Category Archives: divorce

Ten Years.

In many ways it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.  In so many other ways, it really does.  Ten years ago at this time, I was two months pregnant with John Henry.  And, his dad left.

I guess I never imagined I would be in that place.  I certainly never saw myself divorced.  I never thought I’d be a single mother.  It was the single most heart-breaking, devastating time in my life.  Words were said that pierced me.  Actions taken that floored me.  And, I couldn’t imagine that my life would ever be restored back to where it was.

I spent the next few months busying myself with work, getting ready for a baby, and involving myself in the community.  I traveled to Chicago to an Arts Conference hosted by Willow Creek Church.  I headed up the campaign for my uncle who was running for County Commissioner.  He won, by the way.  And, I joined with city leaders in putting together a Memorial Service for the one year anniversary of 9/11.   And, in my down time, I cried.

But, I also prayed.

I prayed scriptures over Bryan’s life every single night of my pregnancy.  I prayed blessings over him.  In the middle of my pain, I cried out to the Redeemer.  And, I released forgiveness little by little until I no longer carried any anger or resentment.

I was still heartbroken.  There were times I would feel sorry for myself.  I’d cry the ugly cry.  My countenance would be less than inviting.  I remember during one of my pity parties, my dad told me, “You never know how you’re going to feel tomorrow.”  Of course, I knew how I was going to feel.  Exactly like I was feeling at that moment.

Until one day, you wake up, and the weight of it all seems a little less.  The hurt isn’t quite as painful.  And, before you know it, you are smiling.  And, you are staring into the eyes of a little blue-eyed baby boy who has changed everything.

September 24, 2002, I held John Henry.  I looked at my parents and said, “My world is right.”  It was.  The hurt was still there.  But it became less.  A few months later, Kris Takle flew into my life.  Literally.  Six months later?  We were married.  Six months after that?  We were pregnant with Anna Takle.

And, now ten years later?  My life is full.

It is redeemed.

I never believe that divorce is God’s best for one’s life.  But, I do believe He is a God of redemption and will make good out of messes.  I will never write about the nit and the grit of the words said or the actions during it all.  I really see no need, honestly.  It’s not where I live.  I don’t ever want it printed and posted to hurt John Henry or Bryan.

As for Bryan, he has allowed God to work in his life.  He is a great father to John Henry.  He is a great friend to Kris.  And, Kris is a great friend to him.  We celebrate holidays together.  We have vacationed together.  We aren’t “normal.”  We really didn’t think “normal” was working.  So, we just do things differently.

I would defend Bryan’s name until my last breath on earth.  Because, he is a good man.  And, I am forever grateful to him for John Henry Landreth.  I have learned more about compassion and forgiveness because of that little boy than I ever imagined possible.

John Henry is a constant reminder to me of how GOOD God is.

Anna and Jett are constant reminders of His redemption.

And, Kris Takle.  Well, you know what he is.

The one who made my heart beat fast again.

It’s been a good ten years.

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Filed under disappointment, divorce, gratitude, Life Experiences, Love, Motherhood, prayer, Writing

Laugh Out Loud.

I laugh a lot.  I laugh out loud a lot.  And, I laugh loudly. 

It’s true.  You can ask anyone who knows me well.  I really can’t help it.  I’ve asked Kris if my loud laugh embarrasses him.  He kindly tells me it’s one of the things he loves about me. 

That’s a good thing.  Because, he makes me laugh every day we are together. 

We can even laugh about things that most married couples wouldn’t laugh about.  Like his past relationships….and sometimes, even my divorce. 

I’ll tease about things I lost in the divorce.  Like a CD or some other random item.  “Yep,” I’ll say, “Lost that in the divorce.” 

Last night, he made me laugh again.

Me: (folding laundry) “Ya know, I used to iron Bryan’s golf shirts, even some of his t-shirts.”

Kris:  “Did you lose that in the divorce?”

We should really take our act on the road.  Like Sonny and Cher. 

Or, I guess, not.

Life is much too short to not truly enjoy even the smallest of moments.  To laugh out loud. To laugh at oneself.   It can be easy to let the stresses of daily life overtake these moments.

Don’t let them.  Scripture tells us that a merry heart does us good like medicine. (Proverbs 17:22) What does medicine do?  It comforts.  It heals.  It prevents our hurts from getting worse. 

Don’t let worry, fear, stress, or anger plague your life.  Let your heart be merry.  We can’t control everything that happens to us, but we can control how we react to them.  If we choose to laugh, we’ll find life much more enjoyable (and more enjoyable to be around.) 

