How to Paint on Ambien

Sometimes you get home late on a Friday after being out of town for work all week. There’s dishes in the sink. Not really sure when the dryer lint trap was last cleaned. Pretty sure the vacuum was used beyond its actual capacity and the covers are half off your bed and the dog hair is a pretty good indication that most if not all of the 3 dogs decided your bed was a wrestling mat/naptime mat.

Then. You walk into your girls bathroom and see they’ve cleaned and painted it. And are still working on getting it accessorized. But it looks soooo gooood.

Then you walk by the paint swatches painted on your entryway wall and think. I really should do this sometime soon.

But you’re tired. So you start to unpack. And by unpack I mean find your Ibuprofen, Zyrtec and Ambien out of your purse. Realize you’re out of everything so you grab a Capri sun to take the meds with. Dig through your suitcase for your cute pajamas and walk into the kitchen where you see the paint supplies are still out and ready. And you’re tired but not fall dead asleep tired because you’re a certain age and your body doesn’t work like that right now 😐😐😐

So. You decide if you paint just a little more tonight you can have a better idea tomorrow whether you love the paint you chose or are just meh about it.

You have no paint trays so you get a little creative. The Capri sun box was empty and let’s be honest. If not for moms, that empty box would’ve stayed in there for a week. So you decide a half Capri sun box and some wax paper would be a perfect paint pan.

You know better than to paint without taping off, so you run the painters tape along two edges and decide to start there.

You do such an amazing job of staying off of the tape that you decide, despite many years of failures at painting without taping off, that this will be the time you will conquer it. Listen, we’re all out here living our best lives. It could happen.

So you paint that wall with a roller but the Capri sun paint tray was possibly not your best idea.

You then switch to a brush. Which. Can we just take a moment of silence for falling brushes everywhere and the mess they leave behind for someone else to clean up .

There. I feel so much better now.

Then there’s the second time you drop the paintbrush and almost fall off the ladder because you would rather die from a fall than ruin your one painted wall by grabbing onto it while it’s wet with paint. Am I right?

By this time you realize that your outlet and light switch covers won’t work in their current color. Painting over them with your paintbrush is super easy. Just be careful not to paint so heavily that the outlets become useless. Ask me how I know.

One wall done except the edges and you’re ready to try the accent wall. In the Navy. No. That’s the color. Salty Dog was a heavy contender. But in the end. In the Navy won the war. I mean. The color choice. Same difference.

Have we mentioned the taping off has stopped? And one wall is gray and the other is navy. I see no reason to think the corners will turn out anything but crisp, defined lines.

Oh sure. You can already see that they won’t. Whatever. Listen Linda. You do you boo.

One tiny tip here. Tape off the corners. Just do it. I know. You can make a perfect line without the tape. But. Will you? Learn from me. Let my sacrificial wall be the end of blurry lines.

So you’re in the kitchen cleaning the Paintbrush and notice that there is all kinds of paint paraphernalia sitting on one of your good kitchen towels. Spilt paint all over it. Obviously we cannot have nice things in this house and here is exhibit 1 your honor.

As you’re painting the lower part of the wall you notice that paint has somehow dripped off of the wall – because you certainly didn’t let any drip off of the paintbrush while you were painting or the one 4 times you dropped it on the floor and you reach for the paint towel that you did manage to grab and try to clean up the paint from the floor.

Then you decide. I’m not going to have beige walls anymore. I bet I could use some paint to paint the tiles a nice gray tone. Not now. Because obviously it may be half done for me by the time I finish the walls. Don’t ever say I don’t think ahead.

At this point you’re pretty much done and ready to pass out because you took your Ambien 3 hours ago. And this has in no way inhibited your ability to live your best painters life.

Also. Somehow paint has gotten all over your fav pajama shirt. So you go to the bathroom to change. And realize you’ve painted a lot more than the wall.

All in all, painting on Ambien is probably not for everyone. But I’ll wait to see the results tomorrow.

