Family

Seven Years Later…

7 YEARS LATER - YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE YOUR STORY WILL TAKE YOU...

 

I was looking at my calendar last week, and I realized that it was seven years ago that my world came crashing down around me. My mind wandered back to that awful night in November when I discovered the heartbreaking truth about my first marriage. I had been so busy working on exciting new things that I had forgotten about that particular anniversary.

 

Seven years. Wow.

 

Chapter 5

 

I’ve taken some time since then to ponder all that has happened in the last seven years, and I am in awe. I never would have dared to dream about where this story would take me.

 

Seven years ago…

My Littlest Gift - justoneoftheboys.com

 

I was broken.

The future seemed hopeless.

I felt so alone.

I had three scared little faces looking up at me for reassurance.

I had to be strong… for them.

 

Seven years later…

Boys at St. Louis Arch

 

My heart has continued to heal a little more each day.

I have hope – wild and beautiful hope for the future – and now I get to share it with others.

I have learned that I’m not alone, and sharing the darkest parts of my story lets me help others know that they aren’t alone on this journey either.

There are three growing boys smiling back at me.

When I can’t be strong, I have my faith and the arms of my Beloved, family, and friends to hold me up until I can walk again.

 

Family at the Chicago Bean

 

The world which once felt so dark, scary, and lonely is opening up right in front of me! Somebody needs to pinch me, because I can’t believe what I’m about to tell you – 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year…

 

I’m going to KENYA in July!

 

And then I’m going to southern INDIA in September!

 

Everything has happened so quickly – but I am beyond thrilled to be joining our church in the work they are doing in both places. After years of learning about the situations and struggles that women and girls face in both countries, praying, and wondering what in the world a little mom from Kansas could do to help – I feel like it’s all getting plopped down right in my lap! I get to work with amazing women who are going through some of the very same struggles that we face. These women are just like us – they need to feel that they are seen, loved, and accepted for who they are. They need friendship, community, and security. Many of them are in abusive relationships. Many of them know the pain of their husbands being unfaithful in their marriages. These are male-dominated societies where women and girls are not valued, and my heart is aching for them.

 

My friend Joy told me stories of women who have to attend secret church services so their husbands do not realize that they are Christians. Sometimes the husbands will follow the wives to church – and beat them right in the middle of the church service. For their faith. It was when my friend told me about this that I immediately felt my heart drawn to these women. Seven years ago I didn’t have a voice, but healing, growing, and those who poured into my life were my voice until I found it again. My heart’s desire is to be the voice for others who can’t speak up for themselves, and to give them hope while they find their own voices again. Joy’s sister Elishba let me use her photo of one of these secret church services…

 

Madurai church - women

 

This is Nalini. She is one of these precious ladies. When her husband found out that she attended church services, he would beat her and lock her out of the house at night so she had to sleep in the street. Thankfully, her husband has been changing and she has been able to attend services without any trouble from him recently.

 

Nalini

 

Dear friends, these women and girls are our sisters, and I hope that we will all stand with them in support. We’re all on this journey together!

 

Joy and Ginger

 

Another exciting piece of news is that my lovely friend Joy is translating many of my blog posts into her native Tamil language – to be a book!!! Her father is the pastor of the church above – and they want to share our story with the women in their city. I am still in awe of how things are coming together! I have been busy editing and putting together our blog posts into a manuscript for Joy to translate – and then share with whomever can be encouraged by it.

 

This is what I’ve been doing lately – printing, playing around with the order of the chapters, and editing with my handy red pen…

Manuscript

 

*Sidenote – Isn’t my new African journal beautiful? My friend Toni from Red Pen Travelers did a fabulous job – and I can’t wait to take it with me on my travels! She will be making leather India journals in a few months to help support my trip to India! Check them out for yourself – her notebooks would make perfect Christmas presents!

 

African Journal - Red Pen Travelers

 

I am so excited to share all of this with you because you NEVER KNOW what the future holds. You never know how your story can be used to touch someone else’s heart. To you, my friends, who are hurting right now – when you feel like you’re being pulled under by the unrelenting waves of your own pain, please know that there really is hope. There’s no telling who you might help by sharing your story with someone going through their own storm.

 

Seven years ago I never could have dreamed that one day my story of feeling so broken and alone would help anyone – especially women in other parts of the world. I feel so humbled that this Kansas girl gets to take a message of hope to our sisters in India and Kenya next year. I can’t wait to throw my arms around them and let them know how loved they are. Just like you, my friends, I want them to know that they are seen, they are loved, and they are not alone.

 

I am so honored to get to spend part of your day with you. Thank YOU for going on this journey with me!

Love & hugs,

~ G

 

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When You Feel Alone – Part 2 – When His Words Break Your Heart…

2

 

Dearest Friend,

I can see the hurt in your eyes as you try so hard to be strong. I can hear you convincing yourself and others that everything is okay. I watch you hiding behind the mask of having it all together, when you really feel helpless and with no way out. I know that you feel invisible. I know that you wouldn’t dream of speaking up, but please know that you are not alone in this. I see you because I see myself in you…

 

I love you, but…

I never said that…

You’re crazy. I never did that to you…

You must be remembering it wrong…

 

You brace for the words you know are coming as he embarrasses you in public again. He must not realize how much it stings. He’s only teasing. You take things too seriously, he tells you. You feel yourself harden as layer after layer of his words threaten to squeeze the life out of your once tender heart.

 

You try to explain it all away – He doesn’t mean to be so critical. He just had a hard day. He’s under so much stress. If you hadn’t been so dumb. If you hadn’t messed up.

 

You try so hard, but somehow he knows just what to say to make you feel increasingly small.

 

 

It wasn’t always like this. Your mind drifts back to before – when it all began. Back when he first noticed you. Back when he showered you with attention. Back when he couldn’t get enough of you.

 

Being pursued was all so exciting in the beginning. You finally meant something to somebody. He said that you were the prettiest. The kindest. The sexiest. The smartest. The best at everything. You had wanted to take things slow, but things spun out of control. He had this urgency about your relationship – almost as if he were afraid that you’d slip away. You almost felt smothered in his affection, but this had to be love, right? This is what you’d been waiting for all your life.

