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The Power of Love, One Stitch at A Time

You Are Touching Lives

My friend, do you ever feel like you are alone, just walking through life in the shadows of those around you?

Do you look at people and find yourself envious because they have friends and relationships and you do not?

Do you struggle believing you do not have them because you are not friendly enough or outgoing enough? You are not happy enough or have enough “things” to offer? You do not have enough money (as if that buys friendships and relationships)? You believe you are not loving, gentle, kind, humble, or empathetic enough?

My friend, I am here to remind you today those are lies the enemy tells you. I have felt them, all of them. Who am I kidding? If I am going to write a blog about being honest and sharing the real and raw feelings of life, then I need to admit I still feel this way. I am like you; I listen to the lies the enemy tells me. I listen to when he tells me…


I am a nobody.
• I am ugly.
• I am fat (ok… that might be an over exaggeration… more like squishy as my daughter told me when she was a tiny tot.)
• I am a failure.
• I am inadequate.
• I am lazy (because I don’t work outside of our home).
• I am worthless.
• I am “just a mom” (as if this is a bad thing, which I know in my heart it is not).

Oh, my friend, that word “just” has way too much power. No one is “just” at anything. No matter what you do or who you are, never let that word “just” define you. You ARE the BEST of what you do or who you are.

You ARE THE BEST…
• Husband
• Wife
• Dad
• Mom
• Doctor
• Nurse
• Lawyer
• Writer
• Police Officer
• Teacher
• Waitress
• Landscaper
• Janitor

This list is endless. The point I am trying to make is that no matter who you are or what you do, you are important! Your life matters and you matter to others even if you do not know it.

The enemy does not want you to see your value or your worth. He wants to keep you in a state of being unbalanced because this keeps you weak and dependent upon him instead of allowing you the time to focus on your Heavenly Father, who created you perfectly.

God wants me to show you that you are valuable and important. He wants you to see that you do matter to others (even when you do not feel it or see it).

My friend, I am writing today to show how much I struggle with the same struggles you do. I feel the same loneliness and the same inadequacies as you, but God has been working on my heart over the past few months. He keeps showing me the darkness I have lived for almost ten years is not the darkness I have to stay in.

I want to remind you today, both you and I are important to others even if we do not know it. Every person you encounter leaves a mark on their heart. Some people you may invest in a relationship with and some people you may never see again, but with every action, deed, or act of kindness you share, it leaves a seed planted on the heart of every person you met.

I have a sweet friend who became a friend because she was initially the stranger who lived next door. She was a stranger who I would see coming and going from our homes and one day those coming and goings forged a friendship that went beyond the simple gesture of a wave or head nod and greeting of the day.

Over time our friendship grew, and our simple respectful gestures became more about how to help each other. Her sweet husband would help me edge my yard so it would look beautiful from week to week. They helped me clean up my back yard from a hurricane, which I left for because my husband was deployed to Iraq and my daughter was only five years old. When I left it was a destructive category five hurricane with a direct impact for where we lived. I had to keep my daughter and pets safe, so we went inland and stayed with another sweet friend until the storm passed.

One of my hardest deployment stories that sealed our friendship was the day I sat in my driveway with my car loaded with everything of possible value (both physical and sentimental) and I looked at my house with tears falling down my cheeks believing I would never see it ever again. I was leaving everything we had worked hard for behind to be destroyed by a strong category five hurricane and when I came home again, I would have to dig through the pieces of our life to find what was left.

So, as I sat in my driveway I prayed over our home. I prayed for God to protect it. I prayed for God to keep the roof on it to protect the contents inside. I prayed for God to spare every shingle on the roof and the siding on every wall to include even the shutters on my windows. God tells us to ask for even the smallest of details, so I took him literal. I did just this.

After I felt I had done all I could do and prayed all I could pray, I drove out of my driveway to leave our world behind in order to protect our lives. I even left my neighbors, who were not evacuating, behind and even prayed for their safety as well.

It was with a tear-soaked face and a heavy heart that we drove out of our neighborhood and headed inland to a safer place with a dear friend whose husband was also deployed with mine in Iraq.

