Life seldom turns out the exact way you want it to. But it does usually turn out better than you ever hoped❤️
Growing up I longed for a father. Someone who cared. Someone who was proud of me. Someone who noticed me. I grew up lonely and feeling unloved. Sure I had friends. Sure I had some family. None of that would fill the emptiness though. Giving up on that fairytale came easy the older I got, and soon I would develop a horrible anger and bitterness that was often encouraged by others around me. I was so confused and untaught about what was really true.
I got married and a bit later moved away with every intention of never having to ever try, never having to dream, or never hope again for a real relationship with my ‘father.’
Long story very short....HE changed and HE had a completely different hope!!
What has developed since then has been the most AHmazing journey. You just can’t make this kind of redemption up on your own🙌🏼
Today is one (of a few) of my favorite days of the year!! Today we celebrate the birth of this inspiring man🥳 He isn’t perfect, but then again who is?!
He has taught me how to stumble and fall, but to get back up again and again.
He has taught me how to fight hard with the right armor for the things that matter most.
He has taught me how to serve our family and others with unmeasurable love.
He has taught me how to recover from a mistake when it seems impossible. That there is always, always a way to keep going.
He has taught me that there comes a time when trying on your own just isn’t enough.
He has taught me that everyone has a story...and without really knowing someone’s story firsthand, you can never truly understand or love them.
He has taught me that you don’t have to agree on every single thing said or done to have a healthy relationship...you just have to always want grace to win over judgments and disagreements!!
Most of all he has taught me that perfection isn’t possible, but being as authentic of a version of yourself as you can be is. And it will cost you things, people, and heartache...but what you will gain is so much more and irreplaceable🙌🏼
Happy Birthday Daddy💙
I’m so grateful you were created! I hope you always remember how special and approved you are. And that it doesn’t get any better than to just keep trying to grow every single day we still have breathe. May you have many many more chances to share your smile, your love, your faith, and your story with those you’re meant to!!
I Love You Always, Always...As Big As The Sky😘
A week ago Friday (25 Oct), my grandmother suffered a massive stroke some time overnight while sleeping. My uncle went to wake her in the morning when she didn't come downstairs for breakfast and she was unresponsive. Ambulance transported her to our local hospital, who then proceeded to transfer her to Iowa City Hospital so she could be cared for by the best neurologists in our surrounding area.
Fast forward to just a week later, and Grandma has been transferred back locally and is in a skilled care facility doing really well physically. She has a lot of rehab ahead to help regain her right side movements and improve her speech; but she can get around pretty darn good already and do many things for herself with just a little help. It's so encouraging and inspiring to be around such a beautiful and strong soul!
As I watched my family this week trying to navigate these really hard, uncertain times....I reflected so much on so many wonderful memories I have with sweet Grandma. I thanked God over and over that my husband and I are stationed back 'home' for a season. She is the center, the core, of our disconnected often dysfunctional family. She is what brings everyone around for the holidays and special occasions. I can't help but wonder what's ahead for our family one day when Grandma goes home to dance with Jesus?? Will our family fall apart? Will our family come together?
My prayer seems so small and simple, yet bigger than any human could make come true on their own. My prayer is that our family can be filled with healing and grace filled hearts to navigate redemption NOW! Now while we still have opportunities to build more memories ALL together! Now while we still have time to make Grandma's wishes come true....a prayer of her family so strong together, not anything nor anyone, can break them up!
Have you ever found yourself stuck in a hard season for a very loooooong time? The kind of season where your mind and heart just can't find the same peaceful groove together at the same time? Where one minute you feel so incredibly blessed, and the next you're severely depressed? The kind of season that when you try to talk to others, they don't seem to think your struggles are 'that big' of a deal and you should just get over it?
I've been in one of those seasons for the past 17 months. But if I'm truly honest with myself, I've actually been there for about 42 months (the day my husband I moved away from WA...but more on that another day). And you know what's even more pathetic...it's not my first hard season. I learned so much from those seasons too, so why can't I find my way out of this one yet?
Long story short (for today's edition)...
My parents separated last year, with their divorce finalizing this past summer. They were married for 36yrs. As a child, I longed for that day to come so the fighting would end. As an adult (and married nearly 14yrs myself), I longed for the day of healing and reconciliation. I prayed harder than any child could for their parents. I believed 100% that redemption could come for them!
