An Open Letter to the Brokenhearted on Mother’s Day

My Dear Sweet Friend,

What I have to say isn’t for those on a sentimental high of celebratory accolades and recognition. This isn’t your typical Mother’s Day blog post full of ironic humor and adorable pictures of frazzled moms and food smeared chubby toddlers. I’m pretty sure you won’t have a hard time finding something like that elsewhere, if that’s what you’re looking for. But, you won’t find it here.

This is an open letter to the brokenhearted. An acknowledgment of those who may feel as though they reside on the outskirts of society on days like today. Who think that they are alone in their pain. This is for those whose mothers have passed, and the only way they can give them flowers today is to lay them on their graves. This is for the women who have made their homes in the valley of barrenness. This is for those who look into the beautiful faces of their children and still see the ghosts of what could have been, what they feel should have been. This is for those whose arms ache with the emptiness of loss and hope. This is for those who have piles of home pregnancy tests stashed all over their homes, waiting for that confirmation of life. This is for those who are haunted by the guilt of choices that can’t be undone and wonder, what if? This is for those who gave their children away long ago and wonder what became of them. This is for the children of mothers who gave less than they needed and are still left with the void. This is even for those who shrug and think, it’s just another day when, in the space of truth that lies beneath, they know that it’s not. This is for the woman who puts on a brave face and smiles until her cheeks hurt, only to steal moments alone with her head tilted back, fingers gently patting away tears before her concealer breaks and her mascara runs.

I’ve carried a burden for you. Yes, you. I thought of you and your pain and laid it along side my own burden of brokenness, before hoisting it onto my back and wearing it for the last week. I counted down the days till Sunday, sadness tinging each moment, sighs escaping my mouth at will and without conscious provocation.  As I sit here snuggled up on my couch in a velvety soft blanket, my stomach is in knots at the thought of going against the grain and speaking to a population that many people would rather pretend don’t exist. I guess I’m unique in that I belong to both groups. There have been times when I would rather not deal with the messiness of sadness and loss. When I found it easier to pretend. But that’s exhausting and tiresome and debilitating and any other number of words you can think of to explain that it’s no longer worth my time.

I am the mother of a stillborn. An oxymoron of an existence. Do I count as a mother? Do I ignore the pain that fills me like air on days like this? Do I pretend that I don’t feel the undercurrent of pain that my eyes were opened to the moment tragedy struck?

I won’t do that. I won’t pretend that I don’t see you. I see you, I feel you and I care for you. For lack of a better way to put it; it sucks to be us right now. The truth is that if we’d had a choice, none of us would have joined this club.

But we’re here now and I found myself asking God, “What do I say to them, Lord?” I didn’t feel that I had anything to offer until I remembered that we don’t have to keep carrying our burdens . It’s a choice we make. I’m not going to give you a Christian cliche and advise you to lay your burdens down. I prefer to think of it as simply letting go. That’s what I did.

I gave birth to my deceased daughter, and had her cremated. Then, I had no choice but to learn how to live in The After. Some things forever change you, without fanfare, quietly and totally. This was one of those things. I railed against God. I was consumed with a simmering rage that only seemed to grow as, even in my grief stricken state, I realized that I needed Him. And the whole time, He was right there. Through my rage, my numbness and my years of insidious resentment. He was right there.

Because you see, the Lord is near to the brokenhearted* and binds up all their wounds**.
I know this, not because I read it, but because I lived it. He was faithful to walk with me through sorrow, and I came to know Him in the fellowship oLetting Gof His suffering. My point is that I never had to lay my burden down. I eventually let it go because it’s hard to hang on to your stuff when you’re constantly in the presence of the Almighty. It really is darn near impossible. Trust me, I tried.

He bound up my wounds, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still hurt. Pain is a part of the healing process. I had surgery months ago, and I still hurt at the site of the wound when it’s going to rain. I’m still healing, and those twinges are part of that healing. I might feel those twinges for the rest of my life, but that’s OK. The pain that led me to the surgical table was far more excruciating than the twinges I feel now. The same is true for the emotional and spiritual trauma we can’t see. Over time, you will still feel sadness. You will still shed tears.