The storm came and left and God weakened the storm to a strong category one and a weak category two by the time it arrived. My house stood firm and whole. God honored my prayer and kept my home safe. Not one shingle, not one piece of siding, not one gutter, nor one shutter was torn from my house. It remained strong and firm, just as I had left it.

However, my backyard, which I forgot to pray about, was a different story. My backyard was a war zone. The backyard where my daughter played all the time was something that could not be recognized. I lost trees and crazy amounts of tree limbs and pine straw was thrown over every inch.

I tell you this story because it was a simple gesture of love and kindness that sealed my friendship with my sweet neighbor next door. They had the same mess in their yard as I did, but they tirelessly worked to clean up my yard so when I came home my daughter would not be traumatized by her back yard and that she would feel safe to play back there in the future.

They shared pictures with me while I was gone and knew there was no way I could come home to that destruction. They worked tirelessly for a couple of days to get my yard to something I could manage when I came home. They cut up the trees and took the pieces to the curb for me. They bagged and bagged up debris to get it out of my yard and put it all to the curb so when I came home, the hardest part of what I would have to do was done.


My friends, their random act of kindness to help “me”, just little ole’ me, their neighbor next door who we liked and became friends with, went above and beyond what I would have ever dreamed they would do for me.

Tell me your life doesn’t matter. Tell me you do not make a difference. Tell me your life does not impact others. I will tell you no… it does matter. You do make a difference. You are touching the lives of others.

You may not always see it, but in time God will reveal to you the lives you will touch.

I am writing today to share just when you think you are not making the difference in people, you are. You are touching the lives of everyone around you.

I have had a couple instances in the past couple of weeks now where God revealed to me that I am touching lives and I never knew it.

I shared a picture above of a beautiful handmade quilt and matching bag that was made especially for me by the sweet friend whom I spoke about who cleaned my yard from the hurricane. She is no longer my neighbor next door because they moved away, but our friendship has not diminish.

I did not expect to receive this beautiful quilt and bag and even part of me said, “why me?” What did I do to deserve this special gift for absolutely no reason? Why would someone pour their heart and soul into making such a beautiful gift for me?

My friend, this beautiful gesture was done because of a life I touched over the years even though I never knew it. Just because you do not see the lives you are touching does not mean they are not being touched. Be yourself. Do not try to be someone you are not, but more importantly, do not believe the negative lies the enemy tells you. Turn your eyes upward and allow God to show you what to do and what to believe. That is where your truth will lay.

Today, I will close by encouraging you to reach out to someone and share a random act of kindness with them. It will touch their lives and their heart forever.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, #Stepsforward, Believe in Yourself, Bible, Challenge, Comfort, Courage, encouragement, Faith, Image, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Peace, Self-worth, Strength

You Are Never In Total Darkness

Do You Struggle With The Power of Darkness

I am feeling God has a few of His own who are in need of some encouragement today.

  • Are you struggling with finding your self worth and identity because somehow over the years and the busyness of life you have lost who you are? Know, you are not alone.
  • Are you struggling in a difficult relationship? Do you struggle with a battle within you to know if you stay and fight for your marriage or is it time to walk away? Know, you are not alone.
  • Are you fighting with health needs? Are you in pain all the time? Are you frustrated with fighting with the doctors or insurance companies to get them to listen to you, to hear you, and to help you? Know, you are not alone.
  • Are you in a season of struggling with your child/ren to get them to listen to you. Do you feel like they are distancing themselves from you and your family? Are you frustrated and discouraged? My friend, do not walk away from this struggle. Keep pray, keep loving, and keep reaching out to them. They need you, even though they may not feel as though they do. Fight for your child! Remain their safe place. Know, you are not alone.
  • Are you a new parent who is fighting sleep deprivation and as a result feel the weight of darkness all around, but you do not tell anyone as this is suppose to be one of your happiest times in your life, as you hold the love of your life in your arms? Know, you are not alone.

My friend, God gave me this verse for you, who are in pain today.

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”” John 8:12 NKJV

No matter how dark life might seem, please know there is a light that is wrapped around you. This light is so you will never remain in total darkness. It is God’s light which surrounds you and has you consumed because one day you believed in Him.

Allow that light to shine on your darkness while you use it to light the way out of this dark time. Follow it until you find the peace and comfort you need to not feel alone.

