Faith Journey

Figuring Out How to Release Control

Figuring Out How to Release Control

Figuring Out How to Release Control

Quite side note, I already have doves tattooed on my forearm.  They are the universal animal for hope.  I may, just may add the broken chains because what a beautiful image that brings in Figuring Out How to Release Control.

Last Night

A lot of things happened.  You can read about most of it from yesterday’s post.  There are some other things that occurred that should have rocked me to my core.  Let me backtrack.  It did.  The revelation bothers me immensely BUT I had peace.

I can count on one hand how many times I’ve experienced peace that surpasses all understanding.  Last night was one of those nights.  Maybe I was still in a moment of grief and sadness due to the loss of people I held dear to my heart.  Maybe it was God’s sweet way of just hugging me.

I don’t know.

I do know, however, that today, I’m still in that headspace.  Now, my body is certainly continuing to keep the score with what is happening physically but mentally and emotionally, I am okay.  This is a huge deal for me.  Normally, it takes me days to recover from such an encounter.

It is often that I will get angry (fear and/or sadness), I will wilt under the pressure when it is dark and cry myself to sleep.  There are many times that I just leave and go for a drive in order to keep it all pushed down.

I did not do that this time.

This time, I sought wisdom from friends.  I let them do the heavy lifting because they are not in the moment and can see things objectively.  There was a realization that I could not do that and if I tried, things would escalate.

Then, I reached out to 3 people I consider to be prayer warriors.  When in doubt, let God deal with it.  My husband was a huge support as he chose to lead this issue instead of watching me flounder.  This has been a past experience and I’m glad that he stepped up for us both.  Lastly, I contacted my child’s physician and got an appointment for this morning.  We were all three able to talk, calmly, and come up with a plan.

Breath Prayers

As I finished out the night, afraid for the soul of this child and for what I know is to come, I simply prayed “God, do something.”  In that moment, it was impressed on me that He will do something.  It may not be what I want or think is right.  Also, it may not be in the time that I want it done (like right now).  He will do something because he loves this child more than I do and He has plans to prosper and not to harm this child.  I just have to rest and be silent (Ex. 14:14).

It is hard for me to be silent because I want my intentions, thoughts, and opinions to be heard.  The Lord spoke to me and just told me to stop.  Stop this hyper-obsessing over things that I have no business interjecting in.

It is simply not my place and not my business.  My place is working through my own issues holding up my husband.  To work on my walk with Him and learn how to surrender.  My type A personality does not groove with that type of talk.

Releasing It…Again

So, again, I released all the things that were plaguing my thought process.  Cluttering my mind, keeping me up at night, and dictating my actions.  I went through each kid, each issue, each problem and I just gave it up.

Lest we forget, I’m human and live in a fleshly body, so it is common place to find myself doing this thing over and over until I reach glory.  For now, I’m at peace.  Now, I pray about it and leave it at the feet of Jesus.

Do I wish He would do things my way and in my time?

Heck yes.

Will He do so?

Absolutely not.

Will it be okay even if He doesn’t do XYZ?

Yes, because His ways are higher than my ways.

I can say, for today (and hopefully forever) that I am at peace.

Today, that is a win for me.

 

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The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score

This book, The Body Keeps the Score, is very good and highly disturbing.  My sister recommended it and so I used Audible and I listened to it while traveling to and from the hospital with Hunter.  Let me tell you, The Body Keeps the Score, I highly recommend.  I do so, however, warning you that it is a hard, thought-provoking read.

Synopsis from Amazon

“Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.”

Completely Disturbing

This book made me think.  It, for me, should not have listened too.  I needed a physical copy in order to stop, process, write things down, absorb the information that was being presented to me.  I’m thankful my sister had read it before me.  There were many times, I called and we had to have a discussion.

For me, sometimes I can’t see the forest from the trees.  This book helped me to look at one tree at a time and address it.  Learn about it.  Focus on it.  Process it.  This is information that I used in therapy to help resolve some things that I need resolving.

Processing trauma, of any sort, can be hard.  Please make sure you take care of yourself.  Get plenty of rest, drink water, eat well, seek help.  Take it one step at a time.  Day by day and sometimes moment by moment.

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Anxiety and Vulnerability

Anxiety and Vulnerability

Anxiety and Vulnerability

Wow, on this past Sunday, I had a beautiful moment of Anxiety and Vulnerability.  That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it.  Anxiety is not beautiful and vulnerability blows chunks.  Honestly, I had had a relaxing day.

