Magical words

I find my clarity in the silence of early mornings, I get my coffee and I usually write or pray. For a very long time I have prayed for a protector. For as long as I can remember, I have sought out a person who would bring me peace; a sense of safety. That soul that would make me laugh and push me to do better and fix all the things I break. Someone to hold my hand when my blood runs cold and to tell me I’m amazing when I feel like nothing. As it turns out, I AM that person…dramatic eye roll. That’s annoying.

While reading James Allen, he states repeatedly (as does the Bible) “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.” So, if you are truly limited only by the myriad of thoughts rushing through your brain, then actually you have all the power! Easy breezy right!? No. Not easy. Not breezy.

If you want a reality check, make a list of what you think about most of the time. What you REALLY think about. My list was extremely clear. I wouldn’t want to hang out with a person with my list. It was depressing and miserable. It was actually my father’s list. Well, I hate my list, and I refuse to be a person with this list! No wonder I freak out! So now all I have to do is completely change my entire way of thinking! Can you hear me screaming? I’m fine. I will be fine. And I’m freaking out…

When I get to this place in my life where I want to scream and throw things, I have to stop. This is where I am depleted spiritually and physically. I keep showing up for others but continually not making time for myself or the things that bring me joy. Your purpose can also be your destruction if it isn’t balanced. When I no longer feel joy I have taken my purpose and made it my obligation and then it becomes a burden and not a blessing. Also, sometimes your purpose is different than you had envisioned.

So what’s my purpose? What is the path God wants me on? I thought my purpose was animals. To rescue and love and care for them. That was my plan when I randomly got a 50 million dollar check. I was going to start a fund to protect and nurture and rehabilitate these animals. I was going to still be covered in mud because I was going to do all the work. I also was going to start a fund for the SPCA; I had plans.

I am starting to realize that God’s plans are not necessarily my plans. God wants me to encourage others. To lift people up when they feel scared. I see that the ones I end up nurturing are the many women around me. I see their incredible qualities when they do not. All the years I struggled and suffered gave me both the calm and the heart to truly see people. I see all the things I would have died for someone to see in me. It’s a strange paradox that I have spent my entire life seeking out mother figures only to end up becoming one.

I remember this woman telling me I was like her ranch mom. At first, I was like I’m 12 years older than you! I can’t be your mom! Then I started to really hate the term “ranch mom,” then I just felt irritated because that was absolutely not the way I wanted to be seen. In retrospect, this scenario has been presenting itself to me forever. I was being called to become the mother I was seeking. After a very long while, I started to see that that was my strength. Just to see people. To understand pain. To care with all my heart. It encompasses both animals and people.

I want to give. I want to uplift. I want to love. I want to help. These things bring me happiness and fulfillment. Whether it is a horse I can turn out and spoil or a human who I can learn from and adore. Sometimes, it’s a person hurting, and I have hurt beyond explanation. I understand pain, but more than that, I understand that it has an expiration and it will get better.

So, what do I think about? Today, I have been thinking about what a blessing it is to be stable enough and mentally healthy enough to show up for those I love. I’ve been thinking how I give what I have in service to others and that I’m extremely grateful to be healthy and whole when 10 years ago I didn’t even see joy as a possibility. I didn’t even care if tomorrow came.

Taming your thoughts is a powerful daily practice. Those words that are triggers to your fear and anxiety seem to lurk everywhere. I can not explain the changes that have happened in my life as a result of looking at my thoughts and praying for the strength to confront them. The life I have created and the love my daughter and I are surrounded with are 100% a result of me trusting God and not the words spoken over me. If I trusted the words spoken over me by my family, I would most assuredly be miserable at best or dead. I believed those words. Think carefully about the words you speak over yourself and your children! They are spells that carry the ability to manifest.

I am committed to the path I was put here to follow. Not the path my father feels comfortable with or the path I wish I had, but the one I am meant for. I will be happy and fulfilled, and my daughter will have a beautiful and blessed life. I will find a way to create income for my daughter and myself that will allow us to have our own home. My father will see us succeed, and he will see he was wrong my entire life. I am not going to fail. We will not suffer because he says so. I will be everything I am looking for, and that will be my blessing.

