Forgiveness??

If you were to make a list of the people in your life that you needed to forgive, could you be honest? Would your list have two names? 20? None? How many of those people are family members?

The family dynamics in Colossians 3:18-21 is God’s perfect plan. You can call me old-fashioned, sexist, barefoot and pregnant…I don’t care. It’s what I believe. Our family is supposed to be our first line of defense. Our parents to protect us. Our siblings to build and learn about friendships with, along with conflict resolution (even if that involves these hands! Right Lyss? You were so mean!). But instead we have strife. Jealousy. Bitterness. Anger. A house divided cannot stand (Mark 3:25). And no, I’m not referring to the SEC…at least not today haha!! Go Dawgs!

If there is division, it can destroy the family structure, causing us to “wander” solo. No one by our side to hold us accountable…yes we have friends, but we can talk about that later….that’s how Eve was able to be tempted. She was alone. When a sheep wanders away from the herd and it’s shepherd, it’s more vulnerable to its predators.

The funny thing about this blog post is that I don’t have an answer or resolve to what I just talked about. Which brings me to my next topic.

Today was my first counseling session at Elevate. I had one major issue in my life that was causing me a tremendous amount of stress. That’s what caused me to make an appointment in the first place. I wanted some healthy coping mechanisms for when I felt anxious. God had bigger plans, y’all. I wasn’t ready!! My first session and I’ve already learned that I’m dealing with un-forgiveness. I didn’t even know!!! It was so profound that I’ve decided I’m going to make this journey public. I’m going to blog after each one of my sessions. I will share my revelations, my heartaches, my joy and my victories. My darkest places. I really hope that my transparency will help you to see that you’re not alone. No, I won’t be sharing names if anyone, in case you were wondering! This is for my exposure, no anyone else’s.

I thought I knew how to forgive someone, but today I found out that I don’t. I’m excited to learn and share as I go. My hope is that it will inspire you to seek it out for you and your family too.

xoxo

Let them eat cake..er, cookie dough!

Last night, while making cookies with my kids, they mention to me they’ve never tried cookie dough. Real cookie dough. Growing up, I want allowed to eat it because of the raw eggs. “Salmonella!!”, my mom would say to us. So much that it became an actual fear. Irrational c yes, but there nonetheless.

When my kids said this, it triggered something in me that made me do something I’ve never done before. Let me give you a little background. I’ll start with a simple, yet profound statement. 

Sometimes it takes losing everything to make you appreciate what you have. 

As most of you already know, my ex-husband spent some time in prison. I’m not here to sling mud. He’s done his time. But it still happened. That left me to try and pick up the pieces and try to keep my family from unraveling. Well guess what? I failed. I was on the brink of losing my home (for the 2nd time). I was working 2 jobs and that still wasn’t enough to keep up with everything. So after taking to my then-husband, we both decided and agreed it would be best for our kids to stay with their grandparents in Tennessee while I tried to salvage what was left of my sanity and my dignity, and he went back to jail to finish out his sentence. Trust me when I say this, it was the last thing I wanted. It showed weakness. It showed failure. It showed that I wasn’t enough. That I couldn’t handle it. Insert whatever statement you want here. I promise you I’ve already beaten myself up for it at least a hundred times. But sometimes, as a mom, it means making hard decisions. I’ll never forget the day they left. I was devastated. I kept telling myself “it’s only for a short time.” The pain was unbearable. I closed myself off. I rarely talked to them on the phone because all it did was tear my heart out more each time. And theirs too. This went on for (roughly) 6 months, maybe 8. 

Side note, this isn’t something I’ve shared with many people. If you were apart of my life during this time, you knew. But I don’t go shouting it from the rooftops. Until today. 

Being a mom is hard. You’re responsible for teaching and raising kids, to grow into successful adults. There is so much pressure to be “perfect”. Have them in the best school. Sports. Dance. Church. Good grades. Before their father was arrested, I was the worst kind of helicopter mom. I gave them freedom, but not too much. Looking back I now see it wasn’t very much at all. Them being away from me for that long taught me a lot of things. One of the most important things it taught me was to LET GO. I was trying to control their every move and every outcome. I couldn’t just let them be kids. But now?! Now, on the weekends, they can have ice cream for breakfast (sometimes). They can walk in the grass barefoot. They can hang their arm out the window in the backseat. They spent all day yesterday in their pajamas. We had pizza delivered twice in a week! The little things in life that are meant to be enjoyed, are being enjoyed. I’ve learned to take a deep breath and a step back. Yes, it was awful while they were gone. I hated every single moment of it. But it made me better. Better for them and better for me. 

Cut yourself some slack, y’all. Parenting is hard. Parenting with an ex-spouse is even harder. Do the best you can with every day you’re with them, even on the days when you want to run and cry in a closet. 

I guess I’ll address the cookie dough thing. We are cookie dough last night. A lot of it. And they said it was the best thing they had ever tasted. Something as simple as cookie dough!! They danced around the kitchen and laughed with delight. Such a small moment but such a huge impact. There will be many more cookie dough dates in our future. Oh and by the way, no one got sick 😉

xoxo,                                                                                     Jess the Haute Mess

It’s been a while!

So, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. I think that I just forget sometimes that I can verbally barf on this platform. My goal is to try and blog once a week. My problem is that there are so many things I want to write about! Fashion, God, family, love…random things. I like to keep y’all on your toes.

My post today is about God. I have been feeling, especially lately, that He wants me to really press in more. Pursue Him with everything I have in me. Reckless abandon. But, I am a stay-at-home mom of 3 wild and crazy monkeys. So I don’t have a lot of free time. My youngest fell asleep in the FLOOR, so that’s how I got away today. 🙂

Ok, back to God. I was reading in Mark 11 and came across a scripture that kind of baffled me. 

When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” Mark 11:13-14

I was confused by this because I thought, well Jesus would have known it wasn’t the season for figs. He also could’ve told the tree to produce fruit immediately. But instead, he cursed it. And the author makes sure that we know that the disciples heard Jesus curse the tree.

Now onto the next thought. This is a good one, y’all.

As you keep reading, it talks about the walking around, you know, hanging out. Peter (this guy was awesome) notices that the tree Jesus cursed, had withered. So here comes the lesson. You know how Jesus does!! 

“Have faith in God…I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11;22-25

Whoa, whoa, whoa. This kind of had me reeling. It takes faith to cast a mountain into the sea. Yes, we see that. But what really got me going was the connecting AND to verses 24 and 25. It showed me that it takes more than faith. We must have a pure heart towards our neighbor. 

I really started thinking about this and realized (gasp!!) that even though I think in my mind that I’ve forgiven people, I “unforgive” them everyday. I pick up that anger and bitterness and UNFORGIVENESS every stinkin’ day!! How can God bless me and forgive me if I’m constantly unforgiving the people in my life that have hurt me or hurt me on a daily basis? 

This is going to take some work. 

Are you unforgiving people on a daily basis? 

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Wow. I can’t even breathe right now.

So, Solomon, you’re telling me to let go? Or it could alter the course of my life?? That’s heavy. Really heavy. Unforgiveness hurts us, not the people we don’t forgive. We have to guard our hearts. Would you agree that forgiving is a way to guard our hearts?

I have a lot of letting go to do. I hurt daily because I lost custody of my daughter. Every time I have to ask if she can spend the night on a day that’s “not mine”, I get angry. I don’t forgive. I think, “why, why, why”. I wonder, if I changed my attitude and guarded my heart, if God would deliver on His promise sooner. 

Thoughts?