My friend, reach out to those who are closest to you. Allow them to help you, pray for you, and encourage you.

If you feel they are not enough and you would rather reach out to someone who doesn’t know you, feel free to leave a comment below. I am here to lift you up in prayer.

My hope God uses today’s encouragement to touch your heart and to remind you, you are not alone.
#Keepingitreal, Bible, Chronic Migraines, Exhausted, Grace, Inspiration, Journal Journey, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Medical Journey, Migraine, pain, Rawness, Real, Weariness

No Matter The Pain, You Are Beautifully Made

Journaling Journey

Do you continue to worry over your kids? As parents, I am unsure how you do not. It seems to be bred into us as soon as they are born.

Today has been one of those days where I struggled with worrying over my Kiddo. It does not matter how old they become, when they are sick we worry over them. When they are hurt, we worry over them. When they are fearful, we worry over them. It does not matter what the circumstances are, their lives will always be intertwined in ours.

My daughter woke up with her head hurting badly. She had a migraine brewing, but what her migraine didn’t know was that she didn’t have the time for it today.

She is desperately trying to cram the final week and half of work from her classes in it in order to complete the semester in college.

I was worried for her because I could tell in her face and in her eyes how bad this one was. I prayed over her head as well as sought prayer from some faithful prayer warriors that this bad migraine did not turn into a mega migraine while she was at work.

I am so happy to announce the prayers worked. She still has her migraine, but it did not get any worse and for this, we are thankful.

Now as I write, we are patiently waiting for her weekly IgG infusion to finish. Every Friday night she has to do this two hour regiment. We should be getting use to it, but I have a confession to make. It isn’t any easier. By the time she gets home from work, pre-medicates and finishes from start to finish it takes two hours which if you do not get it started until later then you are pushing 11 pm to 1am before it is finished. We know this from several weeks of experience.

This my friend, this is rough for this tired mom, but I refuse to go to bed while she infuses as it is not in me to abandon her on this weekly treatment. So no matter how late it becomes, Shadow and I will stay up with her because we are in this journey with her.

Tonight she decided was good night for me to learn how to actually set up the entire process minus inserting the four needles into her legs, just in case something went wrong or she was sick and I would need to know how to do this for her. I agreed it was a good idea, but I just really did not want to learn how tonight, I know, pretty selfish of me, but I did give in to learn how anyway.

Now the worrying side of being a mom is praying her side effects will be minimum so she can get a ton of studying done tomorrow. We really need for her body to cooperate and not crash on her yet.

Do any of your struggle with a similar battle where you worry over your kids and just want what is best for them, but can not do anything beyond pray over them? Even though this is the best thing we can do for our kids, somehow, if we are honest with ourselves, it does not seem like it is enough.

I wish my daughter could live a “normal” healthy life like those of her peers, but God has a different purpose for her. We are unsure what that looks like, but with all the physical struggling she does, the grace in which she does it is a testament to the strength she has to endure all she endures.

My friend, if you or a loved one is in a similar situation, please leave a comment below and I will be praying for you to get through as gracefully as my daughter does. You have an understanding friend here so you know you are no longer alone during this journey.

I hope everyone has a good night and that you get the rest your mind and body needs. If you feel inclined to join me in praying for my daughter, this would be wonderful and appreciated.

Lastly, if you are struggling to see your beauty for all the pain and sickness you experience,

“I want to remind you God fearfully and wonderfully made you.” Ps 139:14 (NIV).

Please remember, In His eyes you are perfect despite how badly you may feel.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Courage, Exhausted, Journal Journey, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Rawness, Real

Acceptance is Half the Battle

Journaling Journey

As I am beginning my day, which has not been an easy one to start, I am feeling a bit better than yesterday, in that I did manage to get caught up on a few things around my home that were weighing heavy on me.

As a result, I am not carrying those burdens today, but I am, however, carrying a huge burden for my business and wrapping up unfinished projects.

Yesterday, I did manage to prepare a few boards for signs, which makes me very happy. I re-stained one this morning so I will be able to finish it this weekend, thankfully.

I do, however, have a couple of projects that have me overwhelmed in finishing, so I am hoping today I can come out from under the weight of them.

