Change · Children · grief · Happiness · Life · love · Parenting · Relationships · Thoughts · Words

I am Finally Home

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I grew up in a house, not a home.

Fighting was as normal as breathing.

Chaos ensued almost every day between my parents.

I had a father, not a dad. A woman who gave birth to me, not a mother.

I had two brothers but really I was an only child.

My childhood was not terrible but it was not wonderful.

It was marked by alcoholism, divorce, almost stepdads and lots of tears.

My mother didn’t give her love away unconditionally and my father didn’t know how to give away love unless it was attached to a dollar sign.

In fact, money was what my parents lived for. My father worked endless hours to provide a life that my mother pretty much demanded…diamonds, fur coats, nice cars, a nice house, clothes, maids, lots of “stuff”. My mother’s happiness was always tied up to things. Money was the root of everything in our home and my mother spent more than was coming in. Hence, all the fighting going on between her and my father.

It’s no wonder that growing up, I began to lack some of the tools I’d need to get through life. Life lessons were screwed up and my understanding of what love meant was blurry and confusing. I began to wonder if I was even worthy of any kind of love so I began to date the “bad boys”. I had relationships that mimicked my parents…..lots of fighting, no respect and anger. It was I who was causing all of this turmoil. I was picking fights, pointing out faults. I was saying mean things because it was what I thought this whole relationship thing was about. It was what I had seen first hand in my parent’s marriage.

It wasn’t until I met a boy that wouldn’t put up with my insanity, that I began to change. This person called me out on my crap. Left me (literally) to see if I could get it together and then came back and taught me what real love truly is and what it’s not. This man, who is now my husband, is my lifesaver. The someone who struggled with me but stood by me and has always been my rock. He came into my life at the perfect time and with him, I have become who I needed to be. Our relationship started out thorny but has blossomed over the years into something beautiful. Even though we are polar opposites we are perfect together. We are best friends. We finish each other’s sentences. Over the years we have built a home. This home is full of love, understanding, faith, and all things that a family should be. My husband gave me a gift for which I could never repay.  He saved me from all the wrong roads I most likely would’ve gone down. He saved me from repeating the pattern.

I will always have tangled, messy memories of my broken childhood, but with my husband, building a family with him, the love he gives me so freely, I have finally found my home.

 

 

 

 

 

Change · Faith · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Marriage · Poetry · Relationships · Starting over · Thoughts · Words

To the man I used to know

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We were strangers.

And in all of the places we could be that night and of all of the times,

what were the odds that we should be in the exact place at the exact time?

Our eyes meeting, our hearts pounding, something inside of us stirring.

You smiled and I melted.

I didn’t know it at the time but my life would never be the same.

A handsome stranger would become the best part of my life.

You were strong and kind, mature beyond your years.

You were brave and fearless and I remember, when getting to know you, how much I envied the way you had lived your life.

Sixteen years later, I can still recall everything about that night, like it was yesterday.

Watching a boy, in a black leather jacket, steal my heart away with his infectious joy.

Looking at you now I see a man, your hair fallen away and parts turned silver.

I love you so much but we have grown so far apart.

The years have seen us through many ups and downs,

some crazy adventures and a lot of mistakes, but we are still here,

getting through this life as best we can.

As individuals and as a couple.

You are tired.

You have a sadness about you.

Your heart is like an anchor in your chest, a heaviness weighing you down.

Filled to overflowing with burdens and responsibilities.

The years have crept up on us, time has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?

One minute you are young, with the best days ahead of you and,

the next you are grown up with this full life, that sometimes just seems like a long list of to-do’s.

Loves grows from something wild and passionate to something steady and reasonable.

You pass each other in the hallway, never really seeing one another.

And as time goes by you once more return to being strangers.

The way things used to be, long forgotten.

God, I don’t want to be that far away from you.

Take my hand and let me help you remember who you used to be,

Who we used to be.

