Category Archives: My Journey

Merry Christmas!

It has been a busy month.  I have had so many conversations with our Lord, so much love, so many blessings…. yet every time I have sat down to type it out, my mind has literally gone blank.  One thing I promised myself early on was if I had nothing to say from God, no message to give, I would not share.  This gift of writing, is not mine without him.

In the last month I have studied my butt off and passed my CNOR (certified nurse of the operating room).  A challenge I gave myself over a year ago but promised to finish prior to the end of 2016.  I barely made it but I did and I finished my two step process of getting my bachelor’s then my CNOR.  Next up I think I will get my CPN (Certified Pediatric Nurse).

Tomorrow the kids and I are moving into a new place.  It’s our final big change of 2016.  We have had so many changes this year.  All of which have brought us closer to each other, closer to our heavenly father, and closer to healing.  I look at my little family now, two dogs, 1 cat, a boy, a girl, and I…. blessings.  So many blessings in this little family.

Tonight my daughter received a message from her dad.  She didn’t want to respond.  I encouraged it rather heavily.  I felt that I was going to be very pissed at him for not contacting his kids on Christmas (He didn’t on Thanksgiving, they actually haven’t heard from him in months.)  then I should be equally pissed at her for not responding.  It’s hard to be that parent that messages and messages your kid you miss and hear nothing in return.  And honestly, it speaks poorly on the child, or the situation which in this case, would speak poorly in her.  So she responded with a pointed messages saying Thank You but letting him know why she really was shocked he contacted her and why she is still very hurt by him and why she really needs him to leave her alone.  His response…. “what are your grades? How is school?”  Well isn’t that a Merry Christmas to his daughter that he has chosen to quit contacting!  Tears and pain later, I wondered why I encouraged her to respond.  Why I continue to put their feelings on the back burner when it comes to him.  A big slap in my face, that I have a long ways to go on this guilt train and the need to constantly push my kids to be the bigger person when their own dad continues to devastate them.

I had such an amazing Christmas.  The focus wasn’t on gifts, but on family.  Their was laughter, stories, and so much love.  There wasn’t yelling, grief, or going overboard for perfection or impressing anyone.  There was just us.  I won’t let him, and his lifestyle choices affect me or my children.  And so, the best way I can do the latter is live an example of Jesus for them.  Forgiveness…

Last night at church I felt so much peace feeling the love of Mary for her own child.  Talk about the reality of unending love and sacrifice.  I miss two of my kids like crazy.  And sometimes I just hate Mingo for doing to me what she has.  I may actually have very cruel dreams of her lonely years ahead with her family all divided while full circle hits her.  But then I wake up feeling bad for her.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, deserves to live this story I live.  And I decide again to live the life of grace.  I choose to demonstrate Jesus’s love in my own painful story, and show my children the right way.  To break the cycle. Then last night, I hear the whispers of Mary’s life.  And the sacrifices she took as a mother for all of mankind….  That is love.  And that is a story carried on to all of us year after year.  Digging deeper in Mary’s life  I find the real reason for the season.  And I am thankful for the real reason of the season.  So as much as I hate where I am, I love where I am.  I’m given a rare and beautiful opportunity to show love when everything worldly says not too.  ūüôā

 

Parenting

http://podcasts.ibethel.org/en/podcasts/cultivating-prophetic-families

I recently listened to this sermon.  I love what he said about parenting.  I think as parents we doubt a lot. I think society and modern times encourage that. Which is a lie in my opinion. The truth I have found in this journey is this… is our intent right? Did you do what you’ve done for love? If there are areas we wish we’d done better are we willing to admit it and move forward?  God watches us make poor choices but never gives up on us. Repentance and Forgiveness is his gift to us.  I think it’s our job to demonstrate and live (show) that same lesson to our children.  We are not perfect, God is.  Expecting perfection from ourselves as parents is ridiculous, truly. I think our mistakes in life, and as a parent, are as much a gift as anything else from God. Not that God causes our mistakes, but that he is waiting with Grace to offer us when we keep on trying. We learn from them. We can use them to show our children we are real. And we too are navigating this thing called life as best as we can. I also think Satan is on a mission to destroy families by planting seeds of regret and doubt in our hearts. Don’t listen to him. You know the truth. ūüôā

I have spent the last three years loving my children as unconditionally as possible.  this next year I want to dream with them and for them.  I want to dream they can be anything.  I want them to believe that dream. 

