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Long before a marriage actually ends, I believe our spirit begins to prepare us—an unknowing preparation of the soul, to endure an internal battle of the mind and spirit of which very few things can come close to.
The songs, books, passages of Scripture, coffee chats, texts and life moments that I have clung to over the past year are uncountable. Let's just say...if you find yourself in the depths -- I'm your resource girl. Send me a note and I'll point you in the right direction ;)

It's been over a year now. The marriage ended and somehow life moved on. I say, somehow…because I look back and see my internal auto-pilot was doing a really stellar job. What to eat for dinner, snow shoveling, negotiating the cost of a new furnace, recovery from major surgery, 3000-mile oil changes and birthday-gift-buying for three boys miraculously did, in fact, happen, albeit much of it under a fog of ‘how did I get here? "What day is it?. But, let's fist bump over the fact that there were some major victories over the course of 12 months!

When everything started to unwind and then began to come back together again, I told myself countless times that I should journal the journey. Oh, how I wanted to find the words to write – the lessons I learned were in-cred-ible. But, the words never came. My thoughts were like alphabet soup in my brain. The big themes for me have circled around loss, rejection, and fear. I go around and around and around these seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I am far from able to call myself a conqueror in these areas. Yet, I have never felt closer to victory. It feels amazing to have plunged to the depths and come back up for air again. The waves still come (some calm seas ahead, please?!) – just a little less frequent and overwhelming. I’m confident I’ll ride them soon enough.

There have been a few surprises after a divorce that I didn't expect. I really didn’t think it would hurt for as long as it did. Like, rip-my-guts-out hurt. And I didn’t think I had such a huge reserve of tears that would flow at the oddest and awkward times…(tears must not be considered as water weight because my jeans still fit the same :/ ).
A king-sized bed to myself isn’t actually as lonely as I imagined it would be (pillows…lots of fluffy, space-consuming pillows is the trick).
We eat out more than we used to.
I have more fun with the boys than I used to.
I still have the same amount of laundry.
Being the third wheel can be fun.
I didn't realize how much I utilized a second opinion in the morning for daily wardrobe feedback and how much I miss it.  
It took me much longer to start planning and dreaming and beginning life again than I imagined.

And…it is possible to get really starry-eyed about someone again. To become vulnerable and trusting with those places I never thought I’d give (or want to give) to another. That was the biggest surprise....more on that in just a minute...

I started this blog over a decade ago and called it The Art of Homemaking because nothing depicted our life more than that. The best years of my life, thus far, were raising those little boys into young men – crafting, cooking, entertaining… creating home. Over the past months, home has not been our place of creativity but of comfort. Less about hosting and more about hugging. Less about recipes and more about retreat.
I don’t know what the next chapter of our lives here at The Smith Homestead looks like – I can’t see that far through the forest yet. I do know that it'll include more baking, cooking, entertaining and crafting once again. And I do know that, for us all, we’re (finally) moving forward with hope and excitement.
For me personally, I’m embracing the gift of new beginnings. Our Father works on our behalf and orchestrates things into being that we cannot fathom or orchestrate on our own. Isn’t that crazy, amazing love?!
Through events and circumstances that I couldn’t have orchestrated, I have become daydreamy over someone. A connection that can be traced back to when I was 5-year-old…although we never crossed paths until now. My life was incredibly impacted by someone who was impacting Mr. Daydreamy at that same time nearly 35 years ago. Crazy.

With the onset of spring, I feel my soul coming back to life. Not because of a man (God knows I would have been happy living on a farm, just me and the 3 little bears), but because the darkest clouds of despair have lifted and I am able to dream again. Hope again. For a creative girl like myself, my lifeblood is in my ability to dream and chase those dreams. It allows me to be a better mom, friend, and mentor.  Without them, I am all but useless.
And, adventuring along with someone who gives my heart flutters just happens to be the cherry blossoms on that perfect spring day. 

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