But, you won’t be broken forever.

When the pain is overwhelming, when you can’t see past it and wonder how you’ll go on, just remind yourself that it won’t be like this forever. Shed your tears, remember the good, take a few deep breaths and know that you can go on.

He said, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21

XoXo,

Faith

*Psalm 34:18, **Psalm 147:3

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This Weekend…

What’s up, beautiful people?! It’s been more than a minute since I actually wrote something, rather than posting random videos. I’ve missed y’all!

I’ve been on kind of a total self-care journey. It’s been challenging, to say the least. I’m the sort of person who likes to believe that I’m superhuman. You know, that basic things like proper nutrition, rest and taking time for myself, are optional. It took a series of health issues to make me come to the realization that I’m far from a super hero. I’ve retired my cape and put on my glasses. Which is why I can finally clearly see that I’ve got to take care of me, because no one else is in line for the job. And that’s ok. In fact, it’s more than just ok. It’s a privilege I’ve been given by virtue of simply being alive and grown!

With that privilege comes choices. The choice to do things that feed my mind, body, spirit and soul.  I invite you all to do the same and to that effect, here’s a list of things you can do this weekend to remind yourself that YOU MATTER. I hope you find something that resonates with you and decide to gift yourself with it. You deserve it!


Do you, Boo:

  • Pick flowers in your backyard and display them around your home.
  • Buy a bouquet of flowers and put them on your nightstand. They’ll be the first thing you see when you wake up!
  • Binge watch your favorite T.V. series or find a new one to fall in love with.
  • Go for a walk that’s purely for pleasure.
  • Paint your toenails an obnoxious color.
  • Create a spa in your bathroom. Spend the evening soaking in a tub and reading a book by candlelight.
  • Sleep in without guilt.
  • Send your kids to a family member or friends’s house and do whatever you want this weekend.
  • Go to a matinee with a friend or by yourself!
  • Light a scented candle a do a breathing mediation.
  • Go get a pedicure or massage.
  • Experiment with a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try.
  • Invite friends of family over for game night.
  • Eat something decadent without feeling guilty.
  • Make it a Staycation weekend and explore your city/town.
  • Go for a scenic drive/bus ride and allow your mind to wander.
  • Go for a nature walk at your nearest national park.
  • Sit outside and look at the Sunset or count stars.
  • Read your daily devotional outdoors and take time afterwards to reflect on it while sitting in the sun.
  • Make a picnic and take it to the park.
  • Participate in a group sport or exercise class.
  • Find a yoga practice online and try it out.
  • Go to bed early.
  • Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and talk for hours.
  • Get your hair done.
  • Try a new hobby you’ve been putting off.
  • Go to a fancy restaurant and only order dessert.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Spend some time talking to a five year old. They know everything.
  • Write a letter to your younger self. Then write one to your future self. Pick any ages.
  • Write a letter to a loved one who has passed on.
  • Allow yourself to have a good hard cry if you feel like it.
  • Allow yourself to laugh ’til it hurts if you feel like it.
  • Allow yourself time to dream.
  • Allow yourself time to plan for those dreams and convert them to goals.
  • Play in your own make-up.
  • Snuggle up with someone you love and watch a tearjerker or rom-com.
  • Read a book cover to cover in one sitting ( and don’t dare think about the laundry, dishes, etc)
  • Organize something, if that floats your boat.
  • Tell someone you love them.
  • Make a list of your best qualities and refer to it every time you feel like you’re not good enough.
  • Write an affirmation to yourself in lipstick on your bathroom mirror. ( Don’t worry, it wipes right off!)
  • Dance like everyone’s watching and you got all the moves, even if you don’t.
  • Sing at the top of your lungs.
  • Lay on your couch and just listen to music.
  • Put your phone on silent and take a much needed break.