I am blessed to have young girls who feel like daughters and women who feel like sisters and older women who absolutely feel like a mother figure to me. This group of women and girls is what I have needed my entire life. I feel loved, and I get to both give and get advice, and I get to screw up and learn and show up and love. I believe that if I look closely at the trajectory of my life, it is slowly, and I mean slowly, moving in a more beautiful direction every single day ❤️ Thank you God.

The promise of wonder.

Negativity is contagious, but so is joy. The world is brutal and dark, but there are places filled with wonder and moments, so breathtaking, that for a second, you truly believe anything is possible ✨️

I did it. I got stuck in the whirlwind of darkness. I forgot that me waiting for the darkness to end was futile , but at any moment, I could throw open the doors and find that magic that has always sustained me. I kept praying for signs that everything would be ok, forgetting that God had already promised me that a billion times.

When things start falling apart, you can’t stand on the edge, hoping you won’t fall with them… you are going to fall. Earth is a place where things are guaranteed to fall apart. It is as much a certainty as the sun rising every morning. But Earth is also pure magic with beautiful creatures, friendships, and promises meant to give you a future and hope.

I don’t have to have tomorrow figured out because in that hysterical figuring, I completely lose these moments. I lose my energy to see those sparkling seconds of wonder, and those moments are what makes life worth living. You have to create them. Seek them out. Surround yourself with others who believe in miracles and beauty and who are willing to fall into the hopeful and happy possibilities instead of those who wallow in darkness and defeat. I believe in magic because I believe in God. I trust that this crazy path we are on is leading to more absolutely astounding moments, and each one of those moments strung together is what makes a beautiful life. Thank you, God ❤️

Everything is fine

It’s 3 am. The water in the bathroom has been running for over 30 minutes, and the smell of mint, so sickly and strong, fills my bedroom, and now it’s impossible to sleep. I hear shuffling feet and mumbling, and the anxiety I haven’t felt in years comes washing over me.

My mom has dementia. She brushes her teeth 10 or more times a day and many times throughout the night. She gets belligerent if you gently ask that she not leave the water running. It’s fine. I keep telling myself, my daughter, my family… everything is fine, but it’s actually totally overwhelming and scary. We aren’t fine. I have no idea how to deal with it while also trying to be a mom to an early elementary age child. I have no idea how to handle arguments I didn’t know I was in or anger or embarrassing moments in the grocery store. My dad has decided to be in denial. Maybe I will do that.

My mom was diagnosed with severe white matter disease. What’s that? The reaction I get from everyone. Apparently, it’s an umbrella term, but the umbrella is twirling and invisible… so basically, it means her Dr has no idea, but much of the white matter in her brain has died, and it appears now to be vascular dementia. Dementia is one of those things in life that actually doesn’t get better. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s weird and awful, and I hate it. I know I’m being negative but I’m also trying to navigate it almost entirely on my own while working and homeschooling and really trying hard to be a good mommy and not lose my daughter’s entire childhood.

I read and read about dementia and the posts were always so depressing! I always thought, man! I’m going to find the positive here! I’m going to find hope for families struggling. I can’t find the positive today. It really isn’t wonderful. I pray and pray my daughter and I will miraculously be able to get our own house so I can be a mommy, so we can do school work while I cook dinner and I can laugh with my sweet girl instead of telling her to stop hiding. Every day she’s says I’m scared mommy…every day I say it’s fine.

No one will tell my mom she can’t drive, so I guess we are just waiting for her to drive through the garage or into a store before we broach that subject. Sometimes, this feels a little like hell. I am afraid to let myself feel entirely, and I have no one in my dad’s family to talk to, and my moms sister has a horribly difficult situation of her own. I’m really lonely and really hopeless and completely alone.

My dad is such a good man. He doesn’t communicate well, but he tries so hard to take care of everyone. He is currently also trying to help his own mother, who is 100, and just moved into assisted living. He has no relationship with his siblings, and he tells no one of his struggles, so he comes off as disinterested and uncaring. I think he is holding on by a thread. Barely functioning. He gets up at 2 am. and goes to bed at exactly 4 pm and so I’m left with the evenings that are becoming increasingly obsessive and anxiety ridden. I would give almost anything for him to have some type of support system, but he has never had that, so he wouldn’t even know what to do.

