Chapter Forty-One…

My birthday was yesterday…I turned 41 years young. Being in the 40’s club has been good for me, for the most part.

The one thing that I realized is that I have to be. See, I spent my 20’s and a good portion of my 30’s doing. Doing all the things that I thought I was supposed to do to be the ideal woman, Christian, wife and mother.

That was exhausting…

I didn’t have joy. All I had was obligations and things to check off of my to-do lists. But I didn’t feel as if I had purpose unless I was doing what appeared to be purposeful.

I was in it to make people OK, make sure that everyone was content except me.

Then one day I just stopped. I stopped doing what others wanted and stopped caring what they thought. Honestly, it was the best feeling ever. My mantra became “I walk in my purpose on purpose”.

Purpose means saying no. It means not making someone else’s emergency my own. It means being in the moment. Enjoying my husband and children. Going all in to love them and support them well. It means going to mini vacays to see family to have fun and be recharged. Purpose means being honest when and saying I’m not going bc I don’t feel like peopling.

The 40’s club hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. I have to deal with grief, anger and really realizing that people are people.

So even with the not so good, it’s good bc I’m learning daily to give myself the space to process and not feel as if I have to put on.

Cheers to 41…may it be another year of goodness, grace and growth!!!

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.

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!!! 

  

Monday Motivation: Pray, Prepare…

“If You Pray For It, Prepare For It”…this simple, eight word quote speaks volumes to me!!! I can remember when we were in the process of buying our home. We had been looking for months, put in three offers, praying and believing…but nothing seemed to be going our way. 

I can remember feeling down and out, tired of waiting. But eventually, I did the opposite of what my situation called for. I started packing up stuff, throwing out what we didn’t need, and keeping the house that we were in like it was the home we had been dreaming of. And in time, we found our home and the transition was smoother because of the preparation that took place throughout the process. 

Same thing goes for our goals, dreams and aspirations…prepare, get ready, for what you’re praying for. If it’s to be a speaker- study, perfect your gift. If it’s s new car-keep your current one washed, cleaned out and up to date on maintenance. If it’s to be wealthy- clean your credit up and stay up to date on bills. Sometimes it’s not so much about how much we are doing, it’s about being excellent and consistent in what we are doing. 

So friends and fellow mommies, let’s start, and finish out, this week by Being Prepared For The Blessing(s) That We’ve Been Praying For…

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.