Ok...this is officially the hardest day of my life. I question my faith, my purpose, my entire life. We went to court this morning with a renewed hope in our argument to keep custody of my step-daughter. We fought all day yesterday in court and argued our point the best we could (well, our attorney did). At the end of the day, the judge couldn't make a decision and he thought it best to return this morning for his decision. Because of that we thought we had a 50/50 chance even though the psychiatrists' report had been in her (my husband's ex-wife) favor. I wonder if you ever can prepare yourself enough for the worst. I don't think if I had expected the worst possible scenario this morning that it would have been enough to handle what was dealt to me/us. The judge had us wait until 1045am in order to start his ruling. He said things about me that characterized a person that I am not familiar with. Some of it was complete lies and other parts were a description of who I used to be. At what point do we consider someone to be "rehabilitated" or better than their former self? At what point does society say, "ok...that is enough to show that this person has changed?" If we continue to shove people's faces into their past mistakes and/or shortcomings, how will they ever feel confident enough to move on and/or believe in themselves enough to work on their character flaws? If I've learned one thing out of all of this it is not to judge someone for who or what they did an hour ago, a day ago, a week ago, or years ago. It serves no purpose. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES - some more extreme than others, but nevertheless mistakes. It is impossible to live a life free from judgement? Probably not, but the way I was judged today gives me a new perspective. The sadness that I feel is great, the remorse I feel for my actions in my youth are great, but I must trudge on. I have two other beautiful children that depend on me everyday. There is only one being that matters that will hold me accountable some day and that is God. He knows I am a good mother to my children and he knows how much I love my step-daughter. I don't know why this happened. I don't have the answer to why bad things happen, but I know that somehow God will use this. I know I began this post saying I question my faith - and I do...but not enough to let go of it. I know there has to be a higher purpose to all of this - I just couldn't go on without that hope. Proverbs 23:18 There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
Ok...I have found the coolest site...there are giveaways all the time and this one in particular caught my eye and I really want it!! Go check it out at kiddio.org.
I also wanted to let people know what is going on with our court stuff. Tomorrow morning at 9am we will know what the judge will decide about custody of my step daughter. We had court today and it wasn't pretty. Both sides got attacked by the judge and I had to hear all about the sins of my youth as if I am still that person. We had the support of a few close friends that stayed all day with us in court and if it weren't for them I don't know if I could have handled the words that were being spoken. At the end of the day the judge was unable to come to a decision so we were told to return tomorrow morning. If you happen to read this tonight or in the morning, please keep us in your prayers as this has been emotionally exhausting and we are trying to be open to whatever God's will is.
There's been so much going on in our family and we've been trying to keep up with the holiday spirit despite the fact that my stepdaughter will most likely be leaving to live with her mother by the end of the month. So, here are some pictures of something we did today and we got the idea from http://flipflopsandapplesauce.blogspot.com/. She has a pretty cool blog and I didn't know until today that she is Lisa Leonard's sister!! She has some amazing jewelry and I want some! :) So...here's the pics...no snow here in San Diego, so we have to make our own! My younger daughter obviously stuck to a much simpler (is that a word?) design than my stepdaughter. :) Oh...and my son...he just thought the glitter and glue was cool for about 2 minutes and then he was so over it. :) Such a boy! Happy Holidays! Oh yeah...and if anyone reads this...please go vote for my card (LETTER "S") at http://mylilyeden.blogspot.com
I know my card is not the best by far, but at least I'm being honest...I want that Target gift card! :)
Ok...I know I need to catch up on what has happened with our family, but it is so long I need to sit and really think before I write, but in the meantime there's some happy news from an AMAZING blog that I read....simplemom.net. Please go there and enter her Inkubook giveaway...AND start reading her blog!! Thanks! I'll be back later tonight with an update on the not-so-happy stuff. Thanks!