Now I'm just sad. And I can't get a grip on the sadness most of the time. But is the sadness for me? Is it for them? Is it for the entire family? I don't know. I just keep thinking that it's not supposed to be this way!
I started this blog 2 years ago with the best of intentions. I wanted to use blogging as a way to share my story; as a way to heal. So why has it taken me so long to get moving? Because, for all of us, life sometimes gets truly tough. And for me, I struggle to open up when things get tough. I tend to keep a lot inside, because it seems like in the storms, I never know who I can trust to row with me instead of filling the boat with more water. Being betrayed is something we all face from time to time in life....but I seem to have this huge fear of how to deal with it when it comes. I'm so afraid of hurting the person who hurt me, that I try to avoid putting myself in any situations where it could happen.
THAT. STOPS. TODAY!
Yesterday morning when I was washing dishes I had the biggest ray of happiness sunshine hit me. Why am I so hurt and focused on the few people who don't love me, when I have a tribe of people who do? Why am I holding back my blogging, always worrying all the time if it'll hurt others? Why am I waiting for the debris to clear before I take my next leap of faith? Why am I letting fear of judgments keep me from reaching up for the stars to fulfill my dreams?
Life is messy, unpredictable, and wonderful all at the same time usually! If I'm going to truly and truthfully share my journey...shouldn't it be right NOW?! Why wait a single minute longer?!
So here we go....Onward & Upward! I got this!! I can do this!!
☑️Facts We Must Never Forget☑️
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
0846 ✈️ The first plane (AA 11) crashes into the World Trade Center’s North Tower. It later collapses @ 1028.
0903 ✈️ The second plane (UA 175) crashes into the World Trade Center’s South Tower. It later collapses @ 0959.
0937 ✈️ The third plane (AA 77) crashes into the Pentagon.
1003 ✈️ The forth plane (UA 93) crashes into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania because heroes aboard refused to let evil win. It’s unknown exactly where the plane was headed, but theories are it was destined to destroy our Nation’s Capitol.
2,996 people were killed that horrible day, and over 6,000 injured....
2,606 were in the World Trade Center or its surroundings.
265 people were aboard the four planes that crashed (there were no survivors).
125 people were killed at the Pentagon.
Among those numbers were 343 firefighters👨🏻🚒 72 law enforcement officers👮🏻♂️ and 55 military personnel who died trying to help🎗
Reported in Apr2018...
6,954 have died, and 52,679 have been injured fighting in the War on Terrorism🎗
Reported in Jun2018...
On average 6,132 veterans and 1,387 active duty service members commit suicide yearly💔
❓❓So Here’s The Real Talk❓❓
Why are we so focused these days on hating and judging one another?
Why are we so focused on dividing our great nation every single damn day anymore?
On this tragic day 17yrs ago...no one gave a damn what race you were, what political party you supported, your religious beliefs, or who you loved. All we cared about that day, and the days that followed was to help and love one another! We came together as the amazing nation we are! We served one another without hesitation or ulterior motives!
What happened to that America?
What happened to those hearts?
How did we get here?
How do we get back?
Turn off the judgements🚫
Turn off the hate🛑
Get down on your knees and Thank Him for everything...good and bad🙌🏼
Turn on the grace💜
Turn on the love💛
Turn on the selfless service to one another🧡
No one is perfect, but we can all live together in peace if we choose to work at it! We do NOT have to accept divide!!! We can choose to get better, be better, and it starts with just one ripple to get the waves going!
We MUST do better!
We MUST find a way to help each other heal our hurts!
We MUST quit fighting each other!
We MUST quit believing if you think, believe, or look different...that you’re an enemy!
We’ve all been created to be our uniquely AHmazing selves...so let’s find a way to love one another without any divides. You don’t have to agree on everything to work together and help one another. Family dynamics DO matter and it’s up to us to get back to raising our kids to be true genuine kind hard working humans.
LOVE WILL ALWAYS WIN💚
KINDNESS WILL ALWAYS WIN💙
We Are Home Of The Free, Because Of The Brave🎗🇺🇸
So many lives have been selflessly given for us all.
So many people have helped to build this great nation.
So many everyday citizens have helped add so much good to our country.
Don’t let our nation’s heroes down...Choose right now to be part of the change that we all so desperately need to end the divides❤️