P.S.A.One sample jar from Sherwin Williams will paint one side of an entryway so. You’re welcome.

Good night. God bless. Don’t wake me up unless the house is on fire.

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I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

Mustard seed faith has been a recurring theme in my faith journey since I was a young girl. The first time I really understood the concept I was probably 15. Our church was doing a mustard seed project – start with little, and with faith and the gifts God has given you, that tiny seed can make a big difference in someone’s life.

Life is all about mustard seed faith. Believing that the smallest seed of faith, planted in the right place, at the right time, in the right way…that small, hard to hold on to, easy to slip through your fingers, faith – that faith is enough. When you have nothing. When the road in front of you is full of sharp turns, roadblocks, dead ends…That mustard seed faith is still enough.

It’s enough to get you through the first day of knowing your husband has relapsed. Again.

It’s enough to get you through the second day when he still isn’t answering your calls or texts and you are 300 miles away and have no way to make him talk to you or find out the truth of what is going on.

It’s enough….when you cannot find the strength to go through this again, knowing it’s probably not even the last relapse….when your husband chooses this over you and your family…when you are almost ready to give up and just be done…

It’s enough because you have this necklace FULL of mustard seeds from a sweet friend who prays for your family, who loves you and your husband and your children, who never gives up and intercedes for you when you give up.

It’s enough once you place it in God’s hands – once you turn it over to Him and give up any false sense of control you struggled to have.

It’s enough because He is enough. Not because of anything you can do or not do…not because you think you can predict the outcome of this trial. Especially when you can’t convince your husband to even talk to you.

It’s enough because when you hold that vial of mustard seeds in your hand, pressed against your breaking heart, you remember that these seeds represent hope. Hope that exists as long as you have even that little bit of faith – that faith the size of a tiny mustard seed – you have faith that even in this new storm, you are not alone.

So you become determined to keep those mustard seeds close to you at all times, knowing you will need that physical reminder, that even with all of the doubt and unknowns and fears and anger and heart ache….there is always that little bit of faith there too.

The journey will be long again. It will look different again. I don’t even know if he’s willing to walk it again yet. I may be walking this one without him. Maybe not forever. Maybe he’ll join me somewhere when the road has twisted and turned so many times that the only way out is to come home. Or maybe he’ll ask me to walk with him sooner than I’m ready. But then where would that journey lead to?

Faith as small as a mustard seed. Small. But visible. Tangible. Powerful. Worth holding on to. No matter where this journey takes me, as long as I remember my mustard seed, and the friends who will intercede when I seem to lose my way, somehow I will make it down this path.

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Fear. The rock I put down at the marriage conference a brief 6 weeks ago. Only to pick back up a few short weeks later. Not unfounded. Unbearably heavy.

June 3rd

Day Zero

June 4th

Day One. Again.

He’ll go to get his blue chip at some point today he says…

I try to stay hidden, to find time to process the meaning of starting all over again.

This time was different. Every time was.

Knowing that it’s been coming – and possibly had already been happening for weeks now – there’s no relief in the actual knowing. The forward thinking doesn’t soften the shock to see it in black and white.

Words not sent to me. Not meant for me to see. Am I sad or relieved….the line is blurry…

My mind will be playing the blame game for the next few days…weeks…trying to remind myself he made the decision and I can’t take on the responsibility of yet another of his relapses. I don’t know how to not blame myself.

Thankful that it happened 300 miles away. Thankful that as hard as it has been, living apart for the past year means that our girls didn’t have to live through whatever led up to him reaching out for help. Wondering if he reached out or if he was found out. Worrying that it makes a difference.

Reliving all of the signs, the conversations, asking him if he was struggling, the lies about so many things…the knowing this was coming doesn’t make the pain any less…

It just intensifies the wondering of what I could have done differently… said differently….prayed differently….

Unable to convince myself that I can survive this again. Trying to imagine how to keep boundaries in place so that I can survive, worrying those boundaries will leave him feeling abandoned.

