The Heart of a Child~ Part 1

When I was a little girl I absolutely loved life! In my opinion, it was the greatest thing EVER! As a child playing in my own little world, on the floor at the feet of the adults in the household, little fragments of their conversations would catch my attention. I would hear them so passionate yet sullenly state that life was so hard. I would think to myself, “What are they talking about? This is great!” I would just go about my peaceful, playful way thinking there was something wrong with them.

Funny how as we get older and get some experience under our belt we come to understand what the adults were talking about, and we realize they weren’t as crazy as we thought. It’s so sad though. Oh how I would have loved to live my life in that state of childhood bliss. The world was such a beautiful place. I can remember what outside smelled like on a Summer day. I’m sure some of the same scents are with us in this world today, but they felt different in my lungs in the absence of the knowledge of both good and evil that I possess today. Sheer bliss…God was ever present in every moment. The vibrant colors in every flower. Pansies were my favorite for two reasons. #1) They were my favorite aunts favorite flower. #2) It was mind blowing that God could make a velvet flower. I remember getting in so much trouble one day because I picked them from the neighbors yard and brought them in as a gift for my aunty. I had to go and apologize and it was so embarrassing. I had no idea that they had worked so hard to get them to grow. In my young mind, flowers were meant to be picked and shared.

There was this one time that I had gone over to the neighbors house to see if their daughter could play and while waiting for them to answer the door I was mesmerized by their screen door. Have you ever stared at something with the same pattern over and over again and it almost looks like it’s moving. I couldn’t tell if it was 3-D or if it was moving. The mom had answered the door for about a minute before I noticed her and was watching me stare cross eyed at the screen door. They always thought I was a weird kid and I never knew why. Discovering the world through the eyes of a child is nothing shy of wondrous! So many new things to discover and new glories to behold. Why can’t we live that way? In fact in Matthew chapter 18:3-4 Jesus says, “Verily I say unto you, Except Ye be converted, and become as little children, Ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

I get it. We have responsibilities now, and we’ve been broken down by hurts and storms of life. They’ve bruised us and caused us to feel defensive and live our lives on guard in wait of the next trauma that may be lurking around every corner. In the back of our minds there is a little voice telling us that no one is safe no matter where you go or what you do. It’s a scary world out there and it’s noisy too. Finding that quiet peace becomes more and more difficult the more ground we cover in life. If the little girl that I spoke of in the previous paragraphs knew the heartbreak and the loss that she would face in only 10 1/2 more years of life her little brain wouldn’t have been able to process what it would mean for her, but she may have missed out on so much depth and growth. If you had given her a choice, she may have told you, “No thank you! You can take your depth and growth. I’m staying right here in my grandma’s garden pretending that to be a princess. You can give your depth and growth to someone else. Oh, and just a little advice, if you really want them to accept it don’t tell them what they have to go through to get it.”

For the sake of my makeup and keeping this post moderate in length, I’m not going to go into detail about my story, but I will in my next post. It’s time. God has been placing it on my heart to do so for some time now. In fact two days ago his voice was really loud and apparent, so much so that I said out loud, “Nope! Not today! I have laundry to do!”, and I jumped up from the table as though if I sat any longer someone was going to force me to do something I did not want to do, like empty my bank account and give it to a total stranger. It’s kind of funny now, especially because that night I went to the Moxie Matters Tour with some women from Bible study and felt like God was speaking directly to me the whole time. When Nichole Nordeman started singing Every Mile Mattered, I lost it! If you’ve ever heard the song the first State she sings about is California (where I’m from), second state was Georgia (where my sister and I would dream about moving away to together before she got married and left me to move to Washington with her husband). Anyway, I promise I’ll share. I just can’t right now. I want to be able to give it all of my attention and time when I do. I know there are some of you out there that may benefit and maybe you’ll feel just a little less alone and a little hope in the process.

This post is to be continued because I would like to share some insight and tips as to how and what we can do to ‘become as little children’, but first let’s start with pondering in our hearts what it was like for us.

In life and in love,

Jessica Wilson

P.S. Look up the song “Dear Me” by Nichole Nordeman. Feel free to share your thoughts. What would you tell your younger self?

