Hold Space

This one phrase has been on my mind and heart for the past few months.

So for me holding space goes way back. Way back to probably the beginning but for the sake of this post, lets go back to my teenage years. I lost my virginity, got pregnant and had an abortion all in my freshmen year in high school. While all of this was going on there really wasn’t a safe place for me. I didn’t have anyone to talk too. There was no one around to explain all of this ins and outs or even to process my grief, thoughts and feelings with. Please know that I didn’t expect there to be fanfare for a black, naive, pregnant teenager but I do look back and wish that someone would have held space for me…

What it means* How it happens in my everyday life* Why it’s important to me*

When I say hold space in no way am I saying that I wanted people to coddle me or agree with my misinformed and reckless behavior. But I think it would have been life changing to have a person there who could help me process all that I was going through, listen to my heart and also honestly explain sex–the feelings that come with it, consequences/joys of it and that it is not just a physical act; it’ truly giving your body and emotions to another person. Holding Space is having someone say ‘hey, you are not your mistakes. Take what you’ve learned from this and build upon it” ( my Aunt Virginia, who is my oldest child’s namesake, did tell me something to this effect before she died).

So fast forward almost thirty years and my hearts desire is to hold space. This is my hearts songs to be a space holder for people. Over the years, Ive either seen or experienced a little bit of everything. From three pregnancies (two ending in abortion, one in miscarriage and being told that I wouldnt be able to carry a baby full-term), abuse, trauma, absent father, instability, not emotionally connecting with anyone, watching siblings go in and out of prison, seeing/living with parents who had alcohol/drug addictions, to my sister (who shared our home with us) dying almost three years ago unexpectedly and the trauma and depression that followed from finding her unresponsive, doing CPR to only find out there was no brain activity and have to make the decision to take her off of life support…

Holding Space has become my life song. I get do it with my children when we have hard conversations. But also in everyday life by acknowledging their thoughts and opinions and giving them the space to feel their feelings, without judgement, and doing what we can to steer them in the right direction- all while helping them put useful tools in their toolbox of life. I also get to hold space for teen/young moms. I run a program, The Connect, just for them. To provide a space where the can just be…without judgement, with lots of love and care, a home cooked meal, all while giving them the tools and encouragement to become the best parents for their children.

So for me holding space is to listen without judgement. It is welcoming people with a meal, coffee, a Kentucky Mule and/or a soft sofa to relax on. Holding Space giving advice when it is needed and wanted, crying tears, hugging the stew out of you or even just praying silently as I hols someone’s hand. Holding Space is loving without trying to change a person…it can also be telling someone that it’s time for them to get their life, in love:)

I hope that you hold space…to love people where they are so that they feel safe and significant…even when life’s circumstances are screaming the exact opposite… I hope that you choose hold space.

Hard Things.

I dont like hard things…especially when it comes to people and circumstances. We could all pretty much say that right???

Well, for me this is so true. Maybe bc I’m such a laid back, nonchalant (on the outside) person or maybe bc the thought of inconveniencing others makes me want to break out in a sweat.

Either way, “peopling” can be hard for me. Which is why this is so much for interesting…my job, well my purpose, centers around people!!! Young mothers, young women to be exact. And yall…this is no cake walk!!!

Emotions. Problems. Insecurities. Generational curses. Just not knowing how to handle some things. Lack of attention. Not knowing their worth.

All these things play a role. All these things are familiar. All these things cant go unaddressed for too long.

And again…its hard. Hard to know how to love others well enough so that when you correct them they dont break. Hard enough to nurture and not allow wrong behavior. Hard to give your all when it’s easier to shut down and back off. Hard to go through the muddy waters and not come out covered in filth.

Its hard but there is so much at stake. What I’m learning is that my purpose isn’t going to be lived out doing things that are easy. Being relational, “peopling”, loving others well are not and will never be easy tasks. But they are essential and needed more than anything else.

So for me I’ve decided to not go through the muddy waters trying to avoid the filfth… I’m going to go through, come out, rinse off and clean myself up, and go in again prepared to bring someone, something good, out with me💜

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year Peeps!!! Bringing in a new year is always a special time to plan, reflect and dream…

2017 was a good year for me.  Although there were quite a few bumps in the road, I don’t have too many complaints. 

