Category Archives: Family

Christian Recovery…

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I have started in a recovery program…a Christian Recovery program. It is called Celebrate Recovery (CR). I do not have a drug problem or a problem with alcohol but I am in recovery. In the beginning I wasn’t quite sure why in the world I was there. But there I was coming off the most public of my panic attacks and I knew something had to give. I had thought many times about attending CR I never really thought I “needed” it. But I had made a promise to attend and I did.

I am about 2 months into attending CR and I have learned a lot but last night through the flowing tears while listening to the testimonies during chip night, I came to a realization…I wanted to be there. I want to be receiving a 30-60-90 day chip and to experience that kind of accomplishment. One particular thought that I had, was how wonderful it felt to close my eyes and sit in one of the pews I have been sitting in for the past 30 years and to be consumed by the warmth and comfort of the worship. To be surrounded by the familiarity of my home church, and then something else  struck me…I am extremely grateful for First Baptist and the role it has had in my life. I have experience extreme highs and lows in those walls, I have met people who forever changed my life there. I watched my mother faithfully serve, I have seen my siblings be baptized, married, and dedicate their babies lives to the Lord in this place. I remember looking out into the audience during pageants and watching my moms lips moving (reciting my lines) as I recited my lines and having to turn away so that I didn’t laugh and mess up. When I was a teenager I watched my father so determined to start his walk with Christ separate hand after hand making his way to the front of the church to dedicate his life to the Lord and then be baptized,  I dedicated my life to the Lord in this house of God, I was baptized here and I dedicated my Peanut to the Lord between those precious walls. I know that they are just brick and mortar I know that the plaster has no meaning or significance in the Kingdom of Heaven…it is what has happened between the walls of First Baptist…its the lives that have touched mine, the inspiration from the pulpit and from the beautiful souls God put in my path there. I realized somewhere very deep why God asks us to have fellowship with other believers and to have a church “home”. It is of vital importance to our hearts, minds and souls. I didn’t want to attend CR at my church I didn’t want people I know to see my ugly, my pain and my reality. I thought that the judgment would seep from their pores and that I would feel shamed for needing to be there. But God’s true family has nothing to do with those things, those thoughts and feelings are used as tools by the devil to drive a wedge into the Kingdom of God and between His people. And I have found no hint of that just understanding and acceptance.

And now I am starting on the path to recovery from my hurts, my bad habits and the things that have kept me in a place of panic, anxiety, shame and extreme pain. What better place than where I feel most at home? Where I can come as just me before my Lord and ask for help from the great physician. Recovery is not just for people with chemical dependency issues. It is for the beaten down and broken. It is for the hurting and desperate. And it is for me. I have more issues than I can even list! But, the way I see it is that I am starting somewhere and the road to healing is leading me back home in the arms of  God.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Something was said during a lesson (during CR) awhile ago, the speaker was taking about pride (I think) and he said…”do you want to be right or do you want to be well?” This spoke to me somewhere very deep and for me I want to be well. During this whole process I have started to listen to Christian music everyday at work in the car it was a small change that has made a difference not only in attitude for me, but also for my daughter, it warms my heart to hear my Peanut sing praises to her Heavenly Father. ❤

A particular song has spoken loudly to me is Strong Enough by Matthew West the lyrics are as follows…

Strong Enough”

You must
You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through
Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own
I know I’m not strong enough to be
everything that I’m supposed to be I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us
Well, maybe
Maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up
Cause when I’m finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God and you are strong
When I am weak
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Oh, yeah
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be I give up I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Strong enough…
by Matthew West
Jenness
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From My Arms You Flee

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From my arms you flee on your trajectory away from me toward the world and all it holds. What will you find? Will they see you as I do, beautiful from the inside out, smart and sassy, sweet and naughty, good and wonderfully, awfully independent? As you enter the world on your own there are a few things you should know. No matter what anyone says you have value, God created you for a purpose and finding that purpose should be your goal. Find your passions and work as hard as you can to soak up all the knowledge that your education can provide. And then learn some more.

I know that it is kindergarten but right now is a critical time the foundations of your educational career are being built and that is of great value my little love. Be persistent and forgiving, be honest and don’t let petty judgements and false pride be your guide. Listen to your teachers and glean from their wisdom the necessary tools that will last you a lifetime. Peanut girl please make sure to ENJOY THE ADVENTURE!!!

All my love,

Mommy

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Busy…

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I have been so busy that I haven’t even considered sitting down and writing even though I have wanted to. Things have been interesting because I am at work more hours but I am working less. They have me working split shifts and in an effort to save gas I have been staying at work. On top of being busy with work I have to move out of my place in 10 days and I do not have a new home to go to as of yet. I may have to stay with family for a few days or weeks.

This is a point of frustration for me it has been very hard to find an affordable place that fits our needs and has everything I want in a house I have a list in my mind and I just can’t budge. Energy efficiency is a top priority for me I wont go back and pay high utility bills again. Of course Peanut has a list of her own in her head that includes a pool and a pool oh yes a pool. Awe to be young and single-minded again. 🙂

I think that one of the biggest stress factors for me has been the time away from my Peanut…I have been lucky to have been able to spend so much time with her from 0-5. So being gone from her for about 12 hours a day has been very emotional for me. I also am struggling because with all the time we have been spending away from each other she is never happy to see me when I go get her she immediately has an attitude change and starts whining and not listening to me…telling me how much she doesn’t want to go home. I don’t know if this is “normal” or common but it is very hard for me to not be hurt by. When I am working I miss her so much sometimes it hurts.

