For a Heart that is sick…

There is a little girl, not quite three, dying of stage four cancer. Her parents are friends of a fellow infantryman my husband is close with. 

Her heart may be ravaged by this terrible disease, but her smile shines bright when the police officers stop by and visit. Her time on this earth is short and her mom would like to make her a gift…a quilt of police badges, blue and bright, to keep her safe on lonely nights.

If you have a spare or know someone who may give a badge to place on this blanket of love, email me at bitslittleblog@gmail.com and I will give you my address. I will then forward it to the family. Thank you friends!

Reflections

What does it mean to be a woman?I think that the answer lies within the heart and mind of each woman reading this.

(Still thinking of that beautiful young lady who was killed in Orlando, I’ve been stuck emotionally, and the best way to unstick is to unload.)

I don’t know her but I know she matters, and I know she loved, is loved.
I am a woman. 
I often tried to put myself into a certain group of people, and it’s not because I was craving that high school groupy-ness but because more often than not, I just didn’t fit in. It use to bother me immensely. It made me insecure. It made me someone I wasn’t meant to be….

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My femininity is beautiful. My gentleness/strength is empowering.

***** 

While trying to pen who I am, I’ve been thinking of all the women that have influenced me in the last year of life. This last year has taught me much about the human condition and all its glory/gore. The gray side of life. (Because for me as I age, the black/white, left/right, near/far on many things have melted to a calming shade of gray. There is less to fuss about. Don’t get me wrong – I still have absolutes, but in the gray I have found understanding and I’ve learned to understand.) 

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My mother, who I haven’t spoken to since last December, has taught me that I can be accepted – by me, without a desire to please her (or anyone else) and cut myself down. I have learned that I can still love her (and others) from afar, and not feel worthless for doing so. For myself this is HUGE. I try very hard to make everyone that I cherish feel that from me. I don’t ever want to let anyone down. Feeling as though I’ve failed someone feels like I AM the FAILURE. She was one of two voices I would hear in my mind when I’d done less than perfect anything. Hers by far has/had the biggest reach (1700 miles to be exact) and her words until recently cut me deeply, and had the magical ability to change me, how I viewed myself. It is not sad or tragic, though I use to feel that way. It’s life and a lesson I needed to learn for so long. 
My friend Kristal, who is raising her two grandchildren. She is a faithful woman, both with her relationship with those she loves and with God. She listens when I talk to her. She lets me know she’s there when I need that – because we all do sometimes. She accepts me AND my crazy brood just the way we are. I have learned from her, that it’s never too late to love myself. I’ve learned that through her own life story, and how her life story has changed me. 

Alyssa, who was the first person to follow Little Bits of Heaven, has become what I refer to as my ‘one in a million’. Our lives are like the reflections on the water. Almost the same, yet different enough to keep me looking, searching, but in a comforting way. She is the me if I were her and I if she were me. Her journey inspires me to look beyond the introvert I have become and be a part of the world again. She has taught me what it is to overcome, to cleanse, to use my words as a way to move through things rather than stop and stay. And that, for someone with anxiety, is a BIG deal. She is more a part of me than I thought I could find in a friend. I envy the way she can take a simple thought I pen and send it back with such illustration, with words that give life to the slow death that is each passing hour. She is true beyond measure.

My blogging buddy and gracious friend Annabella, who sends me weekly emails just to remind me that in my closed-circuit world someone’s still ‘out there’ caring about me, has shown me that I need not apologize for things I want out of life. Her wit, her desire to be authentic and trust the Lord has helped me through much in the last few months. She sent me the most beautiful something, and it’s real, tangible, touching, authentic. I could send her all the ranting/cursing that this sailors mouth could conjure up and she’d still see ME. ME. What a blessing. She doesn’t allow for shallow self loathing or to skip over the what if’s. She allows me those, and challenges me to take my life and desires head on, which sometimes I/you/me/we need.

Deb, whose life and love and gentle nature, which bleeds through every post and tugs at my heart strings, has taught me the importance of being gentle, but even more so that being gentle, even quiet – does not make me a woman of weakness, but strength. Things don’t always need to be said. Words do not need to be written just for filler. Peace, quiet, and a gentle nature have more power than I ever knew. The struggles have not taken her love away, but magnified it ten fold, in the most wonderful way.

Each of these women I would cross the country for. Be there to pull their hair back from their eyes in those sad and mournful moments, hands held tightly no matter the miles apart. I would/do/will celebrate them and their accomplishments. They inspire. They love. They are all true and beautiful. 

*****

I read what I’ve penned – and stop. I picture that young woman I’ve been thinking so much about. She must have been strong, to love herself in spite of all those who were against her. Her challenges in this life most likely gave her a loving and loyal nature toward those who truly loved all of her. Those gentle smiling eyes no doubt lit every room. I’m sure that she touched many lives in ways she will never know. She has taught me what it means to BE COURAGEOUS. 

