Choices

It’s the fourth of July and I’ve been in my pj’s all day. My daughter had to work, my husband had to work and my son spent the day with his friends. Not that I’m complaining about them working or being gone; I wanted a day to myself and I had the perfect day planned. I wanted to do absolutely nothing, so I sat on the couch and watched movies ALL day. Well, I also managed to do all the laundry and cook an amazing roast in the crock pot. I sporadically scrolled through my Facebook feed throughout the day. I mean, who doesn’t do that nowadays; right!

As I’m scrolling, I see how all of my friends have spent the holiday and I can’t help but feel somewhat envious. I know that jealousy is not becoming, but I couldn’t help it. I’m happy for my friends. I’m happy they have families that they can spend time with and enjoy, not just on the holidays, but every day. I just wish that my kids, husband and I had the same thing.

It’s my fault, so I shouldn’t be complaining, right? I am the one that chose to cut my family out of my life. There were reasons, of course there were reasons… so what do you do? I could try to mend the fences with my parents. It would be so easy. They would be happy that I accept them the way they are and the way they treat me, but I would go back to being miserable. We would have somewhere to be on holidays, my kids would have their grandparents and cousins, aunts and uncles. But I would have to go back to walking on eggshells to make sure I don’t offend someone. Is that fair? We have other sides of the family and we don’t have anything to do with them either. There are biological moms, cousins, aunts and uncles. Is it wrong of us to cut all of these people out of our lives?

Bottom line is this, we have no one and it hurts. It hurts me because I know it hurts my children and my husband. They want the fairy tale family that gets together on every holiday, that laughs together and loves together and we don’t have that. Unfortunately, we have the type of family that wants to drink together and fight each other. We have the kind of family that cares more about their friends and whether or not they are happy than if their actual daughters, sisters or wives are happy. We have the kind of family that would rather do drugs and pills than take care of their children and we have the type of family that is more concerned about what we can do or provide for them rather than spending time with us. We have the kind of family that deserves our forgiveness and our love, but that doesn’t mean we should sacrifice our peace to have relationships with them.

I must choose my peace over unhealthy relationships and my joy over toxic people. Will it still hurt? Of course. Will I still wish things could be different? Absolutely. I will always long for that perfect, comforting and supportive family; the one I’ve never had. I will always mourn the family that I wish they were.

 

 

Damaged

Daily Prompt: Core

I’m damaged and that’s okay.

Every hurtful word, every harsh action taken against me; I’ve taken it all in and pushed it down. It sits at my core and I can’t let it go. No, I don’t want to let it go. I like the fact that it’s there and I can pull it out whenever I feel the need. When I feel like being angry, I reach down and grab a memory that will allow me to justify my anger. When I want to be sad, I can reflect on a moment from the past that totally broke my heart. And when I feel like I’m a nobody and I don’t matter, the bitter words from the past echo in my ears; validating my perception.

But, who wants to feel like being angry? Who wants to be sad? Who feels like a nobody and that they don’t matter?

Me. Because I’m damaged and that’s okay.

thank you for my scars

Daily Prompt: Slur

I was told stories about how, when I was a toddler, you were the only one who could comfort me. Any time I was sad or hurt, all I wanted was you. As time went on, we grew apart. That is what I was told, but I don’t remember any of that.

What I do remember is being scared. Every time I was around you, the only thing I felt was fear. Well, that’s not exactly true. Sometimes, I would feel hope. Hope that I would hear you say you were proud of me. Hope that you wouldn’t tell me what a disappointment I was. Hope that you wouldn’t call me lazy or worthless. I can still remember the way the words would slur as they poured out of your mouth. Such horrible words. But, what I remember most, is not how the words would sound; I remember how the words would make me feel.

At first, I believed you. I felt like a lazy, worthless disappointment. I was sad, absolutely miserable. But then, something happened. I realized you were wrong and I set out to prove it. I put forth the best effort I could in everything I did. I gave it my all and I succeeded. I was an amazing student, a dedicated worker, and a pretty awesome person. My work ethic was impeccable. It allowed me to graduate high school, work my way through college and eventually start an amazing career. But, still… it wasn’t good enough for you. Finally, I realized I would never be good enough for you. And that’s okay.

My emotional scars have healed, but always serve as a reminder. A reminder of you, the person that helped shape me into the woman I am today. I’m no longer angry. I’m not sad and definitely not miserable. I am an amazing person and I owe part of that to you. I didn’t like your methods, at the time, but they did teach me a thing or two. Although I cannot have a relationship with you now, I have forgiven you. Not for you, but for me. It’s important that you know I love you. And I know you love me too, even if you don’t know how to show it.

I understand you’re still under the impression that you did nothing wrong and you feel you have nothing to apologize for. And, I don’t need you to say you’re sorry… not anymore.

It is well with my soul and I am finally at peace.

