Fear? Not.

I started a New Year’s Eve post, but then got interrupted so I didn’t get it finished. Wasn’t too bad either. However, now it feels old & irrelevant.

What interrupted me, you ask? OK, let’s talk about it.

For those who know me or have been reading this for a bit, remember how I have a son? The son that with his friends one cold February day in 2015, robbed me & then threatened to kill me? Restraining order? Yeah that son. In November, Dylan dropped out of school. Apparently he has a job with a security firm. (All things considered, this is slightly unsettling in itself)

In the last three weeks, I have had three different family members contact me after they have had some type of interaction with Dylan. Two of them have told me that he’s trying to go into the military. (Pretty sure he should have finished high school for that.) One told me he was asking questions about me. He claims he wants to have a relationship with me & Mark.

After three years of zero contact, having him all of a sudden pop up three times in less than a month has me a little… Concerned? Panicked? Scared? Sure. All of them. So I did what any rational thinking person would do. I went into the shower & I cried for 20 minutes. On Tuesday I called the sheriffs department. Just as I suspected, until I am in danger, nothing can be done. File for a new protection order. So at lunch I went to the gym. I hit the heavy bag. A bunch. Something about punching that thing rebuilt my determination that I will not live in fear.

Oh hold that thought… We are going to come back to this.

VULNERABLE MOMENT-Also. Subject change.

So in my prayers I have been asking God if it’s time for me to start dating. Ya know, since it’s been forever. I had a lot of reasons I could provide for not dating. Not really any for dating. But I’ve been feeling like maybe I was ready. So I had a list. I’m not sharing the whole thing but a couple were: I wanted a guy that can make me laugh. Because I’m funny. Lol. I needed a guy that has his life somewhat figured out. By this I mean, not narcissistic, mood swinging, depressed, or alcoholic. A baggage isn’t strewn all over the yard kind of a guy. Just for fun, I threw in that I wanted a cowboy-ish type: drives a truck & has a bit of a southern accent because, dang it, those are cute. AND the best one of the list: God, you are literally going to have to walk him through my door because I won’t know it. For reals. I’m oblivious.

Please don’t make this a big hairy deal…

But wouldn’t you know it? The day after Thanksgiving, my list walked through the door. Well, all but one or two of the list. Let’s just call him James. As in Bond. Lol. Don’t go trying to save the date or anything. It’s early stages. He’s great. I’m great. It’s all great. But it’s also new, terrifying, fun, & pushing all of my self protection boundaries. EEEK!! I’m not really ready to talk about it with the public, I don’t really know what it is to talk about yet. I realize that is now impossible since I am blogging it & 8 people will read this & know. But I mention it because it ties into the earlier mention of my son.

When I was robbed, I felt violated & exposed. When my life was threatened, I was stripped of my sense of security & my ability to freely trust anyone (including myself) was shattered. After all that happened during Feb 2015, I was left with PTSD, I have physical reactions to sudden noises, especially loud ones. I get triggered when something reminds me of that awful February 3 years ago. This is not because I haven’t tried to get past things. I have worked through a ton of baggage. But that doesn’t mean I can’t relapse. So getting word that Dylan was asking about me, set off my alarms. Not only was my trust issue fully awake & alert, but it was was like a toddler after someone takes its cookie. Mad. Towards everyone. Including James. (Note-I’M not mad at him. My emotions are. I know. I’m crazy.) It’s been like 6 weeks. We haven’t defined anything. What is there to define at 6 weeks? But having no clear definition of whatever we are allows my head to play games. Mean games. But James & I? We get along really well, I have a lot of fun, PLUS, he knows about most of my crazy & he didn’t run as fast as he could to get away from me. So that was a bonus. It’s working fine the way it is, don’t fix things that ain’t broken, don’t rock the boat…until my head gets in the way. Then it’s all broken & rocking. So why all of a sudden do I feel that I need the awkward as all get out DTR conversation?? And, the idea of being “in a relationship” makes my heart strap on it’s running shoes. I’m not sure i could handle a DTR. Then there’s: Why don’t I believe that this will work? Maybe it’s not supposed to “work.” Maybe it’s a get my feet wet relationship. Why am i discussing this with you & not him? Lol. Why have I convinced myself he definitely will be moving on by Sunday? Because in my head, I truly believe I don’t deserve to be happy, or with anyone that gets me, or fulfills my list. But in my heart, I know that’s not true. In my heart I know God created me to be joyful, shining, vocal, creative, productive, prosperous, happy & so much more in the life He has blessed me with. Otherwise, why live it? So while I am enjoying this phase of getting to know James, because at this point, it is carefree, fun & light. I’m also playing ping pong in my head…with a bowling ball. Thankfully, my crazy has only come untucked a couple of small times & he was very gracious about it. Why this poor man hasn’t run is beyond me. But I’m glad he hasn’t.

