Good Grief

Good Grief

Monday, January 1, 2018

Recap/reflection 2017/18

My annual year end/New Year blog post.  Lil recap and reflection. I’d have to say 2017 was mediocre at best. Not the worst, not the greatest. No huge changes with the Richardson 4, just making it day by day. 
Jake started his senior year. That in and of itself makes me a very happy mom. He did meet someone super special that he adores and the rest of us do too. She fits in, appreciates our weirdness and I think enjoys being with us. She’s beautiful, smart, and she comes from good people. Couldn’t have picked a better one myself Jake! He’s finishing his high school career exceptionally, with awesome grades and plans to attend GA Highlands since he’s still on the fence of a major. Fine with this mom—one leaving the nest may be too much for me. 😒 Excited about his graduation and have started the planning of a senior trip. He’s overcome and accomplished much and makes me proud. Big year coming up for this one, excited and anxious with and for him.
Sam started his freshman year. For 2017 he grew and grew and grew. He now looks down at me too. He’s a super student, his determination and organization amazes me. Didn’t get it from me. I see him stepping into his dads shoes with business sense and drive. He’s ending 2017 with a concussion from basketball. Been pretty bummed to not be playing his favorite sport. He’s finally on the mends and makes me laugh on the reg. He gets his learners in February. Help me now!!  Proud of this one.
Molly. Sweet Molls. She’s in the midst of finishing out her elementary school years. As God would have it, He took care of things and landed her in an awesome teachers class. She adores her and wants to be like her. I’ve actually joked and said I think they may be one in the same person. 😊 Heading to middle school in 2018. Oh. My. Word. NO!!!!! With this year I’ve seen many changes in her. She’s slowly becoming more independent, more confident in who she is. Got to see a brave side of her -a stent in the ER and she amazed this mama with her braveness facing needles and test. Her heart continues to amaze me, and her smile continues to get me through many days. Her sass and ‘tude takes me back to 11 years old. I’m proud of her. Little by little she’s growing up.   
Me. Like I said a mediocre year. Maybe that’s the wrong word but it wasn’t the best or the worst. I guess a year that you overcome hurdles and deal with life issues is more than mediocre-I guess it’s more fantastic. Mediocre doesn’t mean I haven’t recognized and appreciate all my blessings. Lord, I’m blessed. Everyday I get to wake up in a house that’s mine, with kids that are mine and I have people that are mine that love me and I love them. I get to wake up everyday with the breathtaking assurance that I am HIS.  I laugh uncontrollably some days with people I interact with daily, I laugh at myself more than not and my kids and I-boy do we laugh together. There’s not much more you can ask for than to just be comfortable with the ones you love. Nothing more satisfying in being comfortable with who you are. Nothing more sure in knowing Who has my days. 
I guess the mediocrity comes with the fact that my oldest sis was delivered the stinking cancer diagnosis, knowing she already had financial issues, with 2 kids in their teens. Watching her endure chemo would actually be less than mediocre. Down right hard. Mediocrity comes with watching someone endure months of limbo of a decision to be made by someone else, that could change lives. Mediocrity comes from days that are just days of getting up, doing life and not appreciating where I’m at. Mediocrity is looking too far ahead into things and becoming disappointed because I haven’t lived in the moments enough. Mediocrity is not trusting God enough when I know He is more than what I should ever need. Mediocrity is knowing there is so much more than just this...
But maybe, just maybe, a mediocre year is ok. Maybe mediocre keeps me humble and desiring more. Desiring more from others, from life, from God. Maybe that word will drive me to more for the New Year. Prayerfully knowing that more time with God is so much more than mediocre, living in the moment instead of looking too far ahead will make the mediocre more joyful and enjoyable. I can attest-moments are fleeting, watching my 3 get older-so fast. Thinking about my lil grandmom turning 98 in November, and now is being made comfortable with hospice, after a fall,  makes me wonder what she’s thought about in these slower years. Makes me wonder what moments she wished she’d stayed in just a bit longer. Makes you wonder who’d she choose to spend more time with if she could, what she would cut out of her life to make it better and if there were times she’d stopped looking to the future and just stayed in the moment. 