Sunday’s are my “non-parenting” days.  I don’t cook, clean, or parent (hahahaha).  This is a day of rest, reflection, and sometimes organization.  I catch up on emails, menus for the week, organize a closet or two, church, and just relaxation.  This particular Sunday, I tackled shaving my dog.

As the day wore on, nothing out of the ordinary was happening.  I was noticing our new mattress isn’t as good as it was.  My room needs to be dealt with but I didn’t want too.  I took a shower, wrote for my blog, and pet my critters.

Then, about 10, I asked Bart to bring me up something to drink.  We sat for a minute and talked about the upcoming week.  He followed me into the bathroom and we chatted more.  As he was sitting on my stool and I on the pot, cause why not, I began to feel anxiety wash up over me.

Past Me

In the past, I would push it down and ignore it.  There is no way on God’s green earth I would disclose what I was feeling to Bart.  Show no emotion.  Show no fear.  Show no weakness.  Wait till you are alone as to not burden him or have him look at you with that thought of I am crazy.

Present Me

This time, however, I let it all hangout.  I explained to him that, physically, I was feeling like a troop of butterfly were inside my chest and all flapping their wings as hard as they could. I was cold but sweating.  I was hot but shivering.  I could feel one tear emerge from the far corner of my right eye and that my nose was beginning to stop up because I could feel me suppressing the tears.

I explained that I can logically discuss all the things and rationally know it was going to be okay.  Yet, I couldn’t stop.  I began shaking, a bit and my hands starting swelling.  I was saying irrational things like my  9 mth old granddaughter doesn’t love me because I told her “no” the other day and made her cry.  I know that isn’t true but that is how I felt at that moment.

Monthly Happenings

The thought of the rest of this month and next month overwhelms me but this week…this week… is emotionally one of the hardest weeks to come.  I don’t do well when I am busy and have things to do everyday.  I have to have a down day or I will come unglued.  Not everyone is like that but I am.  I have to have a day where peace reigns and I can dictate what I do.

This is not that week.

I explained to him that I had orders for complete blood work.  I was going to go tomorrow but then realized that I had a hair appt at 11.  Then, I had to get Hunter and drive to Nashville to spend the night for his surgery on Tuesday.

I need to get bloodwork down because I have not had it done in a few years.  I am considering changing providers…not because I dislike or don’t trust my existing provider because I do.  Well, trust is a big word, so maybe not trust him but I do like him.  Its just when you hit 49, your male doctor does not understand the world of females.  He is book smart and we have a great relationship.

I’m rambling.

Anyway, Bart said that I should wait until Wednesday to get that done, so that puts me at doing something everyday.  Again, not good with that scenario because of zero down time.  Now, my anxiety shifted back to my hair.  I’m thinking of getting it cut like I did before, but I want it to grow out.

At this stage and season (literally the season), my psoriasis flares up and this time has landed in my scalp, shoulders, and upper arms (and thighs).  My scalp is not healthy and my hair starts falling out till the spring.  Whatever.

I wanted to get my whole head a pretty purple.  Yet, I know that will displease my mama.  I know that I have weddings to go to in January and I HATE to stand out, yet my sister wants me to be me.  Bart’s statement was f*ck this and that person.  They don’t dictate what I do.  It isn’t their hair or their money and I don’t sleep with them.  He will love whatever I do, though I know he prefers blonde and long.  He loves me for me and lets me experiment with my hair.  Plus, he loves the color purple.  We shall see.

Then, I swirled about surgery.

The way doctors treat us “commoners” as peasants and talk at us and not with us.  How Hunter seemed to die in my arms after his PLEX treatment and the neuros did NOTHING and said it was a parenting issue, though we couldn’t wake him up.  That was my last experience at this hospital.  It isn’t a good one.  I am alone, again, in an impossible situation.

I don’t have to take the shit of doctors.  I pay their bills and I am Hunter’s leading expert on his condition, not them.  I can stand up for myself.  I can take up space.  I can use my voice.  I can advocate.  I can and I will.

Emotions

That brings up emotions and feelings that not many people understand.  I know, logically, B has to stay home for the other kids.  He has to work.  This surgery is “minor” and the only thing that SHOULD be difficult is him waking from being put to sleep.  Then, once cleared, we can go home.  Supper will be cooked and we can wash away the shitty beginning of the day and relax that evening.