 

You’re not quite sure how it happened. One day, when you were completely his – when you had fallen under his spell – something changed. A sharp word. A rolling of his eyes. Something was your fault. You were hurt by a joke he made about you to his friends. He said he didn’t mean it. You are too sensitive, he told you

 

Things escalated so gradually, and you’re not sure how you ended up here. You had found your worth in him, but now you feel like nothing outside of your relationship with him. You’re a grown woman, but in an instant he can make you feel like a small child. There is a sense of security in him. It used to be that he needed you, but now you need him. It kills you when he shuts you out. You just want to make him happy. You try so hard to earn his love and approval once more – but it just doesn’t come.

 

You get blamed more and more, and you rationalize to yourself and others how he treats you. It seems like you’re always explaining or making excuses for him, but for some reason you are the one who ends up feeling guilty. You start to wonder if you are going crazy, if this is all your fault…

 

Oh, how I wish I could gather you up in the warmest of hugs right now. I would make us cups of tea, and I would ask you to sit and talk with me. There’s something I want to tell you. Sweet friend, you are not crazy. Absolutely none of this is your fault. You have loved, trusted, and believed in this man. You gave him everything, and have received nothing in return. I wish I could help you see that you have given him your whole heart, your self-worth, and your life – but now you can take them back. You are so precious, and you DO deserve to be treated better than this life he has cultivated and has controlled around you.

 

I know that it seems so strange to even think about, but the first step in healing your bruised and broken heart is recognizing what it really is… Verbal abuse. Does this story resonate with you? Please take some time to really think about it. Once this sinks in, it feels as if a blindfold has been lifted from your life. You no longer have to accept the words he throws at you. Your eyes can finally be open to the truth.

 

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32

 

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can find healing, acceptance, and your joy in life again. If any of this resonates with you, I beg of you to find someone you can talk to and who can hold your hand as you walk through this journey. I still have so much healing and growing to do, but I could not have come this far in my life without my counselor. She was truly a major key in me finding my voice and becoming who I am today. If you need any help finding a counselor, please READ THIS POST. I also could not have done it without the support of my close family and friends. Please open up to someone whom you trust and let them help you through this.

 

And I can’t stress this enough – if you are in a relationship where someone is hurting you physically or sexually, PLEASE SEEK SAFETY. Chances are that if those are happening to you, then you can relate to the other stories, too. I beg of you to take your children and find a shelter or a safe house where you can get help. Call the police – they are here to protect you, but they can’t help if you don’t go to them. It doesn’t matter what he said in the past. If it has happened once, studies show that it will happen again – and I just can’t bear the thought of one of you precious friends getting hurt again… or worse.

 

Would you please do something for me? If you know someone who is hurting and could be encouraged by this post, would you please share it with them? There is nothing I want more than to come alongside them and let them know that there really is hope.

 

If there is one thing that I may to leave you with – please know that even though not many people talk about these parts of our stories, there are so many of us on this journey together. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also email me at justoneoftheboysblog@gmail.com.

You are loved. You are seen. And you are not alone.

*Hugs*

 

More in this series:

When You Feel Alone

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When You Feel Alone…

When You Feel Alone (4)

 

Dearest Friend,

 

I can see the hurt in your eyes as you try so hard to be strong. I can hear you convincing yourself and others that everything is okay. I watch you hiding behind the mask of having it all together, when you really feel helpless and with no way out. I know that you feel invisible. I know that you wouldn’t dream of speaking up, but please know that you are not alone in this. I see you because I see myself in you…

 

 

I love you, but…

I never said that…

You’re crazy. I never did that to you…

You must be remembering it wrong…

 

You brace for the words you know are coming as he embarrasses you in public again. He must not realize how much it stings. He’s only teasing. You take things too seriously, he tells you. You feel yourself harden as layer after layer of his words threaten to squeeze the life out of your once tender heart.

 

You try to explain it all away – He doesn’t mean to be so critical. He just had a hard day. He’s under so much stress. If you hadn’t been so dumb. If you hadn’t messed up.

 

You try so hard, but somehow he knows just what to say to make you feel increasingly small.

 

 

Nothing is ever good enough. Life with him means walking on eggshells. You try so hard to please him, but you find yourself always coming up short. You try to brush it off when you’re with others, always covering and making excuses for him. He’s just particular. He works so hard. You’ll try harder.

 

So much of your life is wrapped up in him. You feel like you don’t deserve him or the life he’s given you. You don’t remember what life was like without him.

 

You’ve never done anything even remotely untrustworthy, but he seems to be jealous for no reason. It’s like he doesn’t trust you. He’s just being protective, you tell yourself. You always feel like you’ve done something wrong, but you’re not even sure what it is that you feel guilty about anymore.

 

 

He seemed so eager to meet your friends and family in the beginning, almost desperate to impress them. You’re not quite sure how it happened, but gradually things have changed. He says they’re trying to drive a wedge between you. They just don’t understand him like you do. You feel so torn. Of course you love him, but you’re starting to feel smothered and you’d give anything for just a tiny breath of air.

 

When you do get out of the house, it feels like he’s checking up on you. You don’t want to hurt his feelings or make him angry, but why can’t you have just this little bit of time for yourself? You explain it away to your friends – He’s just being protective. He just misses you. But when you get home, you will still feel guilty. The next time your friends invite you out, you might say no. It’s just not worth it.

 

 

You feel your cheeks burn as you ask him for money. He tells you where and when you can go shopping, and even checks your receipts when you come home. He says he’s making sure you aren’t wasting money.

 

You feel guilty for even questioning him, but it just doesn’t make sense. You thought the two of you would be a team, but now you can’t shake this horrible feeling that you’re more like a doormat than a partner.

 

Your new debit card never came in the mail, so you stay home most of the week to limit your spending. Later, you find your card in a stack of mail on his desk. Tears sting in your eyes as you realize that it has been here all this time. Maybe he forgot about it. Maybe not. Feeling helpless, you put it back on his desk. It’s not worth the fight to bring it up.

 

 

You don’t even want to bother with dressing up today. You’re really tired of his questions when you put on makeup or perfume. You just want to feel a little better about yourself, but he asks who you’re trying to impress. He says you don’t need makeup, so maybe you won’t even bother with it.

 

You gaze at the clothes in the back of your closet – the ones he won’t let you wear. You would love to feel pretty and stylish again, but now it doesn’t feel like you even have a style.

 

You want to treat yourself to a much-needed haircut, but he doesn’t want you to cut it. He says you get sassy with shorter hair. You’d like to cut it enough to make it easier to fix in the mornings, but that might rock the boat too much. Maybe you’ll just stick with a ponytail.

 

 

You thought things would be different. You don’t like going to church alone, but you wish he’d stop making hurtful comments. You hate feeling like you have to balance your relationship with him and your faith. This is important to you. Why can’t he understand that?

