Loving the Brokenhearted

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I’m having a hard week and can’t seem to write. I’ve canceled everything I intended to do. My heart is heavy and more than anything, I need God to show up. I need answers to big questions because I can’t come up with answers on my own.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it one more time, loving the brokenhearted has broken my heart, loving the wounded has wounded me, and loving orphans in their distress has brought distress to me.

Two things made me feel better yesterday. The first was a long phone call with a friend. The second was reading to my kids – the Bible followed by The Long Winter.

I need to practice gratitude, so here it goes.

giving thanks #1271 – 1280

sunshine

tulips poking up through the dirt

birds chirping early this morning

a friend who homeschooled the boys for me yesterday 

the dinner I didn’t finish making yesterday nearly ready for tonight instead

russ holding me close 

spokane orphan summit this weekend and speaking with my friend, Jodie

laura ingalls wilder

chocolate

cooking with the kitchen window open and worship music playing

What helps you most when you’re having a hard week? I’m open to suggestions.

Also, I realize that I haven’t shared much about our visit with Dimples last week. It was very good – more soon.

Lisa

 

 

 

 

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Emily B
    March 14, 2014

    Lisa, I'm so sorry you're hurting. Here's a hug sprinkled with some Florida sunshine, flying across the miles to you. My prayer for you today is that the Lord will show you in a very tangible way how near He is, and that He would lift your heart and give you fresh joy.

    Reply
  2. Sonya Hillrich
    March 14, 2014

    Strength to you across the country. Sometimes all you can do is cling to your Father who sees all.
    ~

    Reply
  3. Bev
    March 14, 2014

    I know the heaviness and broken heart. What helps me the most is doing what you are doing…staying with the practices that bring me wholeness. Prayer, reading my Bible, practicing gratitude, staying connected to those who love me. The other thing that you didn't mention, but I know you do, is to keep telling yourself the truth. Their healing lies with them and with God, and your role is to be faithful, to be honest when you mess up, and to keep loving yourself and those around you.

    One thing I found helpful the other day was someone saying to imagine how much you love one of your favorite people, and imagine all the good things you wish for them. Then love yourself that much and wish those things for yourself as well.

    Reply
  4. brazenlilly
    March 14, 2014

    Praying for you, Lisa. Cherishing your transparent voice and your mama's heart. I'm praying one of my "sword " verses over you today: "Do not grow weary in doing good, for in the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Gal 6:9 May you feel empowered fight against the Enemy's attacks as you continue to wake up, put one foot in front of the other, do the heart-breaking work ahead of you. Satan wants you to feel defeated and isolated, but YOU ARE NOT ALONE! The God of angel armies is on your side. 🙂 –Jen T.

    Reply
  5. Steph
    March 14, 2014

    Your words help me to work on myself and inspire me to keep on with hard things. TY

    Reply
  6. Mary Ostyn
    March 14, 2014

    praying for you, friend. discouragement is such a heavy burden.
    So thankful to know that Jesus is in the midst of it, carrying us.

    Reply
  7. Chantelle
    March 14, 2014

    It's good to hear from you and just know what to pray specifically for your heart. I will be sure to dedicate some extra time today for talking with Jesus about you. (((((hug)))))) <3

    Reply
  8. Lisa McNamara
    March 14, 2014

    So sorry you are having a rough week. Sending you a hug and some prayers. Finding things to be thankful for is so helpful, and I also like to crank up worship music and let it fill my heart. Also, quoting scripture in my mind, such as "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." and 2 Cor 12:9, "His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness."

    It was nice to officially meet you and give you a hug at the Refresh Conference. I'm the one that came and introduced myself during lunch on Friday.

    Reply
  9. Kathy
    March 14, 2014

    Amen to Bev! Only the Father can completely heal, so we pray expectant prayers for that as we wait on Him. What helps me is a warm shower where my tears can flow freely and I can release it to The Lord. Worship music fills my home and heart so no weapons formed against can prosper.

    Reply
  10. Momma T
    March 14, 2014

    Having traveled and currently traveling that same road I empathize with you. When I am struggling the most, I remember something someone said to me years ago. He was a member of our church and was doing work for us in our home. He had seen first hand many of the behaviors and challenges we were struggling with. We were having one of our really tough days and I was mortified. He waited until they left the room and said, wow! I thought, great, here it comes. The advise that others always offer thinking they are helping when they are really just making you feel like you are a stinky parent and they can do better. I went on alert and was ready to defend! Then he spoke. He said," It amazes me! Where would your children be right now if they didn't have you and your husband? God knows you are no coward and you will survive this and get to watch first hand the amazing work God has in store for you! You sure are blessed." I wasn't feeling very blessed…..until he said that. Then I started to think. Where would they be???? God will continue to give you strength 🙂

    Reply
  11. Julie
    March 14, 2014

    "Loving the broken-hearted has broken my heart." – SO TRUE! Not just for my own, but for all the brokenness in the world. Sending you a hug today, Lisa. One thing that helps me is to look up a worship video and sing along. I'm only 5 minutes away from a new perspective. 🙂

    Reply
  12. Kellie
    March 14, 2014

    Getting fresh air — a walk & talk with a friend or with music or just listening to the outdoor sounds. I'm waiting to bring home our first kiddos, and this has been a hard week in the wait. I have horses, and during these hard weeks, I'm so glad to have an obligation to get outside and do a little physical work. Even when I only do the quick essentials, it's enough to get me moving and improve my perspective. Even when it's rainy and stormy (I'm in the PNW, too 🙂 ), but especially when it's nice out. A little exercise goes a long way to lift my spirits.

