faithfamilyfearlessness

My life and the world from my eyes

Birds, Bees, and Bubbles October 20, 2011

Filed under: Family,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 11:45 pm

I slowly open the door to my boys bed room,

The dim glow of their nightlight illuminates on their sweet sleeping faces.

Their eyelids flutter ever so subtly,

I wonder what they are dreaming about?

What pictures their imaginations paint.

They look so peaceful, like tiny cherubs.

My heart aches a little as I think about how quickly my babies are turning into tiny little men,

I wish they could stay little forever.

I know that’s stupid,

But I really do.

Recently, I read a blog about a mom having the sex talk with her seven year old daughter.

It wasn’t really like a planned thing,

It was just a series of events that came up in her life and her daughter asking questions about it.

Typical curious seven year old.

It wasn’t the fact that the little girl was asking questions that bothered me, that is normal for kids to wonder about new things.

It was the answers the little girl was given.

Telling your seven year old about using condoms if you want to have sex for fun, but don’t want to get pregnant just seems so…inappropriate.

When I was seven, I was playing with barbies and my dollhouse, the thought of sex never once crossed my mind.

I had no idea what sex was, I was to busy being a kid.

Granted, it’s fifteen years later and a lot of things with our culture have changed.

Sex is pretty much everywhere now.

But as I look at my little boys, mischievous little angels that they are, I wonder how much longer they have before their innocence melts away.

How much longer do I have before they start asking me about sex and condoms and all the other grown-up things that no small child should ever know exists?

I dread the thought.

But is it actually realistic for me to think I can protect them?

My parents thought they could.

They sheltered us from everything,

We weren’t allowed to watch any Disney movies with any type of magic,

Nothing rated above PG-13 until I was actually thirteen.

Absolutely nothing with sex or a reference to it.

That was a good thing,

I admire them for taking a firm stand and making such an effort.

But as I got older,

I was still blissfully ignorant of the realities and dangers of sex.

My parents never had the sex talk with me,

Ever.

So since google wasnt at the fingertips of every preteen at the time,

I got my info from conversations with misinformed friends.

As a result, at thirteen I found myself in some uncomfortable and unwanted situations.

At fifteen I was pregnant.

My mom felt that getting me birth control would be giving me her stamp of approval,

And today, as a parent I really do understand her point of view.

But what she thought would stop me,

Only made me take a gamble,

And that gamble led me straight to the motherhood express lane.

Please don’t get me wrong,

My babies are the best thing that ever happened to me,

And I love them more than anything in this world,

But being a parent at sixteen is not something I want for my kids.

Problem is, I don’t really know that there truly is a way to stop it.

I believe with kids,

You can teach them all you want about morals and values and right and wrong,

You can instill in them everything you feel will help make them people of integrity.

But there reaches a certain point when they have to start making their own decisions,

And they will,

Behind your back if they have to.

I snuck around, lied and made all kinds of bad decisions because what I wanted to do was whatever I wanted.

I didn’t tell my parents the truth because I felt the truth would hurt them,

I knew it didn’t measure up to their standards or line up with their point of view,

So I just hoped they wouldn’t find out that I wasn’t the kind of girl they wanted me to be.

I don’t want my kids to feel that way.

I want them to trust me,

I want them to confide in me and seek my advice and input.

But what about when they make choices I don’t agree with?

What happens then?

I honestly have no idea.

My darling oldest son begins kindergarden next year,

He is so excited.

I am too,

But the tiniest part of me is dreading it.

I don’t want him to grow up,

I’m afraid of who he will become.

He is such a good boy,

But sometimes I fear the worst.

And I fear the same mistakes that were made by those before me will be repeated by me.

I’m afraid that all the flaws I am so painfully aware of in myself,

Will be mimicked by him.

So I sit here in the dark,

Searching my soul and wondering what is better,

Keeping your kids in a bubble,

Or exposing them to the elements and hoping they survive it?

I don’t know.

I really don’t.

I just pray I have a few more years to figure it all out,

Before I have to explain what sex is.

 

Perfect October 16, 2011

Filed under: Family,Inspirational,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 10:55 pm

Life is hard.

We all knew that, right?

We all say it, sure.

But some things you just can’t possibly understand unless you have felt it,

Unless you have touched it,

Somehow been effected by it in the most personal of ways.

Why does that little boy develop cancer in his blood, threatening his very existence?

Why does that teenage girl have a handicap, keeping her captive in her own mind?

Why did that young father die, leaving his children and wife to fend for themselves?

Why was that baby abandoned by her mother, left in a dumpster to freeze?

So much evil in this world.

So many questions, without answers.

Humans search for knowledge and understanding,

We long for the key to unlock life’s mysteries.

When there are no answers, we become angry, frustrated and resentful.

