NEW NEW NEW

So I posted a few weeks ago that change was a’comin.  It’s happened!  My blog can now be found at: bigtoughgirl.com/fightingforfreedom

I’m so excited to take this big step.  I have transferred all of my posts over to the new site and will slowly start removing them from this site.

 

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New Things Are Coming!

 

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Be on the lookout.  New & exciting things are coming for this blog!

 

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When Enough Is Enough

Have you ever had that feeling in life where you just feel like it’s time to say enough is enough to a situation, moment, issue or relationship?  Have you ever felt that you simply can’t move forward because of the situation you’re in?

I have spent the past month really pondering how to live a life where I don’t have to say those things.  Where I don’t have to get fed up and frustrated and lose it.

And then I figured out the answer.

Want to know what it is?  Any guesses?

BOUNDARIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I have learned, sadly the hard way, the importance of boundaries.  And I want to dispel a myth!  Boundaries are not selfish, mean, against anyone/thing or dangerous.

Boundaries have a place in everyone’s lives and it’s time we all understand that!

So, my challenge to you, today, is to set one new boundary.  And tell me how it goes!

 

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End of an Era

In 48 hours an era in my life will officially come to a close.  I will finally close a book that some days felt would never be closed.  I will wave goodbye to a very long process in my life. I will complete a dream.  In 48 hours, I will officially have graduated with a second masters degree.

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I am feeling a bit sentimental about all of it.  You see, I was the girl that wasn’t sure she would ever finish her undergraduate career, let alone one masters degree.  I was the girl who didn’t care about school/studying and would rather live a social life.  I was the girl who didn’t really care to attend classes or do what was needed.

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And now, I can officially say I’m done with two master’s degrees and that I’m stinking proud!  I’ve been in school for what feels like forever.

I’ve been asked a lot lately when I plan to go back to school again.  And to those people, I simply laugh.  I’m not 100% sure I’ll never go back but I can say for now, I’m pleased with the level of education I have achieved and I have no desire to go back anytime soon.

I guess I share all of this with you to tell you that you can do it too.  Even if people have told you that you can’t, you can!  Even if you have never believed you could do it, you can!  Even if you don’t have an end goal in sight, you can!

God has given you more strength, willpower, get up and go, and gumption than you know.  If you are questioning if you can do it, just remember, you once had to learn to use a toilet, and you succeeded at that.  So in reality, you can do pretty much anything!

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Just Remember

I want to start by saying that this post is filled with emotions and likely quite raw…don’t say you weren’t warned.

I spent yesterday and today with my family.  They are phenomenal. I so enjoy spending time with my nephews, sister/brother in law, and parents.  Watching them experience new things in life and getting to love on them is such an amazing gift.  I am so thankful that I have a close relationship with all of them and am able to spend that time.

But today, as I drove away from my time with them, I couldn’t help but weep.  And by weep I mean a really, really ugly cry.  The tears have been pretty consistent since then as well.  Those tears are tears I had prayed I wouldn’t cry today.  I told myself that I was going to hold it together this year and that I wouldn’t let it get to me.

And then I sat down at lunch and had to admit that I didn’t have any kids.  And saying those words made me want to run out of the restaurant and never come back.  It made me want to just ignore that it’s Mother’s Day.  It made me want to get a re-do on my life.

You see, I am 31.  I am single.  I live alone.  I have to make ends meet on my own.  I come home to an empty apartment.  I watch my nephews give their mommy amazing cards and get so jealous.  I know jealousy isn’t right but I also know that it’s not something I can just stop on my own.

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I talk to people who try to encourage me by making statements like: “but you can have so much freedom without children” or “you’re time will come” or “God’s just preparing the perfect situation for you”.  And yes, I certainly pray that all of those things are accurate and true.  But sadly, that doesn’t make my apartment seem more full.  That doesn’t add a car seat to my vehicle.  That doesn’t make my mama heart feel better.  It doesn’t make the “biological time clock” tick any slower.

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It’s days like today that I just want to be a recluse.  I just want to hide and not answer my phone (okay, I’ve already done that multiple times today, if I’m being honest) and not come out until all this Mother’s Day stuff is over.  But then that’s not fair to those who are mothers and those who deserve to be celebrated and loved.

So, after 31 Mother’s Days, I can only hope and pray that I am the only one struggling with these feelings and that no one else is having to live in this pain.

 

Good For The Soul

Have you ever spent a weekend away, only to return and feel like your soul was just recharged and you are so full?

I had that experience this weekend.  I was able to get away, to Waverly, Nebraska, to spend time at a beautiful homestead.  I spent the weekend with a friend from Minnesota and the owner of the property in Nebraska.  We spent our time crafting, eating, laughing, talking, antiquing, and just enjoying each other’s presence.  We stayed right on property, in the “summer kitchen” and had such a great time.

Thank you so much, Rachel, for hosting Megan and I.  I truly appreciate it.

You should all check out www.handmadeu.com.  Rachel is amazing and you would all love her!  She hosts different art retreats and brings in incredible instructors.

And really, who wouldn’t want to craft in this beautiful barn!  barn.JPG

It’s Time To Take Responsibility

A friend and I were talking recently…okay I feel like I say that a lot!  But, for real, ,we were talking recently and had a great chat about some pretty deep things.  We talk pretty frequently and when we talk, we really talk through life issues and the things that are tough to deal with.  We seem to get into discussions that end up lasting hours and we end up processing through each others’ struggles in life.

