Forgive.


Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, As God’s chosen people, Holy and dearly loved,

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

I was adopted at only a day old. As the story goes, my birth mother and my mom who raised me knew each other as kids. One day, my mom went for a walk, running into my birth mother. My birth mom was clearly pregnant and had two other little ones with her. They began talking and my birth mother asked my mom to adopt me. She couldn’t take care of me. So, my parents started the adoption process.

I knew my entire life that I was adopted. My parents told me the stories about how excited they were to have me. They took me home from the hospital. Mom, Dad, my brother and sister put a few names in a hat and that’s how they decided on Stacy. I heard these stories over and over again growing up. But, the only thing missing was, who is my birth mom and why did she not want me? For legal reasons, my parents told me that they could not tell me anything until I was at least 20. So, I spent many years wondering.  

I can’t really explain the years of never feeling as though I fit in anywhere. There was something different about me, as compared to my siblings. I felt like no matter where I went, I stuck out. From a child to my adult years, I never felt as though I deserved to be in the presence of anybody else. I was so angry at my birth mother. Maybe if she had kept me, I would have felt as though I belonged. Words cannot begin to describe how grateful I was and still am to my parents. It wasn’t them at all. It was just that missing puzzle piece. I could never forgive her for giving me up.

I was able to meet my birth mother briefly when I was 19. It was awkward and uncomfortable. I was angry. I didn’t understand. I was young. I didn’t truly know God.

Fast forward 33 years later, I found myself and my family here at a church. For the first time in my life, I picked up the Bible. I never understood forgiveness and what Jesus did for us until I started learning about it here. I never thought I could forgive my birth mother, until I started coming here.  

It’s been about 5 months since I reached out to my birth mom again. We’ve reconnected. I let go of any bitter feelings I had held onto over the years. I’m learning that we share many similarities in our personalities. I’ve learned that I am loved and always have been. My children are getting to know her now. It’s been one of the greatest things that could have happened to me.

Not only has forgiveness allowed me to let go of hurt and pain, it’s allowed me to show my children the power that forgiveness has. I realized that it wasn’t only my birth mom I was punishing by being so angry, I was punishing myself. You finally realize how much not forgiving somebody holds you back from life. When you decide to let it all go and give it all to the Lord, you free yourself. For the first time in my life, I actually feel like I’m alive and I am starting to feel like I belong.  

Xoxo,

Stacy :) 
 

 

 

 

My Happy New Year

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I’m a no resolution kind of girl.  I don’t normally like to be caught up in the hoopla of the New Year.  Personally, I have never even been a big fan of New Year’s Eve.  I never understood the big deal.  You can start over any time during the year, why make a big deal on 1/1?

This year, I feel different.  I don’t really know why, I just want to make a resolution.  I don’t want to start it off on a negative foot by already complaining about the resolution fads.  I want to do 2016 right.  By doing 2016 right, I still mean in my living room, with my kids, in my pj’s.  That part of it will never be wrong.

Resolutions though, here are my thoughts:

1.)  I will no longer focus on any person in my life that does not make the same effort for me as I do for them.   I just don’t want to care about it anymore.  Because in reality, I have everyone I need.  My kids, my husband.  A few friends, some family.   And if there is anybody that I have walked away from, it’s for a reason.  I never wake up in the morning and decide to walk away from people that have always been in my life.  Things build up.  When I finally have enough, I have enough.   I don’t.  NO.  I won’t feel bad about it anymore.  Even if they try and reverse it all back on me.  In my heart, I know the truth.  I don’t need to yell it to the world.  I just know and you know what?  I’m at peace with it all.

2.)  Write.  Write, write, write!  I have lost my ability to focus on my dreams.  If I don’t dive in now, when will I?  Do I want to become someone that sits at a desk for the rest of her life, wishing she could go back in time and try again?  Nope.  I really don’t.  I have dreams.  I have goals.  I’m going for them.

3.)  Organize.  I’m done procrastinating, it’s time to finish painting the rooms in the house.  It’s time to finish the basement.  I don’t need old clothes.  I’ve got this, sleeves are up and I’m diving in.

4.)  Love with all my heart.  There will be people that can’t accept love.  They aren’t happy with themselves, so they will push you away.  I’m going to keep pushing back because I have been that person.  Even if the world is bitter, I’m still going to shine through with love.

