People often ask me if it's been an adjustment dating and now marrying a man with children. The next question is then whether we are going to have a child (or children) of our own.
Okay...first and foremost, duh. Of course it's been an adjustment. It went from being just me to not only being in a relationship that brings its own challenges, but 3 children, as well. I got my own insta-family.
And second, why is the very next question about Scott and I having our own child(ren)? My question to them is, aren't 3 enough?
Another question I often get is whether I have my own children or whether I'm a mother. I used to hem and haw about how to answer it. I would say that my boyfriend, now fiancé, has 3 children, so yes, I suppose I do have children/am a mother.
It recently occurred to me that regardless of whether I birthed Scott's 3 children, they are, in fact, my children. I worry about them, I care for them, I get frustrated with them when they make mistakes (as children do), I hurt for them when they are hurt, I feed them (why do they have to eat all the time?!), I love them.
So why do we have to differentiate between a biological mother, a step mother, an adoptive mother (or vice versa with fathers)? Yes, I get there is a difference, but here's the truth. You do not have to birth a child to be a mother (or a father). And let's be real...the more support and love and guidance a child has, the better.
At doTerra's convention a couple weeks ago, one of the speakers asked all the mothers to stand up. To honor them and give them a round of applause. Before I came to my realization, I wouldn't have stood up. I would have felt guilty if I had stood up. But I stood up proudly. I held my head high. Because I am, in fact, a mother.
To go back to my original question, yes, it has been an adjustment. Learning the boundaries and where I fall in the pecking order, so to speak. But we are a family. They are my family. I love them as if they were my own, and I am proud to be able to help them grow and learn and be awesome people. And I'm honored that Scott loves me and chose me to stand by his side through this life and raising his...our...children.
And to that second question...what does it matter if we have our own children? Will it make our marriage or family less if we don't? Does it change our dynamic or anything that we currently have and/or are doing?
The answer to that is a big resounding NO!!
It won't change a thing. And personally, it's nobody's business whether we have our own child together. Because we already have 3 beautiful, pain in the butt kids!
Our family is full...3 kiddos, 2 pups, and 5 chickens, with the kids and Scott always wanting more animals!
So for all you women and men out there who are mothers, fathers, step or adoptive or otherwise...thank you for being amazing parents. For choosing to love all your kiddos, whether they are biologically related to you or not.
In two weeks, our children will officially become my step-children...maybe then the questions will stop. But probably not, lol.
Have a beautiful week!
With love and wellness,
Sometimes everything in life is pointing you in one direction. But you don't see it until it becomes obvious. Sometimes painstakingly so.
My life has been heading in one particular direction for a long time. And I haven't necessarily fought it, but I haven't necessarily embraced it either.
I used to be afraid to listen to what life was telling me. Where it was leading me. I used to be afraid to be vocal about it, about my beliefs.
But not anymore.
On my way to Salt Lake City last week, I read a book called "The Shack," by William Paul Young. It was one I pulled from the bookshelf late the night before I left just to have a couple different options to read. It was one of Scott's books, unpacked and forgotten about in the hectic-ness of life.
I read it all in the first four hours of my trip...I couldn't put the book down. I laughed. I cried...a lot. And I had my eyes opened like they haven't been in a long while.
It seems that has happened to me a lot lately. I have been drawn to certain books and haven't been able to put them down. And they've touched me in such a profound way that I can't help but share it.
This book...I can't even explain it. It opened my eyes to where life has been leading me for awhile now. A life filled with love and peace and relationships....relationships with my fiancé and his children, my mother and father, as well as my brother, and most importantly, a relationship with God. Specifically, a deeper relationship with God.
I readily admit I am a sinner. I am full of judgment and often think I am above or better than others. I hate to say that, but sometimes saying it (or typing it) aloud helps release us from those bonds.
I am no better than anyone else...but I am loved and cherished like everyone else. God loves us all...equally, with grace and purity, and without expectations. How amazing would that be if we could all love one another like that?
I think of my relationships with my friends and family, with Scott, with God...especially with God. And I know I've had very high expectations of them all. And I also know that I have been disappointed time and again when those expectations were not met.
But where do those expectations come from? Is it something I think I deserve? Are they self-imposed by my beliefs and feelings and what I'm hoping to get? Where do they come from?
These are questions I've had for many years, but never really had the nerve to talk about or try to handle/deal with. But I now know that relationships, without expectations, are the most important thing in life. And everything has been leading me here. To be able (to try) to better understand this and apply it.
So here I am, admitting I was wrong.
I apologize to all the ex-boyfriends I fought with, picked apart, tried to make better.
I apologize to old friends (and new ones) for the petty arguments, the mistakes, the judgments.
I apologize to my mom and dad for thinking I knew best, that I was always right, and that all my problems stemmed from you (they didn't, I know that).
I apologize to you, Scott...for the jealousy that tore us apart the first time we dated. For the fights and the arguments and the drama.
And I apologize to all of you for the expectations I put on our relationships. For imposing my beliefs on our relationships and not enjoying them for exactly what they are.
I love you all. I am blessed to have each of you in my life. And I look forward to enjoying our relationships, without any expectations on my part.
I may not be perfect and I may make mistakes along the way, but I am blessed to have been lead to this point. And to have finally heard God speaking to me.
