Happiness through the storm

Do you know what true happiness is?

I don’t think many people do.

You see, the Hebrew word in the Old Testament for happy is esher. The Greek word in the New Testament is makarios. Both words are also translated “blessed.” The person who feels blessed is happy.

It’s easy to say I’m blessed or happy when you have everything you want. You have may have a great husband or wife, great job, you’re doing financially well, your kids are awesome, everyone’s alive and healthy. You might as well be on Cloud 9. So what happens when you start taking things out of that equation, bring a storm of darkness among your happiness?

Are you still happy or blessed, then?

I think the people who are truly happy or blessed are those that don’t have all the things they want & are still content. The broken families, divorcees, those who lost loved ones, the people who are living check to check in small apartments, the sick & nearly dead. Isn’t it amazing when THOSE people smile, laugh or take pictures? They are blessed because through the storm, they find happiness, love & God. There are blessings in the tears!

I admit I don’t have everything I want. I’d like a husband who’s hard-working and family-oriented who loves me & AJ with all his being but loves God so much more that he leads us to Him.

I’d like a house with a backyard full of toys for AJ, maybe a small garden for me & a grill for our family barbecues.

I’d like my own car with the simple pleasure of knowing no one changed my radio station when I turn it on.

I’d like a stable financial situation where I don’t have to worry about buying AJ some milk.

I’d even like to have a fashionable bone in my body so I can rub some cool off on AJ Lol. (Outside of t-shirts and sneakers, I’m at a loss.)

If it’s God’s will, I’ll have all these things & more. If not, His plan is better than mine. But I AM happy. I’m blessed because I don’t have these things! I don’t have them because I don’t need them to do God’s will and how great is it that it’s working out for me!

The message I want to convey is it doesn’t matter whether you have these things you want or not. True happiness is loving,; it’s praising God through the storm. How can you know true happiness without experiencing the darkness?

Through my darkness, I know my God is there. I know my son is my world and he’s perfect the way he is. I know I’m strong beautiful and smart with a lot of growing up to do. That’s all I need to know to be completely happy through this storm.

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Father

Sometimes I feel as if I’ve failed AJ because I chose a father for him who wasn’t ready to be a father. I want him to have that man in his life that he looks up to everyday, who loves him unconditionally and teaches him things that don’t make sense to me.

Granted, my brother’s around and so is my mother’s husband but they aren’t HIS father. They can’t ALWAYS be around.

I wonder how things got so bad between my ex and I that it had to come to this: being completely out of AJ’s life. What happened to my partner, my best friend, the plans we had together? What about our son? Doesn’t he deserve better?

It’s as if the world around me is happy and full of love and we’re missing a piece!

I do everything in my power so that AJ doesn’t feel that void but the day will come when I can’t anymore. To be honest, I don’t know what I’m going to do then.

Thank God for the good men out there, the fathers standing by their children, the boyfriends becoming husbands, the boys who BECAME men.

I’ll make sure to do my job right with my son since some moms just aren’t doing it anymore and then the rest of the world has to deal with them.

I won’t lie…

I’m not going to lie to you. It’s been hard. It’s been REALLY hard to be a single mom. This wasn’t in the plans! How do you prepare for this? There is no preparation, in my opinion. I was in a relationship with my best friend and it backfired on me. I ended up back at my mother’s house with a newborn son. I didn’t have two pennies to rub together. God finally kicked about 97% of the depression out of me because AJ really needed me to be strong for him.

Here we are, months later, and it’s still hard. I live off of my mom which is SO demeaning and shameful. She owns a small business and I work for her but I don’t really make much considering she supports her family of 3, my unstable older brother (sorry) and pays for my rent and all that. I’ve thought about getting a job but I couldn’t afford childcare if I wanted to. I’ve started selling AJ’s old clothes on Instagram and I made two sales so far but its slowed down. I expected that.

This is me venting. I don’t want to sound like a charity case because I don’t want to believe I am. I know I sound like a typical young mother who wasn’t nearly prepared for this. I guess I just want someone out there to know I’m trying. I’m trying my best to get out of this situation. It isn’t the worst situation but it certainly needs improvement. AJ deserves so much better than what I’m offering right now.

As God is my witness, I’m going to do better. I promise, AJ.