Today I didn’t work until 1pm so I was excited to have time with her this morning. But it turned out to be a crying disaster of a morning and all the things that I wanted to do didn’t happen. I had a talk with her about her attitude towards me and our time together but I am not sure how much of what I say really soaks in.

The next two days I have to work 10 hour shifts so I am off to get some rest if anyone has some Mommy/kid advice I would welcome it. ❤

Jenness

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Home…

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My Peanut got home on Sunday from camping and my heart began to overflow with joy I missed her so much. I held her in a big squish and let the tears roll down my cheeks…my heart was at home with her in my arms. I love my baby girl so much and I am one lucky Momma. ❤

Jenness

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My little Hispania came home looking like a beautiful brown bunny!! Such a beauty inside and out!!

brown bunny

Changes In The Wind…

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Today marks some serious changed in the wind for my life. In the last 3 years I have had Peanut by my side at my job. I could just walk down the hallway if I wanted to see her little freckled nose and get a quick sweet baby kiss. But, today was different and as I was sitting in my classroom I looked out the window to see the big kids playing and realized that my Peanut was not among them. ( I made the decision to take her out of daycare and have family and friends watch her for the summer to save money.) My heart sank I missed her deeply…I felt silly for the strange feeling but couldn’t shake it. I knew she was safe and sound hanging with her cousins, Aunt Leah and Uncle Justy but the twinge of hurt was very real. Come August she will be in all-day kindergarten and I won’t see her during the day anymore. This marks a very momentous thing for me as a Mommy. My baby is not my baby anymore and she is entering the world. She is  entering a world that I have nothing to do with. Wow it scares me!! I have been so blessed that I have gotten as much time with her as I have. Most working mom’s are away from their babies for 8 to 10 hours a day.

Ugh it is so hard to think that this is now my reality. Maybe I am being a sissy about it but Lily and I though we have our issues (like all mothers and daughters) are 2 peas in a pod and to think of her growing up and starting the inevitable trajectory out my door to her own life and world away from me brings tears to my eyes. I keep thinking I need to hold her more and not get so angry at her naughtiness. My mind keeps going back to the days when I was so in love with this new little life that I had a hard time putting her down even when she was asleep and I had things to do. I am still that in love with her but reality hit quick that I couldn’t hold her all day. Also she is now 48lbs not the 5lbs 14oz. she was when she came home from the hospital, which makes holding her all day a bit more tricky. 🙂

I think the sadness and heavy heart is also due to me turning 35 this year…it is my cut off for having more kids. A bit ago I came to the realization that more babies were not in the cards for me and though I am at peace with it for the most part, a little part of me is grieving because I always envisioned having more children. A brother or sister for my little love. I have 2 sisters and a brother and we had such wonderful times, laughing, playing, fighting and growing up together. I always wanted that for my kids and I know that she longs for it. But, despite my melancholy over it I am firm that I will not be having more. Peanut asked me about it the other day and I finally told her that a sister or brother was not an option and her face fell. These things are so hard for her little heart to understand I know she wants a companion that isn’t an adult. I have thought about fostering which I think would be an amazing and wonderful way to use my/our life and home to help those in need. Hmm we shall see…

In the meantime I am going to cherish the minutes, hours, smiles, laughter and sweet baby kisses she still is unashamed to give her Momma while I can. And be excited for her to start her educational journey…I can’t promise there won’t be tears but there will be lots of love!! I mean come on who couldn’t love this sweet little Peanut girl??

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Jenness

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Flying Solo…

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Over the weekend I was flying solo my baby was off with her Grandparents and the rest of my family camping. She loves to camp but moreover she LOVES her family!! I have always called her a cousin lover because she just adores them, it is so cute! I think that she thinks we go to church every Sunday just so that she can see them for a few minutes. ❤ For Christmas my mom had the ingenious idea of making her a love wall. So I painted picture frames and put pictures of all her loves in them. Each Family has a unique frame and she can see them everyday. I am grateful that she has my family and that my parents took her to play with them all for the weekend.

With that being said as a result of her absence this momma was a little lost. It is strange not having her little voice ringing through the house and my name being called a million times a day. It is so strange that I am now defined by being a mom and that I feel lost without my child by my side. From the day I found out I was pregnant the game changed. I was immediately Peanut’s mom, she will be six in October, a kindergartener come fall and I have no idea where the time has gone. I was a single mom from the beginning and amidst the mixture of fear and joy I didn’t realize what it meant to be someone’s mom and how much my world was going to change.

And, wow what a wild ride it has been. I have been in bad relationships, had friendships blow up in my face, and created enough of my own drama in my life to fill the television screen with years of soap opera material. I’ve experienced falling madly deeply in love and created lifelong friendships with great people. But hands down not one of those relationships have been as hard, rewarding or meant as much to me as the one I am building with the little person who calls me Momma.