Wednesday is bloodwork, Thursday is keeping my granddaughter and horse therapy, friday is I don’t know what.  Sprinkle in daily basketball and 2 games and work schedules for 2 boys.  It becomes impossibly busy and chaotic.

While I was swirling in this anxiety tornado, we stood in the bathroom.  Skin to skin while swaying.  I cried, I rationalized, I explained away, and he just swayed with me.  He listened.  Understood.  Told me to stand on my “f*ck you” to anyone that doesn’t like me or doesn’t want to tolerate me or treat me less than.

Stand out with your purple hair, pretty dress, and bare feet.  Speak my truth.  I don’t answer to anyone and the people that love me want me to be me.  He loves me.  He chooses me.  I’m not crazy.  I am a good mom.  A devoted advocate to our son.

I felt better within 10 minutes.  He would still be swaying with me if I needed him too.  He understood how hard it was for me to open up to him and to say the things I needed to say.  He let me have the space to feel, process, and understand my emotions.  He gave me permission to cry and show emotion without fear.

Geez, this feels so freaking good.  Now, I’m on a high of how good this feels.  I wish I had allowed him to love me so completely years ago.  That would have saved us so much in pain and misunderstanding.

Lest We Forget

This week, December 11th, is the day that 10 years ago, we were reunited with our son.  It was such a painful time in our lives.  Not the adoption in 2010 but the aftermath of the day we got home from adopting him until the day we could BRING him home.  That was 15 mths later when it should have been 6 weeks.

All sorts of emotions.

Things to Do

Feel your feelings.

Love yourself.

Give yourself space to grieve, have fear, be anxious.

Capture those thoughts and what grounds you.  Swaying, skin to skin, grounded me.

Allow someone to walk with you and love you.

It is so worth it.

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Quote by Mary Katherine Backstrom

Quote by Mary Katherine Backstrom

Quote by Mary Katherine Backstrom

“I love when somebody says about a woman, ‘Oh, she’s too much.  She’s too much for me.”  Too much of what?  Too much of an opinion?  She laughs too loudly?  Stands too tall?  Takes up too much space?  What would be the right amount and not too much?  She’d have to be less.  That’s what you are saying.  You’re saying BE LESS, if she’s too much.  You know what I think?  I think she should not give a f*ck about what you think about her.”  ~ Quote by Mary Katherine Backstrom

All the Feels

Oh….does this give me all the feels inside.  I have been told a lot of things over my life.  That I am too loud, too opinionated, can’t Biblically submit to my husband because I’m too “Type A.” I have been told that no one will ever take me seriously because I ask questions or because my hair is pink (currently purple).

Over the course of the last 2 years, I have been told that because of those above traits that I am not a good mom and that I shouldn’t raise my children.  I should quiet down, conform, be SMALL, be LESS THAN, fit in, don’t make waves, SHUT UP.

Shrinking

So, that is what I have done.  I’ve stayed home.  I have shrunk back, slept alot, eaten alot, cried alot, hid, allowed people to walk all over me, speak to me in ways I would never let them before, and so many other things.

I think when it truly hit me was when I was getting ready to go on a little day trip to see some family.  For the first time, in forever, I did my hair and put on makeup.  I wore something that covered 95% of my tattoos and I looked the part.  It was very much something that a woman, my age, would wear and it didn’t call attention to me at all.  I even wore real shoes.  Then, we arrived, and I sat in a corner and smiled as I should.  I spoke when I was spoken too and just quietly filled the smallest space known to man.

The fact that I wore shoes didn’t faze anyone in that room but 3 people.  They commented on it because they were fully expecting to me to wear something that was…well…me.  I said that I didn’t want to do that because I wanted to not embarrass anyone.  I just wanted to blend.

Words of Love and Wisdom

My sister…her face…she loves me.  She said why would you want to blend in.  We wanted you here because of who you are and not because of any other reason.  She loves me for me.  All of me.  The sparkly, glittery, tattoo-y, purple-haired human that I am.

See, I didn’t want to stand tall.  When I draw attention to myself, I tend to get the judgemental looks and words of others.  Words that cut me down and not lift me up.  Actions that forever change the course of my life and not in a good way.  I wanted to shrink and be so small yet be there because I love these people and I wanted to show my support.

Her words have been bouncing around in my head ever since.  Then, I heard this quote, and it all begins to fall into place.  I am NOT too much.  I am ALLOWED to take up space.  I am BEAUTIFULLY AND WONDERFULLY created.  These ADULT BULLIES will not stop me from being who I am.  I have allowed them to take up TOO MUCH of my brain space and enough is enough.

