Faith · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Self-love · Starting over · Words

Turns in the road

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I often wonder where I went wrong.

What road did I miss turning down and why didn’t I see it?

Was I too busy searching instead of looking?

Was my head down when it should have been up?

I can’t seem to pin point the exact moment things started to unravel.

Is there even one exact moment?

Maybe it happened over years and years of choices and decisions?

And this unraveling was slow.

Maybe I missed many turns because I just wanted to go straight and keep to the comfort of my familiarity?

I’m not quite sure where it all became this messy,

but I see it now and it’s too late.

Time cannot be rewound,

Words cannot be swallowed as if they were never spoken.

I have reached this destination and I can only go forward and see where it takes me,

And this time, keep my eyes out for those turns.

boy mom · Faith · Life · love · Mom life · Parenting · Relationships · Starting over · Words

Our Children

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We raise our children to find their wings and fly.

Our home is their nest for the making of the person they will become.

It is their foundation on which everything else is built.

We give them love and encouragement.

We establish in them faith and forgiveness.

We let them fall and watch them rise.

And in the process, as they go from toddler to teenager,

as they start to gain independence and taste freedom,

we find ourselves having to let go a little of them each day,

until one day we open our doors and watch them soar into the world.

It may seem far off or it might be just around the corner,

but the day will come.

You will watch as the person you made, the person you grew,

spreads their wings in this great big world,

and leaves home to find themselves.

Happiness · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Self-love · Starting over · Words

Forgiveness

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Forgiveness comes in many forms. 

Sometimes it comes face to face with someone when apologies are uttered. 

It can come instantly or sometimes it takes time. 

It can come in a quiet moment, after years of anger and heartache,

You feel you can’t stand to carry the pain around with you any longer and so you choose to let it go. 

Because if you don’t you will never fully be at peace.

Little by little the bitterness will chip away pieces of you

And you can never be whole like that.

 

 

Body love · body positivity · boy mom · ditch the diet · Eating recovery · Happiness · Life · Mom life · Parenting · Relationships · Self confidence · Self-love · Words

My Three Sons

 

I missed the first few months of all three of my boys lives. Not physically but mentally. My mind was consumed with how my body looked after giving birth, all the weight I’d have to lose, the clothes I needed to fit back into, the exercises I’d have to do. My new mom mind was not preoccupied with all things baby, as it should have been, but on me getting my body back. I did this all three times I gave birth, not learning anything from the previous time. 

I was twenty-six when I gave birth to my first son and newly out of my bulimia. Becoming pregnant forced me into a reality check to lose the bingeing and purging cycle. I had more to think about than myself and so I quit cold turkey. I wanted to start being a good mom right away. As my belly grew though, I remember having concerns about my rising weight and worrying it would stay on me permanately but I ate what I craved and started a simple yoga routine. 

I was thirty when I gave birth to my second son and in-between those two pregnancies my bulimia was pretty much nil, but she would show up from time to time and remind me of certain foods that were off-limits. I gave birth, having gained the same amount of weight as the first time around, and yet still worried that I’d never lose the weight. 

My third pregnancy happened when I was thirty-four and my eating habits were still the same through the years, trying so hard to be ‘good’ when choosing foods and punishing myself when I ate badly. I gave birth that third time and yet still hated what I saw when I stripped down to take a shower. Nevermind that my body had just made a baby in a matter of months and grown that baby to perfection and then birthed that baby into the world, for a third time. My body was ugly, gross and I was completely ashamed and mortified with what I saw.

Three times I gave birth and three times my mind obsessed over my body, my weight, the number on the scale, the ‘before’ clothes I used to fit into, the food I ate. Three times, years apart, I missed out on my babies. I missed out on the joy of being present and building a bond. I missed out on little things and I missed out on big things. I robbed myself of a time I can never get back.

Now my sons are fifteen, eleven and five and I still struggle most days with my body image and my food. Bulimia is a constant thorn in my side and I have to work every day to keep her away. When I first started seeing a counselor in my early twenties, a few years into my eating disorder, she wisely told me that even if the act itself goes away, I would always have the disorder in my life, it would never really vanish and I would have to push it down continually. She was right. 