Creepy Little Night for One Tired Mama

Good morning everyone! I’ve been MIA for a while now, I know. I apologize. The good news is, I had my second surgery and am 6 weeks into recovery. Yay, thank God! I’m beginning to feel like myself again. I’m at work right now, I just wanted to make some contact so you all knew I was alive and well and hadn’t forgotten about you. I did however have a pretty psychotic moment last night that I’d like to share.

Getting out of bed this morning was so difficult. My husband and I had all of our kids over for puzzle night and to decorate for Halloween on Friday night. Saturday was filled with two football games for our youngest, a soccer game for our youngest girl and a harvest festival in the evening. I worked yesterday (Sunday) and by the time bedtime rolled around, I pretty much dropped into bed.

On Friday we put up these creepy decorations that talk and aren’t really supposed to go outside, but we figured, ‘eh…they’ll be fine’. Well, guess what?! At 4 am on Sunday morning the roaring sound of thunder shook the house and striking flashes of lighting beamed in through all of the cracks in the blinds on my bedroom windows. Since I’m the one with paper thin eyelids and pretty much sleep with one eye open anyway, I jumped out of bed to pull the decorations in out of the rain.

While I was at work yesterday, my husband was so kind as to put the courtyard all back together and hang the creepy decor back in its rightful place. Awe…he’s so sweet! Guess what decided to pay is a visit once again, only at 2 am this time?! Yep, another storm! I was so tired that I reached over and shook him, “Babe, it’s raining again. Should we pull the decorations in?” He mumbles “I’ll go do it”, and doesn’t move. Once I figured out that he wasn’t getting up, I just did it myself. Here I was in the pouring rain, half asleep and being talked crap to about leaving my bones at the door by these dumb things that I’m beginning to regret buying in the first place. This might sound stupid, but I couldn’t find the switch to turn them off, and between not wanting to wake the kids and neighbors and the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up, I was ready to throw the things on the ground and stomp on them! I had to remind myself that they were fake and to stay calm because panicking wasn’t an option. Lol! I got my butt kicked by a talking headstone and framed taking skulls. Jokes on me! I didn’t even get a choice of trick or treat! Not fair! I lost the battle, but not the war. Haha…Happy October everyone! I’m so glad that fall is here!

Trick or treat!

Jessica Wilson 🎃

Sweet Surrender

It’s been a busy week! Tonight is my last of three overnight shifts I’ve worked this week. I think I’ve done pretty well for only being home 8 hours per day. I’ve managed to take care of all of my responsibilities and still have some fun in the process. I honestly have to say that I feel very blessed!

Last Tuesday night I was looking at our residence page for the community that we live in and I came across a post that said “Proven~women’s bible study. We meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30 am. Anyone who would like more info pm me and I’ll send you the details.” I was so excited when I saw this that I sent her a pm right away. Today was my second time going and I LOVE IT! There’s just something about congregating with like minded women to love on Jesus and let him love on us! It’s also very interesting to hear the different struggles that women just like me face day to day. Here I was feeling all alone in my struggle for my own identity when just beyond the horizon there were friends who are faced with the same challenges.

It’s hard to find your place in this big world when you can’t seem to find your own value beyond wife and mom. You can sometimes feel over shadowed by the demands of daily life and meeting needs that we forget to nurture ourselves and cultivate our own gifts. We start to feel depleted, lost, and empty. We ponder our purpose and if we even have one at times. Don’t get me wrong, being a wife and mother are huge honors and some of the biggest rolls a woman can have in life. It’s always been my dream to be those two things. I guess I just never anticipated losing myself in the process and rightly so because I shouldn’t have to.

Before I met my husband, I had built a world for my children and I. It was a small world, but it was ours and it was fulfilling and wonderful. We had struggled our way to this place, but somehow the struggle had made the reward that much sweeter. It was earned, fought for, and built with our own blood, sweat, and tears and completely on a foundation of faith. When I would sit out back of the house that I had purchased all by myself, surrounded by the sweet scent of colorful roses that were gifts from one of my customers, my heart couldn’t help but overflow with love and gratitude. There was only one problem. I had a void in my heart. A space meant for the man that God promised would complete me.

When I met him everything changed. We dated long distance for a year and a half, but then the time came where I was called to leave my little world behind and step into his. I gained a family. A complete family with a mom and a dad and 5 wonderful children, and I never felt so lost in my life. Those first few years were rough. My entire universe was turned inside out and nothing made sense except for my commitment to my husband and our family. During the high velocity roller coaster called my life, I lost sight of the most important relationship and commitment of all, my savior, my heart. I was too hurt, too angry, too bitter. I had everything I’d ever wanted but it wasn’t supposed to look like this. Actually, it looked exactly how I thought it would, but it wasn’t supposed to feel like this. 7 years later and the struggle is still real, but I’m awakening. My heart is coming back to life and my faith is breathing again. I have a sense of peace and I know what I have to do.