Dad was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and now he sleeps with a glove on. It has a plastic knife in one of the fingers, so his hand will work in the morning. He used to run and backpack, but now it hurts to move, and he is losing his wife, and his mom calls almost always, wanting him to do something he can’t do. He gets angry texts and emails from the brother who speaks to him once a year and condescending texts from the wife of the brother who hasn’t acknowledged him in over a decade. He is in the depths of depression and is dangerously keeping it all inside. I never know what we are going to come home to. I try really hard to stay gone as long as possible only because it is destroying my daughter’s sense of security.

Our world is so weird that I have no concept of normal anymore. I pray for guidance and miracles, but I’m so exhausted that I’m not sure I could see them even if they fell in my lap. I’m really really…I don’t know. I’m so tired I don’t even know. I pray they will take a vacation just so I can wake up in peace, but my dad just says I have no money, Heidi, and he’s right. Help me God to be loving and kind and to help my dad. Help me to be understanding and supportive and to do everything he needs. Help me to have enough energy to be a loving mommy to my little girl and to just do whatever my mom needs, too. I pray for a miracle that I will recognize. In Jesus’ name, Amen ❤️


I thought this year I had it all figured out. I saw the unbelievable growth and miracles, and I thought I had turned the corner and was moving directly into my dream life. I figured God was like OK angels give her whatever she wants, she did it, she’s ready, we are proud of her! Nope…

I was sitting at a table surrounded by really cool and wildly different women, I was telling aspects of my life while they listened intently. I saw their faces and immediately wanted to disappear. I had shared too much. They could see me. I don’t want to be seen. I wanted to sink into the floor. My stomach started to hurt, and I felt panic rising and realized I could never come here again. I had to leave and hide and forget these women existed and start over again somewhere new. I had to forget the animals and grab my daughter and run. It would be ok, it would just be us again. I could pretend to be perfect and she would be happy and no one would know I was broken…I’m broken.

It is so painful sometimes to be. Just to be. Not the easy happy moments when you’re being who you tell yourself you are but the moments you remember who you are…or at least you remember who you’ve always been told you were. You remember the voices telling you to be quiet, telling you you are not enough, not pretty or smart or special. You are not allowed to talk about your family or feelings. You have to be quiet. You have to protect everyone so people think they are perfect. Your purpose is to stay out of the way because you have no actual worth.

It feels like I have been hiding for a hundred years. I can’t hide anymore. I don’t want to protect anyone but my daughter, and I don’t want her to learn to hide, too. I thought I had it all sorted, but as I sat with those women, I realized that I have been living without people for my entire life. I have never had real friends or any sense of community because I was just always there. I always ran away the second I got uncomfortable. I would just pack up and move and start over again and again and again. The very second I let my guard down and saw those expressions I was gone…I can’t go this time. I can’t go anymore because my little girl isn’t so little and I can’t pretend with her life. She deserves to be real and to know she’s perfect even in her imperfections.

I once got so angry at my daughter for saying something true about our life. I wanted to scream. WE DON’T TALK ABOUT THAT! I wanted her to know she embarrassed me and made me look like nothing… but I didn’t. I saw myself as a girl, her exact age being told to be quiet. Being looked at like something was wrong with me for not being the same. I immediately told her that everything that had happened in my life was part of God’s plan and that she could talk about anything as long as it wasn’t mean. Our history is not something to be ashamed of but just a reality that helped to shape us into who God wants us to be. Not broken but whole. I meant it, but somehow, I guess I didn’t mean it for me.

My life is no longer my own. I belong to a little soul who is learning and growing and deciding who she is to herself and to this world. I can not run anymore. I have to figure this out, and I’m scared. I feel small and vulnerable and have absolutely no idea what the outcome will be. I thought I had it all figured out, but here I sit in the dark, scared again that no one will like me. Scared I really am not enough.

I promise you, sweet daughter of mine, to keep facing everything that scares me until I am as brave as you are. I will be exactly who I tell you you are. You are perfect. You are a gift to each person you meet. You are a beautiful sparkling soul that the world needs, and you will be surrounded with love by people who know both the darkness and the light in you. People who will hold your hand when you are scared and who will cheer you on when you are brave. Your life is going to be so good.

I am broken, but that is why I love so fiercely. I will figure this out because I know God didn’t bring me this far to just give up. I will stay this time and trust and be exactly who I am, and it will be new because I’ve never done that before. This is going to be an exciting year for me, and honestly, I’m ready for it… and I’m scared, but I suppose if you’re not scared, sometimes you’re probably not actually living.


