The Chocolate Frog

The last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind, which can explain to you as to why it has been 2 weeks since I have posted anything. While I am making it a goal to post a new blog post every 2 weeks, I try to post via Instagram and Facebook little snippets of my life in between posts. Well that has not happened as you probably have noticed. If you are a regular follower of mine, you know that I am currently in my graduate program of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. If you are new to my story, welcome to the show! It is filled with chaos, laughter, and lots and lots of tears. Because my degree is online, part of my graduate program requirement is to attend several on-campus intensives for a week at a time. Last week was my first intensive on-campus and it was one for the books!

My oldest child is almost 13 and in his 13 years of life, I have never been away from him for more than a few days at a time. When I have been gone for longer stretches, I have always had a child with me. I have never been alone for more than an afternoon. My intensive, including travel time, required me to be away for 6 days. Yes you read that right, 6 whole days. I was nervous to be away for that long but excited at the same time. One of my best friends is also in the same program with me so we planned our intensive together. She flew into Detroit from her home state of Oklahoma and the next day, we started our travel down to Virginia for school. The drive down was pretty awesome. We talked through our stories, listened to the best 80’s and 90’s music and Linkin Park, and ate all of the snacks. Because what 10 hour road trip is complete without snacks?

Once we got down there, we settled into our hotel and stressed about the week of school and what was to come. We thought our biggest stressors would be about school. OH MY GOSH we were sooooo wrong! We stayed at what turned out to be the hotel from hell. From Sunday night into Tuesday evening we experienced the following: a tub that wouldn’t drain, a dead roach on the wall and boogers on the bathroom wall, a room change into a room that reeked like cigarette smoke, a room change into another room which had no hot water and our fridge stopped working sometime Tuesday when we were in class which resulted in the loss of around $50.00 worth of food. By that point we had had it! After numerous phone calls and run arounds with management, they refunded us our remaining stay so we could leave and go to another hotel. On our way out we found a bag of men’s dirty underwear THAT WAS NOT THERE THE NIGHT BEFORE! Once we settled into our new hotel, the rest of the week was easy peasy. We survived the week and made it home safely.

This morning was my first morning solo since I got back and I was reminded how exhausted I am still from last week. It was mentally and emotionally draining. I still haven’t finished unpacking and I miss my best friend terribly. **On a side note, you all are going to be meeting her so super soon as we are collaborating on some exciting projects!!** I feel like I can’t catch up. This morning when I was trying to figure out what to make for breakfast for me and Bean (formally known as Nugget), he wanted a chocolate frog we had gotten from Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Exhausted, I said sure. Because some days it is perfectly okay to have chocolate for breakfast!

I look around at everything I need to do and want to do. I see bills piling up, dishes in the sink, homework assignments that are due, groceries that need to be bought, and in the midst of all of the chaos, I look at my 3 year old savoring a chocolate candy with a big smile on his face. Absolute, pure joy. It reminds me that in the midst of the chaos, we can still find joy in the little things. That although life surrounds us and at times, pulls us in to the point where we feel like we are drowning, God wants us to take a breath and find joy and peace in His presence. I need that reminder often and I love the ways that God reveals the reminder to me. This morning it was in the form of my precious 3 year old and his chocolate frog.

“I leave you peace. My peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled. Don’t be afraid.” John 14:27 ICB

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