We can also find in Proverbs 15:13 that “a happy heart makes the face cheerful.”  And, that is something you’ll never find in those expensive facial creams.  So, laugh more.  And, save yourself some money with Oil of Olay.  My momma swears by that stuff….and by the laughs my dad has consistently provided her the past thirty-seven years.

10 Comments

Filed under divorce, health, life, Marriage, Motherhood

These Are Things Money Can’t Buy.

If you’re tired of reading about how sweet my seven year old is, feel free to click the “x” in the top right-hand corner.  But, I just had to record this day with him.

I was completely exhausted yesterday due to one little Jett Takle preparing for the 2028 Winter Olympics inside my belly the night before.  But, I wasn’t going to dare miss out on watching John Henry receive his Servant Leadership Award yesterday afternoon at school.

When I told him he was going to be receiving this award, he responded, “Wow!  That’s the award for putting others first!” 

By the way, Anna’s expression in the background of the pic just makes me laugh.  Sweet Anna Takle, you would definitely get the award for “Most Artistic in Fashion” or “Most Social” or “Most Likely To Make Her Mother Laugh.” 

Proud, but still so stinkin’ tired when we got home, John Henry gave me a letter. 

Dear Mom I hope you are ok.  You are the best mom ever.  I can not beleve your my mom.  I am going to let you chose what you want to eat if we go out to a restront.  If Dad is flying I will pertect (protect) you.  I am glad you are my mom.  You chose the right man.  You chose Chris.  From John Henry

*Disclaimer:  He is referring to Kris….not some other Chris.  Thought I should clarify before this blog lost its family rating.

What is in a seven year old to acknowledge that I chose Kris?  To say, “You chose the right man?” 

At the beginning of the school year, John Henry needed some answers about why he has two dads.  I explained the best I could so he would understand.  In the back of my mind, I’ve always wondered if he would one day struggle with the fact that he has two dads and his siblings have one. 

But, in letters like this, I see a young man who is thankful that Kris is in his life.  I see two dads who love him so sweetly.  And, I see a Heavenly Father who has never let him down.

And, that is redemption.

16 Comments

Filed under divorce, Kid Stuff, parenting, Virtue

Oh, But For the Grace

What is God’s grace?  A shortened version:  It’s God’s unmerited favor.  Often times God’s grace is confused with God’s mercy.  It’s by God’s mercy that I don’t really get all that I deserve.  But, it’s God’s grace that we can draw from when we go through difficult times.

Oswald Chambers writes:

The grace you had yesterday will not be sufficient for today. Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it being available to draw upon as needed. “. . . in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses”— that is where our patience is tested ( 2 Corinthians 6:4 ). Are you failing to rely on the grace of God there? Are you saying to yourself, “Oh well, I won’t count this time”? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you— it is taking the grace of God now. We tend to make prayer the preparation for our service, yet it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the practice of drawing on the grace of God. Don’t say, “I will endure this until I can get away and pray.” Pray now — draw on the grace of God in your moment of need. Prayer is the most normal and useful thing; it is not simply a reflex action of your devotion to God. We are very slow to learn to draw on God’s grace through prayer.

“To draw upon as needed….”  The measure of grace God gives someone who just lost their child is much greater than the measure of grace I might need for a financial struggle.  But, His grace is always sufficient.  No matter what situation we are in.  We just have to draw on it.

Kris and I were talking about how our life is going to change when Jett arrives.  How am I going to deal with the stresses of a newborn, two kids in school, and being so far away from my momma?  Then, I remembered when John Henry was born.

I was a single mother.  I was the only one getting up in the middle of the night with him.  I was the only one clothing him, bathing him, and feeding him.  By the time he was six weeks old, I was back at work.  I would get him up in the mornings, get him dressed and fed, and put him in his little bouncy seat.  I’d put that bouncy seat in my bathroom while I showered and got ready for work.   Then, off we’d go.

I don’t remember any moments where I was ready to pull my hair out.  I do remember an overwhelming peace in our little home.  I remember a sweet baby boy who began sleeping through the night early.  I remember not wanting to go out for New Year’s Eve, because I just wanted to spend the evening with him. 

What was it that made our first few months alone together so peaceful?  So wonderful?

I’m pretty sure it was God’s grace on my life.  I never stopped crying out to Him.  I never stopped praying that God would make something great of my disappointment in life – my divorce. 