 

 

Image Credits
Creator:Pavel Talashov
Credit:Talashow – Fotolia
Copyright:Pavel Talashov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change · Faith · God · Happiness · Life · Poetry · Self-love · Thoughts · Words

Beauty in the Blankness

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During these bleak winter days, when the trees stand naked stripped of their once leafy branches and the world seems to be covered in snow, where once it was flowing in the bright emerald green of the grass, it can feel as if the world is dying a little.

You might look out your window and only see what isn’t there, but like a caterpillar, the world is in a cocoon, or a state of growth.

You can’t see the changes taking place beneath the soil and deep within the roots but change is happening every day.

And if we look closely, we can see the beauty in the blankness.

Without the leaves, our views change.

We can see further, beyond what is covered up in the warmer months when shade is needed.

The stark white of the snow against the dull grey of the sky seems to shine like a thousand tiny crystals, making the entire earth glow.

There is a wonderful simplicity during this season where things are shed and things are lightened.

It can be a simple reminder for us to unpack a few things ourselves, shed our own ‘leaves’ and lighten our own loads.

We too can find beauty in letting go of the parts of ourselves that no longer serve us.

I believe God created people and seasons with change in mind.

He wants us, just like he wants this earth, to constantly be growing and changing and becoming.

Just as the caterpillar blooms into a magnificent butterfly, full of grace and freedom and courage, so will you.

So will your world. 

Change · Happiness · Life · Moving · Poetry · Relationships · Self-love · Starting over · Toxic Parenting · Words

Taste of Freedom

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I walked away from my old life and became someone that you wouldn’t even recognize anymore, yet you still continue to pursue me with your old tricks. 

It took me years to build up the courage to find some distance from you but even with the distance, there was no escape. 

You had, overtime, put me in my very own prison where you were the warden. 

You controlled me and intertwined your life with mine so that there was no way to tell where I began and you ended.

It was hard to find my way out but when you are drowning you will fervently search for that small pocket of air and I found it. 

I love you but I cannot have you near me.

I set myself free from the cage you put me in and I will never go back. 

Freedom tastes so good and in it I have found a deep sense of peace. 

I love you but I will have to love you quietly and from afar. 

You will never understand how much you hurt me or how much I tried to stay. 

You only see wrongdoing in me. 

I can live with that because I know the truth. 

I walked away from my old life and walked right into a new life, fuller and richer than I could’ve ever imagined, and I am staying here.

Do not look for me or worry about me. 

I am, for once, fully alive and fully okay.

Change · Happiness · Life · Poetry · Starting over · Thoughts · Words

Fall

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And just like that, you will one day peer out your window and notice the leaves are changing from that enviable emerald green hue to a crisp, golden orange, wildly dancing around in the breeze, looking as if they’ve caught fire. You will watch as, day by day, they shed their leaves and become bare, like tall sticks ascending from the ground, leaving behind their summer beauty.  It is a wonderful reminder that we too are able to shed that which no longer serves us and begin again. 

Change · Christian · Faith · God · Happiness · Life · Religion · Self confidence · Self-love · Thoughts · Words

Everyday.

Give yourself room to grow today.  

Listen for that voice, the slight whisper, that you often ignore. It’s your intuition, your spirit, guiding you. 

Watch for signs that light the way and confirm you are heading in the right direction. Some coincidences are hints that you are on the right path, ready for a breakthrough. Pay attention to them.

Be brave enough to make mistakes by trying, yet be humble enough to admit when you are wrong. 

Count your blessings and name them if you need reminding. Oftentimes we get so busy searching for ‘things’ we forget what we already have. 

Be okay in the not knowing and hold tight to patience. God is working things out for you. It just may not be in the time you expected.

Don’t go looking for happiness in possessions or other people. Authentic happiness can only be found inside of you. It’s always there and it’s always free. Searching for it elsewhere will only lead to discontentment.