I know abandonment. It’s a lonely place to live.

Struggling between my need to protect myself….give myself permission to ask for time to start this healing process all over again…and reassuring him that I will never give up on him.

Surrounded by reminders over the last few weeks – my friend Stacy, writing about opening our eyes to those around us and seeing their life from within them – That guy who has found himself in the pit again? He’s not there for fun.  I couldn’t get her message out of my thoughts.

The series that just started at church yesterday, Come Home. I didn’t want to go yesterday morning. And once I was there I didn’t want to listen. Every time our pastor said “you can always come home”, I whispered to myself – but not yet…

My friend Staci posting June’s scripture writing…on forgiveness…and starting that last night….before I knew what I “knew”…

I’m torn between needing grace and giving grace. Between needing healing and giving forgiveness. It’s the simultaneous activeness of these that make them  irreconcilable…at least for now. How do I actively show grace and forgiveness and whatever else he needs from me when I need space to grieve this loss…space to forgive and begin to work towards trust again…knowing that he needs me to be more present with him so he can begin his healing. Not because I am responsible for the work he has to put in – it’s that boundary of being supportive but not enabling – the blurred line that constantly shifts.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as Christ forgave you.

Putting down my rock….my fear…starting all over again…

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To Count Or Not To Count

90 Days.

The early morning text from my husband, followed by a picture of his 90 day chip.

I haven’t been counting the days this time. I’ve counted them every time. I always have to start over.

If I don’t count, I don’t have to start over.

Thankful he shared the news over text where he couldn’t see my face or hear my voice. Sense my hesitancy in how to respond.

I find the right gif, hit send, tell him how proud I am. I don’t stop and think of what today’s date is. I don’t try to catalog the date in my head so that I won’t forget next month.

I’m not ready to start counting.

I’m thankful he sleeps during the day. Grateful I have a busy work day that will keep my mind on other things.

Then it’s the afternoon and he is awake and texting about coming home this weekend. He’s been talking about it for a few days now and I never seem to get the words right.

I don’t know how to walk this road we’re on. Living in separate states. Separate lives really. Visits to see him for Father’s Day. Talking about him coming home to visit. Visiting his home. Our home.

Not ready for that to be a reality.

Wondering if he remembers the conversations we had while he was in rehab. Replaying them in my mind over and over.

Talking about how we – me…the girls…need time. That we can’t do this again.

Remembering how I said that in December. 6 months ago. Only. He just got his 90 day chip. Not his 6 month chip.

He got to 89 days the last time.

89 days before our world fell apart again.

89 days after I said…not again…we can’t do this again…we won’t do this again. We were doing it again.

What does that make it? 96 days since our world crashed down around us again?

How is he counting his sober days? The 23rd of March – he was in the middle of his worst relapse yet.

I have to say “yet” because I thought the one last July was the worst…then I thought the one last December was…

Nothing could have prepared me for the March 2017 relapse.

I can’t go through a worse relapse than this last one. I can’t even fathom what a worse one would look like. I cannot imagine that we would all survive another one.

Even more…our girls can’t.

We are still in the very beginning stages of trying to heal. Our wounds are still tender, still open, they still bleed almost daily.

Our timeline doesn’t fit his. Our timeline hurts him.

I know my words today wounded him. I know he takes my uncontrollable sobbing when he leaves as a sign I want him to come home, and then must be confused when I say we aren’t ready.

I want to remind him we didn’t make this choice. I didn’t make this choice. Our girls didn’t make this choice. He made this choice. His decisions…actions…Our decisions….reactions that followed…

I remember that we made a plan.

I remember him changing the plan.

I remember not putting up a fight. Because I remembered the last time I put up a fight about his plan…I remember how quick the relapse was. So I stayed quiet this time. I let him make the plan. I didn’t cry. I didn’t protest. I put his needs ahead of our family’s. Again.

Now he wants to change the plan again. His plan. The plan I had to accept and am living.

