faithfamilyfearlessness

My life and the world from my eyes

True Love June 28, 2012

Filed under: Family,Inspirational,Interracial,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 3:55 pm

Love is patient,
Love is kind.
It does not envy,
It does not boast,
It is not proud,
It is not rude,
It is not deceitful.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil,
But rejoices with the truth.
Love always trusts.
Love always hopes.
Love always perseveres.
Love Never Fails.

~1 Corinthians 13:4-8

This verse has been on my heart a great deal over the last few days.
It has always been one of my favorites,
For its eloquence and beauty.
But it also spells out so clearly what the definition of what true love really is,
And what I as a wife and mother and woman should strive for in the relationships God has blessed me with.

Every time I read it,
It sheds a little light on the areas I am lacking,
But also encourages me that this kind of love is attainable.
I believe in this kind of love,
With everything in me,
I believe that this is something ithat I can experience.
For me,
Broken down in its simplest terms,
This is what true love and this verse means:

Love is Patient:

I have a difficult time with patience some days.
My three small children and my husband know this well.
I get overwhelmed and frustrated,
And sometimes allow my emotions to get the best of me.
But love, real love, is patient.
It keeps its cool when you’re boiling on the inside.
It bites it tongue when you want to lash out.
It teaches the same thing again and again,
Just as gently as the first time.
Because even when I absolutely don’t feel like it,
Love, in its purest form, is never short tempered.
It is gentle and calm and gives chance after chance,
No matter how frustrating that can sometimes be.

Love is Kind:

There are plenty of times I want to be sarcastic,
Or mean,
Or say exactly what I am thinking just because it popped into my head.
But real love doesn’t do that.
I don’t think that Paul meant that love never speaks a word that is unflattering,
But even when telling someone an ugly truth that needs to be said,
Doing so with kindness and humility is what love is all about.
Making sure that even criticism is constructive, with a purpose and with only that persons best interest in mind.
Love does not ever use someone as an emotional punching bag,
Allowing them to bear the brunt of frustrations and irritations.
Love has goodness at its root always.

It Does Not Envy:

This one I had a hard time understanding at first.
Envy?
What does that have to do with love?
But that might be the point,
Envy has no place in a loving relationship.
For me, it means being happy in someone else’s success instead of wishing it for yourself.
It means not being jealous and petty,
Being jealous is nothing but poison to a relationship,
And remembering it has no place in your mind or heart saves a great deal of grief.

It Does Not Boast:

When you love someone,
The last thing you want is to make them feel inadequate.
Being prideful and boasting about yourself or your accomplishments has only one purpose,
To make others feel worse while you feel better.
Loving someone is making them feel good,
And confident,
And making them feel happy with you when you accomplish something,
Not that you being great makes them less great.

Love is Not Proud:

Pride comes in several forms.
It can be similar to boasting (above),
Or it can be that stubborn bone of contention that makes a silly argument last for weeks.
Its refusing to admit that you are wrong,
Or refusing to apologize for causing someone you love pain.
Because sometimes, even if you were right,
Hurting someone you love is never right.
Pride has no place in love.
When you love someone,
You put their needs first.
Their happiness and well being is at the forefront of your mind and heart,
And pride cares only about itself.

Love is Not Rude:

Being rude to anyone is not okay,
Even if they initiate it,
Even if the last thing they deserve is grace.
But when you love someone,
Being rude is even worse.
Guard your mouth always,
So that the words you say do not leave scars on the heart of those you love.

Love is Not Deceitful:

When you love someone you are honest with them,
Even brutally so sometimes.
You cannot experience love the way it was intended if you lie,
If you keeps secrets,
Or skeletons hidden in the shadows.
The way that you live should be with the ones you love most in mind always,
So that there is never a need to hide things.
Deceit and lies always come out in the end,
And trying to prevent that just causes more hurt and pain than dealing with it outright ever would have.

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs:

Holding grudges and refusing to let them go,
Poisons a person from the inside out.
It causes a healthy relationship to rot and die,
Leaving nothing but pain and resentment.
Keeping track of the bad things brings misery,
And shifts all your focus from the good;
And love is certainly not miserable or angry.

Love Does Not Delight In Evil:

Love is not evil,
And enjoying bad things,
Especially bad things happening to others is not love.

But Rejoices With The Truth:

Truth is good,
Even when it hurts,
It’s healing.
We rejoice over the big things,
And the small things.
We rejoice with accomplishments,
And with goals,
And with anything that makes the person we love happy.
When you love someone,
Their happiness is shared with you.