I am tired of trying to be this image of who I think I should be. I’m tired of not feeling good enough. I’m mad that this disorder has taken away so much for almost half of my life now. It won’t happen today or tomorrow or even next month but I want to get to that sweet spot where I can look in the mirror and see more than my dislikes. I want to see my beautiful body for all that it has done and continues to do for me day in and day out. 

I tell you my story so that if you are suffering you know that you are not alone. If you are pregnant and worried about weight I tell you it’s nothing to worry about. The weight will go away, but so will the time. Time that you will regret losing because it is precious and filled with so many new things. Time that you can never get back.

Maybe instead of looking in the mirror and defining our worth by what we see, we should look inward. Inward to see and feel and know just how amazingly miraculous our bodies are. They give us life, they carry us anywhere we want to go, they heal, they nurture others, they keep us healthy and able to do so much, they grow small humans. Seriously, when you stop and think about it, aren’t our bodies absolutely freaking amazing? 

friends · grief · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Words

Longing for you

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You are my entire weakness. 

Every time I see you I want you but I know I can never have you. 

You belong to someone else. 

If life were different, another time, another place, we would be soul mates instead of friends. 

I know you feel it too. I see it in the way you look at me, the longing, the sadness.

I hear it in your voice when you say my name.

I wish I could stop feeling this way but my heart is so dedicated to you. 

It skips a beat every time you are near me and a thousand tiny butterflies set flight. 

I desire to know a life with you. 

The taste of your mouth on mine, the feel of your skin against my own, your hand slipping through mine.

We’d spend dark nights concealed by the shadow of the moon and early mornings in the suns balmy rays.

I wish, but when did wishing for something ever make it real?

We will stay familiar as friends.

I will laugh and smile when I see you and feign that I don’t feel a thing. 

And when you leave with her, you will be taking a piece of me with you once again. 

This is the way it must be. 

In this version of time we are not destined to be. 

.

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty · Faith · God · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Marriage · Parenting · Relationships · Religion · Words

Stop waiting before it’s too late.

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Waiting 

We are all waiting for something. 

To be Thinner. 

To be Happier. 

To be Richer. 

To be More Fulfilled. 

What if one day, on our death beds, our bodies nearly paralyzed from old age, we were only waiting for death to come and take us. 

Would we look back on our lives and see that we never stopped waiting?

If only we had lost the weight, we’d have worn that bathing suit. The one hidden in the back of the drawer that we always told ourselves “next year”. 

If only we’d had more money we would’ve been more fulfilled, led a happier life. We made money, but it was never enough so that we were rich (or so we thought). 

And lying there in that bed, your body nothing like it used to be, a weaker version of the once strong counterpart, would you be glad that you had waited? That you were never enough to be enough. 

The bathing suit eventually got thrown away and never enjoyed the suns warm rays or the splash of cool water. While our children and husband played on the shore and swam in the deep, we sat in a chair on the sidelines, watching, wishing, waiting.

The job we had, finally ended in retirement. We had so many years clocked at a place that took up a huge portion of our lives but we never really enjoyed one day of it. We were too busy wishing for more, never really seeing how blessed we were to have this job in the first place. After all it provided us our homes, cars, food, clothes and so much more. 

Lying there in that dark hospital room, hearing the beeping of the monitors, the steady rhythm of our heartbeat, surely we will wish we had stopped waiting to participate in our life. We will weep, saddled with regret. Things like being thin enough to wear a bathing suit or having more money will seem so small and insignificant in the end. In the sum of life, we will know how little these things truly meant, but it will be much too late to fix it. 

Right now, before it is no longer an option to live without the restrictions of old age, you have two choices:

1. Keep waiting

2. Start living today

The one you choose will determine everything.

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Faith · God · Happiness · Life · love · Relationships · Religion · Words

Things I have learned

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Things I have learned in my 41 years on this earth:

Life is fleeting. It seems a day goes by in minutes, a week goes by in seconds and a year goes by in hours. Really try to enjoy each day. Fully. Be present. Be alive not just living. You only get this one pass and then it’s all over.

Give more than you take. It always feels so much better to give away than to take away. So give. Give your time to those you love and cherish and those who may need it. Give your kids attention. Truly get down on their level and interact with them. Be the parent you wish you had, had. Give your heart away. Fall in love. Give your hospitality. Invite friends over and cook them a meal. Open up your house and fill it with love and friendship.