I'd thought I'd write in orange to honor the fall season and all the beautiful pumpkins! :) Have you ever been at a point in your life where there was a possibility that things might change forever? Maybe you are thinking of the night before you got married, or when you took your first pregnancy test, or the night day before your first "due date". Well, my life is at one of those crossroads. Sometime either tomorrow or on Monday I will find out whether or not my step-daughter will continue to live here with her dad and I. A court psychiatrist was assigned to evaluate everyone involved in this and make a recommendation to the judge as to where would be best for her - here or there. My husband has had custody of her since she was 11 months old. She is now 8, soon to be 9. I have been fortunate enough to raise her for the majority of her life so far. She had just turned 3 when we got married. Her mother has fought for custody since losing her in the very beginning. Yes, for almost 8 years my husband has had to defend his right to raise his daughter. Because he is in the USMC, we have moved several times and each time she re-tries the custody case because it is a new state and therefore a new jurisdiction to hear her crap/lies. Our justice system has a lot of corrections to be made...this being one of them. We have spent over $200,000 on this and it seems to never have an end in sight...until my step-daughter is old enough to choose (12 yrs old). There is much much more to this story (including a MONUMENTAL mistake I made early in our marriage that gave her mother even more to attack us with), but basically by this time on Tuesday (at the latest) my whole world might change. I had to blog about this because it is eating up every single second I am not doing something. My 4 yr old and my 15 month old would miss her terribly. She is an incredible child....difficult, but incredible. This is NOT to say that it has been a piece of cake to raise her and love her....it has not, but now that I am forced to think that there's a 50% chance she could be gone after the holidays I realize the gift I have been given the past couple of years. Although I often think of the "alone times" most people have when they first get married that we did not have and the times where I just wanted to go back to being "child-less" (this was very early in our marriage), I wouldn't change any of the time I've had with her. She has made me more patient, more understanding, more care-free, and changed my perspective in so many ways. God - please hear our prayers....don't take her away from us.
I am writing today b/c I'm so excited someone found my blog and it's a super-talented girl from The Lemon Tree Studio shop over at Etsy.
Her blog, mylilyeden.blogspot.com, is so cute too! So, I'm staying true to my word and sending her that gift certificate!!
I am also writing to share a picture of my little girl. She is my middle child and she just turned 4 two weeks ago. I love her and she is my angel...although she rarely acts like that these days. I am constantly frustrated by her lack of listening skills, but at the end of each day I am still amazed by her beauty and sincere heart. I have a friend who is a photographer and took this picture of her and I feel like it really captures the light in her eyes. I am starting to fear she will make the same mistakes I did just because she is starting to look like me. Isn't that silly?? She looked so much like my husband when she was born, but now not so much. I am hoping she keeps her goals in line and really works to please her heavenly father first and foremost and nobody else on this earth. I wish I had done that all along. Hopefully I will have some more regular readers by the end of the month and I'm hoping to host a give away or two. My first one!! I hope I learn more about this blogging adventure by then. :)
Oh yeah...one more thing....I haven't been doing too great with the sugar thing, but I vow to work harder and I did clean out my computer cabinet/desk after blogging about it last time. I'll have to share a pic sometime...it really looks neat. :) So many little projects in my house to get done. I'm hoping to get a lot done while my husband is gone. He deploys for 7 months in January. :(
Well, I'm a runner, a wanna-be organized mom, a too-much-sugar-eating mom, a trying-to-pay-off-debt mom, a learning-to-blog mom, a learning-to-be-frugal mom, appreciating my children more, trying to be more patient, etc, etc. There seems to be a running list in my head of who I want to be every morning and who I end up being at the end of every day. I suppose my children have a little bit to do with my unaccomplished list of wanna-be traits, but mostly it's just a lack of discipline. I love being a runner and that takes a lot of discipline, but why can't I have that same discipline in every other area? Hmmmm....this gets me thinking. Maybe I'll start writing my progress down - along with each specific trait I want to obtain and/or change. How's that for honesty?? I still have a lot to reveal about myself along the way and my first order of business is to be more consistent in these posts!! I also realize that right now I'm basically talking to myself since nobody has discovered my wonderful blog yet - that's sarcasm since I don't have a clue what I'm doing on here really. So, my journey begins as an open and honest blogger with consistent posts and hopefully some motivation to continue to try to be those things we all wish we could do/be better. :) Whoever finds this blog and posts a comment on it first will win a $20 SUPER GIFT CERTIFICATE FROM GIFT CERTIFICATES.COM!!! BTW - Besides another new post tomorrow, I will also attempt to eat less sugar by writing down everything I eat (something I've wanted to try for a long time) AND I will attempt to organize my computer desk/cabinet...wait until you see the mess!! God Bless!!