Maybe mediocre is good but maybe there’s more than just mediocrity and maybe it’s in the moments before us and not in the future. So here’s to a mediocre 2017 -the love that was felt and shown, may 2018 be much of the same but with so much celebration of right decisions, cancer cures, graduations, driving, growing, becoming. May we all just stay in the mediocre moments and big moments a bit longer, hold the ones we love a tad tighter and longer, knowing that this New Year will be over quickly too. God Bless and Happy New Year to you and yours. ~D

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


For some reason a theme has been rolling around in my head for days. Not sure where it came from, where I'm going with it but it's been rolling around enough to disturb me.

Then tonight I get a call, a text, another call. Not saying I'm prophetic my no means. I truly think it's coincidental, either way I'm crying myself to sleep tonight with again, a broken, wondering heart. 

Just when you think life is pretty sucky  you're reminded that there is always someone going through far worse. When you think life handed you lemons there's always someone that's been handed more. I've been reminding myself this when pity parties flare up even now. There's always someone somewhere that's struggling a bit more, hurting a more, heart wide open broken when yours seems on the mend.

Tonight. Tonight I find out that my deceased friends children literally became orphans tonight. Why?? First their mom and now...and now their dad. Why?

Yes they've lived a good life since mom left to be with Jesus. Thankfully a grandmother stepped into those hard shoes to be filled by anyone and carried on life. They may not have been with their daddy everyday, but he was in their life. He was still their daddy. But now...

My heart is broken on so many levels tonight. Reminder to all of us that are single by death how easy our children can be left as orphans as well. How in a seconds notice children that have already endured too much must re-live this hurt again. Why? 

Father God-tonight I pray for all of us asking why. I pray for 2 children's hearts that are assuredly asking why as well. Father, remind us that You see them. Remind us that You are not the author of confusion not fear. Remind us Father that you are good. Father remind these children that they are loved by a grandmother so much that she gave her life up to raise them once her own child was gone and will continue to do so. Father, help me and many others feeling the same thing tonight of the verse I just posted---a Father to the fatherless. Dear God please let them feel your love, your arms around them tonight. Be with those that have lost a son today. A husband. Father God provide comfort and peace for these kids and for even my own heart tonight. Even for my children tonight. I have to thank you for reminding me to never get too comfortable with life, how easy things can change. Hear my prayer for these children Father God. Please give them peace. This feeling I have Father use it to change me, to help me mother well, to be who I need to be more intentionally. If there's rainbows as reminders that their mom is looking down and if there's a way you can show them you see them in the next day's God...please show these children its brilliance and brightness. Help us pray for them and love them through. In Jesus Name. Amen. 

And there's always someone somewhere in a worse place than even us. Broken. Questioning and can't even fathom why? 

Friday, May 5, 2017


One of those days I woke up struggling. Insecurities, questions, fear. Spring seems to take my hand and subtly drags me back into the pits of fear and insecurities and even still-grief. Deathaversaries, Easter, all seem to fire up some things that you honestly don't want to have relive. 
Then there's a similar death in the community, someone we've all prayed for, worshipped with. She, too, was mid 30's with small children. Living life and just like that the rug was pulled out from under hers, her husbands and children's feet with a diagnosis. Just like that his wife and their mom is gone. Similar but very different. I was asked on Sunday what he must be feeling. From my wanting to say the right things I just said 'so today he's just on auto-pilot wondering how the heck he's going to do this.' 
What I wanted to say and didnt say was completely different. I wanted to say, "right now he feels completely betrayed by His God, the very one that was suppose to and could have saved her. He's looking around at everyone and wondering how the hell can their lives just go on? How can others get up and go to work, to school when their life just took a freaking jolt.  He's wondering how in the world he will manage without her. He's wondering why in the world God thought he could be a single dad to a girl and a boy and work and whatever else. He's wondering how it is going to be to wake up and not have someone to say good morning and kiss goodbye. He's probably going to throw himself into parenting and forget about himself for awhile. He's probably thinking how in the world can I ever worship God again?" 

