Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Making Peace and Preserving Your Heart

on November 29, 2012

I saw this quote the other day and fell in love with it.

I’m going to get real and personal. I believe in transparency. Our faults, pains, failures, triumphs, successes, and strengths make us who we are. If I only wrote about the good, happy, shiny moments, I would be short changing my readers and myself. Life is messy.

I am a child of divorce. Many of our friends and church family would not even realize this fact. I was lucky in many ways. I never saw my parents fight. I was an infant when things ended. My mom married my step dad when I was still young.

It is not easy to blend a family. I have two older brother’s and a sister from my step dad’s first marriage. When I was 8 my little sister came along. My mom has always said that being a step parent is a special calling.

I was blessed to have a step dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that have never treated me as step family. I was thoroughly loved.

Things with my biological father and grandmother have not been as easy. There were many years that we did not have contact. Many missed birthdays, school functions, and concerts. We reconnected when I was in college. He attended my college graduation. They even made it to my wedding, though my step dad gave me away and took the first father/daughter dance.

He earned it. He is the one who saw me every day and came to every half time show and band concert. He is the one my kids call Papaw.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not asking for pity and I do love my biological father. But I have mourned the loss of a real relationship many times over. We reach out but get excuses, unreturned phone calls, and a general lack of participation. I have fought my own pride, hurt, and sinful grudges time and time again. I know God forgives fully, but my human heart goes in stages.

I held the place in my heart for him for far too long. Every broken promise reopened old wounds. I had a dad, but I always longed for what could have been. My dad has never even met E.

I will not hold places for anyone in my children’s lives. They have two grandpas that do participate. The are happy. They are truly and fiercely loved. They are beautiful and amazing. I will not force anyone to be a part of their lives.

I felt compelled to share my story because I know that grieving someone who is still alive can be excruciating and difficult. Some people will stick like glue to us for the long haul but others will be transient. Some just don’t stay. Some will die, move away, or grow apart.

Don’t live with a hole in your heart for what may never come back. Live. Live fully. Choose love and love fully those who you have now. If you waste time with hate or anger, it will take away from your ability to love. Choose forgiveness.

Remember that family is not defined by biology. Your family will be what you make of it. We are born into a family and God sometimes places family in our path along the way. Treasure them all. Make an effort to stay.

With love,

Mama Miller

11 responses to “Making Peace and Preserving Your Heart

  1. yourothermotherhere says:


  2. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing such a personal struggle. I can relate, although I was older than you when my parents divorced. Out of my siblings, I am the only one who still has any kind of relationship with my biological father – he has hurt so many people that even most of my extended family will have nothing to do with him (and I really don’t blame them!). But I chose to ‘live at peace’ so-to-speak with him so long as it depends on me. I don’t want to be the one who shuts the door and walks away. I guess in some ways I am protecting my own heart because I am the type of person who would feel incredibly guilty if I felt that the demise of a relationship were my fault. If it weren’t for my taking initiative and making a point of occasionally pursuing my father and keeping him involved (to an extent) in my life, we would have no relationship. Sad. Like you, I have a step-father though who has been true and loyal and I know would do or give anything for me. I agree with you – treasure the ‘true’ family you have – those who know and love you and are always there for you and try to have forgiveness for those who have let you down, rather than letting bitterness and resentment take over. Blessings 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am his only child but he has been remarried several times and has step children. We invite him to birthday parties and I text him occasional updates but I don’t get my hopes up anymore. He lives about an hour from us and has seen K 3 times and never met E. There are so many kids of divorce navigating parenthood and marriage now. In some ways dealing with a death is easier than dealing with the loss of a relationship. Death is final and clear-cut. Losing a relationship is messy and tends to do yo-yos with your emotions. I’ll think that I have forgiven, grieved, and moved on until new emotions bubble up. I’m sure many people have similar situations with family members and friends.

  3. I really like the quote. Sometimes, I wonder when things don’t work out or go as I think they should. I often end up blaming me when sometimes it really isn’t.

  4. Very well said!! Great post!!

  5. Hi, I wanted to let you know, I just nominated you for 3 awards! please come and see! 🙂 Thanks! 🙂

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