Love Always Trusts:

Trust is hard for me,
And a lot of others I know.
It’s not that I don’t want to trust people,
It’s that pain and heartache leaves scars behind,
And sometimes one of the hardest things you do is to see past them.
But the thing is, loving someone requires you let go of your past.
Keeping no record of wrongs,
You move on from the things that hurt you,
And you force yourself to give the person you love the benefit of the doubt.
Even when they have hurt you before,
Love requires you to trust that person to do all they can not to cause that same pain again.

Love Always Hopes:

Without hope, what is the point?
No matter what trials are faced today,
We must always cling to the promise that tomorrow holds something better.
We hope for change in the things that hurt us,
Or bring us stress or grief.
We hope that our prayers will be answered,
And that change will come.
We hope that our dreams will come true.
Hope keeps us going,
And gives us the drive and fire to continue on,
Even when it seems there is no reason to.

Love Always Perseveres:

Determination has to be behind every relationship for it to last.
If you cannot persevere through the hard times,
You will never make it to see the good times.
Trials and tribulations are a part of life,
And there will be moments you really don’t like each other;
Arguments that get nasty,
And mistakes will be made you can never take back.
There will be heartache and heartbreak,
And there will be times you will let each other down.
If you keep going on,
With the mindset that no matter what happens,
You are in this forever,
Then you will experience the joy and delight of what true love really is,
And that bliss makes it all worth it.

Love Never Fails:

There is no pain too great,
No mistake too big,
No storm strong enough,
That true love cannot overcome.
It sounds so cliche,
But if you love someone,
Then no matter what happens you will make it through,
Simply because you refuse to surrender.
You must remember that love is many things,
But love is never uncertain,
And as long as you refuse to doubt,
You will succeed.
Real love can hurt,
Sometimes it may have scars from the battles it has fought,
But it is a bond that can never be broken,
Unless you allow it to be.

Love is treating others the way you want to be treated.
Love is giving of yourself without asking anything in return.
Love is working every single day to maintain what you have built,
Never allowing someone else to come in and damage it.
Love is forgiving before ever being asked,
Again and again and again.
Love is sacred,
The most valuable of all achievements.
Love is a journey of faith and trust.
Love is a promise;
Love is a vow,
Never to be broken.

If you cling to the promise of tomorrow,
And you remember all the things above,
Determining what this popular passage means to you,
You will discover something amazing.
The definition of love is right here.
Pure and simple.
And if you embrace is,
And strive to posses it,
Happiness and peace is sure to find you.

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Screw It June 8, 2012

Filed under: Family,Growing Up,Inspirational,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 9:50 pm

I have been told that I am too insecure.
That it’s unattractive and annoying.
I say, screw it.
I’m honest.
I say what I feel and I write whats on my heart.
Maybe sometimes its messy,
Or imperfect or whatever,
But its real;
Its who I am,
And if you were all honest with yourself,
You have insecurities too.
The question is not whether or not we all have them,
It’s how honest we are when it comes to dealing with them.
I deal with mine by addressing them,
I talk about them,
Internalizing makes me slightly insane,
And I would rather be a little too honest than crazy.
I have flaws,
But I don’t flaunt them,
I just stopped hiding from them a long time ago.
I write about the truth in my life,
And its not to get attention.
I write the way that I do because putting thoughts to paper makes them a little more manageable in my mind and heart.
I write the way I do because maybe, just maybe, someone else feels the way I do sometimes;
And maybe knowing I feel this way will make them feel a little less alone.
So hey,
Like it or don’t like it’s okay with me.
I am insecure,
I know that about myself.
I don’t know if or when that will change,
But I know the last thing I want to be is fake.
When I feel something I’m going to write about it,
And if it bothers you then, hey, no one forced you to read.
Being genuine is the only thing that makes a blog worth reading,
What the heck is the point in reading a bunch of fake BS that barely skims the surface of that persons reality?
I’m me.
Love me or hate me,
This is who I am.
So take me with my flaws or just keep scrolling on your browser.