Put your phone down for a while and look up and around. Take in the sky, the clouds, the birds, the treetops. Take in life, you will never find peace if you are always connected. 

Take a moment to kneel. Thank God that you woke up today. That you still have chances and opportunities. That you have another day to be because tomorrow could arrive but there is no promise that you will see it.

Live with reckless abandon. 

Pursue life.

It will all go by too fast and you only get this one shot.

Christian · Faith · God · Happiness · Life · Religion · Thoughts · Words

The Alarm Clock

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I used to wake up every morning to the alarm on my iPhone and glimpse through my alerts, which then instantly took me to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Sitting in my warm, just slept in bed, before my feet had even hit the floor, there I was scrolling online, immeshed in other people’s lives and already comparing my own. One friend woke early to fix all four of her children a made from scratch pancake breakfast complete with homemade orange juice. Another friend was celebrating an anniversary and spoke about how amazing her husband was above a picture of the two dozen roses he had given her along with a beautiful, gold heart necklace, it’s diamonds glistening back at me. Feeling less than, before my day had even began, I would crawl out of bed, by now feeling defeated. Should I have gotten up earlier and slaved away in the kitchen making homemade pancakes and orange juice too? Was she a better mom than I was? My husband had never gotten me two dozen roses before. Was my marriage even solid? These are the thoughts that played through my mind while I sauntered downstairs to pour myself some coffee and pour a bowl of cereal for my own hungry child.

Galatians 6:4-5 tells us “Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.” Spoken truth right there. Afterall, God made us each different from one another, so how can we compare ourselves to anyone else. We have our own set of blessings, talents, gifts and circumstances. When we stop seeing the things we have been given in our own lives and look instead with envy to what others have, we impair our spirit and our soul. We are not being who God made us to be.

I decided to part ways with my phone (not completely of course) and dragged out my husbands old alarm clock from the 1990’s. I plugged it in, placed it on my nightstand and watched as my kids stared in awe at this dinosaur from long ago. (they asked me if it was from the 1970’s). I set the dial to a christian radio station so that the first thing I heard upon waking was joyful music. I wanted to free myself from the pull of my phone first thing in the morning, where comparison lurked. I wanted to wake up to a new day full of hope and a lot less despair. I wanted to take a breath and be present before I dove into the online world of perfection and comparison. I wanted to stop feeling robbed and instead feel poured into. That old alarm clock did the trick, innocently singing out to me that it was time to wake up and start my day. Nothing else.

As I’ve been waking up without my phone, I’ve found that I also have been using it less throughout the day. Where I would constantly be checking it from morning until night, I now guilelessly seek it out only a few times a day. In doing so I have, in a sense, seperated myself from one world and immersed myself in another. One that is more real and even a little messy at times. I feel so much nearer to God than I ever have.

I start my day with an old alarm clock, a cup of coffee and His word. No distractions, no outside noise, only stillness. He reminds me each morning that I am enough. I don’t need to look for validation online. I don’t need to cook homemade pancakes or be given two dozen roses to know that I am loved. The stolen kisses from my husband and how he gets the coffee ready for me to brew each morning, the big bear hugs from my kids and the excitement on their faces when they see me as they step off the bus and everything else in between is enough. (Even bowls of cereal). I am enough. My life is immeasurably enough.

You are enough to friend.

You are enough every single day.

You are enough even when the world says you aren’t.

God says you are enough and His is the only opinion that genuinely matters.

When you choose to walk away from distractions and put your phone down, you see what matters, you see what is real.

When you stop envying what others have and wishing that it was yours, you find contentment and peace.

When you stop wasting your time eyeing other people’s lives, you start finding the beauty in your own.

Know deep within you’re being that you are absolutely, unequivocally enough.

Keep in mind the words above from Galatians, write them down and place them somewhere you will see them each time comparison sneaks up on you and tries to steal your joy.  Remind yourself of who you are and how unique you were made to be, and if it helps, do like I did,

get an alarm clock.