I Am

I am going to have purple hair.

I am going to get more tattoos.

I am going to occasionally swear.

I am fluffy.

I am amazing.

I am good.

I am a DAMN GOOD mom.

I am an AMAZING wife.

I am beautiful.

I am creative.

I am feminine.

I am worthy.

I am a child of the King

Love Yourself

For those that are reading this, you are those things as well!  Be chunky and wear a crop top, if you want.  Wear glittery things.  Color your hair.  Be loud, have opinions, love those that have differing opinions because that is what we are called to do.  I have a couple of good friends that are my polar opposites.

Guess what?

I love that we are!  I learn from them, respect them, love them.  Whether you are big, little, old, young, middle-aged, athiest, your sexual orientation, your family dynamics…I love them all.  I have no desire to judge any of you because I have been judged for far too long.

My tribe may be the size of the “period” at the end of the sentence, but they are faithful and they are true.  We can have great discussions and not agree yet we can still love each other.  That is because we are allowing each other to stand tall, be seen, take up space, and be themselves.

Ooooh…..

ALL.  THE.  FEELS.

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And Then There Was You

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And Then There Was You

Here is another note to another person in And Then There Was You.  I have one more post, that I will start writing and post tomorrow.  Then, maybe then, I doubt it, will I be done.  When I say I have had enough, I mean I have had enough.

Letter to You

Dear Judgemental Person,

First and foremost, hello because I know you read my blog as well.  I hope this finds you well and that you are working hard on your mental illness in a positive way and not in an addictive way.  God is bigger than the demons you have living in your mind.  I am proof of that.  He is bigger and there is a better way than addiction to help you.

Find a counselor, a good doctor, get on meds, talk to your husband or counselor, go for a walk, read Scripture, listen to praise and worship music… so many options.  It is not shameful to struggle with your mind.  It is what it is and God is bigger.

Now, that I’ve said that, I want you to know that I think your husband is an amazing human.  Your children (the 2 I know better than the other 2) are fine young men with bright futures.  I know the things that they fight and they will overcome.

God love you.  You are so eager to find your place, to be important, to have standing in the community and church, to appear to have it all together.  You don’t.  Honestly, you have none of that.  There are so many people that you have hurt for no reason.  You do not have the ability to just communicate because you don’t know how too.

You have an inability to communicate.  You assume, judge, lie, condemn, and have no grace for others.  That hurts people.  It hurts people who have known you for years, like me and it hurts people who have known you for a minute.

You are the girl that was the snobby one in high school.  Her crap did not stink, so she portrayed.  The head cheerleader who is dating the quarter back and you are both perfect.  How exhausting must that be for you.  To keep up the pretenses for appearances sake and how sad you must have been to try and be consistent in that life.

The loss that you experienced is horrible.  I want you to know that it is okay to name that loss, to verbally talk about that loss, to celebrate that life, and know that it is okay to love and have memories of that loss.  That changed you.

You always want to be bigger, louder, better than others.  I also know that you do that because you don’t truly know who you are or what you experience in your home.  The jealousy that consumes you is something I pray that I never experience.  I am exhausted even thinking about it.

I was fully prepared to just lay it all out there for the world to see but what I want to say is not coming out of my fingertips.  That really ticks me off because I see where God is working things out in my spirit.  He is healing me and my thoughts towards you.

Honestly, I could give 2 shits about social media.  Who is friends with whom, how many friends are on my “list”, constant (I mean moment by moment) posting.  Girl, get your phone out of your face.  Raise your kids instead.  Look at the world around you instead of in a screen.  Those little squares of life you compare yourself too is not real.

You have a husband that works his butt off for you.  He loves you and he comes from a family that loves well because they know the Lord.  Make it a point to become obssessed with him instead of your phone.  You have these children and grandchildren that I know adore you but they don’t want to compete with another sibling (aka your phone).

It’s okay that you are a little different.  As Christ followers, we are called to be different.  What is not okay is lying to people’s faces, being someone you are not, acting holier than thou, judging others, demeaning others, assuming things about people.  For the love…just freaking ask.  If you think there is an issue that is God related in another person’s life, do these things.  First, pray.  Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you in regards to the situation or if you should even be in the situation.

Spoiler alert:  You do not have to have details in order to pray.

Eliminates gossip which you love.

