Sometimes I question whether or not I’m being a good parent to my living child while I’m also figuring out how to process and grieve my child in heaven. I don’t think its really ever an outright “You’re a terrible mom today” kind of thing. It’s more of the subtle times when I lose my temper or just can’t read Beauty and the Beast again… I wonder if that’s something that is going to hinder sweet Audrey’s growth. I wonder if she’s picking up on the way I’m handling things and if thats a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t say that because I’m needing validation in my motherhood. God gave me Audrey and George because I’m the perfect mother for them. He gave me this precious life to care for and raise and He is with me every step of the way. I say that because I feel like its a part of my grief. Its part of the lies that creep in and try to pry me away from the assurance of hope that I cling to. Its part of that broken heart being the way for my fears to take over and drive a wedge between me and Jesus. 

I don’t look back through my journal very often because even though the process of writing is so healing for me, its still so very emotional to look back at the things I’ve faced/experienced/learned in the last 3 months. However, the few times I’ve taken a few minutes to go back through and read, I’ve found that God has placed himself in my life and shown me His presence SO MANY different ways. Sometimes its as obvious as a knock to the head with a 2x4 - thanks to all my friends and family that have shared scripture when I come to mind - and sometimes its more subtle. He’s always met me exactly where I was on any given day and that’s been a theme I’ve discovered almost every time I read over this journal. 

Earlier today I came across a video about motherhood. It was this really beautiful day in the life kind of thing. As I was watching, tears filled my eyes. This mom was so frustrated by her day and I could relate but she was also the mom of a toddler and an infant; two different kinds of tears. The kiddos in this ad were a little older than mine but as I listened to the differences in the story of the day as told by mom and then by toddler, I just said a quiet Thank you Jesus. This mom was so frustrated but the little girl was telling her daddy that it was the best day ever. Her perspective was brilliantly different than her mother’s. Thank you Jesus for that. Thank you for the reminder that even when I’m having a bad day, or I’m incapable of doing something just “one more time”, my daughter is resilient and loving. She’s not going to fault me in her adulthood for my bad days through this journey. I’m not a bad mom because I need to keep myself busy with things other than being Audrey’s mama 100% of the time. 

Once again, God meets me where I am. In the throws of a bathroom renovation. Parenting an active toddler. Avoiding too much quiet and trying not to be still. When I set out on this journey of grief, I told myself that I would find at least one thing to be grateful for out of every day. I think I have been mostly successful simply because God is so good. Even on the very worst days, He gives me a reason to smile. Today, I’m thankful for Audrey Nole and her sweet (and challenging) spirit. She loves me so well. She loves her daddy so well. She loves George Mason in the most innocent and inspiring way. That mother’s day ad had me in tears for many different reasons, but I’m thankful for God’s reminder that I am Audrey’s mama not by accident and that her and me, we’re going to be ok. God’s fingerprints are all over this life I am living and He is all I need to get through each day. 

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. -Deuteronomy 8:3