Here's the thing about life. Sometimes it can crush you. Sometimes you're managing, surviving, and then one small thing sends you veering off course. Which leads to crying in the shower because you just don't know of any other way to process.

Sometimes the "I Wish" thoughts are bigger than the "I'm Happy I..." thoughts. I wish I had finished college. I wish I had planned better. I wish I had known how hard things could be. I wish I had known myself well enough to make the kind of decisions that honor who I am right now. I wish I was better at healthy friendship. I wish I didn't know how to isolate. I wish I had said "no" more. I wish I had heard "yes" more. I wish my fear didn't keep me from asking for help more often. I wish other people's brokenness didn't so often leak into my own cracks. I wish I made more money. I wish I was capable of fully supporting my kids. I wish I never had to worry about my bills being paid or groceries bought.I wish some things had never been said, never been promised. I wish other things had been more defined and less vague.

But I'm happy I have learned to treat people like people, not resources. I'm happy I have made lifelong friends that stick with me through my faltering attempts at true friendship. I'm happy that I have found myself NOW, if not before. I'm happy I have three loveable kids that need to be provided for. I'm happy that I am still in my home, still paying my bills (somehow), still feeding my children and still growing.

If, someday, the heaviness of my life eases somewhat, I hope I will remember to help others who are still living under the weight of struggling to provide. I hope I will give without directing what they should do with it. I hope I will feed others without expecting anything other than filling their bellies. I hope I will see other mamas who are living this life and remember the sorrow of nights like tonight.

If it never eases, I hope I can be the kind of woman who finds contentment in the struggle. I hope I can find my footing even when the ground is rolling underneath me.

I hope I can find peace that defies loneliness. I hope I can find contentment that defies unmet needs. I hope I can find mercy.

*December 2012