 

Retrospective

In retrospect, I should have told the truth. When you asked why, I should have been honest and told you the truth. But I didn’t, I did what I thought was best at the time; I lied. Nothing has been the same since. My excuse is, I was trying to spare your feelings. Instead, I should have told you the truth and trusted you to understand. Would you have understood? I don’t think so. I believe the outcome would have been the same; however, you would know the truth. Do you want to know? Would it change anything? You would still be hurt, only for a different reason.

What do I do now?

Time

I beg you to stop, just for a moment.
But you don't listen.
I just need a second, a minute, an hour.
But you continue to move as if I've said nothing.
I plead and insist to no avail and
as if to mock me, you seem to move faster.
My resolve is gone as I'm forced to admit,
You stop for absolutely no one.pexels-photo-280253.jpeg

Hope for a Troubled World

There are so many problems in the world today, it’s hard to stay focused on what’s important. Then again, I guess some things that I think are important, others may not and vice versa. I believe everyone has the right to their opinion, but I also believe there is a time and place for everything. With that being said, I’m not hear to argue politics or freedom of speech or racism or boycotting the NFL. I’m just going to tell you what’s on my mind.

suntrust

 

I celebrated my birthday on Tuesday of last week. My husband and some close friends took a trip to Tennessee. We were able to relax, sight see, go to Dollywood, and even catch a Braves game on the way back home. It was almost, yes almost, a perfect trip. There was something that happened on our way to Dollywood and I can’t seem to get it off of my mind.

As we’re driving down Chapman Highway, in Seymour, TN; we hear sirens and see lights. There are several accident vehicles, ambulances and police cars and fire trucks, flying by us. Another couple of miles down the road, we reach their destination. Apparently, there was a thirteen month old child that was involved in a hit and run. My husband noticed the toddler lying on the road while a police officer was administering CPR. My friend, who was sitting in the back seat with me, turned and saw the child’s face. That image haunted her for the remainder of the day and for a few days after. We were determined to find out what happened and planned to stop at a nearby business, on the way back, but the business was closed. Again, we just had to know what happened. We were hoping that the child survived and was recovering. Later that evening, we learned the terrible facts of what happened. The little baby died. A thirteen month old little girl was hit by a car and died at the scene.

accident

In the last few days, I have read many disturbing news articles and I just keep asking myself ‘why?’ I read about a female employee, at McDonalds, who gave birth in the restroom at work. A couple of her co-workers went to check on her and found her trying to flush her newborn baby down the toilet. Another article was about a man who strangled his two year old and newborn sons, before setting his house on fire, killing himself while his wife slept.

What is wrong with people? I will never understand and I’d probably drive myself crazy trying to figure it out! This is a lost and dying world that needs Jesus. Since I cannot control other peoples actions, let alone understand them, I will choose to pray for them. I will pray for the lost that commit such heinous acts and I will pray for the innocent that are affected by their actions. I would ask that you do the same. We must live in this crazy world for now, but it’s a comfort knowing that this is only our temporary home. Our true home is in Heaven. While we are on this earth, John 16:33 is also a great comfort. It states “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 

 

Letting Go

The most painful goodbyes are the ones never said and never explained. Sometimes, people just grow apart.  No matter how hard you try, you cannot be the kind of friend that everyone needs. There are some that believe you must communicate every day or you’re not friends. Why? Is it insecurity? I have friends that I may not speak to for a week, a month; yet they never question the friendship. Is that because they have confidence in our relationship? I guess the reasons don’t matter. You just have to be you. Some will love you the way you are and others will wish you were different.

Should you change to accommodate others’ needs? What would the consequences be? How long can you fake it and what would be the point? I honestly can’t do it anymore. I’ve come to realize that no matter how hard I try, I will never be enough for some. I just have to be me, what others want is irrelevantBe_Yourself_Quotes1

No Regrets

I couldn’t help but throw this in here… this was a great movie. Who doesn’t love a little Scotty P? Know what I’m sayin?  Ha ha!

no regrets

On a more serious note…

My husband once asked me where I was years ago. We didn’t find each other until later in life. We were both in our thirties when we met and started dating, each with one marriage already under our belts and him with three children. His thought in asking the question was why couldn’t we have met sooner and had more time together? We have a wonderful relationship and have enjoyed so much in the eleven plus years we’ve been together and I know we’ll do the same for the next forty or so years. But, why couldn’t we have had those earlier years together as well? Why dd it take so long for God to bring us together? He had His reasons.

stupid

My answer to his question was this, I wouldn’t have dated him if we’d met years earlier. We were two completely different people back then. Knowing who he was, I wouldn’t have liked him. He was far from the God fearing, caring and supportive man he is now. That’s not a put-down, it’s just to say he hadn’t had the experiences in life that made him into who he is now. And it wasn’t just him, I was nowhere near the person I am today either. Life has a way of causing us to recreate ourselves.

trials

 