Dissatisfaction sets in.

We can’t comprehend problems without solutions.

I don’t know why things go wrong;

Why “good” people, even “great” ones can suffer and parish,

While evil people can live lives of luxury and ease.

Everyone will get his/her reward, eventually.

But sometimes we are impatient, and would like that reward closer to now.

Most of the time, we can place blame on people.

This person thought this thought,

Made this choice which had this effect and BAM!

We have before us this unpleasant set of circumstances.

We love pointing fingers,

We love shaking our heads.

We love judging even when we have no right to.

I do it too.

Put my two cents in because gosh I just know I’d have done it better.

Shame on me.

It doesn’t help the situation, it only hurts it further,

So why do it?

When people fail God brings in someone to be a helper and a friend,

Whether its a hug or a warm meal,

A kind word or a place to rest your head,

God provides and redeems even in the most hopeless of circumstances.

Truth is,

Adversity, resistance, pressure,

These things all help make each of us even better people.

Story time:

There once was a girl who was born into a perfect family,

Who was happy all the time.

She never shed a tear,

Always wore a smile,

Lived a perfect life.

She married a perfect boy,

Who also had a perfect family,

And together they had a perfect child.

They lived happily ever after,

And never had a problem,

Ever.

Zzzzzzzz

Snooze fest much?

We don’t like stories like that,

It doesn’t entertain us because it provokes no emotion.

Because not one of us is perfect,

Or has ever known a perfect life,

So we really can’t relate to such an absurd scenario.

You know in truth,

Some of us, if we didn’t face hard times wouldn’t pray at all.

We wouldn’t even know God.

Because all God is to us is a security blanket.

A life raft of sorts to keep us a float in life’s storms,

But sits on the shadows, tied up and untouched unless there is a crisis.

We put God in a box and expect him to work like the genie in Aladdin,

Read your bible like you would rub a lamp and BAM!

All our problems are solved, like magic.

In case you weren’t aware, being at our beck and call is not a priority of the creator of universe.

I have had to learn this the hard way.

That my prayers are not magic and if I say just the right words what I want wont just happen.

Truth is, I can pray till I am blue in the face but if it’s not Gods will it ain’t gonna happen.

Ouch.

Yes, truth hurts.

I learn this repeatedly, daily.

But if I sit back and acknowledge how amazing it all is,

This crazy, messed up, painful, confusing, beautiful life,

It takes my breath away.

There is an incredible tapestry of every single human being,

Each connected in the most obscure ways.

Yet when you take a step back and see it from the creators eyes,

You realize there is a flawless and spectacular pattern and plan.

Every loop and knot and stitch is exactly in place,

No mistakes.

Life is just like that,

In the thick of it we can barely see the feet in front of us,

Much less make heads or tales of a plan,

But it’s there,

Even when we don’t understand it,

When we look back on where we have been,

It was all for a reason,

So much bigger than you or me.

We have no control,

Trying to get it is pointless and frustrating,

And yields nothing but discontentment.

All we can do is trust.

Even when it hurts,

Even when we want with everything in us to fight it,

We can only believe in something bigger.

We can only trust that the God we serve is exactly who He claims to be,

Perfect.

We may not understand exactly what that means,

But I know I can depend on him,

That he keeps his word,

That he loves me unconditionally,

And that all things he work for my good,

Because I am his daughter,

And no actions of mine can change that,

Because no actions of mine made it happen in the first place.

And in the end,

That’s all I really need to know,

To get me through the day in front of me.

I have God to hold my hand,

Thats all I need,

Regardless the circumstance.

 

Shadows of the Heart October 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 10:42 pm

Within the heart,

Beneath the surface we keep certain thoughts hidden.

We fear to appear vulnerable,

And so we burry our fears deep down,

Praying no one sees just how inadequate we really are.

I asked you once to look in the mirror and to honestly tell me what you see,

Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about my insecurities.

Not to ask for pity,

That’s the last thing I need.

Support maybe,

Prayers, definitely.

My hope is that in being transparent,

Perhaps I can learn to conquer what is holding me back.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I was a little girl,

I suffered from nightmares.

I remember waking up almost every night until I was about nine,

Terrified and trembling,

My pajamas damp with sweat.

The dreams were vivid,

They were so real,

And they haunted me even during my waking hours.

I would race down the hallway from my bedroom to my parents room,

Running as fast as could,

Truly believing if I was quick enough I could outrace the demons of my nightmares.

Into my parents bedroom I would leap and snuggle between them in their bed.

I would shake and pray between squinted eyes that I would live to see the morning.

I really believed something was trying to kill me.

I was afraid to go in the shed in the backyard,

The attic and basement,

Even under my bed or in my closet,

I was convinced that the terror I experienced while I slept was partially real.