*****

Myself, last but not least, always has room in my heart for you. I am loyal, at times to a fault. I’m a lover of God, my husband and family and the diversity of all the women who make up that which is ‘me’. I am beautiful. I have value. What I lack in social graces I make up for in my writing. I’ve lived more than I should have, but it’s given me perspective. I see the cracks in my mirrored reflection as that which keeps me grounded rather than that which stops me in my tracks. Happiness is progress. Wholeness is healing through my pain, and not allowing it to break me. I’m me, and that’s a miraculous thing to accept, more so to love. 

Thank you to all of you, and some that I didn’t mention, for helping me to find myself. It’s a journey every woman needs to take, even if it’s kicking and screaming – which yes, I’ve done that too. Thank you for the love, acceptance, lessons, and humanity. 

***We. Are. One.***

Open Heart, Open Road

Bravo and I had the weekend to do nothing in particular so we went road tripping. I call it that because my son JJ literally tripped at every destination we stopped at. Five states in three days!

I’ll write something more eloquent later in the week about our adventure (maybe?) but for now, I’ll just share another of my loves from said adventure – photography!

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Bridge into Arkansas

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Sunset in Memphis

Early 1800’s Cemetary in Kentucky

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Tree in Kentucky

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Sunset in Kentucky

Loving Life

A Daughters Heart

 

 

There is a child in my daughters class, who every day comes through the door dressed like a model for a department store. Popped collar shirts, masculine jeans, skater shoes…the most expensive of accessories.

The bell rings and his shoulders fall. His discomfort fades away and this beautiful child is – at least until the bell goes off to head back home – no longer the boy his surely loving parents dress him to be, but ‘Linda’…a snarky and at times confident child. Just one of the girls.

My sweet Birdie has sat me down many times to let out the built up frustration she feels on behalf of Linda. Whether this child’s parents even know, how come they make who she feels is obviously more comfortable as a her/she/girl/young lady, dress and act like a him/he/handsome young man. My daughter asks why he should have to pretend to be someone she’s not, while little Birdie has always been allowed to be Birdie.

My daughter does not like the tight, high-riding and/or low cut girls clothing. She does not enjoy bling and glitter, bows and girly-ness. Her wardrobe, much like mine was at her age – is filled with boys clothes, shoes, accessories. Nike football shirts, athletic pants and shorts, basketball shoes. She has one dress, which she has worn once. It wasn’t forced, she wanted it and so I bought it.

While trying to help my little girl (with the over-sized and often overly sensitive heart) understand Linda’s life, and the choices we make to be happy, the wise and wonderful mom in me realized something. My daughter is amazing. My daughter has managed to grasp and master what we take charge humans often find ourselves struggling with – acceptance. Whether of ourselves, others, circumstances, happenstances. She gets it.

 

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(While there are a host of ‘issues’ surrounding this ‘subject of debate’…I’ll cross my t’s and dot my i’s as they find their way to the paper, but not before.)

*****

I try not to be a drop in what I feel is an already overflowing cup of unsolicited opinions/advice, but I just want to say that with everything going on, going wrong – I am not worried or afraid of Linda’s miraculous friendship with my daughter.

I am fearful of war.

I am heartbroken for each human being that dies because they are starving.

I pray that those who are lost will be found, free, happy.

I do not pray that God changes someone who finds solace in being who they feel they’re meant to be.

 

*I am a Christian, and I’ve read the Bible. I’ve also lived, lost, learned along the way.*

 

I love my children, and as long as I’m living and beyond I will love them. If I can love my children then I can love your children. If I can accept my children’s desire to be who they choose/need to be, well then I can do the same for yours.

This isn’t about what I want but what makes my children/our children feel whole. I don’t understand it. But I’m not afraid of it, of change. I’m not afraid of a difference of opinion either, but I’m afraid for those human beings that are cast aside because they choose to live. I’m just one person I know. God has taught me that if nothing else, He’s saved me to share His love. He fought for my life through addiction, homelessness…and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be the one to cast a stone at one of HIS greatest gifts…another human being. A life worthy of existence. All unique, all loved, all beautiful in his eyes and therefore in mine.

 

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Mama/Me…

 

 

My heart beats, thankful to be here.
Thinking of ways to show these beautiful faces how much they are loved when the best of me feels far and away is a fete for the ages I tell you.
I wonder if that’s what this is, this motherly thing I do… If worrying about doing it right or wrong makes me a good mother or someone just muddling her way through this thing called life-with-kids.

