Walk all over me, please.

You are welcome to exit my life, at any given moment. The door is always open for you to do so. Rarely will I hold it for you as you exit, or lock it behind you, but I will most assuredly not prevent you from walking out of it. Your life, if you choose to have me in it, will get easier once you understand I am who I am. And, I love her. I love what I fight for, what I believe in, and who I believe in. And, if you’re in my life that includes you.

Is there a sign on my back that says, KICK ME or FREE TO TREAT LIKE CRAP? Because sometimes it feels likes it.

Every once in a while, I will get a wild hair and become intrigued by people who perceive me as a defenseless pushover. Or, better yet as someone who cares enough about their opinion to allow my day to become ruined by it. During these brief moments of weakness, it takes an act of God to keep me from saying, “excuse me” as I tap on their shoulder, “what is it exactly in my overall appearance (pointing at my face in a circular motion) or personality that screams “walk all over me, please” and gives you the idea that I will actually fold and lay flat like a board and do as you say?” I don’t fold well with others and I am not LESS of a person than you are.

Not everyone gets the same version of me. One person might tell you I’m an amazing beautiful soul; another person might say I’m a cold-hearted person. Believe them both, I act accordingly.

You’ve heard the saying above and it is true. Even for a Christian. There comes a point where judgment gets a little annoying and not standing up for yourself needs to end. People’s opinions of me are none of my business – I know that. But, what it all boils down to is the simple fact of – you don’t know me. You may know me from years ago, or from a story someone shared of my past, or from an ex – because we all know how truthful those stories can be. Either way, I’m not that girl – and you can either venture out and get to know me for me, or you can continue to miss out and judge instead.

Honestly, either are fine by me but what wont happen is my remaining silent or letting anyone disrespect me – to me. I’m not that girl. There is a fine line between taking the high road and getting steam-rolled. The high road is less traveled and I will choose it 99% of the time, but during those 1% moments where my character and my family are involved and questioned – tread ever-so-lightly my friend. My feelings, thoughts, abilities and what I have to offer as a person are not any less important than any one else. The moment you think you are better than someone else, is the same moment you no longer are – written by: me.

My life is mine for a reason, because I am the only one who can live it. God made me intricately detailed, flawed, a pain in the tush and incredible all at the same time. He factored in my own stupidity knowing I would fail, and that I would need his grace time and time again. He formed my heart knowing that it would love people that would never love me back – and made sure it would have the capacity and willingness to keep beating and loving any how. It’s a heart that fights for what is right, and is unafraid to take a stand for others. A heart that at night, when I fail, or hurt someone – repents and rehashes the why behind my actions. You don’t see that though.

My mistakes are just that, mine. If I make mistakes ten times a day, every day, for the rest of my life, they are no more your business from the first mistake to the last. You can’t bet your sweet nosy tush, I will learn something new along the way each and every time though. I am a very resourceful mistake-maker. My journey is personal and specific to what is needed for my growth as a woman and as a human being. Not yours.

My beliefs are no less important than yours, nor are my priorities, except that to us individually they are significant and critical in the forefront of our lives. They are what propel us forward, the motivation and dedication that burns in our souls. We will not always see eye to eye and I don’t want to! My opinions are loud, but they are never one-sided or judgmental – they come from a personal experience of either gain or loss. You decide if my opinion matters to you, and vice versa – individually the person chooses to validate or reject it. The power belongs to the beholder, just as does beauty.

You are welcome to exit my life, at any given moment. The door is always open for you to do so. Rarely will I hold it for you as you exit, or lock it behind you, but I will most assuredly not prevent you from walking out of it. Your life, if you choose to have me in it, will get easier once you understand I am who I am. And, I love her. I love what I fight for, what I believe in, and who I believe in. And, if you’re in my life that includes you.

I’m at the point in my life, where the quality of the person, reflects my effort. My children are my main priority, I choose every day to love, trust and believe in GOD, and to live my life without regret. I know my heart, and the goodness it contains, it is not my intent nor desire to persuade you in or out of loving me. I love myself enough for the both of us, and my value will never decrease because we’re in disagreement over my worth. Take it or leave it.

Ditch the Shame.

I dare you to be honest with someone who hurt you, who let you down or disappointed you. I dare you to be vulnerable, to be strong and to be brave.You are strong enough. You are smart enough.



So many people are stuck in this “show” life. They are always “on”, they always have it figured out and they are always “fine.” They are the quiet, strong type, but to me, strong is not quiet. Strong is loud. Strong is honest. Strength is raw and original. We are failing by setting the example or standard that silence is a sign of strength.

We need to get to a point where people quit hiding, where they quit trying to appear perfect and are okay wearing their heart on their sleeves, and their minds on their lips – to be vulnerable and invest in the people they want a return investment from.

