After I had Elijah
I had to work really hard to get healthy again. I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition or working out so I literally had to start from the bottom. I had my dad come alongside me and eventually I hired a trainer at the gym. I taught myself about nutrition and stuck to a plan I made for myself that truly worked. I gained self-confidence and I lost all of the baby weight, and then some. At this time in my life I was also in and out of an abusive relationship with Elijah’s dad who liked to make comments about my weight and my appearance. It was something I was fighting internally with my own voice, and then his on top of that, and don’t forget the images in the world that tell you what you are supposed to look like.
Parts of this journey were fun and exciting but parts of it were miserable.
The anxiety set in when I found out I was pregnant again. Remembering how hard it is to lose weight with a newborn by your side. You are tired and exhausted. You eat whatever is available and whenever you can fit it in. I have come so far in being able to wear clothes that fit and be confident in my own skin. I had dropped down to 120 pounds at one point because of how strict I was on my diet and how much time I spent in the gym. How in the world am I going to do that with a newborn baby and a husband and 8 year old to take care of? And work too?
The first trimester is hard enough with the constant nausea and having absolutely no energy.
But to make it worse I would wake up in the morning dying to want to get up and go to the gym. It’s just what I do. I would want to eat oatmeal and salads and veggies but all I could manage were crackers and dry cereal. The agony of knowing how I was unable to stick to my healthy routine was really a battle in my mind. The dread of weight gain haunted me as I lay there just wanting to have enough energy to take a walk.
Even now as I move forward in my pregnancy I fight cravings and have had to change my workouts dramatically.
I still go just not every day. I don’t spend 1.5 hours there and I don’t do more than my body allows me to do. I work out for an average of 45 minutes 4 or 5 days a week. Some days I do weights and some days I just walk or jog on the treadmill. I don’t always eat a salad and quite honestly we have added some meat and eggs back into our diet as well. I’m approaching this pregnancy differently in a lot of ways.
I realize now that I am more than my size.
I realize the most important thing is to be healthy. I know that my body was created to prepare this child for the world. I also know that if I miss a day at the gym because my body needed to rest the world won’t end. I won’t allow my own thoughts destroy the beautiful pregnancy GOD has gifted me with. I could sit around and agonize over the weight gain that is sure to come or I can rejoice that my body has the responsibility to provide nutrients and a healthy environment to grow and develop my child.
The LORD knew what He was doing when He created the body to hold a child and I will choose to honor Him and thank Him that he chose me to carry his plan out. I will honor Him in my heart and not allow negative thoughts about any part of this journey. I’m not saying I have overcome this battle, I’m telling you I am currently fighting in it.
If you fight yourself on your image or weight know that you are not alone. We oftentimes only think overweight people are struggling but you would never realize how many people with the body you want obsess over their looks and are truly in agony over their diets and exercise routines.
It is a miserable place to be trapped in, and you my sister are not alone.
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A Gay Mormon.
I am a huge reader.
I love reading anything and everything. This last year I went on a journey to read a lot of biographies and non-fiction books. I have made my way through a lot of books and I am so excited to begin to share some of my experiences in my literature journey with you! I decided to start with a book I most recently finished called, “Saving Alex: When I was 15 I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay And That’s When My Nightmare Began.” This book is a biography written by Alex Cooper herself and Joanna Brooks.
I am sure by now you guys have noticed a pattern in some of the books I’ve posted about reading this year. A lot of them have been centered around the LGBTQ community, the bible, and stories of people who identify as LGBTQ or did at one point. Unfortunately, this post isn’t going to be amazingly controversial and I am not going to spit my opinions or beliefs on the topic, it’s truly about Alex’s journey and her story told in this book. So if you are looking for a conversation about my views, I would be glad to build a relationship with you outside of social media.
Now, on to the book.
Alex grew up in a normal mormon family. They attended church and believed that they would all get to heaven if they followed Gods plan. Gods plan for a mormon woman looks something like marry a missionary, lead a good life, have children and teach them how to also follow Gods plan and then when you die you will get to be with your family in heaven for all eternity. This is an extremely basic idea of how it’s supposed to go. But for Alex, she realized this idea of being with her family in heaven forever wasn’t a reality at all. She wouldn’t be able to marry a missionary because Alex liked girls.
She made the mistake of sneaking out to go with some friends out of town one weekend where she came into full realization of her sexual attraction to girls. She then made the mistake of blurting it out to her mom upon returning home. Her mom then lost ALL of her cool and proceeded to kick Alex out of their house, all while her dad sat silent. Alex went to a family friends house for a few weeks until her parents decided the best place for her to go would be to her grandparents house in Utah. Little did Alex know she was going to Utah, but she was definitely NOT being sent to stay with her grandparents.
