Fourteen Valentines Days

Super Heroes Do Exist!

Sitting around a dinner table with my hilarious single friends, I was asked a question.  Someone in the group asked me,  "if you were to ever remarry, would you want to have more children?"

While a single mom of three kids I met a bold and active group of friends through the church I attended.  On the weekends that my children went to be with their dad, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with other singles (especially since I became a mom at 19).  Playing paddle ball at the park, going to movies, bowling and floating down the Boise River was how I got to spend some of my single days.  When I had my three kids with me, my friends always made me feel welcome to bring them along to join in the fun.

 I am particularly grateful for the friends I chose to be with during that time in my life.  I was slightly out of my comfort zone because   I didn’t quite know how I fit into the single parent scene.  I knew that my choices were going to either help me grow or bring me down to a place that would affect my little family.  I saw some friends choose to associate with people who pushed them towards great things and a life of abundance.  Then there were the others who took another route that was like going down a windy road to only end up in a ditch.

Carefully,  I considered the question my friend had posed.  Around the table, all eyes were gazing at me in anticipation of what my answer would be.  I began, “only if the man I marry is a super hero.”  I laughed. They all laughed.  The night went on. 

I had no idea at the time; my super hero was at that table.  He listened to my every word and come to find out; he watched my every move that night. 

I had very high expectations of who I would consider for a husband.  I honestly didn’t think he was out there and I was perfectly fine with that.  I had learned my lesson and knew it was better to be single than to hastily choose a spouse.

I have celebrated fourteen Valentines Days with my super hero. I gave birth to two children with my superhero. I have cried on the shoulder of my super hero.  I’ve raised 3 kids with my super hero and in the process of raising our two.  My super hero has seen the best of me and has seen the worst.  He is in love with me, I can tell.  I can tell by the words he says to me and the way he looks at me.  I can tell by the sacrifice he makes and by the effort he puts into creating a godly family for us.

What makes a super hero a super hero?

  1. He loves my kids.  As a step Dad, Brian wanted to love our kids in a way that would make them feel like we were all on the same team.

  2. He puts me first.  Brian has shown his love to me by putting me first.  He has a good balance of his career and family life.

  3. He listens to me.  Being married before means I had a bit more baggage than what Brian had.  He listens to me as I process through my feelings, even when I sound like a record going around and around.

  4. He is patient.  Although Brian had never been a dad before, he showed a lot of patience with towards his instant family.

  5. He encourages me.  I’ve never had anyone encourage me the way Brian does.  At first it was hard to accept that someone could see so much good in me.  Now, I listen to his encouragement and accept it as the Lord speaking His life giving words to me, using Brian as the messenger. 

  6. He is honest.  Brian doesn’t let sin control his life.  He is quick to confess his sin, leaving no door for the enemy to get into our marriage.

  7. He is dependable.  I can depend on his godly character.  He is who he says he is. Because Christ abides in him, he lives a life of integrity. 

  8. He is humble.  Although pride shows itself in us all, Brian walks in humility more than anyone I know. 

The super hero I married is a man who had his life transformed by the love of Jesus.   Changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, he has blessed his family in so many ways.   These past fourteen years have been the best years of my life.


To the Woman Who Changed My Life

We met when I was just nineteen years old. I was barely out of high school. A  newly married woman, and you came into my life.  I was a confident girl for my age, born into a family of 11 kids.  I was loved lavishly and taught how to care for others because I was an aunt almost at birth.  I listened to my older siblings and sought out advice on numerous life events.  Admittedly, I believed I had my life together.  I thought I was an exceptionally mature young woman who could handle anything that came my way. Then you came into my life and you taught me more about myself and more about the world.  I quickly learned that it was better for me to humble myself than to suffer through life’s struggles alone.  Now, as a middle aged woman I can look back at the past twenty five years and ponder the remarkable way I have been blessed by you.

                You are and always have been very different from me, yet I am drawn to you because of those differences.  Your creativity taught me to step outside of my own box, my box, the one I put myself in.  I thought there was just one way to look at life, until I met you.  I became more comfortable being who God created me to be.  Sometimes that means I’m just a silly mom singing made up songs that don’t make sense with a little dance on the side.  Other times it means that I get in the kitchen and try out  a new recipe or set my sewing machine up and create something.  I appreciate the artistic side of people so much more because of your artistic abilities.

                You taught me compassion.  I saw you reach out to people over and over again that were not accepted by the community that we engaged in.  You saw their potential, similar to how Jesus see’s our potential and seeks us out.  You made people feel comfortable and better about themselves because you accepted them, similar to how Jesus accepts us just the way we are. 