In order to hear the voice of God we must enter into his rest and trust him. Let go of the heavy stones that we tote around from day to day feeling that we deserve to bare a burden. The truth is we do deserve to bare that burden, but Jesus didn’t come here to give us what we deserve. He came here to give us grace and mercy. He wants us to have life and life more abundantly. (John 10:10b). He wants us to feel his love and to live our lives from that well spring of ever lasting life and love. I don’t have it all figured out and I’m still in the process of discovering my gifts, developing my identity, but I know one thing. I am a daughter of the most high God, a daughter of the almighty King. That makes me a Princess and an heiress to his thrown. I should feel pretty amazing about that and so should you! We are brethren, we are sisters and we share in this identity. We are a family and there is nothing more important in this world than that. I’d love to hear from some of you, about your journeys of discovering who you are. How you got where you are and some of the things you’ve had to face along the way. We’re in this life together. Thank you for joining me on my journey of becoming.

Have a peace filled, blessed night full of deep, satisfying sleep. I look forward to hearing from you. God bless!

Jessica Wilson

Live Strong

Good morning! Happy Thursday! This is going to be a rather short post, but I figure if I don’t just sit down and give myself a second to write, my time will be filled with other things and it won’t happen at all. I’m headed to the gym here shortly to get my pump on. I started tracking my macros again yesterday and had a pretty fantastic leg workout wrapped up with a nice little cardio sesh on the stairclimber. It felt amazing!! You ever get your fitness goals back on track and then expect to wake up and look different the next day? Ya, don’t do that. It’s very disappointing. If anything, I look a little puffy from the trauma of adding weight back into my routine.

I should back up a bit. Last August I went on an amazing fitness journey. Upon my arrival home from a wonderful and fully satisfying vacation in Spain, I came home to realize that all of that satisfaction had cost me about 20lbs in weight gain. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but my pre vacation mode that I’d indulged in the weeks leading up to this fabulous trip, had allowed me to begin my rampant acceleration of gains before I’d even set foot on the plane. Of course a vacation in another country isn’t complete without exploring all of the colorful, culinary tours that my tastebuds so craved. It’s almost as though you don’t get the full experience of another culture without exploring the many food options available to you. And if you’ve ever been to Spain, you know that they include lots of bread, dried meats, churro’s, and please don’t forget the hot chocolate and the wine (and of course, the beer). The mirror was not my friend when I got home. Actually it was, but it was the kind of friend that loves you so much that they sit you down in private and have a very tough conversation with you that hurts at the moment, but can also change your life for the better.

After this harsh realization that I absolutely HAD to do something about this, I sat down at dinner with my husband and told him….I’m ready. I made a decision, and I cried. I hadn’t realized how in bondage I was to food and alcohol, mainly wine. There were a lot of factors involved such as stress eating and drinking wine to cope with some things that I felt powerless over at the time, to name a couple. In that moment I took control. It was my life, my body, my time, and my decision. I had a friend who was going to school to become a health coach. She was offering her services for a donation while she was going through school. She put me on this wretched juice cleanse for a week. I have to be honest there were days that I turned into she devil and never wanted to speak to her again. LOL! She was awesome, and encouraging. I lost 7lbs in 7 days, but that was because I wasn’t eating. I don’t think I’ll ever do that again, but what it did for me was give me a whole new appreciation for food and my responsibility in controlling what, and how much food I put into my body. I’d already had plenty of experience in diet and exercise, but I’d lost control and needed the accountability and motivation that came from working with her. I lost a total of 20lbs and got down to my goal weight of 128 lbs. I was in the best shape I’d been in in a very long time.

