divorce does not define me



A scary word and a freeing word all in the same breath.

I cried when I signed the final papers yesterday.  Ten years of my life, gone in a flash.  Seemingly all for nothing.


And then I steadied myself, breathed in deep, lungs filling slowly until they almost hurt, and sighed a long, fresh-start sigh.

Peace.  That is what I feel right now.


He signed the papers.  I signed the papers.  The lawyer and judge signed the papers.  It’s all over.


A new status now defines me.  A new box to check on the countless forms that ask for your ‘marital status’.  I am no longer ‘Married’, I am not even ‘Single’…  I am Divorced.


The more I type that word, see that word, say that word, the weirder it feels.

I am not my experiences.  I am not my situation.  I am not my ‘marital status’.  I am me.

I am the girl God knew before I ever took my first breath on this earth, and I am the one He has big plans for.

What are those plans?

I wish I knew.  But I’m okay with not knowing.  I’m okay.


I am not an ‘-ed’ word.  I am not an anomaly or a broken, ruined person.  I am not his ex.

I am not a lesser version of myself.  I am not damaged goods.  I am me.

And I am exactly who God created me to be.  I am done defining myself through the lens of this world.


I am a Divorced, Jesus-loving, Mom, Sister, Daughter, Niece, Cousin & Friend.

I am worthy of love, I am capable of love, and I am not broken.  I am not defective.  I am not damaged.


That has changed me.  But it will not define me.


Now you know where I’ve been this past year – those of you who have been following my journey, following this blog, and waiting patiently for me to show my face again.  I am here.  I am re-learning how to be me.

I am so thankful for each and every one of you.  I am so thankful for your love, and concern, your patience and your encouragement through this darkest season of my life so far.

I am OK.  I really am.

What does the future look like for this blog?  What does the future look like for my passions and hobbies and for all of you?  I’m not sure.

I’m not sure where my heart is pulling me right now, but I do know that I need a safe place to share my heart and I’m hoping you all will give me grace to use this space right here.

I will share recipes when they are on my heart, but I will also share my stories, my struggles, my triumphs and my joys.

Is that ok?  Should I step over someplace new and create a new space for all of that, leaving this blog as is?  Even if that means I’m not here much?  That would be okay with me.  I can do that.

I’d love your input friends.  This space is just as much yours as it is mine, and I want it to continue to be a place you want to come.  Share your hearts with me friends.

I’m listening.


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  • Marjorie Njaa

    I love that you are willing to be vulnerable, and that makes this space authentic. Your experiences are unique, just as you are unique. At the same time your experiences are not unlike those of many others. Personally, I think your blog is great, whatever direction you go with it. I encourage you write whatever is on your heart.

  • http://www.karenskitchenstories.com/ Karen

    Keep it in this space. You are Sweet Anna not just in food. xoxo

  • Kellie Bays McCracken

    I so felt for you reading this post. That was me about 15 yrs ago. I had tried for so long to hold my marriage together, it felt like the biggest failure of my life. Turns out, I love who I became after my divorce and my biggest regret soon became holding on to that failure of a marriage for so long. Concentrate on taking care of YOU. Rediscover the best parts of yourself. Be selfish. Let time pass and know that it will. I am so thrilled I found your blog. I’ve had your cookbook for about 6 months now and it is AMAZING! I absolutely love it. I keep peeking over at Amazon to see if you’ve written another one.

  • Brooke Kingston

    Annalise, I have read this post so many times and never made the time to comment. Thumbing through your incredible book tonight, I felt compelled to come over and comment. You are so skilled at these important crafts of cooking and baking. Your blog brings so much joy to me and your loyal readers. You are gifted with the ability to create recipes and communicate directions on how to prepare amazing foods. Your life experiences of motherhood, writing, divorce, creating, feeding the people you love…those are ALL important parts of you. Please, please let me cast my vote for YOU being YOU on this incredible blog. Whatever shape this space takes as you grow and change, I’ll be here reading and cheering you on. This crazy world needs your voice, and I find so much comfort and joy in reading your blog and cooking with your recipes. I miss reading your content, and I think of you often because I wonder how you’re doing. I’ll be patient and wait for whatever you want to say next, whenever you are ready to post again. Just please don’t stop. Your blog matters to us, and your skill has made me a better cook. Thank you for sharing your gifts here. You are wonderful and gifted!