 

Even Numbers June 6, 2012

Filed under: Family,Growing Up,Inspirational,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 3:46 pm

I have always liked even numbers,
They somehow feel safe to me.
Maybe its the tiny bit of OCD in me,
But things just seem meant to be in pairs.
When our third son Devin was born,
We always knew we wanted one more.
We wanted another child in the far off,
Somewhere down the line sense that you want that dream vacation;
It will happen eventually,
No rush.
Yet here I am,
Just ten short weeks from birthing my second baby in eighteen months.
And I’m glad that life isn’t a “choose your own ending” book,
Because some of the surprises in my life have been the best moments of my existence.
But right now I am looking at my life and myself and having a few…doubts.
I guess I have felt this way before each of my children’s births.
Asking God what on earth He is thinking trusting me to raise ANOTHER life.
When I go into grocery stores or really anywhere out in public,
People stare at me with giant bug eyes and ask how I do it.
I smile politely and shrug the question off.
I am not a perfect mother,
That is for certain.
But when asking how I do it,
It almost seems silly.
I just live.
I live with my kids and see where life takes us.
We have rules and routines and standards,
And we live by them.
I don’t go through life thinking “I’m going to be the greatest mom ever today.”
I just wake up, and live and do what I can to be the best person I can be.
Sometimes I yell,
Or lose my temper.
Sometimes I say things I shouldn’t,
And sometimes I feel more like resting on the couch than reading a bedtime story,
But in the end I put the needs of my family first,
And I do what I can to be what they need.
But I have been blessed,
Because my kids behave for the most part.
They respect me and others.
They are polite and friendly.
They are beautiful (though that is all God’s doing),
And they are filled to the brim with life and sunshine.
They are truly wonderful children.
And even though I know that, I have been sitting here these last few days feeling so overwhelmed.
When you find out you’re pregnant,
There is always that initial adjustment period where you come to terms with this new reality and extra addition.
But nine months is a long time,
And its supposed to be plenty of time to get used to the idea.
Yet, somehow I find myself torn in two.
Part of me can’t wait to not be pregnant anymore,
And part of me is dreading trying to juggle four kiddos five and under,
Two of them under two.
I can do it,
I know I can.
Because that is what I have always done.
When life starts throwing curve balls you just keep swinging the best way that you know how.
I ran into someone not long ago at the store,
A casual acquaintance I had met at the park for a few play dates since her boys were about the same age as my oldest two.
She saw my pregnant belly and practically gasped.
“How’d you let THAT happen? Girl I could smack you, what were you thinking having ANOTHER one!”
My cheeks turned all kinds of red as I mumbled something about how we are very happy, though we plan for this one to be our last.
I was so taken aback by her brazen disapproval I didn’t even realize how angry she had made me until about thirty seconds after I walked away.
I’m married, and last time I checked my husband and I didn’t take a general public opinion poll before doing *ahem* married people things.
It’s no one’s business if my husband and I want to have ten kids, but four is certainly not a ghastly number that people should be dropping their jaws at.
I guess I’m funny that way,
A part of me is freaking out a little and the other part is mad at anyone who freaks out a little bit for me.
I have always been terrified of failing as a parent.
No matter what my shortcomings or those of my husband,
My goal and prayer has always been for my children to feel safe, secure, and to know beyond a shaddow of a doubt that they are loved, and we are here for them whatever they need.
People have often told my husband and I that we are too young to have so many kids.
My opinion?
We started young, very young, so why not finish young?
I’m not trying to rush through their childhood or anything,
But I have been changing diapers for almost six years straight,
And I am ready to see a light at the end of the tunnel before my fire just burns out.
I think the strangest thing for me is what a hard time I am having bonding with this little “Peanut.”
“Peanut” is what we have named the baby until we can agree on a definitive name.
And yet, somehow Peanut and I just don’t feel quite as close as I did with Devin.
Maybe it’s just the fear in the back of my mind.
I don’t question or doubt my love for this baby,
I love each of my children equally and completely and there is not a single doubt in my mind about the fact that will be the same for this child.
I guess I’m just not as excited as I want to be,
Because I am scared.
I’m scared of what the future holds.
My greatest fear is breaking down,
Of not being able to handle it anymore.
I don’t want to think that way,
And it’s not even like I really think it will.
It’s just this nagging thought of the “what if’s” looming over my head.
I just want to be at peace with all of this.
I just want to figure out how to be excited.
I just want to believe in myself as much as God seems to,
Since he keeps trusting me with all of these babies.
I just want to shake my insecurities away,
And wake up tomorrow with all the confidence I never knew existed.
Is that so hard?
Apparently, at least for me, it is…

 

Farewell For Now June 5, 2012

Filed under: Family,Growing Up,Inspirational,Life,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 9:24 am