Stop worrying about your body. You really are perfect exactly as you are. At the end of your life do you really want to regret all that you missed because you were so focused on YOU. Losing weight. Losing inches. Fitting into a pair of skinny jeans. Do you want all of your memories to be of you obsessing over what you looked like and what you wanted to look like? Do you want to regret not being more alive. More present with your spouse, your kids, your friends….your life. Stop! We are more than what we look like. We are so much more.

Eat the damn cake!!! Seriously. Don’t limit any food because it is ‘bad’ for you. Enjoy everything in moderation. This goes along with enjoying life. Food is yummy so eat it!

Don’t estimate your value by a number. How much you weigh, how many inches your hips are, how many calories you’ve eaten….this will never define you. Love your body, it is your home and will carry you places and be your greatest gift. Our bodies work hard for us every single day. They are a gift, a miracle and they should be treated as such.

Marry your best friend. Marry the one who you can’t live without. The one who makes your life fuller, better. Marriage is work but if you are with the right person, it will be worth it. How amazing to grow old with someone who knew you when you were young and who still sees you in your youth ❤

Have a pet (or two, or three). They are good for your soul. A dog will be the most loyal companion you’ve ever known and will show you how simple life can be. They need nothing, except your love and attention and food/water to be happy. That’s it. They will love you fiercely no matter what . Every time you come home, they will be there, waiting for you. If that isn’t love I don’t know what is 🙂 Cats….well, they are a different story, lol.

It’s okay to have a messy house. It just means that your home is lived in and cozy.

On that note, laundry. It’s totally normal to keep your clothes in the dryer and just press ‘start’ when you want to wear something and get the wrinkles out of it. Folding clothes is so overrated, lol.

Listen to music everyday. Really listen. Find favorite songs, put your headphones on and blast it. Bonus points if you dance. Music soothes every part of us and is good for the spirit. Music is therapy.

Get outside among nature and let the sun warm you. Take in the trees, the clouds, the sky. Go for a walk, ride your bike. Being outdoors is nature’s therapy and it is completely free. The fresh air will remove cobwebs from your mind and leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

You don’t have to be a great parent to be a good one. There is no such thing as perfect. It is a guarantee…you will mess up, you will yell too much, you will regret things but what matters is that you try your best each day. Raising kids is the hardest job in the entire world and there is no instruction book on how to get it right. As long as you love your children unconditionally and want the best for them you are a good parent.

Lastly, pray a lot. There is a doorway that is open for us to talk to God and tell him our intimate thoughts. Do not close it off. When you don’t know where to turn, turn to Him. He has all the answers. Sometimes they come instantly but more often than not they come gradually, and you will need to hold on to patience and show Him some grace. But trust me, they will come.

I am sure there are many more things I could share with you but these are the most relevant to me.  These lessons I’ve learned, as I’ve lived, have proven to get me through. I hope they offer a glint of knowledge to someone else.

What life lessons have you learned? I’d love to hear in the comments.

 

 

grief · Life · loss · love · Relationships

Losing You

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That day is etched in my mind and it will be forever, this I have no doubt.

I was in the shower. I remember feeling like something was off but I didn’t know what it could be. I’d felt like that since I had woken up. Was this a premonition? My son, who was 2 years old at the time, was safely napping in his room. My husband was safely at work, I had recently spoken to him, but something just felt not quite right. I brushed it off and tried to enjoy the hot water as it melted into my skin. A few minutes later the phone rang and I quickly grabbed a towel, dried off as best I could in a few seconds and dashed out of the running water to answer. My dad’s voice filled the silence and my world came crashing down around me. “Jay’s gone” he said. Confused I asked “Gone where?”. “He’s dead Jennifer” my dad cried. I was speechless for a moment then “What do you mean he’s dead. He can’t be. He just had his 39th birthday 9 days ago. It’s not possible.” Tears streamed down my face as I continued to argue with my dad about why he must be mistaken, my brother, Jay, was much too young. In our broken state we never spoke about how he had actually died. I, in my disbelief, my dad in his deep misery. “Call your mom will you?” he asked me. “Please call her and make sure she’s ok, then you need to go get her so that she’s not alone”. Our call ended and my next one, to my mom, began as It suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea how he had died.  She was distraught and in the same disbelief that I was in. “He was at work and just fell over and died but I’m sure once we get to the hospital this will all be a huge mistake. I bet he will be okay” she said.  I agreed with her because who just suddenly dies at 39? Especially someone who isn’t sick. Someone I just spoke to the day before. This had to be wrong. I proceeded to call my husband at work as I ran into the living room and fell down on my knees, crying out. My son woke and ran to me. I didn’t mean to startle him, but like a glass overflowing with too much liquid, my own body could not contain the grief.

