Sunday, June 20, 2010

31 Things for my 31st Year

31 Things I'd like to accomplish this year:

1. Write... lots of things... blog, write a book, write letters to friends, family, my kids... just write, about any and everything.

2. Make the kids each a scrapbook to pick up where their baby books left off.

3. Take pictures... lots and lots of pictures... practice my photography and get ready for the future.

4.  Bake: make new cakes, try out icings, specialize in great cakes just for fun.

5.  Paint: finish those ornaments I started so long ago... paint my christmas houses, make gifts, be creative.

6.  Paint: the kids rooms, bathrooms, the house.... finish the dream rooms I started for them.

7.  Organize: my house, my life, and everything in between.

8. Declutter: my home, my life, my self.

9.  Become who I want to be, who I am, and not this person that I've been living as the past few years.

10.  Laugh: at my kids, at Josh, at the dogs, friends, whoever but laugh lots and love lots too.

11.  Daily Devotional: for myself and for my kids.  Make it habit to spend my morning with God and to show my children this same love.

12.  Plant some flowers: and beautify our yard.

13.  Read a book, or two or three dozen.

14.  Plan ahead for school for me and the kids.

15.  Go to the zoo... show my kids the polar bears and elephants.

16.  Lay on the sand and feel the sun on my skin.

17.  Play in the sprinkler with my babies.

18.  Kiss my kids and tell them I love them every day. (This one is easy)

19.  Love myself with all I am. (easy too)

20.  Pray, for everything and everyone as I am supposed to.

21.  Train my dogs.

22.  Have a game night each week with the kids.

23.  Play Barbies with Em and video games with Win.

24.  Decorate for each holiday and make cupcakes.

25.  Make cupcakes and cookies, just because.

26.  Give myself a make-over, new haircut and all.

27.  Plan our life and enjoy every moment we have together.

28.  Drive.

29.  Boat. Fish in the pond.

30.  Eat healthier.  Drink less Pepsi.

31.  Love like there is no tomorrow and today is our last.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Abuse in My Life {Domestic Violence Awareness}


As I was reading through the documents on abuse to create my last blog post, it really hit home how many of those things were a huge part of my last relationship and how those things made me feel. I never told anyone about the abuse my children and I suffered at the hands of a man I thought I could trust once.
When I met my daughter's father, I thought he was a wonderful Christian single parent, trying to raise his two beautiful girls and had just fallen on some bad luck in love. I didn't realize until later that bad luck was due to his abusive nature. He painted a glorious picture of himself and thinking back now I realize I was silly to fall for it. I barely knew him when I moved in with him, trusting my children's lives in this man's care. This major decision will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Within months, his true nature started to show but by then I was pregnant with our beautiful little girl and I had nowhere else to go, nor the money to support myself or my children. Plus I thought I could handle his anger, and of course I thought I provoked and deserved his anger. Then, like all good Momma's, I just wanted to give my children a life with a father and mother and love. It took a while to realize it takes two loving parents to be able to provide that and by then I was already in love with his two beautiful daughters. I didn't want to leave them alone to deal with the abuse they had endured for so long alone.
I was there for two years before I finally got the nerve to leave and when I did, I had to leave everything behind to make it, children included, ashamedly. I wish I had been braver, I wish I had reported him for the abuse he did to me, my children and especially his own gorgeous young girls. My choices, though not always right, have led to much better, THANKS to God.
Abuse: threatening and harming, body and soul.
In two years, I saw this man push his daughters around like they were less of a human than him. I watched him practically slam his younger daughter into counters or push her to the floor. I watched him yank the hair on their heads because they hadn't brushed it thoroughly enough. He'd scream at them like the lowest of animals and hit them for the littlest of things that ticked him off. My own daughter, he would hold with arms and legs tightly wrapped around her to the wall in time-outs until she gave up the fight. The last straw for me was when he hit her bottom so hard that he left his handprint behind. He would thump my son in his penis for not peeing in the potty when he woke him around 2 am each night (he woke him to prevent bed-wetting and he refused to buy any of the kids pull-ups to sleep in, his daughter included). He would hit all of the kids in their heads, so as not to leave a mark and then state, "I do it that way so DSS has no idea" and "they'll never catch me for abuse".
For me, he would be very loving one day and completely opposite the next. He was jealous of my friends, of which I had none while living in his home. We had no phone and only had the internet thanks to the Wi-Fi signal from his parent's home (put in for me) and that was only while we had a computer which was not the whole two years. I had no way of contacting friends and family. When we would fight or argue he would pettily provoke me and degrade me like a middle school bully would do. He would lie on top of me or push me with his body weight into corners, walls, and counters, even while I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. He made me feel worthless and undeserving. He treated me very much like a child instead of the woman he claimed to love dearly. He broke my spirit and that of those I love most: my children.
At two years, the abuse came to the point that I was reacting abusively myself. His youngest daughter and I did not get along and I treated her despicably after watching him for so long. At one point, when I attempted to leave he refused to allow me to get to my children and refused to hand over my baby so I threatened to kill him with a 12 inch butcher knife. I was not myself: I was an abused, unloved woman desperate for a way out, so finally I just left.
My mother was with me through most of this time and saw the events that happened. I trusted her with my children so I left them in the house with her and with him. It was a bad choice. He convinced her I was the problem and that she should take custody of my kids, which she attempted to do. I fought five long months to get my children back to me, everyday fearing for their lives and everyday fearing of speaking of the abuse we had suffered in the advent it get turned around upon me instead of on the abuser himself. To this day, I still fear that result.
My children are now back with me, in a safe and loving home, with their mother to love and care for them. I thank God every day for leading us out of that abusive life into this blessed one. At the same time, I fear the wrath of a man who is so little that he feels the need to control and bully me. I live in fear of the harassment that comes along with him and I do my best to prevent his existence in my life.
I know God has a reason for all that we have been through, that he has a reason even for allowing abuse. My past has made me stronger, but has brought much damage to my children's spirits, though they persevere every day. I do not share this story, in anger, but in knowledge of sharing my fears and hope that it will someday help someone else who may be in a similar situation. It is my goal to move on from my past, to help my children continue to persevere and heal from the damage caused and to someday bury this all inside in an attempt to forget the bad and replace it all with the best days of our lives together with God's enduring Love and Blessings in our lives.
<3

