Blog · God · Life · live · love · military · new · opinion · suicide · suicide awareness · teen · Uncategorized

A letter to the broken.

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You’re hurting.  It’s hard to explain the pain you’re feeling to those around you because it may be really hard for them to understand.  You may hear words like, “you’re fine,” or “you have everything, why are you acting like this?”  Sometimes it feels as though there’s an unseen force weighing down every part of your body, causing you not to move.  Some days all you feel like doing is staring at the wall.  You’re not lazy, you just cannot make yourself move.  You may function just enough to go to work or school, you get through the day as much as you can, but it’s so incredibly hard.  But, they may call you lazy.  They may say it’s just an excuse.  But, my Lord, you know it’s not.  Maybe you’re a United States soldier.  They think all should be ok because you’re back now, right?!  They think the war is behind you.  They can’t see the sights hidden behind the lids of your eyes.  They can’t hear the sounds you’ve heard.  But, you’re home now.  That’s how it’s supposed to work, isn’t it?

You cry.  Maybe you breakdown in public.  Maybe you bottle it up until you are hiding in the shower, safe to let it all out.  You may need to hide it because in your mind you cannot let someone see the pain!  Maybe you have someone who checks in and understands you’re not ok, but it hurts even more to bother them with it.  They say talk to me anytime, I’ll be here for you, but in your mind you know they cannot possibly mean it!  The last thing you want to do is burden somebody with your tears, so you hold it in again.  The pressure.  So much pressure.

You’re alone.  You feel like they think you’re weird, or maybe they’ve told you.  You stay to yourself, yet still feel like you stick out.  You’re different.  You’re the misfit child or lone wolf at work.  You’re the one who isn’t very social and not the first one to greet a room full of people.  They don’t see the broken.  You bottle up the pain.

You want to end it all.  You get to the breaking point where it’s too much pain, too much to take.  The shadows keep getting darker and you just don’t see a light.  You no longer want to be a burden to your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, children, friends, parents, anyone anymore.  You think this is the solution.  You think this will solve it all. You’ve had enough, it’s not worth the fight.  Alone.

My friend, you’re not alone!

These words, these thoughts and feelings, they are not truth!  You may feel alone, but you are oh so loved!  It’s so hard to fight through the tears, through the pain to see it, but there is a light shining down on you.  Whether or not you believe in God, He is always there.  He is a lighthouse, just waiting for you in the midst of the storm.  He is on your side and you are loved by Him no matter what.

There are people on your side.  I guarantee even though you feel as though you are a bother or the world would be best served without you, that is a lie!  Those people who reach out to you and tell you that it’s safe to talk to them?  Take them up on it!  Chances are they love you and again it’s that enemy filling your head with these lies.

Things can be bad.  Pain can be unbearable, but you can get through the battle.  You can get through this and use the pain as a way to help another person in the same situation! Choosing to end it all is not the way.  It’s not the solution to anything.  It’s going to transfer your pain to your mother, your father, your husband, wife, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, children!  You can get through this!

Maybe you are somebody I know.  Maybe you are a stranger.  You are loved by me and even if you think that’s not possible because we haven’t met, it’s truth.  Every person in this world deserves to be here.  Every.  Single.  Person.  You my friend, are worth it.

Please do not give up.

Please refer to http://www.save.org for more resources and information on Suicide Awareness.

You belong in this world! 

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Blog · God · Life · live · love · new · opinion · religion · Uncategorized · write

Religious, Churchy, Jesus Freak.

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Religious, Churchy, Jesus Freak.  Just a few of the names I have heard describe me since becoming a new Christian over one year ago.  I am amazed how my faith could push some people away.  I’m not scary, although I try to be when it comes to reprimanding my children (doesn’t work well).  I’m a pretty nice person, although I have a terrible tendency to laugh when people fall.  It’s a terrible habit, most likely some type of coping mechanism that I haven’t been able to shake for at least 25 of my 30-something years (this did not work out well in my summer camp counselor days).  But, still I wonder why my new-found faith pushes people away?

