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  • Surviving, Friends and Empathy.

    Surviving, but not quite thriving. 

    That's where I am--teetering between both. We had our second baby girl last December, she turned 12 weeks old a few days ago and our oldest turned two years old in January. Both are in diapers, both wake up to the other crying in the middle of the night and both always seem to be hungry at the same time. I am functioning, surviving, getting just enough sleep and putting meals on the table, but I look forward to the days of thriving again! 

    That being said, I am incredibly grateful for the moms God has placed in my life recently! Through various Bible studies and 'Moms Connect'-type groups I have had the chance to get to know lots of moms in all different stages of raising their kids. What I appreciate most is they get it. Whether they have four young ones or just had their first, they seem to understand that it is so hard! I very much appreciate being able to share how tired I am or how frustrated I am and these moms have listened! They haven't said back, "Well, I can beat that...I have THIS going on." They don't try to compete with how bad their life is or was and it is so refreshing! They just have empathy. Oh, sweet empathy.

    "Empathetic people can "walk in your shoes" and feel your feelings without judgement or advice. An empathetic person is for you. No matter what you say or reveal about yourself, this person is on your side and wants to help, even if she disagrees with or disapproves of what she hears." ~Safe People by Henry Cloud and John Townsend {emphasis mine}

    Doesn't that sound amazing--just to talk with someone and have them listen and feel for you and that's it!? I feel like this is so uncommon!

    I do have a few people in my life whom I specifically ask for advice, but I can honestly say I don't want it from every person with whom I talk. Surely I'm not alone in that!? God has provided me an amazing support system and a 'fruit-bowl' of people that I can go to--some for food questions, others for cloth diaper questions, others for sleep training, beauty tips, house repair, etc. I don't for a second pretend I know what I am doing in life by myself. It wasn't until I learned about my identitiy in Christ that I became secure enough to ask people for help and glean from their experiences. It seems so backwards that the more secure I am, the more comfortable I am knowing I don't have it all together. Regardless, I am so thankful. 

    I am thankful for my messy, giggly, whiny, hungry girls. I am thankful for these women God has placed in my life after years and years of praying for friends. I am thankful for empathy. And I am incredibly thankful for my sweet, sweet heavenly Father who provides it all.