He did.  He was faithful.  And, in the meantime of going through it all, His grace was sufficient. 

Sometimes, I forget to draw on that grace today.  That unmerited favor of God.  So, He reminds me of how His grace was sufficient when…..

And when……

And when…..

And, then?  I count my stones.

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Filed under disappointment, divorce, God Stuff, Motherhood, Spiritual Journey

Questions That Catch Me By Surprise.

Anna:  Why does Johnry get to have two dads, and I only have one? 

Me:  Well, Anna……

John Henry:  Anna, it’s hard to explain.

John Henry was right.  It is hard to explain to a five year old.  But, I did explain why to her in the most effective way she could understand.  She went on about her day without mention of our conversation. 

It’s just her way.  She has always accepted our answers and explanations to deep questions and thoughts without  need for further discussion.  It’s the small stuff she struggles in.  Like why she can’t wear flip flops and shorts in a painful 10 degree wind chill.  Because, it isn’t cold.  To her

But, the big stuff?  She is my sponge.  “Mom, when we do something bad, God forgives us right away.” 

She knows this is true.  I’ve told her so.  And, she believes it. 

“No one is more powerful than God, Mom.”

And, my recent favorite:  “God can do a back flip better than anybody.”

Some questions catch me by surprise.  But, she listens to my answers.  Then, she’s okay.  She is learning to build her hope on nothing less than Jesus Christ.  She’s learning to filter every explanation through that hope. 

I love her acceptance.  I love her faith.  It doesn’t matter that she questions me on why wearing a purple bandana on her head is not appropriate all of the time. 

Having faith does matter. 

I tell her all of the time that she’s my favorite girl.

She really is.

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Filed under divorce, God Stuff, Kid Stuff, Motherhood

My Pre-Blogging Life: Part Four

journal entry june 03 wp

“Someone has altered the script.  My lines have been changed….I thought I was writing this play.”  – Madeleine L’ Engle

It was this last entry that I acknowledged my life, so far, was much different than I had planned.  I was divorced.  I was a single mother.  And, now I had reconnected with a gentleman named Kris Takle.  I was supposed to still be married to Bryan living in Griffin, Georgia.  Instead, I was engaged to another and soon to be living in Oklahoma. 

OKLAHOMA.

That’s far, far away.

From my family.  My friends.  My church.

But, I wasn’t writing this play.

Sometimes, our life takes a turn, because it’s the providential will of God.  Other times, our life changes its course, because of someone else’s choices.  Or even our choices.  No matter what causes the shift, I know God will turn a mess into a message.  He will heal brokenness.  He will see to it that the work He began, He’ll finish. 

Because, He’s faithful. 

God didn’t cause my shift in life.  But, He did make something really good out of it. 

I’m mean reallllly good.

Kris-kids wp

See?

So, keep holding on.  Keep pressing toward the mark.  Never, NEVER give up.

Need more encouragement?  Hop on over to my good friend, Kim’s testimony.  Seriously!  Go do it! 

He makes all things good.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God….  Romans 8:28

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Filed under disappointment, divorce, God Stuff, life, Love

My Pre-Blogging Life: Part Three

journal entry jan 03 wp

January 16, 2003, my divorce was final.  Below is the latter part of my journal entry on that day.  If you are going through a difficult time today, I hope these words give you hope.  I hope they help you realize that in the middle of your storm, God’s presence and goodness is always there.

I know these things for certain:

1.  I’m blessed with a beautiful son.

2.  I have friends that carry me, make me laugh, and love me.

3.  My parents love me, and my happiness is their greatest concern.

4.  There is release in forgiveness.

5.  I am strong.

6.  I’m not afraid to love or put my heart on the line.

7.  I’m ready to, pardon the cliché, spread my wings and fly.

8.  Doors are wide open.

9.  It is good to laugh long and hard every day.

10. I’m better than okay.

11. God has only good things for me.

12. Tribulation produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope.  And, hope does not disappoint.

13. This, too, shall pass.

14. I love my life.

15. I miss my dogs.

16. I love to dance.

17. Running releases stress.

18. I’m the luckiest girl on earth.

19. I’m thankful ’02 is over.

20. I’m thankful for ’02.

Life is an incredible journey.  I learn and grow from every second it offers.  I’m in a great place, and I’ll be in a better place tomorrow.

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Filed under disappointment, divorce, Friendship, gratitude, life, Love, Spiritual Journey