One thing that comes to mind is what many Christians are portrayed as in the media. Most of the time we hear the bad things that happen, over the good.  I have heard people describe Christians as having holier than thou, judgmental personalities.  Same with other religions.  As unfair as it is, there are still folks in the world who associate Muslims with terrorism.  That’s not an accurate comparison.  You do not damn an entire religion due to a few very evil seeds.  Same for Democrats, Republicans, different races, males, females, etc!  It is not truth, nor fact.  Yet it still happens.

It’s not my job to fight to make people believe in the same faith as I do.  It’s not my job to judge or look down on someone who does not believe in God (I married a man who did not believe).  It’s also not my job to preach my beliefs for the sole purpose of proving your belief wrong.   That’s not who I am and in my heart I do not believe that is who Jesus would have wanted me to be.

It is my job to be a light to the world, to accept everyone as they are.  I tend to observe and internalize my opinions, rather than putting it out on social media for the world to see.  You’ll find numerous amounts of family photos and silly kiddo quotes on my page, but you are not going to see me attacking other religions, political parties, or anyone. That is not Christianity to me.

I support gay rights.  I have several friends who are in the LGBT community and I love them all.  The thought of judging them all because I love Jesus and read the Bible does not even cross my mind.  While I know people who are incredibly vocal about their hatred for those that are gay, that is not me.  That is not the Christianity I practice.  Again, that is not what loving Jesus and believing in God means to me.

To me, loving Jesus means come as you are.  We all sin.  Every single one of us.  Myself, my husband, my kids, every single one of you, even those who hate.  Just because you hate strongly does not make you free of sin.  I feel that you can be gay and love Jesus.  I also think you can be gay and not believe in Jesus, but guess what?  I’ll still love you just the same.  This is the Christian that I am.  The funny thing is that while I like to call myself an Independent when it comes to politics, I always tend to lean more to the right. Again, not all Republicans (or Democrats) are the same.

I will testify all day long about the impact that loving God has had on my life in the last year and half.  I will tell you stories of God providing for us in a time where I didn’t think it was possible.   I’ll talk to you about what it means to tithe in our church and what that has done for our family.  But, I will not talk to you about why you should believe in all the same things that I do.   I also don’t want you to talk to me about why my beliefs are ridiculous.  It’s called being respectful, a characteristic  that I truly wish more would practice.  Differing opinions should not give you or I the right to be disrespectful to another human beings.  It’s not ok, even if you justify it with your own hatred.

I’ll continue shining my light into the world.  I’ll also promise to be a safe place and a voice for anyone feeling like they are shamed, scared, alone, or persecuted, Christian or non-Christian!  I am here for you and you are loved by me as a brother or sister.   Please do not let the darkness that some pour into the world impact your own light and spirit.  Keep pushing and keep fighting and know that I have your back!

It’s ok if you contact me regarding my opinions.  I’d love to have a conversation, as long as there’s a mutual respect involved.  It’s ok for you to disagree with me!  It’s also ok if you continue calling me a Religious, Churchy, Jesus Freak.  I’ll take it, I will own it and I will continue practicing being the loving, accepting, caring, non-judgmental, Jesus-loving Christian that I am.  Because that is what being a Christian means to me.

“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

beach · Blog · Body · Life · live · mom · opinion · summer · Uncategorized · woman · write

Get your swimsuit on, mama.

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Sandy toes, crashing waves, and seagulls flying above.  The sun’s warmth is blanketing your skin.  It’s 90 degrees and you’re sitting in your beach chair, toes in the sand.  You peek over your sunglasses at all the beach goers, waist deep in the water.   Why are you still in the sand when you could be cooling down in the crisp, Atlantic water?

Swimsuits.  That’s why.   The person above was me.

I cannot tell you how many years I was envious over people brave enough to throw a bathing suit on.  They really didn’t care what anyone thought, they were just enjoying their beach days.  I was too busy sweltering, in my capris and t-shirt, more than likely with a towel draped over my lap concealing myself.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like swimming, I did!  It was because I was petrified that everyone would be staring at me.

