Today I had to start with these...
...because they make me happy.
The first picture is my daughter and my son, right after he came home from the hospital. She tried so hard to make him "her" baby and was very protective of him.
It's so funny to look back on pictures, because so often when he is being held by me, his daddy, or someone else, there is Sweetpea also on the lap of that person and always touching Buddy.
The second pic is my son, now almost 5, enjoying some family time outside last weekend.
My heart is heavy at the thought of him going to Kindergarten this fall. He's Mommy's little boy and he is growing up too fast!
I needed these happy pictures because my last post didn't make me very happy.
It was hard to write and hard to read (for me, at least) - it was hard to remember! Even though it's difficult to put all the original feelings into words, I think I hit most of them.
The saddest thing is looking back and realizing how much I let that incident define me. For years and years, that situation, that boy, the rumors he started about me, became who I was or, at least, who everyone else thought I was.
I had to endure lots of rumors and dirty looks during high school. But how could I dispute every new rumor that arose when they all traced back to something that wasn't exactly true, but wasn't really untrue either?
No doubt, some older guys chose to date me because of these rumors; I was just too dense to realize it at the time.
In that respect, it may be a very good thing that I met John when I did and dated him throughout my senior year. Otherwise, I would have dated multiple other high school boys who thought those rumors were true and that they were entitled to something from me.
I can see how the incident with Peter has affected EVERY. SINGLE. RELATIONSHIP I've ever had since then. It's certainly my biggest piece of baggage.
A piece I want to unpack and never have to see again.
So I am working on it...
I don't know when my self-worth became based entirely on what others thought of me.
I do know, I want to shed any small part of that that may still be true.
As I was reading Lysa Terkeurst's book, "Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl," I was really struck by her section in the first chapter on labels.
It wasn't so much about labels others placed on her, as it was about labels she placed on herself.
In another of her book's "Unglued," she mentions the children's book by Max Lucado, "You are Special."
My children have this book and I couldn't remember the last time we'd read it because it is quite long for a bedtime story.
It too talks about labels and how they only "stick" if we allow them too.
I chose to read this to my kids earlier this week and I couldn't make it through without tears.
When Sweetpea asked why I was crying, I simply said, "God loves us unconditionally and wants us to be happy simply because we are His; He made us. Sometimes we just need to be reminded."
Reminded indeed...He has been reminding me all week that I am not my past, I am not my mistakes, and most importantly, I am not those labels other people placed on me so long ago.
I am His. I am loved. I am chosen for better things.