 

He found a way to use Scripture to make you feel beneath him. You work so hard to obey and be a good Christian wife, but you never measure up.

 

Or maybe he won’t let you go to church at all.

 

 

He said he was sorry… You gently run your finger over the bruise. He said he didn’t mean to. He promised it would never happen again…

 

 

You look at the closed door. You’ve slowly put the pieces together. Hurt and angry tears threaten to fall as you feel crushed by more overwhelming waves of guilt. You’re not enough for him. Not pretty enough. Not sexy enough. It’s just a guy thing. You hate it – all of those images invading his eyes and your marriage. You think to yourself, At least he’s not cheating on me… But you feel your heart break a little more each time.

 

 

Does he even hear you say no? Does he see the tears falling down your cheeks? Does he even care?

 

You long to feel safe – to be held tenderly, and not held down. To be caressed, and not fondled. To make love, and not forced. The dark, far away look in his eyes says that he doesn’t really see you. You squeeze your eyes closed, shutting out the world around you, and numbing yourself to what is happening. Agonizingly, you wait in the darkness for it to be over.

 

Frightened, your mind races as you roll over and wait for him to fall asleep. This isn’t how it was supposed to be. You feel dirty. Used. Betrayed in the deepest level of your being. Something begins to form in the back of your mind, but you force it away before you can say it. It’s your husband. Not a stranger in a dark alley. It can’t be… Can it?

 

You watch as he battles his demons. You pick him up when he falls. You drag him to bed to sleep it off. Once again you’ll make excuses to cover for him. You’ve tried to get him the help he needs, but nothing seems to stick. He needs you. You’re afraid of what he’ll do if you ever leave…

 

If any part of this is your story, Precious Friend, I want so much to give you a big hug and tell you that you don’t have to walk this journey alone. If any of these resonate in your own life, I wish that you will seek out someone to talk to – someone who can hold your hand and guide you through it. I still have so much healing and growing to do, but I could not have come this far in my life without my counselor. She was truly a major key in me finding my voice and becoming who I am today. If you need any help finding a counselor, please READ THIS POST. I also could not have done it without the support of my close family and friends. Please open up to someone who you trust and let them help you through this.

 

And I can’t stress this enough – if you are in a relationship where someone is hurting you physically or sexually, PLEASE SEEK SAFETY. Chances are that if those are happening to you, then you can relate to the other stories, too. I beg of you to take your children and find a shelter or a safe house where you can get help. Call the police – they are here to protect you, but they can’t help if you don’t go to them. It doesn’t matter what he said in the past. If it has happened once, studies show that it will happen again – and I just can’t bear the thought of one of you precious friends getting hurt again… or worse.

 

If there is one thing that I want to leave you with – please know that even though not many talk about these parts of our stories, there are so many of us on this journey together. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also email me at justoneoftheboysblog@gmail.com.

 

You are loved. You are seen. And you are not alone.

 

*Hugs*

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When You Can’t Forgive…

When You Can't Forgive

 

I hope that one day I’ll be able to forgive him, but I just can’t do it right now. 

 

I’ve been there.

 

I have felt myself drowning in overwhelming waves of hurt, betrayal, and anger. I’ve been engulfed by shame and loneliness, even when the storm that was raging around me wasn’t my fault. I felt so alone in my broken marriage, and desperately wished to feel whole again. It wasn’t until I learned to forgive that I discovered that this was how I could save myself from being pulled under, and ultimately drowning in my broken heart.

 

We’ve all heard the sayings about forgiveness:

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

It’s the fragrance of a flower after it is crushed.

Forgive your enemy, but don’t forget his name. 

 

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? But what we don’t hear is that forgiveness is HARD. Forgiveness is painful. Sometimes the journey to forgiveness, growth, and healing feels as agonizing as the hurt in the first place. Especially when they were the person you trusted more than anyone, someone who was supposed to love, honor, cherish, and protect you – and they betrayed that trust.

 

I realized something one day as I watched my boys play. Do you remember swinging on the monkey bars at the playground as a child? Forgiveness is very much like making your way across those bars, from one side to the other. Forgiving someone who hurt you deeply is one of the biggest decisions you will ever face because it requires you to let go. You have to let go of what is behind you in order to move forward.

 

Forgiveness- Letting go of the past to move

 

Think back again to those monkey bars. What happened at recess when you started reaching out for something ahead of you, and also didn’t want to let go? Your palms got sweaty, your arms grew weak, and it felt like you couldn’t hold yourself up for one more second. You were stuck. And then you fell to the ground.

 

But what happens when you get back up, brush the sand off your knees, and keep trying over and over again? You let go of what what was behind you, and you keep reaching forward. Eventually you develop little callouses on your hands, you get stronger, and you will get there. Letting go of the past so you can move forward – it’s the only way across.

 

There are times on this journey that you will feel paralyzed by the hurt, abuse, loneliness, or shame that you have been through. This, my dear friend, is completely normal. Remember when I said that this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever face? It is, but I can say to you with all of my heart that it is worth every bit of the struggle.

 

Can I tell you something? I wish that I could go back in time for each and every one of you and take away this hurt. As desperately as we might wish it – there is absolutely nothing that we can do to change the past. But I have the most amazing news for you – You can absolutely change the course of your future.

 

When you forgive, you in no way change (1)

 

Yes, some horrible and inexcusable things have happened, but we don’t have to stay crippled by the pain. We don’t have to be stuck for the rest of our lives as the victims. Forgiveness is not giving them power over you, but you are actually taking power away from them – the power to keep hurting you over and over again.

 

You see, forgiveness really is a gift that you give to yourself – a deep and painful gift – but it is the only way to freedom. When you choose to let go and reach forward again and again and again, you are setting yourself free from the pain that bound you to them. When those chains have fallen away from you, it is then that you are free to heal. Those wounds – physical, emotional, verbal, sexual – they will heal. They will always be there, but eventually you will look at the scar tissue and not focus on the pain – but you will be able to see just how far you’ve come.

 

Forgiveness

 

If there is one thing that I want to leave you with – please know that even though not many talk about it, there are so many of us on this journey together. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also email me at justoneoftheboysblog@gmail.com.

 

You are loved. You are seen. And you are not alone.

 

Just keep reaching forward and letting go…

 

*Hugs*

 

~ G

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How to Heal After Infidelity

How to Heal After Infidelity - Ways to cope, take care of yourself, and learning how to forgive on this journey to healing a broken heart.