This list could go on and on, but you guys get the picture. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or even any money, to take time for yourself. Remember, if your tank is empty you don’t have anything to give. Now, I’m off to binge watch Parenthood. I’m on a mission to find out if there’s a single episode where nobody cries. I’m halfway through season 2 and it hasn’t happened yet. See y’all next time!

What’s your favorite self-care act? Tell us about it in the comments below!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

I WISH ALL OF YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!!!!

Me and two of my sisters. I wish my other sister had been there!

Me and two of my sisters. I wish my other sister had been there!

Mama enjoying playing Dirty Santa. She stole my gift!

Mama enjoying playing Dirty Santa. She stole my gift!

Me and the youngest sister. She's glowing from her new engagement!

Me and the youngest sister. She’s glowing from her new engagement!

See y’all next year!

XoXo,

Faith

Don’t Be Mad At Ya Girl!

 

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I know I’m in the dog house for leaving y’all hanging. I had every intention of updating you guys on my health status as soon as possible. Somebody lied and told me I was Superwoman. I think the heffa was me. I mean, who actually thinks that major surgery isn’t going to slow them down?

Anyway, I’m happy to report that I am cancer free! *Internally jumps up and down with glee while doing a holy dance.* You don’t know how happy I was to wake up from that operation without a single chemo port in me. The first thing I did after thanking God that I even woke up, was check for ports. When I didn’t find any, I almost couldn’t believe it. Just to confirm, I asked the nurses. I might have been high as a kite and speaking gibberish, because they looked at me like I was crazy. Eventually, a resident came over and gave me the good news. I’ve never been so relieved in my life.

I took a video for y’all the day after surgery  while I was still in the hospital. It will never EVER see the light of day. Talk about a hot mess. I didn’t even know I could be so gray. And so swollen. Not a good look, to say the least. I stayed in the hospital for a total of about 32 hours, then I got sent home despite my protests.

I’ll post later on the recovery process, but suffice it to say that it sucked. I had some setbacks, but I made it through. In a few more weeks I’ll be cleared to resume normal activities. In the meantime and in between time, I’m enjoying the housework restrictions and copious episodes of Parks and Recreation.

I so appreciate all the love I received in the form of flowers, cards, well wishes, prayers and phone calls. I’m truly blessed!

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#WriterWednesday : 5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic by Faith Simone

A couple of weeks ago I was graciously hosted by fellow author Nigeria Lockley. I wrote a post for #WriterWednesday about 5 simple ways to increase your blog traffic. Although it isn’t Wednesday I thought I’d re-post it on my blog today. I hope you’re all coping with the time change better than I am. Where the coffee at?

Nigeria Lockley

Have you been wondering how to make your blog work for you instead of you working for your blog? Have you racked your brain trying to figure out why your readers barely engage with the content you post? Well, today on #WriterWednesday the 2014 winner of the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, Faith Simone ofAll Things Written to Inspire and Encourage is stopping by The Neophyte Author to steer us all in the write direction. 

5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic by Faith Simone

Blogging is not for the faint of heart, but it doesn’t have to be super difficult either. At its root, blogging is intended for two things: sharing a person’s personal thoughts on a variety of subjects and connecting with others. That’s it in a nut shell. But we all know that many folks use their blogs as a way to sell products, make…

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And the Winner is… #Giveaway

Amazon 2

Whew, it’s been a busy week all up and through here! My week long blog tour is over, and it’s time to announce the winners of the giveaway. Three fantabulous people have won 1 $10 Amazon Gift Card each! Without further adieu, here are the winners:

Rachel M.

Mary V. 

Christa W.

Winners I’ve sent you an email, and once you confirm your email addresses I’ll send you an e-gift card. Thanks to everyone who entered and participated in my blog tour week! Your pictures are next to the word awesome in my dictionary. 🙂

2014 In Review

I’m soooo late posting this, but I had to take a moment to thank each of you for visiting this blog regularly or sporadically in 2014. I’m happy to ‘see’ you anytime you deign to grace me with your presence! Here’s to hoping that you’ve started off the New Year with high expectations, lofty goals and a plan in place to achieve them. Cheers, my loves!


 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.