In My Soul

Tears for Fears….and lots of sweat

I’m trying a new gym right now.  One of my commitments to myself through this season is that I will take care of me.  Today was my 3rd workout there and 2 of the 3 days I left, I couldn’t hold back the tears.

If you’d like to listen to “Shout” by Tears for Fears while you read this (which is what I’m listening to while I write), here’s a link on YouTube. I don’t even really know what this song is about…but it came to mind and it fits.  SHOUT! SHOUT! Let it all out!

I am trying to process day by day the transition that’s coming. Each “last”, which there have been lots of lately, brings me closer to the day I’m dreading.  The day Kai stops sleeping/waking/eating/messing up her room/playing with her brother/doing her makeup… here the majority of the time.  I know this.  I’m spending time in my thoughts, getting moving, laughing with friends, being intentional, and the tears are justified.  But leaving the gym? Really?

I pity anyone who saw me driving home.  I’m sweating, shaking because I exhausted my muscles, (maybe speeding a bit as I know Kelly is headed to work and I need to get home to Colt) and then to top it off, I can feel my face turning into an ugly cry.  Really??

Come on!  The workout, endorphins, they are supposed to help.  I guess in the moments of physical exhaustion, I don’t have the strength to hold it all in.  And Satan, he know JUST where and when to attack.  He’s sneaky like this.  You know I’m going to be authentic– here were my thoughts as I drove home:

You did this- you let her go.

Man it’s been a while since you’ve worked out- gross.  You look gross.  Why’d you let yourself go like that?  

No wonder your life isn’t what you want it to be.

Seriously.  How dare these creep into my head, these lies, as hard as I work to focus on the positives and trust in the Creator who ADORES me & knows the outcome of all this uncertainty. So, as I prep my chicken for later, I had to physically say truths out loud.

She’s a child of God.  He has a plan for her life, just like He has a plan for mine.

Yes, I put my family’s needs first, I’m tired, I like oreos- but I’m making changes.  Better, not best right now.  I’m not gross.  I won’t be gross.  Healthy steps each day (*Note to self, throw out the leftover oreos from last weekends party)

My life is just fine- and I know the areas where I need to work.  SHUT UP!

Shout, shout, let it all out.  Thank you Tears For Fears.  I am fearful.  I am trusting at the same time.  And I’m hurting.  And that isn’t going to just magically go away.  I wish I could do a certain number of burpees and Poof! I looked exactly the way I want, my fat % was in check and my BMI was perfect.  But it doesn’t work that way.  And this season is going to take hard work too. And consistency.  And lots of positive self talk.

I hope in whatever you may be walking through when you read this, that you know you aren’t alone.  And when you have a setback, a day where you think “why even bother, I’m a failure”, you remember you aren’t alone.  I’m so thankful for my community that lifts me up, checks in on me, and where I can serve others as well- this is important for success- embrace them.  I’m so thankful that the last few years have been prepping me to curl up in the arms of my Creator.  He knows me- the good and the bad.  He loves me.  He comforts me.  And afterwards He encourages me to be strong and courageous and keep going.  But it’s not just me.  Each of us is made in the image of God and we all matter.

And you can do it too.  Keep going.  Your tears are justified but they don’t hold you back!!


In My Soul, Raising Teens

My Summer List..Strong & Courageous

It’s already here! The last day of school…..I want/need/plan to be extremely intentional this summer.  Throughout the 10 weeks Kai has of summer, 5 of them are with me…and her brother…and her stepdad….and her beloved dogs Willie & Honey (Willie sleeps in her room even when she’s gone; in her bed when she’s here).  And…Then. Life. Flips. Upside. Down. Continue reading

In My Soul

Sipping Wine. Alone. At a Table Set for 10.

You can read this title a couple ways:

  1. Luxurious.  How did this mom get time alone?…and why don’t I have any?!
  2. Sad.  That poor girl.  Was she stood up? Why is she alone at such a big table?
  3. Wino.  Wow.  That’s sad.  Some people just can’t control their drinking.

Let me tell you; it was luxurious!

As I continue down this journey of parenting, I’m FIRMLY aware that it’s important imperative I take care of me.   Continue reading

In My Soul, Raising Teens

A Moms How To: 13 Reasons Why

My Mom heart is just sick.

Over a month ago, Kai’s SGL (small group leader, through our Middle School church program) texted me asking if Kai was watching or talking about a show called 13 Reasons Why.  Nope- never heard of it, either of us.  Applause to Bridget for staying on top of teen trends!!