 

Dear Friends,

 

I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!

 

Today I’m sharing from my heart about a question that I hear pretty often… How do you heal after infidelity?

 

Each one of the messages that I receive about this pulls at my heart. I want to reach out and give each of you a giant hug. I would fix us some comforting tea, and then I would sit down next to you and share the ways that helped to heal my broken heart.

 

Just breathe.

 

When I found out about his unfaithfulness, my heart raced, my veins turned to ice, my stomach revolted, and I couldn’t breathe. Every time I discovered a new aspect of the betrayal, feared for my safety, or relived the hurt – it felt as if an elephant were sitting on my chest. I purposely let myself slow down enough to concentrate on breathing in for five slow counts, (1…2…3…4…5…), and then out for five slow counts, (1…2…3…4…5…), until the feeling passed. My world was crumbling and spinning around me, but when I spent a few minutes throughout the day on my breathing, I felt a little more in control of my situation.

 

Do the next thing.

 

Write out a list of routine activities you need to do today, and just concentrate on one thing at a time. Walk the dog. Read your little one a bedtime story. Take out the trash. Go to the grocery store. Pay the electric bill. Try not to focus so much on the unknown future – but continue on the little normal tasks in front of you. These might feel small and nearly impossible at the same time. You may feel easily distracted, but these will help to keep your body busy and your mind on track.

 

Take care of yourself.

 

Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Shower. Brush your teeth. Fix your hair. Go for a walk at sunset with a friend. Eat something, even if you don’t fee like it. These might sound simple, but when you are truly wrestling with such devastating news, it can be hard to gather enough focus and energy for even something as routine as shaving your legs.

 

I know it doesn’t feel like it, but each time you do something to take care of yourself, it’s another step forward on your journey to healing.

 

Make an appointment to see your doctor.

 

I hate this part, Friend, but I can’t stress how important this step is in your healing. You need to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Call your doctor’s office and set up a time for you to be seen. Take a supportive friend with you, if you can. I was so lucky to have a friend there holding my hand, and a caring doctor who got me in that same day for a whole panel of tests.

 

Once you have the results, a large weight will be lifted off your weary shoulders. If the tests are negative, you can move forward. If something does turn up, you can be treated as early as possible, and then continue moving forward.

 

*I would also highly recommend requesting that your partner be tested for the same large panel of STDs, and have the results printed out for you to see. They may not like it, but you have every right to know if they brought anything concerning into your bed.

 

Allow yourself to grieve.

 

Be still and heal.

 

You’ve just been through so much, Friend. The news that your spouse has been unfaithful is one of the most devastating betrayals that you could ever experience. Take the time that you need to process what has happened. There will be so many moments when you will need to be strong, but it is okay for you to let yourself crumble sometimes. Just don’t stay down. Allow the tears to fall, but then get back up again. You really will smile again. You will get through this… I promise.

 

Explore healthy ways to vent your anger and frustration.

 

 

No good can come from taking, “a Louisville slugger to both headlights,” like the country song. As much as you might want to hurl obscenities or your wedding China at your spouse, I promise that it won’t help.

 

This is the time to remain calm – almost businesslike – around him. There are other ways to release some of the frustration, anger, and hurt that you are feeling. Write in a journal, write a letter to your husband or to the other woman, talk to a friend, go for a run, or join a kickboxing class. Lock yourself in a room and scream into your pillow. This way you won’t do something that you will later regret.

 

Surround yourself with love and support.

 

Seek out family and loving friends right now. Find a support group through a church. This is not the time to shut yourself off from the world. It’s hard to let down your guard and say the words out loud, but I think you will be surprised at the love and understanding that you will find. I will be forever grateful for the support of my family and friends. I couldn’t have done it without them.

 

Keep things as normal as possible for yourself and your kids.

 

Whether or not you talk to your kids about what is going on, they need stability. Keep your routine as normal as possible, and it will help you and them as you process and heal.  If your children know about the betrayal, please consider having them go to counseling where they can express and work through their confusion and hurt as well.

 

Chapter 5

 

See a counselor by yourself.

 

I’ve shared before how important therapy was in my healing. I grew so much during my time in counseling. Having someone comfort, guide, and challenge me on this journey was incredibly helpful.

 

I’ve also recently learned about peer counseling. Infidelity Counseling Network is a wonderful FREE resource for women who need to talk over the phone to someone who has been through it, too.

 

Attend counseling together.

 

Making an appointment for marriage counseling was one of the best things that I could have done, even though our marriage didn’t survive. A good couple’s therapist will listen, see through the hurt, and identify ways that the two of you can start to heal.

 

Your spouse will learn how to begin earning back your trust – cutting off communication with their lover, calling you throughout the day, being home when they said they would be home, reading books with you about healing and marriage, attending a support group for men with a lust addiction, and living transparently before you. This isn’t about punishing him – it’s about him respecting what you need as he works toward restoring broken trust.

 

Don’t rush. Work through healing slowly and intentionally.

 

As hard as it is right now, try to be logical and reasonable in your decisions without letting emotions get the better of you.

 

Don’t rush.

 

Don’t rush things back to “normal.” So much healing needs to take place, and that will take time, patience, and hard work by both of you.

 

Don’t rush into seeking separation or divorce either. Only time will tell if your marriage will survive. It takes two to tango, and to be restored, but you can do everything in your power to facilitate reconciliation. There is no rush when it comes to ending a marriage. Getting a divorce will not suddenly make everything better. Only healing, time, and forgiveness can do that – whether or not you stay together.

 

Don’t seek to get even.

 

You might feel desperate for them to know the searing pain they are putting you through, but do not look for comfort or revenge in someone else’s arms. It’s not worth it to bring more devastation into the relationship.

 

Forgive.

 

I believe this the most important way that you can heal after such a devastating betrayal. You can go down the list and check everything else off, but if you do not forgive, you will not feel whole again. Forgiveness is not a gift that you give to them – it is a gift that you are giving to yourself. Forgiveness releases you from their power over you. It frees you from the pain that bound you to them. Once those chains fall away, your heart will be free to heal once more.

 

Sometimes forgiveness is a daily practice – every time he comes to pick up your kids, when you see him with another woman, or even if he blames you for his affair – you can take in another deep breath and remind yourself that the worst is over. You have come so far on this road to healing, and you should be deeply proud of yourself.

 

And you are not alone… I promise.

 

Forgiveness

 

What about you?

 

Do you have any advice for our friends? Can you think of other ways that we can heal after such a dark time? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!

