A Day of Remembering & A Shot of Anxiety


I slept well last night. Maybe to prepare me for today. I don’t know but I liked it.

My anxiety is heightened.  I noticed it pretty quickly this morning.

The dog barking only once. Shrill ran up my neck.

The sudden awareness that my husband & child had left and I was alone in the house.

On the drive to work my struggle was real to contain my perspective.  Switching the songs more times than  needed on the radio.

Continuing to use my peripheral vision on the guy & his dog at the park.

Anxiety and depression are partners. They walk hand in hand.  When one stops the other can easily pickup where his pal left off.

That’s how it is for me at least.

Let’s go back to the car ride to work.

Country music reminds me of my Dad. It was on the radio.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of his death. Blocking the emotions from that day, 3 years ago is normally pretty simple for me.

But not today.

It’s not like I’m not functional. I am. I got out of bed, walked, went to work, and so forth.

There’s just this blah existence in me today.

It really hit me in the car. The point where tears were coming but I said NO! Not today, at least not right now.

It’s the recollection of my feelings from that evening that creates this emotional upheaval within me. Not necessarily that he is gone.  It’s the way it all went down. I really thought I had come to terms with this.

I came home to find flowers from my husband and youngest daughter and a piece of snail mail from a friend.  Life is sometimes really hard and filled with sadness and anxiety.  But the glimmer of hope is still there, it lies within the area around us.  It may not be in our view at the moment but it is  there.

It’s coming back into my view.  Tiny bit by tiny bit.  Perhaps tomorrow.  Yes, probably tomorrow.

Dad & I

Until then,

Julie

Cracks Within Series – #1


Sometimes when I imagine myself,  I see a person that has cracks throughout their body. The body is just flesh and bone but I’m talking about like a stain glass window of sorts. Or perhaps more like, the old china cup that has hair-line cracks throughout it but you can’t stop using it.  The thin cracks making it only more beautiful.

Untitled design

Each crack within me was placed there from an experience.  The tiny cracks creating a brokenness in one shell of a human.  From the arguments on the playground to being picked last on a team as a child.  The teen emotions of being dumped by the guy I thought was my whole world or struggling to pass Algebra. Finding myself walking the high school halls practically full term pregnant.

The more substantial cracks stem from someone taking advantage of me as a child. The remnants of sleeping in a car overnight due to alcoholic situations at home. Not to forget to mention my experience of divorce, motherhood fails, and professional occupations.

Some of those cracks were brought on by other people’s actions and some my own.

Each one has its place within me and each one helped mold me into who I am today. Maybe the reason I am able to write is due to one of these or perhaps all of them.  I will never know.  I find that okay, I have always said “struggles build character.”

I’ve come to realize from the years 2013 through 2016 there became a crack in my being so substantial it made the largest of large indention.  A combination of things.  I was moved to a place of darkness, seeming to never return and changed forever who I am, almost ruining my marriage, my role as a mother in this world, and a few other things.

In the span of those three years I made choices and choices were made for me that scarred me for life.  I’m still reeling from them, especially since we find ourselves once again in the month of August. The difference is I am feeling better.  The difference is I survived.  I’m stronger and I’m still here writing about it.

Check back soon to get another edition of the Cracks Within series.

Julie

 

 

Writing on a Personal Level


I can only speak for myself but when I write, it’s personal.  Which means that my emotions are all wrapped up in the words I lay out on the screen.  That the time and effort I put into each post is a piece of me. Some people may not get that, but high-five to those that do!

FOLLOW

I’m not a person that needs to have 1000’s of followers or comments on my posts daily.  If that was the case, I’m 100% outta luck.  138 followers on this blog alone is all I have, in the blog world that’s probably an embarrassing number to share by the way.  Rarely does anyone actually comment on the posts, and if I don’t share on my personal Facebook or Instagram page there are times the views are a total of two.  (Thank you dear sister and husband, you rock!)

That’s how it goes.  That’s reality.

Each post is a personal journey in one individual’s life. My life.  As I’ve said before, writing helps me process.  I don’t write about every single hiccup or joy or smack in the face or delicious kiss I experience.  I write whatever flows from my fingertips and my heart.  Some posts are written in hopes to help others, process my experiences, just for fun, or to just share a song I really like! (love me a good song)

Some of my posts are more important to me than others.  They resolve conflict in my mind, comfort my heart, pull back the drama of reality, or help me say what I wish I would have when I could have to someone.

Some of my posts when I finish writing them (and reading them like 30 times before hitting publish) I truly feel “that was well written.”  A sense of pride fills my chest and  the emotions that go with accomplishing something feel awesome!  It doesn’t happen with every post.  It’s a rare gem in this blog writing woman’s life.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this.  This place, Pushing Forward with Grace and all it holds…. means a lot to me.  It has my heart.  I pour it out in hopes of feeling I’ve contributed something worthy not only my own life but others.

That my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will know me a little better than they would have otherwise.  Even if they end up saying (when I’m long gone) “that Grandma Julie was a emotional roller coaster, wasn’t she?”  

Yellow joy

I hope that others remember I am human and I have an emotional tie to this place. These words. The stories that fall from my fingertips.  That even though this place may not be important to them, it is to me.

