04 October, 2018

And some things are over Some things go on Part of me you carry And part of me is gone

How the hell can so many things intertwine and mean nothing, and yet mean everything?

I walked away from my oldest daughter's softball game tonight - so proud of her.

Dang - she's amazing.

I worry about her though, I hope I don't have to. I never thought I would have to - and now, unfortunately, I wonder if her tender heart may have been so overshadowed by others needs(who are still are in just as much need and pain still), that she's struggling so much now.

But yet she's caught between trying so hard to be the strength of the world for others and being just a kid who never got a chance to be a kid. I've seen that pain in others, and it worries me that I am starting to see it in her. My heart aches that I am the reason.. the cause.

But I can't blame myself.

I can't.

I mean...I can. But I have to somehow forgive myself and somehow do what I can to seek to get my children the help and assurance, security, and life that they can have and deserve, despite the mistakes that I made.

That's all I can do today.

If anything were to anything happen to me today - I hope they would know that I tried to do what I could to change their tomorrow - and I am sorry.

Brooks -that means you too.

I'm not perfect - I"m the product of my own upbringing. Parents suck man. You would have thought after however many hundreds of years - evolution would have figured out how to perfect parenting. Ha.

Instead, all I know how to do is work a billion hours - and be a single mom, who has to work a billion hours - which means seeing my children is a commodity that is a rarity Man the luxury of mothers who don't know that struggle or heartache.

Man.

What I came to write about what this;

4 years ago today I was supposed to marry someone - but that doesn't matter, because I'm so far removed from that situation, I have no words for it anymore.

Addy - this song by Avril is pretty cool - it's new, and I think it would speak to you:
Brooks, this song by Ben Rector is cool, it's newer, and it's pretty cool and it is crazy reflective about how you can't make friends like your old ones. So be nice buddy, and keep your old friends:
Em? Make sure your brother and sister some day, some how get this song, somehow.
Especially this:
Go down into the river and let it run
And wash away all the things you’ve done Forgiveness alright

26 August, 2018

Dashboard Confessional - "Open My Eyes"

This sums up every single entity of every single person, experience, moment and everything of the last (almost) 33 years of my life.
ALL  of it.

------




I took a beatin', hell I took some bad onesJust tryin' to hold this thing straightIt's hard work, believin'You win some, you lose someWhile watchin' your work go to wasteDon't know when to start runnin'Don't know if I'm done inOr whether to pull you in tightWhen you're this deep in somethin'Can be certain what's comin'But I got this cold feelin' I'm right
So if you know something, I don'tWon't you please, please, open my eyesOpen my eyesOpen my eyes
I dragged some dirt inI know that we both didWe dragged it all over the floorFrom dancing and turningTo pacing and worryingThere's wear deep in every boardThere were two, now there's oneDown from so much to noneAt some point somebody got tiredIs it easy for someTo know what's to be doneTo make it or only keep trying
So if you know something, I don'tWon't you please, please, open my eyesOpen my eyesOpen my eyes
I would stare at myself in the mirrorIf I thought that I had any answersHell finding my way just by the failureOh so far we can see clear
So if you know something, I don'tIf you know something, I don'tWon't you please, please, open my eyesOpen my eyesOpen my eyesOpen my eyesOpen my eyes
If you know something, I don'tWon't you please, pleaseWon't you please, please, open your eyes

06 October, 2017

Still I Rise

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
 I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

09 December, 2016

Hebrews 13:6

Life is good. Things are good. People are good. People in my life amazing. Things in my life amazing. Gratitude goes a long way - and I am grateful for much, and much do I have to be grateful for!


I truly can't complain - I am probably happier, more at peace, and stronger than I have ever been. I have grown so much in the past few months - and I owe so much of that to my commitment to my Heavenly Father.

Onwards and upwards - but with Christ by my side, strength no matter what.

23 October, 2016

G-d's Presence Beginning Young

As a current member of a high Episcopal/Anglican church (and have been for many years), I have begun transitioning to even more of the liturgical and saint focused aspects of the Anglican Catholic church. While the high Episcopal/Anglican church does utilize rosaries, the prayers are non specific, as they are in the typical Roman Catholic church.

While our prayers have slightly changed lately as our walk in Christ has begun to grow, the repetitiveness of our nightly prayers and rosary use - is amazing to see. Em knows exactly where to go get her beads every night when it's bed time, and she while she can't kneel yet, she will full body lay on her beads - and I will join her.