I look back over my life, and where I was three years ago.  It’s hard to feel sad.  I have been gifted a ladder to climb out of the hardest journey of my life. A ladder of faith.  It’s been so hard at times. The sadness that grips my heart when I think about purple and green is unspeakable. The pain I feel when I think about Fishy with my best friend, and the lies and pain they directed at me to help them protect their secrets…. it’s no joke! God knows this pain more than anyone.  There hasn’t been a moment that has gone by that he hasn’t helped me grow from this experience. He’s gifted me a few rare years to grow as a mom.  

Three Years

December 6th came and went.  It was the first year I didn’t fear it.  It was also the first year I didn’t catch myself having difficulty focusing, breathing, or smiling.  The panic is gone.  The what, how, why…  not so gone, but not so in the forefront of my thoughts anymore.  I have learned it may always be there but I have also accepted I will never know.  Focusing on the what, how, why only drags me down.  And truly, at this point.  It doesn’t matter.

Does my heart still hurt?  There will always be a broken part in my heart from the loss.  A crack that serves me as a reminder.  A reminder to why I strive to be who I am today.  Why I choose to ignore so many things and focus on what really matters.  Why I will always choose love, rather than hate.  It’s a reminder of who I was, who we were, and who I am now.  Yes, it’s also a reminder of what we could have had, could be right now.  But one thing I have learned through all of this is that I can only control me and my choices.  And no matter what, I have to learn to accept the choices of others that may or may not affect me.  So to dwell on the “could haves”, helps no one.  No, I don’t still hurt.  But I do still love him and my two other children very much.  There hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t thought of them or asked God to please watch over them for me.

On the third anniversary of my world shattering to pieces…. I focused on being thankful.  Thankful for how far I have come.  Where God has lead me.  And the multitude of blessings along the way.  God took my broken life, shattered into a thousand thoughts, memories, and wants.  He took my broken spirit filled with a pain and agony that has no words to describe.  And he guided me slowly to joy beyond words.  Joy I haven’t felt in years.  He gave purpose back to my life and a drive I had lost somewhere along the way.  I learned to love me again.

December 6th will always be “that day” for me.  It will forever  be a reminder of why I am who I am now.  Why I will never again focus on the minor trials of life but rather trust and have faith there is a plan, a reason, and a purpose for me.

Thanksgiving 28, 29, 30

‚ÄčIt’s December 1st. And I have the last three days of November to share thanks. So… Nov 28th after a relaxing Thanksgiving I’m thankful for safe travels for us to be together and getting back to work.  Nov 29th, I am thankful for the sun and my crazy energetic dog that loves to run with me (he was doing flips when he realized I was gearing up for an outside run rather than the treadmil). Nov 30th, I am thankful for my son’s school and the calmness that it has brought to my youngest child.   So that wraps up November the month of Thanks! ūüôā  happy holidays everyone!!!!

A moment

On the eve of Thanksgiving ¬†Teal and I went to church with my mom. ¬†It was a small but nice service. ¬†Similar service to the episcopal church I grew up with. ¬†Hymns, readings, and structure. ¬†Different than the type of church I enjoy now with live christian music, personal sermons that speak to me, and not quite the structure of the episcopal service. ¬†None the less, while I think Teal might have found the Thanksgiving eve service to be a bit boring, it has some comfort to it for me. ¬†It brings me back to the safety of being a little girl. ¬†It’s like eating your comfort foods from your childhood and feeling comforted again.