If God WANTS you to do, then pray for Him to allow a way for you to communicate HIS Words in HIS timing.  He will provide an opening and an urge to talk to the person.  Then pray for the Lord to be your words and to prepare the heart of whomever you are going to talk to.

That, if you remember, is how I came to you.  I was hurt and expressed my hurt.  You were receptive and honestly took 100% of the blame because you assumed things about me that were not true.  Sort of like what you are doing now.  You use social media “friend-ing or unfriend-ing” as a carrot in front of an animal.

I don’t want your friendship.  There is not one thing I need to apologize for with you but I am always willing to listen.  We have known each other for a long time.  I was about to say “friends” but we were never friends.  We were church acquaintances that have a long history together.

I really want to be angry with you.  Honestly, I really do.  I want to say such scathing harmful truths that I have personally seen … yet … I am not going to do that.  I am certain Jesus is restraining my fingers because my mind is still going 90 to nothing.

Pity.  That is what I feel for you.  You can heal.  You know Jesus.  Do the right thing.  Stop looking at the speck in others eyes.  Exam the plank in yours.  Purge, reflect, heal, forgive, ask forgiveness, let things go, stop being petty, grow up…you are closing in on your late 40s.

Life doesn’t have to be this hard and you can be a powerful source for the Kingdom if you would just get out of your own way.

Dang it, I want to be mad.

I am choosing to forgive you.  Your “friendship” does not define my life.  I will never let you back in but I can pray for your healing.  Praying for so many things for you and your family.  You are not perfect but with Jesus, you can overcome and let that shit go.  Be who you pretend to be or take a step on the wild side and just be you.  Quirky, flawed, and all.

You can change the lives of many when your masks start flying off.  Let your vanity take a backseat, go grey with grace…leave your phone on silent, delete social media apps, set timers, invest in your children.

Live judgement free.

Good luck to you,

Brandi

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Blogmas Begins

Blogmas Begins

Blogmas Begins

I don’t think Blogmas Begins is a thing.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it isn’t.  Edited to say it IS A THING!  I know vlogmas is a thing for people who do YouTube.  YouTube is not my thing but writing is my thing.  I’ve not written much lately.  It has been super busy around here, so let’s add to the busyness.

What I Will Do

Honestly, not sure.  I may post some of my favorite Christmas recipes.  There will also be some “healing” posts that I am going to write.  I am hoping to have some guest bloggers.  There will probably be no reviews or giveaways this month.  We shall see.

For Today

I am just introducing the “series” and eating some parmesan crisps my husband made.  Honestly, I am not hungry at all but the urge to munch on something always happens late at night.  Maybe that is where my fluffyness comes from.

I have some goals that I have set for myself.  There is a tendency to get reflective at the end of the year.  Decisions have been made, all shits have been given, passiveness is a thing of the past, and living my best life the last 1/2 of my life.  I hope to share most of that with you.

For now, I shall munch, watch an aimless stupid movie, and finish writing my first “cleansing post” that may not make sense to my readers but will certainly make sense to the person that has affected for me for way too long.  It’s good I know who reads and does not read my stuff.

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Brain Zaps, Random Pizza, Temper Tantrum, and Life Thoughts

Brain Zaps, Random Pizza, Temper Tantrum, and Life Thoughts

Brain Zaps, Random Pizza, Temper Tantrum, and Life Thoughts

Brain Zaps, Random Pizza, Temper Tantrum, and Life Thoughts.  Have you ever looked at yourself in wonder where you went?  That young person you were, is no longer there.  The young adult you were went by in sheer survival mode.  The 30s were supposed to revive you, yet it flew by in a trauma tornado.  40s were the “new” 30s and sadly, you missed that decade too.

Who Am I Now?

Honestly, I have no clue.  I was told, now that my house is dwindling down in children, that I need to start trying new things to see what I like.  My taste might have changed.  I liked singing, drawing, needlepoint, and reading.

Now, singing is a thing of the past.  Whenever I turn a song on, I usually bawl my eyes out.  Drawing and needlepoint is not gonna happen because of my tremors.  Reading, I could get into that again but once I start a book, I cannot stop and everything gets neglected.

So, what am I to do?  Take up horseback riding (did that, too old now), rodeo clown, runner, Bible thumper, interpretative dance?  None of those things sound appealing.  What does a woman, almost 49 years old do?  I would love to go back to work, but doing what I want to do which is counseling.  Maybe I would enjoy getting my Ph.D. That costs LOTS of money, that I don’t necessarily have to dedicate to another 2 years of college.  I mean, lets face it, I’m still paying for my Master’s and I never use it.