She was sent to stay with a mormon family down the street from them who had guaranteed to be able to fix Alex and get her back on Gods plan.
In her months staying here
Alex fought suicidal thoughts, end even had a failed attempt. She had been abandoned by her parents, left with complete strangers, and would be there until she was no longer gay or could convince them that she wasn’t. She was no doubt emotionally and physically abused and neglected. Some of the things they had her do were forms of torture. Everyone in the town was under the impression that any kids sent to this family were troubled and when Alex had made desperate attempts for help, she was completely ignored and got a good beating afterwards. Once she was FINALLY allowed to go to public school upon some good beahavior, she made a few alliances who were able to help her escape and get free. It was an extremely long and emotional process all through legal means, but she did get free.
I really recommend this book for a fresh perspective on not only the inside life of someone who identifies LGBTQ but also how religion affects our behaviors and beliefs.
I truly believe there are obvious areas of deceit all through this entire book and I believe that someone with a heart after GOD’s will be able to see them. She gives some breathtaking statistics about kids who identify as LGBTQ and how many of them are suicidal, have drug addiction, are homeless or kicked out. A lot of teens even turn to prostitution and illegal things to be able to make money to survive after they are kicked out. This is not to say that the LGBTQ community or people who identify as that are all bound to be criminals, so don’t put words in my mouth. It is to point out that we have an entire community of people, young kids, who are hurting. Who are left abandoned by their own family members. They are made to feel inadequate and less than and often times their lives are so lonely they would rather not live. This is not okay with me.
No person should ever feel so alone and dirty and unwanted that they want to end their life.
So my challenge,
Read a book that might make you feel uncomfortable. Go into a conversation with someone different than you simply to hear THEIR story. Learn something about a culture or people who you feel you can’t or don’t relate to. At the end of the day we are all human and we all share the same emotions. You can relate on some level, and we need to learn to be willing to shut up and listen every once in awhile.
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I was talking to my son the other night while he was taking a shower and he was telling me how I am the best mom he has ever had.
He went on to start talking to me about his dad and how much he loves him. If you know anything about our life you know that Elijah’s dad is not his biological dad. I usually don’t even have to clarify who he is talking about anymore when he says dad because he rarely talks about his biological one anymore. He went on to tell me “I would take a bullet for my dad.”
This was the same evening I sat in Elijah’s bedroom crying my eyes out watching the Budweiser commercial about stepdad’s who stepped up. If you haven’t seen it, youtube it and get ready to cry. I sat there at his window looking out watching my amazing husband spend his evening playing baseball with Elijah and felt so overwhelmed with thankfulness that God had given him to us. There was a man pouring his time and love and knowledge into my precious boy, our precious boy, all out of his own choice to do so. Zach didn’t have to choose us. He didn’t have to choose to step into a dad role and what was at the time a very complicated situation. But he did.
When Elijah was telling me how much he loved me and his dad, I suggested he let Zach know how much he loved him. When he got out of the shower he went into the living room and I heard him say, “Dad, I love you so much. You are the best dad I have ever had.” It was so sweet and I of course was just overwhelmed again.
It wasn’t until two days later
on the car ride home when Elijah said, “Mom, Can I tell you something?”. I said, “Of course, what is it?”. He continued on to tell me that it was very easy for him to tell me I am the best mom he has ever had because I am his only mom but it was a lot harder to tell dad that because he has two dads and he loves both of them. Wow. I had not even THOUGHT for a second about my simple request to let his dad know how much he loved him would make him even consider his biological dad. I immediately let him know that is completely normal and it’s great for him to love both dads. I apologized for not thinking about that before suggesting he convey that sweet message to Zach and how thankful I was that he shared it with me.
If that’s not enough to get your heart pounding…
he came in to me last night after we had celebrated Zach for Father’s Day and said, “Mom, is it okay if I tell dad what I told you the other day about it being hard for me to love two dad’s?”. I of course let him know that was okay. He walked his cute little rear back to our bedroom and I heard him explain it to Zach who answered in the best way he ever could have.
“Buddy, I understand how that would be hard. And it’s okay. It’s okay for you to love both of us. Just know that I love you so much and I am so thankful for you because you are the whole reason I even get to be a dad at all. Thank you for letting me be your dad.”
Cue the waterworks.
