How many times have young moms been in the trenches and needed someone older to swoop us up in their seasoned survivor arms, hug us tight and remind us of the truth? How many times have we not cried out for help because we were ashamed to? Because someone along the way told us that asking for help meant weakness? Tired, worn out and frustrated mamas – this is for you.
Category Archives: together
It’s been a year of setbacks and growth, a year of failures and successes, a year of trials and triumphs, a year of joys and sorrows, a year of emptying and filling, love and “war”, new friendship and old… but my most favorite is that it’s been a year of stories. Because stories represent hearts and both are meant to be shared.
I’ve seen this video, Hope in Front of Me by Danny Gokey, before but for some reason it touched me in a new way when I watched it just now. Hope has carried me through some junk. Hope continues to carry me through some junk. I’m a firm believer in hope. Hope has kept me alive. Hope has kept me fighting. I could not survive without hope. None of us can.
On March 4, 2015, this blog was officially birthed. I’m not sure I smiled out of fear of being vulnerable but I’m quite sure God smiled. And He has continued to smile over us here at EPFH throughout the last 99 posts. This is post 100. Wow! Immeasurable blessings!
We all long to be seen. You can’t see in the dark. We need to turn the light on.
I’m currently going through a doozy of a life stage. At my age, I’ve gone through a few of those. Some not so doozy-like, which I should be more grateful for. Rarely do we find our lives rockin’ the comfort zone. I remember one time in particular, somewhere around our 15th or so anniversary, that my husband and I were in “sigh” mode reveling in the moment of peace and calm. It didn’t last for long, but it was nice there for a few months. Then on to the next stage. Most of the time we are in a stage or transitioning from one stage to another. We can take little vacations from the stage or transition, and those vacations are often necessary, but we can’t hide from it forever. Life happens, right?
You’ve heard it said that “if you’re not growing, you’re not going” or this one, “if you’re not trying, you’re dying”. Well, the truth is that living in a comfort zone is well, not living. It’s not where life happens. Life happens when we step outside of our comfort zone and take risks and move forward, even if we’re only stumbling forward.
Regardless of whether we’re going and growing or dying or trying, on some level, we’re moving forward. It’s just the way life goes. We are born, we start school, we become teenagers, we may go to college, we may get married, we may become parents, we go through physical and hormonal changes, our kids get married, we become empty nesters or retire from our jobs (which is essentially the same thing only one gets a nice watch and a party), we become grandparents, our parents age and we might become caregivers for them, we may be in that sandwich stage of being parents to our kids and our parents, our parents may need help beyond what we can give them… then there are transitions from each of these stages to the next. And sometimes some of these stages get all stacked on top of one another or we go through a season of immense pain during any particular stage and it seems like we’ll never make it out alive.
Here on EPFH, we’re beginning a series called “STAGES“. Pretty original, huh? Hey, while going through stages is not simple, at least the title can be. The series will continue on until we run out of life stages or people who want to share them. The plan is to offer a few each month, in no certain order, sprinkled in with our other great posts about other great stories. Our amazing contributors and some phenomenal guest posters will be sharing bits of their STAGES stories that they have either made it through or are currently making it through.
The STAGES series will be all about “the passing on of love… one toe tickle at a time”. Our desire is for you to walk away from reading these posts with a sense of hope that you are not alone. That you are not crazy. That you can indeed survive. Because someone else has. And they did not go crazy. They actually lived to write about it! As this image depicts, we want you to feel like your great grandfather tickled your toes and passed on some kind of wisdom and love through the point of contact – and maybe even make you giggle. But a few tears will be okay too.
“ When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)
We can’t stay infants forever. We grow as we go. Our desire is to grow together. To encourage each other along. Sometimes we get so involved in our own life that we can’t see what’s around us. Sometimes we’re squinting through the fog of our stage so tightly that we can’t see others around us who want to help. Who can help. Who want to love. We hope we can do that for each other here.
We hope you’ll enjoy this series. This, of course, is the first installment but in the future, if you’d like to read more, just go to the search field on the sidebar and type in “STAGES“. We count it a privilege that you would allow us to be a part of your journey. As always, the stories we share here are shared in hopes that they might encourage you along in yours.
~Andrea & the EPFH Team
There are times in our lives when it is so very clear that we are not meant to walk alone. Like pretty much all the time. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard on how to find our mate or find a friend or two is to walk your walk, live out your faith and while you’re doing that, look to each side and see who is walking with you.
I recently found myself looking to my sides and being so overwhelmed with God’s gracious provision. There was a particular day I was not meant to walk alone. A day when my kids were hurting, I was hurting and life was just heavy. And I couldn’t fix it. There really was nothing to fix. I just needed to know I wasn’t walking alone. This truth, “We’re all just walking each other home.” was more than evident in my life on that day.
It did, however, take a solo step from me first. I had to express the need. I had to share my hurt. I had to ask for prayer. I had to look to my side and see who was there and take the risk. Oh, vulnerability is such a risk. That is not an easy thing for me. I know how to do alone. I’m pro at that. I’m not so great at doing community. Walking with people means they know your stuff. It means you have to trust them. It means they see you. Maybe some of you or maybe all of you. It means they might hurt you. But it also means you’re not alone. We were made to live in community and when we don’t, our souls ache for more. God knew Adam didn’t need to be alone so he made Eve. Even God Himself didn’t want to be alone so he made us! He wanted to share His goodness with us. We all desire to be loved. Even God. We all want to walk with someone. Even God. I mean, who wants to go to the party alone?
Isn’t it always better to show up at the party with someone else?
So we have a choice. To walk alone or walk together. Two sets of footprints or one. I hope we’ll choose the together option. To those who were by my side when I needed you, to those whose footprints were beside mine, to those who have chosen to walk me a few steps closer to “home”, may God bless you as you have blessed me. I am so thankful for you!
THIS is what the whole purpose of this blog is about! Walking each other home.
“SO LET’S DO IT! —full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in ENCOURAGING LOVE AND HELPING OUT, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but SPURRING EACH OTHER ON, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25 (The Message)