There’s a whole lot of me wrapped up in here!

I am beyond grateful for the those of you that follow my blog, comment via social media, texts, email, or even right here on the blog.  Thank you for the days you lift me up.  Yesterday was one of them and some of you did just that.  God bless you!

Until next time,
Julie

 

 

 

P.S. It’s not always easy for me to click publish and share myself on the blog.  The reason is I see people weekly or daily that read it.  It scares the crap out of me that they will think I’m that crazy emotional roller coaster lady! 🙂

 

A Lifetime of Words & Spiral Notebooks


Five years of writing.  Three different blogs.  An array of topics, emotions, and so much I might not have shared unless behind a computer screen.  I’ve invited people into my life through the world wide web to walk with me down not only challenging times but joyous moments.

My following isn’t huge by any means, which I am just fine with.  The writing isn’t about drawing attention to myself or my family, it isn’t about making my mountains bigger than yours or my adventures sound more thrilling.  Writing for me is a process, that’s what I have learned in five years of blogging.

It’s always been there.  The writing.   I recall when I was struggling as a child due to my parent’s divorce,  the school counselor told me to write my feelings down.  I used a spiral notebook but the spiral part was on top.  You know like the one below.

notebook

I have no clue where that notebook is today or what I wrote in it.  I’m sure it is filled with much heartache, drama, and anger.  The teen years, some of those notebooks are still in my attic tucked away.  I’m sure my children will learn a few new things upon my death as they go through my things. Those I know will be filled with drama and poems and so much girl/boy heartbreak stuff!

I always liked to start with a very clean fresh piece of paper.  If I messed up I would have to start over, I REALLY disliked scratching out anything.  It’s like the page needed to look perfect although it was filled with the most imperfect things!

My adult journals became ones that looked pretty on the outside.  I always preferred lined pages and some had bible verses or flowers on them.   They too were filled with ordinary daily events, the birth of children, job changes, moving, a marriage, and the failure of one.  The realization of being traumatized as a child not once  but on two different occasions.  The hard times of remarriage and raising daughters through the teen years.  So much written and all included joy as well.  I don’t go back and read them much.  Some are best kept locked away.

I still like a spiral type book to write in even if just for my grocery lists or to do lists.  I don’t journal much anymore on regular paper though.  It’s mostly right here on the blog or I just tuck it away in the crevices called me.

So many things in five years have happened in my life.  I haven’t even blogged about them all.  I suppose I tend to write about the things that I need to process and most of the time my joys aren’t written.  I used to do that more, write about my joys.  But then my joys went to the wayside.  I feel some days more are present now and I see a tiny inkling of myself coming back. There’s a post about all that in my drafts.  Perhaps soon I’ll share that one.

Until next times I hope my posts have helped someone in five years.  I know it’s helped me. Perhaps that was God’s intent… to only help me.

Julie

 

Thicker Skin In a World of Screens & Words


It seems the longer I work at being honest and sharing my opinion, I find I need thicker skin and less times of worry.  I’ve mentioned before how I would like this blog to inspire and that it is a therapy of sorts for me.  It brings me joy and even moments of fear when I click on the publish icon.  The good outweighs the bad but that little piece of doubt lingers still in my mind.

I can have a piece that I feel is well written with love and careful choice of words, and in the end I suppose someone will dislike what I have said or worse dislike me. I am afraid that those that do not know me closely will take my perceptions and see me as a person I am not. Worse the people that know me somewhat will think poorly of me.

Everything I write truly comes from my heart (and mind).  A mixture of ideas, thoughts, feelings, dreams, knowledge, and even fact.  I know that there will never be a life full of peace until I die, but I’d like to think that those that read my words have good thoughts more than bad when they come across a post.

The worry doesn’t consume my daily thoughts it just resides here and there in my mind.  Oh yes, I have been told I think too much a time or two in my life! I’ve also been told that if they don’t like a post they will just move on.  It doesn’t matter.  But to my tender heart it matters to me.  Building connection, having a purpose, serving others in love.  That is what life is about I believe. My blogs are one way for me to do this.

On occasion my fears include that readers and people in my life won’t open their mind and allow others opinions and thoughts to be digested and possibly see life in a different light.  That they will think I am being arrogant, full of myself, or delirious.  Sometimes silence is worse than them sharing with me how they feel.

In life confrontation isn’t something I like, but it does build character, especially when done respectfully. I know if an individual let’s hurt feelings fester they will build into something that is much more than it ever was meant to be.  It will begin to consume their lives and trump any bit of goodness that crosses their path. I am in hopes that my words and my connection with whomever, can touch their hearts and souls and bring brighter days.

Many times in life others bring brightness to my days.  They help me learn something new, see life in a better light, and life my spirits.  This I am grateful for. I pray that I am able to just that for others.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

Flowers

The Drafts to be Shared


cropped-flowers.jpg

 

The writing has been done.  There are a few posts that wait patiently in my drafts folder. Unsure of when to share them I seek advice from those close. Is it too personal? Am I coming off the way I want to?  Is it going to inspire verses collect pity? Will there be others who get angered at me for sharing? But should that matter if I feel in my heart it may help others?  I seek not attention but hope to help others, so they do not feel so alone in their similar situation.  Prayer upon my heart for the timing of sharing and for expressing the things that lay so very close to my inner being.

