Wednesday, June 5, 2019

You Say

Why is it harder to listen to what you know is the truth than to worry about a whispered lie?

On the outside, I have always been a self confident, independent person, but oh if you could see the insecurities that lay just under the surface.

The devil has really been working overtime on my mind lately. I question decisions, conversations, people. I doubt my worth as a wife & mother. I worry that my children aren't loved & appreciated the way I know they should be. I wonder where certain friends disappear to when I need someone to talk to.

I know that I am a princess because my father is the king. I know that the devil is a liar & the author of confusion. I know the promises God has made me. I know that the devil wants to rob me of my joy because he certainly can't have my soul.

But oh how hard it is to remember these truths sometimes.

I'm thankful that my pastor somehow knew my heart tonight & spoke right to me.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and 
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Lord, I'm trying so hard to remember what you say & not listen to those lies & insecurities. And in the meantime, while I'm trying to remember who I am, please forgive me if I seem a little extra edgy or insecure.

Monday, April 1, 2019

It's a Great Day to Be Alive

It's been rough around here lately. It's hard to find the words to express everything I/we are feeling. We lost a good man recently & today we celebrated his life.

My daughter's favorite teacher of all time passed away expectantly. It hit her hard. It hit her class hard. Those kids, those teachers, that school will forever be changed by the life he lived.

I knew almost immediately the impact Dustin Transou was having on my 12 year old daughter. See, we have always listened to all kinds of music, so when she started playing Michael Jackson & The Avett Brothers (to name just a few), I didn't question it. But as she started playing these songs more & more frequently, I realized that he was opening her eyes even wider than I had. It's a Great Day to be Alive was one of his favorite songs & he played it all the time for the kids.

With his passing, those songs played on a constant loop for her.

So in honor of his birthday... It's a Great Day to be Alive

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Making A Difference...

If you are ever reading anything that I or anyone else writes & you stop to say "Well, I would never react that way" or "I would never allow that to happen" or "My child would never do that", you need to immediately stop reading & return back to your perfect world, because over here, we are far from perfect! I write my heart. I always have, with very little censorship. I write, not to glorify our imperfections, or our insanity, but to bring light to the fact that NO ONE is perfect & we all struggle in our own ways. Some of us more than others. And some of us are a little more vocal about it. So if you want a little encouragement that your child isn't the only one making incredibly stupid decisions or that you aren't the only mom out there just barely making it day to day, please read on & feel free to drop a comment on the latest disaster going on in your life. No judgement here, I promise!

I was in town recently, getting ready to drive home. The windows were cracked, because it was the first day in a long time that it hasn't been freezing. As I'm getting ready to pull out onto the street, a friend of Austin's catches my attention as I hear her exclaim "There's Tracie!" & see her waving wildly. I laugh & wave back thinking "hmm, I can't believe she recognized me". See this girl has only met me a couple of times & here I was, in my car, hair pulled back, sunglasses on, yet still she knew it was me.

It made me smile because I thought, "well, maybe I am making a difference".

And immediately tears sprang to my eyes as a different thought about making a difference crossed my mind. The realization that I could have just saved someone's life or at the very least, made them reconsider some very bad decisions floored me.


When my 16 year old came home recently with alcohol on his breathe & an illegal substance in his pocket (which upon further investigation may or may not have been his - regardless - guilty by association), I was devastated. I was angry. I was disappointed. I was worried. I was confused. I was hurt.

For the millionth time, I questioned every decision I've ever made as a mother.

And then I did something I never thought I would do, something I never thought I would have to do. I called the law on a teenage party.

I knew a friend of ours was working so I knew he would go check it out. Invoking fear into these kids, letting the parents know what was going on, without anyone getting into too much trouble, hopefully.

At first, I questioned the hasty decision, but as time passed, I realized that I did the right thing & I knew without a doubt that I would do it all over again. If I kept one of those kids from hurting themselves or someone else, if I somehow scared the daylights out of one of them & made them realize what a mistake they were making, it was all worth it!

So I'll just keep on being that mean mom & pray that I am making a angry teenager at a time!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

What if Christmas, Perhaps, Means a Little Bit More

As I sit here this morning in the soft glow of the Christmas tree anxiously waiting for the chaos to begin, I realize just how blessed I am. I have so much to be thankful for, but yet, somehow I feel sad.

I haven't been very Christmasy this year. I don't know what's wrong with me.