Signing off,

Your mother: distressed at almost 22 years old.

Holidays 2013

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These holidays were hot and cold for me. Thanksgiving was a great start. We had so much fun prepping for the night and taking pictures. Honestly, the only thing missing for me was my ex (for a short time. I’m human and I’m allowed to miss companionship). The next one was Christmas. Things were really tight financially so we ended up only buying gifts for AJ (and a few things for ourselves without telling anyone). It was awkward because there was some serious drama between me and my mother’s husband. I really wasn’t in the Christmas spirit anymore and I definitely missed AJ’s father. Our relationship was probably looked down on by so many people and maybe that’s why it didn’t really work but he was my best friend and I was sad not having him there for me and AJ.

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For New Year’s, my son’s godfather decided to visit us. I hadn’t seen him in a year and he hadn’t met my son due to drama between him and us (us being my ex and I). Over the summer, I realized how badly I treated him and apologized, not really expecting anything, but he forgave me and we’ve reconnected since.

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I thought it was going to be great having a friend visit me in Puerto Rico. It can get really lonely here. It turns out that whole week he was here was nothing but a wake-up call for me. I realized what I wanted for my life and what is convenient for me. I don’t need a world of drinking, partying or promiscuity. I want a God-centered family more than anything but I need to lead my family into God first. So for 2014 (& forevermore), I am renewed and redeemed in Christ.

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I bought myself a new bible and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me. Actually, I can wait. One of my first lessons is patience. I want to avoid instant gratification and focus on my spiritual discipline by diving headfirst into Jesus and letting everything marinate. I want to get away from my phone and focus on God and AJ. I plan on returning to school this semester and establishing a schedule for work and church. I’m finally getting my life in order and it feels great! For a long time, I thought I needed AJ’s father to complete me. Whether or not we get back together and whether or not it’s good for us is up to God. What I’ve learned is to be perfect, happy, and whole with what I do have: love, family, friends and spirituality. Thank you so much, God.

 

Instagram shop!

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After a lot of planning and self-doubt, I finally opened up a little shop on Instagram called Growing2Fast23. AJ had so many used clothes in amazing condition and rather than have them sitting around, I decided to sell them to other parents. I was nervous because a lot of mothers in Instagram doing the same mostly sell name brand clothes and I don’t have much of that stuff. I’m a single mother so the money and time I have are for basic clothing items. I’d like to believe there are mothers just like me out there looking for simple things. Plus, I could definitely use the extra cash 🙂

I would love it if you guys would spread the news and recommend my shop! its @growing2fast23 (instagram.com/growing2fast23)

Thanks, guys!

 

On feeling important and valued, and a Tale for the Time Being (in progress)

Another really touching post. I mean this hit home as well. Does anyone value my existence? Do people know how much I value theirs? When I read this, I instantly thought of my best friend from high school, Johnny. We were literally attached to the hip. He admitted to wanting to be with me but I pushed that idea away because I was young and there was no interest. Until the day Johnny wasn’t around anymore. I realized he was the man for me. He was everything I had ever looked for and I pushed away. I don’t think he ever knew how important he was to me. I never want someone to leave my life without knowing how valuable they are to me. I can be pretty bitchy sometimes, especially with my family but they mean the world to me. 2013 was a hard year for me and my family picked me up without question and helped me with A.J along the way. They really mean the world to me. I do admit to having a short fuse and very little patience (how unchristian of me) but it is definitely something I want to work on for my loved ones. I just wish I knew my value to them. I know my son would miss me if I were absent but what would everyone else feel?

Only You

I usually alternate my book posts and my “life” posts, but today I’m going to write both.

My first read of the new year is Ruth Ozeki’s 2013 Booker Prize finalist, A Tale for the Time Being, which I’m still in the middle of reading (and enjoying quite a lot). It’s the story of a writer, Ruth, who finds a Hello Kitty lunch box washed up on shore near her home on a Canadian island. When she opens the lunch box she finds the handwritten diary of a seemingly perky teenage girl, Nao, in Tokyo. She begins reading it, and learns quickly that Nao is in fact planning to kill herself. Nao recently returned to Japan with her parents after having spent her whole life in California, and she is being bullied relentlessly at school and her father is unable to find employment. Her father, thinking that he is of…

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