My daughter and I are attending a local womens inspirational conference tonight and tomorrow and I have to confess, I am a little apprehensive about it. I am sure it will be great opportunity and hopefully inspiring, but I do not do well with things that are on Friday nights, as this is the night I am exhausted from the events of the week.

Our dear friend who is attending thought it would be a great opportunity for me to build my blog into something amazing and for us to grow our business as well. She also thought we would be blessed by the amazing women speakers who will be speaking too.

I hope she is right, as right now I can only see and feel my total exhaustion.

As a result of this convention tonight my daughter had to decide what she would do about her weekly IgG Infusion. We decided due to the late hour we should come home tonight at that tomorrow night might work better since it takes about 2 1/2 hours from preparation to completion to finish. This is the first time a Friday night activity has presented itself a problem with her weekly infusions. I am sure it is the first of many to come. As I stated yesterday, this is what it is like to live with a chronically ill person. You have to constantly work around appointments, treatments, and sicknesses, but it is not her fault and we do what we need to do to work with it.

Acceptance is half the battle of working around it.

@homelife&encouragement

Finding my Courage today will be to fight through the frustration of finishing these projects in order to walk away with a feeling of satisfaction knowing they are done and my customers will be happy.

Do you ever feel like this?

My Friend, what does Finding Your Courage look like to you?

Leave a comment below if you wish to share your day, frustration, or courage.

#keepingitreal, #Findingyourcourage

Anxiety, encouragement, Journey, Life, Rawness, Real, Weariness

Breathing Through Daily Life

Journaling Journey

Sharing The “Real” of Daily Life

What will my day look like? I have so much to do. Where do I begin?

Do you struggle with this some days? The list is just so long that it is overwhelming to even know where to begin.

Today I am feeling overwhelmed by my business. I am trying to still set it up so I can make extra money for our family. I have a couple of projects I need to create, start, and finish for orders. I need to work on my website. I need to do some accounting work. I just made a logo image which I needed for my website. I need to create some Easter products to sell and the list just goes on and on.

Then there are the house chores that need to be done. I need to get my laundry going. I have no clue what supper will be so I have no idea if I will need anything at the grocery store or defrosted from the freezer. I need to tidy up and clean the bathroom and dust before this gets any worse.

I have spring yard work that needs to be done before it gets ahead of me. Oh this list is just crazy.

I feel as though I should never complain about this load as I do not work outside of my home, but my blog is about being “real” and sharing my raw and real side so today I am doing just that. It is my hope and prayer it might encourage you to know you are not alone in experiencing the frustration of everything piling up on you. 

The struggle is real. It is not pretty or elegant, but it is real.

I know I do not work outside of my home, but this is just so much to do. I wish my husband’s health would allow him to help me outside. I know he works, but a lot of people do and still manage to do yard work. If I did not have yard work, I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed, but it is what it is.

It is time to break out my planner and start sorting and planning out my responsibilities.

Do you get overwhelmed like this? It seems like when you do not work outside of the home that time should be plentiful, but for me, it is not. There is never enough time in the day to get everything done.

I am just thankful we did not have any doctor appointments this week. We are always appreciative for weeks like these where we can breathe again.

So where do I begin? Laundry… that is where I will begin and then get on my computer and do some business work as I think this is what is pressing me the most. I can take breaks and tackle home stuff. Time to take small bites and whittle away at the big piece of this puzzle.

I hope you all have a great day.

Today is a good day to be a good day!
Anxiety, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Hope, Journal Journey, Journey, Life, Medical Journey, Rawness, Real

Look Up When Darkness Surrounds You

Journaling Journey

Are you finishing up a difficult night like we are?

Our night has been difficult because Kiddo had a tough one. She has not felt good all day, but despite this issue, she still had to do her weekly IgG Infusion.

She felt defeated and beat down. She struggles on nights like tonight when they are difficult. What makes it even harder is when she questions why God gave her so many health issues and I have no answers in return. All I can say is, “I do not know.”

Are you feeling beat down and defeated tonight as well? I have some simple advice for you.

“Look up when darkness surrounds you. God is waiting for you.”

@homelife&encouragement.com

This seems like a simple task, but yet it is often times very difficult.

My friend, keep your chin up and remember, tomorrow is a new day.