I learned alot.  I cried alot.  I was appreciative of alot. Here’s my 2017 rundown:

Surprise. One of the biggest surprises of 2017 was a new baby. Our family had just welcomed our bonus baby Umari in December and then at the end of January, we found out I was pregnant. I was shocked, overwhelmed and happy all at once.  This would bring our grand total of kiddies to,  drum roll please, six!!! Being pregnant with a baby isn’t the easiest but we got through it. In September we welcomed a beautiful baby boy Matthias to our crew. (Our other children were 11, 8(twins), 4, and 10 months). There was no time to practice, so I had to jump in to being a mother of six with both feet.  I was up and about my normal routine, activities/kids schedules, by time out little one was 2 weeks old. 

Grace. Grace was a word that was ingrained into my heart and mind in 2017. So many things were going on and to be honest I didn’t like them.  I can say there were so many moments, situations and people that I didn’t particularly like but I was always reminded to see them through the eyes of grace. I couldn’t change alot of it. I wanted to change alot of it. But grace gave me peace…peace that I needed to accept things and people right where they were. No judgement. No expectations. No disappointments. Just grace and the peace  to move on without letting people or their situations negatively affect my life. 

Health. Health is so important. I’ll be the first to tell you that this is something that I’ve taken for granted for way too long. I’ve had issues with my blood pressure for the past seven years. After I had our twins, my blood pressure was sky high. I was on a couple medications, but over the years I haven’t been consistent with them.  The same issues crept up in this past pregnancy. High blood pressure. Stress tests. Bi-weekly ultrasounds. Thankfully now, I’m on a couple of meds that are helping me keep things under control. I’ve started implementing vitamins, supplements and just recently a no meat regimen into my daily routine.  I feel alot better and the headaches that were a part of life are no gone.  Nothing really changed accept the fact that I woke up one day with the realization that I have six babies that need me. I want to enjoy my life and theirs too. And aging gracefully and without so many issues, is the goal. 

Speaker. I spoke at my first conference! This was amazing and scary all at once. I’m an introvert so things like this make me sweat and want to take extra long naps. However, I got through it. I left everything I had on the stage and prayed that my vulnerability would be a blessing to some one. (check out akronwomenonpurpose.com/stacyboyd)

I pray that 2017 taught you some valuable lessons that you will take into this new year.  I hope that 2018 brings you all of your hearts desires…more than that, I pray that your purpose is crystal clear and that you confudently walk in it daily….Happy New Year!!! 

  

The Great Reminder…

A few weeks ago I spoke at our women’s gathering about our gifts. The gist of it was that our gifts and talents are given to us by God for His glory and to be a help/encouragement for others, they should be deepened by us, and that we shouldn’t dumb down the  great things that God has given us and put in us to fulfill.

Well, guess what?  I did it. I dumbed down something that God has given me to do. I didn’t talk about this particular thing with a humble confidence that I should have. i spoke with uncertainty and fear. No I don’t have all the answers but I know that God does and that HE will give me the wisdom, favor and plan to get done what needs to be done, for His glory.

So, today I had the great reminder…Its ok to be ok with the great things that God has given me to do and be. Now its time to walk in it and thank Him for what He has so generously given me to do for Him….

First Teachers…

Parenthood has so many twist and turns. Some days I am completely convinced that I am crushing it! My planner is up to date (including color coded events and a current to-do list that has checks by the majority of the items), the kids have had a hot breakfast before school, the house is clean, lines are in the freshly vacuumed carpet and it smells like either a tropical fruit or a warm sugar cookie, and I am dressed in appropriately cute mom attire and lip gloss is applied before 8am.  Then some days it’s the complete opposite. I get up late, the kids are scarfing down cereal, the house is a wreck and I may have picked up one of my youngest from school in my slippers… On those not so good days, it is so easy for me to criticize myself on how I should have gotten up earlier and if I only would have planned the night before, instead of falling asleep with my baby, I could have been deemed a success by the imaginary “mothering board” (these people exist solely in my head when I having not so good days, especially on the mommy front).

