If you are looking for happy, fluffy stuff, this post probably won't be the place to be looking.
My heart is beating wildly,
my eyes are filled with tears,
my mind is wandering in a million different directions as I sit at this keyboard with the hope that when I finish writing, I will have dumped all that hurts and that it will just stop and go away.
I look to my right as I sit in this room I call my office and see this staring back at me, giving me strength and the resolve to never give up.
I have so many days that I must tackle a moment at a time...
This is one of my ways of dealing with it all...
This life-size poster of "my girl" hanging on the wall grounds me ~
At the top are the words
"We can ACT
or Be Acted on."
I am BIGGER
than all these things!
at the bottom of my girls feet lay all the "things"
that I have to do or feel I must do...
This visual helps me through tough times...
It empowers me
and strengthens me
It reminds me to Stay Positive,
to Just Be Me, to Never Give Up,
to BE Intentional, to Keep Dreaming,
to Believe in Myself and to Constantly Choose Joy!
It has been brought to my attention that I am not very REAL,
that I hold back,
that I don't open myself up,
that I only share what others would wish to hear,
or what would make me worthy of being placed on a pedestal...
I am unrelateable because others view me as being on that pedestal ~
whatever the heck that means!!!
I guess my life looks a little too rosy to some???
Is anyone's life rosy? Perfect? Better than another's?
I think not...we all have our set of challenges and trials to deal with.
So today I hold nothing back
which may be scary
because my heart feels very raw
some other emotion I can't exactly put my finger on...
Life is stinking hard right now
actually, it's been that way for the past couple of years...
There just seems to be one hard, ugly trial after another.
Crap sakes!!! Can I catch a break here???
Let's just start somewhere...we'll dig in with one that really stings right now...I'm dealing with the differing opinions and comments that are made about me regarding my religious beliefs and just who I am and how I fit into it all...
On one hand, I am told that it's nice that I'm not "too religious",
on the other I am told I have become very mainstream mormon, causing me to be judgemental of others who may not share my same beliefs.
Some view me as having had the gospel for my entire life
while others seem surprised that I go to church on a weekly basis.
WOW!!!! What the Hay???
Can I just say that I am ME!
and that I'm just doing the best I can day in and day out...
I am LDS, yep that means I'm a mormon. But guess what else it means???
I am a Christian and I love Jesus Christ!
Shall I say goodbye to some of you at this point?
Oh how I hope not...
but I am getting rather used to this happening in my life when it comes to my religious choices!
Some of you may now wish to never have anything to do with me again and you will click away from my page,
while others will think to yourselves,
"Whew, she's safe to spend time with."
And this response simply because I am of your faith.
I just cannot seem to win!
Why is something like religion (something as beautiful as it is) a wall?
Why does it stop others from loving and living and accepting?
I am a Christian, I love Jesus Christ, I truly stand amazed at His love, I just wish to be me and for that to be okay...
I know some would say I am foolish to believe that everyone in my life will like or accept me, but dang it, that is what I wish for and I don't think it's too much to ask. I really think that's the way life should be...we should all look for and SEE the best in everyone else and forgive for the rest, not a one of us is perfect, so deal with it and just look past it and love one another. Deal???
Even my own family (extended) views me as not okay...
I've lost family members (too many) because of my choice to have a relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Others I do still have in my life, but it feels nothing more than superficial -- which is heartbreaking!
I wish for so much more, yet I can't seem to have it.
So, let's just go there, shall we?
With every fiber of my being, I KNOW that my choices are the right choices for me and for my family.
I DO NOT try to get anyone else to follow what I believe...
for this I am thanked and scorned ~ just depends on whom you might be speaking to.
My extended family is grateful that I do not pressure them or try to convince them that I am right in going to church and raising my family with the gospel...
they know where I stand and I feel that is sufficient.
I can't say that the opposite has always been true.
There are those who believe I am damned because of my beliefs and have tried very strongly to convince me of such...
So, I will keep to myself and raise my family the best I can.
My reason for this is quite personal ~
but heck, why not just throw it out there for all to see?
I believe that nothing I will ever say or try to convince another of, will make an ounce of difference to them if they are not searching and seeking for a change in their lives.
I was introduced to the LDS church earlier in my life and disregarded everything that was ever said to me.
It was not until I was ready,
until I was searching for more,
until I was ready to seek
and give my heart and my effort
that anything was inviting or enticing to me.
I believe that if I just live my life the very best I can, that is what may at some point prompt another person to want to know more about what I have.
At that point, I will open my heart to them (as I have many times in the past).
But not until then...I just believe we have to want something enough to seek and then act.
Since I'm on this subject, I'll just dump a little more heartache out...
one of our three sons has no interest in church anymore.
He doesn't believe.
He doesn't even think that God exists,
he feels it is all a waste of his time.