Something happened at this church service that I don’t believe I will ever forget. ¬†Something that caused me to deeply ponder my giving. The offering tray was passed around. ¬†I didn’t have my wallet or anything with me, so I was unable to give. ¬†I looked at my mom and she pulled out some money telling me not to worry. ¬†The offering plate made it’s way behind us where a lone homeless man was sitting with I believe all of his items. ¬†His guitar, a backpack, a few plastic bags. ¬†Probably every bit of his possessions. ¬†Then I heard the “tink” as he dropped coins on the plate. ¬†Teal and I both looked at each other with probably the same expression on our face. ¬†The “I’m fighting back tears right now look” It only took a moment.

I’e spent the last few months giving very minimally to my church. ¬†I’ve had a bit of a time financially being unemployed and felt it was okay to wait until I was working, Then I wasn’t working the hours I had thought I would be. ¬†Excuses, Excuses

God brought a homeless man into my life for a brief moment to teach me a lesson.  To show me giving.  To remind me that even a small gift is better than no gift.  If I give to God, he will take care of my and my family needs.  Hundreds of thoughts went through my mind in that flash of a moment.  Here I am, over 3 days later, and still deeply pondering and thanking god for the homeless man that sat behind me on Thanksgiving eve.

Don’t ever think you aren’t making a difference. ¬†Don’t ever think God can’t use you. ¬†You may not ever know all the ways he has used you. ¬†But he is.

Where do you spend your time

From my devotional this morning. .. What is my priority. ¬†What’s the first thing I think about in the morning, the last thing I think about before bed. ¬†Where do I spend my time? ¬†Spending 30 minutes with Jesus each week but 7 hours with TV…. our focus is on TV. ¬†Spending an hour with Jesus but 14 hours on social media… our focus is social media.

I needed to hear this message. ¬†I needed to sit back, ask God where my priorities are out of line. ¬†And let his conviction move me forward toward him. ¬†Honestly, I haven’t been spending the time reading that I was even a few months ago. ¬†I have noticed an increase in Social Media in the last month. ¬†I’m hoping it is an increase because of¬†my daily thanks posts, but either way, I need to reel it in prior to losing focus on what is important. ¬† I have been enjoying more time in the evenings watching TV with my kids rather than the reading I used to do. ¬†Even so much that last night I was watching TV without any other kids with me… that is rare for me! ¬†I’m not much of a TV watcher! ¬†My mind has wandered to financial thoughts more than visits with Jesus in my lul moments. ¬†I haven’t been working the hours at work I had expected to. ¬†I’m still on orientation so picking up hours elsewhere isn’t an option as of yet. ¬†The result is less money coming in and therefore more of a struggle to make the bills. ¬†It’s working out, and I’m enjoying the extra time being mom. ¬†I know that God has a plan, and that work will pick up. ¬†So I really shouldn’t focus on that, I should focus more on my short visits with him throughout the day instead.

The result?¬†I’ve noticed an increase in my early morning wake ups. ¬†This always seems to happen when God is gently nudging me to spend more time in prayer, more time in his book, more time with him. ¬†And now this devotional. ¬†I feel a peace wrap around me now realizing the choices I have been making, and the choices I need to make. ¬†It’s times like this, I am so thankful God never gives up.

Choices / Thanksgiving day 22

10352037_335652229926010_1015472130553343704_n

Today I am thankful that we have choices. ¬†Choices to do both good and bad, and choices to learn from them or not. ¬†Choices to believe the unbelievable, choices to care when it all seems impossible, choices to be kind when it’s the last thing we feel. ¬†Every morning we wake up choices begin. ¬†And for the most part, we are free to choose each one how we want. ¬†Sure, there might be consequences, learning experiences, and heartache with some of the choices we make, but we always have the ability to learn from them and redirect with new choices

Don’t shame yourself

There was a time I cared to much what others thought of me.  I compared myself to others, and always gave myself the short stick. So, I would try harder, feel worse, feel frustrated, and compare again. It truly was a nasty game I played on my heart. Sadly, it changed who I was meant to be. It made life really hard for me.  It made life hard for those around me. My self worth and validity was in something as far from real as you can get.