Just like every other year, we go to a different tree farm & pick out our tree Thanksgiving weekend. But somehow even that felt forced. We (um, mainly me) didn't walk over 97% of the farm to find the perfect tree. We picked one after only looking at about 5. That's unheard of.

We put it up & had to squeeze in decorating it one night after church so that kept the kids up late. (You know me & how I am about bedtime.) Then the kids fussed over this petty thing & that petty thing. One was more interested in social media than helping. So I ended up crying at the table.
*see previous post*

Anyway, then somehow time slipped right by me. As December sped by, I didn't get the chance find the time to decorate anything else for the house. Do you hear me? ANYTHING. No lights outside. No fun knick knacks inside. No mistletoe hanging in the dining room. No tinkling bells that I enjoy so much. No special Santa plate & glass. I didn't even put the Christmas cards up & that has always been my favorite "decoration".

What is wrong with me??

I have far too many things to be thankful for, but yet it's not coming easy right now.

I don't think I've gotten caught up in the "hustle & bustle" or the commercialism, but I sure have gotten caught up in life. Between me working a lot more than I have in recent years (almost every day subbing - which I LOVE so don't read anymore in to that), Justin working EMS nights, with his dad some days, & coaching every afternoon, church activities, & juggling three sports schedules, I feel like I'm drowning. I'm just trying to make it til bedtime some days.

I love supporting our kids & I love watching them, but let's be honest, I'm tired. I honestly don't even remember the last time I cooked.

Everyone was so excited about the big snow we had a couple of weeks ago because they got to slow down & just enjoy each other. That didn't happen at our house. Justin & Austin scrapped snow the majority of the time. Justin still worked EMS, because emergencies don't stop for a blizzard. And we had the stomach bug so it was hard to enjoy it.

Justin had to work last night (& tonight as well) so our Christmas Eve traditions were a little rushed & I had to be Santa by myself for the first time. Austin stayed with him so I'm sad that even though he would have went to bed just like the other kids & he will be here soon, just knowing he wasn't home Christmas Eve is hard.

Again, I'm not complaining, just trying to figure out why my heart hurts.

I miss Christmas from years ago. I miss Christmas Eve at my grandparent's house. I miss my grandparents. I miss getting together with aunts, uncles, & cousins. I miss my aunt's chex mix. I miss the elaborate family dinners. Oh, we still have them on Justin's side, but its not the same.

Soon my family will be home, my parents will come over, & my littles will wake up (hopefully in that order) & the chaos will begin. As I've watched the sun rise & wiped a few tears away, my heart feels a little lighter. I just don't want to take any of it for granted.

If this doesn't make sense, don't hold it against me. My thoughts were running wild this morning.

From my family to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Do You See What I See

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday. We always try to do it Thanksgiving weekend, but we just barely got that accomplished this time. The kids are getting older & schedules are getting busier. And its sad.

I am very picky about how the lights are placed, the more the better, so the kids don't even bother trying to help with that part. Well, Logan still does. Then its all theirs. It really doesn't matter to me how the ornaments are put up. Sure I'll move one here & there when a limb is weighted down, there's too much in one spot, or a big gaping hole that no one but me sees, but other than that, I'm good.

It's beautiful. It usually is. Not because we spent a lot of money on decorations or because a professional did it, but because its ours & it's decorated with love... at least I hope.

The pictures show smiles & a pretty tree. You see it. We all see it. At least the parts that we want you to see & the parts that can actually be photographed.

But do you see what I see?

I see my husband trying to cook supper at 8pm while I put the lights up because we haven't had any other time together as a family. I see them staying up past bedtime & hoping no one is grumpy in the morning. I see one child not feeling well. I see one child fussing at another for ringing the bells too loud. I see one child repeatedly throwing snowflakes at the tree. I see one child on their phone instead of enjoying this. 

I see the supper I'm trying to eat even though the tears make it hard to swallow. I see the past when we got along better. I see Christmas from my childhood & I see happiness. I see them all grown & no longer home to help decorate the tree. I see them looking back on their childhood with more heartache than fondness. I see disappointment, shame, regrets, & what ifs.

But then, as I'm putting Logan to bed, he smiles & tells me he had fun & I see love. Through more tears, I see love. And I see a weary momma trying desperately to hang on to the magic even though the world has made her jaded & her kids are growing up entirely too fast.

I'm glad you don't see what I see. Oh how I miss when times were simpler.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

October 2, 2018

This day. I have been waiting for what feels like forever for THIS DAY.

This day probably doesn't mean anything to you, but it means so much to my family.