Ok. So remember that thought I told you to hang onto? Get it back. Hitting the heavy bag in the gym reset my determination to not live in fear. And a large part of my distrust ties back to fear. Here’s some more vulnerability: I’m terrified of allowing someone to get close enough to hurt me. Not uncommon. I don’t believe anyone can love me enough to stay. So why let them get close enough to break my heart when I know they won’t be around? Lots of us feel this way. We just don’t like putting it out there so it becomes common knowledge.

Anywho…I was praying on this afraid yet determined state of mind to try to see what God says about it. I know there is a statement that says God said “Fear Not” or “Do not be afraid” 365 times in the Bible. However, after researching this, it appears that isn’t an exact number. Depending on versions, interpretation & allowed contexts, it goes from 80-366 times. So I decided to embark on finding them. Each day, when I find one, I will pray it over my day, my life, my loved ones. No matter if I find 20, 200 or 312, the real skinny is that God has me, my life, my son & my relationships all in His big, glorious, loving hands. I’m not to fear anything but God, as He is my father, creator, protector, life coach & my biggest cheerleader. He set me here for a purpose that He carved out just for me. So I’m good no matter the outcome. Finding the verses will mostly be an exercise in resetting in my own mind that I don’t have to worry or try to control these situations. I have to trust that God has already walked in front of me to clear my path. Not of obstacles necessarily, but of His divine direction of my life. How comforting is that thought alone?

So friends…share your worlds with others. Allow someone in. Even if it’s hard & scary. We can live fully beyond these wounds & battle scars. But in order to love & be loved, we have to be willing to take a risk that we will get hurt again. And that’s ok. Because God will pick us back up, dust us off & set us back in place. If we trust Him.

Till next time…

Matilda Grace

Ps…did you see how I went ahead & gave you 5 verses to coincide with our 5 days into 2018?

#VulnerabilityForTheWin

vulnerable [vuhl-ner-uh-buh l]

adjective

1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon

2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.

3. (of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend

I tend to have a recurring conversation with many of you. Oh sure, the words & situations are different & personalized according to your lives. However, I hear the same frustrations, fears, insecurities from each of you. Followed by “I am the only one that feels/thinks/believes this way.” Many of these being the same fears, frustrations & insecurities that I myself have. During these confessions, I have come to the conclusion that we all believe we must suffer these alone.

Why do we refuse to be honest about where we are, what we are struggling with or ask for help? Is it because we fear the vulnerability that comes with sharing? Is it because we are all posting Instagram pictures of giant smiles & happy families? Or because our Facebook statuses always give the impression that we are riding unicorns to work as supermodels & are about to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for solving world hunger?

Honey, let me let you in on a little secret – My unicorn stood me up, my supermodel contract was shredded & the only prize I’m winning is Kroger fuel points.

As much “fun” (very loose interpretation of that word!) as much fun as Facebook & Instagram are, I believe there is also a destruction that occurs within us by not being more open with our lives. When I get to work or church, my smile comes out. Not because I’m “faking” it per se, but because in that moment, I’m not crying. Now don’t think I cry all the times in between. I don’t. Mostly. Lol. But I don’t appear as if I am struggling either. Neither do you or you or you. So if my struggle is a little extra hard today & all the women around me are not sharing where they are with theirs, guess what? I feel like I’m the only one that feels/thinks/believes this way. I’m not saying we should walk around with tissues falling out of our oversized cardigan sweater which is covering our plaid pajamas & house slippers while we sorrowfully broadcast our woes.