                You taught me to persevere.  You are not a quitter and because I’ve had the pleasure of knowing you, I’ve gotten to see how you persevered through many testy events.  I’ve always been a fighter, but seeing your strong character in action created an even stronger will in me.  I’m not a quitter, quite likely because of you.  I’ve persevered through some events that I would have never chosen to go through.  The death of my parents, a divorce and several moves weren’t the ideal plan.  I’m stronger now and I’m not afraid of adversity because I didn’t give in to the temptation of quitting. At the time, growing pains were not convenient, but my heart has grown stronger and wiser because of that pain.

                You have high expectations for yourself.   I’ve learned that it’s ok to give myself a break by watching how you are at times too hard on yourself.  I’ve pushed myself plenty of times because I wanted you to be proud of me.   You always seem to know what you want and you make a plan to be successful in that.  When it doesn’t go perfectly, you adjust your plan a bit. 

                I’ve learned to love with an unconditional love because of you.  I have the kind of love for you that I don’t have to work hard to muster up, the kind that just exists powerfully.   My daughter, who was given to me so young, you have changed my life in so many ways.  When I look at you I cannot help but see in just a small way how the Lord must look at me.  I am fully accepted, fully loved and fully equipped.  You are a reminder that I belong to someone else.  It’s been many years since I lost my parents.  Parents are significant and influential in whom we become.  Although, I’ve experienced more of my life without my parents than with them, I have a deep sense that I am not alone.   I’ve had the Lord to guide me, whisper to me and even stop me at pivotal times in my life.  My life is different because of divine intervening. Your life is different because of how the Lord changed me. 

                I’m delighted to be your Mother.  I’m happy to be your friend.  I’m thrilled that I’ve had meaningful, consistent learning experiences since the day we met.  You have been instrumental in shaping my character.

You make me proud!!

Your Mom

Our Step Family Interview in the Huffington Post

     The kids were displaced by divorce and everything in their lives changed. What was once familiar became unpredictable. When I married Brian, it was a challenge to cultivate a home where every member felt safe to be themselves.

      I could see at times the kids were walking on eggshells because there was someone in our home that wasn’t their dad. The kids weren’t always fond of sharing me with their stepdad so we came up with a plan: My husband and I took turns spending time with the kids one-on-one, which wasn’t always easy after we had our two youngest children. We realized we had to be intentional with it, though.

For the full article

Step Dad Advice from Brian Hauff

Like many step parents, I was rejected quite a few times.  On numerous occasions I was told that I was not their Dad.  Even though I clearly knew that I wasn’t their Dad, every time I heard it I felt the sting of rejection.  I had to let the kids work through their feelings and still be kind.  Although I made some mistakes, I tried to not let my feelings of rejection affect how I treated them.

For the full article click here:

God See's the Beauty that We Can't See

                Standing in the kitchen first thing in the morning, my hair a mess and I was still in my pajamas.  Going over my schedule for a women’s retreat I had organized, I hear a sweet little voice. 

                “Is it just me, or are you more beautiful today than you were yesterday?, the most amazing, sweet, tender, caring and adorable six year old says to me. 

                My eyes welled up with tears and I hugged this little boy who loves his Momma more than words.  God used him that day to tell me that even though I didn’t feel pretty, I was beautiful to the Lord.  He see’s what we cannot see or can’t accept.  Sometimes it’s our own negative talk and sometimes it’s the words of others that have so deeply hurt us.  We believe we are not good enough or we can’t be beautiful to anyone. 

                I grew up in a large family, being the ninth child out of eleven; I was shown a lot of love.  I had sisters that let me sneak in bed with them every night and made me feel special.  I had brothers that would take me out for a burger and scared any guy I ever brought around.  There were benefits to being in a large family.

                When my ex-husband told me that nobody else would ever love me, I was pretty sure he was wrong.  Those words still went into my head and tried to wipe away any truth I believed about love. 

               Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in His time

                You might have been told all kinds of negative things about who you are.  You can’t go back and change that but you can change the words that ring in your children’s ears.  Do your children feel as though they are the most creative, caring, capable person around?  If you haven’t spoken words of life into your children, you can start now.  I guarantee it will be life changing for them.  I can’t guarantee that you will see the results of your kind words tomorrow, but I know that words are powerful.  They have the power to lift up and to tear down.  I cannot unhear the things I’ve heard, but I can speak words that will heal a hurting heart.  No matter the age your children are, they need to hear you speak words that show them they are worthy of your love. 

1. Stop believing lies....YOU are beautiful

2.  Speak Life Giving, Affirming Words to your Children

3.  Be part of the healing process for your children