Maybe he's not thinking these things at all. Maybe his faith wasn't rocked, maybe since he's the bread winner he's not worried about bills and college and maybe he's a dad that has it together and knows all the right things to say to his children when they ask why God chose her. Maybe in seven years when he's seeing someone and they get busy and don't call to say good morning he won't think the very worst and think something tragic has happened and literally be scared to call to find out that yes, he will endure this again. Maybe he will be secure in his new love and never question them leaving through death or to choose to leave for another. Maybe the fear of abandonment won't be an issue. Maybe dates and anniversaries will be just dates and anniversaries. 

Maybe just maybe the death of his wife and mother of his children will change him. Change his perspective for the better. Maybe he will realize that making money and having the best of the best is just a benefit but finding true love in God and in his children and maybe one day another  will be what gets him up in the mornings and give meaning to his life. Maybe he won't have to question Pauls words about staying unmarried being the best because loneliness sucks. Maybe he can find a love completely different but the same with someone new.  Maybe when he sees his daughter smile at him he gets to see a glimpse of her mom in her eyes when memories start to fade. Maybe when he hears a video the kids are watching and he hears her laugh it makes him smile. Maybe he will see Gods true goodness, His unfailing love, his faithfulness in the years to come. Maybe he will come to understand Gods need for her in heaven more than on earth. Maybe he will figure out the strength that God knew he had but he'd never dreamt of having. Maybe using that strength makes him exhausted. Maybe he will not be afraid in a few years that his prayers were not strong enough to save her. Maybe he comes to know Gods will is always perfect no matter what. No matter what we thought. 
Maybe there will be someone that will love his kids just as she would and finish out life with him and he can share memories with out fear of hurting others. Maybe he will grieve for years and not be judged for it and know that she is where she desired to be. Even if it meant leaving. Maybe he will know that God thought highly of his children to take their mom because He knew they, too, would show strength and courage through it all. Maybe his friends will continue to pray for him, help him in the days to come. Maybe the auto-pilot is still on and he's finding the Holy Spirit in the midst of his family. Maybe he will continue to find sweet comfort in that sweet Spirit. 
Maybe in a few years he can write a blog on a Friday morning to unload what's weighing down his heart

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Three point Buzzer Beaters!!