Why should you always be the one to call, to text, to check in, why should you invest in someone who does not see the same value in you? We want that deep down non-judgmental connection, a real and honest friend, and that takes vulnerability and openness. Unfortunately, not many people are willing to be or do that. I think most people mean well but they waiver in making it a conscious decision and choice.

The saddest part is that we see you, as you are, not as you pretend to be. Your hiding translates as distrust, dishonesty, misrepresentation and a low level of value and worth to us as your friend. You’re inability and unwillingness to reach out, to lay yourself bare, freeing yourself of judgment and any worry of shame is not only holding you back, it’s impeding every one of your relationships.

No one wants to be friends with someone who pretends to have it all figured out. We all know that no one has it all figured out, so who are you trying to fool anyway?

Real. Honest. Open. That’s we want. We want your good days and bad days, not your false cover up stories and forced smiles. We want your tough days full of struggle and barely surviving, not your self proclaimed smooth sailing over calm waters.

Tell me the moment that built you. The exact moment you had nothing left to hide, where you had no choice but to ditch the shame that had suffocated you up to that point. Tell me the exact second you looked up from your lowest point, and felt the most unloved and unworthy, and let me love you anyway. Let someone love you because of that defining moment. That’s brave. That’s beautiful. That’s you.

We want to talk about your gains and losses, your failures, your heart break and how you fell flat on your face. Not how tough you are about hiding your failures, or how you have no fears and don’t need any help.

Life is rough. On those particularly rough days, life makes no sense. It is meant to be that way in order to mold us, develop us, process us and force us to grow. We need that. We can’t hide behind fear forever. The smile behind the tears will fade and lessen at some point. How can we expect to move mountains when our shoulders are formed by false strength?

It takes strength to say phrases like: “I’m not okay. I’m scared. I’m sad. I don’t have it figured out. I hurt. You hurt me. I’m disappointed in myself, or in you.” Be Strong.

It takes courage to say, “I messed up, I’m sorry. I don’t know how I feel or what I want.” It’s hard to say “I need you.” Be Brave.

I would much rather hear “you know what, I have had a horrible day and I’m gonna go home and take a bubble bath, or I’m gonna call my best friend or I’m gonna enjoy a glass of wine and try again tomorrow.” I’d rather hear that than “I’m fine” and knowing that you’re going to go home and cry alone and not process or release any of what’s bothering you in any type of a healthy environment.

We as human beings need interaction we need to be heard and to feel validated and vindicated and appreciated. We need love, it’s what feeds our souls. Why would you purposely want to deprive yourself of what we all need as individuals to grow and be happy?

Being positive doesn’t mean pretending everything is great. It means acknowledging that it isn’t, appreciating the lesson and knowing circumstances will improve. Don’t believe that sharing failure is a sign of weakness, because those afraid to fail are among the weakest. If your idea of acceptance is gained by pretending your life is perfect, you’ll have an endless battle with yourself. Only fools can look in the mirror and argue with the secrets staring back at them.

With all this said, I dare you. I dare you to have courage. I dare you to dust off and pull out that skeleton in your closet and share it. I dare you to admit a mistake, to share your past and tell someone you’re not perfect. I dare you to not fear shame, because once you release it to someone who accepts it, shame can no longer exist. I dare you to call someone and say, I need help, I’m not okay and I need to talk. I dare you to be honest with someone who hurt you, who let you down or disappointed you. I dare you to be vulnerable, to be strong and to be brave.

You are strong enough. You are smart enough. You are deserving and so greatly loved enough. I dare you to love yourself enough to be loved as a whole, all the tiny imperfect pieces that created you.

The “Theys” say…

You always hear people say “They say this, or They say that”, and I often wonder who this they person is and how exactly they know so dang much! Truth is, I am a they and you are too. One of the biggest things “they say” is to write what you know…which according to my husband leaves me not much to write about, but what does he know anyhow?

Truth is, my husband is actually quite supportive as of late, he was impressed seeing my blog, and the emails from step-moms all over either asking for advice or simply thanking me for starting the Facebook page. Even though I give him a lot of flack, we both know, he knows, I’m pretty smart and knowledgeable in a few things, one of which is being a mom. 

Growing up in the south, St. Mary’s Georgia to be exact, everyone knew JC James, which really was Jessie, but with the southern drawl it came out “JC”.  When I was four years old, I moved there with my grandparents because my grandfather was stationed at the local naval base in Kingsland, GA. Everyone went to the same church, the same grocery store, the same school, and so on. For as much as everyone knew about everyone, I don’t recall ever being asked by anyone, where my mother was, or even who she was for that matter. To be honest, I don’t recall if I ever questioned it either. 