Is This Depression Talking

Making friends is not high on my agenda, going to brunches…not my thing.  Idle chitchat stresses me out.  Leaving the house stresses me out.  I love counseling and helping people.  Yet, without having my license that is not gonna happen.

What do people do?  I am not the same person I was in my 20s, 30s, and 40s.  Vastly different if you ask me.  A lot of that is mental illness and living in survival mode.  Let’s face it, I’m still actively raising children.  My youngest is only 7.  The 3 kids, still under my roof, all have some sort of special need that requires time and attention.

I guess I should be an uber driver.  Maybe that is the answer.

That is kind of where I am at today.

It has been a quiet day, filled with at least one whacko thing (if you don’t count the “why is there a slice of pizza in the back of my van…where did it come from…how long has it been there..when was the last time we even ordered a pizza” conundrum), and one moment of flat out rage.

This rage came out of nowhere on this pretty, beautiful weather, cool type day.  It started off with “hey, where is your mask?” and it ended with me taking an antianxiety pill and said child hanging out in their room.  We are both taking a time out…yet I haven’t seen this child enough today to even need a time out from them.

Honestly, what the heck is wrong with me?  My poor family.  I hate they have to deal with my mental instability.  I want better for them, all the way around.  The anxiety and depression shouldn’t affect them and I pray that they never inherit it.  I hate it.  All of it.

I am pro medication, holistic medication, meditation, Jesus, therapy.  All of those things I still do, but here I am…having a moment…over a mask.  So stupid.

Yes, I’m questioning my life and sanity over one simple question.

Seriously, what is wrong with me?  I started feeling it come up from my toes.  Literally, I put my fingers over my lips…yet I continued.  In my head, I could hear that still small voice saying “enough, young lady.”  I ignored it and acted a fool through my (literally) clamped lips.  Oh, and add that to the brain zaps of weaning yourself off of antidepressants because the one you are on makes you want to do not so nice things to yourself.

Good times, all the way around.

Now, my dog is being a rebel and walking in the cul-de-sac, my cat thinks she is an outdoor cat and darted out, the random piece of pizza is still in the back of the van, I forgot one kid at school, then I took one kid 2 hrs early to work because we both forgot when he was supposed to be there, and supper is a “new imaginative” dish that I concocted from the meal I invented last night.

Tis the life.  Now, off to go and apology, do spelling words, figure out why this random spot in my house is sticky, and maybe cry.

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Letting Yourself Be Seen

Letting Yourself Be Seen

Today, I am going to let myself be seen. Today, I am going to declare that I am enough. For so long, I have struggled with conformity friendships. I desire to conform but when I do, it is not me. I lose myself in that moment and I realize that I am doing this to fit in.

Sisters, you are not created to fit in. You are created to be salt and light. You are created to be a city on a hill and not a face in the crowd. I was not only a face in the crowd, I had customized masks to wear for each crowd I was in.

God Speaking

I learned at a very young age, that I was not like other people. I thought differently, acted differently, and believed differently then my schoolmates, roommates, boyfriends, siblings, and parents.

At the age of 10, I remember standing in the driveway of my grandparents house declaring that, one day, I would adopt from Ethiopia. How I even knew where that place was is still a mystery. I wanted to adopt and I wanted to adopt an older Ethiopian boy because that is the child that no one wanted.

Storing Up His Promises

I kept that stored in my heart, never releasing it because my family struggled with racism. I was informed, at one point, that I could either choose my black children or choose my father. I thanked my father for the love and protection he had given me, kissed him in the cheek, and then I told him I would choose my children.

Do you have any idea how hard that was for me? People pleasing me.

Judgement of Others

The people that no one want to be around are the people I am drawn too. I have been told to be careful who I associate with because it could call my faith and salvation into question. I have also been told because I’m loud that I cannot be submissive to my husband. I have been told that I am not worthy to stand in front of people because no one wants to hear what I have to say because my hair is pink and I have tattoos. I have been judged on my children acting like children and had horrible things said to me in regards to them. Things have been said that I still struggle to forgive the words and the people who said it.

My Lady

My best friend was 79 when we met. She was my Lady. That’s what I called her. It started out as mentor, then moved to friendship, next, it moved to me being her caregiver, then a closeness that I cannot explain, and then I had to give her to Jesus. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. My Lady saw me. She saw through the masks and the facades I tried to put on. She loved me without abandon and she treasured my family, though we are all different. She was my person.