Time passes….life gets busy.  Kelly & I attend a parent workshop and they mention it.  I see Kai for about 2 hours between that and our back to back separate trips…. it doesn’t come up.  Then— Continue reading

In My Soul, Raising Teens, Raising Tots

Podcasts and Marbles…. My Mom Brain (Authentic Ramblings)

For as little as I’ve sat down to write lately, I think about you all the time.  Once in a while I wonder “does it even matter?” and then some kind words were shared with me today– that story may be another blog post in the future!– that my blog had touched her.  So yes- to 2 of you (that Mom and MY Mom), it matters 🙂

It feels as if a whirlwind is swirling around in my brain! Decision fatigue, over-scheduling…Getting ready for Good Friday and Easter at work, husband traveled and of course while he was gone I got sick… Wonky schedules for Kai and the start of soccer season (Go Hawks!) with practices and games…we ‘re just out of sync.  But I know it’s just a phase that’s going to pass shortly. A consistent schedule will always be a struggle for me.  And add to it, I have T.P.A.D.  Yup.  That’s right…there’s FINALLY a diagnosis that makes sense for me!

Podcasts from ASlobComesClean.comThanks to ‘Dr Nony’, the creator of a kindred spirit who puts how we deal with “mess” and cleaning into words for me, I now know a major piece of what holds me back is TPAD.   I feel like my whole life my mom has asked me “what’s wrong with you? You can’t do THAT much in that amount of time” or I can’t for the life of me keep straight how much time has passed between events, life stages, meetings, cleaning, etc.  Yikes.  BUT, their’s comfort in numbers and I’m not alone.  If you find yourself relating to me as you read, you may want to check out Nony (Dana is her real name).  I think you’ll enjoy her as much as I have!

For today, I just want to share a little inspiration.  In the middle of the chaos…really that’s my life not just a play on the name of this blog!!… God is showing me how I’m adored.  How I matter to him…and how when I seek him out, he answers in ways I can’t imagine.

Time is ticking– my weeks of marbles are growing slim with Kai in my home.  This makes me nervous and each morning (& often throughout the day) I pray for renewed calm and peace regarding this decision.  I’ve spent the last few days thinking of ways to be intentional in this time.  Guide her, make sure she hears truth about herself and life….I keep meaning to check in with Moms who have sent kids off to college… it’s pretty similar I think.  We binged a few episodes of The Voice while I was sick and although we got behind on a few other things, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. I love that kid!

Colt is making progress in his therapy.  We still have a journey ahead but this past week in particular he’s brought SO MUCH laughter to my days.  (You can check out some of these moments on my Instagram page- mandyhenry31).  I can’t forget the dream I had of the little boy Kelly and I would have…. I know he’s that little boy.  He may not be able to sit still for prolonged periods of time— or ANY some days– but he’s bursting with personality and really does round out our home.

Life may not fit in a pretty little box, the scrapbook pages of this phase may be stuck together and hard to follow along through, but it’s my #AdoredChaos.  Each day, if I look, there is JOY to be found.  From the smile on someone else’s face, dancing in our undies or with pots on our heads in the kitchen, or sharing the couch with a girl going through the Mean Middle School years, JOY is all around if we just look for it.

This weekend is a time to remember and reflect on the Extreme Sacrifice Jesus made to clear our slates.  We can live free with hope of a future in relationship with him. Nothing gets sweeter than that!  Happy Resurrection Day! Image result for resurrection cross image

In My Soul, Raising Teens

Encouraged me….Sharing a Devotional

It’s Tuesday.  It’s Spring Break for some, back from Spring Break for others.  We all know even if you get a vacation in, not all parents get a BREAK this Spring.  But in these moments, having someone in your circle who sees something and thinks of you is a wonderful break.  Knowing I’ve been thought of, that I’m not alone even when I feel (for a moment) that I am….