What I am saying is this:

First of all: YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT FEELS THIS WAY. Let me repeat that. Look in the mirror, point to yourself & repeat after me. “YOU are not the only one that feels this way!” I promise.

Secondly: Remember the overused cliche that says “Be the change you wish to see in the world?” Well, I hate to throw it at you again but it’s true. Your people need to know that being vulnerable & real is ok. Not just ok but acceptable & encouraged. Soooo…it’s your job to take the first step. I know. Sharing our weaknesses is hardly something fun. But it is a way to break that Super Hero Facebook status that only holds true when we have to keep it together.

Which brings me to my third thought. Why are we acting so together? Wait. Put that oversized cardigan & pajamas away. I’m not giving permission to sulk, quit life or slink into brooding. What I am giving you permission for is to be real with where you are at any given moment. So what if a song on the radio made you ugly cry on your way to work & now your makeup is running down your face? Wear those streaks with pride. Own your messy bun & yoga pants day because it’s been a week that would wear out a toddler. We put so much effort into appearing “together” we don’t realize the freedom we can feel by letting those cracks in our armors show our personal truths. Not just for you, but for your best friends, your sisters, your co workers…

And finally friends, let me ask you this: how much more powerful would my prayers be for you if I knew how deeply the situation was effecting your life? Or your heart? Not that I’m not praying when I say I am, but if it’s a casual request, I will likely throw a prayer out & move on. If it’s something I know is really agonizing someone, I usually keep it in my prayer bucket, follow up with them & keep encouraging them. Or what if someone could help you with a specific situation because you trusted them with the need, rather than not knowing at all or just knowing you were going through “something.” Maybe you really just need a night out so we can grab dinner or just a cup of coffee with an ear to listen? Or maybe you need a hug from someone that just loves you for who you are to them-a flawed, streaky makeup face, ugly crying beauty. By holding ourselves so tightly together we are unable to embrace the wonderful resources we have in each other.

My challenge to you is this: Try opening up. For real. Not just “I’ve got a lot going on.” But a real “I know I don’t trust people with all of my heart so I keep everyone at a safe distance & it makes me feel lonely most of the time.” (Yes. That’s mine for the day. Writing this blog is a HUGE exercise in my vulnerability. It’s a true love/hate relationship.) You don’t have to tell your pharmacist & oil change guy but when you speak with a friend, share your real heart & let them know it’s safe to share theirs.

Ok lovelies,

Love your uglies, let them show a bit.

Till next time…

Matilda Grace

Searching

Have you ever put your worldly possessions in one of those storage units that looks like a giant garage? Have you then ever tried to get back into that storage unit & look for one particular item among 100 boxes? Even labeled as accurately & precisely as you can possibly label each box, it is still virtually an impossible task. How do I know, you ask? Because I am currently standing in said storage unit.

When the lease was up in my apartment, I was unsure what my next direction was going to be so I moved in with my sister & her family. I didn’t need most of my things so I loaded everything into a storage unit & took only the essentials for what I thought was going to be a short term solution. Eight months later, I’m still there. What I thought was very temporary ended up being one of the most emotionally healthy moves I have ever made. I live with five people who love me every day. Just because! My niece & nephews hug me several times a day. Just because! I did not realize how much I needed to feel unconditionally embraced.

That however is not what this post is about.

It’s about the storage unit.

So. All of my “valuable” worldly possessions are boxed up & in this garage. My washer, my dryer, my couches, my dishes, my Christmas decorations, and probably 60% of my clothing & shoes. When I got up today, deciding to dive into the storage unit & dig out some of my clothing, I had no idea how impossible that would actually be. Trying to maneuver through a tight pathway in this cramped hot garage jammed full of boxes & furniture to uncover the actual crates that I need only to find they are supporting tight & precariously dangerous towers of dishes just so I can find that one sweater that I really miss or those perfect jeans or that super comfy sweatshirt.

I must admit it’s not going very well.

While I am tossing tote boxes over my head (like a beast!!) to put them back on top of the pile it hits me that this is kind of a blogging moment. So I stop. Grab my phone. And began this post.