Everything that happens to us, everything we experience in life, has an affect on who we are and who we become. I’ve learned from the things life has thrown at me. The pleasant things taught me how to be appreciative. The not so pleasant things, well, they taught me how to cope. For me, the things I experienced before I met my husband prepared me to be a better wife to him and I believe the same is true of him. Our first marriages taught us what kind of husband and wife we didn’t want to be, as well as what kind of husband and wife we didn’t want to be married to. It wasn’t easy, but we made it through and were better because of it. Unfortunately, others are not so lucky. The things that they have been through could have a more negative affect on who they become. I believe it’s all in your determination to make lemons into lemonade. It’s your choice how you react to every situation. You can choose to sulk and throw yourself a pity party when things are going wrong. Or, you can pick yourself up, deal with the situation and move on. How do you find the strength? I turn to God. He doesn’t promise life will be easy, but He does promise us that we don’t have to go through it alone.

Thanks to God’s perfect plan, I know I am who I’m supposed to be. Did I have to go through all those tough times to get where I am today? Absolutely. In Romans 8:28, the Bible says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

I made it through. I survived all the trials of the past and they’ve made me who I am. I am happy, I am with the man of my dreams, I have a wonderful family and job, amazing friends and a life that is as close to perfect as possible. There’s nothing I would change about the past, I have no regrets.

Happily_ever_after_by_jucylucyinspired

 

D*I*V*O*R*C*E

Once upon a time; long, long ago… lived a beautiful princess. And that’s about where the fairy tale ends.

I was married once before. I was nineteen years old, young and stupid. I actually thought I was in love. In truth, I believe I was more in love with the idea of being in love. We had a big wedding, four hundred or so guests. A reception that would have been fit for a king. It was a day long event that started with beauty appointments and brunch and ended with dancing the night away. There I was, in my beautifully long, flowing, white dress. All eyes were on me; I was lavished with attention and I just ate it up. I savored the sweet, flavorful taste, that lasted about twelve hours.

And then the party was over and real life set in.

for_better_or_for_worse_by_northgeorgiatattoos-d5u2ko8

I’m not going to go into great detail about the problems in my first marriage that ultimately led to my divorce. I will say that I tried to make it work, for four long years, I tried. I didn’t believe in divorce, until it became a reality.

I tried ‘playing the field,’ but that just wasn’t me. I wasn’t the dating type. I was the girlfriend type. So, for the next eleven years, I was in three long-term relationships. I just couldn’t seriously consider marriage again and the reason will probably surprise you. When I would think about getting married, my thoughts would always lead to a) if it doesn’t work out, there’s always divorce and b) it’s so easy to get divorced. There it is, the sad truth and it’s still sad today.

divorce

Our society has made it so easy to get divorced. From easyfastdivorce.com to one day divorce or separation by phone 1-877-***-****. Of course, when I got divorced almost twenty years ago, it was a little more difficult. It only cost $325.00 and took six months (only because that was the law of the state). The thought process being that if you waited six months, you might change your mind. It didn’t work on me. Now that waiting period is no longer mandatory. In my state, your divorce can be granted within twenty days after filing. Yep, that’s the problem with society today. Sin is so easily acceptable and therefore so readily available.

Whatever happened to ’til death do us part?’ I understand that, in certain circumstances, divorce is necessary. What I don’t understand is how people place such a small value on the vows that they make to each other. Look, I know I once broke my vows too. My only excuse is that I was young and I don’t think I truly understood what I was vowing to do, but I learned from that mistake. I didn’t get married again until I understood that it meant forever. Divorce is not an option for me. Unfortunately, there are those that feel it is an easy fix for their marriage. As soon as things get a little tough, it’s easier to run than to fight for the relationship.

Look, I don’t know the ins and outs of everyone’s marriage. All I’m saying is that I wish people would think before they get married and think twice before they consider divorce. When two people break up, they are not the only two people that their divorce affects.

divorce-effects-children

 

 

 

The Real Mom

I can still remember the conversation that we had almost five years ago. My oldest son had just turned eighteen and was preparing to start his career in the Army. We had just finished a three mile run together and were walking to cool down. I stopped him mid-stride and asked him if we could talk.

“I’m sorry,” I began, “if you thought I was too hard on you.”

He turned to me and said, “Mama, you don’t have to be sorry. I know you just wanted and still want what’s best for me.”

use this one heartWhen my kids were younger, I used to have this fear. I think at some point, all stepmothers have the same one. One day, one of the children that you love as your own will turn and look at you and shout, “You’re not my real mom!” Of course, you know it’s just out of anger and/or disappointment and they don’t really mean it. But, it doesn’t matter. The words prick at your heart like a thorny rose. And once said, they cannot be unheard and you cannot stop your heart from breaking.

 

It’s been nine and a half months since we’ve spoken. I tried to reach out to him, several times, but he will not respond. It hurts. You have no idea how much it hurts. I continue to pray for him, every day, I pray that he’s happy and healthy. He’s with his real mom now.  I hope she’s watching out for him… like I used to do.