By the time I got out of the shower, the tears were falling.

It doesn’t take long to disintegrate when the fiber of your being is worn thin.

And I am.

I am paper-thin. Stretched. Brittle.

I feel impatient and tired and weary. I poured everything I’ve got into making summer fun for my kids. And now that it’s over, I am spent.

I’m not up to tackling a week of solo-parenting.

I. Am. Not.

But I have no choice.

Corey has to travel. It’s part of his job. And I’m thankful he provides for our family. I do not take it for granted.

But six nights of putting four kids to bed by myself? Six dinners with only kids to keep me company? Six days of school carpool, no matter if Kieran just fell asleep in his own bed for the first time all day? Six days of battling my strong-willed son without backup? Six days of dread instead of six days of enjoyment?

It is overwhelming for me right now.

So yesterday morning, I broke.

My normal happy-go-lucky, chin-up, rosy--glasses outlook gave way to a pile of shattered fragments.

I fell to my knees and put my head in my hands and let the tears spill onto Psalms.

And there, in my brokenness, I worshiped.
God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah
- Amy Grant, Better Than A Hallelujah
I am inexpressibly thankful God takes us as we are, even when – or maybe especially when – we are broken.

I am thankful the light shines best through the thin.


  1. Oh how I have been there. Hang in there. You are looking in the right place for strength. Hugs and prayers :)

  2. When my husband had to leave for a few days this summer, I insisted on going home to my parents for the week. I think he was only gone for two nights. And I only have two children.

    Of course, it WAS a nice excuse to get to spend some time with my folks ...

    I am praying for you, my friend. Praying for grace, for strength, and for hope. God is good!

  3. You are speaking to my heart this morning. My husband travels a lot and I'm never prepared for the loneliness of it. Just the fact of 'doing life' without him for a week. I hate it. Praying for you!

  4. I know what you're talking about - there's something so desperately hard about solo parenting.
    Praying for you, as well.

  5. Bless your heart. Hang in there my friend, and keep your eyes on Him.

  6. My husband travels for work as well (sometimes for several weeks at a time when he goes overseas) and it is incredibly hard. The only way I can do it is with God - he sustains me in ways I never imagines and he provides for me through his church. Friends will offer to babysit for an hour or drop off a meal... its amazing.

  7. Well, dear KNOW that I know how you feel! I don't just sympathize, I empathize! And it sounds like your other readers do too! "This too shall pass,"...and He will give you the strenth to get through it. And sometimes, having a good ol' bawl..on your knees, is just what 'The Doctor' ordered...believe me...I know! And somehow, with His help, you pick yourself up, wipe your eyes and nose, and continue on. Now, go and have a beautiful you! (And call me next time...we can probably cry together!) ;-)

  8. I typically lurk, but I am coming forward to encourage you to consider a "mother's helper". A teenage girl who might stop over during the hours after school to perhaps as late as bedtime on some nights to provide you with an extra set of eyes, ears, and arms. I was a mother's helper at one time and my experience was so incredibly positive. I worked for a family that treated me as if I was one of them, and in turn received an additional helping of attention from them that my family couldn't give me at this time in my life. My experience was with a fellow church family. You never know what you might be giving at the same time as you are receiving.

  9. It's so hard. I am a single one is ever returning to help me. But God can handle our stress and he will bring you joy, even in the chaos. Hang in there. It's tough, but you can do it!

  10. Oh, Kelly. This gave me chills. The beauty of Amy's lyrics combined with the raw, knowing pain I feel in empathy for you are overwhelming. I will pray so hard for you and the kids and Corey (because it's probably hard on him to leave you, too) this week. Know you are not alone, at least not in spirit. If you need a nice adult conversation, email me and we can chat or instant message or something one evening. I'm thinking of you! UGH. Wish I could do more than that!

  11. Solo parenting is difficult. I hope the 6 days fly by in an oddly speedy and easy way. Praying for all the mercies solo parents need---healthy kids, no calamities, unexpected joys, nice surprises, and rest.

  12. I appreciate your realness conveyed through your post. You are a great writer. I found your blog through my friend, Laura Parker.
    I love how you spoke of brokenness. Growth stems from brokenness. Hold on.

  13. Thank you for this. Though I am not going through anything like what you are. I am broken right now. I have spent much time in prayer.. crying.. pleading.. complaining... My spirit it heavy and though I don't feel Him. I know He's here.

  14. Oh Kelly - oh how I love you and your writing. Is that boundary crossing to say? Well. I do. So there.

    I also know how you feel. If I could come over and give you a hug, I so would.

    Four kids. Four kids is a lovely, wonderfully fun number, but it is also a lot. (Oh how I know it) It's especially a lot with a baby and an absent husband.

    I second, third, fourth, millionth the mother's helper suggestion. Find a nice junior high school girl to come over while you take a break in the other room, read a book, take a shower, whatever. And find a nice older girl to come over once or twice so that you can leave the house alone.

    (Also, you're a wonderful example to me, because where you knelt to find your strength? That's the moment when I would inhale a carton of ice cream or throw something.)

    Hang in there my friend.

  15. I think admitting that we are not strong enough to do it all without feeling overwhelmed actually makes it a little easier to face the task ahead of us. I hope the time flies by. And I totally appreciate the frustration of having to wake a kid up to pick up the others. I hate that.

  16. That was totally me yesterday. Not a second to breathe, it felt like. "I need thee every hour..."

  17. I understand this thinness - of soul not of body. :) Trying to reconnect a little at a time and you have no idea how very happy it made me to see your name today. Praying God is restoring your sweet soul and that He will supernaturally energize you to do all that needs doing. If not, move on down to Alabama and I'll help you take care of those darling children. :)

  18. I am sorry that you are feeling overwhelmed and broken. In a weird way, I am a little jealous of your utter brokeness...does that make sense? It's just that God is there, where you are broken, and I am glad for that, and envious of that, at the same time.
    I am so sorry if this didn't come across right and I pray that He will lift you up again today.

  19. What a beautiful post. what a beautiful truth of HIM shining through most when the vessels of us are the most cracked. so so true.

    praying for you, my friend.

    love, Laura

  20. Praying for God's super natural peace and strength. I've so been there with my husband working and going to school for ministry.

    But God is good and He will carry you thru.

  21. I stumbled on this heart felt post shortly after putting my little one to bed and finishing up some projects at work, and tidying up in the kitchen and … the list goes on as I am sure you know. I find it (oddly enough) that after I go through the “falling on my knees, God give me strength to get through another day” experience, it’s almost as if the mountain lifts off my shoulders and I know in my heart I can do it! A good friend of mine said once “God only gives you what you can handle, good or bad”, I hope things are going well and tons of hugs and kisses from your kids make it all better at the end of the day. Beautiful post, and I thank you for that!

  22. Okay, I know I'm realllly backtracking here. But - I read this post when you published it and it has been on my mind ever since. I read it on a weekend when Gary was gone too. I picked up my phone to call you when I read it, but was afraid I wouldn't be able to speak through my own sobbing! Ugh. What parallel lives we lead, albeit mine in slightly warmer temperatures. :)

    Brittle, thin, spent, fragile... I feel like I'm on the verge of falling apart all too often. What would we ever do without His strength and support? My problem is remembering to call upon Him. But when I do... oh the rewards! Abide, abide, abide...

    Love ya, friend.