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“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard, American writer and editor
I often laugh out loud when I draw from my very own LFTG (Look for the good) jar even if I am having a rough day. Today is no different. Why is it always great timing? Probably because The Lord sits at my kitchen table where my LFTG jar is located and He has His hands all in it. #THANKFUL
So, for my devoted readers you already know a lot about me, my life and especially if you have been following this past year to year and a half – you know the intense messiness I have been living in . . . or more honestly – the excessive chaos I have been drowning in. My marriage would be at the top of this list. This is not to embarrass my husband, my girls or myself but to simply live out loud in order to help others do the same. I have had many conversations with The Lord during my meditations and don’t just feel but I KNOW He has called me to be my true self. What this means is I have to be vulnerable and open about my life paired with my gift and love for writing He has given me. This call upon me has been more difficult than easy. The blogging and vlogging I absolutely LOVE! The being transparent part not so much sometimes because it leaves the door wide open for judgement.
The above quote can be applied to lots of situations in my life and your life. So, take it wherever it serves you best. For me and in this very moment my marriage is what comes to mind. I have been married now for over 20 years. Wow! That is most of my adult life since I married fairly young. We started out with a ready-made family. I already had Grayson, our now almost 22-year-old daughter. My husband, Kevin, and I were set up on a date by one of my high school friends. She had just gotten married and I told her to tell him everything there was to know about me before he ever laid eyes on me. This included me having to give my first daughter up for adoption (*see “I’m a Grandmama” post) and now having my second daughter by a second man who I was told would not live to her first birthday. Keep in mind Grayson’s first birthday was one month away from when I met Kevin. He decided that yes, he still wanted to go out with me. For years now, however off and on, I often have asked myself – “What was Kevin thinking? A man in his early twenties taking on such major responsibility? Why? Why would he do that?” That thinking comes from my dark place. The place where secrets and lies have almost killed me. The place where Satan lives. The place where it is so dark, I don’t want to live anymore.
It wasn’t too far into our relationship that I became pregnant – yes, once again and Kevin and I were married. I look back at all the challenges and all the adversity we have faced. For over 20 years now I have held onto hurts instead of letting them go and holding onto hope. I have chosen fear to drive me instead of faith that God can change things. I have raged with anger instead of bestowing forgiveness. I have sat and cried over sadness instead of cherishing the good times. These all make me feel heartbroken over the amount of time I have wasted.
For today, here is the good . . . I can choose to start from now and make a brand new ending. This doesn’t mean I won’t have bad days. This doesn’t mean I won’t feel sad or hurt or angry ever again. This means I am choosing love over hate. I have so much to be forgiven for myself. Today I am looking at Kevin as a human being. You hear (read) me say all the time how there is no such thing as perfection. So why would I expect him to be? Why would I expect myself to be? I ask you now – what are you going to choose today? Love or hate? Hurt or hope? Fear or faith? Anger or forgiveness? Sadness or Happiness? None of these are always easy. In fact, for me most of them are hard most of the time when I am thinking about certain issues in my life. I will continue to try though. When I fall down and don’t choose positivity over negativity, I will try to give myself some grace. I will simply get back up and try again. Whatever it is you are being challenged to do, whether it is big or small, try and remember . . . “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” And of course, also try and remember to Look for the good . . . Know you are not alone. I am right there with you. I hope you have a blessed day. Much Peace and Love Y’all! Namaste
Since my life continues to become more eventful, that also brings more color. If you go back and read “My Story” on the homepage of my website you will see I describe my life like it’s a bag of Skittles. You know how it is. You reach in the bag and you never know what you’re going to pull out. Maybe you have a favorite flavor. Mine happens to be Green Apple but I like all of them even though I’m not much of a candy eater. So even though they are all different (just like us humans of this whole entire world) we can still intermix with each other. Also, because of the varying shades of the rainbow they all have a distinct taste but are still loved by so many. That little sidetrack (which is how my ADHD mind operates) has a point believe it or not. It is so lively in the Crazy Harts Club and that extends beyond inside these four walls, now that I have my oldest daughter, Rachel, and a grandson. Bringing it full circle for you . . . I am busy as a beaver, gnawing on logs and building my life, so sometimes I can’t blog/vlog everyday. That is why I am combining Thursday and Friday this week. These will be bullet points to make it easy for you and to remind me how GRATEFUL I am for the simple things. Read below how they flow together . . .
- Water – mine is clean which gives me freedom to drink it, so I don’t get thirsty; freedom to wash my body and clothes with it.
- Birds – beautiful songs they sing bring freedom to my heart and mind when I find myself in a stressful moment; I am reminded how their little chirps sound so happy and it brings a smile to my face.
