Forgiveness

What does forgiveness mean to you? How do you define it?

My husband and I were asked this today in therapy. Now before you jump to ideas and think he and I are having martial problems that need forgiving; we aren’t. Is our marriage perfect? No. However, we don’t go to marriage counseling. We go to “life is messy and we would like a person with an outside perspective to walk with us through it” counseling. Not that there is anything wrong with marriage counseling. I think it is a great resource. I just want to be clear so you can understand us just a little.

So we were asked this question “What does forgiveness mean?” I had to think about it because I know what it means but I wasn’t sure how to best describe it.

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This is basically what I came up with … Forgiving is freeing yourself, and really the other person also. You don’t even have to tell the other person you forgive them. When you do, the atmosphere and aura change and it positively impacts both of you. Freeing yourself means letting go and moving forward. You are done. You  don’t forget, but you leave it. You are free.

Mark said something similar … you stop feeding into whatever “it” is and you let it die. You move forward. You don’t forget but you leave it in the past.

Our person reminded us it is actually a financial reference (I had totally forgotten this!). The debt is whipped clean. It is gone. You are free.

They all go together. Forgiving helps you and the person who hurt, wronged, or whatever you.

Something pretty heavy and serious happened to us this summer and the actions of one person (not Mark or I) damaged us. We were shaken and hurt to the core. We were left with an enormous gaping hole of hurt. Life is messy and this was the biggest mess yet.
We were asked what will happen if we forgive (person)? How will (person) respond? Does (person) realize forgiveness is even needed?

So we are pondering this.

We were also asked what would happen if we symbolically bury the hurt in the back yard (although I think funeral pyre is more dramatic if we are going for symbolism). If (person) is there to observe will the impact of what happened and how it affected us finally be realized (person thinks simply forgetting and moving on is easy to do, we think otherwise). Will it help with forgiveness? Will it help us be able to stop carrying baggage we don’t want but have no idea how to put down?

It will be an interesting 2 weeks as we figure this out and do an additional assignment we were challenged with. Think about this (and share with me if you want) what does forgiveness in your life look like? What does it mean? Have you ever needed to be forgiven for something serious? Have you ever needed to do the forgiving? What happened when you were forgiven or forgave? Are you free? Or are you still carrying the baggage (I promise not to judge because I still carry mine)?

~Andrea

Huge Change

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This year, quite at the last minute, Marco and I decided to place the girls into public school. This is something we talked about ever since we moved into our current school district. When we first moved here we knew the school was a great school, Dee would be going into kindergarten so it would have been great timing. This is what stopped us:

1) Dee had massive anxiety. It was so extreme I was afraid putting her into school would be more harmful than good and I wanted her to love school.

2) The year prior had been awful. Marco lost his job, we lived in different states, and we were homeless. Mark slept on the couch at a friend’s place here and I hopped from place to place. I stayed at an empty house owned by a church, my parents’ house, and hotels. I dragged the kids and dog along with me. It was stressful. The unstable life we led made me want to create a bubble of stability for my kids. I wanted them home with me.

3) Debilitating fear of what the homeschool community would think of me for sending my kids to public school, the fear of being ostracized by homeschoolers and public school mommas since I wouldn’t really fall into either category exclusively, and the fear of being a failure. I feared I had failed at homeschooling my girls. Yes, I realize now that I hadn’t failed, but my fear was real and legitimate.

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We finally came to a breaking point. I was burnt out. Dee and I would fight every time I tried to teach her reading. Math and art and every other subject as fine, but reading? Oh my word. It was awful. Math came easy to her, but reading was hard and she would rather play than read. I cried a lot. She cried a lot. It was not how homeschooling should be. One would think the kid with learning issues and special needs would be the one I struggled to teach. Nope.

To make all of this all 100% worse we were in a homeschool co-op that was the worst experience ever. I loved the other moms there, but the leaders were terrible. They believe in 100% unbending conformity (when I told my therapist this he shuddered). They were not nice people and I hated the toxic environment I was in. I knew I wasn’t going to go back there, but at the same time I knew I couldn’t be home 7 days a week with all 5 kids because I was burnt out. Working at minimum 2 jobs and at maximum 4 jobs, I needed help.

All summer long I struggled with “The Great Debate.” Public school or homeschool? Then one of the kids had a medical crisis and I had to make a decision. The day before classes started I walked into the school and signed the girls up. That was a Tuesday. School started Wednesday. The girls first day was Friday. The entire time we never said a word to anyone other than a few very close people. We did not put up first day of school pictures or discuss it at all.

We lived life and no one noticed. This is a little sad because this means no one really paid any attention to subtle things I said or did. However, I get it. I can miss subtly at times also. My homeschooling friends had no idea the girls were gone all day. I mentioned school and they simply assumed I meant homeschool.

Why didn’t I say anything? I didn’t want to deal with the unnecessary questions and remarks. Remarks that are usually untrue and only hurtful.

“Why did you put them in public school?”
“You know public is not as good as it used it be right?”
“Aren’t you scared of bullies and your kids learning immoral things and growing up too fast?”
“They never really get free time or socialization in school. They will burn out.”
“You are being selfish because you are working. Maybe you should quit your jobs” (or what ever reason they come up with)
“They are at school all day and come home to do homework all night. Do you really want that?”
“You are at the mercy of the schools.”
“Why are you still homeschooling the boys?”
“Do you favor the boys?”