To this day I hate being home alone,

I guess the dreams never went away completely.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When my mother was ill,

There were many nights she wouldn’t come home.

She would be so distraught or exhausted or confused,

She would sleep at friends houses.

My dad knew where she was,

But when we asked him where mommy was,

“I don’t know” was his only answer.

I would wait up for her some nights,

Praying for her to come back.

Some nights she would,

Usually very late,

Hours after I was supposed to be tucked into bed.

I would crawl to the top of the staircase and listen,

They never knew I could hear their arguments.

I felt like my whole world was falling apart.

Yelling triggers something in me,

I shut down emotionally.

When someone yells at me I just stop listening,

A defense mechanism of sorts.

I was just a little girl,

But I became very afraid of being abandoned,

That when people I loved left,

Even just for a while,

They may never come back.

I still don’t like being dropped off places.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When i finally hit puberty,

Just how different I was from my sisters became clear.

They all had chestnut brown hair,

Mine was a dirty blonde.

They were all thin, petite with athletic figures,

I was chubby, with a belly and a round face.

All I could see was how my clothes didn’t fit right,

How my breasts were bigger and my stomach rounder,

How my skin was uneven,

My lips were chapped from nervous licking.

All I could see was how in family pictures I stood out,

I was different,

And I hated it.

I couldn’t see whatever “beauty” people claimed to see.

I felt anything but beautiful.

I felt fat, and ugly,

I felt confused by all the other events of my life.

I longed for acceptance wherever I could get it.

In my search for a friend,

For someone to love me,

I gave parts of me away I can never get back.

I still struggle with feeling unattractive,

Repulsive even on my bad days.

I question why anyone would want me.

And I doubt anyone really does.

I feel like I am lacking,

And that almost every feature the mirror shows me I could improve.

I am very dissatisfied with myself,

And I think that accounts for a huge portion of my unhappiness with others.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I fear attachment to people,

Because they may one day realize how flawed I truly am,

And leave me.

I have difficulty letting people in,

To let others see me gives them the power to hurt me,

And I am already so damaged.

The scars are plentiful and they multiply each day,

As much as I pretend that words don’t hurt me,

I am not made of stone.

I hide behind my plastic smile,

But inside I am silently screaming.

I don’t want to hurt anymore.

I don’t want to be sad,

Or lonely or unhappy.

I don’t want the pang of anguish that overwhelms me when I am disappointed.

Intimacy comes at a price,

Is it one I am willing to pay?

Not so long ago I was dead inside,

And have since been reawakened by my Savior.

So when I think of the alternative to these feelings,

However unpleasant and difficult to bear,

Numbness,

Yes, feeling something is worth the price.

Being alive means pain with ecstasy,

Sadness with joy,

Tears with laughter,

And turmoil with peace.

Life numb and censored without genuine emotions is a lie,

And why would anyone want to live a lie?

I know I don’t.

I’m so imperfect.

I’m so flawed.

I’m so unworthy.

But I’m here,

Day after day I will wake up and continue to fight,

Until my reality is the one that I so deeply long for.

 

Sweet Contentment October 11, 2011

Filed under: Family,Inspirational,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 4:29 pm

When we look at our lives what do we see?

Are we happy or disappointed?

Satisfied or lacking?

I know that I tend to view my life in the future tense.

I’m constantly looking ahead, thinking ahead,

My focus is usually on what we will be doing a few days,

Weeks or a few months down the road.

I get excited about my preschooler starting kindergarden next fall,

About my three year old learning his letters,

About my infant being potty trained, walking and talking.

I get excited about us buying a house,

My husband getting his degree and being done with college.

All of these things are good,

It’s important to have goals, and dreams and ambitions.

But I have found especially in my own life,

I have a hard time stopping and really enjoying the moment in front of me.

I have a hard time taking a step back and embracing the joy of the present.

And in constantly moving and cleaning and cooking and organizing and planning,

I miss out on a lot of blessings I have been given.

The scents and flavors of a warm meal that I rarely sit down to enjoy with my family,

Because even as I stand in the kitchen hurriedly eating the contents of my plate my mind is already thinking about the laundry that needs to be put away and the dishes that need to be washed.

I have a tendency to beat myself up when my little check list doesn’t get finished,

It makes me feel like I failed.

It makes me feel like somehow the day was not a good day,

Because I still have all these tasks leering at me.

My children are growing up so fast,

And yet I feel like even as it saddens me how quickly their childhood goes by,

I am still constantly jumping to the next stage, wishing and wanting and waiting.

I have myself convinced that once we reach this next chapter in our lives things will be easier,

Things will go more smoothly,

And by then I will have it all together.

If I could just make it through this day,

This week and month and season,

That life will finally be great.

But you know what?

That is the farthest thing from the truth.