 

Can I ask you for a big favor? Do you know anyone who might be encouraged by this blog post? Would you please consider sharing it with them? I want nothing more than to help others to know that they are not alone in this journey.

 

As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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What I’m Into ~ June 2015 Edition

What I'm Into ~ June 2015 Edition

 

Happy July, friends! Are y’all having a good summer so far? I’m wishing that these summer days would slow down a little. It feels like it is flying by much faster than I’d like – but I guess that’s just a challenge to be present and soak it all in!

 

It’s that time again – time to join the lovely Leigh Kramer in rounding up what we’ve been into in June. I love checking out all the awesome blog posts to find new ideas for books to read, movies to watch, and things to enjoy! Grab a glass of lemonade, curl up in the air condition, and check them out!

 

 Pretty Things ~

 

I could give up shopping, but I'm not a quitter! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I saw this sign at a local consignment boutique, and I just had to snap a picture for Instagram!

 

Purple GUESS booties ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

And speaking of consignment stores, I found these purple GUESS booties on clearance at one of my favorite local consignment shops for only $8! They were begging me to bring them home – and I just couldn’t resist! Now I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can wear them!

 

Vintage train case turned into a makeup case! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

I’ve been looking for a better way to store my makeup. I don’t have very much in the way of cosmetics, but I was outgrowing my little antique bowl. I hated that brushes and blush would fall out of the container, and it was leaving me feeling disorganized – which is not now I want to start the day.

 

I started browsing Pinterest for ideas, but nothing seemed to fit my needs. It was then that I remembered a vintage train cases! Many of them had small mirrors and trays – perfect for a retro woman on-the-go! I found this one on eBay. It’s faux leather, and in awesome condition! Someone replaced the fabric in the bottom of the case – it’s rather groovy now – but once I set my plastic tiered organizer inside, I couldn’t see it any more. It’s been the perfect solution to my makeup organizing woes. It has plenty of room for my small-ish collection, and a little more room to grow. *Wink* And I couldn’t be more thrilled!

 

Date night decisions - boots or wedges? ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

We had a couple of date nights this month! I sent out a plea for help on Facebook and Instagram one night when I couldn’t decide which shoe to wear to our mystery date with a group of friends from church. I ended up picking the boots because I learned that our date was outside, and I didn’t want to be teetering around in heels when I didn’t know what we were going to do. We ended up going to an awesome little airport that also has a restaurant attached. We watched bi-planes take off and land as we devoured burgers and visited. What fun! Have you ever been on a mystery date?

 

What I’m Read in June~

 

Scary Close, by Donald Miller – I was excited to finally get my hands on his newest book! I’m introverted by nature, and tend to be pretty guarded – too guarded – to protect myself from the hurt of others, but this helped me to see that I am not gaining anything by keeping people from getting close to me. It was an eye-opener, for sure!

 

Still Alice ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova – Wow. This one really got to me. I felt as though I was getting an unveiled look into what it must be like to have Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m a stickler for reading the book before seeing the movie, so now I’m excited to finally see the film soon!

 

The Life-Chaging Magic of Tidying Up ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo – Now I know what all the fuss was about! This was a fabulous little book – so challenging and inspiring! I wasn’t even through the book yet when I purged a large portion of my closet. I have been hanging on to clothes and jewelry that I never wear. Even though my things were well organized, I didn’t realize how much the “clutter” of having more things than I need was affecting me. I love walking into my newly purged closet and seeing ONLY the clothes that I enjoy wearing. There’s also something much less stressful about knowing that whatever you pull out of your closet is going to feel good, look good, and boost your confidence.

 

Dear Mr. Knightley, by Katherine Reay – This had been sitting on my Kindle for several months, but it wasn’t until my friend Crystal from Money Saving Mom recommended this book to me that I finally started reading it. It was perfect to read by the pool when the boys began swimming lessons. It was heartwarming, thoughtful, and kept me engaged through the last page. It was just light and fluffy enough for summer, while inspiring me as a writer!

 

 

Reading in July ~

 

What I'm Reading - June 2015  justoneoftheboys.com

 

Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos – I’ve spent the last 10 nights trying to read this book before bed, but I kept falling asleep and losing my place! I picked it up this morning on our way out the door for swimming lessons, and by the time our hour was up, I thought the story was pretty promising!

 

The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty – I finished (and LOVED) Big Little Lies over Memorial weekend, and decided to dive into this one in July!

 

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I keep hearing over and over again what a wonderful book this is – so I used our Audible credit for the audio version to listen to this month! I recently watched Chimamanda give a commencement speech online, and was so moved, that I had to move it up on my to-read list!

 

Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob Lowe – I’ve had this one on my radar for a while. I enjoy celebrity memoirs, and I’ve heard this one is especially good. I remembered recently while ordering other books from the library – so I just added it to the ever-growing stack. So many books, so little time!

 

The Kill Artist, by Daniel Silva – This one comes highly recommended by my friend Ashley. She loves spy books, and it sounds like this is the first one in the series. I loved the Bourne books, so I’m excited to step into this series!

 

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness – Our oldest has to do a book report over the summer and hand it in when he starts middle school in August. The book has to be over 150 pages, have literary merit, and be written between 2005 – 2015. We looked up lists of the best YA books, and this one piqued his interest. He flew through it, and was excited to get started on his book report – so I had to add it to my list to read this month!

 

Feathering My Nest ~

 

I finally tackled our middle son’s room this month. I’d only put it off for nearly *cough* four years *cough*! I had procrastinated because the former owners had put up a wallpaper border (blue flowers, btw) near the ceiling, and THEN painted the rest of the walls up to the line of the wallpaper. When I steamed and removed the flower border, it left a definite and unsightly line of demarcation.

 

That’s when I got out the spackle and filled in the area around the line, and the other areas that needed a quick layer.

 

Boy's room mid-project - rock wall, hanging ladder ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Then I sanded the whole room – and ended up with gray hair to show for it! Thankfully it washed right now. Whew!

 

DIYers gone wild! Gray hair! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I put up a few paint samples around his room, and let him choose his favorite. He chose this gorgeous color from Benjamin Moore – Hudson Bay.

 

I love Benjamin Moore colors, but I’ve always been so impressed with the durability and coverage of Behr’s Ultra primer and paint in one, so I had it mixed at Home Depot. I finished it in one day, and applied a few touch-ups the next morning before moving his furniture back into place. Now he has a brand new room!

 

And look how good his Ninja Warrior equipment looks against the new wall color!

