Monday, October 3, 2016
My life is like a cartoon. I've said it a million and one times, and half the time most of you agree with me. Most days I can focus on funny things that happen to me and just crazy, silly or amazing things that happen in my ordinary life. But ordinary life is getting harder. It's been one hell of a summer and the start of this school year is no better. Never did I ever in my life dream I'd grow up and be a mother who is hated by her children. Never did I once say, "Wow, I want my children to be so mean to me, so indifferent, so narcissistic and yet dependent and needy that they suck the life right out of me." Does anyone? Yet that is my reality. Some days I'm really good and hold tight to the truth that God never said it would be easy, but He did promise that He'd be with me. Most days. Most days I feel Him, but I'll be honest yet again. It's getting harder and harder. I remember the girl who was wild and free, who was so passionate and loved fiercely. I remember a girl who could have fun and laugh and who was interested in life and people. But the thing is, when you parent children who abuse you in whatever way, whether it's violence or withdrawing love, manipulation, constant triangulation and you give all of yourself and get nothing in return, it does something to you. It changes you. You are now a different person because you have lived hurt, embarrassment, shame, lies, theft, violence, aggression, loneliness and frustration. And after years of this, you wake up and realize you have given 100% of your life to the wind. You have blown your dreams so that someone else could have theirs, yet they choose not to put forth effort. You realize that somewhere you became broken and that in that brokenness you have lost some pieces that you may never get back. And you realize some parts you picked up that you know don't belong but yet they've gotten tangled in with the mess that was once a beautiful, faucet of shimmering hope. I'm sorry if I'm depressing you, but I vowed to be honest so that when others feel these things they know they aren't alone. The reality is, I am not the same person I was long ago. In so many ways that's good and in some it's so heart-wrenching and sad that I can't bear to think or ponder it. I fear that I might be so changed there may not be hope to come back from this. This. This life that is nowhere near over, this journey that continues to suck the life out of me. I may not be the same person I was years ago, and some may think I am going on into midlife crisis mode. I have to say though that I might not know who I am, what my likes or dislikes are, where or what or who my future holds, but I know without a doubt, WHOSE I am. I know that even in my despair and self pity and sadness and disappointment, Christ has me. I'm His. The disappointment of not having a huge, loving, close family turns into peace that surpasses all understanding because I, myself, have been adopted into a spiritual family so large, spread far and wide. The love I have lavished on my children and never get in return is given tenfold by my Father in Heaven. My strength, my comforter, my rock and my shield. My heart is even quickening while typing this very sentence. I can continue to go down this dark, depressing road and succumb to the cliche midlife crazy train or I can hang on dearly to the fact that my joy truly does come from the Lord, and that the closer I am to Him and the more intimate my relationship with Him, the less I need to receive the love of these children who have nothing to give me. I can rise up and I can shout from the roof tops and I can proclaim that I WILL NOT LET THEM TAKE ME OUT. I will continue to find beauty. I will continue to be happy for my friends. I will praise Jesus over my blessings and I will pour out my love, encouragement and faith. I will pray that His light so shines upon my face that when someone looks at me they see that I AM A JESUS FREAK. I pray that the example of my life, of faith even in the storm, will bring some type of hope and encouragement to a mom who thinks she's crazy. The mom who just can't change one more diaper. The mom who holds her cancer baby close and praises for one more day on earth. I want to encourage the mom who just found out she has cancer. The mom whose body is failing and just doesn't want to move on. The one who doesn't feel appreciated by her husband or children or friends or family. I'm here. You are not alone. I see you and I lift you up and pray that God will pour out His blessings store up in heaven for you and that you will be ready and open to receiving so many of them that you have to say "ok God, Uncle! Uncle! Give me a minute to process all the goodness you have given." God Bless you and may the cartoon continue.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
I'm just getting to the point I can write this. I appreciate so many of your loving, encouraging words on this Mother's Day past. I know I am blessed, beyond words, with friends who love and support me and a husband who thinks the world of me and wishes this day would be better for me. This day is not always a happy day for many, but I saw something posted on Facebook that made me pause. Some people boycott this day. Some people hate this day. And some people say hurtful things to cover up the fact this day is a disappointment. I don't want that to be my message, therefore I had to write this post. Mother's Day an emotional day. If I had to describe the Mother's Day emotion it would be REGRET. It starts out with my own mother, who I treated very poorly. I regret those days and would give anything to go back and treat her with the love and respect she deserves. You can never take back words or actions that were meant to hurt. You can say sorry and beg forgiveness, but the regret will always be there. Sometimes that regret is overwhelming and I cannot even contemplate what I will have to answer to in heaven. I love her fiercely and wish she could see inside my heart how much I love her. Mother's Day is also a reminder of the child I lost in 2006. I didn't really mourn the loss then and it was really hard to explain to people how it felt like an out of body experience. I have mourned over the last ten years on different occasions. I wonder who he would have looked like. I wonder if he would be smart like his father