Thought I was doing good by going to bed early but then I wake up at 11:30 like it's 7am. So i decided to write what's swirling through my head. 
As the mom of the year that I am I realized that it was past time to take Sammy to the eye doctor. A few years ago he had a sports physical and I stood beside him while he covered one eye and tried to read the infamous chart. Left eye was fine, right eye...not so much. The next year, same thing. Fast forward to this year and we saw a doctor for his sports physical. The good doctor told Sam and I that he almost didn't pass because of his eye test. Dang! Mom of the Year!! That was even with Sam, ummmm cheating a bit by looking through spaced fingers using the eye that was suppose to be covered. Don't judge. He was passed to play the sport he He's had a stellar year this year. 8th grade starter, even got to start a few times on the JV team.  He's played well, more aggressive than I've ever seen him play. He's making this magic little shot every. Single. Time. He's blocking and passing and I gotta say I enjoy watching him play immensely. 
He was out shooting his new gun he received for Christmas the other day and upon returning I was told he was having to shoot left handed because his right eye and the scope wasn't meshing so well for a good shot. 
Oh yea, mom of the year needs to make that appointment.
 He was out of school for MLK so what better day? Let me remind you-the boy had never had a real eye exam. So we luckily get in to see the new Dr. Herron. The preliminary test with the tech made me feel like the mom of the year that I am...horrible. My boy can't see. As a matter of fact the exam revealed he's legally blind in his right eye. WHAT??? Thankfully he can have 20/20 with lenses. Whew!
In Sam fashion, he hasn't complained, just squinted his way through life the past few years and squinted his way through a great basketball season. 
He's reluctant to wear glasses, maybe a lil more reluctant to wear contacts. I get it. I'm notorious about squinting instead of donning my glasses. Time didn't allow glasses shopping  or an appointment yet for contact lenses so that is at the top of the to-do list. Don't judge! Out of town basketball games, basketball practice and now let's throw in the first baseball practice, a yet-again rescheduled orthodontist appointment---there's just not enough time. And that's just one kid.
It's on the to-do list.  
Sam had a game in Ellijay against North Ga Christian Tuesday night. We traveled up there to watch. I thought on the drive up about how much of a better ball player he would be if he could actually see. Then I thought will his ability to see again mess his game up, since he's learned how to play partially blind? Had he adapted so well that new sight messes things up? 
Then the shot!!! 
There was maybe a second left in the 2nd quarter right before half-time.Sam had the ball about 10 ft outside  the 3 point line. He looks up , he shoots, the buzzer begins to fill the gym and swoosh. 3 point buzzer beater!!! I think he was as surprised as anyone. The crowd loved it, mama loved it most. I proceeded to tell everyone that we just found out he's legally blind in his right eye. They were shocked but all agreed he was doing good only half seeing. I know Sam will be more reluctant now to wear glasses or contacts wondering if his shots will change, will his depth perception be off for awhile? Will it change his game? I know that sounds shallow but stick with me here. 
I'm  laying here wide awake at 12am thinking about how this so relates to our spiritual life. How many times do we not do the right thing, change what needs to be changing, be obedient, move away from our sin, not seek God wholly because we know it may change us? Will it change us because we've adapted? Even if the change is for the better?? How many times do we stick to not seeing because we've learned to adapt to -not seeing? How many times do we continue to stay the same because we are scared of the way it may change our perception of things around us? Are we scared we will no longer be able to have those buzzer beater shots? How do we trust God enough to realize that there possibly could be more buzzer beaters, more precision to our game? 
The answer is simple...FAITH! 
If we gain courage enough to put on those glasses or contact lenses of faith I'm sure that life would be clearer, more abundantly beautiful. There'd be more free throw shots made, more 3 pointers in life and just an all out better game. I think we sell ourselves short daily by only half seeing the more clear picture of what Jesus Christ has to offer us. 
Are we willing to see clearly? Are we so scared of changing that we allow darkness to keep us separate from what God has to offer? Life eternal, richness in love, sweet closeness with Him. 
I know that once Sam gets the courage to pick out his new specs and his new contacts (blue ones) he will realize what all he's been missing by not seeing. Same for me, when I decide to be brave and step out in faith and do the things that allow me to draw closer to Father then I will see Him more clearly. I will be able to align my living according to what's right in His eyes. 
Sam, I know glasses and contacts are different, new, but do you realize how much better the world around you will look? Clear sight. May your heart continue to see God clearly through the blurred lines of life in our fallen world. May your physical eyes be corrected and may you see life clearer than ever before. Thank you for continually showing Christ clearly through your character. You amaze me-buzzer beaters or nah.  I just know you'll be a knock-out in your new specs🤓🤓

Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes! 1 Samuel 12:16

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflecting on reflection

Another year in the bag guys. I usually try to close out one year and enter a new one with a blog reflecting on the past. A wrap up of sorts. 2016! Ummm only word I can describe is maybe --challenging. I learned much about me, about me and about my 3. We faced some issues that totally made me realize that people will always let you down. Always. People that claim to be god-lovin' are usually the ones that disappoint the most. I knew this already but was just reminded again. In dealing with some issues -mainly others questioning my kiddos characters, I learned that mama bear comes out in force and will stop at nothing at protecting her young. I also learned that depending on Gods grace allows you to be filled to the rim with grace as well. Grace to cover things said, and done, hurtful things. Grace to smile and move on. I learned that yes, these 3 of mine are actually pretty resilient. I knew that as well since they've already lived through a hell of their own, and continue to persevere. They showed grace and courage through much that caused disruptions in our lives of normalcy, circumstances that rocked our world. My 3 are superstars. But I knew that too!!
Mama made it through the oldest pulling out of the driveway solo for the first time. Watched as her junior walked into a brand new school, boldly and proudly. And let me just tell you...he's rocking the new school, great grades, actually loves going. One of those moments when you can look back on a hard decision made and know you did the right thing. Bingo. 
Watched my 8th grader continue on a good road. Voice cracks and all. He just closed out his 2016 basketball season scoring 20 points in a game and received the honors of All tourney player.  All I can say is Lord help me, 2 teenage boys under one roof is a lot for this mama, but we are doing it. 
Watched my baby girl walk into a new, much bigger school with reluctance and some tears. However, just watched a video her superb teacher took of her singing and dancing in class. She's succeeding and I'm watching her little by little become a tween and little by little helping her become not so dependent on me. 
Three out of 4 of us endured school changes, I went back to my beloved preschool and encounter 16 toddlers a week that love me no matter what. I can't believe I get paid to love babies. My cohorts and I laugh on a daily basis so I can't ask for much more than that. 
Basically, 2016 has been fairly good to us. Thankful for introspection, to be able to learn from life. I was having a conversation and was asked about my dreams and goals for the future. At first I'm like do 47 year olds still dream? Are we even allowed too? Heck the way I look at it 1/2 my life is over. So I took on the challenge to think about that. While I was disrobing my old house of decorations I thought--yeah I have small dreams. Nothing huge. More travel, maybe a ministry, but mainly my dream and wish is to help my 3 start life, then be disposable for each--when they need mama I want to be able to drop everything and run. That's been my life's dream-to be a mom. So I'm basically in the middle of my dream. Shallow?? Maybe. I also came to the realization that life, my life, has hindered dreams. I had them, then life happened so those dreams were put on hold, dissipated I guess. Then my way to survive was just living day to day. If you don't think too far into the future then you won't be as disappointed when things don't go as planned. So in realizing I may sound like the most shallow human ever I also realized that I trust God way more than I give myself credit for. In living day-to-day as I have I know His plans prevail. Whether I think they are good plans or not. I can smile knowing that I've finally surrendered myself enough to Him that I know He has my every second. Yes, I still worry and fret-it's my nature, but I know in the bigger picture that He's got me. I've been in a place, thankfully, where total dependence on Him to survive was all I had. How grateful I am that I still remember, recall and live today knowing no matter what His plans are they are so much better than mine. Even through my why's and even through my doubts. I know that He's my planner, He's my author of an ever changing story. So shallow or not I'm realizing I don't really allow myself to dream anymore- I'll trade my dreams on knowing that I trust Him more than I've ever given myself credit for. Trusting His will for my life for 2017 and beyond. This realization lets me face a new year and close out an old one with confidence and faith...knowing He's got me. Thankful! Blessed! I can get teary eyed knowing how he has, how he does and how he will cover me with protection, grace and guidance and trusting His plans are just perfect  for me. Out with the old-in with the new. Happy New Year! May this year bring faith, hope and love to you and yours. 

Monday, August 29, 2016


Dear God, yesterday in church Pastor J was talking about Ephesians 2:10-you know it because you wrote it--
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." While I love  this verse and love thinking about how you thought of me before I was even an actual thought, this verse makes me nervous in a way just as Psalms 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." I love that it's reassurance that you loved me even before I was here to love, I love that it means to me that you know me and that I am enough. I'm thinking the reason it makes me nervous is because maybe, just maybe, the life I've lived. Was it truly your intention for me to be anxious, fearful and untrusting? Did you really make me that way? Or did you make me that way so that I would be dependent upon you? Did you knit me together to have this chihuahua like heart about me? The fear God, the questions, the thoughts-did you intend for me to be this?? While I'm asking some very pointed questions did your plans really include the suffering? Was that also a way to turn me toward you? When you thought of me did you have in your plans that I'd one day be a widow and mom of 3? Did you include that in my life plan to use that for your glory? If so God I need direction. I need direction in knowing how you want and desire for me to do "good works." I'm caught in the middle God, caught in the middle of moving forward and staying still. If I stay still it looks as if I "can't get over it" or that I'm " wallowing." If I move forward how do I/we use what we've endured for your goodness? How do I talk about how you've been there when I'm desperately trying to move forward and move on. How can I talk about the time in my life that brought me closest to you without looking like I'm hanging on to a dead mans memory.  Can you direct me? How can my fear and discontent be any good to you? How can the fear of being left -either by death or choice- be how you intended for me to live? Tell me, is my day to day living enough of "good works?" I can't see it because I fail daily. Enlighten me God, if I can handle it, enlighten me and help me not feel nervous about these versus and help me know what my purpose is. Help me know the purpose of what I feel daily, what I've endured and what I've suffered. Guide and direct me. Help me appreciate that you made me this way, that you saw my life before I was even life. Help me grasp that and help me grasp what you have for me. Help me know what my "good works" is for you. Help me move forward and sit still at the same time. Help me know that you have been and will always be all I need. Thanks for letting me be transparent with you God. Thank you for letting me not have to jockey for a position with you as I do with people.  Thanks for always knowing my heart before I even speak the words. Thanks for "getting" me because you made me this way when others don't get me at all. Thanks for loving me just the way I am. Help me do what my purpose is. Reveal much God. Reveal and let me grab and run with it. I love you and thank you for loving me. Goodnight.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer restlessness!

