Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

I was driving to the grocery store to buy our usual week’s worth of groceries, thankful the store I like to shop at is still open, and it was my first real break from my husband and children in days as we have been practicing social distancing.

I must say, I’m a tough cookie. I recognize my emotions and how to handle them. I talk a lot about my feelings and even write to get my feelings out in a more focused manner. I would consider myself to be emotionally mature and fairly resilient.

And, yet… on that drive, while alone, seeing how empty the downtown core of my small town is, I just lost it. I sobbed. Bawled my eyes out like a little child whose security blanket was taken away.

Then I felt guilty. I have four healthy kids; I have a healthy husband. We have groceries. We are at home enjoying our time together for the most part. Our cancelled vacation was fully refundable. Our parents are not in nursing homes, or hospitals. Really, we are facing this with optimism because of circumstances, and I know so many others aren’t as fortunate.

Now, I’m at a red light. I’m a hot, crying, guilty mess. I feel so much empathy for the seniors around me, the lonely, the destitute, the folks who can’t afford to stock up, or take time off work. There are people around us who have it so much more challenging than I do, and yet, I am the one crying my eyes out!

I’m crying for all those people because as an empath, their stories plague me.

And I am also crying for me.

For the vacation I have missed that my children were so excited for.

For the cancelled karate lessons, gymnastics classes, swimming lessons, and all the hard work and effort that my kids were putting into these activities that abruptly ended.

For my husband who has an essential job and faces the possibility of being forced to stay at work.

For myself, the social butterfly, often the last to leave parties, church or social events because I just love the people around me so deeply.

For my parents who are over sixty and are at a higher risk, and the helplessness that I feel for them.

For the senior man at the grocery store who walked down every aisle looking for hand sanitizer and was told none had been in stock since February. I felt his fear deep in my own bones.

For my son’s best friend whose Make-A-Wish Disney trip was abruptly cancelled.

For the neighbors who I am missing having chats with when we are fortunate enough to catch each other outside at the same time.

For the playdates my kids wish we could plan with their friends.

For the conference a friend and I were so excited to go to, our big mom’s night off.

For the local businesses that I love to shop at.

For the secretaries at the chiropractors, the doctors, the dentist and other places who I enjoy chatting with that have all been calling to cancel and reschedule.

For the teachers who were not prepared for this and didn’t send students home with work–and now feel apprehension for the kids they can’t teach.

For my husband whose birthday is approaching and may not be celebrated as usual.

For the kids who have difficult home lives and are struggling.

For the people I don’t know how to help.

All of us. I am crying for all of us. No matter who you are, or what resources you have or don’t, this time is going to give us all unique struggles.

And it’s okay to cry.

It’s okay to mourn the events that are cancelled. It is okay to mourn the celebrations we are missing out. It’s okay to cry tears of worry for our parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, and businesses. 

It’s okay to cry because these times are challenging. They are unlike anything most of us have seen, or even imagined a few weeks ago.

You can cry without giving into the ugliness of fear. I think I needed to realize that. Perhaps you do too. We can mourn all that has ended so abruptly without giving in to the fear of the unknown that is yet to come.

I am not afraid. I serve a God who is bigger than any virus. I have what I need. I am home safe.

But I’m allowing myself to be sad and to cry when I need to.

It’s good to cry.

Let the bad feelings out so you can get through this as well as possible. Staying healthy means staying emotionally healthy too, and sometimes you need to take a few minutes to let it all out. And that is okay.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Leslie Deane-Mountjoy

Leslie Deane-Mountjoy is studying to become a Registered Psychotherapist. She loves to encourage people to see their true worth as beloved children of the King, capable of overcoming the obstacles life throws their way. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have four kids. Leslie is rarely seen without a big smile, and a cup of coffee!

We Pray for Healing that Doesn’t Always Come

In: Grief, Loss
Woman with folded hands sitting on couch

I’ve been thinking a lot about healing and how most times healing doesn’t happen the way I hope or pray. When I was in high school, God put it on my heart to begin praying for my future husband. It was so weird to pray for someone I didn’t know, but there I was praying in a field where only God alone could see me. Meanwhile, the man who’d be my husband was in a skiing accident and while they tried to save his leg and while he had an entire community praying for him, his leg wasn’t healed. It...

Keep Reading

My Mom Was My Best Friend and Now that She’s Gone, I’m Lonely

In: Grief, Loss
Mother and grown daughter walk by water

I have always struggled to make and keep friends. This struggle has only become more pronounced in adulthood as everyone around me, including myself, must balance the demands of family, work, and other responsibilities. When I had my mom around, I didn’t feel the absence of friends. My mother was my best friend—the one I vented to, gabbed over coffee with, and saw all the best movies with. During my late 20s, my mother’s health began to decline rapidly. As an older mom, she had overcome a bout of polio as a child, so her body began to display post-polio...