We pray a compline prayer, or even pray the Catholic Rosary - and the fact that my 17 month old daughter can sit there in complete and utter contemplation as we praise and reflect and connect with our Savior and those around him - well it's probably the most amazing thing to see.

Next to her powerful and strong AMEN's! One of the first words she learned, and one of the coolest mom moments I have had  - I still pat myself on the back over that one.

After her powerful Amen, she will pull out the drawer where her rosary goes, and put it away.

Again - pretty dang impressive for a 17 month old to be that connected and instilled in what we are commanded to do as Christians - and more so as members of his true Church.

I read this thing on Facebook earlier today - that its not that churches don't have enough rock and roll worship, or Sunday School fun or whatever to draw children and teens into the church- it's that there's not enough Jesus happening at home. I hope that Emily Ruth looks back one day at the strength of her namesake (Ruth) and her strong belief system that she has so proudly taken upon herself already - and is grateful that I as her momma, raised her right.

Heavenly Father - may my efforts to love You, outweigh the world that wants to place anxiety in my mind and heart. May I continue to follow You on Your true path, knowing that I am raising my children to grow up knowing and loving You, as well as sharing that true knowledge of what true Christ like love is with others.



18 October, 2016

This is realness - this is life.

Despite imperfections, which each and every one of us have - and perhaps one of mine is or perhaps one one of my redeeming traits is (depends on how you see it, I reckon) -
Despite battles.
Despite doing this all alone.
Despite being tired at times - because I am a single mom, I deserve to be tired.
Despite being hurt - because there's no denying things said, behaviors done, and actions by people have hurt me.
Despite the cruel coldness that has been spit on me since I found out I was pregnant over two years ago.
Since all of that, and despite all of that - I have never not allowed a certain person to be part of Em's life. Despite my aching heart because of how much I loved him, I never stopped talking to him on her behalf. 

Even when he, repeatedly would treat me awful, and not help, and not contribute, and not visit, and not even respond to a text message(for weeks and months on end, whenever it suddenly "re-became" convenient for him) - even despite all of that. I sent photos. I offered opportunities to Skype. I went above and beyond my hurt heart and anger at what and how he treated me.

Because I was trying to make a father.

And as someone that was bluntly honest with me recently said: "You can't (always) make fathers, but you can find one. You are beautiful, and she is amazing - so go find one."

Father G-d - it's time, give me the strength I plea. 
I have three lils that deserve me to find my own happiness and strength now. They know, and will continue to know that I am and have been strong for them - but it's time I learn to be strong for me.

Addison Elisabeth Hill, who made me a mom and Brooklyn Reed Hill who is the most amazing handsome little guy and Emily Ruth Pettrey who helped me realize I was stronger than I knew - I love you weirdos! <3


14 August, 2016

Darling, you see, no heroes are coming for you. Grab your sword, and don your own armor. - Emily Palermo


Yesterday my sweet Bella, aka Addy, taught Emily Ruth 'Uh oh'. It was adorable, and cute, and sweet - especially hearing my two daughters play together (ignore the diaper butt!):

)

But then Em realized that she can say 'uh oh' to pretty much anything - throwing her self down, throwing toys, slapping ME, biting ME, etc - and just say 'uh oh' - and then laugh hysterically... The cute ran out at that point. (Okay, it's still slightly cute, but need to break her of the bad part of it!).

She's recently started walking with her walker, pulling herself up in her crib, and on couches, and pretty much anything that allows her to stand up - which means walking is probably soon around the corner. (Enter mommy version of 'Uh oh!')

She kisses "smack" like crazy (including in her sleep the other evening!) , will put her head/cheek to you when she wants a kiss (and repeat it until you give her a kiss!), and loves to 'be gentle' with hair brushing.


She says mom, momma, add (addy), bru (brooklyn), bye bye, hi, uh oh,.  She has 10 (Maybe 11, or 12... I am scared to stick my finger in anymore because she bites!) teeth. In comparison Addy and Brooks still hadn't broken their first tooth at this age. 


Pretty much there's my 'My Sweet Em is 14 months and 23 days old' update.
Still so much in love with my sweet little girl, and so grateful for every single day we've had together, and will continue to have in the future together.

Being a single mom isn't easy, but Em makes it easy. She makes it so worth it. 

 My prayer continues to be that Heavenly Father will allow me to be the fantastic mother I have proven to the world - and most importantly, to my sweet Em, that I am.

27 July, 2016

You've got your ball you've got your chain, tied to me tight time me up again

My heart is full.
I have my lils, I have faith, I have an amazing career with amazing opportunities, and I have amazing other things in my very near future :).