Abuse: What is it? {Domestic Violence Awareness}


Webster's dictionary online describes abuse in several ways. One is to treat someone or something in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way. Another is to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about someone or something. The maltreatment, or bad and improper treatment, of a child is another description of abuse. Last, but certainly not least, is sexual assault.
The Domestic Abuse Project provides a list of abusive treatment for emotional abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse on their website.
Just to list a few examples:
  • Abuse is talking to someone in a threatening or degrading manner.
  • Abuse is threatening to or physically hitting, pushing, choking, thumping, and any other unwelcomed physical contact.
  • Abuse is neglecting a child or any person who is unable to care for themselves.
  • Abuse is preventing you from having communication with family and friends.
  • Abuse is someone else controlling your choices and circumstances, not allowing you to control your own life.
  • Abuse is trapping you with their body, allowing you no movement or protection of yourself.
  • Abuse is frightening you.
This list could go on and on but I think it shows a solid example of abuse.

 

If you are currently being abused, please seek help. You do not deserve this treatment and can find assistance through:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Confidential - 24 hours per day
TDD accessible
Will accept collect calls
Safety planning
Call to access shelter, support groups and other resources.

Do not hesitate to get help now, as your life and those of your children could very well be in serious danger.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Change Change Change

This week has brought about much change in our lives.  I know I keep talking about change in all of my posts lately but this week really begins it all. 

What is change?  Coins that you get back from a dollar bill?  No, not this change.  Change is a new season in life.  A new beginning and also an ending to the old ways.  Change is not always welcome but it usually turns out to be for the best. 

My change comes on the official ending of a bad relationship and the beginning and continuous of a new one.  My change comes out of choice, a choice to no longer be who I was but to become who I was meant to be.  My change also comes out of my need to do what God wishes for my life, following His divine guidance into where and what He wishes me to be.

So my biggest questions have been where to begin and what next?  My Mom is on her way to Florida to be settled with my brother's family, leaving me not having to worry about her for now.  I'm settled in my new home, though I have much to do inside it still.  So where to begin next and what to do?

First, each day I have been taking time to pray to the Lord and to read my daily devotional from http://www.proverbs31.org/.  I find much inspiration in these devotionals and sometimes I read two because I enjoy them so much.

Right now, I have much to go through, get rid of and put away in our home.  I also need to set up our school schedule again, which in light of MaMa's visit, has fallen to the wayside.  But admist the chaos school cannot be completed, so the first step is managing and containing the clutter obtained in the past few months and a lifetime of memories which should have departed long ago. 

Now, I am by far no housekeeper (though it is one of my legal jobs).  I can keep a house for you, your sister, Mom, friend but I have a terrible time managing my own home.  It always ends in disaster for me, a cluttered mess.  This is something I truly want to overcome.  And that is one of my recent life goals: to learn to manage my home, time and children's lives better, thus managing my own life better.

So I'm on a search for bettering myself and my home skills while connecting ever more towards my Heavenly Father.  I'm following His path, His guidance... and right now He's telling me the past is past and it's time to get started.  Wish me luck!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Change Part 2 {June 7, 2010}

Change does not always happen as expected. 

Mom is staying at my sister's an extra night, pushing back her departure date.  This is totally fine but I would LOVE to be able to get on with my life and cleaning out my home.