I’m not ready to post details yet, but the tensions surrounding Kai’s upcoming move are high.  Conversations go from heated to boiling quickly, and with each passing day, an anxiety about her not living here with me on a regular basis grows.  Combined with everyday life….this devotional emailed to me yesterday by a dear supporter and mentor was PERFECT!  So, I’d like to share it with you with my personal thoughts in pink , I hope it encourages you too! *It’s from

Today’s Verse for 03/27/2017

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. — Romans 8:18


Is it worth it? Oh yes! It’s more than worth it. We can’t begin to imagine the glory God has in store for us. No matter how hard, bad, or painful  our trip through this world may be, our future with God holds something incomparably better. (Emphasis added by me…. I don’t think my trip ranks near as hard as others I have the privilege of walking beside.  But this current leg of the trip is painful). Does that mean my difficulties are meaningless or insignificant? Absolutely not! But our future glory with God does mean that it is more than worth it to hang in, to be faithful, and to receive his glorious reward! When I have the opportunity to talk with people, I get a lot of responses like “well, you certainly are stronger than I could be.”  NO.  NO. I. AM. NOT.  It is not my strength that pulls me through.  I know that from the 37 years behind me where I didn’t hang in very well, I wasn’t faithful and I created more of a mess than walking in his glorious reward.  In the middle of my moments of anger and/or tears, I have to say out loud:

  • my focus is on you 
  • don’t let these things distract me
  • i know you have a plan that’s WAYYY bigger than i can imagine

What else do I have? Being consumed by fear, doubt, anger and worry are NOT how I want to live!  I’m seeking the JOY even in the circumstances that don’t feel joyful.  I feel that JOY, I know where it comes from, so even now, in a world where pain is swirling all around us, I know where my HOPE and JOY come from.  Through my many moments of weakness, THAT’S what gives me strength.  (and a good firm hug!!)


Father, I confess that I don’t like suffering, pain, disappointment, persecution, or sorrow. I do, however, believe that your promises are true. I hold on to the promise that the glory you have in store for me is far greater than the difficulties I face. Strengthen me for the days ahead and use me to bring you glory no matter what my current situation may be. Thank you for showing me the ripple effect sharing my journey is having on others.  Thank you for bringing along those who have a brave, inspiring & encouraging story of their own that I can hear and learn from.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to

In My Soul, Raising Teens, Raising Tots

7 Ways for Moms to Adore Themselves 

If you scroll back to the beginning, there came a point where I forgot to love myself.  But this blog is about reminding myself that I’m Adored– and so are you! I am in contact with Moms ALL. THE. TIME.  So many Moms of different ages and different walks of life.  And guess what? We all struggle with loving ourselves!  So here’s my list of how I remember to love myself…. and No, this doesn’t come natural to put loving myself first.  But I’ve learned it’s important, so here we go!

Colt is playing independently outside with his water table (WOW!) as I write this on my phone, so let’s just get right to it. I need to be better at loving ME if I’m going to love the other people & pets in my home!!

1- set the timer. 15 minutes the kids play quietly, you get to read, flip through a magazine. Kick your feet up. (Hope for the best!)

2- just like your husband should get time with his buddies (golf, poker, hiking, sporting events, whatever) you need to schedule time with your girlfriends. Dinner, shopping, coffee, The Bachelor Season Finale party, etc. LAUGH and cry with them!

3- take a shower. That’s great in itself (& sometimes a major milestone of the day) Add: Do a face mask. Pluck your eyebrows. Shave your legs. Feel human– even if there is a kid screaming for 10 minutes in the other room. They are developing their lungs….

4- have a quiet time. I like to read an inspirational blog post, Bible verse, chapter (or a few pages) of a book. Maybe you like to meditate or practice yoga. But steal some time- maybe 10-20 minute blocks for some quiet. (MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM…..)
5- have your husband ask, pick you up and take you on a date(you most likely need to give him instructions) Even if the neighbor kid watches the kids and you walk around the block holding hands. We may not get to be Cinderella in her fancy dress at the ball, but we should feel like a princess once in a while. #PrinceCharming

6- plan a day away. Aim for twice a year if you can. Stay at a friend’s house when they are on vacation if you don’t have the funds, get a hotel room with room service a robe and control of the remote if you can. Bring your journal, or a magazine, or just sleep. Time for you is important (see the theme here?) so plan for it.

7- the most important! SAY NICE THINGS TO YOURSELF. Yes. OUTLOUD. No one is listening- walk by a mirror and say “hey girl! Good to see you today! Wow! I love your hair!!” Or “girl, your butt looks great in those jeans (ok, yoga pants….) Love yourself!

I love you… you need to love you….if you are going to love the chaos, you have to start with your own! This week, WHEN you take some time to love yourself, share it on Social Media with me by using the hashtag #AdoredChaos!

PS– I LOVE the App Bitmoji….Throughout this post you met Mandy, the Bitmoji version!