One moment ran into the next and my mom, husband and I were finally entering the doors at the hospital, only two of us certain that my brother was still alive. Our hearts racing, we quickly found out that the hope we were holding on to, we would be forced to let go of it. Holding hands, we were all shown into a room, the darkest, coldest room I’ve ever been in. I still hate thinking about that room. My brother was there, lying on a cold, silver table with a white sheet draped casually across him. I wanted to run. I wanted to get out but instead I bravely walked closer and peered down at his face. Only it wasn’t him. Death seemed to have stolen away his very essence. It was his body, his face, his hair but not him. His soul, what made him who he was, was gone. It was the strangest feeling to be standing there, in that small, cold room, the white walls seeming to close in on me, and noticing death up close. I had no idea what it would be like, seeing lifelessness up close. I felt light-headed, dizzy, scared, sad, so many emotions colliding together all at once. I took his hand, kissed his forehead and did my best to hold it together for my mom. He was my brother and my grief was an endless deep, but she had lost a son, I couldn’t even imagine the depths of her loss. We soon found out that his cause of death was from an electrical imbalance that had caused his heart to stop beating. “It happened so fast” the Dr. told us, “He died instantly and didn’t even know what was happening” he finished, trying to comfort us. Comfort was the last thing we felt in that despairing moment.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my brother and wonder what he would’ve accomplished. Would he have gotten married and had kids of his own? I think about all the years he’s missed out on being an uncle, something he was so excited about. I now have three boys and know he would’ve loved being a part of their lives. We’re all missing him and the impact he would’ve had on us. We will never really know what would’ve been. His story ended sooner than it should have. I feel like there were still so many chapters left to write.

Death is hard. It rips out a piece of you that you never get back. It destroys you. Time has been my savior though. Lots of time. Years. Time takes all the little broken pieces and slowly starts to rebuild them. Yes, they are cracked and not perfect but one day they seem to kind of resemble what used to be. Some days the pain gets into the cracks and you just learn how to deal with it. Other days the cracks let air in and you can breathe and live without suffering. One thing death cannot take away from me is the 39 years I got with him and all the memories we made.

Today I sit, looking out the window, with a heavy heart. The world is big and beautiful and amazing but it will never be whole again. It will never be the same.

 

Faith · Happiness · Life · love · Marriage · Poetry · Relationships · Words

You: A letter to my husband

 

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You are the ONE. MY one and only.

You loved me whole. I was broken when you found me. You picked up my broken pieces and put me back together again.

You saved me when you took my hand in yours and together we made a life. Two hands, two hearts intermingled forever.

You are my everything. My best friend. My companion. My lover.

Even after all of these years, my body gravitates towards you.

Like a magnet my heart is drawn toward yours.

You are my center. My true north.

YOU.

I will always crave you.

I will always want you.

I will always need you.

I will always love you.

Much more than I ever expected.

Much more than I ever deserved.

Your love.

The way you look at me. They way you see me. The person I am in your eyes.

The person you are in my eyes.

I love you.

Year after year. Month after month. Day after day.

My love only grows….fuller and deeper.

It is and it will always be YOU.

The ONE who holds my heart in this lifetime and beyond.

 

Beauty · Faith · Happiness · Life · love · Poetry · Relationships · Self confidence · Self-love · Starting over · Words

The Becoming

As I watched the leaves falling to the ground, the breath of wind loosening them from their branches, I felt pieces of myself falling away as well. Things I needed to let go of. Things holding me back from reaching my full potential. In that moment as I sat and stared at the changing world and the dawn of a new season, not only was I witnessing the coming of Fall but also the becoming of ME.

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