The plan that breaks my heart daily, leaves me lonely, raising our girls on my own again…

The plan that gives my heart time to heal…our girls’ hearts time to heal…makes our home a safe place again – a place where our girls don’t live in fear of the next relapse and what that might look like.

There is nothing easy about this separation. Not for him. Not for me. Not for our girls.

Not easy doesn’t mean not necessary.

Sometimes the paths that are the most difficult and seem the most impossible are God’s way of protecting our hearts from the path that may seem easier but will ultimately end in a bigger heartbreak.

“Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18 (ESV)

Surely there is a future…

My hope will not be cut off…





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Sometimes it’s a lack of words…other times a too busy season…maybe just a season of life…

Then there are the silent times when you have all of the words but you can’t use them because to speak them…write them…is to admit….to share…to expose…what happened in the silence.

Sometimes weeks…months even,  go by, and the silence, at first haunting, becomes a welcome reprieve and what began as a short break turns into a crutch that you lean on to avoid admitting….sharing…exposing…

Breaking the silence after so long leaves you at a loss of what to share – even how to share – where to start – what is important anyway?

Wondering where your story ends and another person’s story begins – trying to decide how to be true to your story when so much of theirs in tangled up in yours – and so maybe not even yours to tell.

Trying to break the silence sometimes makes the silence longer.


When I first started writing, it was to share my story so that someone…just one even…would know they are not alone….as I had felt so alone…

How do you pick it back up when you’ve hidden yourself away for so long. When so much has happened and it doesn’t make sense to write in any kind of chronological order because your heart is so burdened by the now and the most recent past….but everything that happened in the silence has led up to this moment.

If I could show you my tears…what I have wept over…if you could just read my heart…

The words, when spoken outside of my heart, often seem cold and distant.

You can’t see my tears so maybe you can’t see everything that is hidden in the silence.

I’ve written a silence breaking post in my head a thousand times over.

Every time, it starts by asking forgiveness…grace…because I know once I share these months of silence, so much will be disjointed and jumbled and possibly incoherent to anyone outside of my heart.

So where do I start?

By sharing my heart with you? It’s shattered and trying to heal and find…peace in this new place. I started to say joy…hope…but if I’m nothing else in this space, I am transparent and peace is what I am searching for today.

I think I’ve almost found it and then…the moment fades and it almost feels like my search has begun all over again and any progress I had made is lost.

Then I think…I could just share the events of the last few months…tell you how we got to this particular point in time…start with the outer edges of the puzzle and slowly fill in the inner pieces…

Neither of these ways seem to bring words to my fingers…both ways seem to encourage more silence…

The only way I’ve been able to tell about the last year has been in cold facts…facts which do not tell any of the story of my heart. Facts that only build taller fences around my heart…a heart which is so hesitant to open itself up to any more breaks…

A heart which has cracked in so many places and left whole pieces of it somewhere so far away I can’t seem to find them to put them back in place.

So this is my start. I won’t ask for your forgiveness or patience or grace….instead I will assume all of those things….an assumption I made long ago before ever sharing my heart.

Breaking the silence may bring more silence….it may bring more words than I know what to do with…it may bring a mixture of both…hopefully it also leads me to find the peace that has been just out of reach for what seems like the longest time…

This journey of silence has been a long one…formed out of a broken – and often still breaking – heart.

Perhaps breaking the silence will begin the journey of recovering the pieces of my broken heart.



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Made Well

It can’t be coincidence that Jenny Simmons published two books, in two years, both at a time when I needed to hear the exact words she wrote.

About a year ago, I was reading The Road to Becoming and learning to realize I was still on that road…that it was okay to still be on that road…that I was becoming something more even in the middle of feeling like I wasn’t becoming anything.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I found out I got to be on the launch team for Jenny’s newest book, Made Well…Finding wholeness in the everyday sacred moments…

I got the ARC (Advanced Readers Copy – book launchers get the coolest acronyms!) soon after that, opened it up and the tears started rolling…

“We live in the heartbreaking tension of the now and the not yet.”