Put on the armor of God

Life is a near constant test…at least for me. I have lived in the depths of hell, and I have known profound happiness. These emotions were separated by two vastly different lives. The life in which I tried to do everything my way and the life in which I turned everything over to God before I did anything. The difference has been so astounding that I can not comprehend how anyone ever chooses to do anything their own way. Why would you want to carry those burdens?

I wish sometimes when I am trying to explain my happiness that I could show I quick clip of my life before. It would probably instantly convert or deeply confuse anyone watching. My life was hell. I lived in a literal hell.

There were periods where it didn’t look as dark and evil as it was. There were periods where I danced at clubs with celebrities and flew on private jets. I got to pick my clothes out of magazines and lived in a huge house overlooking the sea. I remember going to Neiman Marcus and being told just to buy whatever you want, we couldn’t even carry all the bags…and it was glorious for 7 seconds but it was black and fake and empty. I had to stay totally numb in order to not jump out of a window. I was screaming so loudly in my head that I was actually shocked no one could hear me. I wanted to die every second of every day.

There were periods of my life when I lived in a roach filled apartment next to a gay strip club. Where I hid with my cats watching the drugged out men bash out car windows on the street below. I pulled the blankets over my head so I couldn’t hear the roaches running up and down the wall above my head. It was so creepy and dangerous that I somehow convinced myself that I was equally dangerous, so I felt comfortable walking down the dark streets of San Francisco at 4 am because I couldn’t sleep. Homeless men telling me to be safe because they knew a baseball hat wasn’t hiding my vulnerability at that hour… I didn’t care. I didn’t care if someone hurt me. It would have been an escape I believed I deserved.

My environment changed constantly, but my inner state remained the same. If I was hiding in my car because I heard gunshots or at a fancy event, as safe as can be, my head remained in hell. I wanted to be set free, and I truly did not care how. I always believed in God. Always. But I didn’t believe I was worthy of living. I was told I was a loser at my lowest point by brother, and because I always adored him, I believed him. Every person I needed was telling me what I already believed, not because it was true but because… because.

You aren’t what anyone says you are. You are who God says you are. It doesn’t matter what you have or where you live or how tortured your inner state is. God is not a genie who is going to grant your wishes or fix your situation. God will, though, transform your mind. When you put your trust in God instead of in yourself, the ways in which your life will change will have you on your knees with gratitude. You will begin to notice the unease you feel when you’re going in the wrong direction. You will be able to discern when someone’s reaction has nothing to do with you, and you will be able to love them in spite of everything.

God’s gifts are limitless, but the give of peace is profound. The ability to feel joy and gratitude and deep love no matter what is infinitely more valuable than any material item. I could not fix myself because it wasn’t my job. I had to surrender.

Today, my life is a different life. A different planet. I start my day by saying thank you. I am so grateful to be here and to be able to feel everything. I moved back to my parents, and I spend my days surrounded by animals and some of the kindest and strongest people I have ever met. I walk in the mud, pushing a wheelbarrow filled with horse manure while my daughter sings to horses, and I say THANK YOU out loud a hundred times. I watch these women and girls filled with confidence and strength and feel euphoric that my daughter has that as an example of what a teenager and mother and grandmother can be. I don’t need anything more. Every time something good happens, it feels like Christmas because, for me, it is. Thank you, God, for loving me when I was unworthy, and thank you for everything that today will bring❤

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight. Proverbs 3: 5-6.


I talk about God often because the works in my life have been very profound. The Bible talks about the renewal of your mind, and because my life has been a black and white version of that, I have no doubts… except when I do.

Your mind is always looking for ways to rationalize magical moments. Those serendipitous occurrences that take your breath away. But when you take them for what they are and say thank you, you begin to see them everywhere. These moments can be teeny tiny or they can be huge and life changing but they are always happening and once you quiet your mind you will start to see them.

God has saved my life a million times. I am literally in awe that I am still here. I lived a very reckless and dangerous life before I settled into my place in this world. I remember as a teen driving over a hundred miles an hour with one foot on the dash. Weaving in and out of traffic passing on the right shoulder of the freeway. I would watch the speed go up and up and only slow down when the wheel started shaking.

