Hey y’all 🙂 I’ve started a new blog and wanted to tell you a little bit about the blog and about me. In introducing myself and my blog, I have decided to be very open and share some things, that honestly, not that many people know about me. Who I am today, what I cherish most, my perspective of home and family and even Down syndrome, is greatly influenced by past experiences. I think those past experiences give me a bit of a unique perspective. I know those experiences cause me to take notice of ordinary beauty in the every day that is so easy for us all to take for granted. My husband has many times said I wear rose colored glasses. I tell him it’s on purpose 🙂
Being a mother has been the greatest joy of my life. I love HOME, and I love being a stay at home mom. For many that have a love of home, they want to replicate the loving home they experienced as a child. For me, I have wanted to create for myself and my children the home I had longed for. I desired to have a changed family legacy. I desperately wanted my children to know and love God, and know that He is good, even when things aren’t good. In my life, even the very hard stuff has been used by God for my good. I now live the life, and have the home, that I longed for as a child.
I grew up without a mother. My mother died when I was six. I remember as a child laying in my bed at night, crying, and asking God how he could let that happen. I’m known now for having a terrible memory; but I remember that as though it were yesterday. We were a blended family, and my five older siblings by this time were all married and no longer living at home. For a couple of years, my younger brother, Jody, and I weren’t with my dad and we missed him terribly. We had the love of extended family, but I was lonely, and longed for us to be together as a family. When I was 9 or 10 we were reunited as a family and living near some of my older siblings. My dad loved us deeply and wanted the very best for us. There were many good things about my dad; I have a lot of good memories with him, and I learned much that was good from him. But, my dad was an alcoholic, and as a result our home was very unstable and unpredictable. The more important it was to me for daddy to not be drinking on a particular occasion; the more likely he was to be.
I remember as a teenager watching other families that seemed stable and loving, with close family relationships. I was often envious when I saw teenage daughters who had loving, supportive relationships with their mothers. One mother and daughter still stand out in my mind. The mother once bought me an inexpensive ring on a school field trip when she saw how I really wanted it. We weren’t very organized at home and I hadn’t thought to ask my dad for money for the gift shop. This classmate’s mother probably has no recollection of that event, or even likely, memory of me. I watched the sweetness between this mother and daughter and I wanted that. I wanted it for myself as a daughter then, and for myself as a mother, with my children later. Often, when friends voiced their complaints about their mothers, I wished I had the very thing they were fussing about. My dad remarried twice, and one of my stepmother’s was a loving motherly influence in my life, even though our home was not a place of stability. Throughout my teen years, I continually filed away thoughts and dreams of what I wanted my future home with a family of my own to look like. This list wasn’t about “things” but about the atmosphere of safety and love and warmth that I desired to have for myself, and as the defining elements I wanted my children to grow up with.
In my adult life, as I grew in relationship with God, he began to make me whole. What I thought that a family of my own and home would give me, He did. I have great thankfulness for home, and family, and all that means to me. However, I know even that is only fulfilling in the way it is because He is the center and author of it all.
My childhood story leaves out a lot, and is heavily edited, and that’s for the best 🙂 Knowing where I come from will help you understand the passion I have for the life I live today. I love my life. I love HOME. I love the atmosphere of love and safety and stability and fun that is in our home. Our home isn’t perfect. There isn’t such a thing. But, our home is warm and inviting and feels like HOME. My favorite place to be.
I homeschooled my older two children all the way through and survived 🙂 One is a boy, y’all, and I count that among my greatest accomplishments. Now, I’m homeschooling just my youngest, who has Down syndrome. Even with Down syndrome, God continues to use all things for my good. My oldest (daughter, Jordan, 22) recently got married and my son (Evan, 20) lives at home and attends college. I am so thankful for all the years we’ve had together at home, all the sweet memories we’ve made. We are all now making adjustments and finding our new normal since Jordan no longer lives at home. It gets a little easier every day.
Won’t you join in me in this blogging journey as we talk about home, family, faith and Down syndrome? I would so love it if you would. I continue to learn something new every day. About myself, about God, about others. I hope you’ll interact with me. I think we can learn a lot from each other. I look forward to it.