5.)  Exercise.  The most cliché of them all, right?!  Honestly though, I feel so much better with exercise.  But, I’m not focused on weight.  I feel that all too often there is an unhealthy obsession with needing to be thin.  People become so fixated on themselves, that’s all they begin to see in others.  It eats at you, it makes you miserable.  Find the balance.  Exercise, but don’t obsess.  Be healthy.

6.)  Teach.  I’m going to teach my children everything I can next year.  Whether it be simple or complex, they will always have my most undivided attention.  Even when they are older, I vow to make sure they know that they are always to come first in my life, before anyone or anything else.  They are always going to know how loved they are.

And finally, 7.)  Live.  That one is self-explanatory.  However, we get so caught up with the hustle and bustle of the day to day life, we forget to live.  I’m done trying to get to Friday on Monday.  I’m making the most out of every minute.  That’s why it’s so important to love your work life as much as you  love the life on the outside.

If you lost that spark, 2016 sounds like a good time to find it.

Happy New Year.

xoxo,

Stacy

 

 

That Spark.

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I’m stuck in the repetitive nature of day-to-day life. Somewhere in between age 18 and 32, I have lost that spark. That spark used to ignite all my dreams and goals.  That spark used to be my motivation to strive for accomplishment in life.

I was going to visit every state, write a book, take cooking classes, photography classes etc.

I am determined to find that spark once again.

I have allowed myself to become so involved in working for the weekend; I’ve lost the spark that could be right in front of me today.

Eat, sleep, get the kids ready, kiss the husband, go to work, repeat.

Life does not have to be a broken record. It can be the best damn vinyl collection you have ever experienced. I don’t know how or when I forgot to live this way, but I’m back to believing in myself again.

I find myself saying, “Oh, I’d love to travel one day. Maybe when the kids are older?” Or, “I’d love to get back into my crafting. Maybe when I am retired in 30-40 years, I’ll have more time.”

You know what? I have time today.   Something just clicked and I am determined to keep my focus. There is no reason that I cannot make time to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. I cannot blame my full-time job, my husband, and my children. The only person holding myself back is me.

You have the same amount of time in a day that every other person has.  It’s how you choose to use it.  Nobody is promised tomorrow, no matter what age you are.

It’s time to dust out the old journal that I filled in at age 17 with all of my goals. My husband, children, home, these are all the best things that I have ever accomplished in life. But, there’s no stopping there. I will find time for me. I will take the time for a class, a new hobby, a second career, and to travel. Your goals don’t need to cease to exist because you are a mom or wife. If anything, with all of your family’s support, your goals should be even closer within reach than before.

Find that spark that you’ve always had, dust it off and let it shine. Set a new goal for every day.

Always MAKE the time.

Xoxo,

Stacy

An Introvert with a Semi-Colon Tattoo.

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My husband and my semi-colon tattoos. He’s my rock and my reason.

I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t talk to ask for help.  All I could feel was the sensation that my air supply had been cut off.  I didn’t know what was happening.  I thought this was the end.

I was only 13.

I couldn’t eat in the lunchroom, I hid in the bathroom until the bell rang.  How on earth could I walk up to a table and ask if I could sit with any of these kids?  Why would they want to sit with me?

20 years later.

When I go to the store, I’m the one on a mission just trying not to make eye contact.  It’s not that I don’t want to be courteous, it’s just that I don’t feel good enough compared to anybody else.  Crowds make me incredibly nervous as well.

When I take my children to school or sports functions.  I don’t make small talk with the coaches or other parents.  I don’t know how to start the conversation.  I feel silly or embarrassed if I even try to fit in.  I’ll just sit back and observe until I get to know you better.  Once I do, we’ll be chatting at the field all the time.

If we are friends, you won’t get phone calls very often from me.  It’s not that I don’t love you.  It’s just that I hate the phone and would rather be at the dentist for two hours.  I’ll text you 24/7 though.  I write much better than I speak.

If I say no to plans, please don’t take it personally.  People drain me.  Absolutely drain me.  The only ones that I can be around all day every day are my kids and husband.  It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be friends or that I don’t want to hang out, because I do.  I don’t like that I am like this.  But, I am.  And if you have been my friend for years, you know this about me.  And I appreciate the fact that you stand by me more than you’ll ever know.  Please don’t stop trying to make plans with me.