That is What Everyone Needs

They need a Lady, a friend, a confidante who sees you and you see them.  It was beautiful, but short lived as she passed away.  I miss her.  Her telling me that my tattoos are stupid but she always wanted to look at them and touch them.  She would ring my neck if she knew her name was on my body.  I took Faith(ie), Hope, and Love to a whole nother level.  There is a cross (love), with a semi colon, doves (hope), and Faith(ie) because her name was Faithie.

I challenge you all to be you.  Love you.  Embrace your weirdness and never ever do you have to explain yourself.  Ever.  Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no and zero explanations.

Related Posts

Get Over It Speech by My Lady

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The One that *Sees* You

Faith Journey

#Loveyourself

#Loveyourself

#Loveyourself.  Never be any different than who you are.

Always be true to yourself.

Stop putting on a mask for every place/person you go/meet.

You be you.

Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

#Loveyourself

It took me a long time to be okay with who I am…and to be honest, I still struggle.  I have been told for SO long that no one will love me, no one will listen to me, no one will believe in me, no one will take me seriously, I’m too much, I’m too outspoken, I’m too loud, etc.

Now, bear in mind, it was NOT my family telling me this….these lies came from “friends” or people I thought I trusted.  My family loves me and has done nothing but edify me and love me.

About Me

I am loud, outspoken, and I speak my mind.  Quite often, I march to the beat of my own drum.  I do not color inside the lines or conform.  That is something I never will do.  There were times when I tried to cover up those traits up.  I tried to play the game.  I tried to make friends and be “normal.”

Let me tell ya, it was exhausting and I broke.  I mean, I did not just sort of chip a nail, I broke in half.  Completely and utterly shattered.  In a very dark place…I guess it was the year my granny went to see Jesus.  That was the same year I lost 2 children due to the lies of a social worker (must be noted that we had STELLAR social workers after this loss…this particular gem of a human, did not need to be a worker)…I snapped.  It was so bad, that when I called the nurse to tell her that I needed an appointment, the dr must have overheard us.  He took over phone call because he thought I was suicidal.

I would NEVER do that to my family.

Once he realized that I had the support of my family, he prescribed me some antidepressants to help even me out and get my mind in a better place.  The meds did just that.  I was able to see a bit clearer and I realized what I was doing to myself.

I did a lot of self-reflection and I examined my friendships, my hobbies, my marriage, my walk with Christ, the foods I thought I liked, I mean every single detail.  Sadly, there was a period of time that I did not leave my house.  My life consisted of parenting, being a wife, and self-reflection.  There was a time when I had to relearn who I am, what I stand for, what I like, what I don’t like, and what I would and would not accept.

Now, there are times I still revert back to that old mindset but then I quickly remember who I am and what I will allow and not allow.  I have learned to stand up for myself and believe in myself.

Never forget who you are.

Never forget WHOSE you are.

You are a precious person in Jesus’ sight.

He loves you even when you do not love yourself.

Reevaluate your life.

Keep the good and eject the crap.

Believe in yourself.

#loveyourself.

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Save Me I’m Drowning

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Faith Journey, Life or Something Like It

Factory Reset

Factory Reset

Here is my Factory Reset.  No, no, no…I’m not talking about my phone or tablet.

I am talking about my life.

Do you ever wish you could close your eyes and then wake up and start all over?

No bad things ever happened to you.

You were not overweight.

You had the innocence and belief of a child but in your adult body.

Everything is fresh and new.

I must say, my depression has lifted a bit, so that is not a struggle for right now.

Everything else is a mess.

It’s kind of like when you throw a load of laundry, in the washer, get it out to throw it in the dryer.  When the dryer finishes you open it up, and you wonder “what in the h*ll is all over my dryer and my clothes?!”  Upon further inspection, you find the culprit….. make-up, a marker, paint, human crap (it can be washed and dried in log form FYI), a red sock with light clothes….you know the story.

That is my life.

A red sock washed with light-colored clothes in hot water in a hot dryer and now stained on everything from here to high heaven with no hopes of it *ever* washing off of anything ever again in the history of ever.

Yep.  That’s my life.  Hence the Factory Reset is necessary.

A Chat with my Daddy

I was talking to my daddy the other day…we were standing in the barn watching a bird, and I asked him a question.

