She laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25b (NLT)
Although each journey is unique and traveled at a different pace, we can all agree on at least one thing: Life as a widow is stressful.
I have lived this for over two years. Day in and day out, the reality of doing this life alone is my world. Solo parenting, it rocks my socks off. Most nights I collapse into bed praying God redeems my many parenting fails of the day and thankful for His fresh mercies coming with the next daybreak. But if I am honest, I also smile at the memories of the day; the growth, the laughter, even the mistakes, they are all a blessing.
Being the only bread winner and knowing college tuition for two is speeding head on at me in the near future makes my heart skip a beat or two. I’ve chosen to make sacrifices to follow through on something Tim and I believed in for our children. It’s hard work, but I smile knowing I will be able to help them achieve their dreams.
Taking care of a home, well let’s just say I was the one in our marriage that made everything look pretty and kept it clean. Tim was the handy man. I have learned how to change air filters, how to hang things without creating fifty-kajillion holes in the wrong place (down to forty-kajillion, but it is improvement), check gutters to make sure rain water can flow freely, air up flat tires with the compressor, set mouse traps in the garage (not going to even lie, my kids had to dispose of the body once we caught it…ick). The list goes on and on. Thinking back over the things I have accomplished that in my previous life would have been considered “man jobs” makes me smile and chuckle a bit.
God is faithful! He is molding me into what I need to be to thrive in this season of my life. He takes my stress triggers and injects them with humor. Humor is the way to my heart. I love a good laugh.
My word for 2016 is “FOCUS”. I have been intentional in remaining focused on God’s goodness. Focusing on the work He is daily doing in our lives; acutely aware of His blessings in the hard. Seeking out His whispers of encouragement, I am leaning deeply into the presence of my Savior.
It is transforming me.
The stressful situations aren’t disappearing, and honestly, they aren’t going to.
But what I am doing with the stress, focusing on the One who is capable of filling in the gaps of my failures, is where my growth is exploding. I don’t have this whole, “hand it all to Jesus and experience full and total release” down yet. I probably never will, because I am a work in progress. I just choose to keep doing my best. I don’t forget the healing power of laughing at myself.
I focus on God’s faithfulness and let Him do His work.
He is enough.
Lord, I thank You for humor. Some days laughter is my only escape from the stress of this life. Remind us at the end of this day that You sprinkled blessings all along our way and help us to see them with grateful hearts. Amen.
Lori Reynolds Streller is a mother of two who finds herself smack dab in the middle of widowhood. She is choosing a life of gratitude by intentionally living this new life well. She answers to Mom, Daughter, Sister, Aunt and Friend. Her sanity is fueled by daily time with Jesus and a lot of coffee. Boot camp workouts and running are her stress relievers. As a writer/speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries, Lori uses her sense of humor and her reliance on God’s faithfulness to minister to others. She boldly claims the goodness of her Lord in the midst of chaotic suffering.