When your husband goes to a 14 month rehab so he can come home and never drink again…except…that isn’t your reality.


“I longed for a miracle, and yet I knew enough about the way this broken world works that I also wanted to protect myself. I just couldn’t figure out how.”

When you tell yourself this is it, this is what is going to work…because you can’t prepare yourself for it not working….because it’s been too many times and you are too broken to go through this even one more time…when you need this to work…to be the last time…all the while trying to decide what you’ll do when it isn’t….knowing there is no way to make that decision before you’re living it…maybe not even while you’re living it.


“The pain was too great and I was too broken.”

When you told him before he left…I can’t go through this again. I don’t want to. I will….but I don’t want to…and then….there you are…going through it…all over again…


“The miracle we prayed for hadn’t happened.”

When you trusted that this time was the last time. When you prayed for his recovery and dealt with all the things alone…made all the decisions while he was gone…were careful not to burden him with financial or parenting struggles when he came home because you worried that putting that on him would be too much for him to handle sober…


When you do all of those things…alone…and he still relapses…

When your miracle doesn’t happen….when the answer to your prayers doesn’t look the way you need it to look…when the answer is silence…when the answer is not yet…

You can still be made well.

God is still good.

God still chooses you.

God still sees you and loves you and cares for you and wants good things for you.

Check out Made Well by Jenny Simmons…available on Amazon and all major book retailer websites.

Go…click…buy…read…highlight…keep an extra copy on hand for the friend who is still waiting for her miracle too….




Posted in Addiction, Addiction is a family affair, Addison Road, Alcoholism, Amazon, christian books, Dealing with relapse, Jenny Simmons, Marriage, Mom of girls, Prayer, Recovery, the Road to Becoming, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Just Do the Next First Thing

3:48 am

I think I’m almost tired enough to fall asleep but he’s awake now, turning the TV on.

I try to cover my head with the sheet but it doesn’t help. I try a pillow, but it’s already so hard to breathe I’m afraid I might suffocate.

I ask him to turn the TV down but either he doesn’t hear me or he’s asleep again.

I turn over and let the tears fall on my pillow again, start to wipe my eyes and remember I didn’t take my makeup off.

My suitcase lays beside the bed, still packed. Knowing I’m only home for a few days. Thinking if I don’t unpack the days will go by more quickly and I’ll survive them.

5:14 am

He’s awake, out of bed. I hear the familiar sounds of him getting ready for work.

I want to get up and tell him we can’t just pretend life is normal again, but I can’t move.

6:25 am

I hear him walking up beside me to kiss me goodbye. Like he does every morning. Like this is a normal morning. I protest his leaving. It falls on deaf ears as he walks away.

8:22 am

I must’ve finally fallen asleep. I am awakened by a text message. I pull my laptop onto the bed. The world hasn’t stopped. I still need to work.

A friend who knows this world I live in first hand texts me. Prays me through surviving the morning. Reminding me to just do the next thing.

I can’t. Not yet.

So she tells me to remember to breathe. She tells me I can do that.

She has no idea how important that reminder is right now.

Eventually I make it from the bed to the chair in the living room. Make my coffee.

The tears won’t stop.

More texts.IM’s. Emails. Work.

Offers to come here. To pick me up. But I can’t face people right now.

I need something out of my bag but I can’t manage to get up and get it.

My phone is at 9% and I am sitting here waiting for it to turn off. One less way for anyone to reach me.

11 am

I join a conference call for work and I have to say hello. I hit mute as quickly as possible. The call goes on and the laughter is just more evidence of life going on around me and I can’t control the tears.

But I can control who hears them.

I don’t even hear them myself. Silent tears. I don’t allow myself to make a sound.

11:52 am

I keep expecting a text from him. I try to decide what I will say to him when he gets home.