This cycle would cause me to become hysterical at times.  I would shame myself, my ex would look down on me for my hysteria and shame me, and the cycle continued.

God’s spirit convicts us when we sin. ¬†He never shames us for our mistakes. ¬†Never once did I stop, ask God what he thought, and move forward. ¬†My self worth in the worlds value was killing me. ¬†My self worth in my husbands value of me was killing me. ¬† The manipulation from my husband that he was the calm one while he slowly took away every piece of my core and self worth, was killing me. ¬†And with each cycle of my low esteem and hysteria… his words and actions were reinforced.

Through our ten years, I never once saw what was happening. ¬†It was slow. ¬†The early signs were obvious but I ignored them because “I had won the amazing ticket of a christian man” ¬†One of the first signs was when we first started dating and he told me it was inappropriate for me to have male friends. ¬†All of my friends were males…. so, I had no friends other than him. ¬†He even went as far as to drive away with me in the car, when I good friend ,John drove up to my house. ¬†We were already loaded in the car to go somewhere. ¬†I saw John and I wanted to jump out and talk to him. ¬†Fishy told me no and drove away as I was unbuckling. ¬†To this day I haven’t seen John again. ¬†That moment has haunted me for years, but I thought it was a price to pay for a christian marriage. ¬† I have apologized in recent years, and John was more than gracious telling me he just didn’t want to step on my toes. ¬†Two years ago I went to a high school reunion where I ran into a few guys I hadn’t seen since before my relationship with Fishy. ¬†I was told by them that they didn’t want to rock the boat and stayed away. ¬†If I hadn’t isolated myself from these good friends… I wonder where we would all be now.

My oldest daughter Teal recently had a domestic abuse counselor visit one of her classes. ¬†She came home after that telling me that it was as if the lady was describing her dad. ¬†Abuse isn’t always physical. ¬†Do I regret marrying him? ¬†No way, we had some amazing years. ¬†I had the honor of helping raise two kids that I love with all my heart. ¬†If we were still together, I probably would be oblivious to it all and still love him with my everything. ¬†It was only when he left that I realized that I had lost so much of me. ¬†That I didn’t even know what I enjoyed. ¬†I would like to hope that we would have eventually found the right Godly path together, seeking Jesus rather than the world. ¬†God wasn’t going to give up. ¬†He never does.

I’m proud of who I am now. ¬†I’m proud of my relationship with my children. ¬†I wake up every morning focused on my relationship with Jesus and where he will take me that day. ¬†I no longer fear speaking up. ¬†I love to share my passion with others, encourage others, ¬†and demonstrate Jesus’ ¬†love to everyone. ¬†I used to be someone that always jumped in for the underdog… I loved that about me. ¬†I would get myself in trouble, because I used my tongue wrong though. ¬†But my heart was in the right place. ¬†Overtime I lost that about me. ¬†I became judgmental of others and critical of them just as I was of myself. ¬† ¬†Nowadays, I choose my words wisely, but I’m back to caring and showing love to others, especially those struggling. ¬†I am no longer critical of me. ¬†I’m not ashamed to declare my faults. ¬†I’m not ashamed to admit the ugly end to my marriage and how desperately I wanted to hang on to it and make it amazing. ¬†I’m not ashamed to admit that he had an affair, he has lied, manipulated, and hurt very deeply not only me but his children as well. ¬†And I’m especially not ashamed to admit it is because of all this that I pray for him so very often. ¬†I saw a good good man during my marriage. ¬†I also saw a selfish, ugly man. ¬†But I know, God isn’t giving up on him any more than he gave up on me. ¬†Love always wins…. Always!

Praying for wisdom and discernment

I think this wisdom is something All Christians need help remembering daily.  We are the ones Satan is after. Marriages, pastors, Christians walking with Jesus and spreading his love… It’s easy to decipher if it’s from God or the devil though.  Does it align with the truth found in the bible?  If not, then no go.  Remove yourself from it no matter how good it may feel right now in this moment.  