    Reply
  13. Ann
    March 14, 2014

    All of these are great ideas. Mine may seem too practical or intrusive (and you may already be working with this suggestion): could you be depressed? Depression often creeps up on us without warning. If the world stays gray for more than a few weeks, I'd look into it.

    My severe treatment-resistant depression is well-controlled with regular therapy and medication, but sometimes it breaks through for no discernible reason. When I start to "gray out," it often means I need a meds adjustment. I always resist, first, the notion that the symptoms may be creeping back ("No! I'm just being realistic!") and, second, the notion that I will need to recalibrate my meds. ("No! This time I'm going to lick it on my own!") But when I've made the adjustment, I'm always better for it.

    We can't always think or pray ourselves out of hard feelings. Luckily, God has created a world in which science can help!

    Reply
  14. Emily
    March 14, 2014

    Love you. Can't wait to see you soon.

    Reply
  15. adventisthomemaker
    March 14, 2014

    Hugs and prayers. 🙂 🙂

    Reply
  16. blesseday
    March 14, 2014

    The Long Winter is my favorite of the Laura Ingalls stories, and has been since I was a kid. But now as an adult–all I see when I read it is God's promise and provision. Did you notice how Laura very carefully tells the reader at the beginning of the story what scripture they are reading in the schoolhouse there before the first storm hits? She is purposefully introducing God as the real main character of the story–the One who will be faithful to keep them safe through the long winter, and provide for them what they need to survive–not just the Ingalls family, but the entire town. And He does so over and over–Laura clearly describes several of the events in the book as downright miracles. Death was so close at hand–and sometimes despair–but God was present with them and did not fail them, and it is so fitting that they end the long winter celebrating with long-awaited Christmas presents. The melting of the snow signaled new life–Spring. But the coming of the Christmas barrel was also a reminder of new life–the eternal life we have in God through His Son Jesus, and the new life we have in freedom from fear.

    May God speak to you through that book this week as He has spoken to me! : )

    Reply
  17. blesseday
    March 14, 2014

    And I want to share some music with you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjBzavcQe3Y
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lL5WV4P4IM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GDInoVwJkk

    Lisa, this is the album that God used to mend my heart this past year when I was under the oppression of a major depression. If you like these three songs, please tell me. I will buy you the CD! I care about you so much, and have so few ways to show you love from afar. : )

    Reply
  18. courtney
    March 14, 2014

    just loving you. thanks for your honesty. it blesses me.

    when i'm discouraged, i listen to worship music, try to eat WELL, get some fresh air, pray a lot of "one word" prayers. and wait. wait for Him to lift me up. He always does. usually not as fast as i WANT, but He does.

    Reply
  19. Pamela
    March 14, 2014

    I'm so sorry you're having a rough week. Things I like to do when I'm having a rough week include going for a walk, being outside (if the weather permits…), reading, going to the library, going out for fancy cup of coffee, paint (artwork painting, not paint my house!), call a good friend for a chat, go out with a good friend for a chat and coffee (or have said friend over for a chat and coffee). Think of things that you like to do and do one or more of those things – even if it seems little or insignificant. I'm praying that you feel encouraged today.

    Reply
  20. Luann Yarrow Doman
    March 14, 2014

    I'm sorry you are having a tough week, but I'm glad you shared it with us so we can pray. I do the same things as you–fresh air, worship music, and a good novel. You might also try some alone time (if you're an introvert like me) so you have time to recharge and refresh. Love to you.

    Reply
  21. Luann Yarrow Doman
    March 14, 2014

    I should probably add another item, one I hesitate to admit. Sometimes I just don't let my mind go "there." Sometimes we try to shoulder the weight of the world like Jesus…and yet we are not Jesus. We are frail human beings who can only take so much. I don't know if this is theologically correct, I just know that if I really, truly embraced the hurts of some people, I wouldn't be able to function. That's not to say I don't care or don't listen, but I guard my heart with walls that don't let me experience the depth of their pain. Does that make sense?

    Reply
    1. Ann
      March 15, 2014

      This is a good point. Even "carers" have to set limits on themselves. And you're right–following Jesus doesn't mean being Jesus.

      Reply
  22. Alyssa
    March 14, 2014

    Praying for you to be encouraged- given courage and peace joy even when the circumstances are not resolved yet. I know the heavy weight f responsibility for our precious children. May Jesus carry that burden for you.

    Reply
  23. Katie May
    March 14, 2014

    So sorry that you're having a hard week! While there are many spiritual things that definitely help when I'm having a hard week (praying, journaling, listening to worship music), one of the "non-spiritual" things that often most helps on a hard week is watching a funny movie (or even show) with my husband once my boys are in bed. Sometimes I just need something to make me laugh, to lighten the weight a bit. Praying right now that God continues to meet you in this week!

    Reply
  24. Isabelle
    March 14, 2014

    I am so sorry that you are going through a difficult time. Sending you thoughts and prayers. Things that help me during difficult times are being outside even briefly, exercising (even something gentle like a walk or stretching), and extra sleep. Hoping things look up very soon.

    Reply
  25. Elizabeth
    March 17, 2014

    I feel your hurt heart and validate it. I showed my mom part of your post. She's been living on the verge of tears almost constantly recently. It was good for her to know that she is not alone in her hurt. Our lovely God uses even our pain to reach out to others in pain. Thank you for allowing your blog to do that. I will understand if the time ever comes that the blog is no longer a helpful thing to you and your family, but I am glad for the time that is of help to you and the community that visits.

    Reply

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