It means freedom. It means being able to breathe easier. It means returning to a somewhat normal life. It means its finally over.

It means 398 days since our world turned upside down & in that time I've grown to seriously dislike some numbers.

First & foremost August 29, 2017. I might just erase the day if I could.

Followed closely by October 2, 2017. I have faced many things in my life. I've been mad, upset, & scared over situations out of my control, but I've NEVER experienced fear the way I did on October 2, 2017. And there was NOTHING I could do about it.

Helpless. Hopeless. Betrayed. Scared. Angry. Confused.

  • 365 - 365 days until this nightmare was officially over.

  • 11 - an 11 month deadline

  • 65 - 65 hours that seemed like a waste of time

  • 5 - 5 months of mental evaluations

  • 60 - every 60 days that someone questioned my parenting

  • 30 - every 30 days of check ins

  • 4 - 4 charges that all started with a moment of unclear thinking

  • 3 - 3 days a week that my home was invaded

  • 9 - 9 hours that felt like a prison sentence

  • 1.5 - 1.5 hrs that seemed like a bigger waste of time

  • 1 - 1 huge mistake

  • 0 - 0 unexcused absences

  • random - enough random testing to make you doubt your sanity

Unfortunately, the list goes on. I just can't put it into number form.

If you don't know me personally or if you didn't know us then, you probably have no clue what I'm talking about & that's ok. Just know that life is better now. I've learned real friends from fake. I've learned how to keep my circle small. I've learned that sometimes, all you have is the people in your home.

I've also developed a new appreciation for some numbers.

  • 24 - 24 hours, Tomorrow is a new day & you get to start over again & again & again, & sometimes that's all you can do - start over & hope for better

  • 5 - 5 means Grace, Grace form God, Grace for each other, & Grace from each other

  • 5 - 5 also happens to be the number in my family, while its not perfect, its the one God gave me

and most importantly

  • 2 - 2nd chances, and sometimes 3rds & 4ths & 5ths as well

But after a full year to reflect, I realize that I've learned to appreciate August 29, 2017 & October 2, 2017. Without them, my family wouldn't be who we are today. Without  them, my family could be a lot worse off than we are now. Without them, decisions to turn & walk away from bad situations might not have ever happened. Without them, maturity might have come at a higher cost. Without them, a darker, harsher future might have come about.

I believe that God allows things to happen in order to bring people to the place He wants them to be so He can use them.

My son has learned some hard lessons the hard way, but he's a better person from it.

My daughter has learned some hard lessons the hard way, but she's a better person.

My husband & I have learned some hard lessons the hard way, but I pray we are better because of it.

Just like the phoenix, out of the ashes. I've clung to that image for over a year now, knowing that it will be ok & that we will rise again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Are You Ready

I've watched the endless news coverage, witnessed hordes of people wipe out grocery stores & gas stations, seen them trim trees, place sandbags, & secure outdoor furniture. Hurricane Florence is own her way.

Are you ready?

This storm is being labeled "The Storm of a Lifetime". Its no joke.

Are you ready?

We are much more fortunate than previous generations. More often than not, they had no clue something deadly was lurking around the next corner. They paid with land, livestock, many times, their lives.

I'm thankful that we have advance notice so we can prepare for emergencies. I'm thankful for scientific discoveries & equipment that give us hours, days, & sometimes even weeks to prepare.

We prepare for unforeseen disasters all our lives. Storms, financial ruin, sickness. We make our homes safe. We save money. We purchase insurance. All of these things we set up "just in case".

Just in case something horrific may or may not happen.

Just in case disaster wipes out life as we know it.

Just in case we never experience a single hardship.

Still, just in case.

Are you ready?

We've heard about a storm unlike anything we have ever experienced. We've heard about a day that will change everything. We've heard about a returning that will one day take us home.

But yet we ignore those warnings.

Jesus Christ is on His way!

Are you ready?

Just as we prepare for Earthly storms & disaster, we need to prepare for Eternal life.

Do you know that you know that you know where death will take you? Do you have your reservations set up in Heaven?

Are you ready?

Eternity is too long to base it on "I hope so". Its too long to base it on "I think so".

Are you ready?

Have you checked on your family? Have you checked on your neighbors? What about the stranger down the street? You wouldn't let them drown in a flood if you could help, would you?

Why would you leave them to fend for themselves for all eternity?

Are they ready?

There's a storm coming!

Are you ready?

You Say

Why is it harder to listen to what you know is the truth than to worry about a whispered lie? On the outside, I have always been a self co...