His Word, Kids/Parenting, Soul Relationships

On this day…

You know how Facebook alerts you to the posts you’ve made on this day in years past? Those memories typically have one of three effects on me…

First, I can read those and want to crack up – most of those memories involve my children and something wack they said that I wanted to document. For instance, not too long ago, I was reminded of a time when Emma and I were having ‘a moment,’ which was followed by her saying something to the effect of, “momma, your teeth are really brown, maybe it’s because of all the coffee you drink.” WOW.

Another feeling I can have is that of reminiscing on days in which I felt particularly stronger or weaker, depending on the circumstances of my life at the time. As I’m sure we all have, there were times in my life when I felt like She-Ra and could take on the world and nothing was going to stop me. I’ve also had times in my life in which I felt so weak that the slightest breeze could have toppled me.

The third, and most frequent feeling I have, which brings us to this post today, is that of melancholy. Just yesterday, I gave my students a list of ‘common’ words and asked them to come up with more descriptive synonyms. One of the common words was ‘sad.’ As we know, there are many shades of sadness. Many students came up with the word ‘depressed’ as a more descriptive synonym. But the synonym that resonates with me the deepest today is melancholy.

Dictionary.com defines melancholy as, “sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness.” This perfectly describes my feelings today.

Today is the day we set aside to ‘officially’ say our goodbyes to my sweet Grandma. I use quotes because is there ever an official goodbye to someone you love? Even if it’s for the shortest of times, ‘goodbye’ seems so…final. I know my grandma is in heaven…waiting for me.

So, why am I in a mood of ‘sober thoughtfulness?’ Well, because I was ironing Elijah’s shirt for the funeral today and I thought to myself how much grandma would appreciate the fact that I’m ironing…I mean, who irons anything anymore?!?!

Which brings me to my next thought…I am in the middle of purchasing a home for me and my kiddos. The home was built in the 60’s. Guess what my daughter found when we looked at the home? She found an ironing board in the wall. Oh, how my grandma would be so tickled to know that I have an ironing board, in the wall, in my new home. I can already think of all of the ways she would be redecorating or redesigning my home. The ironic thing? I do the same thing.

When we were looking at all. of. the. houses. to possibly buy, in every one, I thought to myself, ‘Oh, I would love to do (x, y, z) in this room.’

My grandma also loved to tell me all of the things I should do, the activities I should join, the ways I should make more friends. Oh how I loathed those conversations. But guess what? I do the EXACT same thing with my daughter.

That is one thing my grandma was good at…making friends. She was also good at volunteering…helping out…lending a hand…offering advice (solicited or otherwise…lol)…

She was an amazing lady. She wasn’t perfect, though. None of us are. I can remember the times when I would discipline my daughter, and she would just shake her head and do the ‘tsk, tsk’ thing that would drive. me. crazy.

I’m going to miss that.

This wonderful woman, who had such a full life…she held onto some wrongs that were done to her. She had hung onto them for far too long. I suspect she carried them with her right up until Jesus met her at the pearly gates and told her she didn’t have to carry the weight of that load anymore.

I have a tendency to hold a grudge too. I would love to learn from my mother how to let some things just roll off my back. I guess I’m a work in progress.

Most of the time (especially in public), I’m a pretty stoic person. I have learned how to ‘stuff’ things until I’m ready to deal with them. Oftentimes, I never reach the place where I’m ‘ready’ to deal with them…I get so caught up in the ‘what’s next on my list to accomplish,’ ‘I have so much to do.’ This does not a healthy woman make. We have to take the time to process our grief and our disappointments. It’s how we learn and how we grow. (Plus it’s just healthy for our souls)

However, as I type this in the privacy of my own home, surrounded only by my children and my dog, I am getting emotional.

I am emotional for all of the words left unsaid. All of the times I ‘intended’ to take my grandma to Goodwill – her favorite place – this summer. All of the times I held onto anger and frustration toward her, when she really just wanted things to be ‘perfect’ for me. I should have let those things go.

And then one day, you wake, and you learn that there is no more time. See, I think that’s the lesson she was trying to get me to see then and is still trying to get me to see even now, after her death. One day, there will be no more ‘one – days,’ and all you’ll be left with are the empty promises and regrets of the things left undone.

I’m teaching 8th grade English again this year. I have to tell you, as much as these kids make me crazy sometimes, this is really the BEST age. Anyway, our principal asked us to choose one word to be our focus for this year. One word that will carry us through the daily grind. One word that we can cling to when the crazy kicks in. One word that will sustain us when we want to give up.

My word is intentional.