You’re welcome. LOL.

It made me think about where my life is & how I’m living in someone else’s house with someone else’s family (disclaimer:it is my family, just not in the sense of my kid/spouse/etc…& I am beyond grateful to be here!) surrounded by someone else’s possessions because my life is in what I’m kindly referring to as a “transitional phase.” And I believe it is. But the truth is I have no idea what I’m doing. I work at a job that I don’t hate, but is also not a passion. I live in a place that has all four seasons, sometimes in one day. (And I’m a beachy kind of girl.) I have lost many people that I have loved dearly. I’m in the perfect place to completely start my life over. (By the way I’m 45 & I feel like I am the rom-com poster child for starting over. I even bought a little black car. With a turbo engine. It’s fun. Again we’re not here for that.) But, I definitely have some decisions to make about my life & the direction it’s going.

  • What do I want to be when I grow up?
  • Where do I go to be whatever that is?
  • Am I good enough?
  • Can I do it?
  • Am I brave enough?

That last one is probably the biggest. I think we all know the answer to that is: [Insert me shrugging my shoulders]

But how many of us are searching & digging & tossing boxes from the areas of our lives around because we’re simply existing? Doing the mundane job every Monday through Friday so that we can bring home a paycheck so we can purchase the car that drives us to said job so we can go to sleep & get up & do it all over again? How many of us are searching for that passion that we see in the movies or in some of our friends faces? How many of us are searching & digging through life trying to find that perfect thing that brings us comfort or success, whether that be a career or family or a husband or a new car or even a dangerous addiction or behavior?

What we fail to realize is this: We can’t find comfort in a sweatshirt or a car or a career or a spouse. The only answer that I have found is that I have to get that from my faith & trust that God has this.

No matter what.

All of the trials that I face, He’s there.

All of the addictions that you face. He’s there.

All of the indecision, the questions about direction, the lack of hope?? He’s there through all of that.

AND He’s also there through all of the happy moments. Like the new car, the new job, the new blog post, the new house, even a new relationship. See, He wants to be part of all of those details. We usually just forget to include Him in them. But sometimes He’s not just part of the details, He is the details. Sometimes He is the solution. Sometimes He is the only solution. So while I’m sitting here not finding my favorite sweatshirt or the perfect sweater, it comes to me that my comfort comes not in my searching for answers, but in my free surrender to trust that God has every step of my life totally figured out & wherever I am is where He is taking me & wants me to be. Even if that’s in my sisters house because he has me in a transitional place. Maybe I’m moving out of this crazy weather state. Maybe I’m staying right here. Who knows? He does. So as long as I trust that, I don’t have to search. I don’t have to dig.

I just have to trust.

Dear sweet friends, whatever it is that you’re going through, THE first & most essential way to get through it is to trust that God is there with you through it. And that He can handle whatever it is.

So wherever you have your “stuff”, whether it’s strewn across the front yard full of chaos & crazy, or maybe you have it jam packed in a closet that is bursting to pop open, or if you have it boxed up in the attic but you’re constantly going back up there to dig through it, now is the time to relinquish all of it. Put it in a garbage bag & let God take it. Put your trust and your crazy in His hands. I am no longer going to search for what I think my life should look like. I’m going to believe that my next step has been set into motion by heavenly forces that love me as unconditionally as my niece & nephews. With my trust in the right place, I can AND WILL move mountains!

Till next time-Love yourself, love your uglies & love your crazy. It makes you who you are.

Matilda Grace❤️

40 Day Journey-Days 4-10

If you read my last post, I explained that I am on a 40 day journey to:

  1. forgive some people that have inflicted deep pain
  2. trust in God’s goodness and his desire to provide my every need
  3. to cease from using my protective strategies


Days 1 – 3 were not easy & I was left feeling like I was never going to pull off an entire 40 days. Since I’m doing the opposite of myself, rather than hide these feelings, I’m sharing all of my crazy with you. Instead of isolating myself & hiding away or behaving as if nothing is going on, you lucky readers get to read all of the feelings & experiences that I would much rather keep to myself.