I don't want God as a small part of my life during my daily prayers or bible studies or on Sunday at church...I want God as the center of my life, all the time.
Everything has lead me here...to this point. And I'm proud to admit that. I want to work at all my relationships...to forgive, and to love without expectations, and to find joy, even when things look dark, and to be at peace knowing I am not perfect, and to stop expecting perfection from others.
I don't know what your journey looks like, but I know God has you exactly where you need to be. Learn to listen to the signs. Learn to hear what He is telling you. It took me a long time to be open to it, but I am finally seeing and hearing and feeling what He is saying...and the peace it brings is amazing.
There is no other way to explain it.
Let me know how I can help you learn to hear where you are being led. It took a lot of trial and error, and it took something this book said for me to finally understand it....it may take 47 times of faults and not believing or hearing, but each of those first 46 times makes God smile...because He knows you are one step closer to that 47th time!
What an amazing blessing. To know God loves us without expectations...and to know that He still smiles, even when we don't believe or trust Him, however long it takes for us to get there.
I hope you have a beautifully blessed week! Enjoy every day that God has given you.
With love and wellness,
I used to be a worry wart. Yes, laugh it up (for those of you who know me well). They're thinking, used to be?!
Yep - I used to worry about literally everything. I would "what if" everything...yes, everything. I didn't know the meaning of going with the flow and if plans changed, you better watch out!
I wish I could give you some sure fire steps that would help you let that go, but it was a series of things and many years that helped me alleviate a lot of worry and anxiety. And realistically, it was finding God and doing a whole lot of praying. I ask Him to take away my worries and help me know that everything will work out.
I know what you're thinking...believe me, I do. I was you at one point. How could praying possibly bring me any peace? How could praying help me feel any better and not worry about things?
When I invited God back into my heart and life, I immediately found a sense of peace that is inexplicable. And when I pray to Him, for whatever it is, I know that He will take care of me. It may not look how I think it should or how I want it, but He always has my best interest at hand.
I recently did a 21-Day Financial Fast (check it out here) and my whole outlook changed on my faith and my finances. I've always been financially frugal and savvy but I've also always been a little stingy with my money. I hated parting with it because I thought I wouldn't have enough (to pay the bills, to take care of myself, etc).
The funny part about that is that I've ALWAYS had more than enough. And with quitting my government job, even when things didn't look like they were going to work out, we still had enough! Things always worked out. And the more I am open to helping others and giving more, the more I have received (and not just monetarily). It's the little things, the extra money from a job I wasn’t expecting or the check in the mail I wasn't expecting, that were God working in my life.
There really is something freeing about putting your worries and concerns in God's hands. Because let's be real...do you have any type of control over what happens in your life? We like to think we do but we really only control how we react to life. We can't control the weather or the circumstances to our decisions, for instance.
So why worry about any of it? Meditate on it. Pray on it. Put it all on God. Notice the peace you feel.
I hope this helps put things in perspective. In the grand scheme of things, is what you're worrying about going to matter next week? In a year? In 5 years?
I hope you have a beautifully blessed week!
With love and wellness,
Looking back in my journal, I realized that Scott and I started talking about this time last year. Now, had you (or anyone) told me even a few weeks prior that we would be back in each other's lives, I would have laughed at you.
I can remember being terrified. Terrified of going down the same path again. Terrified of what my friends and family would say. Terrified that my feelings for him were as strong as ever. Terrified that I would get hurt again.
We didn't tell a whole lot of people that we were talking or hanging out. But let me tell you, we did a whole lot of talking. About our previous attempt at dating. At where we were in life at that moment. What we wanted in life and a relationship. About our fears and concerns.
And then he went to the boat for a couple weeks (thank you, navy). I wrote in my journal how happy I was that he was going to be gone for a couple weeks without a sure fire way to communicate. I wrote how I needed the time away from him to figure out my heart and feelings and what I wanted from him/for us. I knew that I didn't want to go down the same path as the last time we dated.
Three days into his trip, I got a text. He had figured out how to communicate with me from the boat. After three days of not talking, not hearing from him, and a crap ton of praying about it, I knew this was a sign. I wasn't just a convenience or someone to pass the time. He missed me as much as I missed him.
We don't know when we technically started dating again. So we say around the beginning of September. So here we are, together a year. And getting married in a month.
We may not have had the most conventional relationship, but I wouldn't change any part of it. It's taught us both so much about ourselves and each other. We grew from our experiences the first time we dated. And our relationship now is one I am proud to be a part of.
I truly believe God led us back together and down this crazy path we've been on. And God is the reason we are stronger and closer than ever.
A few weeks back, I posted a picture that said, "Without God, I am hopeless. With God, I am fearless." This is so very much true. I was terrified when Scott and I started talking again. But I put it in God's hands and prayed about it and here we are.
Now, I'm not saying we haven't had our arguments or moments, but we are no longer scared of what the future holds. Together and with God, we are capable of any and everything.
I'd say the proof of that is this past year and the many changes our family has been through. And how much stronger we are because of them.
I love you, Scott. Happy anniversary. I look forward to our future together and to many more anniversaries!
Happy Labor Day! And have an awesome week!
With love and wellness,