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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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

 

 

Yo Momma!

It’s funny how each year of grade school, a new problem surfaces.  We had the Kindergarten napping stage.   First grade, it was the nose picker’s class.  Second grade, we had a little bit of bullying which caused some anxiety issues.   

Now, for the third grade issue, you may need to brace yourself.   The topic may be sensitive for some.  Our third grade issue is none other than:

Wait for it…

Yo Momma jokes.

Yes.  You read that correctly. 

Yo Momma’s so fat when she wears a yellow rain coat people yell, “taxi!”

Yes.  Yo Momma jokes caused my third grader to cry. She’s never known such a terrible game.  Nobody talks about her Momma that way!

After I was done trying not to laugh, I had to explain to her how long these jokes have been around.  I told her not to take these things so literally.  Her momma may have a big booty, but when a boy says, “Yo Momma’s so fat she has to use two busses for her rollerblades” he is just telling a joke.  He wants to make her laugh.

“Ohhhh, I think I understand now,” she said.  “Like, ‘Yo Momma’s so fat when she goes to the zoo, the elephants throw her peanuts!’ But, that doesn’t really happen!?”  Giggle, giggle.

“Yes, honey.  I think you are getting the hang of this.”

“Like, ‘Yo Momma’s so fat, when she wears lipstick she uses a paint roller!’  Right, Mom?” As the giggles become even louder.

“Ok, no more Yo Momma jokes.  Now you know to just laugh and not get so upset, right?”

“Ok Momma.  I want to learn a whole bunch of Yo Momma jokes now!”

“I know you do, honey.”

So that was the big, third grade dilemma this morning. 

I can’t hardly wait to see what fourth grade is going to bring! 

P.S.  My personal favorite has always been, “Yo Momma’s so ugly, every time she walks by a toilet it flushes itself!”  But, please do not tell my third grader the Yo Momma Uglies exist!  I think the fat jokes are enough for now. 😉

Xoxo,

Stacy

Stay Positive

Stay Positive

Words to remember! Courtesy of Pinterest.   Follow me there, my boards are under momand3kiddos.  🙂 Happy Monday!

xoxo,

Stacy

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3 Journals + 3 Kiddos – Lifetime Letters to my Babies

My 3 Super-heroes 🙂

My 3 kiddos came down the hallway the other day, all 3 giggling like crazy.  As my daughter came around the corner, she had a look on her face like she was up to something.  Out came my boys, dressed like girls.  Now, I’ve posted about my daughter desperately wanting a sister.  She dressed her brothers up in my high heels, dresses and wigs.  It was so incredibly funny.  I took a photo, but also had another thought.  Rather than only keeping up with my blog, why not keep track of all of these memories in a journal.  A journal to each kiddo.

I picked out a journal for each of my babies.  All 3 are unique, just like the 3 of them are unique.  I’m going to try to remember some great things that happened during the time I hadn’t been writing to them.  As they grow, the journal will grow.  I will add more as I need to.  I’ll keep it all in a box and will give it to them when the time is right. 

I would have loved something like this from my parents!  I hope my kiddos will love it one day as well.  I especially hope they love hearing about the nosepicker’s class, the wig wearing and the potty training battles.  Who knows, maybe their own kids will want to read about the adventures of my 3 kiddos one day.  🙂

xoxo,

Stacy

The Little Things

I started planning my 4 year olds birthday party about a month or so ago. I had it in my head that he needed to have a “real” party. Real meaning I bake the big, fire engine cake, invite all of our family, play Pin-the-Tail on the Donkey, Make little fireman souvenirs etc, etc, etc. I had the perfect invitation all picked out, all I had to do was find the time to send them out.

Well, life got in the way. The invites turned into Facebook & E-mail E-Vites. No perfect little invitations to put in the mail.

I was so bummed.

My 4 year old’s perfect birthday party was starting to turn not so perfect. Several people didn’t RSVP. My little guy was surely going to be heartbroken. I thought I had let him down. But, then the day came.

We arrived at his Grammy’s house. He was already so excited. We blew up a few balloons. I set up his fire truck cake. I made it with the boxed stuff, not even by scratch. Surely, this will be bad. I put a few of his gifts in gift bags. Between my new job and all the hustling around, I didn’t have time to grab wrapping paper. Poor kid.

Then I heard uncontrollable laughter. It was my 4-year-old. He was so happy and excited, he just couldn’t stop laughing!

I took a step back and looked around. No, this wasn’t the picture perfect party that I pinned on Pinterest. But, it was still pretty darn cool. No, not all of our family members could RSVP or attend, but he was so happy with those who did. He took the toys out of the gift bags so fast. He didn’t even notice they weren’t totally wrapped.

He was just so darn happy!

That was when I realized, all of the picture perfect stuff I was worried about was about me. It was about my own pride. I was upset that not everyone could RSVP or join us. I was let down when I ran out of time to do the invitations, wrapping and made by scratch cake.

He didn’t care about that stuff at all. In fact, he didn’t even notice.

We all get so wrapped up in seeing what other Moms and Dads do for their kids, we forget about simplicity. Just letting him know how much he is loved by all of those around him every day means the world to him. He was thrilled with what I did for him, not for what I didn’t do.

It’s the little things that matter to kids. You don’t have to have a billboard on the side of the road to say, “Happy Birthday.” A little silly singing greeting card does the trick. Words and hugs do the trick. Being there every day does the trick. Yeah, all kids remember those great parties. But, they also notice the occasional trips to the park, brining them with you to the voting booth, letting them help you wash their car or their pet, bedtime stories and singing on the way to school each morning.

And even though it wasn’t baked by scratch, they remember helping you bake that fireman cake. And all the other things they help you make in the kitchen.

It’s the little things.

xoxo,

Stacy

No Price For Pride

I am going to say a few things that I am trying desperately to teach my children about the meaning of pride.  We have people that are close in our lives that seem to have the world handed to them on a silver platter.  It’s so easy to become jealous and envious of them, but there is a huge reason not to yearn for their free money or hand me downs.

Pride.

Without naming names, I can tell you that I know somebody who has the world handed to them.  Brand new vehicles, barely used from their parents.  A beautiful home, bought and given to them.  Money handed out left and right.  Even a trust fund to look forward to in the future.  The world is put into this person’s hands. 

However, by being given the moon for as long as they can remember, they lack appreciation and pride.  They have become so used to the hand outs, their hands are always out.  More, more, more, but more is never enough.  They are never satisfied with the new car.  A few months after the newness wears off, it’s time for something more.  They are no longer satisfied with their beautiful home, it’s time for a bigger one.  Why try to fix it up or make things work when all you have to do is wait for a new one to be handed out?

My children are going to learn to be the opposite of this personality type.  My Fiance and I work so hard for what we have.  We may not have the most beautiful of homes, but we worked for it and pay for it ourselves each month.  We may not have brand new cars, but we worked for the ones we do have.  We may not be rolling in the gold coins, but the little we do get is so very important to us.

Although, some days life would feel so much easier if I had the same hand outs that this person does.  No financial worries, no issues, just an easy, breezy life where I can spend an unlimited amount.  Who doesn’t dream about that?

  But, when I really get thinking about it, I would so much rather say to myself, “Hey, we did this on OUR OWN!  No help needed.  We did it.”

Pride.  You cannot buy it, but it is worth more than anything money can buy.

xoxo,

Stacy

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