 

Navy blue boy's room! A rock wall and a hanging ladder are a great way for little boys to get out their energy! Benjamin Moore Hudson Bay ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I’ll be sharing more about Aiden’s room makeover soon! Next up, Quinn’s room is going to get a fresh new look! I just might get started weekend!

 

What about you?

 

What have you been up to lately? Have you read any good books? Watched a fantastic movie? I can’t wait to hear about it!

 

As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ G

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Dear Ginger… 7 Ways to Help Answer Your Kids’ Tough Questions About Divorce

Dear Ginger... Answering Your Kids' Tough Questions About Divorce

 

Dear Friends,

 

I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!

 

Today I’m answering another question that I receive pretty often…

 

What should I say to my kids when they ask me why their daddy and I are divorced?

 

First of all, I wish that I could give you a great big hug right now. This situation can pierce a mommy’s heart. Each time our boys have looked up at me with their dark eyes and asked me this question, I had to swallow the lump in my throat and send up a quick prayer for help in how to help them understand.

 

My boys were only 5 months, 3, and 4 when our marriage fell apart, and 1, 3, and 5 years old when our divorce was finalized. Because they were so little, and because of the betrayal and hurt that led to the end of our marriage, I had to find a way to help them understand without putting the weight of our circumstances on their little shoulders.

 

My Littlest Gift - justoneoftheboys.com

 

I heard a story when I was growing up of when Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom was little girl, and she asked her father a deep question when she was still too young to understand the graveness of the answer. Her father’s analogy has stuck with me all these years, and I have used it when I talked to my own little ones about divorce in our family.

 

“Honey, I love you so much, and I know that you have so many questions. I wish that I could give you a better answer – but the truth is that the reason we are divorced is like holding a heavy suitcase. It’s just too heavy for you to carry right now, so I will carry this for you. And someday, when you’re bigger, if you really want to know, I will tell you more. Please know that I love you so much – to infinity and beyond! Thank you for coming to me. You can always ask me anything, and I will do my best to help you understand.”

 

Here are a few other tips in answering those hard questions:

 

  1. Take their questions seriously.

 

Look into their eyes and acknowledge their pain and wondering. As much as it hurts you, welcome their questions and keep that line of communication open between you both. This will help in your own growth, you can assess how your kids are coping, and help them with their own healing.

 

  1. Be honest, but guard your privacy and their little hearts.

 

boys

 

They don’t need to know all of the nitty-gritty details. They will never need to know ALL of the details that led to your divorce.

 

  1. Don’t bad-mouth your ex in front of your children.

 

Co-Parenting After Divorce

 

As much as you might be tempted to pull back the curtain on your ex’s character, please don’t. This is not the time to vent your frustration. Nothing good will come from it – only more hurt and confusion about loyalty to you both as parents. Instead, find a loving friend who will listen as you cry, yell, question, and process your own pain. And then you can be there for her when she needs it.

 

  1. But you don’t have to sugar coat things either.

 

You don’t have to pretend that everything is just peachy. It’s okay to let them know that you are sad about how circumstances turned out, but also let them know that you will be fine, they will be fine, and that you are working with their dad to parent them together as a team.

 

  1. Explain that it’s just too much for them to carry right now.

 

It isn’t time for them to carry this information. You’re not putting down their age by saying that they’re not old enough. You’re also not giving them a time frame of when they will get those answers. You may feel the need to carry most of this heavy information for them for the rest of your life. This isn’t just about protecting the other parent’s reputation. Children are much more perceptive than we give them credit, and over time they will see things about each of us as parents – good and bad – for themselves.

 

  1. Find ways to help them ease into this transition.

 

11 Ways to Help Children Cope With Divorce

 

Secretly tuck notes or funny cards into their bag when they leave with the other parent for the weekend. Give them a stuffed animal that they can take back and forth to remember you by. Take them to counseling so they can use play therapy and projects to work through their own pain. Keep a routine at your house that helps the children feel settled during this time of change.

 

 

  1. Show love for their dad.

 

Mommy, Do You Still Love Daddy?

 

Affection might be the last emotion you feel for the other parent, but it’s important that you maintain a civil relationship with their father. You don’t have to be best buddies, but I’ve learned that being at least casually friendly to their dad will go a long way to your children feeling settled, loved, and a jump-start on their healing after the divorce.

 

Offer him more time with your children on his birthday. Wish him a happy Father’s Day. Seek out his opinion when your child is sick. It might feel as if you are giving him more and more influence, but he is their dad. When you put the ball in his court, you are giving him extra opportunities to graciously co-parent together. He may or may not respond the way that you wished, but at least you gave him that chance, and your children will be better for it.

 

 

What about you?

 

Do you have any suggestions for our friends? Can you think of other ways to help friends who has found themselves in this heartbreaking place? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

 

Can I ask you for a big favor? Do you know anyone who might be encouraged by this blog post? Would you please consider sharing it with them? I want nothing more than to help others to know that they are not alone in this journey.

 

As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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Dear Ginger… Should I tell her?

Dear Ginger... Should I tell her that her husband is having an affair?

 

Dear Friends,

 

I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!

 

Today I am answering questions that I receive often, but have been afraid to address here “out loud” until now…

 

Should I tell my friend that her husband is cheating on her?

 

Yes, I believe that she has the right to know what is happening in her marriage.

 

Infidelity is a malignant cancer. It will devour your relationship, your family, and you personally if it is not brought to light. When my Beloved and I discovered that he had a tumor growing on his kidney, it was frightening. There would be pain and a long road to healing for him, but we knew that we had to take action. After the surgery to remove his kidney, we learned that the tumor had been much worse than we had anticipated. It was Stage II cancer, and it was a blessing to have it removed before it spread to the liver, lungs, brain, and other parts of his body. Pretending like it didn’t exist was not a healthy option for us. In fact, it could have been deadly.

 

The same thing is true in relationships. I have also lived through the devastating effects of learning that infidelity had weaved its way into my first marriage. I had suspected his cheating, but I continued to bury my head in the sand of my own denial. A friend lovingly removed my blinders and helped me to see what was really going on. The evidence of his betrayal was crushing, but her friendship, engulfing love, and gentle way of guiding me to the truth was the greatest gift that she could ever give me.

 

Being aware of the unfaithfulness is the first step to your friend having a fighting chance to save her marriage. You can’t save what you don’t know is lost.

 

Should I write a letter? Or tell her in person?