The process Josie has set before me for this journey is:

  • R- Relaxing my hold. Releasing the tight grip I have on my pain, my finances, my job, my life & the hardest one- those self protective strategies.
  • E- Escaping my limiting mindset. You know, putting God in a box.
  • S- Start to depend on God. If I believe He is who he says he is, won’t he do for me all that he says he will do?
  • T- Triumph! Be successful in forgiving, trusting God & not depending on self preservation during these 40 days & at the end of that I will be able to rest! Whatever that looks like.

Now that I have given you the concept of the process let’s take a little closer look.

Let’s start with unforgiveness. Apparently I have been harboring some unforgiveness towards key people in my past. People that based on the roles in my life, there were expectations & boundaries that I needed them to maintain in order for me to grow up with a healthy foundation. Due to choices they made, the child in me has some cracks in her foundation. Yes, they created those seriously deep wounds. Yes, I’m better without them in my life today. But are they really out of my life with the unforgiveness still holding a spot in my heart? These issues are like an actual physical wound. If not treated properly, the unforgiveness forces the wounds to remain open, festering, becoming infected, filling my bloodstream with the negative results of unforgiveness. These people are still causing me to feel broken by choices they inflicted on me as a child. I don’t know about you but something about this makes me dig in my heels & think “oh heck no! You no longer get this kind of power in my life!” Funny thing about forgiveness. It’s just like most of our emotions, a choice. I have to wake up each & every day & make a decision to forgive them for these transgressions. Until the day it finally sticks.


Self Protective Strategies. I’m kind of a rockstar in this area. I use my self protective strategies at work, at home, at church, at the grocery, literally everywhere I go. Being vulnerable & exposed is not something I’m comfortable with. So this is also a literal choice that I have to make every second of every day. When someone asks me how I feel, rather than say fine, I need to be able to tell the truth. So for the last week, I have said “fine” followed by “no, wait…” I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to catch myself & backpedal from my standard safe response to give the truth. It has been mostly on small things that are inconsequential yet for me exposes potential for a hurt. I do feel like I have made some major progress in this area. I am very quick to recognize when I’m trying to hide, I have put myself first in a few instances. I even requested a meeting with the department director at work because I was struggling with some issues & I needed her help to create a better process.


Trusting God. This is still a daily fight. Though, I am seeing Him as I work through this obedience. I find myself enjoying my worship a little more, praying without even realizing I’m doing it, being amazed even more than I was before in his glorious artwork in nature. (I’m a sucker for a good sky!) I am still lacking trust in others, but I think I need to trust God more so HE can show me what that should genuinely look like. Oh! And in order to not put God in a box, I’m praying big giant prayers that seem crazy, ridiculous & impossible. I want to see what awesome blessings he has set aside for me & the people I’m in prayer for. I’m praying for my future, for his will to be my will, for that path to be clear.

Ok friends, I love love love you! Till next time, work on releasing your own uglies. Xo

“Happy” Mother’s Day :\

Mother’s Day

The day when we celebrate the mothers in our lives.

I loathe it. It is a day filled with hearts & flowers & pictures of mothers & mushy cards & dinners & …

If you have read previous posts, you may know that my birth mother has Borderline Personality which basically means she is emotionally abusive & manipulative. I haven’t had any interaction with her in 4 1/2 years. I feel “better” now that I have zero relationship with her. It took me 40 years to realize that she was never going to be the mother I hoped she would be, that she would continue to abuse me as long as I continued to communicate or see her. I was never going to be the daughter she could accept or love in a way that didn’t leave me feeling broken & wounded. So when she sent my sisters & I a text stating she was no longer going to be a part of our lives, I considered it my open door & I have never spoken to her again. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate my mother when I was a child. I just never knew why it felt like she hated me. As an adult, in therapy, I see that it is her brokenness that caused her to break us, but I’m no longer willing to accept that in my life. I’ve spent way too much time & money trying to fix what she has done to let her keep undoing me.


As far as being a mother, well, that aspect of my life also kicks me right in the gut. I suffered through 7 years of infertility treatments, never to conceive. We went through the adoption process, only to have our child threaten to kill us. We ended up divorced & each holding restraining orders against our son.