and funny like me. I wonder who he'd be, what struggles he would have and if he would love Jesus. I mourn the month of February, because I know that he would have been born on my birthday, like I was born on my grandfather's birthday. I mourn that I couldn't give my husband the one connection that most all adoptees agree is very important and life changing. I mourn not getting to watch my Gypsy, the love of my life, teach and coach and lead my son into greatness. I mourn what would have been. The only thing more certain is that I will mourn him until my last breath. (I say him because I know in my heart it was a boy). Mother's Day is also regret because even though I have two adopted kids, they had to go through trauma and sorrow to become mine. Some mother out there made terrible choices and now I have her babies. It makes me conflicted, and I know if I"M conflicted, THEY TOO, are conflicted. Do I mourn the life of this mother, who abused her babies and treated them so poorly they were taken away? Do I feel sad for her? What life must she have lived to not be able to love her children and neglect them until their brains were not fully formed and they may never recover? The regret for me is that I do mourn for her. I regret she didn't have a better life, or a greater respect for the life of her children. I agonize over the fact that she didn't get to participate in the fun things that bring her children joy. I feel anger toward her when my children can't do the normal, healthy things other kids do because of her bad choices. So many consequences from just one person. I think of her often and wish she knew how much these babies deserved love and kindness and health, and happiness. I wish she knew how much they needed her. I wish, and I can't fix. It makes me sad, angry, and regretful. So, while some of you understand my feelings, some of you have no idea. I just wanted to say that many of my friends are mothers, and I have prayed for their pregnancies, births, and children. I love you all, respect you immensely and celebrate you with fanfare. I do not begrudge anyone a fabulous celebration, it just worked a WHOLE LOT BETTER for our family to just skip this celebration altogether. Love to you all, Staci
Sunday, January 24, 2016
The Gypsy and my sister, or Nishy as I lovingly refer to her as, surprised me and got Women of Faith tickets. I have been wanting to go and it was their farewell tour, so this was my last chance! Needless to say I was so excited! Nishy and I met down at the Crown Plaza and got an amazing room with a city view. We taxied to the Philips Arena and were blown away on our first night. The worship team was awesome, and I got to participate in an amazing conference. Now, some people might have thought that it wasn't even a fraction of what it was in previous years since they talked about their favorite times of seasons past. Let me tell you, I felt so privileged to be a part of something that has been so special for so many years, even if it was my first and last time ever. Other than the music, worshiping and getting to be in the same room with so many believers, so many ages, different races, cultures, backgrounds, and hearing and seeing tears and the great Almighty Holy Spirit in that arena, I will tell you what I came away with: !. I want more. I want to live my life as if every day is my last. I want to live for Jesus and not apologize. I want to be better. I want to be a part of His kingdom when it's all said and done. I love Jesus. I love being a part of a large group of women who love Jesus too. I don't want to be anything different than His. 2. I want to run in my own lane. I want to glorify God with the gifts he gave ME. I want to live in the moment, stop the comparisons with other women and their gifts that steals my joy and robs me of peace. I want to be me. I am who He says I am. He is who He says He is. His promises are true. He will never leave me or forsake me. No matter what, I am His. I am the daughter of the true king. And this king pursues ME. 3. We all have ugly. We are all capable of any thing and any feeling and any action at any time or any place. We need to remember to renew our minds daily, sometimes hourly. This world is hard and that's why we need Jesus. I don't know how people do it without Him. But I know that through Him I can do all things. Not some things, not just the easy things, but ALL things. Even hard things. 4. I think women need a verbal spanking, me included. We all say we want something more, something deep and something meaningful, but when the time comes, we hide or just plain give up. Not following through is leaving me feeling empty. I want more, then more is expected of me. That might not sit well with some, but there it is. If you want fellowship and community, you have to show up and be a willing participant. It takes a village. Be mentored, mentor someone. Meet with someone once or twice a week and pray and just talk through life. We need those friendships that will see us through life's ups and downs and hard times and celebrations and heart squishingly wonderful times as well. 5. More than anything, I am loved. I know I get overwhelmed and can get bogged down with self pity, but when I stop and think about it I cannot believe how loved I am. First, God has loved me and called me to Him. He pursues me. He gives me grace and mercy and blessings beyond belief. I blessed with a family who loves me, my crazy ways and actually seeks out my crazy because my gifts are encouragement and laughter. I have no idea what to do with those gifts, but that's what He gave me and I'm so glad people love me because of it. There are so many more things that I loved about the weekend, but most of all I got to experience the tail end of something beautiful. I got to say I have been to Women of Faith and to see and hear some wonderful women and soak up their wisdom. I wait in anticipation for what God has in store for these women, and plan to read everything I can find on each one of them. I am thankful for a husband/gypsy who knows what my heart needs and will go to the ends of the earth to get it for me. I am filled with gratitude for a sister/Nishy who will go on fun adventures with me, laugh, cry, and dance and sing our hearts out and who is a very part of my heart and soul. I am grateful. I am loved! And so are YOU!