 

Sadly, both my Beloved and I both have experience with this. While my friend told me over the phone, my Beloved’s friend gave him the news in person. We both agree that there really isn’t any one good way to tell a friend that their spouse is being unfaithful. Don’t stress too much over the method – but do realize that the most important thing is actually the tone in which you tell her. It’s all in the delivery.

 

I can’t stress this enough… Be kind. Come to her from a place of love. Your friend will soon find her marriage crumbling around her. Please be sure that your attitude is one of love, grace, and concern. Never slip into an “I-told-you-so” attitude. You may have thought this guy was a loser to begin with, and even if you had already expressed your dislike for him in the past, this time you need to approach her without any judgment. Just love.

 

Do I have to tell her? What if she doesn’t believe me?

 

No, you don’t have to tell her, but consider the analogy that I used before of infidelity acting like a cancer. If you knew that your friend had no knowledge of a deadly tumor in her body, would you tell her about that?

 

Not only does she deserve to know what is going on, it has now become a health and safety issue. This may not be the first time that he has engaged in an affair, and it might not be the last. She should have the right for the chance to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and to insist on him being tested. Please do not think that you are doing her a favor by not telling her.

 

I understand why you might not want to tell her – but I ask for you to consider what you would want if the situation were reversed.

 

What can I do to help her through this time?

 

Another way you can be there for her is to offer to help in any way that she needs. Offer to babysit while she goes to counseling. Be a listening ear when she needs to vent, and a comforting shoulder to cry on when it all feels like too much. Chances are that she won’t feel like eating, but you could bring her a meal or chocolate. Or flowers. She will need your friendship, love, and acceptance now more than ever.

 

Pray for her. Send her a card. A text message just letting her know that she’s on your mind will mean the world to her. One of the things a friend did for me was to let me borrow funny movies and TV shows on DVD. It was impossible for me to fall asleep in the beginning, but I was finally able to relax enough to drift off to sleep after watching a couple of her SCRUBS episodes each night. Eventually I smiled, a while later I could laugh again – and her thoughtfulness played a huge part in my healing.

 

I honestly couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my friends and family. They walked beside me, encouraged me, let me lean on them when I needed it, and celebrated my growth and healing along the way. I wouldn’t wish this devastating news on anyone – but it is my hope that through our willingness to stand in those dark places with our loved ones, that we can let them know that they are not alone.

 

What about you?

 

Do you have any suggestions for our friends? Can you think of other ways to help friends who has found themselves in this heartbreaking place? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

 

As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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What I’m Into ~ May 2015 Edition

What I'm Into May 2015

 

Once again it’s time to link up with the lovely Leigh Kramer and gab about what we’ve been into this month – (er, the past couple of months in my case)! Be sure to check out all of the wonderful links for the best book ideas, movie and tv reviews, and more!

 

My Birthday ~

Last month I celebrated my 34th birthday. The thirties have been hard for me, but this year wasn’t so bad. I welcomed it – and somehow 34 didn’t feel quite as daunting. Maybe that’s because I’ve been working so hard to take better care of myself, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and finding out who I really am as a woman.

 

It probably helped that I had started an exercise routine 30 days before my birthday. I was feeling squishy, tired, achy, and self-conscious about how my clothes weren’t fitting very well. I had melted into a puddle of tears more than once, but I have a wonderful Beloved who pulled me into his arms and assured me that he loved me exactly how I was. I was inspired to stop moping and actually do something about it, so I began the 30 Day Shred exercise program, then progressed into trying PIYO.

 

I’m getting stronger, leaner, and more energized – which helped me to usher in this birthday with a smile.

 

Book Exchange Parties ~

 

I wish that I had snapped a picture from the other night! I hosted a white elephant book exchange party for the ladies of our new church – and I think everyone enjoyed themselves! My friend Kaila and I handed out invitations printed out on vintage-ish library check-out cards, and everyone brought snackies to munch on. We took turns picking out a wrapped book and finding out which books had impacted our friends.

Here are some of the AWESOME books that were shared:

The Chronicles of Narnia

For Men Only

For Women Only

The Pact

Sacred Marriage

Gods at War (I ended up with this one!)

Harriet the Spy

The Best Yes

One Thousand Gifts

Me Before You (This was my contribution to the evening’s festivities!)

 

And Speaking of Books…

 

Look at what my Beloved and our boys gave me for Mother’s Day!

 

Unfinished bookshelf

 

They really do know what speaks to my heart – a special place for my antique books!

 

Finished bookshelf

 

Future Hope ~

 

I am so excited about the work that my friend Katie is doing in Haiti with Future Hope Haiti! Her heart has been moved and she is working toward bringing hope to the people of Haiti! I love supporting them any way I can, and I won a t-shirt! One look at it, and my oldest son asked if he could have one, too. I’ll probably end up giving him mine. I love that he’s excited to spread the word of the work going on in Haiti!

 

Future Hope shirt

 

I love wearing my coconut earrings and bracelet from Future Hope! They go with absolutely everything!

 

Future Hope Jewelry

 

I love mine so much that I gave away a pair of coconut earrings on Facebook last week for my birthday! The giveaway went over so well that we just might have another one! Stay tuned!

 

Future Hope Earrings

 

 

Celebrating Being Seizure-Free!

 

Our middle son is officially finished with taking his epilepsy meds! He was declared seizure-free at his last EEG, and has been weaning off the medication. Our family celebrated this HUGE milestone with him – and we couldn’t be prouder for all of his hard work! He helped me write this post:

 

5 Things You Should Know About Absence Seizures

Crashing Into Grace ~

 

I had the unfortunate experience of backing into my Beloved’s car last month. I felt absolutely horrible about my mistake – and I managed to flog myself pretty well for not being more careful. It was my family who surrounded me with love and forgiveness that taught me the most important lesson of all:

 

Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

The End of the School Year ~

 

Quinn hat

 

Things have been pretty crazy around here lately! We finished up our school year, and it seemed even busier than in past years. My blogging took a back seat, but as life slows down a little this summer I’ll be able to share a little more of our story with you!

 

 

Books I’ve Read in April & May ~

 

I didn’t get to read as many books as usual. With getting up so early, I’ve found myself going to bed earlier and earlier – unable to keep my eyes open to read at night, but I did manage to get through a few!

 

The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett – LOVED IT! Can’t wait to finally watch the film!

 

Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan – Another great book by Kelly Corrigan. This memoir focused more on her relationship with her mom, and it made me laugh and cry.