Is it painful to admit I feel in over my head just now? Yes, but that’s okay by me because honesty is exactly what I’m hoping/going for. A child that is honest. A mom that is honest still. A family that is whole – honestly. I have recently found that loneliness really can make one crazy, and how crazy it is that often being alone is what I crave. Not because I want out of my job or life or love but because I NEED to find me outside of my mommy-ness. But what would I be without these kids, memories, years?

My/our special ‘Mothers Day’ is Sunday if you didn’t know. And I’m just happy to be here, every day, even on the crappy days that don’t end or the long nights that see the dawn. With almost every mommy deed lacking in poetic beauty there is still all the beautifully crafted moments woven in that I hold onto…

Baby bubble baths
Sickly midnight moments filled with hugs
Twice cut no crust sandwiches
Dark kitchens and moonlit kisses
Windy days spent flower picking
Shooting the ball between mopping and scrubbing
Burps, farts, boogers-at all meals…and timed to perfection

Sweetest-dream giggles
First teeth, first steps, first dates
Last kisses before the bus
One last goodnight

 

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To all the moms I hope you have some of these moments today and every day. The world just wouldn’t be the same without them – or us.

*Happy Mothers Day.*

 

 

 

It’s the Beauty Blogger Tag!

 

Beauty Blogger Tag💜

 

I’ve been tagged by Annabella and Kate to participate in the Beauty Blogger Tag! Thank you for thinking of me.💜

The Rules are:
-Tag the blogger who nominated you
-Answer the questions
-Come up with 10 questions of your own
-Nominate 5 other bloggers, and don’t forget to tell them!

 

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My 10 questions/answers are:

1.) Where are you blogging from?

I am currently blogging – and have only ever blogged from – my iPhone. Smashed screen and all. *sigh*

2.) What is your daily beauty regimen?

My ‘beauty’ regiment (if that’s what it could be called) is washing my face with Aveeno foaming soap for sensitive skin, brushing my teeth and applying some Chapstick. Occasionally I will comb my hair. HA!

3.) What is your favorite signature perfume?

My favorite signature perfume is one no longer in production by Mary Kay…old school I know. So old I don’t remember the name, and its rubbed off the bottle. I wore it when I said “I Do” and on the first doctor appointment for every pregnancy. My mother gave it to me.

4.) What do you think true beauty is?

True beauty is who I strive to be on the inside. True beauty in others is to have an understanding that simple kindness can change a heart, save a life. Empathy is sexy. Oh – and my husbands eyes. There’s so much beauty there, often covered by the man he feels he has to be for others, but it’s what keeps me going on the hardest days. (His green eyes laugh with him…it’s so wonderful/beautiful.)

5.) How do you feel about air brushed and Photo-shopped models representing “women”? What affect do you think this has on children, teens, and women today? Do you think Photo-shopped models cause people to set unrealistic expectations about themselves?

Hmmm…good questions! I think it is less the model and more society. As we have evolved socially there is a distinct and disturbing pattern that one must be of a certain size to gain a certain ‘status’ (hint, hint…) Even my iPhone came with photo editing abilities. It’s become so engrained into many – if not all social circles, that it’s hard to draw a line in the sand on the ‘realness’ of ones self/selfie. Flaws are no longer natural/expected, but airbrushing is. My only hope is that by the time my daughter gets her first photo taking gadget I will have taught her the importance of her true beauty…so that when she looks at her picture she doesn’t see what the world thinks she should be but rather how beautiful God has already made her.

6.) Do you have a favorite brand of purse/handbag?

I can’t afford a brand! I have seven kids! No, I’m just kidding…actually I do. I just don’t own it. It’s a Vera Wang messenger bag/purse thingy…and one day it will be mine. ( If they still make it, as its been a few years since I saw it hanging in a department store.)

7.) Do you think that coloring hair in bright/colorful colors (bright pink, rainbow, etc.) is neat or not? Would you ever color your hair like that?

Well…my hair is purple. I think the ability to express ourselves in such a way is amazing, and if We don’t like it…We will just change it, cut it. I do think there’s a fine line, but I haven’t found it yet!

8.) What is the current shampoo and conditioner that you use?

I use any shampoo/conditioner that’s sulfur free. I think I’m currently using Aveeno. Like my hair color, I switch it up often.

9.) What is your favorite styling product?

Does a hair scrunchy count as a styling product? Or maybe water…

10.) When do you feel your most beautiful?

I feel most beautiful after a good nights sleep, after my husband and I have made love the night before. Is that shallow? I hope not…just being honest. I think that is one of the greatest benefits of having a life partner. There should always be that intimate connection that makes you fee like you’re the one who still captures their heart, and to me that’s so beautiful!

My five nominees are –

1.) myuneasylife

2.)lafmommy

3.)beautybeyondbones

4.)O-pen-u-nated

5.)among tall trees

 

My 10 questions for you all are the following…

1.) As a child, who was the first person you can remember looking at and thinking they were beautiful?