Have a good night and a great new tomorrow.

Believe in Yourself, Christmas, Discouraged, Holiday, Journal Journey, Journey, Peace, Real, Strength, Weariness

The Real of Holiday Survival

img_3690

I am going to reveal the “reality” of my not so perfect holiday season with the hope if your holiday season was not all you wanted it to be, that this will encouraged you to know you are not the only one who struggled to get through a less than perfect Christmas season.

“Revelation and reality gives us the strength to conquer the messiness of life. ” HD Benson

We often times find ourselves comparing our lives to the perfection of the lives we see around us. When we watch Hallmark movies, we see everything is perfectly decorated and all the homemade Christmas treats are perfectly made and decorated. Then there is the perfection we see on FaceBook and on Instagram posts.

My Friend, this is not a reality. Do not compare your life to what you see in others. They only show you what they want you to see. They do not show you what is real and messy.

Now, I am going to show you my real and my messy with the hopes of encouraging you if yours looked anything like mine, it is okay because we all survived and got through another holiday season.

This week has been a week where I found myself in need of rest from an incredibly exhausting past few weeks and a grueling holiday season.

Once we finished with Thanksgiving, I decided to help my daughter who was extremely sick, finish her college semester in school. As her mom, who knows all she had gone through with her health and watched her struggle with pain and sickness for two straight months, I could not watch her fall into a pit of darkness and failure.

Instead, I put on my cheerleading clothes and drug out the pompoms and went to town. She was in desperate need of encouragement and strength and “mom” support, which I did for her. I stopped everything Christmas, stayed up late with her, got up early and she finished. She not only finished, but she finished with amazing grades. I am super proud of her for what she achieved in her first semester of college. I am praying for her health becomes better managed and her semester to come, is a much better one for her.

Once she finished her last class, it was time to jump back into Christmas mode, which I had avoided to give her everything she needed to get through this semester. I avoided the calendar to see how close we were getting to Christmas. I did everything possible to remain stress-free to keep my family happy and grounded during this crazy holiday season. However, when it was all done and I looked at the calendar, it was not pretty. I had one week to get five weeks worth of work done. I had to shop (as I had not bought one gift for anyone). I had to make the gifts we were giving away and I had not baked my first Christmas dessert yet. I told myself I had to do all of this with the minimalist amount of stress to keep the holiday cheer in my house.

What I have not mentioned was the really bad cold my daughter had, went through all of us. I had to take her to the doctor twice, my husband twice and the night of his first Emergency Room visit, I ran a fever that night and I ended up catching it as well and became extremely sick, but I fought my way through it to make Christmas happen.

With the strength God gave me and with His guidance to get through it all, I finished everything at 11:40 on Christmas Eve. It was all done and I could breathe again.

I wish I could say this all happened with no stress, but I can not. I did, however, make every effort of minimalizing it and that I feel like I accomplished it. I also have to confess that I was only able to pull off the first five days because my doctor put me on steroids as well as a steroid injection and an inhaler which enabled me to get a lot done because I do not handle steroids and sleep.

As a result of the steroids, I did begin to feel better and they gave me the extra energy that I needed to finish Christmas in time, but the exhausted crash that came afterward has been horrible. I needed this week to just rest and sleep to get caught back up.

This is the “real” and the raw of how my holidays went this year. I am, however, extremely thankful to hear back from not only my family but from my mom as well, that this was one of our best Christmas’s we have had in a long time.

Despite the sacrifices I made early on to help my daughter, they paid off in the end. It was not a traditional holiday season for me, but it came together in the very end and thankfully it all turned out well.

My friend, it does not matter how yours looked, whether it was wrought with challenges or it went smoothly, all that matters is that you tried and it is all done now for another year.

Now I will wish you all Happy New Year. It is my prayer this coming year will be one of peace and joy, changes if you are in need of them and the grace to accept everything that comes your way.

Journal Journey, Journey, Life, Rawness, Update

Is It Monday, Again?

Journaling Journey

Random Thoughts of Monday

It is Monday again and not just an ordinary Monday, but the one following Thanksgiving. I find myself left with the question of, “already?” It does not seem possible the Holidays are back again already. 

I lost track of time in writing from the last time I wrote because I did, in fact, paint the trim in my freshly painted house. 

