Up until 2pm yesterday there were 11 people living in my home. Yes, ELEVEN! It’s not that we have a huge house… it’s more that we have huge hearts.

Opening up our home to those who need a place to rest their head has been in my family blood since I was a kid. Often I’d wake up and head into the living room to watch Saturday morning cartoons and there would be someone new sleeping on the couch. That’s just how it was, we had a warm space – someone had a need – we helped. My husband was raised the very same way.

Yesterday we had to do something that was extremely hard but necessary.

My hubby’s nephew {23} moved into our home in August. After his girlfriend {20} was kicked out of her house, she moved in here in October {she’d crashed here on and off for a month+ before this}. It was only supposed to be temporary, just until she could get on her feet and find a place of her own. As time moved on, the two of them fought and fought and fought. In the last three weeks, we’ve stepped in to referee a lot and bring some old fart adult perspective to their issues. They were so not ready for this relationship! Each of them have a bunch of growing up to do, first learning to love themselves so that they can properly love another person.

Keeping us up until 3am yesterday morning {after midnight a few nights before} with the same F-bomb laced yelling match, it was time to help her move on. Having the two of them under one roof was the perfect storm.

We want to help her, but in reality we actually do not have an extra room left in our house. Not for a long term stay anyway. Our oldest son gave up his room to house our nephew who then gave up his room, moved to sleeping on the couch, so that she could have a room.

If you’re counting, those two plus our six = eight, so who/where are the other three people? A student from Jamaica has lived with us for five years and in the middle of November, my sister-in-law and her hubby {parents of nephew who lives here} moved into our basement suite.

If this was a house… this is what we would look like!

As we drove her to a young women’s shelter, we continued to encourage her to finish her high school, go on to college, take the counseling that this particular incredible shelter has to offer, and work on being OK without a boy! Did you know that studies have shown that single women are more successful in the business world?

It’s not like we dropped her at the door and took off. We met with the workers, left them our contact information, I gave her a kiss and whispered how amazing she is and that she can call me whenever she wants. She cried. I cried. Dave cried. It felt like we were leaving our daughter at an orphanage.

I wish we had a big enough house. I wish they’d not dated. I wish I wish I wish. I wish a lot of things had been different…


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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  1. You are amazing, Shannon! No seriously. A big heart is not what you have, it is more than that! You are a wonderful and caring person! I admire you for what you have done! 🙂

  2. You both have such amazing, LARGE hearts! I know how difficult this was for both of you and completely out of your comfort zone to decide what needed to take place. But she will always remember the hugs and love that was poured out on her while she was there. She will learn to love herself and be a better her! And she will look back with thanks. She will know that she will always have a friend in you two! You both are such an insperation to us!! Big hugs! Xo

  3. Aw hun. I'm sorry your family had to deal with the constant fighting but also with having to make sure a big and hard decision. It couldn't have been an easy one.

  4. Wow- sometimes we all need a push. If you pushed me, I'd do anything you say because YOU ROCK! I can imagine it was difficult but hopefully everything will work out for the best.

  5. It's okay, Shannon. You did the right thing. She needed to go. She will be okay and she will learn from this very important, necessary life lesson.


    Pam @writewrds

  6. You can only do so much and you did all you could. HUGS

  7. Sounds like you made the move from "enabling" to "tough love". Good for you.

  8. WOW. I had no idea. You are even more amazing than i thought before!

    * on a side note, i really need a break!! can i move in? 😉

  9. You know how I feel about this… I honestly don't know how you do everything that you do. I'm sending (((HUGS))) and hopes that we can shrink this country a little bit so you and I can have coffee soon!

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