This is Us

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I promise – no spoilers!!!

If you are a fan of this show, you know the series finale happened last week. I absolutely loved this show. It gave us permission to feel our feelings, share our truth, be messy, and be real. The only thing missing in this show was faith. If they had Jesus, it would have been a perfect show. This show allowed the viewers to see humanity played out in a fictional family. The writers are incredible. I hope they write another show or movie soon. If you haven’t ever watched, or maybe stopped halfway through, join in. You will cry a lot, laugh some, but most of all, you will think.

“A Really Lovely Show About Flawed But Lovely People at a Time When the World Needed a Little Bit of It.” – Dan Fogelman- the creator of This is Us

I know TV is just TV but sometimes it strikes a chord in our nation. This show did. I believe it allowed those who truly investing in watching it and loving the characters, a chance to grow. One of my favorite scenes is when Rebecca shares the most honest mom feeling in the world in a counseling session with her kids. The next day on Facebook, I read several posts from my mom friends sharing how relieved they felt that they weren’t alone in having those same feelings.

I love stories. I invest in good stories. If I’m reading an incredible book, I don’t put it down. When my kids were little, I didn’t read a lot of fiction because once I’m invested, I can’t stop reading. This is Us did that for me, but only for 42 minutes at a time. A good story can be an escape. A good story can also be a teaching tool. When you identify with the storyline of a character or the feelings of a character, you can see alternate paths and choices for yourself. We saw Rebecca as a tired mom of babies. She was a woman who put dreams on hold to care for her kids full-time. We saw her struggle in her marriage and enjoy her marriage. We got to see 3 adult siblings face life too. I didn’t identify with each character’s crisis. I did relate as a person who had to be there while someone they loved went through a crisis.

This is Us is over. I am sad. I tear up when I think of various scenes throughout the years. I loved the story. I loved the free therapy. I loved an opportunity to cry. Now, I have the chance to apply what I have learned. I can embrace all the moments of family – big, small, intense, funny, and best of all, loving.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

3 times

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Do you remember Jesus predicting that Peter would deny Him three times?

Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times. ~ Matthew 26:34 NIV

If you want to relive Peter’s actions, you can find that incident in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and John 18.

Do you think that every time Peter heard a rooster crow, he felt shame, disgrace, self hatred, and more? I googled “how many times a day does a rooster crow?” The answer: 15. Wow. 15 times a day, Peter beat himself up. He felt terrible. He was reminded of his actions of turning his back on Jesus.

What is your trigger to feel shame, disgrace, self hatred and more? We usually have at least one. For me, when I hear certain songs from my past. I am reminded of behaviors I engaged in that I am not proud of. I remember the incident, then feel regret and shame. In John 21, we find a model of letting go of these triggers.

Peter and his friends are out fishing at night, not long after Jesus’ death and resurrection. They were probably feeling lost and confused. Fishing would lift their mood. However, after a whole night of fishing, they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.  He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. ~ John 21:4-6 NIV

Peter jumps in the water and swims to shore while his friends pull in the haul of fish (153 to be exact). He couldn’t wait to be reunited with Jesus.

After breakfast, Jesus asks Peter three times to care for His sheep. I recently learned the significance of Jesus asking three times. Peter denied three times so Jesus asked three times. Jesus was demonstrating that no matter how many times you blow it, you will be forgiven and restored. That’s awesome. No matter how many times. If you let that sink in, truly sink it, those triggers that bring shame and regret back to you, can be released. Peter no longer needed to allow the rooster’s crow to drag him into despair. The rooster’s crow could now be a reminder that he is restored. Let’s do the same.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is a trigger for many. I have always been sensitive to women who desire to have children and haven’t been able to. I am aware of some who are estranged from their children and find Mother’s Day difficult. Maybe you are not in a good place with your mom (or never have been). For me, this year is a different kind of Mother’s Day.

I’ve already had one Mother’s Day since my mom passed, but I was still in heavy grief and expected to be sad. This year, I am thrown back into that grief in a way I haven’t experienced before. Her birthday was hard. The anniversary of her death was a tough day (I spent it at the beach). Mother’s day is knocking me out. I was in Target and I saw the card aisle for Mother’s Day. I started crying. Just typing this I’m welling up with tears. I don’t have a mom to buy a card for. I don’t. I miss her so much right now. I want her to know I have a new job and I’m happy. I want her to see and hear about my life. My friend (who lost her mom a few months after I did) made a statement that I will always carry with me: “Jesus knows, she knows.”

This is also my first Mother’s Day without all my kids at home. Two are in college and won’t be able to be home this year. I don’t like it. Not at all. My heart is sad. I fully understand the reality of their lives and why they can’t be home. I’m still sad. Empty nesters: put any tips you have on adjusting to this new reality in the chat please.

How will I handle this weekend? Not fully sure of all the details but this I know – time with God. Time with Him will fill me with enough love, comfort, tenderness, and fullness that I will be OK. I will plan a day with what I want to do and drag my youngest with me. (Poor guy.) I usually like to spend the day at the beach. Maybe we will do that. I want a great dessert. (Calories don’t count on Mother’s Day. ) I may even cry a bit. I need to release the grief of mom and the sadness/grief that accompanies change.

As a mother comforts her child,
    so will I comfort you;
    and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

~ Isaiah 66:13 NIV

Just typing this verse, I already feel the peace of God that passes understanding. Whatever Mother’s Day holds for you – joy, pain, grief, struggle, frustration, happiness – let Him hold you. God is with us in all seasons and situations. I’m grateful!

Dream Big! Pray Big!