There have been so many times along this journey that I have wanted to quit. ¬†Wanted to wallow in self pity and give up. ¬†Give up trying to find the good, searching for blessings, and knowing I would be okay. ¬†So many times I wanted to hurt them, spill their little secret, and scream from the mountain tops that they hurt me, that he wasn’t a good dad, that she was my best friend and such a B**** stealing my husband. ¬† But what would any of that do. ¬†Would it help my kids, would it help me, would it be God honoring? ¬†NOPE

So don’t give up. Have a bad day,…. have a day on the couch crying it out. ¬†But then get up, find good in the situation (there always is some), and keep moving forward. ¬†Someday you will thank you for what you did. ¬†Someday you will look back and be blown away by how far you’ve come. ¬†Someday you will find happy again.

Betrayal is hard to overcome. ¬†I’m not sure if you truly ever overcome it, or learn to live with a new awareness to something awful you never wanted to experience. ¬†Betrayal seeps into cracks you didn’t have before, and it stays there like glue to remind you always. ¬†One way I find myself feeling more positively is looking at the time prior to the betrayal as a gift. ¬†It was a gift that I was able to help raise two kids for 10 years. ¬†It was a gift that my children had such a wonderful dad for 10 years. ¬†And it was a gift that I had a loving relationship with an amazing husband while it lasted. ¬†I was beyond fortunate to be married to my best friend for many many years. ¬†I consider it a gift that the relationship ended without any long drawn out misery for years like many relationships do. ¬†We were pretty happy right up until a month or so before it was over. ¬†Then it was done. ¬†My memories are all happy ones, my kid’s memories of their dad are all happy ones. ¬†All of these things are a gift. ¬†And the after tragedy will also have gifts. ¬†It already does.

I can now look back and see signs that I should have noticed… although, I am glad I didn’t. ¬†Because I was in a relationship with a man that came first in my life. ¬†I was in a marriage between two adults that built their strength in each other first, then the kids followed. ¬†It made it incredibly hard for me to move on. ¬†Because I would have done anything for this husband. ¬†He was my other half. ¬†But it also meant that the children saw parents that loved each other… this is a gift.

So yes, I gave up ¬†a ton of me in that marriage. ¬†But that is not a regret of mine. ¬†That is a marriage. ¬†I’m glad that I am moving past the tragedy enough though to find me again. ¬†To love me and to realize how much I still have to offer.

The other day my son and daughter were talking to me in the kitchen while we were making dinner. ¬†My son said “mom, you are just too nice”. ¬†Um excuse me, will you please say that again on a recording I can play when you are mad at me! ¬†He said, “no, not to me, you are just too nice to everyone” ¬†My daughter then agreed and explained that I just give and give and give, and people take advantage of it. ¬† It made me smile and tear up a little. ¬†I don’t want to change that. ¬†I like that about me. ¬†There were times in the marriage I would get so frustrated because I gave and gave and gave… and what about me! ¬†I don’t like that person. ¬†If I give, I want it to be with a happy heart. ¬†If ¬†the people closest to me are making me feel like I am being taken advantage of, this is my fault. ¬†I need to take some responsibility and stand up for me then. ¬†I need to learn my boundaries. ¬†I can’t walk both sides giving, then feeling sorry for me. ¬†It doesn’t work that way! ¬†I realize there were ¬†a lot of variables included in our situation. ¬†We had a busy house with a lot of little’s. ¬†It was exhausting at times. ¬†But I look around at young families and that is how it is. ¬†Even in the exhaustion, it is so rewarding. ¬†I wouldn’t give up the ten years I gave to help raise two little kiddo’s that I never see now as young adults. ¬†Being their mom is some of my greatest memories. ¬†And I truly can’t think that it was all a waste. ¬†God’s got big plans still. ¬†My job is to wait and see patiently. ¬†We can’t change the past. ¬†But we can learn from it, we can continue growing. ¬†And we can choose to never give up.