2.) Who in your life do you consider to be beautiful now and Why?

3.) Do you have a special memory that makes you feel beautiful?

4.) When was the last time you were told you’re beautiful?

5.) What is your favorite color?

6.) Do you own a set of dangly earrings?

7.) Do you prefer Chapstick or lipgloss and why?

8.) Have you ever permed your lovely locks?

9.) Do you think social media is a negative influence on younger generations when it comes to how they define beauty and why?

10.) If you could wear a ball gown for one night, where would you go and who would you be with?

*I know this is all about beauty, so be honest…because that/you are beautiful just by being you! (And noooo, this doesn’t count as an answer to question #4! But nice try.)*

 

 

 

It’s Only Natural…

 

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Watching the wind blow through the trees.
Kicking up the dust and
watching it cross and cover the path made
on that bright, crisp morning –
Early enough that the dew was still sipped
by the wild flowers following her
road to nowhere.

As the sun begins to beat down on her face, the dew has now dried and
the leaves are curled to protect the
moisture they’d gathered.

Reaching out to the tree branches
covered in moss and web, she
breathes deep.
There is an ephemeral beauty in what
is taken from and what is lost in this place.
Though its sounds are of such
sadness…
much like the last song
of a dying bird…

There is a decrepit Redwood that, though
rotting, it
still holds her secrets.
She imagines that perhaps her struggles could
be buried there, and
that the lone song of her dying dream might be
buried there as well…
deep within its roots.
Deep within its safe place –
where life still exists.

In the spring
seedlings may shoot
from this dirty place, and
a new chance at life could begin, if
only the sunlight could get in.

 

 

Girl Talk…

***Boys, you might want to skip this read, unless you want to understand the importance of good undergarments…***

 

 

Things I have yet to master as a woman who wants to master her womanly body and still feel pretty…..

  • Finding a bra that fits. I don’t mean just ‘fits’ but rather one that lifts where I need it to, doesn’t pull where it shouldn’t and can’t be seen with the naked eye. A bra that is not going to show through the sheer tops I don’t own. One that won’t cost me a boob job to wear! You’d think that with so many to choose from this would not be an issue, but, after nursing babies my boobies need some of that extra pampering too! Also, I’d love a bra that is pretty. Because I like pretty things. What’s a gal to do?!?
  • Buying underwear that is comfortable without making me feel like I look like my mama post-divorce circa 1989. I want seamless, and yes, pretty. No I do not want pretty ‘big’ looking…because nothing says yuck like a big ol’ pair of parachute undies. Is it truly impossible to find comfortable yet visually appealing lady panties that are 1) less than $15 a pair and 2) only found by me when there is only one pair left? I mean come on!
  • The ability to find a good color of lipstick for my pasty complexion that I can actually apply correctly. For one reason or another I just can’t do it! I avoid the clown look, the matching polyester pants/lipstick combo, oh and the ever popular dual purpose eye/lip-liner art. Mary-Kay…if you’re out there shoot me an email. A tutorial video is appreciated!
  • Jeans. Specifically jeans that cover my butt cheeks when I bend over, do not show my panties or God forbid – anything anywhere near my vagina. Who’s idea was it to implement ‘low-cut’ jeans into any wardrobe?!? I want jeans that do not come up past ones belly button. (As in mom jeans…) Jeans that do not look like I was just in a shoot out. Jeans that do not accentuate my muffin top. I want jeans that are comfortable. I do not want to pay $129.00 for them. Remember when Levi’s were $19.99 for the button downs? I long for the days…
  • Oh and let us not forget a really, really, really good hair brush. Long locks are hard to care for when you refuse to spend $60.00 on that salon brush of your dreams. (Here is where I mention that I cut about 2 feet of hair off one time because I rebelled against said brush cost. I now have longish hair, and a $6 brush.) Do I really need a winning lotto ticket? Seriously!!!

Why is there a price to be paid for beauty? Why is it that in my 35th year of life I feel like having a desire to feel pretty is going against the feminist movement? When I was in my twenties I felt that feeling pretty was a part of it…as in owning my body and doing with it what I wished visually speaking. Because it was mine! It is still mine people! Wanting to feel beautiful/pretty on the outside for me is to simply match what I feel on the inside, or try to. My clothes, shoes, and even my hair are an extension of who I am…though I do not rock said extensions. I enjoy converse shoes, t-shirts and noooo socks. I have an affinity for black and/or grey clothing, always with jeans. Do I really have to buy brightly colored sweaters and such for each season? (Because for whatever reason I feel like I have to!) And for the the love of God, who invented high-heeled shoes!?!

When did the word pretty become bad? And why do I feel guilty for wanting to be? I don’t want it as a label, but I want to feel okay wanting it.