27 April, 2016

We got this Em - you + me + the world here that loves you. #LilMissPettrey forever

You don't know what you've been missing out on
I've been waiting around for you to call
You don't know what you've been missing out on
You know i'm not a ghost, just come around
If i'd have listened to that fortune cooky wisdom
I'd have been a whole lot better off
But still i live with this constant light on
To show you the way back home
=

And officially -
legally -
you will forever know who was here.
They will forever know what a sad mistake they made as hypocritical non Christ followers.
But You and Me lil girl?

You plus + WE, lil girl?

You plus every single person who has actually surrounded you from the day you were in my belly.
From the day I knew, and you began to grew.
Your siblings. Your G-dparents. Your Aunt and Uncle and Nana and Pop.
Your Miss Lindsay, and Mr Jeff, Audrey & Jeff.
Your friends and support.

The very same people who have been here from day one? 
Will continue to be here for day always.
Because as much as I love you sweet, sweet Emily.
My sweet Em.
The Em I dreamed of for so long.
You, Emily, are the same Emily they love too.
And we ALL will always be here for you.

And now it's just legal.
Forever, you shall be, my sweet
#LilMissPettrey

24 April, 2016

Notes for Emily

Being a single parent, though worth it in every way, is no easy task - especially when you're doing it entirely alone. Financially this left me having to commit more than ever to being financially responsible, following a strict budget, etc - but we made it, and we made it without having to do without.

But then legal battles began - legal battles that are costing me nearly a 1/4 my annual income already. Completely depleting my savings that I had saved up for my children's future in 4 months - and the battle has only begun.

So I started 'Notes for Emily' to help us pay for this ridiculous but now necessary battle.

Even more wonderful than the people who have given and donated (which trust me, is incredible!), is the beautiful and powerful ways people are writing about Em and I and this battle. The way people are sharing Notes for Emily. I wanted to share a couple of those messages, because they have so deeply moved me - and I am grateful that the people who know not only myself, but know Emily - know just how amazingly well she is being raised, loved, and cared for. Even prior to her birth.





People from all walks and paths of my life - and other's lives that were kind enough to share my message - are reaching out in ways more than I can imagine. My inbox has been overflowing with messages of support - requests to help - suggestions - prayers - and more. 

This is one heck of a hard battle - if only because of the extreme expense - but it is a battle that is so evidently worth what sweet Emily Ruth needs and deserves. And I am beyond grateful for everyone else who is and has helped make sure it has been such a good environment - a good family - a good life. 





10 April, 2016

G, C, D, Em - time of your life

Typing with nearly bloody fingers, finally having picked up my guitar yesterday for the first time in nearly 9 months - well, though even the interaction was brief, and still left my non-calloused fingers 'feeling it' - it was heavenly.

Emily Ruth sat next to me as I stroked songs and sang to her, as she clapped and laughed and smiled. Even more delightful that it was for me - it was delightful for her. She loves music - and despite my poor stroking of a guitar and terrible off key voice, she made me feel like I was a rockstar in front of a stage of a million fans. I love that little girl more than anything.

At 13, sitting in a neighbor kids basement, I learned to play my first song on the guitar. Good Riddance (time of your life) by green day. I don't even remember the kids name now, but I can recall that very moment and scene like it was yesterday.

Those basic G, C, D and Em chords were the foundation of my infatuation with guitar.

And guitar has been one of my go to releases for 17+ years since.

I began my infatuation with musical instruments from a young age, because I had a mother who was a piano teacher. (And quite frankly, one of the most talented piano players I've ever heard.)

As children, we were always involved in music - encouraged to play, practice and perform. Piano at such a young age, laid a foundation, knowledge and understanding of musical theory that helped me pick up instruments in later ages and quickly be able to learn them. Whether it was violin, flute, oboe, or my trusty guitar.

Regardless, I will never be more grateful for any experience, opportunity or lesson, more than I am for the foundation that piano gave me - because it lead me to a guitar at 13. And my guitar has gone with me everywhere since.

