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 🙂 
 

 

 

 

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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