As the rain falls from the sky and the lightning brings forth energy  these posts will no longer lay dormant.  I share them in hopes that they will refresh someone as the rain does the soil and provide courage they might need as the bolts of thunder fill our ears!  Hold not judgement upon me friend but rather if it doesn’t touch you perhaps it will another.  Perhaps another will not feel so alone in their time of uncertainty.
Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

What To Write Today


I have a few posts in my drafts folder.  In fact I wrote a new one today, but it’s not time for that one to be shared.  My mind has had many thoughts from yesterday to today.  Some were good and some not so good.  I feel like a ping pong is bouncing inside there back and forth and can’t seem to stop.  No winner in that match!

As I type these words I’m wondering if the rambling of my thoughts would encourage or discourage any of you from reading my daily posts in the future.  If you find one post not to your liking will you give up on me all together?  I will never know I suppose, well unless all of you leave!  Then I might notice the follower’s numbers are down.  🙂

Do I bank my day on the post I share here or the comments I receive?  No I honestly do not, but this outlet is one that brings forth substance and passion and even strength for me.  It allows me to produce words that I am not able to speak from my mouth or even to have anyone listen to.  It helps me to share my love of so many things and my dislike of others.  It brings about accountability and challenge all while I hope to inspire others.

In my life I have endured some yucky things and I feel that my ability to share in words is one of the ways I have made it to where I am today.  It also gives my spouse a break from listening to things he probably could care less about and won’t remember anyways.  🙂

So my readers thank you for stopping by today.  Thank you for encouraging me and allowing me to share the ramblings from my mind.
Grace is a gift,

Julie

flowers1.jpg

Blog Sharing Workshop


As I mentioned in my Stage Fright post I was invited to speak about blogging this weekend.  It was an opportunity that presented itself a few months ago via a friend.  She introduced me to Angie which come to find out actually grew up in the area that we live now!  Small world and she is a true delight!  After working on the presentation the past couple weeks it was time to make it happen!

We traveled to Ellinwood, Kansas to a quaint little coffee shop called Gather.  If you are ever in the area, be sure to stop by or you can follow their Facebook page. They have daily lunch specials and cute stuff for sell too!

Gather Gather Counter Gather CUP

A few ladies gathered together to hear me talk about our blogs, what inspired me to start blogging, and to take a look at the behind the scenes of each blog.  Since this was my first presentation I am thankful it was on a smaller level in a more intimate setting.  We were able to converse and they asked questions which I thought was beneficial to all.  Although the wi-fi was an issue I feel we still had a successful time-sharing and learning, me included.

Making connections is one of the reasons I took on this opportunity.  I believe connections bring forth value to our lives.  Through this experience I was able to meet new people, a chance to road trip with my sister, best friend, and a friend from high school.  The entire time was pretty enjoyable I must say, even if I was tad nervous to start! 🙂

Blog Sharing Workshop 2014 Ellinwood, Ks 2

 

I’d like to thank all those that made it happened, sent me text messages to check in, and those that attended the workshop!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Stage Fright


The six-year-old that lives in my house was my coach this morning.  Not for basketball or track, not even for working out.  She was my coach in regards to presenting in front of a crowd.

See today I stepped out of my comfort zone and presented at a blog sharing workshop (more on that tomorrow).  I have never spoke on blogging before and this was also in front of some strangers some friends.  I had practiced throughout the week and prayed as well.  But when this morning came around I was feeling a little anxious.

My daughter came and sat on my lap, and I thought about how she makes it look pretty easy getting up in front of people to perform.  I asked her how she does it, how she make it look so easy.  She shrugs her shoulders, looks at me, and says “I’ve been on a stage before and I was kinda nervous, but one of my friends helped me to not be stage fright.”

So I thought about those I knew that were attending today, I prayed, and I told myself if a six-year-old can do it so can I!

Lessons once again from the youngest in our home! Love when that happens!

Lego Fun

Grace is a gift,

Julie

83 and still feeling good.


I realized now that I have been doing this gig over here at Pushing Forward with Grace for 83 days, I really like it.  Oh sure there are days I am thinking “what am I going to write about?”  But for the most part I am not feeling pressure and writing from my heart.  I am able to write for me, and write whatever I feel is moving me.  It’s like therapy in a way. Doesn’t cost much either! 🙂

I don’t even look at my stats.  Seriously. Did you know that bloggers have stats they can review, to see how many times their post has been visited. But this blog, its in hopes of growing and learning along the way, and to document events in my life that perhaps I will want to review later. I’m glad I decided to start Pushing Forward with Grace, I’m not sure what will happen after 365 days of writing on it.  If it will continue or stop.  I will worry about that later. For now I am in for the next 282 posts, how about you?

I am thankful for those of  you that visit the blog, read my posts, and I love the comments letting me into your world alittle!  I have had positive feedback and that is always encouraging.   Do you journal or work through your life events via writing?  

Grace is a gift,

Julie

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