This last week was a rough one for my Mommy heart…I found out that my Peanut was being bullied by a one of her adult teachers and all I wanted to do was rip my co-workers face off. Of course I restrained myself. But, I did respectfully give a full piece of my mind to my boss and had an hour-long conversation about it all and I walked away feeling heard but not settled. And perhaps my unsettled feelings have all to do with me because I was so mad about the situation. In the end I just have to put my trust in her that she would handle the situation. In regards to the whole thing I have this reoccurring thought in my mind  DO NOT MESS WITH PEOPLES KIDS!!

Not only am I a mother, but a child care worker, aunt and adopted aunt to many children and I have learned how very precious and tender children are. In my experience with all the lovely children I have had the pleasure of being part of their worlds I have seen how one thing can change the trajectory of their young and impressionable lives. Perhaps this is why I have been so emotional and just upset over the whole situation I have talked it with my parents, some friends and prayed about it and tried to just find a way to use this for good in the life of my daughter.

I think one of the major take a way’s is that I can use the hurt and frustration that she felt and help her see how others feel when she does things like this to them. As a parent I have feared both sides of bullying and I have heavily leaned on my faith to be my moral and ethical guide. Discussing with Peanut what God would want her to do and that we need to love people how he loves them. I also have been discussing the idea of turning the other cheek…mainly because my daughter has a heart full of spiritedness and independence. Which leads to her sometimes having a sort of righteous indignation. Being that she is 5 that doesn’t always end well with her friends or Momma for that matter.

I am trying to channel these feelings into solutions instead of anger and frustration, I want her to be a communicator who feels free to openly and honestly discuss issues and find positive ways to settle things. I realize that she is five and those lessons take a lifetime of learning but I really want the foundations of respect, kindness, God’s love, and treating people with dignity ingrained in her so that they can serve her well throughout her whole life. Sometimes I feel like I am talking her to death, sometimes I feel like I am too soft and then other times I see the tears of understanding in her eyes. In those moments like Thursday afternoon, I well up with tears and just hold her letting her know that no matter what my love for her will always be there through it all.

I am not a perfect parent I make mistakes all the time, I know that my daughter is not perfect but I am trying to keep the perspective that we are a works in progress. Motherhood is not what I expected and sometimes I have no idea what I am doing. But, through the heartaches and joys, through the frustrations and laughter I can see how I wouldn’t be me without her coming into my life. I love my daughter and will always be here advocating, teaching, listening and trying my best to help her navigate through her life with grace and purpose as long as God allows me to.

In my Peanuts words of prayer…Dear Lord help us to have prettier hearts. ❤

Jenness

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Blessed…

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I am blessed!! After a very long and stressful week full of Doctor’s appointments ranging from ultrasounds to a CT scan. Lots of waiting I finally got answers. Friday morning the doctor’s office called and told me that everything is fine!! I honestly with everything in me believe that it was a total God thing that all her tests came back clear. My family, friends, and church family were praying for my little Peanut girl and it worked!! The swelling is all gone and the lump is barely palpable. I am a blessed woman to have a healthy child, great family and friends and God on my side. After the good news of Friday giving my daughter a clean bill of health we went straight into a busy weekend.

We had a breakfast play date with friends on Saturday morning and then off to go shopping with Abby girl. My girls were so sweet and generous with me Abby bought me a new dress and shirt they are pretty and cute I love them!! And Peanut bought me a plant, nail polish and new chapstick. I would say my lovely little family knows me very well and I am extremely grateful for them. I then check my mailbox to see if my Mother’s Day gift from Vincent had arrived as promised. I opened the mail box and there is was a gift from the man…I was so excited then I opened the package and was blown away…he bought me an iPod touch. I didn’t even know what to say I was speechless which is a rare occurrence. 🙂 Peanut, Abby and I enjoy a girl’s night in!! We did our nails and watched Life Of Pi…oh my goodness!! It was such a good movie I would recommend it even for the little ones. After my day I know I am blessed to have wonderful generous people in my life.

Moreover than gifts I received though much appreciate what I truly cherish is the time and effort that is put forth. I enjoy the conversations and sacrifices of time to chat that my loved ones give me. I am a time person I want nothing more than someone’s time. There is no monetary value on someone’s time so when I get a piece of one of my loved ones time I truly cherish it.

Today I got to celebrate Mother’s Day with my Mom and sisters and Grandmother. It was nice to relax have a couple of beers, some good conversation and good food. We then traveled to my parents house to spend time with my family…all the cousins got to play and hang out. (There are 6 grandbabies…with 2 in the oven still baking.) I am always surprised at how well they get along and how creative their play is, we have such a good batch of kids. We ended our day at my brother and sister-in-laws house for some yummy treats and our first look at the finished nurseries for the Cooper and Paige the twin toots that are still baking. The nurseries where so adorable and I really enjoyed the hand-painted artwork on the walls the my sis-in-laws father painted. It was perfect and so wonderfully unique.

All in all this was a weekend full of love and immense blessings. ❤
Happy Mothers Day!!

Jenness

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