I want to be social.  I want tons and tons of friends.  I just have a hard time starting the conversations.  It’s rare for me to find friends that get me.  But, when they do, we are friends for life.  I’ll be there for them for always.

My children and husband are my absolute world.  I may be anxious, I may be an introvert, but you will see a whole other side of me if you mess with any of them.  They make me dealing with all of this so easy.  I owe them the universe.

In large crowds, I will be looking for the nearest animal to pet.  I want to socialize and be like the rest of you, but on the inside I’m trying not to go into panic mode.  Any crowd I go into, I feel like I don’t belong.  I never feel good enough.  The only time I find enough confidence to deal with the world is when it’s for my children or for work.

At work I try to hide being an introvert.  I try to hide my anxiety.  You have to be a faux extrovert to work in customer service.   I’ve learned to be pretty good at it too.  Most people are surprised when they hear that I am an introvert.  I take pride in that fact. I work very, very hard at my job.  When people complain or gossip about something I did, I probably take it more to heart than anyone else in the building.  I do that because of how much I care about what I do.  I’m really, really hard on myself.

You may call me weird, shy, anti-social, rude, selfish, odd, mad, depressed, a loner, people hater, hermit, nerd (ok that one may be true), but I promise you, I’m not really any of those things.  I’m a regular person who is just has a little more anxiety than the person next door.  I’m a little bit awkward because small talk is not my thing.  I’d rather be at home reading on a rainy Saturday with my family than at the mall or out at a bar.  But, I promise you that if you ever need somebody, it doesn’t matter the time of night, I’ll be there.  I’ll listen intently and will remember everything you say, judgment free.

So, if I am ever out and about and you feel the same way too, don’t be afraid to ask me about my semi-colon tattoo.

xoxo,

Stacy

The Cheese

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Life can be a struggle.  Life can also be a beautiful thing.  I’m going to tell you a story about how a stranger helped turn my struggle into a beautiful thing.  Now, the title of this post may sound a little odd.  It’s strange to see a story about individually wrapped cheese playing a life changing role in someone’s life.  However, it did in mine.  I’ll never look at those little wrapped slices of cheesy goodness the same way.  And it’s not a culinary discovery thing.  It’s a life altering event kind of thing.  Let me explain.

Not everyone in the world has lived their life the way they should.  We all grow up with a mental picture of what we are supposed to do.  We are supposed to graduate high school, graduate college, meet the love of our life, get married, buy a house and have babies.  Well, sometimes this doesn’t happen for all of us.  Sometimes we think that the choice we are making is the right one.  Nobody ever gets married intending to get a divorce.  Sometimes, even though you want to live happily ever after with the person you first marry, it doesn’t happen.  We don’t want this to happen, but for reasons unknown to the rest of the world, it does.  Maybe you try to make it work.  Maybe you fight and fight and fight for it to work, but it doesn’t.  This is ok.  Even when the rest of the world judges you because you aren’t following the Bible the way you should, you are ok.  From all the things I have read and heard, if you believe in God, He will still love you.  Ignore every single person that judges you.  If they post pictures on Facebook about how much better they are because they are not divorced, ignore them.  Nobody knows the roads that you have traveled.  Even if they are ignorant enough to think they do, they don’t.  Only you know in your heart and you need to convince yourself that your mistakes are ok.  Until you do that, you will always feel guilty because society paints a picture of what happily ever after is.  Create your own. 

Now, that being out of the way, I chose a path that was bumpy.  It was bumpy with logs in the way, sticks, boulders, tasmanian devils, tornadoes, you name it, it was on that darn path.  I learned a lot, I’ve grown a lot.  I feel like I know more at 31 than some people that I know do at 65.  I don’t boast about it, I just feel a lot more content with the little things in life.  That rough part of my life was not only mentally rough, but financially rough as well.  Making about $300 a week, I had to support a new baby, a 4 year old, pay $950 at the time for rent and still do the day to day things.  I had way too much pride to apply for food stamps.  Would I have qualified, absolutely.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I knew there would be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Did I think that light was still 4 years away, nope not at all.  I really hoped it would be a lot sooner, but it wasn’t and that’s ok.

