May 7, 2012


I have a confession to make, I was sick of blogging.  I was sick of being so transparent, I was sick of people feeling like they had the right to an opinion about my life, I was sick of being in the public eye as my husband was dying and then again as I found love and happiness so quickly and made the bold move to marry the new love of my life 9 months after the worst day of my life.  I was sick of not telling the whole truth in what I wrote but instead catering to what I felt like I had to say in order to be grieving properly; all in all, I was just sick of it and needed a break to be a normal boring person (with a new husband, a new life, and 7 kids) and then God spoke to me.  Actually he’s been speaking to me for a while now about being obedient and my heart has been slowly but surely inching towards what He’s calling me to do.  This blog is my initial response to Him.
I have always loved to write, and I knew that when God inspired me, my writing seemed to help people and give them hope, but I didn’t want to do it anymore, especially on such a public forum as a blog.  I just wanted to raise a family, snuggle with my man, raise some chickens, bake some bread, and possibly buy a cow, all of those simple pleasures in life.   But God’s plan seems to be a little different for my life, and He’s been nagging me about it for some time now.  The still, small voice has often come through my husband who has wanted to start a blog but knew my feelings on wanting some privacy from the world, and he’s been patient and understanding as I worked through some of these issues.  We let our initial blog go because one, it was expensive and we didn’t write all that often and secondly, at times it felt forced or fake.  We were and have been very happy and blessed in our new life but at certain times or on specific dates, such as our late spouses birthdays or the anniversaries of their deaths, we have felt the need to “go there” and wallow a bit in the pain of the memories because that’s what’s expected.  That need to “go there” actually turned what could have been a beautiful, romantic vacation for two at a secluded cabin on a lake, sour.  I kept expecting this big funk from both of us, I actually caused the big funk because of my expectation for it! We went there over the anniversaries of their deaths in order to get away from 7 kids and vacation as only we do best by lying around all day enjoying the peace and quiet. Instead there was this outpouring of sadness through emails from well – meaning friends, Facebook postings, and calls that we were not able to avoid in the busyness of this day and age. We should have left all technology at home and just enjoyed the peace and solitude of cabin life. We’ve learned the hard way and next time will be different.
Our writing in the previous blog also reflected an idea “of this is what people want to hear from us” because if we said, “we’re great, we’re happy, everything’s as good as it could be because God has blessed us so greatly in our new life” that would probably be viewed as cold or heartless.  But that’s the truth.  I still have little moments that remind me of Jason and make me smile, but I don’t try to go there on a regular basis.  It wouldn’t be fair to Ryan if I allowed myself to go there all the time and in fact it would in a sense be committing emotional adultery.  Jason and I had the “till death do us part” moment; we are not one anymore.  I said my vows to Ryan, and he is the only man in terms of a spousal love in my life now. The way I view it is similar to someone who had a rotten, abusive childhood.  What would happen to that person if they constantly reflected on the abuse, neglect and pain of that life?  They wouldn’t be able to move forward and grow through those hardships or experience the grace of God and the blessing that a new life could offer them.  It’s the same with my previous life.  I had many hard years of pain and suffering with Jason having terminal cancer for 3 years but I don’t reflect on it.  By God’s grace he has doubled my portion.  I have a beautiful country home.  I have an amazing husband who has never made me feel like anything less than the love of his life in this moment and time. I have 3 beautiful new children that I’m in the process of adopting and my life is easier and more peaceful and more blessed than it has ever been.  Ryan and I have an amazing marriage, but it comes through tears and heartache.  We work HARD at this marriage.  We buy the books, and I read the blogs and recap to him at night, (the books and the blogs). We don’t take each other for granted, and we talk about everything (much to his dismay at times!) I need to work through things mentally and verbally and he has learned that.  Things are different, very different in this marriage, we are each very opposite spouses to each other than what we are used to and that takes work. I wear all of my emotions on my sleeve (or my face, or arms, or anywhere they’ll fit) and we talk about it all.
Going back to the blog writing, God has been speaking to me, ever so quietly, about my obedience (or lack of) to his calling on my life.  I know I have a great story of his faithfulness, and I know that it needs to be shared honestly and transparently.  I’m not exactly sure what all it will entail, widowhood, grief, kids, adoption, special needs, faith, writing, the list could be extensive. So here is my blog, once again, and I pray that obedience to my “great commission” of just sharing our story in all its realness, pain, heartache and joy will bring hope to the hopeless, rest for the weary, and faith in a God who is faithful even in the direst of circumstances.   Stay tuned as I share my pains and triumphs as HIS highwayofgrace.
Just keep livin!!

16 thoughts on “May 7, 2012

  1. I am very excited to hear that you are blogging again, and I am proud of your obedience. I especially love that you are going to write with authenticity, we need more of that here in blogland. I, too, wear my emotions on m sleeve and feel everything!I am so “for” you guys and so happy to hear that your marriage is blessed despite the work involved. The work is so worth it, huh?

  2. I’m glad you’re back. I look forward to following your family stories. God bless your beautiful family that God has so artfully put together — in a way that is “exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think!”

  3. You couldn’t have chosen a better picture to depict your big, crazy family…..I love it!!! Glad to know you are blogging once again. Wish I could do that myself, but I just kinda freeze up when I’m faced with a blank screen. I’m also glad that you feel you can share your true feelings. That is so important. I know you and Ryan have been to hell and back in your respective situations, and you have graciously shared that part of your lives with us. But, now God has given you a new life, warts and all, and once again, you are sharing it with us. Thank you so much for your honesty and candidness and may God richly bless you and your family on your journey…

  4. I am so glad to hear about your happiness and continued life after tragedy. I am newly widowed and am slowly feeling my way with so many question marks. Your words help me know that it is ok…..whatever I am feeling or thinking or wondering….it’s all ok. There is no recipe that fits all. It is such a journey but there is movement, and change, and evolution, and I thank you for your sharing.

  5. Thank you Jess for doing this…God has blessed me through your family’s stories in seeing once again God make beauty out of ashes. Thank you for responding in obedience.

  6. Jess thank you for writing it has helped me as a Sister that lost her sister to GBM. My sister had 3 children and my BNL is getting married. It is hard as the family that lost the sibling to watch the Spouse go on with their life….and you help me see the spouse side. But the difference in our families is that Ryan Cares for your children and he puts them before himself. Our situation is different our new wife has never in 3 years done anything with my neice to make her feel special or anything like a mother/daughter relationship. She has never once tried to be the GOOD step mother. She is all about herself and my BNL. She is a good person and would be great for someone that does not have kids. But we have 3. My prayer is that she could feel some emotion for these kids that need a motherly figure besides their aunt. Pleae keep writing all the raw emotions you have.

  7. A friend shared your blog with me and I cannot express the comfort it brings to know someone else has been there! I also became a widow in 2010 and found Love, amazing love shortly after.

  8. I’m excited to catch up again on your journey as I prayed as you were in the thick of it.
    You inspire me because I have been on a similar journey and God has continued to teach me that I answer only to Him.

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