Bitter Sweet Complex

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I’m giving thanks today for how God is working. Thank you for coming along with me on this journey to joyful motherhood!

bitter sweet complex

FishPapa have me this coffee mug as a Christmas gift five years ago. Somehow it made its way out of the cupboard today. I hadn’t seen it in months. And since it makes me laugh every time I see it, I poured myself a cup of decaf and enjoyed it with a Turkey-Shaped Cinnamon Roll.

Everyone was off doing his own thing on the first day of our long break, so I had time to myself to think. And eat a cinnamon roll without having to share. 😉

It’s interesting to reflect back five years and realize, I really was bitter. Not that that’s why my husband gave it to me. He’s always been my biggest encourager.

Bitter Sweet Complex

But, honestly, I really was bitter — about a lot of things. Church, disappointed hopes, lost friendships, a detrimental real estate investment, a lack of financial achievement, failed family relationships; the list goes on.

And now, five years down the line, I don’t feel bitter.

That’s not to say that I don’t still have disappointments; I totally do. Life is far from all glitter and rainbows and clean kitchens around here. BUT, I don’t feel angry in the ways I once did. Even compared to a few weeks ago.

I share this not to say, “Lala! Look at me!” but instead to give you hope. I think in my navel-gazing, I forget that others struggle, too. But, the response to this post is a reminder to me that it’s good for us to share our struggles as well as our triumphs.

God does not leave us where we are! He is moving and shaking us so that we grow and change and mature. If you are a believer, take heart that He is not finished with the good work He has started in you! You will be able to shake off the things that aren’t good for you.

For me that was bitterness. Tomorrow it will be something else, but for now, I will give thanks that He is so good. And the mug really is a joke now.

Take heart! God is not finished with you.

We have so much to thank Him for! Thank you for going on this journey with me, reading my rambles, buying my books, and offering your moral support via emails, comments, and social media. I can’t tell you what a blessing you are to me!

May your Thanksgiving be filled with the hope that only God can give and deliver on!




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  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours today. Love this post!
    YES! The beauty is in the journey. Sometimes we forget that, and think it ends where we are at the moment. But there’s always joy to be found if we keep our perspective.

  2. It is a joy reading about your life, Jessica. You are a wonderful person, wife and mother. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving day with many blessings.
    God bless, Kathy

  3. So much of life is filled with good and bad (or hard) mixed together. I’ve been thinking a lot about paradoxes, the different sides to the same thing. When you get down to it, it’s hard to separate out- this thing was good, that thing was bad. And one good thing about the hard times is that we learn lots of lessons and can grow closer to God through them. 🙂 In her book “Bittersweet,” Shauna Niequist said, “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”

  4. Hi Jessica,

    I love Jesus too. Thanks for sharing. I do so love how God is always growing us up in Him. Hope your time with family is grand.

  5. Thank you for the reminder that God is not finished with me yet (thank goodness!). After a cross-country move from Ohio to San Diego and all the craziness that came with that, I feel like I’ve been stretched to my limit and then some. Yet when I look at my own situation too much, it’s paralyzing. I have to look to God and start serving others to get out of my pity party funk. 😉 And God really is so good – that’s not just a saying to us anymore!

      1. Thanks, Jessica! We are finally getting our bearings a little more, but still seeking for His purpose for us here. Pray for wisdom for us as we deal with all the day to day “stuff” while keeping the bigger picture in mind. Oh – and do you know a good place we can take our kids to help them experience giving and serving? We used to go to a downtown food kitchen in Cleveland, but I don’t know this area well enough yet. Thank you for your blog and the consistent encouragement & inspiration. 🙂

        1. I looked at your blog…. are you near Poway? That’s not an area I know. We’re in the North County. But, you could check with local churches and see how they reach out. Also, the Ronald McDonald House at Rady may have some needs you could fill.