They don’t make cards for people with the relationship I have with my birth mother. Or for people with the relationship I have with my son. What would those say?

FOR Mom:

  • “Dear Mom, of all the things you have passed on to me, I wish you had kept your crazy.”
  • “Happy Mothers Day to the reason I have trust issues”
  • “Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks for the Egg Donation”

FROM my son:

  • “Happy Mother’s Day. Maybe I’ll get ya’ next year.”
  • “Happy Mothers Day. Roses are red, Violets are blue. I have Fetal Alcohol so I have no attachment to you.”

I think you get the point.


So yeah, Mother’s Day is not my favorite holiday. Truthfully, most holidays are filled with bursts of pain from losing people in one way or another, even when it’s a bit of a choice or out of safety concerns. But I also have so many people filling my life that most holidays are tolerable, even enjoyable while the memories & pain lie just below the surface.

However, Mothers Day is always hard. It’s a harsh reminder that the woman who created me never wanted me to begin with & she could never muster up enough maternal affection to raise me without damaging me AND that I will never again be a mother to my one & only son because despite the years of fighting to get him, he chose a life that endangered me.


But, I’m a joyful girl so I don’t like to end on a sour face. We can’t stop here.

I have many, many mothers in my life that are amazing & beautiful women that love me despite my crazy. I am so blessed with the nurturing each of them gives me when I need it. Because of them, I have learned what real mothering actually looks like.

The most consistent & remarkable woman that loves me is my wonderful step mom. She married my bio dad when I was 16 & I love her with every fiber within me. I don’t call her by her name, I don’t call her “step.” I call her Mom. She has been my mom for many years. She didn’t have to play that role for me, my siblings were much younger than I was so her hands were full. But she did. She never treated me unkind. She always remembered (remembers) my birthday & things that I am especially fond of for gifts. Invites me to places she thinks I’ll enjoy. She was a spiritual beacon, guiding me with my own journey to Jesus. She is willing & able to discuss any topic with us, no matter how awkward. She is the mother I longed for while I was growing up. I will forever be grateful that she never shied away from being in my life, rather that she embraced me & loved me as her own. It is in large part due to her acceptance of me, that I learned how to be accepting & loving towards others.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Don’t forget to love the uglies, even the difficult ones. Hug a non mom. You don’t know why they are where they are but don’t assume they are “fine” with it.
Happy Mother’s Day to the rest of you: moms, non moms, wanna be moms, act like a moms, momma bears & momma birds. Keep up the great work!

Act First, Think Second

My recent Facebook post: “Every day I have friends tell me about their lives…Current situations, past hurts, broken hearts. I try to encourage, direct towards healing, show love, be the hands & feet of Jesus. I can’t explain how sad my heart feels with each burden my friends endure. I pray that each of you knows how tremendously beautiful & perfect I think you are (even with your flaws.) I pray each day that you encounter the love of God in a manner that blows your mind. I love you deeply, but he loves you even more. Look up from your burdens friends. He is waiting for you.”
Why did I not pull an original beginning for my blog post out of my cute little head? Because this works. Every. Single. Day.

I could literally write for days & days about the current burdens & pain facing my friends & family. Going into their pasts would probably be years of writings.

If you have been keeping up, you know this has not been the easiest road for me. I also have shared with you a few of the situations my friends have faced. Just off the top of my head, I can list:

  • Cancer surgery-tests pending
  • Family members with drug addiction
  • Gambling problems
  • Child under two facing third heart surgery
  • Domestic abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Children with emotional & behavioral disorders
  • Financial fears
  • Depression & anxiety caused by past pains
  • Distrust because trust has been stolen so many times before
  • And a frightening amount of other sicknesses & worries that could probably circle the earth


It took me longer to type the list than it did to think of it. My heart aches for each of these burdens (& all of the others not listed). My heart sees the pain trying to tuck itself deep inside. My eyes see the flicker of despair as someone tells me about the latest news in their quickly shrinking world. My distrust reads their distrust & I understand why they are quick to push others away. My fingers open texts messages & pause carefully as I try to type out encouragement while my eyes fill with tears over the addictions of beloved family members.