If I never learn to appreciate what is in front of me,

If I never really learn the lessons that God is trying to teach me,

How can I ever expect to find fulfillment?

When I get to that new place and new season,

I will still be looking ahead to the next part,

Anxiously awaiting it’s arrival and missing everything in between.

What makes a story great?

Is it the beginning?

Is it the end?

No, it’s everything in between that builds the character,

The growth that you see and adventures that unfold.

I think life is a lot like that.

If we simply “get through” all the mundane and difficult things,

Instead of cherishing them for the building blocks that they are,

We will never really be able to enjoy the end result.

We all go through hard times,

Some much more than others.

We all have a journey that makes us the person we are,

And I want the person I am becoming to be someone that I am proud of.

I don’t want to be this stressed out, frazzled and unhappy woman.

I want to learn how to find contentment wherever I find myself in life.

I know the only way to do that,

Is to learn to trust wholeheartedly in God.

To trust that he has a plan,

That his hand is at work even when I can’t see or feel it.

That there is a plan being orchestrated silently, and flawlessly.

No matter where I am today,

I will get to wherever I’m meant to be,

Whenever I get there.

Sitting back and enjoying the ride has never really been my forte,

But I’m learning,

Always and forever I am learning.

 

More Than Color October 4, 2011

Filed under: Inspirational,Life,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 8:21 pm

I’m in the grocery store,

The same one I have been in a hundred times.

It’s dinner time, so the store is buzzing with shoppers just like me,

Trying to get in and out with their purchases and hurry home to fix dinner.

The cashier is friendly.

She is round and pale, with dark brown hair and red dots sprinkling her chubby cheeks.

She is a little chatty,

No big deal.

She talked about her husband, and how they had come across hard times recently.

She talked about how they had applied for foodstamps but she wasn’t sure if they would qualify or not.

“Not to be a racist or nothing but it seems like if you aren’t black you can’t get any help around here! They just eat up all the benefits and the rest of us are screwed.”

I’m not sure what my exact facial expression was, although I’m positive it was one of disgust.

She noticed.

She immediately became flustered, “Oh I’m sorry I didn’t mean to offend you or nothing, I’m just saying…”

I stopped listening.

My mind spun wildly with thoughts of anger and frustration.

“Have a good day.” I muttered without making eye contact.

As I left the store, all I could do was think how offended I was at her remark.

It wasn’t that the comment was so obscene, I have heard much worse I assure you;

It was the way that she assumed so much about me, and my beliefs based on my looks.

How dare she assume that simply because she and I are both white women that I too harbor racist resentments towards minorities.

She sticks me into a stereotype,

Just like every other person in her mind, I can be categorized by my face.

She figured she knew me, who I was and how I thought, she assumed I was just like her.

And I wonder, how many others have the same mindset she does.

Too many, I’m sure.

She didn’t know that my husband is black.

She didn’t know I have three biracial little ones.

She didn’t know any of that, but simply assumed that wouldn’t be the case.

Maybe it was the way she was raised, that engrained into her mind such bitterness.

I will never know, nor do I really care to.

It doesn’t really matter why, because there is no excuse.

You cannot choose the color God made you, the hues of your skin tone,

So how can you judge another person for something that only God can determine?

I cannot pretend to understand the injustice and persecution that minorities feel every day,

After all, I am white.

But I know the looks of disapproval all too well,

The whispers and glares from the corners of peoples eyes.

I know the disdain people ooze.

It sucks.

It’s an attitude you did nothing to deserve and can really do nothing to change.

The only way to change people’s mindsets is to prove them wrong.

And time after time, we try to do just that.

But people always think they are right,

Even when the ways they are wrong are countless.

There are probably fifty other people she checked out just today,

That she could have made that comment to and would have chuckled and agreed with her whole heartedly,

And that sickens me.

We all have such a long way to go,

So many more battles to be fought before we can truly say we have won against people and their hate disguised so efficiently as stereotypes.

Will it ever happen?

It seems with every generation there is a race, a religion or ethnicity that is singled out and persecuted.

People feel they must prey on the weak, on the different.

We hate change,

We hate things we don’t understand.

We hate things that are not like us.

I pray that my children will know a day when they are not looked at as different,

A day where we see people before we see color.

A day where, just like style and art and every other aspect of our lives, color is simply a part of who we are that makes us special, but does not define us in any way.

We are each unique.

We are each designed for a purpose.

There is not now, nor will their ever be again, a human just like you or me.

So don’t categorize me.

You don’t define me.

Only God defines me.

I won’t let you label me,

Stereotype me,

Categorize me.

I won’t let your labels influence me.

There is so much beneath the surface of a man and a woman,

Than you will never know by just a glance,

By just a single conversation.

There is so much more,

Than just color.