I wanted to explain my very first post. I don't know why I felt so led to write that letter, but a lot of people who know me think I'm this amazing stepmother for having to raise someone else's child, but I really haven't been....at least not to the best of my ability. I guess I wanted to put something out there for everyone to see how I've really felt most of the time in the last 5 years since I first married my husband. Anyways, I'm excited to start this blogging journey and see where it leads. God has done some absolutely amazing things in my life and I pray that some people will be blessed by hearing these things. I also pray that no one will be offended by some things that I will reveal along the way. Please stay tuned as I seek guidance from God as to what and how I should reveal these things in a way that would glorify the work He has done...because it was ALL HIM. On another note, I hope to add some normal day to day thoughts, activities, events about myself, my craftiness, my kids, etc. Thanks for stopping by and please continue to do so!!!
You are gone tonight. You left for the weekend at 6pm. I don’t know why I think of you so much more when you’re gone than when you are here, but I do. Your sister cried for you twice tonight. I wonder what you’re doing and what you’re saying. I wonder how you act with her. I wonder what you talk about. I wonder if you EVER miss me. I wonder. I wonder who you’ll be. I wonder if you’ll love me when you’re 18. I wonder if you’ll hate me when you’re 18. I don’t treat you the way I should a lot of the time. It is hard, but that is no excuse. I have wanted to write you something for a long time. You amaze me. I bet you didn’t know that, but you do. You are so forgiving. I can completely cut you down and the next minute you’re right there holding the door for me. Do you know how that makes me feel? I can’t thank you enough for being the big sister that you are to your little sister and brother. I never could have imagined that you would be so close. I know there is a lot of bickering, but I also see the love between the two of you. I can’t imagine that one day you could be living in separate homes. It makes me cry. I would miss you so much. I have to tell you that there are times when I enjoy the little ones and the quieter house when you leave, but to think of it as a permanent situation makes my insides hurt. I admire you. I never tell you that but I do. I wish that I didn’t care what other people thought of me. You could care less and that is hard to come by these days. I imagine that might change as you reach your teenage years, but I pray it doesn’t. It will help you so much as an adult. I pray that you will hold the values that your daddy and I have taught you. I pray that Jesus will be important to you then like he is to you now. I want you to know everything that your daddy did to keep you where he thought it would be safest for you. He NEVER wanted you to hate your mother, although there were times when he had to explain things she did because you were so confused at times. I’m sorry for the times I couldn’t hold my tongue and said some things about her that I shouldn’t have. Unfortunately I can’t promise that that won’t happen again, but it is a daily struggle not to say anything sometimes. Will you forgive me? I can tell you this: she loves you and that is all I know as a truth about her. You are my stepdaughter because God chose you to be my stepdaughter and because I chose your daddy and you were part of a “package deal”. I will be more loving to you because I want you to know that you’re loved not only by your mommy and daddy, but also specifically by me. I will learn things from you and hopefully you will learn good things from me. I will try to be a better example. I will no longer hold regrets in my heart of things I have said or done to you that I know were wrong. OUR God has forgiven me for that. I will look ahead at our future together as something that God has designed for our lives and how can that be a bad thing? I have hope that we will be close. I will enjoy time spent with you and treasure you. I hold a special place for you in my heart. I wanted you to know these things. I dream about a day when you might be proud to call me your stepmother, for you are my ONE and ONLY stepdaughter.
I'm saved, I am a full-time stepmother, I also have 2 biological children, I have ugly stuff in my past, but I am forgiven, I love my friends, I love God, I love my husband and my amazing children (all 3 of them), I love this Blog thing, I love to bake, hmmmm...there's lots more, but I'll stop there. :)