Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A To Z Introduction...

My awkward attempt at a diary. I have carpel tunnel, so writing by hand isn't working out too well for me. I've decided to try to keep a running blog here online. Maybe with me putting myself out here for the world to see, I will change the person I am and become the person God intends me to be. I don't claim to be a strong christian, wife, mother, friend, advocate, etc. I'm actually a pretty selfish and self-centered person, but I hope to become the best version of each of these by putting my faith, and God front and center. If I can do that, I know everything else will fall into place.

First off, let me start by saying my name is Heather. I'm 31, wife of almost 9 years to my best friend Michael {he sees the real me and loves me anyways}, mother to 3 beautiful boys, Lance, Adam & Jack. I'm an illustrator, graphics designer, gambling manager, veteran, and home baker. I'm not sure how I came to be all of these things, but I know God has given me plenty of talents, and I try to put them to great use. I'm not always organized, creative, or motivated, but at least I'm trying. To me, trying to be a good person, is extremely different than just going through the motions. I still have my trials and tribulations, but at the end of the day, it is my faith and strength from God that has seen me through everything.

I wasn't born a Christian. I didn't live the cookie-cutter life many others out there have. When people hear my story, they are shocked and can't imagine actually having to overcome that. To me, there wasn't an option. I was to either become another statistic, or change the course. To tell you how I got here, I'll tell you how I found God.

I grew up in the Minnesota foster care system. I have a mom, dad, brothers and sisters, but we've never all lived together. We moved from place to place my entire life. I never went to church, wasn't aware that there was a God. When my brother and sisters attended a Christian bible camp, I teased them even though I didn't know what I was teasing them for. The next year, it was my turn to attend, and that was the week that changed my life. I found my faith, I found God summer of 1996 at Camp Lebanon in Upsula, MN. I wasn't a trouble maker, but this new life allowed me to ensure my future away from drugs, alcohol, child abuse, neglect, loneliness, and most of all, a life without faith.

I haven't always had someone to model what a true Christian should act like or live like. So my journey is mainly about self discovery. I became very active in my faith in high school. Attending church Sundays, Bible Study every Friday morning at Aj's cafe in Osakis, MN. Prayer groups at lunch time. Starting FCA with fellow classmates, project for teens, MADD, SADD, etc. I really lived my life according to what would make God happy. But when you graduate high school, the world is filled with non-believers and the group you had to surround you and help nurture your faith, disappears. You can't tell a Christian just by looking at one. I joined the military {United States Army} in 2001 before 9/11 hit. I was still in Basic when everything changed. I was still attending church every Sunday, tried to read my bible. But after Basic, there are too many responsibilities as a soldier. You never really have free time. What they don't tell you is that the life of a soldier is 24-7 because at the end of your shift, you have to start another shift doing a different job. I was military police, but at times, I felt like a mechanic, cleaning crew, baby sitter, driver, etc. So this is the part of my life where I lost track of God. I'm not sure if I ever prayed. I became distant, drank for the first time in my life. Tried to hide the pain of my past in a glass. I drank for 4 months straight, don't remember a lot, but for some reason, it wasn't me, and I stopped right then and there, started attending church again, but not really asking forgiveness for my absence from God. Still not reading my bible, still not finding God, just trying to feel like I was a better person than I actually was.

So then, in 2002, I ended up with a severe injury that got me sent home within 2 months. Never to run again. To this day, things are still not figured out and live with a raw pain when I walk. I think this was God's way of showing me he had other plans for me. I joined the military for selfish reasons, and I don't think this was his plan for me. I'm still trying to figure out his plan for me...

Anyways, when I got home I met my now husband, Michael, we dated for a year, got engaged, and married after almost 2 years. Had our first child 2 years after that, and in 4 years saw ourselves with 3 boys 4 and under. We've never really been a Christian family, but I've known since we've started having children that I wanted to raise them in the church. That they would come to know God, walk with God and live the life God has planned for them.

Raising boys isn't easy. You don't want them to get hurt, get in fights, start a fight, be bullied, bully others, become selfish, treat others with disrespect, etc. You want them to be someone others can look up to. That others want to model after. That treat their friends and family like they treat their mother. You want them to know the word, ask questions openly about anything and everything, but most importantly, that they ask questions about God, that they seek his wisdom. If I can raise my boys to do all of these things, then I will have fulfilled God's plan for me as a Mother.

Growing up the way I did, I have attachment issues. I struggle with confidence and self esteem. I struggle with friendships, anger, impatience, sadness. I'm human. I have all these emotions that are instilled in me because of where and when I come from. But for me, I've been able to forget about them when they try to enter my thoughts and heart. I try to be the best mother, wife and Daughter of Christ that I can so that my boys grow up in His light.

I'm hoping this online journal puts all my thoughts and feelings out there will help bring me closer in my walk with God. I hope that it allows me to live his light for me and for my family and in some way, for the world. We are all here for a short time and I'm realizing just how short that time is. I'm realizing that what I want most in life is to show others how much I really do love and cherish God. That I want nothing more than to become his light here on earth. I also want to become more involved with my church. My guilt over my past has hindered my ability to connect with people, but recently, I joined a bible study with a wonderful group of women from my church that is allowing me to trust and grow closer to others as well as closer to God and I'm proud to be a part of this group.

So what is A to Z Faith-Based Mommy? It's my dedication to God, my husband Michael and my children, Lance, Adam & Jack. That even though I have bad traits, I have good traits as well and will go through each one I can think of. I will learn so much more this way about God and about myself.

Lord, I humbly come before you as a sinner. My guilt is strong for the wrongs I have done and continue to fall refuge to. I ask that you cleanse my past sins and help restore me health of you. You are the great physician and can help me become spiritually healthy. You can heal my past hurts so that I can grow ever stronger in your great light. I want to be that light here on earth, so that other's can see how I shine for you. Help me become faithful again in your glory. Amen

perfectly said.

Hope you will join me and create your own A to Z list!