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As we were processing through some recent events that have taken place in our lives recently and in our pasts, she shared a great bit of insight!

“You have to set aside your insecurities to find healing!”

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As women, we tend to be insecure and struggle with finding our own worth and value.  We struggle with letting others see our emotions and the things we don’t think are “perfect” in our lives.  We have a hard time letting go of our high school drama and moving past it and being willing to be our authentic selves.  We really have a hard time letting go of those things in our lives that we find to be “wrong” with ourselves.

It’s time to be honest and real!  If you don’t let it out, it eats you up from the inside, out.  It will not get any better no matter how hard we try if we aren’t willing to let it out.  There is a concept that I talk about often and that is the idea of “word vomit”.  I think it’s important to sometimes to just let the words flow.  (I’ll be honest, that’s part of what I utilize this blog for)  It’s time we learn to be comfortable being our real, authentic selves with others.

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Decisions

Do you ever make decisions you instantly regret?  Do you ever kick yourself for your actions as soon as they occur?  Do you ever wish you could rewind the clock just 2 minutes?  Do you ever think that you may have just made the worst decision possible?  Do you ever feel like the rest of your life is different because of that decision you made?

The decision I made recently wasn’t a huge one.  It’s not one that will impact anyone else.  It’s not one that will hurt others.  It’s simply one that I wished I hadn’t made, as soon as I made it.  I made the foolish choice of looking someone up online that I shouldn’t have looked up.  I regret it now but sadly can’t undo it.

Thoughts?  Have you ever done this?  How did you move on?

Life After Trauma

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I was at a small group for church recently and the topic of forgiveness came up.  This is a topic I feel like is brought up frequently in church circles.  It is one of those topics that I could probably teach you what the church will tell you about it.  A few of the bullets on the outline for that teaching would be:

  • You must forgive AND forget
  • Forgiveness has no boundaries
  • Forgiveness is an act of loving like Jesus
  • Forgiveness will lead to reconciliation
  • God has forgiven, so why can’t you?
  • Forgiveness must be given freely

 

I wish I could agree 100% with all of those things.  Here’s my honest truth, at this very moment: I think forgiveness, at times, is bogus!  I know, not at all what the church teaches and people are likely really uncomfortable right now.  But it’s my honest truth.

I think the part that I have the hardest time with is forgiving when the person needing the forgiveness will likely never admit, or even know, that they need forgiveness.  When they don’t understand that what they did was not right.  When they are people who we don’t EVER want to be reconciled with.  When lack of boundaries is what caused the pain leading to the need for forgiveness.  When it doesn’t feel free at all to give forgiveness.  When the memories are so painful that you can’t sleep at night because of it.  When not a day goes by that you don’t think of the person and shutter in fear over the thought of them.

So, with all that said, what’s one supposed to do with it all?  How are you supposed to move on in life?  I know the following is absolutely true:

  • Forgiving others will help relieve the burden upon yourself
  • We will one day be held accountable for our actions
  • God desires us to forgive in order to live in abundance & joy
  • Lack of forgiveness holds us in bondage

But, even knowing all of these things in my head, I have a really hard time helping them move to my heart.  I really struggle with the thought of it.  I feel like if I forgive, I am, in a sense, saying that what happened was acceptable…and that’s not at all anything I ever want to say.

 

In a deep, long conversation with a dear soul sister on Monday, I had a chance to process a lot of this.  Something that came through this conversation was the thought that forgiveness does not have to ever equal relationship reconciliation.  Reconciliation may simply be individually based for yourself.  I have learned that I have to reconcile with my own mistakes and, in a sense, forgive myself for struggling.

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We also discussed the fact that it’s not about forgiving and forgetting (in fact, there’s no where in the scriptures that it says one must forgive and forget).  Instead, in my personal opinion, it’s about learning to manage the memories.  We have to learn how we can function in our daily lives with the memories still present.

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Someone recently shared a great quote with me:
“I have always imagines forgiveness as a garden.  A serene landscape with perfect paths and soft lighting, not a leaf out of place.  But forgiveness cannot merely be an assemble of lovely things or the act of meandering pass.  It must be the mud also.  It must be the weeds and the mosquitoes and the hundreds of miles it took you to walk there.  It has to be showing up, finally, sweaty and sore, only to realize you went to the wrong fucking garden.”

It’s so true.  I believe that forgiveness is truly a  process.  I don’t think it’s something we will ever truly “achieve” in our lifetime.  I think it’s something that we will go to our graves trying to work toward.  I believe it’s a task that there is no perfect completion to on this side of life.

Do I think forgiveness is worth working toward?  Heck yes!

Do I think it’s miserably difficult?  More than you know!

Do I think people are worthy of forgiveness?  Some, yes.  Others?  I’m not so sure yet.

Do I know how to forgive?  NOT AT ALL!

Do I hope to one day learn/figure it out?  For sure.

 

I guess what I’m saying is that you’re not alone as you walk this forgiveness journey.  It’s a hard, dark, messy road that I don’t think has a map or GPS capabilities.  But I think we are all worth working toward it!