Recently, I’ve suffered some set backs with my health and a whole lot of trauma in life on top of that. About 3 months ago I was diagnosed with having two inguinal hernias. Yay me! So fun! Not!!~!~! We made the decision to move forward with the surgery at the beginning of Summer so that I could take some time to recover while the kids were on break. That was all great except I slipped back into old eating habits and once again lost control. I’m not all the way back where I was, but I was very disappointed in myself once again. I’m ok now, since I’ve begun to take the proper steps to get back on track. My only worry is that I may have to go back in for more surgery because the right side didn’t heal properly. I may need some extra support and encouragement if that’s the case, however I am determined to maintain a healthy way of living and eating even more as I recover for the second time, but I’m not there yet. So, I’m going to get as fit as I possibly can before that time comes if it does. If it doesn’t even better!

Until next time my friends! Happy Health and Wellness!

Jessica Wilson

Step It Up

Have you ever been dealing with some crap that you wish you could unload on a total stranger?  You don’t want to burden the people close to you. Maybe you just need some help processing how you feel at the time, but don’t want to be judged along the way? Maybe you just want to hear all about someone else’s crap, so you can feel a little better about your own. Well, I don’t know about you, but I find myself here quite often these days.

I am a 38 year old wife of a Deputy Chief of our local fire department. We have five kids that range in age from 12 to 22. We’re a blended family, two girls, three boys. I work two days a week as a caregiver and when I’m not managing our home or spending time with family, you can find me in the gym. I love God with all of my heart, but haven’t found a church home yet.  My passions are spending quality time with my family, reading, writing, cooking, my plants, fitness, and pretty much all things beautiful. I find beauty in the small things and am sometimes overwhelmed by the big ones.

I wrote the above post two months ago to the day. As you can probably tell by the first paragraph, I wasn’t in a very good place. I was angry and hurting. I needed a friend and didn’t have one, not the kind I needed at the moment anyway. I needed a non friend. I needed a stranger. I suppose that’s where a bartender may have come in handy. Come to think of it, I could have used a drink too. I wanted an outlet for myself that I could be open, honest, and real without being seen. My plan may have worked, but like a dummy, I came home and told my husband that I started a blog. Well…in order for my plan to work, nobody could have know that. I outed myself on my very first day. Cut myself off at the knees before I even got started, so I was stumped.

When I write, I have to be free. I can’t think of what might hurt someone’s feelings or offend someone I love. At least that’s not what I wanted for this blog. Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s lonely at the top”? It applies just the same to people at the head of their families. Us parents and wives are looked at for guidance, answers, and to lead. We have to keep it together, be the soft place to land or the strong one that speaks the truth in love. That’s a lot of pressure people. Sometimes the feelings that come along with being a step parent aren’t all good, but they still need to be dealt with and processed. How do you do that if you have no where to turn? You can’t go to your husband because it could and most likely would hurt him and put him on the defensive and that would be bad for everyone. It’s not that you don’t love your step kids. There are just so many variables involved sometimes, it makes my head spin. For example, the kids are here at our house every other week. Every time they come home my husbands stress level triples and who does he take it out on??? Me and my kids! What the heck?! He doesn’t see it at all. When I’ve tried to talk to him about it in the past he just gets defensive. I did however find a way to disarm this problem.

I was really struggling with it on that particular day, so I prayed. I write out my prayers, kinda like a letter to God. It helps me to organize my thoughts and release any bad energy I might be holding on to. It turns out I did have someone to turn to. I told God all of my feelings and why I felt that way. I also told him how I wanted to feel and what I wished things could be like. He softened my heart, once I got all of the crap out. He told me that “Love covers a multitude of sins”. I was to disarm this battle before it became a fight. His way, not the way of the world, but the way above worlds. I needed to stop focusing on my husband and his behavior, but on what really mattered, our kids. He actually gave me a formula. Here it is:

Time = Love

Interest in their interests, builds value

Value builds worth

Worth builds relationship

Relationships grow more love

Love softens hearts

It turns out for whatever reason my husband felt that he couldn’t trust me and my kids to make his kids feel loved and welcomed in our home, which I’ve always been very clear was ALL of our home. Just because they leave every other week doesn’t make this any less their home. They just have two homes and that can be a very cool thing! Once I put more effort into bonding with my youngest two (I never, or should I say, very rarely refer to them as my steps. In this post it was simply not to confuse you) my husband was able to let his guard down some and behave a little bit more normal. The love I have for our kids defused the resentment that was building from the situation. For that I am very grateful! The challenges will always be there, but overcoming them is what makes us conquerors. To every problem there is a solution. Finding it is the journey. We’re blessed to have a God who has all of the answers. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6

Until next time, my non friend

Jessica Wilson