Summer and the  beach has come and gone, starting of school staring us in the face, another birthday for me. Restlessness is setting in. As much as I remind myself to stay in the moments of right now, the moments of life in a constantly changing state-little to big things- changes in schools, changes in jobs, changes in emotions, it's hard to not become restless and stay in the moment. I can talk a big talk to others when I say 'enjoy the here and now, take it all in, feel blessed for where you are,' I find it very hard for myself. I've fought anxiety for sometime now and I've learned to deal with it better as time goes by, however, the restlessness of life seems to feed the anxiety which reminds me that I'm not depending on the One that has proven before that He can calm it all for me. He can calm my runaway thoughts, my undue worry. If I let Him ordain each moment I can better live in the moment. 
I find myself wanting to hit the pause button on my 3's growth and aging. I feel like if I don't pause it that I will lose control and before I turn around again they will all be gone, grown and I'll have missed it. So as summer seems to be racing by at a faster pace than I'd like I want to just pause for a second and let God control my restlessness. It seems, though, when I sit for just a moment to collect my thoughts, reflect a bit, that is when the thoughts start spiraling out of control. ~ I haven't spent enough quality time with my 3, do I talk to them enough, am I being the mom I'm suppose to be, is my impatient self ruining our days, is sitting here writing my thoughts really what I should be doing when I should be re-doing Molly's room that I promised her we'd do this summer? 
 Am I giving my all to a relationship that means the world to me? Am I more of a burden than one that brings happiness? Am I enough? Will I always be enough?   I promised myself to do more for me this summer, to exercise, spend time with God in the early morning. I wasn't going to be so rushed as we are during the school year. I was going to get the house back in order before the chaos set in of single-momness set in. I've done none of this and summer is getting closer to over. ~ All these thoughts feeds the restlessness and then the guilt that follows makes it worse even still. 
I don't want to look back and have regrets and wishing for do-overs, I don't want to miss out on my 3 before they are grown and gone. I want to cherish every moment, every second, mundane to exciting, and soak it every bit in. I want to go from one season to the next knowing I did what I could and feel really good about it. How can I accomplish this? How do I not want more when graduations finally happen, when they drive out of my driveway packed for college,when my baby girl walks down the isle, when in time yet another in my life leaves earth? How can I know that it was all enough? Living  in the now is harder to do than say and I'm learning this too well. As I type this, this verse is all I hear-
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34

I'd like to start his sentence with a capitalized BUT, but if I do use that word BUT then that clearly shows that I don't believe what Jesus has said. How do I not worry about tomorrow, August 2nd the start of new schools, new school year,how do I not worry if I'm doing what I'm suppose to do? How do I not feel restless, how do I not want more time? How do I not want do-overs? I clearly don't know the answer to any of these questions or I wouldn't be writing this blog. 
Thankfully, when I write it out-it's out there, my words tend to hold me accountable, and I'm held accountable by those that read my thoughts, even though you have no idea that just by reading my thoughts you're actually holding me accountable. I'm praying and working on turning my restlessness into peace I can only find in the comfort of Jesus. I'm desiring for His love, that's held me together as I've felt I may fly apart before, will again and still hold me together again. I'm desiring for Him to slow my thoughts, calm my anxiety and help me to live for today and be thankful for today. To trust Him with my tomorrows-and whatever those tomorrow's hold. Thankful that I've lived and learned how He can and will hold me together when I can't do it on my own. Praying that I practice what I preach-and I live and love in the here and now, enjoy the big and small and trust Him with every second. And at the end--have no regrets. Restlessness...just be gone already