- Breathing – I take this one for granted but since becoming a yoga teacher I have learned more purposeful breathing which allows me the freedom to get through challenging situations and bring more calm into my life.
- Being still – speaking of challenging because of my anxiety and ADHD, I am like a pile of snapping bugs constantly being thumped. Pop, pop, pop! All over the place. But I am consciously making the choice most days to sit and actually listen to what The Lord is trying to show and/or tell me. In a world of busyness, He clearly states all through the Bible and in my daily devotions that we need to stop “doing” (so much) and start “being”. Gosh, I LOVE that! Just BE . . . YOU!!!
- Last (for today) but not least and most importantly actually – I am thankful for –
KEVIN – my husband, for being supportive of our newfound daughter and grandson; for giving me the attention I deserve; for changing the negativity; this will be THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER!
RACHEL – my 24-year-old daughter, whose life is parallel to mine especially when I was younger; for her success in finding me; for her determination in pushing through pain and finding peace on the other side; remember it takes time and is a journey, my beautiful daughter! (and my precious grandson that I can’t believe I have been blessed with!)
GRAYSON – my 21-year-old daughter, who because of her I became a great mama; for her teaching me patience; for her allowing me to witness an amazing life even through her silence and for her teaching me how to love ALL people. What a gift you are, my Angel Face!
KLOIE – my 19-year-old daughter, who because of her I have lived; for her empowering me to be myself like she has at such a young age when most people are against it; for our endless ridiculous nighttime funny outbursts, car concerts, and singing our sentences instead of talking them; This is why you, KloBo, are my Sunshine! You shine so bright that it covers my darkness and keeps me going. My little Christmas present.
*And the baby dogs, Bella & Copper of course!
As per my usual writing tendencies this could go on forever. . . all the people and things I am thankful for bring freedom each in their own way . . . to me and to others. For today, here is the good . . . my list of Thankful Freedoms. I ask you, will you make your own list? Maybe life has too many negatives in it right now for you to come up with multiple things and that’s okay too. I beg you to find at least ONE. Write down ONE person, place, or thing that you are thankful for and write out beside it how it brings you FREEDOM. JUST ONE. Then carry it around with you. Tape it to the back of your phone. Keep it in your pocket. Stick it on something you see many times a day. We all need reminders of the good . . . in our life because it is easy to see the bad. Have a fabulous weekend! Now go do your homework! Much Peace and Love Y’all! Namaste
Yeah, I knew that would get your attention! But I really am and it’s not from who you think. Read on my fabulous Look for the good . . . family and friends . . .
On January 5th, 1995, at 19 years old, I gave birth to a precious, little girl. I named her Brailee Michelle. I also knew that within a couple of days I would quite possibly never see her again. You see, I placed Brailee for adoption. Not because I wanted to but because I was forced to. When I found out I was pregnant at 18 I was a Senior in high school and still a few months from graduating. My daddy and stepmother told me if I kept this baby then they would pretend they never had a daughter named Jane. I wouldn’t even exist to them anymore. I had an afterschool job at a daycare center and was completely dependent on my parents as most 18-year-olds are. The last time I saw her was when I literally placed her in her parents’ arms at 48 hours old. I will spare you all the sad and horrific details and instead concentrate on the good . . . Y’all know this post could go on forever because I love to write, and the details are tremendous – but I will keep it as simple as I can.
Just over two weeks ago a beautiful, strong, determined, 24-year-old woman rang my doorbell. (We planned this only 4 days before when she somehow found me???!!!) We have text everyday and have seen each other again. Her parents named her Rachel and yes, all those years ago I knew they were going to change her name. They were her parents, not me, after all and I just had to live with it. I have respected their entire family all this time by not being intrusive. Rachel is so much like me. The top half of her face looks like mine. She loves to write (and writes beautifully). The list just continues. As my readers know and especially those very close to me – it was earlier this year that I didn’t want to go on. Too many bad things have continued to pile up on my shoulders for 43 YEARS and I just completely fell . . . apart. Broken. Shattered. Crushed. Exhausted. But somehow by the grace of God Himself, He helped me hang on. He has given me a new life. I have an extremely supportive husband who is working hard everyday with me to have THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER. I have not just two but THREE magnificent daughters who are all very different but have their own special place in my heart. And now I’m a grandmama to a darling little boy. Rachel’s son. It’s surreal. So, for today here is the good . . . Are you kidding? All the above is good – no, it’s GREAT! I am attaching the video of our reunion and one of my favorite pics from this past weekend. Also attaching a pic of her “info card” that was on her little hospital bed (even though she never laid in it because I held her as much as I could in the hospital). I can’t say it enough . . . DON’T GIVE UP! HANG ON! There really is good . . . on the other side of whatever it is that haunts you. Much Peace and Love Y’all! Namaste