Despite the post I wrote a time or two back, I knew it needed to be done despite any resistance that I could have been met with, but in the end, painting the trim was thankfully met with appreciation instead.  It truly freshened up the look of our house and helped to transform our house back into a home again.  

My daughter is completely happy with the updated look and this makes me happy. I know she is older, but I want our home to always be a place of comfort, safety, and love.

In all of this downtime between the last time I wrote and today, I pulled off getting my house updated and fresh again. We celebrated my daughter’s twenty-first birthday, celebrated Thanksgiving, and I transformed our home into a Christmas Wonderland for another year. 

When I decorate our house this means our living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room. Every room takes on a Christmas look in some fashion or another.  

It took me several days of decorating so I started the day before Thanksgiving because I love having our dining room decorated for our Thanksgiving meal. We have a Soldier Christmas Tree in that room. We first decorated that tree eight years ago when my husband was deployed and I wanted a special tree to serve as a visual reminder of all of our Soldiers who would not be home for the holidays. We have dark brown Christmas ornaments on that tree to serve as a reminder of them being in Iraq that year. 

I keep this tradition alive even today because although my husband is no longer a Soldier in the Army, there are many other Service members who are not home for the Holidays because they are away Serving our Country. 

I decorate our family room in blue lights because we still, to this day, use a four-foot tabletop tree we used in our apartment foyer when we lived in Germany. We bring those decorations out every year to serve as a reminder of the first few years we were married and stationed so far away from home. 

As for the rest of the house, it is game on for tradition. The kitchen is decorated with a simplistic look and our living room is decorated with a traditional Christmas look mixed in with a little bit of European. We have our large family tree in the living room and it is decorated with all our special ornaments. Lastly, I bring out our German Nutcrackers and spread them throughout the room which completes the decorated space.

This year I had an agenda to get my decorating done by this past weekend. I needed it done so I could get back into focusing on life again.

What I have failed to mention is that my Kiddo is sick again. She picked up a cold a couple of weeks ago and we thought she was going to be able to fight it, but just when we let our guard down because she was feeling better, it came back with a vengeance.

Now she is really sick and unfortunately, it is with everything she does not have the immunity to fight on her own. I took her to the doctor and she was diagnosed with strep throat, pink eye, laryngitis, and inflamed sinuses.

He decided with everything she had to give her an antibiotic to prevent this from getting worse, but here we are and it is Monday, and she feels even worse. The only thing that is better is her pink eye. 

So now I sit here writing and waiting for the doctor’s office to call me back with some direction in what to do with all of this. 

This is why I needed our Christmas decorations up so when sickness consumed our time again, I would have the creature comforts of home for the holidays done and not have the stress of decorating hanging over my heard adding even more stress to my plate. 

Not many people understand what our life entails with sickness always being at the forefront of our life, but it, unfortunately, is our reality. 

There are so many days that I live in frustration, such as today. I do not know what to do to make my daughter feel better. I know she needs to get her lessons in college done as the semester is going to come to a close quickly. She needs to get back to campus to enroll in the next semester’s worth of classes, which she was going to do this week, but with this crud hanging over her head and her not feeling good and not able to talk yet, I do not know if she will get there this week or not. 

This is the unpredictability of our life. It is a hard way to live and one I get so frustrated with living with. Between this poor kid’s migraines and immune deficiency running her life, everything we do is just put on hold. 

She does not have control over any of this and I know this. I try to be as supportive as I know how to be. It just breaks my heart to see her struggling so much. 

I had a picture pop up on my computer from a few years ago and I find myself missing those days so much. I find when I look at pictures of her now I can see in her face and in her eyes when her health took the turn it did. I do not know what God’s purpose in any of this is or how long she will have to struggle and suffer, but it is my constant prayer, He will bless her in a mighty way for all of it. 

In closing, I want you to know I am still here and it is my Christmas hope and prayer to be able to encourage you as we travel into this Christmas Season. 

This blog post took me all day to write as I wrote it in increments, but I am going to still post it even though it is the end of the day. It is just symbolic of how my day flow. Some days go smoothly and some are just getting through one interruption after another. You can clearly tell what kind of day today was for me.