Even when I've lost everything - I've always had my guitar. If there was a fire and I had to risk everything in my home (of course, besides my daughter), I would make sure that guitar came with me.

It's not even a fantastic or expensive guitar. It's a black, acoustic fender from Music & Arts in Severna Park. I decked it out with a GGD (goo goo dolls sticker) when I was 14 that still remains. There's memories of a one time political sticker. Strung currently with pink strings, that a friend of mine put on nearly 2 years ago (because that's how oft I don't play my guitar anymore). And as unimpressive as it is, it's probably the only material possession I truly value.

But when it comes to my guitar - regardless of what it sounds like when I play - it has been a constant in my life and I'm grateful that I have an at least somewhat talent enough to turn to when I just need to express. When I want to sing and play and just perform, whether it's for no one, or if it's just for Emily Ruth - my guitar has been with me for 17 years and I am grateful for it.

And for what it's worth? I have a feeling it's not just going to be me loving to play this guitar!


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

05 April, 2016

So today, and everyday, I choose.

I was going to share my thoughts on what true class is - being so fed up with a world that somehow fails to remember what manners, respect, and genuineness are. But instead of going on that rant - let me share something beautiful that a good friend recently shared with me:


You chose.You chose.
You chose.
You chose to give away your love.
You chose to have a broken heart.
You chose to give up.
You chose to hang on.
You chose to react.
You chose to feel insecure.
You chose to feel anger.
You chose to fight back.
You chose to have hope.
You chose to be naïve.
You chose to ignore your intuition.
You chose to ignore advice.
You chose to look the other way.
You chose to not listen.
You chose to be stuck in the past.
You chose your perspective.
You chose to blame.
You chose to be right.
You chose your pride.
You chose your games.
You chose your ego.
You chose your paranoia.
You chose to compete.
You chose your enemies.
You chose your consequences.
You chose.
You chose.
You chose.
You chose.
However, you are not alone. Generations of women in your family have chosen. Women around the world have chosen. We all have chosen at one time in our lives. We stand behind you now screaming:
 Choose to let go.
Choose dignity.
Choose to forgive yourself.
Choose to forgive others.
Choose to see your value.
Choose to show the world you’re not a victim.
Choose to make us proud.”

― Shannon L. Alder


There's so much that could be said for this entire poem. 


A message for those I love.
But also a message for myself.
For I chose.
And yet, I chose - and I'm still not alone.
So today, and everyday, I will choose.

03 April, 2016

Blair Pettrey - the Journey That's Just Beginning


I oft think about where I am in life - vs. where I thought I would be 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 5 years ago, even 2 years ago.

Lately, because of the time of the year and events that are about to come - the last 2 years have been on my mind quite heavily.

I oft have to stop and remind myself, how different life would be, if I actually allowed myself to think or believe that what transpired, had not. Most importantly, how I would not have my sweet #lilmisspettrey if I had not met that person or moved or any of that.

Perhaps things have taken quite a different path than I ever thought - but I am really quite okay with this path. I like this 'me' I'm (re)discovering.

I have quite the journey a head of me. But that journey contains such mystery and possibility that it I'm not scared anymore. I'm not scared of what I do not know, and I'm not scared of what I do know.

I never thought I could do many of the things I've actually done in life. And yet I do them , and usually I do them far better than I ever thought or imagined.


......


I never thought I would not be 'in love' with the person I thought I was so in love with. Despite every thing that person had put me through - how much they had 'failed me' and my daughter. How much they used me, betrayed me, lied and manipulated me - despite everything they had done, and everything that they hadn't done - I thought I would never be able to find peace and happiness without them. And yet I have.

And quite honestly, that's the only thing I will ever say about that individual ever again. Because I've moved on, and I have no need to continue to display any effect of energy or regard when I am so happily beyond it.

I have worked hard to get my life to where it is. I have worked hard to raise not just a child(ren) but myself - I have raised my life. I have overcome battles. I have looked inside and found peace despite the pain, and strength despite the despair.

I have grown and I am growing.

 This is not the end of Blair Pettrey.


 This is just the beginning. 

And the journey only gets better from here.