Can We Please Stop:

  • Dreading going places where people might feel sorry for us? Girl, sit alone if you want and read your book. Go to a movie by yourself or dinner. Go to the party where you know it will be mostly couples…you got the invite, so just go be with your friends! Go to all of the weddings and let them remind you to celebrate true love with a box of tissues if needed!
  • Questioning what is the right thing to do for us or how it will appear to others? Wear your ring or don’t wear your ring. I personally still wear my band. My sister and I take my boys places together all of the time and people assume we are a couple. It has happened so many times that my boys now point it out. We embrace it and let them keep thinking what they want. I have quit caring so much about what others think of me. My beautiful engagement ring made me so sad every time it would sparkle while I was making a turn with the steering wheel. I have to drive…a lot actually. I will never forget how nervous he was when he gave me that ring, and maybe one of my boys will feel that same feeling one day and want to use it. He had a perfectly planned evening and took me to dinner at a place where we ended up taking the boys to vacation every summer and then decided that we would take his ashes there so that it would be the best place for us to visit. All of the greatest things started with that ring. 
  • Thinking we aren’t enough for our children? Y’all, the judgement that can come from other parents is real. I’m quite aware that you may have handled something differently than I did with my boys, but there is a lot of prayer and petition that goes into any and all of my decisions for and with them. If I am doing it wrong, I only have myself to blame so no need to help me out with that. Find yourself a good support system that won’t judge you for your parenting, but will be there for you WHEN you ask them. Parenting is very personal. While it does take a village, I choose to keep my village very small when it comes to direct advice and interaction. I have one of the very best around!
  • Wishing away the days ahead because of the days we thought they would be? I wrote a blog at year 3 about this very thing. I wanted more! I still do and I have decided that it’s okay to yearn for what is no longer. That pain is so very real and loving someone that much really does prove that the memories are alive even though Shane is not. It just tears me up to admit that. Four years out and I am still tempted to call or text him first when something amazing happens. I just keep writing blessings down so that if my boys ever doubt how far we have come, all I have to do is show them.
  • Limiting our ceiling? We all have a lot of life left to live, even if just a day. Don’t second guess things you want to try or goals you wish to accomplish. Don’t wait. You have it in you! A precious friend in my water aerobics class told me that she knew I was going to miss this when school started back. She even offered to come and watch a class for me so I could come back to class with the ladies once and awhile. I don’t know this lady very well AT ALL, but she must see the joy that the class brings to me. I don’t really know what possessed me to think that was a good idea this summer, but I have only missed a handful of days. Just step out and try something new…for YOU. Next on my list is Tai Chi. I want to write a book someday. I want to travel and even though that was OUR dream for when the boys graduated, I plan to make it happen. 

 

When you are feeling low or unsure of your abilities as a mom, your future, your dreams, or even your social calendar…listen to this and remember there is always hope. Thank you, sweet Savior, for what you say to me:

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing

You say I am strong when I think I am weak

And You say I am held when I am falling short

And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours

And I believe, oh I believe

What You say of me

I believe

‘You Say’ by Lauren Daigle

 

About 

Jennifer Farley is a 44 year old mother of 3 boys. A veteran educator, she enjoys teaching 7th graders the wonders of STEM. She is just 4 years into her journey as a widow. Her husband Shane passed suddenly at the age of 41 on April 27, 2015. Her boys are each competitive athletes and Shane was their devoted coach and biggest fan. Both children of divorce, Shane and Jennifer never wanted solo parenting for their children. She gains strength through her faith and her fierce community of family and friends. Jennifer finds solace in writing and sharing her story. She has a blog of her own and has written for TulsaMoms. Jennifer was asked to speak recently at a Women’s event and will soon be featured on the podcast ‘A Frayed Knot‘. When she is not chasing the next big tournament with her boys, Jennifer enjoys her monthly book club, vintage finds, and gardening.
You can also find her on Instagram : @jjo_farley