I grew up with God and talked to him even while half conscious on the bathroom floor. I talked to God when I was 20 and running down the street at midnight in a horrible part of Sacramento with a man following me. I had to hide behind a car, and I thought he would hear my heartbeat because it was pounding in my ears. I talked to God when I was searching for anything to quiet my mind and turning to substances that should have killed me. I prayed that God would take me when all of my recklessness just left me empty and broken. I was going my own way. It was a dark and terrifying and dangerous way, but God was there. I should definitely not be alive, but God had a plan if only I would stop running long enough to hear it.

My life changed slowly over many years. I failed daily at everything and had to get back up and take baby steps to a future I couldn’t even see or comprehend. I remember giving up. I really recommend giving up. I prayed and visualized me begging Jesus to heal me, I was holding on to feet wearing leather sandals, and I was done. I absolutely could not live even 1 more second this way. I don’t know what was real or a dream/vision, but it felt so real to me. I never touched another substance after that day. I never had any desire to be numb again. I began to feel, and that was so totally overwhelming because I had spent my entire life actively making certain not to feel a single thing.

I knew I had been healed. I knew that the habits and lifestyle I had turned to for coping couldn’t just disappear. I knew the relationships I was forming and repairing were impossible with my own will. I couldn’t question it because it was obvious. I had tried to get better my way a thousand times. I had bargained with God, made promises, and asked for random signs. Finally, I threw my hands up and just laid down and said “God I give up!” I’m not going to fight anymore. I’m done. I meant it with every ounce of my soul. I was ready for whatever happened.

I am so grateful because I know how different my story could be. I am so grateful to a God who already knew my purpose and wasn’t about to let me wreck it. I am also grateful that I found it in myself to humble myself before God and my loved ones. I have no idea what triggered my darkness, but I know that with God, there is no darkness. I know that I will have miracles to write while I drink my coffee at 5 am. Sometimes, they are ones like today. The miracle of a forever friendship and watching movies together during a rainstorm. The miracle of a lifelong dream of having horses come true in a way God knew would be much better than my vision. Or the big miracles like my being alive and here to share my testimony. My daughter who is my sidekick and best friend. And my family, whom I am so incredibly close with and friends!! I never thought I would have these beautiful, soul filling relationships.

I am so blessed. I am so happy. I also have completely surrendered my vision and desires for those that God wants for me. I still mess up and fail because I’m human, but my mistakes even make me happy because I see or feel instantly that I am going in the wrong direction and I fix it right then and there. I had times in my life where the idea of the joy and fulfillment I have now would have seemed impossible, but nothing is impossible with God. Not even the impossible.

If even 1 person in the whole entire universe reads this and is looking for a sign, then I promise this is your sign. I know with zero doubt that God heals and that your mind can be entirely renewed. I know that happiness is so much better than you even can understand and that you don’t need anything to find your purpose outside of faith. Faith is the magic. With childlike faith, you can do more than you can ever imagine. I promise.

Forgiveness and love

Life is so short when you really think about it. Who you are is temporary, and one day, you just won’t exist anymore. All the achievements you think matter, the people you’re angry with, those moments that filled your days. One day, you will realize that the words you spoke were the last ones someone ever heard. You never know when it will be the last time.

We had a man we adored. We got his papers every morning, and my daughter would leave a flower between the rubber band and the paper. We would always bring in his garbage cans, and as he got older, I would drive him to his Dr appointments and help him write his checks… His hands were swollen and shaky. I am pretty sure he could write his own checks, though. I think he wanted the company. We would sit there until he ran out of stamps, filling out checks and talking about his life. I loved doing that. I always made sure he knew we had adored him. I always wanted him to feel loved. Every single time we saw him, my daughter and I would stop whatever we were doing and run up like he was the best thing in the world. I would always ask if I could do anything for him, and he would always say, “I could use a new body and a new mind.”

I never ever thought he wouldn’t be here. I always thought we would have a tomorrow, but one day, a fire truck showed up. Then the police. I texted him over and over, begging him to tell me he was ok. I sat outside and waited for the ambulance. When you die, they don’t send an ambulance… I didn’t know that. They send a van, and you become a body instead of a name. The driver doesn’t care who you were or what you did. His job is simply to take you away. That human who I adored was just taken away. Forever. Gosh, I miss him. We still pick up his papers, and his light is still on over his desk. I wish I could have held his hand before he died. I wish I could have said goodbye. I hope he knew we loved him.