This world is so quick to judge, critique, or push us down. I never want to add to the list of things people are working through. I never want to be the person that makes a heart feel anything but love. As I have mentioned before, this life is short, my people will know how I feel about them. I hold dear any time I have with my loved ones (related or not.) I tell them I love them. I hug them tight. I hand out those tissues. I listen to their heartbreaks. I smile in the hallway or at the grocery.

And I wonder, why? Why do my people endure such pain? Why do I endure not only mine but theirs? Why is life so hard? Why can’t we just have one day that leaves us alone? Why doesn’t the world reward good people for being good? Why do people speak of karma when it is complete crap? If what comes around goes around, my life would be cherry Jelly Belly’s & red roses. I love the nuggets out of people, I treat them well. I don’t hold anger, I don’t yell (much). I’m a good God girl. So if that doesn’t hold much water, what is the next excuse?

Guess what I have come up with…it’s pretty deep. Maybe you should sit down for this.

Bupkis.

That’s right. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Zero.

Life doesn’t treat us one way in return for our behaviors towards others. Life doesn’t care. Life is not a person or feeling. It’s an experience. It’s a concept we all get to take to the drawing board to develop however we see fit.

For me, that is to love. Pure, unconditional, unearned & filled with grace. (Not a coincidence I call this blog Matilda GRACE.)

So when my friend texts me that her brother is on heroin, I drop everything in front of me to call her & check in. I add her to my prayer chain. I have spent several late nights texting when a friend is overwhelmed with stress. When a husband calls about a trip to Florida, I say yes I will help with the kids before I even know the dates or details. When a friend needs surgery, I take the day off, clear my schedule & stay with her. Whether a friend needs a meal, a hug, or a prom dress for their daughter, I try move into action and accomplish it.

As I see it, being the hands & feet of Jesus means act first, think later. If I allow my head to get involved in what Jesus’ people need, then I’m going to miss a lot of precious opportunities to love on my people. And loved on is what they need.

No, I can’t cure the cancer, the heart defects, the drug addictions, the broken marriages or eating disorders. I can only answer the phone, give a tight hug & pray. Pray my little pea picking brain out.

My prayer? What I said above. I pray that each of you knows how tremendously beautiful & perfect I think you are (even with your flaws.) I pray each day that you encounter the love of God in a manner that blows your mind. I love you deeply, but he loves you even more. I pray that one day, you will see the precious person God sees when He looks at you, His child. He wants us whole. He wants us happy. He wants us loved. THIS answer is simple: Look up from your burdens friends. He is waiting for you.


Yeah, I hear you. “Tuck your Jesus Freak back in, it’s really flying high tonight.”

No. I will not.

My Jesus freak is what has brought me through 44 years of life. A rough life. So when I say prayer has power, it’s because I believe it. I believe it because I don’t think I’d be here to annoy & torture you today with out my Jesus Freak. It’s ok if you disagree, Jesus loves you anyways. It’s ok if you haven’t spoken to Him in decades, He still wants to hear from you. It’s even ok if you have made mistakes. Even big ginormous ones that have you stuck in a dark pit of fear or despair. He can wash those away. In fact, He already has.

I stand on my faith so strongly because it’s the only constant & consistent truth I have ever known. My family life was rough. My marriage broken from the beginning. My son fighting demons much bigger than me. But not bigger than God. I may not be able to be around my son, but that doesn’t stop my prayers from going up for him. I know that as much as I want him safe & making the best choices, God wants that & much more for him.

This world doesn’t give one lick about you, your heart, your feelings or needs. But I do. So brace yourself. I’m leaving my Freak on. I may not always see the needs of others but when God directs me to do something, I do it.


Couple of funny things about action first…One, it doesn’t require Jesus. Just genuine kindness with zero expectations of return. Second, training yourself for this is simple, just listen. It doesn’t always cost money. Sometimes it’s time. Sometimes it’s grace or love. Third, changing someone else’s path will ultimately change yours as well, into something more beautiful than you could imagine. So buy that single mom & her child dinner. Hug the hurting coworker.

Love your uglies. Love your friends uglies. Love everyone’s uglies. We all have them. And they come from unhealed hurts. So rather than add to the ugly, help to heal it!

