A Little More Love

Day 2 of a February full of love, today I again made healthier food choices. I also got on the treadmill and did some walking. How did you show yourself some love today? Matt and I are both trying to make better choices. We started yesterday, and he promptly woke up this morning and announced he has already dropped 5 pounds…I have lost 5 ounces!!!! I may have made a face and made some sarcastic mimicking sounds to this proclamation. He the ever encourager and optimist promptly reminds me that loss is loss and as long as the scale is going down that is a win! It took me a while to get there with him in my thought process. I tend to focus on how easy it is for him to drop weight quickly and how I could eat next to nothing and not lose an ounce. But today, I chose to join his thinking instead! I am smaller today than I was yesterday. No one can see it but the scale knew it, and I got to chart it on my tracker. So I am going to join him in calling it a win. If I focus on the positives I am more likely to continue to make good choices.

I am not neglecting loving on my kids and hubby this month, I will share more about how I am doing that later this month. But today I had to love on the youngest one a little bit extra. She is our happy hearted, joyful, extroverted extrovert. But I am not going to sugar coat it when I say middle school is ROUGH on kids today, and in our house, especially the girls. Today, however, was a different kind of hard. Our schools today went into a Code Red Alert. This is basically major lock down mode. Teachers (God bless them all!!!!) immediately locked classroom doors, pulled down shades, huddled our kids in corners and maintained a calm and silent classroom. Within 2 minutes they were all informed that there was a malfunction county wide that caused to alarm to sound and that everything was okay. This alarm went off more than once today I might add… This event shook up our high schoolers. They all came home sharing stories and plans for how to escape in the future if it actually happens for real. Our youngest came home literally shaking and a wreck. She spilled her snack on herself (she is our clumsy one) and burst into tears. She was totally undone. She was sobbing and trying to share how it made her feel. She isn’t one to share her feelings very often. She says she doesn’t want to burden us. She always is thinking of others. She confessed at how scared she was and thought that she was actually going to die. She began to think of everyone she would be leaving behind and that her best friend, who is home doing virtual learning due to contact tracing. She was worried that this would destroy her. Her friend has had some big emotional events this last year and Susan didn’t want to add to her grief. I spent a long time just hugging her. We had to remind her that she was home and safe and that everything, and everyone was okay. She held it together all day at school and came home and promplty fell apart. It took a while to calm her down, but eventually we helped to remind her that although it was a very scary moment (in fact I cannot believe our kids even have to deal with this kind of thing) we cannot live in fear. We cannot allow our minds to go into all the possible scenarios because it isn’t good for our mental health. We can’t let our imaginations run away with us. We have to put things in perspective. Appreciate each day and each moment. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. We also talked about how she could be the light in someones day that may never see it. Give a smile, say hello, be kind. You never know what is going on in their day.

Today we are thankful for the teachers and staff that protected our kids, even though there was no real threat, they all jumped into action, remained calm and took care of our kids when we couldn’t be there to do it for them. To her favorite teacher who specifically asked Susan if she was okay and she admitted to tearing up during the scare. That amazing teacher opened her arms wide, promised she was Covid free because she was just tested, and wrapped our baby girl in a hug that she so desperately needed in that moment more than anything else!

Love yourself and love your family. Today is a gift.

1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love”

By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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