I think about my life and all its chapters and challenges, and I am grateful. I am grateful for being alive. I am grateful that I have been humbled and refined by God. I am grateful for every moment I get with the people I love, and I make sure my words and actions show that. I want to treat everyone as if that is my last moment with them. I want them to feel adored. I probably get more out of that than anyone. Maybe it’s selfish. I have not one drop of resentment or anger towards anyone. I choose that. I choose to view everyone as the child they once were, and that makes me feel loving towards them. I want to be happy! Now. Regardless of my circumstances or history. That is my gift to myself and to others, to be happy, loving and accepting, and to forgive and let go. I wasn’t always that way.

I struggled with anger and pain during many periods of my life. They all stemmed from confusion. I didn’t realize that sometimes people would say untrue things to cause conflict. I generally took words spoken at face value because it didn’t occur to me that a person would lie. I would become furious over a story I was told and lash out because it never even once crossed my mind that the individual was making it up for their own benefit. I watched an entire family stop speaking to one another based on the convoluted words of 1 person! That’s a lot of power for 1 person or a lot of weaknesses for those who fell victim… probably both. I tend to dive deeper, so I kept trying to figure out the cause of the conflict, and that’s when all the pieces fell together. I felt so sad for each individual person who had been targeted and then judged. I felt sad for judging. My realization didn’t leave me angry at the one who started it all. It left me feeling oddly soft. How broken must you be to destroy your own family! That is heartbreaking. Those once children are conditioned to be on guard and to perform, leaving deeply meaningful relationships virtually impossible. Children who were expected to impress others but not children who were ever cherished. Their worth measured by their accomplishments but never ever their heart or little souls. They actually never really mattered. They never learned to love, so they carried bitterness from one generation to the next to the next. Thank God that my immediate family was protected from that bitterness. It is a cancer that spreads and destroys. I’m too rebellious to be bitter… or too empathetic… or both.

I literally stopped being angry the second I got it. I should have realized while I was listening that if someone is speaking horribly about their family members, then they are also speaking horribly about you. I remember once asking this person directly to tell me the truth! I was almost yelling. I knew in that moment. I saw everything immediately in that very second, and I had to decide whether I was going to be livid or forgiving, and God stepped in and transformed not just my mind but also profoundly my heart. I just stopped being angry. Nothing was true. That was going to have to be ok with me. I had no emotional attachment anymore. I had no desire to hurt that person, I actually had the opposite feeling. I would show up and accept them for exactly who they were. They needed that, and that could be my final gift to them…it didn’t matter if they deserved it. Until the others saw the same thing, I would wait and hope that some day that damage would be erased, and if not, then I would accept that as well.

God says to love others. Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers up all wrongs. I am so blessed to have been given the gift of clear vision. I see now what is real and true and what is meant for harm. I am so happy to be surrounded by love and so many wildly different types of people. People I could have never dreamed of meeting or knowing. I choose happiness and love and complete forgiveness of both myself and everyone I am involved with. This life is fleeting, but you can choose to be brave and strong at any moment. It is so much easier to be happy but it is also a practice like anything important. I am present and open and filled with gratitude.

I give people the grace I expect for myself. I show up. I am the person I wish everyone else would be. I am exactly who I always needed. It is unnatural and uncomfortable to face things head-on, to put all your vulnerability on full display, and just be ok with the outcome. I want that. I would always rather walk through fire than stay the same. I will meet you where you are today because yesterday doesn’t exist anymore. You only have right now. Tell the ones you love that you love them because before you know it, they will be in that van. That person you hate used to be someone who mattered. Well, you matter to me. My parents matter to me. My family matters to me, and I will always let them know. Thank you, God, for seeing me before I could see myself.❤

See me.

It’s so fascinating how much power you have in this world. You have this profound and magical power to transform a person’s entire life view and, in doing so, also change your own. You literally can alter the life path and spirit of those you come into contact with… Why don’t some people see this?

When you are small, your beliefs come as a result of those who care for you. Your ability to trust, share, and love openly but mostly your feelings about your inherent worth. Critical and unpredictable affection leaves children confused and consumed with a constant feeling of being at least mildly unlovable…or in my case feeling profoundly unworthy and unattractive.