Keep Reading

To the Parents Facing a Child’s Illness: You Are Strong

In: Grief, Kids, Motherhood
Toddler with cast and IV looking out window

If you are the parents who just sat for hours in a cold doctor’s office to hear that your child has a life-threatening illness, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who can’t bring yourself to decorate or celebrate the unknown because you don’t know if they’ll ever come home, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who travel or relocate to deliver your child in one of the best hospitals with hopes it will change the outcome, you are so strong. If you are the parents who learn all the medical terminology so you understand...

Keep Reading

My Sister Was Killed by a Drunk Driver and Her Loss Left a Gaping Hole

In: Grief, Loss
Woman kneeling at grave

Dark clouds hang over my hometown. I am reminded of my mother’s death many years ago. I lived in foster care without knowing my bloodline. It felt like the end. I longed for family closeness. After researching my ancestry, I discovered that my father has many children. My younger sister, Marva, was a remarkable woman. Despite being a single mother, she was kind, strong, and hardworking. Her compassionate heart touched countless people. We share an unbreakable bond. During our last walk together, an unexpected vehicle drove close to us. My sister quickly grabbed my arm. Protectively, she pulled me close...

Keep Reading

What Happens When Your Perfect Life Explodes?

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Marriage, Motherhood
Sad woman by window with her head in hands

One day you’re living your best life, writing articles about how perfect your marriage is, and the next, BOOM, life as you know it completely changes. I was blindsided by information that my husband had been lying to me for three years about certain aspects of our lives. I felt like I had been hit in the gut by the biggest rock you could imagine. What has followed has been a snowball of events and new information that has changed the course of my and my kids’ lives. So what do you do when your perfect explodes? This is one...

Keep Reading

Sweet Baby, I Wish I Could Have Met You

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Toddler standing at table with lit candles, color photo

Miscarriage. It floods my head with devastating memories. It seems like it happened so long ago, yet I can still feel the roller coaster of emotions I was taken on. My husband and I were ready to start a family, and I was fortunate enough to get pregnant right away. Holding that pregnancy test with my hands shaking and voice trembling, I was scared and excited.  I was ready to be a mom. Even though seeing those two lines so quickly left me shocked, I was ready to meet my baby. When I found out there was a little human growing...

Keep Reading

Just For a Moment, I Thought I Saw You Again

In: Grief, Loss
Woman walking down autumn path

I was on my way to the dollar store as they were opening, still flush with excitement that I had made a condo reservation the night before. We moved just a few months ago, and John and I had kind of been tiptoeing around the notion of our yearly early autumn/my birthday week on the white sands of Pensacola Beach, not at all sure of it being a possibility this year. The early morning excursion to the dollar store was to purchase the symbolic “vacation salt and pepper shakers” duo that we have taken along with us every year for...

Keep Reading

I Lost a Baby and My Heart Will Always Hurt

In: Grief, Loss
Woman walking down autumn path, black and white image

I love having a TV show to watch. I get home from work and need 20-30 minutes to myself. It’s a reprieve from the day. A way to reset my mind. I love to sit at night when everyone is cleaning up or taking showers and watch something. I usually have my typical round of repeats. Gilmore Girls, Madam Secretary, White Collar, Covert Affairs, etc.  Recently I finished a time travel drama and was at a loss for what to watch next. I rarely watch new shows as I don’t really find anything that fits my just chill, don’t want to...

Keep Reading

Dad Left a Legacy in Fried Green Tomatoes

In: Grief, Living
Two women eating, color photo

When I was growing up, my dad’s Kentucky roots were very evident in our kitchen, especially the summertime meals he prepared. I can still see him at the stove preparing those Southern specialties: a mess of green beans and ham, corn fried in a skillet, fried okra, hot stuff (a mixture of tomatoes, onion, and hot peppers), fried round steak and gravy, and fried green tomatoes. While preparing the dishes, he would often cut the end of a hot pepper and coax us to stick our tongues on the end. “It’s not that hot.” It always was, and we fell...

Keep Reading

Watching My Mom Lose Her Best Friend Is Hard

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss
Two women walking, color photo

Today, my mom lost one of her best friends. Today the news came. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. Traumatically. Ripping a hole in the heart of her world and the world of all who knew and loved her. Today I realized so many things. Things I already know but always lose sight of. Things like, nothing is ever guaranteed. Things like, you never know when it will be your last text . . . your last hug . . . your last power walk . . . your last everything with a person who is so deeply connected to your heart and soul...

Keep Reading