Nothing is all I can think of. I think maybe I could just hide in one of the girls’ bedrooms this weekend.

He kept telling me last night I can’t blame myself. It’s all I do.


This is happening to me. I know it’s happening to him too, but I am not an active or willing participant. I am just a casualty with a front row seat and with no say on what happens next.

I try to imagine how this weekend will go. A dozen scenarios if he keeps drinking. A dozen if he doesn’t.

They don’t matter. It’s all outside of my control. My needs are second. Always. My wants…I can’t see that they even matter.

I play this song on repeat in my head.

Thy Will Be Done (Hillary Scott)

“I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done


I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store”

That’s the only next thing I can do.

I try to remember how I survived this the last time. I think I must have been stronger then.

Or maybe just not broken in to so many pieces. I remember telling him the last time that I couldn’t go through this again. Then quickly changing my words to – I will, but I don’t want to…

I try to remember feeling like I couldn’t pick up the pieces but always managing to find a way.

I can’t remember yet. I can’t remember what the next first thing is.

Except writing. Writing is healing to me. So I sit here and write.

And breathe.

I can do that.


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Saturday Thoughts

My husband is at a men’s retreat so I thought I would mow. 

When Rob mows, the yard is so pretty. Nice straight lines…

When I mow…curves…yep. That’s the word that comes to mind. 

I think when I mow. My mind is apparently pretty curvy. 

My neighbor started mowing his yard too. His grass is greener. No. Literally. 

Also. He mows in straight lines. 

I wonder if we’ll go get a spreader and some seed after church tomorrow. I think it’s supposed to rain in a few days and we should do it the day before it rains. 

I should write a blog post about the thoughts I think while I’m mowing. Wait. Who am I? Jen Hatmaker? No. I am not. Everyone wants to hear about JHat’s thoughts. Me. Probably not so much. 

I should’ve worn something with pockets so I could have my phone with me. 

I should probably move the grill so I can mow that little section. 

Is that line from 2 seconds ago or the last time Rob mowed? 

I should probably mow in between the lines just in case. 

I should really move the grill. Where is the handle to roll it?

I should probably figure out what to make for dinner. It would be nice if I actually cooked. The girls won’t eat anything I pinned on Pinterest this morning. 

I hope I’m getting some sun. Maybe I should go back to tanning beds. I don’t have time to lay out. But tanning beds = skin cancer. And they are not free like the sun is. 

Maybe I can start coming home at lunch and laying out. 

Do I need to move the grill?

Whoa. The property line is way further over than I thought. Is that a new wheel line or old wheel line? 

We need a fence. 

And a pool. I can see myself jumping in the pool after mowing. 

I wonder if I’ll finish the yard before Rob gets home. 

How is it a retreat when it’s less than 24 hours?

I need a retreat. 4 days. In a hotel. By myself. Preferably at a beach. 

Rob should take the girls camping soon. Then I can have a retreat at my house. Alone. 

I can’t  forget to put the gas can back. 

I need to move the car before Rob gets home. And the tetherball. 

I really need to work this weekend. Maybe I can just get up really early and go into the office early Monday and get some work done before anyone gets in. 

I really don’t like getting up early. I’ve been getting up really early the past few weeks. I’m ready for that to be over. 

I wish the girls liked spinach. Spinach dip would be good for dinner. 

I wonder what time it is. 

Yeah. I’m not moving the grill. 

Don’t forget to put the gas can back. 

I need to move the car. 

Oops. Guess I should’ve moved the tetherball first…

Wonder if anyone will notice?

Yay! 44 minutes and 4,982 Fitbit steps just for mowing! 

We need a pool. 

Happy Saturday y’all! 

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Growing Up Fast

My baby went to her first formal tonight. 

We did makeup at Sephora (they’re amazing btw)…

Hair at Cosmetique (even more amazing!)

Went home and she got all dressed up. 

And I’m sitting here wondering when she grew up…

Happy Friday y’all! 

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Silent Sunday V Day


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