I have almost 0 memories of my childhood. I do remember the vague and constant sense of unease that I felt. I remember that no matter what I did, it was probably wrong, and I probably would be told at some point that I had “wrecked the day.” I heard that a lot. I remember more than anything that no one ever seemed excited to see me. No one’s eyes ever lit up because of my presence no matter how hard I tried. I felt worthless at 6 and extremely ugly… Everything I saw said if you were beautiful, you made people happy, and I made people so unhappy. I assumed I must be disgusting and dirty and mostly ugly.

Ugliness is not necessarily a hideous face and body. Ugliness is a feeling. It’s the mirror of your parents’ expressions where the reflection was always angry or distracted or disinterested. It was excruciating for a little girl who just so deeply wanted to fix everything. A small soul who wanted to be enough even if I wasn’t perfect. Finally, I thought maybe I could fix it all by disappearing. I started praying God would just take me away so everyone would be happy… just take me God! I don’t deserve to live.

In my dystopian world, that turned into eating disorders, self-harm, panic attacks, and abuse of anything that turned off my own horribly critical mind. For the majority of my life, I was trying to go away, go away from myself. Pain was my everyday, and I had not even 1 moment of authentic happiness until I was an adult.

Happiness came when I was free from judgment. It came when I ignored everything I was ever taught about life and what made me worthy, and with that I slowly overcame all my issues entirely through the power of my own will and with near constant prayer. God was always with me even when I had completely abandoned myself.

I remember holding my daughter after she was born, and realizing that every bit of love I had in my body…the love I never got, the love I always dreamed of, the love I never allowed myself, the unconditional forever magical pure love was in my arms. I was healed. I was healed in that moment.

Incredibly hard work and millions of mistakes followed, but I was healing, and I was healing all the generations to follow. THAT was my purpose. I mattered. I was important. I had a reason that was so so so much bigger than I could have ever understood, and every single excruciating moment in my life had a purpose as well.

When my daughter wakes up I jump into her bed and kiss her face and twirl her in circles and I know my eyes light up because every morning I wake up excited to see her and kiss her and just be with her. Every “watch me mommy” and note she writes me is a treasure to me. Every time I light up for her I also am lighting up for the little girl I once was. I feel genuinely like the luckiest human ever to live that I get to shower this child with adoration and security and that I get to be loved by her. What a prize she is.

When you deeply heal, you also become tender in those damaged places… you drop the defensiveness. My love for my family is the most authentic it has ever been. I feel a softness and love for my parents and their pain. The children they once were. I see pictures of these sweet, innocent faces and wish I could have loved them unconditionally so they could have seen me and adored me. I wish I could heal their families, and I wish you could heal generations backward as well as forward, but unfortunately, I have no ability to fix what they can’t see, and it’s also not my job. But I can accept them as is and I can see how beautiful they are and how well meaning and I can take the pressure off them because I no longer need them to adore me because I am already adored.

I don’t care about messes or perfection or what others think. I don’t care who is against me because I know God and my daughter are for me, and literally nothing compares to that. I know I am filling this sweet soul with complete confidence and a strong love of God and the total knowledge that she is adored as is. I know that while my parents don’t have the emotional ability to light up for me, I now can light up for them. I can be excited when they wake up, and I can love them for exactly who they are right now.

I never ever thought I could heal from the pain of my life but as it turns out that pain was a blessing because I have a gratitude and joy that transformed my life and I have more love to give than I ever knew possible..and finally after all this time I also can accept that love for myself and that simple act is the most magnificent and magical of all.

Thank you, God, for loving me when I was unlovable.

Joy comes after you become you.

My life and my spirit have always been an exact reflection of my self-worth and inner state. You have to know with certainty who you are…the real you…to experience true and constant joy. I wonder sometimes if the pain I have experienced in my life was actually just God refining me towards a meaningful life filled with purpose.

Long story short, I simply gave up my expectations (based on my extremely limited vision) for whatever God’s will would be for my life.

It sounds so simple, but it actually requires an intense refinement of your thoughts. I always felt certain something external would fix whatever was troubling me. A huge house, abundant wealth… but there isn’t enough money on earth to heal a broken soul or an unhappy relationship or a meaningless life. There are zero “things” that can quiet the struggle inside you. Also, happiness truly isn’t expensive. It is simple and pure and fills you in a way nothing else can. It’s love and peace, and it belongs to you, and it can’t be taken or lost.