I have so many feelings on this --
the biggest and the hardest is that I KNOW what my life was like without having the knowledge of my Heavenly Father and my Savior.
AND I KNOW how much better it is with them.
YES, I still have hard times,
yes there is still heartache and pain...
BUT I know where to turn when I am in need ~ I am never alone!
I have answers,
I have purpose,
I have a promise,
I have peace...
I don't want my son to be without this. I don't want him to wander around aimlessly searching for what he thinks might bring him happiness one day. I don't want him to deny the very things that will help him through his life.
I have many friends who have sons going out on missions...I used to think that was THE goal to reach for our kids ~ I have a new thought on all of that...
Now, I just want my children to have a love for Jesus Christ,
I want them to KNOW HIM,
I want them to feel that they can turn to Him when they are hurting or alone or questioning,
I want them to have a REAL Relationship with Him,
to view Him as their friend.
I know that I cannot make this happen for them,
which is evidenced by our son expressing his disbelief.
But it is my hope and my prayer...and I will never give up or stop believing in him. I know that we've taught him well, I know that it is all in his heart and when he is ready to access it, it will still be there just waiting.
okay, ready for the next big ugly???
I REALLY thought I would be prepared for
ANYTHING and EVERYTHING
my kids could bring to me.
I felt that since I had experienced so many things in my past, that I would be able to deal with whatever they could dish out...
How wrong I was!!!
This started years ago with our oldest daughter...
I will NEVER forget the day she came to me asking what a particular "act" that a girl could do to a boy meant
and then WHY a girl would do such a thing.
She had been at a Soccer Tournament in another state and came back full of questions.
I was absolutely NOT PREPARED to discuss oral sex with my sweet young daughter.
This one had not even occurred to me!
So back to my being prepared for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, I wasn't and I'm still not...
This topic seems to be a BIG, BIG one for teens.
I am grateful that I have the relationships with my kids that I do...
although there are those times when I would rather cover my ears while singing
"la la la la, I can't hear you!"
as they share the ANYthings and EVERYthings I thought I was so prepared for.
I did not anticipate having to participate in conversations regarding oral sex...
I was fully prepared to discuss the ins and outs
and the why's and why not's of having sex.
I was armed and ready for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING with regard to teenage sex.
I thought I had all the answers ready and waiting, I was going to save my kids from the heartache I had once known.
WHAT heartache, you ask???
Well, let's just dig a little deeper!
I didn't make the very best of choices regarding myself and my worth as a young girl!
I didn't value who I was.
And since those days, I have been BOUND AND DETERMINED to not allow this to happen to my kids, if I could make any difference at all.
Becoming a mom and a wife
at the young age of 16 was hard.
I became pregnant at just 16
then married my boyfriend
who turned out to be less than a knight in shining armor,
honestly he didn't resemble one in any sense of the word.
We were young,
he was unkind in so many ways
and I refused to raise my daughter in an abusive environment.
So I left when my little Shealyn was just over a month old.
Divorced at 17,
still in High School
and being the mom to a newborn
was huge and hard
and not something I would ever wish on any of my kiddos.
Because of this,
I felt I was prepared,
I was armed with all that I could/would say to each of our children regarding pre-marital sex...
But I was not prepared for dealing with
how much the world has changed.
I was not / I am not
prepared to have conversations about how oral sex is viewed as the next step in making out.
It is viewed as okay because it isn't really sex...WHAT???
My kids have shared with me that this is an expectation...
My heart breaks that this is what our kids are faced with.
Life is so hard for them...
they have so many battles to fight
and we need to be standing on the sidelines cheering for them, arming them and picking them up off the battlefield when necessary.
I really thought to myself that my kids would be okay;
that they would not be faced with such hard things
BECAUSE our family goes to church,
because we don't do sleep-overs,
because I'm so involved,
because they have been homeschooled,
because I have been pro-active in sharing my story with them and "warning" them of all the stuff that is out there just waiting for them...
All of my "becauses" don't mean a hill of beans!
I really just want to scream and jump up and down and then I want to grab all of my kids and head for the hills. I want to protect them and keep them innocent and unscathed.
Yet, I know that all of their experiences will be for their good...
I am not proud of my past.
But I am proud of who I am becoming...I like me.
I am proud that I have a beautiful daughter and I would never change that.
I am who I am BECAUSE of all that I have experienced.
I have faith that our kids will be okay.
I know they will have struggles.
I know I will wipe away many more tears from their cheeks.
But I also know that I made it through it all,
I am okay,
I am happy,
I'm not perfect
but I am at peace with me
and that is big!
And now before I chicken out and edit out most, if not all, of the nitty-gritty, I will hit that PUBLISH button.
Funny thing is though, I don't feel any more "REAL" than I did before this post...