming.

He says, “I’m going to do a new thing.”

Just you wait and see.

Be Careful With Your Words

When someone you love leaves this earth, you are shattered and life as you know it will never be the same.

Not sure why this is on my mind and heart tonight, but it is, so I’m writing about it.

Typically when someone passes away, you hear everything good about that person. Regardless of how they lived their life, you begin to hear in what people say about them, things that make them sound like a saint. Well, no one is perfect and no one’s life can measure up to that picture that is painted.

Having said that, there isn’t any good reason to speak poorly about someone who is no longer here. My Jonathan would be the first to tell you, and he did while he was here, that he had flaws. He spoke more openly about them than most, usually to help someone else. So, I have never spoken about him like he was perfect. I have sometimes talked about his struggles and things he went through, when appropriate, to help someone else or to teach something to our kids. But, as his wife and as the mother of those children, it is my place to do that.

This past year, my kids have learned some things about their father that don’t put him in the best light. Some of those things were things that I chose to tell them because I knew it would help them. Other things were told to them, things that I chose for good reason not to tell them; yet. Some of the things were absolutely not true. So, I had to speak to them about all of that. Things that I wasn’t ready to say, things that I maybe never would have said. I also had to clear up the things that were not true.

It is never good to gossip about anyone. We are all guilty of that sometimes, including myself. But to gossip about someone who is no longer here, and then to take it upon yourself to share those things said with his kids is never okay.

No one will ever know what I have had to go through with my two children. Helping them grieve the loss of their father. Helping them live day to day without someone that was such a big part of their every day lives has been more difficult than anyone could know. It has been 6 1/2 years since we lost him and it is still a daily struggle for the three of us.

I am given unsolicited advice from people who will not understand unless they have gone through what we have, regularly. I have heard things like: It has been long enough. It’s time to move on. I could go on and on. They are said by people who care, people with good intentions, but it still doesn’t make it okay.

We will never move on. There will never be a day that we don’t miss him and wish he was here. There will never be a day that comes where we are over it and it should all be okay. It’s just not that easy and it is not realistic. We not only want, but we need to talk about him. We want others to talk about him. It’s important for us, especially my kids, to know that he hasn’t been forgotten.

There is so much more that I could say but I am going to stop here. Moral of the story is this… Think about what you say before you say it. Understand that your words can have life altering consequences when heard. Especially by the loved ones of someone that is no longer here.

Recovering People Pleaser

I’m a, what I like to call, recovering people pleaser. I no longer feel bad for saying no to things that I don’t think I should do. I no longer give of my precious time to those that are negative and toxic. I no longer force my kids to be around people that haven’t actively been a part of their lives. I decided to stop explaining and defending myself to people who will only see from their chosen perspective anyway. I no longer make decisions based on how others might think of me. I now make myself a priority rather than being the last on the list. And you know what? I don’t even feel bad about it!

The Empty Chair

Today is a day to be thankful. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for! However, this also a very sad day for many because someone will be missing. I always remember both. My heart for today is that we all remember what today is really about. Hug those you love and don’t leave things unspoken, for tomorrow is never promised. If you are one with a heavy heart because your person is missing, I will say a special prayer for you today. Again, there is always something to be thankful for, but that in now way negates the fact that you are missing someone, that there will be an empty chair.

Wishing all my friends and family a beautifully blessed day ♥️

Therapy 📝

I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Losing my Dad has been a very difficult thing to deal with. That, coupled with this already being a tough time of year, it’s been a pretty trying time. I was thinking tonight about different ways that I could help myself to feel better. Although I haven’t felt like I have much to say lately, I was reminded how helpful writing has been to me. I guess it’s kind of been my therapy. So, I’m going to make an effort to get back to that.

Hope that each of you are doing well. I look forward to catching up with you and on your writings.

Joni 💛

My Constant

An Open Letter to My Dad in Heaven

Dad,

I woke up this morning feeling different than I ever have in my entire life. There isn’t even an adjective that could adequately describe it. I should be able to use a word I’ve used before because I know the pain of loss. But, just as people can’t truly be compared, neither can any loss.

I bounce back and forth from one moment feeling relief that you are not suffering and are in a better place, to the next where there is the heart-wrenching realization that you are never coming back.

I can’t believe you’re gone. It still seems so unreal.

But, it is real.

I can’t pick up the phone and call you. I can’t hear your voice. I can’t stop in to visit. I can’t see you.

I’m heart broken because I love you more than you could have ever known. There were two or three times over the years where I either wrote in a card or told you how much I appreciated who you were in my life, but no words could have ever expressed what you meant to me.

You were the first man I ever loved. You were the strong and silent presence in my childhood and as I was growing up. You became my friend as I got older and went through many hard times in my adult life, while still being the strong voice of reason that never sugar coated anything. You were one that I could always count on to give it to me straight, whether I wanted to hear it or not. You were the constant in a life filled with chaos, tragedy, and pain.

My constant…

You were the strong example of what a man should be. Not only for me, but for my kids who didn’t have that in their life when they lost their own Dad so young. They lost so much on top of losing him and although they might not have seen you every single day, they knew you were there.

Constant…

That’s what real love is.

I will never be able to fully express what that has meant to me; to all of us.

You are loved and will be so incredibly missed.

Thank you.

Thank you for loving me.

Thank you for being my Dad.

Thank you for being you.

My constant….

Change and Balance

Change. It’s inevitable!

Sometimes change is exciting and at times, scary. It can be tough and uncomfortable to navigate through. It can also be easy to be derailed in transition. I’ll give you an example.

When I started this blog it was at a point in my life when change was exciting. I had a job that gave me the freedom to start dreaming. It came with the gift of time. I was being creative and starting new things. I was writing again. I was finding myself in a new way, working through hurts and things that had been holding me back, and finding God in a new way. There was a renewed sense of hope.

Fast forward to this past February…

The company I was working for was dissolving and I found myself in a place of uncertainty. Change was happening again and I wasn’t excited. I spent the next four months looking for a new job, trying to have faith that God would carry me through; that He had a plan.

A lot happened in that four months as I was stretched in many ways. I’ll write about that in a different post.

I started a new job in June. More change. It was a big transition, coming from working from home and having so much freedom with my time. My focus became learning and becoming acclimated to a new career. It’s a great job, a great company to work for, and I love the people I work with.

I realized something today. I’ve been so busy with my new job that I haven’t had time to write, do anything with my apparel company, or much of anything else really. Most importantly, I’ve not made time to maintain my relationship with God like I should. How quickly we fall away from that if we aren’t careful.

I guess what I’m getting at is that I’m reminded how important balance is in life. Instead of saying that I don’t have time to __________________; I need to MAKE time for the things that are important. I need to make time for God. I need to make time to work on the creative projects that I started that made me happy. I need to make time to write. I need to make time for me!

There are only 24 hours in each day and most days that definitely doesn’t seem like enough! But, it’s up to me to prioritize and be disciplined enough to use the time I do have in the best way I know how.

Here’s to attempting to find that balance that I so desperately need!

xoxo Joni