 

Hands Free Mama, by Rachel Macy Stafford – I’m going through this one slowly and soaking it up… Convicting and inspiring at the same time, and it’s helping me to stop and really be in the moment with my family.

 

Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty – WOWZERS! I loved her book What Alice Forgot, but when I started her newest story, I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. I had pretty much given up, but I’m so glad that my friend Jeri encouraged me to push through and keep reading. I’ve shared parts of my story with y’all, and I could relate to each of the three main characters in some ways. When I clicked past the last page on my Kindle, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even cry. I just sat and soaked it all in – there were so many memories and emotions flowing through me. It was a good thing, honest! A fascinating page-turner, it also nudged me to dig deep and face some painful corners of my past.

 

Reading in June ~

 

Do Over, by John Acuff

 

Scary Close, by Donald Miller

 

Love Walked In, by Marisa De Los Santos – and if I enjoy it, I have the sequel ready to read, too – Belong to Me.

 

Gods at War, by Francis Chan

 

The Marriage of Chani Kaufman, by Eve Harris

 

 

What About You?

 

What have you been into lately? Have you read any good books? Watched any must-see TV? Found any great bargains? I’d love to hear all about it! I’m always looking for good recommendations for books, movies, and more! You can find me here, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! I’d love to connect with you!

Wishing you an exquisite month of June, dear friends!

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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Take a Little Time ~ 30 Days and Counting…

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

So this is one of THOSE weeks where things aren’t going quite right. My computer ate this post that I had aaaaaalmost finished the other day, and my Beloved is needing to take my laptop with him during the day to school and work, so I’m trying to finally get this post out to you before another whole week flies by!

 

Let’s see…What’s been happening lately? I finished up my 30 day fitness goal!!! Just over a month ago I was really frustrated about my health and body image. I felt sluggish and squishy, my joints ached, and my clothes didn’t fit. I had fallen off the exercise wagon, and was dragging in the dust. I felt self-conscious around my Beloved, and I just didn’t want to feel like that any more.

 

I looked at the calendar and realized that it was exactly 30 days until my birthday, so I jumped into 30 Day Shred workout videos. I decided to plow on through, doing the workouts for 30 days in a row with no rest days.

 

I’ve used these videos in the past, but had forgotten just how brutal Jillian Michaels can be. I got up early, bounced around doing jumping jacks, high knees, push-ups, Supermans, and more. Before the first 10 days were up, I felt ready to move on to Level 2. And before the next 10 days were over, I felt as thought I needed the challenge of Level 3. By the time I was several days into the third level, I was bored and frustrated with being yelled at by a trainer on my TV at 0530 every morning.

 

On top of all that, my hip wouldn’t allow me to do a couple of the high-impact moves, so I had to find other ways to challenge my body during things like jumping lunges. I had hip surgery a year ago, (and knee surgery 16 years ago), and while I have regained so much strength and ability, I do have to be careful about some of those more jarring moves.

 

I was already seeing progress in my body. My shoulders were more defined. I could see muscle tone in my legs. My core was feeling tighter… Things were moving in the right direction, but I couldn’t stay with the Shred for those last few days. That’s when I decided to give PIYO a try. It’s a fast-paced Pilates/yoga regime where you use your own bodyweight to work on strength and flexibility. I’d heard great things about it from a friend who loves her PIYO workouts, and she thought it would be a perfect low-impact workout for my joints, while giving me the results I wanted.

 

I’m several days into it, and it’s been great! I love that there is a different workout to do each day, and I am drenched in sweat after each session! So far it has been pretty gentle on my hip, and I actually look forward to rolling out of bed at 0530 and having a little ME time before the rest of the house stirs! It took about three weeks for my body to adjust to getting up so early, but now it’s just part of my routine and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s something so invigorating about being up at such a peaceful hour.

 

I don’t have any pictures from my PIYO workouts, but I pretty much look like this when it’s over – in a good way! (via Pinterest)

Piyo

 

I’ve lost about an inch from my waist, about an inch and a half from my hips, an inch from each of my upper thighs, and an inch from each of my upper arms. My clothes fit better and better each week, and I’m actually starting to feel good about myself again! Isn’t the human body an amazing thing? The science behind how our bodies work, move, and strengthen is fascinating! I love having more energy to keep up with my guys, and seeing my body develop into a leaner, stronger woman is pretty awesome!

 

I still have a little muffin top, but I know that will come off with time. This last month has taught me so much about setting a goal, showing up no matter what, and seeing it through. Results will come! It’s not overnight, but I didn’t gain the extra fluffiness overnight either. I’ve been so encouraged by watching my physical body go through this transformation, and I’m excited to apply this in other areas of my life as well!

 

Last Week’s Goals ~

  • ~ Be up by 0530 every morning to get an early start on my day with exercise and quiet reading timeI set my alarm for 0600 on the weekends, so it was nice to get a little extra sleep before getting up early to tackle my day. 
  • ~ Continue with the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga every morning, or find something more challenging to finish out my month of working on my health. But do not weigh myself. Check!
  • ~ Drink 3qt. of water each day. I slacked one day last week, and I could tell a difference. I didn’t feel as refreshed, and I felt parched the next day. I love adding lemon and lime juice to my pitcher of water every morning!
  • ~ Write two more blog posts this week.
  • ~ Find ways that I can encourage a friend this week.

 

This Week’s Goals ~

 

  • ~ Wake up at 0530 each morning to get an early and quiet start on the day.
  • ~ Continue working out each day with PIYO and activities with our boys.
  • ~ Drink 3 liters of water each day, along with coconut water to stay hydrated.
  • ~ Experiment with my new Beeyoutiful mineral foundation, and play around with other makeup ideas.
  • ~ Hop into bed by 9:30PM – early enough to read before falling asleep.

 

What about you?

 

I’m curious – as I’ve been thinking about all the things that have kept me from taking better care of myself, I’m wondering – What things are keeping you from taking a little time for you? Kids? Work? Crazy schedule? Are you like me and forgot how to take care of yourself?

One of the hardest parts of taking a little time for myself has always been coming up with ideas for how to take care of me. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of 101 FREE (or nearly free) Ways to Take a Little Time for US! And I’d be thrilled to send it to you! Subscribe to the free email updates from Just One of the Boys – just enter your name and email address below -and I’ll send you your FREE copy!

 

101 Ways

 

I’ll keep sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week with the hashtag #takealittletime, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. And don’t forget to drink water! You can even tell me how you are taking care of your body here in the comments or tag me in your photos! Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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I’m Ginger ~
I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.
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MY GIFT TO YOU!