It’s the invites to join the “100 days of photographing summer with your kids” in my photog groups.

It’s the call for vacation bible school helpers.

It’s the flyers and the announcements for this summer camp and that summer sport.

It’s the “lets just get May over with so we can finally relax and enjoy our families again” feeling.

It’s the “when things slow down we will finally have that family over for dinner.”

These are just a few of the things that sting. When I walk through the halls of the school or sit in the pews at church. The words ring though my ears and I feel them run down through my body and out my finger tips and toes, like a shock wave of pain, reminding me of the loss. The loss that struck years ago and the loss just keeps coming.

I won’t get to photograph my kids summer because they won’t be here.

I won’t be signing up to help with vacation bible school because my kids won’t make it back in time to attend.

My kids will miss all of the camps, all of the sports, all of the summer activities.

I don’t want to get May over with because that means they are gone. But I do want to get May over with because its just as hard for me as it is for you, and I feel guilty about that.

And why would that family want to come over now when their kids no longer have someone to play with? We missed our window.

Tiny, constant reminders that we don’t fit.

This is just one of the isolating factors that can make our family feel like we don’t belong. Today its the one that’s ringing loudest in my ears. There is a reason God said he hates divorce. I often tell my kids that when we make a choice there are consequences, for us and for those around us. Some choices send out a ripple and the waves of those consequences just keep rolling, for a very long time, if not forever. Sometimes it really isn’t fair. Sometimes we suffer because of the choices someone else made. The kids sure as heck didn’t chose any of this.  But then its our turn to choose, and as much as it hurts, I’m going to acknowledge the loss and then I’m choosing to be thankful.

I am going to be thankful that I have 9 months worth of NEW photographs every year that I get to hold onto every summer while my kids are away.

I’m going to be thankful that I get to teach my children what real love looks like, the kind that Jesus talks about.

I’m going to be thankful that I get to cheer my kids on at their sporting events during the school year.

I’m going to be thankful that I get to do the hard work of parenting my kids in the midst of real life, when its hard, and we are tired, and the real life lessons happen, even though I sometimes miss the reward of relaxing with them.

I’m going to be thankful for sweet moments with my rainbow baby and my pomegranate-giving husband. We need the time to learn and grow and our whole family is stronger because of it.

I am not thankful for the pain but I am thankful in the pain. Because peace follows thankfulness. I’m going to fight for peace in my heart. I’m going to let all the tears fall and then I will be thankful.

{Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.} Philippians 4:6-7



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