The only thing that I asked for help with was milk, formula and cheese.  There is a program out there called WIC and they give those that struggle checks to buy these things.  Oh my Lord, it pained me to do this.  I cringe even thinking about it now.  Having to step into that office asking for help still makes me tear up.  I used those checks 3 times.  3 times and that was it.  I could have used them another 3-4 years, but I refused.  I could manage even if I went without.  As long as my children were fed and happy, I was happy.  Sometimes my pride is my enemy, but it’s who I am and I would not change that characteristic ever.

After going to a well known department store, I used my checks the first time.  The large blue envelope that carried the checks was humiliating for me.  The cashier called me “a welfare person.”  This wasn’t welfare, but I just teared up and took my baby formula and milk out of the store as fast as I could.  I left there letting her think what she wanted because some people who have these mentalities really are ignorant.  If they only knew that everything was taken from me and I was working as hard as I could, they would understand.  However, some people don’t deserve to hear your story.  I just pray they never find themselves to be in that same situation.  It’s heartbreaking. 

The next week or two when I had the courage (kind of) to go back and try again, I did.  However, I dragged my mom and dad along with me for support and went to a different store.  This was a little market in town next to a church I grew up going to.  I did feel a little bit better in this one.  I grabbed my baby formula, my milk, my cheese and some cereal.  Hiding the gigantic blue envelope, I pulled it out cautiously, trying to make sure nobody could see me.  I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible.  It was after work, around 5pm and the foot traffic in the store was starting to pick up.  The nice cashier didn’t call me a welfare person.  However, there was a problem and of course, I had about 3 or 4 others in line behind me now.

“Mam, there’s no cheese on this check this week.”  I looked at the check and it wasn’t on there.  I had nothing.  My $20 was just put in my gas tank and my bank account was just drained to go to $1,000 rent.  “Oh.” I say quietly.  My face was as red as a Maine lobster fresh out of the cooking pot.  “I can’t get it this time.  I’m sorry.”  She gave me the most sympathetic look.  My parents couldn’t hear what was going on and I would be dammed if I asked them for a nickel.  They already had helped me so much, even $3 cheese was out of the question.  I gave her the checks and didn’t dare look around.  When people stare at you, it’s like you can feel them burning holes in the back of your head.  Or this could have just been my paranoia.

I went out to the parking lot, speed walking to my parent’s van as fast as I could.  I was so embarrassed.  I just wanted to hug my mom.  All of a sudden I hear, “Mam!”  I just continued getting in the van.  “Mam, mam!”  I turned around.  “Mam, I bought your cheese for you!  I hope you have a good day!”  The stranger handed me the cheese.  I just looked at him.   I thanked him over and over.  That kind stranger purchased the cheese after I left the store and ran it out to me in the parking lot.  After he walked away without saying another word, I just looked at my mom.  I got into the van and I cried.  But, for the first time in a really long time, it was a good cry.  He didn’t judge me.  He wasn’t looking at me like I had chosen the wrong path in life.  He wasn’t there to give me a lecture, he just wanted to help me.  I will be forever grateful.

I don’t even know if that kind stranger still remembers that.  I know I do.  I know I’ll never forget.  Every time I pass that little market, I think of that time.  Because of him, I try at least once a month to pay for the person behind me at the drive-thru.  I try to do little things for people when I can.  Other people may see it as a waste of money, but I see it as a genuine act of kindness.  Why not?  Save your money, yes.  Be responsible, yes.  But, splurge a little too.  Having nothing is not fun.  If you have even a little extra, enjoy it.  You can’t take it to the grave with you.  You can save for big fancy things, but don’t forget to live life too. 

And maybe, if you see someone struggling at the store, buy them their cheese.😉

“Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.”  – Unknown

xoxo,

Stacy

 

 

Writer’s Cramp!

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It has been a REALLY long time since my last post.  It’s also been a REALLY long time since any of my journals have been scribbled in.  Since my last post, I started a new job.  My almost 2-year-old job.  Yes, it’s been a while.

I had been posting frequently about dealing with negative people, staying positive, finding time with my kiddos, etc.  I always find it easier to write when dealing with negative emotions.  My new job has made me so incredibly happy.  Words cannot even describe how wonderful it has been.  My family is wonderful and I am enjoying each and every day.  I have tried and tried to write something meaningful, my mind has just been blank.  Hence the writer’s cramp.