Its taken me over a week to write this,
A fact which surprised me a little,
Words are usually my thing.
But this time, when I would sit and begin to write,
A new wave of sadness would hit me,
And I just couldn’t finish.
I have never been good with loss.
Death terrifies me.
It shouldn’t,
I mean being a Christian does come with the whole promise of eternal life.
But something about not knowing exactly what to expect,
About leaving all I love and know behind,
Is beyond frightening.
My Uncle Vincent married my Aunt when I was in early elementary school.
They were such a funny couple,
He was tall and strong and outdoorsy.
She was small and petite and quirky as can be.
I wasn’t sure what to think,
But he was so genuine and kind,
It didn’t take long for all of us to fall in love with him.
He had a wolf named Tawny;
Yes, a real wolf.
He had lived in Alaska, which he always considered his home.
When he moved to Illinois he brought his girl Tawny with him,
And she was the biggest, most intimidating thing I had ever touched.
She was also so sweet, a giant teddy bear of sorts, just like her owner.
Years of health problems with both my Aunt and Uncle took their toll,
And when they announced they were divorcing my heart shattered into a million pieces.
In the past with my family, when you divorced the spouse not related disappeared from everyones lives and was never heard from again except as the topic of negative conversation.
I couldn’t imagine life without my Aunt Robin and Uncle Vincent.
My Aunt Robin moved to Florida and started a new life.
I still miss her terribly, since we have only seen her once in the last four years since she left.
Uncle Vincent stayed for a while,
But it wasn’t as I feared.
He was still very much a part of the family.
He still loved us, all of us, and that wasn’t going to changed because his marital status did.
But his heart was in Alaska, with his daughter and all the mountains and wildlife and majesty that it possessed.
In June of 2009, he returned to his home.
Just two short months before my wedding.
My heart again felt crushed by sadness.
How could holidays still come,
And life still go on,
With such a big part of my life not sharing in it?
As we said goodbye on that warm summer day,
Something about it seemed very final.
A part of me,
Somewhere deep down,
Knew it was the last time I would see him.
You take people for granted,
And you get caught up in your own life and all that goes with it,
And you forget to really appreciate the blessings that you have been given.
My Uncle Vincent was a blessing in the truest form.
It was through Facebook that we eventually reconnected,
And I am so grateful for that.
There were so many things I never really knew about him that I got the chance to know through social networking.
He was an opinionated conservative who was unafraid to speak and share his mind.
He strongly supported the NRA.
And above all, he genuinely loved his family.
I had always been afraid that since he moved away,
He would forget us.
But he never hesitated to tell me how beautiful I was,
What a great mother I had become,
And how proud he was of me.
He was a loyal reader of my blog,
And I could always count on him for encouragement.
Every holiday and special occasion,
He made sure to take time out to wish us all well and let us know he was thinking of me and my family.
The last time was Mother’s Day.
It was such a comfort knowing he was always there,
Even from thousands of miles away,
Looking at our pictures and doing his best to stay involved in our lives.
And then one day,
His daughter posted on his Facebook,
Letting us all know he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,
And had two weeks to live at most.
I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.
I couldn’t breath.
I couldn’t think.
This can’t be real.
I sat on my couch and began to sob silently.
His kidney’s were failing,
And they would give out before the cancer took over.
His death would be painless,
He would simply fall asleep.
I was grateful for that,
Somehow it made all of this a tiny bit less horrific.
He would not suffer,
And a good man like he was did not deserve to.
Four days later he passed away.
No amount of time would have been enough I suppose,
But four days was just so short.
One thing I am grateful for was the chance to say goodbye,
And to tell him I loved him,
And I would miss him so much,
And that he meant the world to me.
I didn’t get to talk to him,
But his daughter was kind enough to pass it on.
It was so, not enough,
To say goodbye on Facebook.
Facebook is wonderful for many reasons,
But eternal farewells are not one of them.
Now he is gone.
I couldn’t go to his funeral,
Alaska is just too far away.
It felt so strange to not be able to say goodbye in person.
And I miss him.
I still half expect to see his updates,
And hear about whats going on in his life.
I know he lives on in my memories,
And he will not be forgotten.
He touched a lot of people,
And was an invaluable part of my life.
He is resting eternally now.
He feels no more pain.
I will always miss him,
But I’m okay with that,
Because it reminds me how much I loved him,
And how much he loved me and my sisters and brother and our family.
So farewell for now Uncle Vincent,
I know I will see you again someday.
I love you ❤

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