Enter the highly KP'd photo, aka photoshop fake and poorly edited: (But I still love THEM regardless):

To be honest - I have so much to be grateful for, there is no ounce of room for hate, regret or anger left within me. 
I have never been this happy with my life.
Amazing Children.
Amazing Family,
Amazing Friends.
Amazing Career.
Amazing Him.
Working on the body & health thing - and while far from amazing, at least I can still love me regardless.

It's really, REALLY freeing doing something I thought I would never be able to do again.
But having someone pay attention - even to the 'minor things' that two weeks later when they see your favorite band, performing your favorite song, makes a point to record it and send it to you?

Well it proves not every man is a complete loser in this world. 
(even if they did go to USC and purple and orange will still forever win.)


30 June, 2016

The Lord Stands Beside Us


I have another post that I wrote a couple days ago.
It is sitting in my 'drafts' folder. It's done - it's finalized. But is it something I really want to share? Not today. Not now. And yet, it's probably one of the most empowering, and important messages I have ever written on this 'silly' blog.

Yet, what I am about to share is right up there - and I am grateful that this one is a bit more uplifting, despite my attempts at making the previously mentioned post 'uplifting' when it was an intransigent and negative experience - but one that allowed me to move on, and feel empowered. Empowered for myself, for my children, and for others in similar situations.

I digress.

We are all faced with times of doubt. With times of hardship. With times where our actions, decisions, and thoughts even make our own selves question what we were thinking when we acted (or reacted) in such a manner.

No matter who you are - there are moments, situations and split seconds that we wish we had made a different choice. Do we regret our choices or decisions? I certainly hope not - because it allows an individual to learn, grow and move forward. Though I acknowledge that others may look back on situations and be capable of only seeing regret.

I've been there.

And truth be - so have many others.

Enter Blaine Young. 

Now, I didn't grow up in Frederick County. In fact I only randomly moved here on a 'whim' in 2011 - as a newly separated single mother at not even 26.

After that seperation, being 'young and fit and single' for the first time in my life, I dated. A lot. And one of those interactions introduced me to conservative, republican values. While that relationship was vitriol in the simplist of terms - it also taught me a lot about myself, and encouraged me to seek and learn.

That failed relationship (thank goodness) lead me to the Frederick GOP community. Let's bypass unnecessary mistakes, ignorances and truly juvenile decisions (Like thinking I knew anything at all about politics, or running for office... hahahah).

I was also introduced to those in power here in Frederick County - and Blaine Young was one of them. At the time, he served as Frederick County's commissioner. He came from a political bleeding family. A family of power, importance and wealth.

Fast forward many years, times, and situations - and that same powerful, well off, and sinner (as we all are) Blaine found himself in yet another bad situation. A mistake that would truly transform his life.

Had he chosen to allow that 'bad decision' to overwhelm and overtake him, Blaine could have failed. And yet instead, he allowed it - in public view point (even when others said don't do this! delete this! don't talk about this in public! etc.) to showcase how he was using this poor decision and consequences to overcome and empower him.

In a recent conversation that I was privileged to engage with Blaine - I explained how I wish I could see the power and opportunity that he does despite circumstances and poor decisions.

There was a list of quality advice and honesty that was reveled in a mere 5 minute Facebook conversation, and yet one of the most empowering statements he made, has stayed with me since (and thankfully, through my own recent mistakes).

"Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find yourself." 
- Blaine Young
What does that statement mean? Well, I think it's one that is truly up for intrepreation. As we all have our own battles and demons to overcome. And whether they are blasted all over the front page of the Frederick News Post - or they are ones that are hidden from anyone but our own selves - we all still struggle.

We all still fall short. "... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of G-d" (Romans 3:23)

But we are never left alone. (Deut 31:6, Psalm 27:10, 1 Samuel 12:22, etc etc etc!)

And my wish is that when those of us who do have to lose ourselves - that when we find ourselves - we find also, that we were never alone in that difficult walk.

The Lord stands beside us - even when we don't want to accept Him.
The Lord stands beside us - even when we don't want to acknowledge Him.
The Lord stands beside us - even when we fall so terribly short.

The Lord stands beside us - always -
 even when we must find ourselves again.


19 June, 2016

The darkness followed me as I grew up too - and yet I somehow still haven't given up.



Let me tell anyone struggling.
Anyone hurting.
Anyone facing hard times.

In my life? I've too faced unfortunately countless times of pain, hurt, and anguish.
I've had the adversity of life completely overwhelm me in moments.