Love you bunches! Till next time.

My Girls

Today is dedicated to my girl gang. My tribe. My sisterhood of un-sisters. The women I need every minute of every day. The first texts I send each day, the first texts I send when life hits the fan. The place where my soul finds sanity & even better, a little insanity. I’m going to talk about 3 today but the truth is, my life is filled with amazing beautiful women.
Today was the birthday of one of the most beautiful women I know. She has been one of my best friends for only about 3-4 years at this point. You’ve read about her in the past. She is funny, wild, crazy, thoughtful & caring. She’s one of the people that makes my heart smile. When we make plans, I can only anticipate what kind of trouble we will get into. Nothing major, but why we are allowed into any Target store together is beyond me. I always expect to be stopped at the door & denied access. Lol. She brings out my wild side. I love & miss that side. (Believe it or not, I can actually be fun to be around.) I hope you had a Happy Birthday Chrissy. I can’t imagine doing this crazy life without you in my corner. I love you for every single little thing you are.


Saturday is the birthday of one of the other most beautiful women I know. This woman brings me strength in other ways. She builds my faith by refocusing my crazy back on Jesus in the midst of trials. She calls me to check in when we haven’t spoken in a while. She has a sweet kindness about her that fills a room, yet a mischievous streak as long as the earth is round. Michelle, I hope you have a Happy Birthday. I also can’t imagine doing life without you & I love you for every single thing you are.


Sadly, life isn’t always about Birthday cake and balloons. Sometimes we have to participate in things for the good of others. “Take one for the team” so to speak. These things may be no big deal to us at all. They may be inconvenient or out of our way, or maybe, it is something that may be hard physically or emotionally. The past few days have been difficult for me in this area. I volunteered to help a friend. I would never have sat back & ignored her need, but by stepping up, it threw me into places I was emotionally unprepared.

Since her story is not mine to tell, I cannot give details of the circumstances. It was however, an emotional situation. A “before/after” moment in her life. Leading up to that exact moment, she struggled with the strength to follow through. Via text I encouraged her as best as I could. I suggested she reach out to a friend to spend some time with. I knew I would be with her for 24 hours but she needed to be with others that also could love and support her. She reluctantly complied and met a friend for coffee.

I knew I needed to push her away from me for the weekend for a couple of reasons. She needed to see that there are others out there that love her as much as I do. She needed that unconditional acceptance. The reality of what she was about to do was really beginning to sink in with her and she was scared. I also had to push her away for myself. Because I could see what little emotional strength she had left, & knowing that I was going to be spending a solid 24 hours giving as much emotional strength as I could muster, I knew I didn’t have much in my reserve, because I rarely do. So to deal with her being on the shaky ground she was on concerned me. We made it through, with a lot of tears but we also managed to have some laughs.

When I returned from this excursion, people thanked me for being with her.

So.

Many.

Thank you’s.

I don’t know how to accept rejection, help, praise, or even thanks. Yeah, I know. That sounds crazy. Is this your first day here? Well, read backwards. You’ll see I’m one step away. I met with my therapist and mentioned how uncomfortable I was with being praised for doing what I feel any friend should do for another friend. (The appointment was already set. I didn’t need to rush for one after my crazy kicked in) She asked why it made me angry. I said because I think everyone should be more aware of people’s needs and if we all worked to meet others’ needs, maybe the world wouldn’t be so awful. She asked why it was so strong in me. Ugh. (Cue my tears) The follow up questions are always the worst. It’s because my whole life, the people that should have built my trust foundation were busy tearing it down. So I don’t feel like anyone will be there to meet my needs. So I don’t ask. And that reiterates my lack of trust so the cycle continues.


Apparently the way to fix this self preservation (aka destructive behavior) is to change my behavior. Seems a bit odd. I have trust issues because of broken trusts but to fix it, I have to trust people.

So, bear with me. I may be extra needy while I work through this. While I act like I can do everything on my own & I’m super woman, I am not. I have needs. Often times going unmet because I’m afraid of asking for help & getting rejected. But I am going to be working on this so…

To my girl gang-I love you all more than words.


Till the next time…Love the uglies, yours and theirs.