Today has been spent catching up with good friends on the phone and online.  Spending time with my three gorgeous children, who I love more than anything I could have ever imagined. 

My baby was ready for her nap at 11 am.  She's so sweetly scheduled and such a by-the-clock child.  When she wakes she always sings to me, letting me know "Mommy, I'm ready to get up".  She is possibly one of the happiest little ones I've ever been blessed to know and I'm so very thankful that she is all mine. {Momma's Baby Duck}

Today I've been working on odds and ends, such as laundry, picking up misplaced items and putting them away.  I've thought a lot about things I'd like to write about in this blog and also about things I want to set up lessons for with the kids.  I've also spent some time searching for inspirational thoughts and messages to help me on my path in changing my life for the better.

Proverbs 31 Ministries has the best devotionals by far.  It's become one of my very favorites in the past few months.  The messages there speak straight to my heart.

This afternoon brings lots of play with my babies, but for now I have one very muddy sweet doggie that needs a bath. 


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Change Part 1 {June 6, 2010}




New things are in the works. 

For the past month, my Mom has been staying with us, trying to go through things from her life so she can move to Florida to live with my brother and his beautiful family for a while.  We were unsure of the date she would leave but found out last week that this Tuesday is the day for departure.  I will be a little lot sad to see her gone but I know it's all for the best.

So this means, I will get my house back to myself, with the exception of Josh and the kids, and my life returns to drab blah same-old-same "normal".  Maybe (HOPEFULLY) this will also mean the end of my blah-blah-can't-think mode.  We will see though.

The plans for this week are:
Momma comes back tomorrow from my sisters to pack her things to go.
Tuesday: The official Bye-We-love-you-and-will-see-you-soon-though-not-too-soon day.
Wednesday: Relax and spend time with the kiddos.
Thursday: Start major house/life overhaul.
Friday: Ship Josh to Georgia for the weekend, while the kids and I enjoy a weekend alone doing things around home.

I've got a lot of other things in the works but for now this'll do me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Just Blah {June 3. 2010}

Georgetown, Harbor, South Carolina, Boats

Lately, I seem to have this overwhelming funk floating over my life that I can't seem to get to go away.  I can't quite explain it, just an unknown sad waiting feeling that is hanging there.  Everything in life seems to be right but nothing I do seems very satisfying or life-amending to me. 

I feel at peace in my soul but still something is feeling lacking, undone, or as if it just hasn't arrived yet.  I've mentioned feeling like I'm waiting a lot lately, and in ways I suppose I am.  I want to write, but I cannot grasp on a concept to write about.  I have leads but none that pay off in the end. 

I have so much that needs to be done but no idea where to start.  As I said already, many things have started falling into place, but there is much more to come. 

Maybe it's life's changes catching up to me or lack of sleep.  Either way, I just wish I could remove the funk and pull the sunshine back into my life.  Hopefully, tomorrow comes with a new rainbow and a shiny pot of gold to boot.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Life {June 2, 2010}

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my life and the twists and turns it has taken.  When I was in High School I would have never thought I'd end up where I'm at now.  In High School, I had planned to attend college, have a degree in teaching and return to my hometown school system to educate my family and friend's children.  God had another plan for me though.

When I was 17, I met the man I married and like a lot of young girls, I quickly threw away my dreams of college for dreams of marriage, happiness and life.  I had no idea the truth of the real world and I was blinded by the "love" I felt for the man I was with at that time.  I married him when I was 19, had my son when I turned 21 and my daughter at age 23.  I stayed in that marriage until I was 27 and did my best to make a good life for me and my children. 

At age 27, I met my ex-fiance who is possibly the most abusive man I've ever known next to my own father.  I never divorced my husband and I'm thankful for that because if I had, I would have ended up married to this man and I'd be stuck in something that I had a terrible time getting out of in the first place.  I was with my ex until almost right at my 30th birthday.  In two years time, this relationship did more damage to my heart and soul than my 10 year relationship with my husband.  The only goodness to come from it was my beautiful baby girl, Laycie. 

In 18 days, I turn 31.  I can hardly believe my birthday is already here again.  Each year flies by faster than the last and I know one of these days I will wake up as an old lady, my children grown and my sweet grandbabies toddling into my arms.  I wonder what I will remember about these years with my children, of their young lives that have flown past us. 

This is not the life I wanted for us but this is the life that was given to me from God himself.  Even though there is still much I want to do, much I want to remember and create lovingly with my children, I am thankful for every day, every cherished moment.  Even the not so good moments of abuse and anger which have made me and them stronger.  I am thankful to God for all that He has chosen to bless me with and I pray daily that His blessings continue to grow and multiply in our lives each day and that He shares our blessings with each and every one of our loved ones throughout our lifetime.

God is AMAZING and so is Life.

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