I've been beaten, raped, and threatened by a figure I should have only looked up to, loved, and trusted.

I've struggled with anorexia, obesity, and every other eating too much/barely eating/exercising too much/not being able to move at all/etc moment Yeah. I've been at both ends. Both multiple times.

I've dealt with heartache that consumes you and nearly overtakes you.
Heartache that just seems to - NEVER.GO.AWAY.
Heartache that makes you fall to the floor, and cry and beg and plead - day after day - shower after shower - "Why me?!"

More times than I want to admit has my heart been crushed. By more people than I thought was even possible.

I've had children - children when I was far too young, and a child when I was probably far too old.

I've lost jobs. I've lost friends. I've seen the face of death - losing a parent at 17, losing my best friend in Irag at 19 -, losing another close friend at 25 to cerebral palsy- a friend that was the only person whoever truly got me. A friend that was only the person that stood by me despite and yet because of everything. A friend that defended me in the face of danger when my entire world turned their backs. I will never stop missing or loving you Eric and Nion.

I've lost my hero - the woman who took me under her wing and helped raise me as a young child - my grandmother. I've lost my father. I've lost too many people.

At 30 years of age I have seen too many obituaries, funerals, caskets, and heartaches.

And I've watched too many of my friends face the same or even harder adversities.

And yet some how - somehow we're all still here.
Because we refused to give up..
Even in the darkest of dark moments - we refused to let the candle completely dim.

And learning of someone who chose to diminish their own candle recently... My heart was overwhelmed with anguish, despite not even knowing that person.

I pray somehow, that if any one who reads this is struggling with depression. Is contemplating taking their life. If anyone reading this somehow for whatever reason thinks the absolute only way to go forward, is to stop it.

If anyone who somehow stumbles upon this and is contemplating suicide.

I urge you to reconsider.
You are truly not alone. Even when the world turns it back on you. Even if you've made mistake after mistake and there's no room for any more mistakes.

Even if you've lost the love of your life.

Even if you think you have no reason to continue on.

I beg you to reconsider.

I beg, because I have been there.
And somehow - I survived.
Somehow I carried on.
Somehow I carry on.

And it's not always going to be easy.
And I can't promise tomorrow will bring anything easier.

But one day - one day, ONE DAY - I promise you, you will be grateful to be alive.

We will be grateful you are alive.
Your world will be grateful.


Suicide doesn't resolve anything - and in the end prevents a world that needed you, from having you.




09 April, 2016

You are never alone, I promise you that.

Blair Pettrey - blairpettrey- christ

Maybe you know who Robert Robinson is - but perhaps you don't.

Robert Robinson was a labeled a 'wild youth. Robert was quite young when his father died, and with a mother left with little to no help - this meant two things:
1.) Robert had to work from a very young age  (far different than our typical situations here in the US in 2016)
2.) Because of his immediate necessity to 'grow up' - Robert had no example to look up to, and thus found himself looking up to the wrong type of people.

Falling into ' bad company ', Robert struggled for many years to even know, let alone follow, what was 'right' vs what was 'wrong'. One day, Robert through a mirage of circumstances, met with a woman that pointed her finger at him (among a large group) and said he would live to see his children and grandchildren.Realizing what living to see not only his own children, but his children's children, meant, Robert realized he needed to change the way of his rebellious living.

Despite his perhaps difficult situation growing up as a youth - at 20 - Robert 'made peace with G-d' and realized his calling in life.

How I wish I, Blair Pettrey, could have found peace and understanding at such a young age. But I perhaps align myself to Robert - knowing that we had to face battles - they were necessary for our walk - and yet even in moments of doubt knowing Christ was there.

And just like Robert, however, I know that Christ consumes my heart and my life. And everything I have, is because of Christ and Christ alone. And that is something I have failed to share for too many years.

I have focused so much on my 'trials'.

And not only have I stopped writing -
I stopped sharing the glory of Christ.

But the catch: I'm not perfect.
In fact, I'm quite far from it.
Yet despite every hurdle I've ever faced, the only thing that has continuously been there, no matter what, is my savior.

I have had family be too hurt to communicate with me in times. I've had friends that have changed. But the only thing that has consistently been with me since I first found him at 13  - is Jesus Christ.

And I know many will think 'what the heck' hearing me proclaim this - because despite my sincere and compassionate love with our Savior - I have been anything but a strong example of what a follower appears to be.

And while most probably barely got past the first sentence, if anyone has continued to read this proclamation beyond - I urge and beg that you continue reading.