Friday, January 9, 2015
I was so sad to see my friends off to Thailand this morning, but filled with gratitude to be able to continue our friendship this side of the world. Some of the most Godly, Christ filled people we've ever met and such an inspiration to our whole family. That being said, I came straight home after dropping them off at the airport and slept for around two hours. When I woke up I thought to myself how cold I was (Thailand boil your face off heat has not left my bones yet). I was already dressed in fancy fleece lined leggings for fat ladies and a long shirt. Instead of my cute, fabulous Ugg boots I got for a whopping 14 bucks at the Goodwill house, I quickly threw on my tennis shoes and my B&E robber mask to walk the dogs. Picture how fabulous this is on a larger than life lady. I kept wondering why people were slowing down to look at me. Anyway, we finally got home and my bird was waiting outside for me. He had earned going to the game with the Gypsy and was super excited. So, instead of doing the RIGHT thing and changing into proper clothes, I said, "LET'S GO!" It is very rare this bird earns fun things so I was super excited for him. I didn't even think twice. So, on the way home, I decide I want pesto and cream cheese grilled cheese sandwiches and we need bread. HHHmmmm, forgetting what I have on, I run into Big Lots and quickly get bread. Then, in my excitement of having a night by myself, I decided to get a chocolate bar with hazelnuts. Yes, the fat lady was indulging. So, as I'm putting my bread on the counter to check out, I see the candy bars are on sale! I lean over to get one and THEY ALL FALL OFF THE SHELF!!!!!!!!!!!! So now, I'm on the floor, trying to pick them all up and they keep falling. I look up because now I've wallered (the country version of wallowed) all over the floor in Big Lots wrestling with a bunch of candy bars and find the check out lady laughing. I'm not talking about a giggle, smirk or just a chuckle. She was full out laughing so hard no sound was coming out. I finally pull myself up from the floor using my buggy and tell her, "now that I just got my exercise in I am DEFINITELY buying a candy bar!" So, there's no moral to this story. Maybe there should be, like, don't wear fat lady leggings with tennis shoes and maybe I shouldn't have bought that candy bar, but nope. Just wanted others to share in my ridiculous, hilarious, absurd life.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
I'm sitting here quietly while my son is taking a bath and my daughter is slaving away at open house with my Gypsy, cleaning and running errands just so she can get some daddy time. I'm so overwhelmed, as many of us are right before school starts. In between thinking about where money for school clothes and shoes will come from, our 18 year anniversary (yeah baby and man we're old), and my baby girl's 17th birthday, I sit here trying to contemplate this nagging in my heart. See, I used to be a parapro for special needs, and I used to be one of those snarky people who used to judge others. I admit it. I confess. I used to wonder why in the world they-those moms- wanted school to hurry up and start, or why in the world their child acted the way they did, and just why in the world did they look like they were at the end of their rope? I mean, I would give anything (at that time, way back when) to have a child and couldn't they see they were lucky? As providence would have it, I became one of those mothers. I am now the mother who, although, loves her kids, CANNOT WAIT FOR SCHOOL TO START!!! I love my birds, I do. But we've had a rough year, and summer. We have gone through an expulsion, worldwide move, a suicide attempt, a teen pregnancy attempt, two moves in 6 months, two new jobs and a partridge in a pear tree. We've also gone through many blessings, heartaches and laughing/tears moments. We are ALL ready for forgiveness, grace and mercy, not only from God, our awesome, heavenly father, but from each other. So as I sit here, contemplating all that we've gone through, it pains me to remember that judgmental, naive woman I was, who had no clue that there are mothers out there doing the best they can and that they absolutely need that break and more importantly, instead of my snarky comments and judgment, they needed a hug, an "I got ya girlfriend" or you know what, he/she is not doing so bad and you are a great mom, even though you don't feel like it. That's what they need. So, as I sit here, looking at this stupid crystal gel nail that won't come off even with industrial strength acetone, I have to say I'm sorry. I am humbled and hope that I have grown in heart and spirit enough to know that I was wrong, and pray that if I ever made anyone feel judged, they find it in their hearts to forgive. I hope and pray that so many moms out there get the rest they need. I pray my teacher friends, my teacher moms and dads, all have a blessed year, cooperative parents, and that God blesses each and every one of you.