Until a few years back I harbored great resentment towards her, for abandoning me, and not stepping up to the plate as a parent. Actually for years before that, I even believed that the stories I heard, the letters never received, birthdays  missed etc, were all because of some grand misunderstanding that would one day be cleared up and all would be forgotten. Then, one day this little dreamer, woke up and realized the only misunderstanding was the one I created out of hope. That’s where the resentment part came to play.

Holding my daughter when she was only a couple weeks old, and going over every tiny perfection, falling in love with every noise, every tiny wrinkle, every single detail she possessed, I couldn’t for the life of me understand why any woman would walk away from their child. In that moment, I made a vow to my daughter and myself to never be anything like the woman, who was nothing like me. That was almost ten years ago~ and I have succeeded. 

Over the years, I’ve had two conversations with the woman that gave birth to me, over the phone,  and they brought me to two conclusions. First is that the best thing to ever happen to me, the most fortunate experience of my childhood was this woman walking out and staying out of my life, because she did me a great favor – by not staying and completely ruining both of us. The other is that she never had any business being a mother – as she was battling demons that would never had allowed her the functionality or understanding of caring for another. She did of course create and give birth to me, which I am thankful for, their are other choices she could have made.

They say children born into broken homes, create broken homes, instinctively. They also say, those born into broken homes create protective homes and reverse the cycle. Personally, I like the second They’s better – much more positive in my opinion. See for me it is pretty simple, if you don’t like it, change it. No one decides who you are going to be, not the They’s or me, only you! If you ask me that’s a set of pretty great odds, a bet I would take any day. 

Am I a perfect parent? No way in gods green earth or the fiery hells below am I anywhere near it – BUT, and its a big BUT, I am a damn good note taker. My husband says I am the best mom, when he thinks I can’t hear him of course, or when he is defending my honor to our “beloved” or not-so-much Bio-mom of our son. I’m sure it tweaks her to no end to hear him say anything of the sort, but in my own defense I do have seven years more experience in failing and prevailing as a mother than her, and ten years of maturity by age alone – lets not go there now though! Maybe that’s where they say its takes a village to raise a child comes from. I was raised by a village, and now a village in a sense is raising my stepson. 

You have to figure this little man has three sides of family involved in his upbringing – the math alone on that could create a head spin! He has his mothers side, his fathers side, and my side. He gained a brother and sister, aunt, uncles, and many friends that have turned into family from me, and then the normal aunts, uncles, grandparents on both mom and dads side. That’s a lot of people! Think of it in terms of Christmas, birthdays, this little boy has it made in that department, and you know every set of family is over-compensating for the broken home created by mom and dad or circumstances of such. That’s another story for another time.

The main importance I know is that this little guy is happy, well-rounded, loved and adjusting normally – and I can assure you he is loved and cared for. But, I think we all know that well-rounded can be a struggle when being raised by so many different people, with different ideals, morals, backgrounds, beliefs – not to mention the underlying resentment of a step-mom loving another woman’s child. You do realize that to many, this is an offensive crime, punishable by tar and feathering, even hanging I am sure in some areas. In the post office of our local town, I am sure behind some random paper, there is a bounty on  my step-mom title, and step-mom head. (It would be a really high bounty I know, because I have a pretty great step-mom title and head too).

Truth is, well they say the truth is, kids are blessed to have more love, than not enough, more family then none, and more parents than one, these days. Since I like these statistics, I must agree with the theys in this matter as well. So far the theys have it!  

Being in my early (very early!) – okay early mid thirties, I’ve never have called a woman mom, or felt like I had one until marrying my husband. I never knew how it felt to come home and lay my head in a mothers lap, and have her run her fingers through my hair, like I do my daughters. I never knew how it felt to come home and cry in arms that accepted me completely, that created a safe place to simply unravel. I never knew what it felt like to have someone be proud of me, to tear up when I got an award, or was caught doing something small yet monumental. These are all moments that I have with my children, I know how it feels to be the mom, to hug, to hold, the pride and unconditional love that exists between them and myself – but I do not know how it feels to be the child. That kills me still to this day to never have felt that sense of contentment, belonging, to be unconditionally loved by anyone. And, I simply refuse to allow that pattern to continue for my children, including my step-son. 

He is a blessing to me, a gift there was no way of creating myself. His heart is genuine, pure and I will be damned if anyone treats him as anything less than he deserves. I don’t want him being thirty years old and questioning whether he ever made anyone proud, whether he was wanted, loved or important. I want this little man to grow up to teach his children that love knows no bounds, no bloodlines, no limits – and that every person deserves to be loved by another. What we teach our children now, we are also teaching our children’s, children. At least that what They Say.