My path and walk with Christ has not been easy nor has it been 'typical'. I have had battles, trials and heavy situations that in moments over took me. Circumstances so hard that I doubted how a loving Heavenly Father could put them on a follower. Situations so unbearable, I truly had no idea  how I would ever get through them.

I've been through the worst of the worst. And I've seen quite good as well. And then I've lost that good to only see even worst of the worst.

But never has my savior left me.

When I thought life was so tremendous because I had finally found 'the love of my life' - Christ reminded me HE was the only love of my life. When I thought I would finally have peace and security, Christ reminded me that HE is my only peace and security and removed it all. Facing perhaps the most difficult and hardest situations of my life, CHRIST reminded me that despite any battle or journey, HE is always with me... And that is the only way I survived.

So, let me explain the relativeness of Robert Robinson and I.

Just like Robert, I was raised in a 'Christian home'. But I didn't know Christ. It wasn't until at 13, despite my upbringing,  when someone randomly messaged me on what was then called 'AOL instant Messenger' - asking me 'what my relationship with Christ was' - that I even began to know Christ.

And let me tell you - being a 'Jesus Freak' at 13 and in middle school? It's not "cool". Being a Jesus Freak in high school? It's not cool. Being a devout follower of Christ is never 'cool'. And I struggled with that. I struggled with typical adolescent issues - and I struggled with the fact I was trying to share Christ with the world at such a young age - and I struggled with so many battles.

And even though from 13-17, despite every poor decision or circumstance that I even placed upon myself - I thought I knew what was best. I loved Jesus Christ, but I thought I knew what was best - and I fell so short because of that.

And that assumption of knowing 'what was best for me' continued from 17-30. I thought I knew what people were best. I thought I knew what paths were best. I thought I knew what circumstances were best. DESPITE having time and time again, Christ show me that my choices were not what was best.

And so I struggled - thinking Christ had left me. Thinking if I join this church - I will feel and find Christ again. Thinking if I do enough good, Christ will find me again. Thinking so many things in the past 13 years that I would somehow 'find' and 'feel' Christ again. Failing to admit that Christ never left me - I left him.

Because Christ doesn't leave anyone.

Christ is here and available for anyone and everyone. It's merely us that choose to accept him. To accept His presence. To acknowledge all that Heavenly Father has truly given to our lives.

And yes, I know none of this is cool or hip or anything else of the sort to admit. And even if I publicly profess and shout my love for Christ - nothing in my life is going to become easier.

But with Christ, I don't need things to be easy.

 Because I have faith that things will one day be perfect, as my savior has made me through the atonement.

And so we fast forward 17 years - from that moment I was first asked 'what is your relationship with Christ?'. And here I am to tell you what I could have never known or understood to say at 13.

 My walk and journey have been hard. Situations have happened, and circumstances have been difficult. And whether or not they are the fault of my own choices and decisions or if life just threw a heavy curve ball my way many of times - this is still my life.

But 17 years later - despite those curveballs? I'm here. And here is knowing that Christ is my Savior. And truly, that if Christ was not the love of my life and my heart - I would not be alive.

I would not be where I am without Christ.

Thus, if any of you question, doubt, or don't know our Savior - I encourage you to get to know him. Getting to know Jesus Christ doesn't mean you have to go to church (though, sure that helps your walk). Knowing Jesus Christ doesn't mean you're perfect.

In fact, knowing Jesus Christ means you know you're far from perfect. Knowing Jesus, means you know that you fall short every single day.

And yet, knowing Christ means you know: despite imperfections and falling short -that there is hope.

My heart has ached like I never thought it could. My life has been shaken and rocked like I never thought was possible. I've lost everything in times- everything. And yet losing everything, I knew and I KNOW that I have everything, because I have a Savior who gave His everything.

Robert Robinson went on to write one of the most 'common' and known hymns in the Christian church - 'Come Thou Fount':

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.
My hope for anyone reading this, is that you can somehow find the love of Christ in your heart.

It's not easy to understand that Heavenly Father loves you.
It's not easy to understand that He sent His son to redeem our troubled world. 
And it's not easy to believe a Heavenly Father loves and cares for us when life is hard.

But we do have a loving Father in Heaven.
And we do have a redeeming Savior,
And His name is Jesus Christ.

You are never alone, no matter how alone you may feel. 
And if that's the most beautiful and important awareness one can have about Christ - 
than have that. 
You are never alone, no matter how alone you may feel.

"We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. 10-13 The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way."
1 Corinthians 2:9-13