Living a life that I find honorable fills me. Giving of my time and any resources I have gives more to me than whomever I am helping, and because I do everything with my daughter, it is soul changing for her well. She learned to give a genuine compliment to random people, and their reactions lit her up so beautifully… you just never know the power you have to change a person’s entire day.

My life is my testimony. The fact that I’m here and beyond grateful and that I wake up and say thank you while twirling under the stars. The fact that I have a daughter who is not only my favorite person but also my greatest teacher and joy. The relationships I have with my parents and the understanding of who they are is just nothing short of a miracle!

Probably one of God’s greatest gifts to me (outside of my daughter) was having to move in with my parents. My feelings and long-held resentments and just blinding anger had me screaming at God, “WHAT IN THE WORLD! WHY DID YOU PLACE ME BACK IN HELL!?” Well…Thank you God. I had a choice… I could be angry and awful (I was), or I could be quiet and listen and try to see where they were coming from. I could help and be an example, and most of all, I could let my daughter experience her grandparents with zero filter. Well, that sucked… but only until I put my ego and pride aside and saw the honestly astounding humans in front of me.

My parents are people. Sometimes, even as an adult, you forget. They are broken and flawed and kind and honorable and doing their best. My dad is grumpy and frustrating and haunted and sensitive and shy and loyal and the most protective and generous man I have ever known. He gives until he has nothing. He will show up to help you no matter the hour, no matter the issue. He will be the 1st person to save you and will worry about everyone and everything nonstop. He will also offend you because he has no filter, and he will be devastated if you get mad because he will have no clue what is wrong. He is complicated and the best grandfather in the universe.

My mom will spend 45 minutes explaining how to use the new shampoo she bought and hold the shampoo hostage so you are forced to listen to “you pour a small amount in your hand and then put it on wet hair…WET! ARE YOU LISTENING?” But she will also search high and low for your favorite things and encourage you to buy things that make you feel better. She will always laugh and desires nothing more than seeing her family happy and joyful and safe. She doesn’t hate a single soul and is very much still the little girl she once was. She just loves people and sunflowers, and mostly, she loves my dad and just worships her grandchildren. She is simple and kindhearted and believes God answers prayer, and she prays for each family member 100 thousand times a day.

I am blessed and grateful and know how to use shampoo. I have learned patience and tolerance and that life is way too short to not find the good. There is so much good. It is so easy to pass judgment and be critical, but if you don’t want to be judged…well, you know the rest.

I choose to live my life privately because I want a happy and wholesome existence. I don’t allow devices or distractions in our lives, and I am very purposeful in my parenting. I put God first and believe that offers a shelter for my daughter in difficult times and also a base of morality, which the world currently seems to lack. I am happy with what I have and have gone from praying for everything to praying for enough because that is all I need. Thank you, God, for everything good and bad because it led me to today and today. I am filled with joy.

My world❤

My world used to be so small. So so small. I really had to throw all my insecurities out the window to create the life and love I have today. I look back at who I felt I was and am so grateful God had his hand on me because wow, my life was a mess!

I spent many years completely alone and depressed and isolated and then decided to get into an awful relationship with someone I literally couldn’t stand and who had a hard core mental illness. But I also feel grateful for that because I had to hit much lower than rock bottom to wake up and claim my life back. You can always reclaim your life and live in your purpose!

One day, my daughter and I just jumped on a plane to meet her brothers and sister, whom she had never met. We, with virtually zero notice, packed our bags and headed off to meet these people we didn’t know, and nothing ever felt more right. I felt zero anxiety or fear. In fact, I felt nothing but joy. It turned out to be a life changing moment in both of our lives.

Our lives are so full. My sweet daughter has this group of kids who she immediately loved, and it was like they had always been together ❤ That bloodline also became her tiny forever. What a spectacular present. They spent every single second together, and there was not one fight. My heart was overflowing with happiness at seeing her with 4 brothers and her dream sister, who she idolizes.

The day I claimed my life, my life claimed me. Me changing my view on myself also changed my daughter’s life forever. She has a huge family now, and although I am her entire world, she loves nothing more than telling her friends about her modern family, and she feels such pride in being different. I am so proud of myself…it’s so funny to me how I wake up every day and just feel so proud of myself.