“Daddy, do you ever just get mad at God because of all that you went through and all that you’re going through?”  He never looked at me, but his eyes narrowed as he was focusing on that bird and he said: “nope, don’t reckon I’ve been mad at Him.”

I said “well, I think I am…..I think I’m angry with God right now….my little boy took a nap ten mths ago and woke up with his life completely changed and I can’t fix it.  Yep, I’m mad.”  I tried to hide my tears because I would rather eat a horse apple than cry.

At that time, my eyes were narrowing in on that bird, and I was staring intently at it, trying to wipe my tears discreetly.  I felt his eyes looking at me, and he said: “well, how’s that working out for you?”  Factory Reset.

My spirit was screaming “IT’S NOT WORKING FOR ME BUT DANGIT I AM PISSED, AND I AM GONNA STAY PISSED UNTIL I’M DONE BEING!”  My mouth said, “it isn’t working so well, Daddy, but I don’t know how not to be mad.”  The bird moved, at that point, Martha came in with Hunter, and our conversation ended.

An Unexpected Support

That night, I had texted my brother and told him I needed him to talk to another kid for me because of some pretty severe behavior issues.  We missed each other in passing, I guess, so we were playing phone tag.

My brother and I have never been close.  We don’t talk.  I perceived that I was his least favorite person who ever walked the face of the earth, but I’ve been known to be wrong a time or two.

The Lord has seen fit to begin restoring our relationship….a moment at a time.  Here was another moment.

He texted me back stating when he would be around.  I replied with a vomited version of what had gone on.  Then the text went on to say that I don’t know what to do.  I feel like a failure as a parent because things are so bad, with this particular child and I’m at a loss.

His one-word reply has had me pondering all day long.  “Prayer.”

My brother and I don’t talk about our faith together.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him attend church…maybe when we were younger, and Martha made us 🙂  I have not seen him in a church as an adult though, and I didn’t know where his salvation stood.

My job is to pray for him and for God to do the rest.  This statement stopped me in my tracks.  Since Thanksgiving of last year, there has been a shift in our relationship and how we communicate with each other.  Instead of him, being him, and going off on doctors or just not answering me.

He said “prayer.”  Again, Factory Reset

Dinner with Friends

So, two men who have lived (if you know what I mean), point me to the cross.  The next day, Bart and I had dinner with our friends Richie and Jenny.  We enjoy getting to go out with them or cook at home and have all the kids everywhere.  There is lots of laughter at dinner, but we also had some serious conversations.

We are blessed to call them friends, but Richie is also our pastor…I respect him immensely (and sweet Jenny), but to us, they are not “superior” or above anyone…they are dopey, hysterical, down to earth normal human beings.

At the end of our night Jenny asked me if Richie’s Sermon, the past Sunday made me mad.  I told her I hadn’t heard it because I was home with Hunter and Bart didn’t say much about it only that it was about “NO.”

Welp, I listened to it today.  Richie and I texted back and forth while I was listening to it (link above).  It’s about when God says “no” to our prayer requests.  It hurt my feelings.  Again, Factory Reset.

David and Bathsheba

His story involved David and Bathesba and the loss of their first son and how for seven days, David didn’t eat, drink, or change clothes…he begged God to save their son.  In the end, his son died, and after he died…David got up and washed his face and asked for food.

He also referenced “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)  This Scripture is hanging on a huge print in my living room, and I was looking at it before he brought it up in his sermon.

The other reference was Isaiah 61:3 after their mourning…..” to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.”  This verse is, not only another print in my dining room but a giant tattoo on my back.  These are my verses…my life verses.

So, I am being hit by three unlikely places…my dad, my brother, and a weird statement from an awesome friend.  The Lord is trying to get my attention.  I’ve ignored Him and been mad for three yrs and especially this past year.

I can have a Factory Reset, of sorts, every single morning because each day is brand new and full of possibilities.

Factory Reset

I can lose weight.  Also, I can re-establish my relationships with my husband and children.  Another thing is that I can mourn the loss of who Hunter was and learn to embrace our today.  He is an awesome kid with a wonderful future ahead of him.  A personal agenda is to firm up my relationship with my brother.  Finally, I can confide and learn to trust a new set of friends when so many have just disappeared from my life.

Most importantly, I can renew my walk with Christ.  He never left me or forgot about me.  In fact, He still loves me.  True to His Word, He is always waiting with open arms, for me to turn around.  As my friend’s Mr. Cliff and Ms. Jan told me as I wailed in their arms over our circumstances… Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:18

May my Factory Reset begin…