I hope you had a good Monday. I hope it was one of productivity. It is my prayer for you that your week will go smoothly and you will accomplish many things.

Have a great week!

Anxiety, Brave Art of Motherhood, Broken, Burn out, Discouraged, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Rawness, Stress, Trials

Changes Are Powerful

Revealing All Sides of Them

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

I am popping in to say I am still here. Last week ended up crazy busy because Kiddo stayed well enough for me to in fact paint the inside of my house while my husband was gone. I am so happy I did because I have a “real” confession to make, my house was filthy.

When I began to tear it apart to get into the crevasses and corners you do not see on a regular basis, I began to see stuff that made me cringe. It truly broke my heart because Kiddo is highly allergic to this kind of dust. It makes me wonder how much our own home was contributing to her sickness?

Well, it is clean, updated, and fresh again. As we were making these changes we were both excited because we like change. Change breathes life into whatever it is you are changing. It to us is not a bad thing because we love it, however, to my husband he was not impressed when he came home to my freshness and change.

He hates change, but I was to be able to paint and make over rooms in my house in the past. I suspected he was not happy this time though because when he came home from being away his silence was deafening. I was not able to get everything I wanted to be done because he was not gone long enough, so he did not see what I have envisioned yet. I was not able to get the trim painted or put up the special signs I am going to make. At this point, I have decided to wait on painting the trim as I think this will truly be too much change. He needs to sit on these changes for a while.

I have an immense “raw and real” confession to make, this rejection hurt me to my core. I do everything I do to keep our home running efficiently while both he and my daughter spend more time sick than they do well. I run them to their countless doctor appointments so I can stay on top of their health issues and so for me to do this because it made me feel good was beyond disheartening.

I got extremely upset Saturday night and had a complete meltdown. I was yelling and screaming (not my finest moment or one I am proud of), but it was because I was tired of hiding my hurt and exhaustion any longer. I was tired of hiding behind my mask that says it is okay you hurt me again. Unfortunately, I crushed my sweet daughter in my rant because it started with her and I arguing with each other over my not willing to go to Washington DC for Veteran’s Day, but that was not even what had me upset. I was upset with her dad and his stubbornness to see these changes were important to me and that I needed this for me to find my happy place again. She didn’t know this. She only saw my emotions boiling out of control to the point they erupted like an out of control volcano.

I told you this to share my deepest and real feelings which I hide from behind my mask, the mask that says I have it all together when in full disclosure, I have nothing together. As my husband told me the other night in my fit of anger and yes rage at one point, I have become psychotic and I need help. This is only his perspective. I, however, stand on the truth of my own emotions. Unstable is the least of my problems. I am however over-worked, over-burdened from carrying the load for both of us for so long. I am exhausted both mentally and physically and depressed for the lifestyle we are living in now and will continue to live for him to be happy here. What he does not realize, understand or see, is that if I was as unstable as he believes me to be, I could not continue to carry the unbearably heavy load I carry to ensure he has a happy life while he struggles with the burdens of dealing with his own PTSD.

I am not sure how it has happened but since 2012 I have tap danced around my husband’s war triggered PTSD and anger. I have walked on cartons worth of eggshells to keep him happy. We stopped doing things we enjoyed as a family. We stopped attending events that were crowded because that was an anxiety trigger for him. Now both my Kiddo and I have found (as of this weekend that crowds make us both nervous and uncomfortable). I knew change upsets him so I make few “big” changes so he will not get upset, but my friends as I have found years later, giving in to all of this is not healthy for you as an individual. Your attempt to help them all the time is actually enabling what will become bad behavior and behavior that can, in turn, cost you everything. Everything meaning your happiness, your identity, and your life. 

Be careful how much of you, you give away to others. I have done some serious soul-searching over the past couple of days as I was on a personal quest to make changes within myself to find “me” to be truly happy again. Now I find myself at a crossroads because if my husband hates change to the point of me writing my deepest and rawest heart out here, then I have a much bigger problem of making changes within my own heart. He is not going to like the personal changes I make within myself because he will feel the effects of some of those changes.

So this is the question I am left with … do I continue my journey of self-discovery at the cost of everything, that meaning my marriage of almost 25 years and my family? How much is my need for change worth to me?  