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Mother's Day. Not too many years ago this was the worst day of the year. I remember sitting in church having everyone being honored and feeling like I'm wearing a BIG FAT F for FAILURE. Wondering, waiting and hoping that someday it will be me. 6 years later, it's still pretty awful. Although I sit there feeling the same F for FAILURE, it's for a different reason. Infertility, adoption, finding out our children have RAD. Yeah, Yeah, all that stuff. Our children didn't bond to me, are still choosing not to have a deep relationship. This post isn't about that. This post is a letter to a Gypsy, who loves me like Christ loves His church, who leads our family like no man I know, and who gives 100% from sun up to sun down. This man I love, who tells me I'm the most beautiful mother, most fun mom, the most wonderful---anything. The man who hugs me when my child tells her secrets to anyone else instead of me. The man who tells me I'm beautiful when my daughter makes comments about my weight. Who encourages me when I've planned a special night and it gets ruined by my son's tantrum. The man who defends my honor when my child tells me to "eff off." The man who holds me when I still cry at commercials of happy families, and who squeezes my hand in silent understanding when I've made a favorite meal that's not appreciated and left sitting on the table, uneaten. You are the biggest blessing and I want you to know you have the utmost respect this woman can give. I love your kindness, thoughtfulness, generous, hardworking, dedicated, loyal and every top notch character trait there is. I love you. You are amazing. For Mother's Day this year, I thank you for acknowledging me when our children couldn't care less, for telling me everything I need to hear, and for giving me courage and love to make it through this thing called motherhood. I would never want to live this crazy life without you and I want you to know I see, recognize and appreciate everything you do and are for me and our birds. You know when all those people asked if I was going with you to Thailand? I would follow you to the ends of the Earth and live in a cardboard box to be with you. I love the adventure that God has us on and I want you to know that while we may not celebrate me being a mother this weekend, you are the only gift I need. Now and forever. I am grateful to you, my Gypsy Face.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
When I'm getting ready is when I talk to Jesus the most. This morning, the questions on forgiveness, grace and mercy are still there. Something happened one day, long ago that still makes me wonder. I was working at an elementary school as a teacher's aid and my teacher and I were discussing my infertility and our decision to adopt. She pointed out another teacher's aid and said, "that girl, over there? If she can have children anyone can. She was awful in high school and if God can bless her you don't have anything to worry about." This woman had no idea that what I did in high school and college probably made this girl look like a saint. I coldly told her that if we were all judged on what we did in high school that we'd all already be in hell. I was floored, and granted, my response could have been more gentle, but as we all know, gentleness is not my strong point. This leads me to the question, what DO I believe about forgiveness, grace and mercy? I saw this thing on Pinterest, that says: Grace is when you get the good things you don't deserve mercy is when you're spared from the bad things you do deserve God is generous with both. Wow. What an awesome thing to behold. Ponder. So let's start with Mercy. I believe that God has given me serious consequences for some things. I do, seriously believe that He loves me, wants the best for me and wants to bless me so much. But like every good father, He knows that if I don't get correction, that I'll never learn and that I have to depend on Him at ALL times. He is merciful. If I was punished for every sin, every bad thought that led me to gossip, every covetous, lustful or hateful and angry thing that led me to sin, I would've given up long ago. My life isn't always full of fun, laughter and dripping with glittery awesomeness. Matter of fact it is often hard, sad, disappointing. But looking at what mercy God has chosen to show me leads me to think about His grace. I have so many things to be thankful for. I'm thankful God has chosen to be merciful, to grace me with so many blessings and the faith to know that when my life is a disappointment, or things don't go my way, that maybe He has something far more wonderful in store for me. One of the best things I ever learned to do was journal every day. I can look back to 2007 and go through page after page of things that didn't go my way, but went God's way and was so much more fulfilling. I can look back to answered prayers and to unanswered prayers. To struggles I have gone through to lead me closer to Christ. Those pages are filled with evidence of His love, mercy and grace. So what do you believe? Are you still walking around filled with shame or pointing fingers and holding others' past sin over their heads? Or do you practice living in the freedom He's granted us by grace and mercy?