Oh the list of snarky remarks and questions is endless. I didn’t want to deal with them because it is no one’s business. Period. So we didn’t say anything. Mark respected my wishes to keep it quiet. Then the girls had school pictures and I posted them…

People were shocked, but the girls are firmly established in school so no one said anything. I could tell a few people really wanted to, but they held their tongues and I am glad they did. A few people were super happy for us. They understood the turmoil I must have gone through because they messaged me to tell me they deal with the same debate. I felt less alone, less like a failure, and more empowered.

 

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My gorgeous, thriving girls. They are world changers.

The girls are thriving! Ry’s teacher refers to her as an “asset.” What an amazing word! She isn’t just a good kid or studious or smart. She is an asset. This means she is valuable to the class and they need her and greatly benefit from her! WOW! I am pretty sure no one ever referred to me as an asset. When I told Ry the compliment she was glowing. What an amazing confidence boost for a 10 year old girl who was trying to fit in to an already established class. When we went to Parent/Teacher Conference we could tell her teacher really loves her! What an amazing feeling! The confirmation we made the right decision is just what I needed.

Delaney, not surprising, is known as a sweet heart. Everyone loves her gentle and kind ways. Dee still has lots of anxiety, but she is coming out of her shell and developing her strengths. School was exactly what she needed in order to spread her wings and fly. The teacher works one-pm-one with her and the fact they all have gathered to be a foundation under her makes my heart swell. They want to see her succeed. They could easily not care, but they do. Adding these positive influences into her life has been only a blessing.

We have no regrets. This was exactly what needed to be done. The boys are thriving at home, Charlie is getting more in depth one-on-one with me; something he desperately needed. I am far more calm and far less stressed. I am able to better focus and I accomplish more.

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The days are calmer.

Every family needs to decide what is right for them and their children. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you are a failure because you didn’t do things they way they think you should. You do what you need to do and own it! Being supportive is always the better option.

~Andrea

Christmas, Christmas Everywhere!

Perfectly Posh is making me feel all Christmas-y and my husband is not amused at all. He is a die-hard “Christmas doesn’t start until the day after Thanksgiving” type of guy (and please read his quote in a mocking voice because that is how I imitate him about this). I am all like “November 1! BOOM! It is Christmas! Thanksgiving? Psh! Just a warm up for the real holiday!”

OK, so why is Posh making me feel all Christmas-y? Well, let me tell you! They keep releasing amazing holiday themed products! Oh boy! This stuff in da bomb! Sorry, I don’t really talk like that. Two products have already been released!

If you haven’t already, please got check out “It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!” I’ll wait …. (cue Jeopardy song)

Done? Awesome! Now to tell you Posh has 2 more winter items AND 2 more are coming!!! If you can’t do math, that will be a total of SIX holiday themed Posh products!! *cue happy dance*

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Last night I got home and was delighted to discover my order arrived. What was in the fabulous Poshy box? Well, there was lots of stuff, but I am here to tell you about Snow & Tell Brightening Face Moisturizer and Love you Snow Much (isn’t that the best name ever?! Gah! So cute!) O2 Bubbling Face Mask.

Wait. What?? Did you just say O2 bubbling face mask? What the heck is an O2 bubbling face mask?

Patience Grasshopper. I will tell you in due course.
First I want to remind you these awesome holiday-themed items are specialty items. One might even call them Limited-Edition. They are available until sold out and if you don’t get them right away there is a chance you will cry when you no longer can get them. You can go HERE to grab them now.

OK, now let’s chat about this really fascinating face mask I mentioned above. What the heck is an O2 face mask, you ask? Well, oxygenating face masks are very trendy right now. They work to remove impurities from the skin and clean out your pores without drying out your skin. The bubbles are tingly and tickly and leave your face clean and refreshed. Perfectly Posh loves adding on-trend products to our line-up so I wasn’t surprised when they introduced Love You Snow Much. “Brighten dull winter skin with licorice root and vitamin B3 in this bubbling gel-to-foam face mask with tingling mint.”

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About 3 pumps, rub onto face, leave for about 10 minutes, rinse, pat dry. That’s it!

This mask is effervescent, super peppermint-y, and leaves you with a refreshing, cooling sensation. If you love the feel of BFF, then you will surely love Love You Snow Much. Can I just say, I am really, really obsessed with Love You Snow Much! I am definitely buying several more to have on hand!

The other new product Posh released is Snow & Tell and it was no mistake they released this at the same time as Love You Snow Much. It is the perfect moisturizing follow-up after your new bubbly face mask. “May your face be merry and bright! Licorice root and vitamin C promotes the appearance of more even looking skin tone with moisturizing cocoa and Shea butters.”

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This face moisturizer is going to be the best thing ever for your winter face! Yes, you have a winter face. Our skin needs different things based on the season/weather. My skin is so dry in the winter! I get chapped and red and raw. It is terrible! A good face moisturizer is the only way to protect your skin and prevent raw, winter skin! The combination of cocoa and Shea butters will leave your skin hydrated and fabulous. I plan to stock up on this also. Oh, and did I mention this guy is vegan? Well, it is!

You can get both Love You Snow Much and Snow & Tell for just $19 (not including tax & shipping). If you want to learn more about Perfectly Posh products or maybe you are thinking “Hey, I want get in on this action.” I would love to chat! Send me a message!

Otherwise, put your best (winter) face forward with these 2 amazing products. And don’t forget to pick up some for gifts as well!

~Andrea