Please forgive me as this post is deeply personal and I am writing from my rawest moment this morning. I am at this moment of pondering this simple quote written by Rachel Marie Martin in her book, The Brave Art of Motherhood,

“Be brave,” says my spirit. 

“Wait,” says fear.

“Have courage,” says my soul. 

“Not yet,” says worry.

“Dare,” says my heart. 

– Rachel Marie Martin 

The Brave Art of Motherhood

Where does this journey take me? Where does God want me to be in five years? How do I regain stability in my life again? All of these are questions I have and still need answers to. As I continue to find my way in life, I will continue to write about them as it is my deepest desire that if my heartache can help someone else to know they are not battling their own battles alone, then all of this pain will be worth it in the end.

 

 

 

Bondage, Broken, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Rawness, Real, Strength

Set Yourself Free From The Bondage of Masks

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“Good Morning”, the cordial greeting of the day. You put a smile on your face and you return the appropriate greeting and then comes the common follow-up question which is, “How are you?” While you are still smiling, you say good and you?

This is how the typical Monday morning goes. You put on your mask and life is all good again, but is it really?

Do your masks look anything like mine? Do you have a happy face that is well-worn and beginning to fall apart? Do you have the, as my husband says, the neither here nor there face? How about the grouchy face (which if I am being honest is rather worn out)? Do you have the worried face (which has been my go-to mask with all the sickness my family has been through) or how about the frustrated and the angry face? These are my masks I have to hang beside my keys which are ready to grab as soon as I get my keys to go out the door.

Which mask do you grab for the concealment of your everyday real emotions? As for me, I grab a happy face because I can not show others that everything is not ok. Only the people who are close to me know what my real face looks like. To everyone else, they only know the mask I wear.

I often think of the masks I wear every time I mow my lawn. It is important to me to keep my lawn mowed because if my yard is in order then it reflects a well-ordered life from the outsider’s perspective. What the average person driving past my house does not realize, is that if they came through my front door, they would quickly realize I am struggling to keep the chaos and disorder at bay. My house many days is a mess (as my husband often says, and so is everyone else’s, who cares, but he doesn’t understand that I care). I have dog hair (in clumps at the moment) all over the place. My bathroom is in dire need of cleaning. I struggle to keep up with the laundry and my floors need to be vacuumed and mopped. Overall, the house is in desperate need of some love, cleaning, and maintenance.

I know many are reading this thinking I thought we all struggled with this every day? For me personally, it is a struggle I wish I didn’t have. When I gave up my career years ago to come home to be a stay at home mom, I took my responsibility seriously and part of this responsibility was to keep our home and family happy, organized, and free of chaos.

Unfortunately, unhappiness, chaos, and disorder are how we seem to live now. Money is tight, so when something breaks, we can not usually afford to fix it (unless it is something that is serious, such as my car). I am sitting at the car repair shop just this morning, waiting for my car to be fixed as I write this.

Between all the doctor appointments, I am always on the road running between appointment after appointment. Then when we get home from them, it is back in the car to get Kiddo to work, then run errands and return home to decide which is more important, the housework or trying to start my craft and graphic design business to get it off the ground so we can make some extra money, that we are desperately in need of.

So with all of the personal revelation I have made and the rawness of my “real” life, now you know a little more about who I am, personally. The “superficial” me is about keeping up appearances. I grew up being taught we are to be responsible and keep our feelings to yourself. You do not allow anyone to know how bad life can be. You hide this because outsiders are to only see your “best” behavior. Now years later, I find myself struggling with the fallacy of how I was raised while keeping up with the appearance that says, I look responsible and organized. The problem with this is on the inside I struggle with who I am now. I struggle with what I consider to be important. I find I am struggling with trying to figure out who the “real” me is for all the masks I have worn for so many years.

How about you? Do you struggle with this same identity crises because of the years you have worn your masks? Have you finally broke free from the bondage of the masks or are you still hiding? How did you break free?

I think the time has come to remove the masks and let our true identity be visible and shine through. I am challenging you today to make a commitment with me to allow your “real” face to be seen by others.

Today is the day we unmask and set ourselves free from the bondage of false identities.

Remember Today… You are beautiful when you are being your “real” self. Allow that person to be seen by everyone now.