First of all, I’m not that important that the world would feel the need to stare.  However, many of us women have this mental image of ourselves being 10 ft tall in the middle of the beach with a Superbowl sized audience watching our next move.  Here’s a newsflash, it doesn’t happen.  Most people are just people watching like you were earlier.  They probably aren’t judging you.  There’s a little negative voice inside of you that likes to show itself and tell you otherwise.  We’ll call that voice the enemy.  The enemy can go find a great white shark to hang with.  We need to learn to silence it.

Back to swimsuits.  Why are we covering ourselves up because we don’t have a perfect body?  Baby weight, cellulite, bingo wings, pale skin, freckles, whatever it is we are trying to cover up, is it worth it?  Is it worth feeling the freedom of swimming in the ocean, a lake, or a pool?  Chances are it’s not.

I was that girl.  I was that girl in high school when I was the smallest I have ever been.  I was that girl after my first child was born and again after my second.  I started to continue being her after my third child was born and something clicked.  This life we have?  Well, it’s pretty darn short.  Why in the world am I covering myself up over what people will think of my body.  MY body!  It’s mine!  I worked hard and earned every scar, every ounce of weight I gained probably has a story.  A memory that I or my children will carry with them forever!  Do I want one of those memories to be of mommy refusing to wear a bathing suit to swim with them?  Nope.  It’s not happening anymore.  I won’t do it to myself, but most of all I don’t want to damage them!

Going back to the people who may judge you or make a comment, there’s one thing to remember:  Their problem is not with your cellulite.  It’s not with your lack of muscles.  It’s not with your extra weight.  Their real problem is their inability to love their own self.  I guarantee you that people who are truly comfortable in their own skin, who don’t criticize every detail of their body, I guarantee they will not make a comment about another person’s body.  They’ll see you for who you are, not for what your body looks like.

Don’t lose memories focusing on not having that thigh gap or six pack.  Make memories, mama.  Go get that swimsuit on and get in the water!

Gentleman, this goes for you too!  Get in there!

Find me on Facebook, facebook.com/slowpaceandgrace/

 

Blog · God · Life · mom · new · woman · write

A new blog.

Bench Reading

It always amazes me when people ask me when I’m going to write again.  I’ve always loved putting my thoughts to paper, but never really gave it a thought to share with others.  When a friend mentioned blogging to me 10 years ago, I didn’t think I would be interesting enough.   However, I took her advice and tried it.

I had a lot of feed back on that blog.  I posted about love and loss, divorce and marriage, being adopted, the comedies of having children, finding confidence, ignoring the ignorant, and more.  I love that blog.  However, it’s hard for me to re-visit it now.   It’s hard to find new material when posts from 8 years ago pop up.  I’m grateful for those lessons, but I don’t want to see them anymore.

Writing during those years was incredibly therapeutic.  At that point in time, I was in my 20’s and going through some moments that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  Visiting that page brings those thoughts and feelings back and I really don’t want to go back.  I’m so happy that my words helped to inspire others, but I am a completely different person now.  I’m a woman who has grown up, a woman who is still learning about herself each day, and most importantly, a woman who has recently found God.

I know.  I feel like nowadays it’s not acceptable to speak about Him, but I will here.  Gone are the days where I let the opinions of those behind keyboards impact my own personal thoughts.  They can have their thoughts, whether they be negative or positive.  And the beautiful thing is, I can have mine too!  I’m no longer going to delete a post because a reader is upset that I posted my opinion on the meaning of Christmas (yes, that happened).  This blog is my heart speaking and I am not going to silence it.

Slowpaceandgrace.com is something I have been thinking about for a while now.   All of those thoughts of self-doubt that we all tend to have kept sneaking into my daydreams. I’ve finally stomped on those thoughts and here we are!   I’ll still be writing about confidence, life, and kiddos.  I’ll also be adding in recipes, health topics, lifestyle changes (aka the hundreds of diets I have tried), and more.

I hope to meet new people with my posts, just like I did before.  I also hope to catch the eye of some of you that have read my posts in the past!  This is just for fun and I am so ready to start this fresh, a brand new Chapter 1.