But one of the things that has stood out to me as of lately is that I am teaching my children, even if it isn’t intentional. As parents we have to set a standard for our children so that when they grow up and go away from home they have an example to refer back too.  Hopefully that example is a good one.

I want my children to always be able to recognize what real love is and does because of our home. I want them to know what a healthy relationship is because of our marriage. I want them to be able to take care of their home and be faithful to their families and careers because they have seen it from us first. I also want my babies to know how to live gracefully and be able to start again, with a clear mind and heart, when things go left.  All of it starts from home…Our Home…Their First School with us as Their First Teachers.

So today as you go about being a fabulous mama, think about what you are teaching your babies…on purpose and by example

Balance…Is It Possible?!?

Over the past week or so, I’ve been thinking alot about balance. 

Is there any such thing?

We have been pretty productive during this season. 

Marriage. 4.5 Children + 1 Bonus Baby (through foster care). Home Manager. Working Part-time. 

Honestly, there isnt a lot of me time. I love the idea of self-care but when the rubber hits the road, I have to make the best of our situation. While I would love to go get a pedicure and spend some time alone, honestly I have loads of laundry that need to be washed, dryed and folded so the best that I can do is listen to one of my favorite podcast and read a chapter in a book while I wait for my children at baseball practice.

I know it won’t always be like this but for right now I have to grab the moments when and where I can. So to all my mommy friends, take the little moments until the big ones are available. 

Happy New Year!!!

Happy Happy New Year!!! 

Starting a new year brings so many possibilities…and with those possibilties come planning, goal setting and change. More than anything, I’m excited about being Better this year. As a matter of fact, one of my key phrases for 2016, is Level Up.

For me this year is about Leveling Up in every area of my life…marriage, motherhood, my purpose, health, being a home manager, organization, my blog  and business, finances…Level Up!!! 

So cheers to 2016 and all of us being our best, most productive selves!!!

Happy New Year!!!! 

 

Beauty…💞

You’re beautiful because you were created with a specific purpose and a destiny…
You’re beautiful because of the light that you shed into the lives of so many…
You’re beautiful because even though people have failed you over and over…you still choose to love and forgive
You’re beautiful because you’re kind, loving and so gracious
You’re beautiful because the dreams you dream are to help others be their best…
You’re beautiful because success means fulfilling your purpose and has nothing to do with your possessions or what type of handbags you carry…
You’re beautiful because you see the good in others and not just the reflection of the bad from their pasts…
Your beautiful because your always seeking to be better by knowing your Creator better…
Your beauty runs deep…not because it’s from what you look like or what you have, but because it comes from your heart and your desire to be a help to those in need…
You’re beautiful just because you are you💜

SHE…

She woke up one morning and finally realized that she could do all that she feared she couldn’t before…
Every dream that seemed so far away now looked as if it was now within her reach…
All the things that she secretly desired no longer felt as if they were meant for someone else…
She finally realized that all that she ever needed was within her and that she was the only one who could give her life meaning.
She realized it.
She did the work.
She lived the life she always dreamed about…

The Younger Me…

For the past six months or so, I’ve been volunteering at a local ministry w/their teen and young moms. Every Tuesday I get to go have dinner and interact with some of the most amazing young women.
Every week I come home so grateful that God chose me…
Literally I feel as if I’m able to love on my “younger self”.
The younger me who was so insecure and broken that I thought shutting out the world was the best thing to do…
The me that just wanted to be in a relationship where I knew that I was cared about, even in the simplest of ways…
The me that was so self-absorbed that I thought material things would show people that I was worthy of being deemed significant…
The me that thought that if I drank enough and partied enough, I could get the images of family members looking at me as if I was nothing, because I was my mother’s child, out of my mental bank…
The me that opted out of motherhood early on b/c I feared that I had nothing to give to a child…
Every week these things come into play. Every week I get to hug someone, talk to someone, love on someone’s baby in hopes that the “younger me” that I identify w/in them, can somehow know that eventually you’ll realize that you’re worth more than rubies…Xo