My husband (yes, husband!  We finally tied the note in fall of 2012) has recently started a blog about his other love (aside from the kids and I), cigars.  That being a completely different subject matter for me, as I have never smoked a thing in my life, has still inspired me to put the pen to paper again (Or the fingers to keyboard)? 

I almost had a chance to have a book published.  One of my posts about divorce was sent to Harlequin Publishing.  All I need to do is finish it all and put it into a book format.  Just a layout will do.  But, I can’t.  I just cannot visit the negativity of it all.  It’s so far behind me, book deal or not, I’m not ready to go there.  Maybe I will be someday, but for now it can remain stored in the memory of that very sad and emotional time period.  I’m happy.  Genuinely happy and if even for a few hours a day, I don’t want to feel the hurt.  Does that even make sense?

All of this being said, I do want to start writing on here again.  I thoroughly enjoy journaling online, reading what others post and communicating with all of you.  I’ve realized recently (thanks to my hubby♥) that I can write about all that I enjoy too.  Maybe what’s on my mind won’t be book worthy, but it will be me worthy (as corny as that sounds).  I’m back to doing something I love, I love to write.  I love helping people and expressing my thoughts through my pen.    

As I am typing this little writer’s cramp post, I’m thinking about so many things I want to say.  I’m on a new, healthy road to becoming a better version of myself.  I want to write about the recipes I have tried and the weight loss I have recently experienced.  I want to write about  feeling like being back to pre-pregnancy weight is reachable for all of us moms.  Because it is. 

I want to write about not giving up on your dreams.  If you feel like you are at a dead-end job, you’re not!  I was at my last job for 8 1/2 years and found the job of my dreams after all that time!  It’s possible, attainable and you can do it.

I want to write about loss.  Though it is incredibly hard to lose the ones we love or have loved, we can learn something from it.  We can find faith to keep moving forward.  We can find strength to keep their memory alive.  Not only through our own words, but by passing their name and stories onto anyone who will listen.

I want to write about family.  How incredibly important our families are.  Our children see everything we do.  If they see us give up on our dreams, writer’s cramp or not, what will they learn?  Go back to school at 40, go for that big promotion that you don’t feel like you can get, get in shape, do whatever you need to do.  Our children are watching us and all we need to do is take the right step in teaching them about life.  We don’t have to be a doctor, lawyer, politician or genius.  We just need to be a loving parent.  That’s all.

So much more is stirring around this brain right now, but I will save it.  My long spell of writer’s block is over.  And I am so incredibly happy the words are flowing again.  ♥

“The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.”  ~Mark Twain

xoxo

Stacy ♥

     

 

 

Christmas Birthdays Are A Rip Off

I love this season.  Love the Christmas music, the shopping, the lights, I just love everything about this holiday.

There is one thing I hate about it though:

My birthday.

Nobody wants to go out on Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas to celebrate a birthday.  Everybody is ALWAYS busy.  And if they are not busy, I get re-gifted gifts, gifts wrapped in Christmas paper and/or a gift that they saved from Christmas.

It’s a rip off.

I’m older now, so it doesn’t bother me as much anymore.  I don’t even want a gift, but it would be nice to be able to go out and celebrate it once in a while.

As I look back, I must have gotten totally ripped off as a kid.  I bet I would have gotten double the presents had my birthday fallen in the summer months.  My Mom & Dad  did a great job with my birthday though.   They always managed to get my close friends there.  They never wrapped presents from them in wrapping paper, and I really don’t think they gave me a left over Christmas present.  They did good.

But, still Christmas Birthdays are a rip off.

I haven’t even mentioned the fact that you just blink and the whole season is gone.  Christmas flies by and my birthday goes with it!  Most others can look forward to a fun party in a different month, but nope, not me.

Until now.

I’ve decided I am changing my birthday.  That’s right folks, I am now going to celebrate my HALF birthday in the summer time!  No Christmas paper will be there on a hot day, that I can guarantee!

I’ve got it all figured out!

Unless, of course , somebody decides that my birthday theme should be Christmas in July. 😉

xoxo,

Stacy

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