I don’t want to be in this same ‘place’ in two years or even two months. I want to grow. I want to build deeper connections with other. I want to stretch myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. But so many times, it’s easier to just ‘go with the flow.’ I told my students last week when they were grumbling about how HARD a writing assignment I had given them was, that, ‘If it were easy everyone would do it.’

Guess I should live by my own words. Or eat them…historically, words you have to eat don’t taste very good.

If you’re still with me and you’re still reading…thank you. I was able to write all of this, pretty much non-stop, in about 15 minutes. So, thank you for reading my words.

If you’re still reading this, please, I beg you, help me to be accountable. Ask me how my one word living is going. Being held accountable is the only way we can grow.

If you’re still reading this and you want to be held accountable as well, leave me a comment with your one word. I can’t promise it will be this week or even next, but I will check in with you to see how your one word living is going.

Until next time, peace and love to you all.

xoxo

Michelle

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Link-Ups, Soul Relationships

Are You Doubting Your Dreams?

If you’re anything like me, you have dreams…and you get all fired up about them, find the best ways to plan and achieve them…then begin to doubt them.

You begin to doubt whether you are ‘cut out’ to fulfill these dreams. You begin to question the dream itself. You begin to wonder if you can really do it.

Recently, I wrote about this at God-sized Dreams.

You can read more here: ‘A New Spirit.’

 

His Word, Soul Relationships

How Are You Doing?

Today has been a red-letter day for sure…

As a church, we have been going through the Believe book. This week, we covered the topic of patience.

Aaaahhhhh yes…patience…we all want more of it, but we don’t want to go through the painful process of obtaining it. I would love to be more patient…with myself, with my kids, with the person driving 10 miles under the speed limit. But I don’t want to have to work through it.

Wouldn’t you know it, today is the day (one of many) that I COMPLETELY blew up on my daughter. Yep, all you other mothers out there better just withdraw your names for the Mother of the Year award…it’s totally coming my way this year.

For those of you who know my daughter, she truly is delightful. She is kind and has a huge heart. She is funny and loves to do things to make me laugh. She has such a heart for animals and the oppressed.

She is also a ‘tween.’

‘Nuff said.

So, I have been under a tremendous amount of pressure. I have writing deadlines to meet — I really do want to be a writer one day — and the best way to do that is to get my writing out there.

I also stepped into a full-time teaching position about 4 weeks ago, which, the only accurate way to describe it is to say it’s like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant.

I’m also in the final steps of a divorce. And it’s yucky. We’ve been separated for a while now, but it doesn’t stop the hurt.

Some people in my life know of these things and some do not. And when people ask me, “How are you doing?” my natural-gut-instinct is to plaster on a smile and say, “I’m great.”

But let me let all of my readers in on a little secret…ssshhhhh…

I’m not great.

I’m not good.

I’m not even fine, really.

I’m hurting. I’m hurting from a marriage that was built on lies and deceit. And, to be honest, I’m having a tremendously difficult time forgiving; him AND me. Yes, I know that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  Doesn’t change the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to just forget about all of the plans you made, the plans you thought the other person was making alongside you.

I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed with the actual teaching and the grading and the upset parents. I recently discovered a mistake in how grades were calculated. And in so doing, I upset many parents and students. One email in particular was from a ‘friend.’ I use the air quotes, because I would have thought that I would have been given the benefit of the doubt from this parent. But not at all. Instead I was told just how wrong I am. Awesome. I had to wait almost 48 hours before collecting myself and my thoughts before responding. Otherwise, I KNOW I would have said something I would have regretted.

I’m on the go. All. Of. The. Time. I love watching my kids be involved in sports and activities, but I’m constantly running. And trying to run a household and feed them relatively healthy meals. And work. And write.

I’m so incredibly insecure about my relationships with women, it’s ridiculous. I’ve been listening to Beth Moore while I get ready in the mornings and she has really hit some sensitive topics. I’m in constant competition — with other teachers, with other mothers, with other women, with other writers, with MYSELF — that it does NOTHING healthy for my self-esteem.

All I hear from the negative committee that meets in my head is YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.

Yep. It’s been great being me these days.

The problem, as I see it, is I’m not giving things to God. I’m trying to do everything in my own power. In my own skill. In my own strength.

Guess what? I can’t. And neither can you.

Remember my daughter from earlier in this lengthy post? Well, I’m quite certain that I broke her tonight. I’m pretty confident that her spirit is now completely wrecked. Everything that I’ve had building up inside me exploded out of my mouth and onto her tween heart and spirit.

It’s not her fault, at all. And not to make excuses for myself AT ALL, but she’s always there. She is with me 100% of the time outside of school, and I also have her for two periods at school. And she always stops to see me during her lunch.

Bless.

I’ve tried calmly and rationally explaining to her that no two people are meant to be together 100% of the time…but that hasn’t gotten through.

I’m guessing my complete meltdown made my point, though.

I’m also guessing that I’m going to have to completely humble myself and apologize and beg for her forgiveness. It’s in my favor that she is kind and has a huge heart.

Here we are at Lucas Oil Stadium
Remember how I told you she likes to make me laugh?
Here she is with my mom
And here she is with my grandma

While this post wasn’t meant to be completely about my daughter, I wanted to show you all how lovely she truly is.

What was the point of all of this?

For me to process some things and get some stuff off of my chest. Maybe someone else out there is going through some of the same junk.

Also, when you ask someone how they’re doing, and you know some of the backstory, you might just put your arm around them and say, ‘how are you REALLY doing?’

It might go a long way. I know it would for me.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Link-Ups, Soul Relationships

A Time to be Born – My Story

“If I told you my story, you would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go.
And if I told you my story, you would hear Love that never gave up.
And If I told you my story, you would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine.
If I should speak, then let it be of the grace that is greater than all my sin.
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins.
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in. Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him.
This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.”
~~ “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave ~~
My name is Michelle Nehrig and this is my story. I pray that you read these words and read of Him.
I came to Christ in August 2004. On December 29, 2004, my beautiful daughter was conceived. She was conceived out of wedlock, and, to many in the church, she was born in sin. But she was just what God used to reach me. In many ways, I was not prepared to be a single mother. In many other, more amazing ways, ways I knew nothing of at the time, God knew exactly what He was doing.
From the instant her father and I came together, I had a very strong suspicion that I was pregnant. I wouldn’t take an OTC pregnancy test until March of 2005 to have my suspicions confirmed. It was during that period of time that we buried my great-grandmother. I was not close to her growing up, as she lived in Minnesota, and we were in Indiana. But I firmly believe that it was because of her prayers that I’m here to write this story out for you today. I was her eldest great-grandchild, so I read at her funeral in Minnesota.
Continue reading at Uniquely Yours Ministries
Soul Relationships

Write Anyway

I read a post today by a blogger I follow in which she gives the advice to ‘Write Anyway,’ even when we don’t feel like it. Or when we feel like our words are unoriginal. Or when we feel like we have nothing left to contribute.

Write anyway…

The writer offers several suggestions on what to write about, one of which, I’m going to write about here today…

Write about something that feels like it pulverizes your heart.

Many of you may, or may not, know that I’ve been going through a very difficult time in my personal life right now. If you follow me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), you’ve likely read any one of my posts and thought to yourself, “Hmmm…there’s something not very ‘Michelle’ about that.”

See, I’m a positive person by nature. I’m typically ‘glass half-full’ and an optimist. However, that’s not where I’m ‘living’ right now. Right now, I’m living in a place of hurt.

Without going into a ton of detail here, my heart has been pulverized.

My heart has been ripped out of my chest. Thrown on the ground. Stomped on. Annihilated. Pulverized.

By lies. By deceit. By intentional withholding of crucial information. This information (and the lack thereof) caused me to make some HUGE life-changing decisions, that I would have made differently, had I known.

All by someone whom I trusted very deeply. I’m finding out this person was not worthy of my trust and loyalty.

If it were just me that it affected, it would be a different story. But, it involved my kiddos too. And now I’m angry.

I’m angry at myself for allowing this to happen.

I’m angry at the other person for doing this. For making the choices made.

My heart and my soul feel parched. Devoid of feeling. Vacant of life.

I found this on Pinterest last night and shared it with a friend and it is so accurate of how I’m feeling right now.

I am awesome at putting on the ‘tough girl’ facade. But I’m hurt and broken and my heart has been pulverized.

I need a friend. Someone who isn’t going to betray me and my trust and my loyalty. Because make no mistake about it, I am loyal. As long as it’s reciprocated.

I need a friend. Someone who I can trust. Implicitly.

I need a friend. Someone who will not further break me. Because I’m tired of being broken.

I’m looking for beauty in the world and something REAL in life that I can cling to. Something genuine. Something without pretense. Something that doesn’t make me want to lick a razor blade. Something that makes me want to be a better person. Something that makes ME better. Something that leaves a legacy for my children.

I don’t want to hear you tell me about how you have all of your shit together. Because the truth is, none of us do.

I don’t want you to try and impress me with your well-put-together appearance.

I want to hear about your brokenness.

I want to know what makes your heart feel pulverized.

Show me how you are genuine.

I want to see you on your worst day, so I can see that you fall apart too sometimes.

Because transparency is what makes you relatable. And real.

And I love REAL.