Our story of redemption is not over. GOD is moving in our family. This Father’s Day is Zach’s first official one to celebrate and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to call the father of my children. Everything he does is for GOD first, and then for us. I respect this man beyond what my words could ever write or speak.
Pray for Zach. Pray for. Elijah. Pray for the baby on the way. Pray for my dad, and your own dad. If you aren’t married pray for the man who will father your children and lead your family. And also, pray for Elijah’s biological dad and all of the dad’s around the world. Pray for everyone who have lost their dad. Pray for the broken father/child relationships. We serve a good GOD who will work everything for His good.
Happy Father’s Day!
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The First Trimester.
By now you guys have all most likely seen the news, The Dumbleton’s will be welcoming in a new bundle of joy December 2019!
Praise GOD! We are so excited and blessed and we are thankful for everyones support. Pregnancy is exciting! When you first get the news your mind starts racing and your heart starts beating faster! You immediately want to tell the WORLD! What not many people will tell you though is that after the initial excitement wears off, your weeks ahead are filled with the craziest rollercoaster ride you will ever go on.
Let’s talk about my poor husband for a moment! If you saw the video I made where I combined all of our “reveals” into one you saw how he reacted when I told him. A good ol’ bro HIGH 5!? I was hysterical at his reaction. I am not sure any man really knows the “correct way” to respond or if there even is one but my husbands will go down in the books (or at least my blog!).
So why did I refer to him as my poor husband when I just delivered him some of the most exciting news – E V E R ?
For the next 8 or 9 weeks I was going to transform into someone he had never known before. No woman likes to go into detail about what happens to them when their hormones completely take over. Have you ever experienced someone with a schizophrenia disorder? At times a husband with a newly pregnant woman probably feels like having his wife diagnosed! I found out about my pregnancy SUPER early because we had been seeing a specialist. 4 weeks pregnant and we knew! By week 6 - the hormones had set in full force and my husband (who hates rollercoasters) began his ride.
When I was pregnant with Elijah I had “morning sickness” but nothing like with this child. First of all they should be honest and call it all day sickness because I don’t know of many moms who experience it only in the morning. But with Elijah by around 4:00 in the afternoon mine would subside and I could go about my day as usual. Not. This. Time. All day and all night it was constant nausea! Never actually throwing up but absolutely no appetite and what was worse – the smell of coffee made me gag! Zach literally would have to sit on the other side of the room to drink his coffee!
Not to mention the
E M O T I O N S.
Now ask anyone who knows me I am an empath and I am very emotional but this is ridiculous. One morning I was at Elijah’s school assembly and guess who cried during the national anthem? Guess who also could not stop crying at her nieces dance recital. Just about anything could make me cry. I wanted to cry when by week 10 my body had already adjusted to the idea of carrying a child and I was on the look for looser clothing, and introducing full blown maternity clothes by week 12! Not only could I get sad quick but my poor husband could do nothing right! He literally could have just walked in the room and I was annoyed with him without him ever saying a single word! I am also not one who is good at a hiding her emotions so you can imagine living with that!
And I cannot forget the exhaustion of the first trimester. Our bodies are literally developing a child from the moment that egg implants and is connected to its life source which is US. This is so freaking cool! I hope every person understands we are not being lazy during this first trimester, our bodies are working overtime to sustain and grow a human. I have had mono before and the tiredness that comes with pregnancy is much greater than that! It is so beautiful to me how GOD works all of this together and how after the first trimester is over, as it finally is for me, that I am still married to the man of my dreams and he and my tribe of people around me still love me!
Hello Second Trimester!
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I recently decided to start reading a book called “A Wife After God’s Own Heart” because let’s face it marriage isn’t easy. I love my husband so I want to improve on anything I can to show him that I love him.
One thing I have taken away from this book so far is how important it is to know the different roles we both play in our marriage.
This can be a little hard to swallow at times so bear with me! If we look biblically (which is what she does in the book) at the roles God has placed on us as wives we can see that we are supposed to help our husbands. We need to love him, and often times that is shown best by giving him respect. We are called to follow his lead, which also helps in the respect area! As well as we need to show him how much we appreciate his efforts in all that he does for us.
Sometimes it’s really hard to do all of those things, and do them well. I myself sometimes feel like I am doing really well at one or all of them only to find out from my husband he isn’t feeling that way at all! I know how frustrating that can be!
I do my best to praise him publicly and brag on social media about him, but then I disrespect him in front of our peers. Or I feel like I am helping out a lot around the house with chores, but completely forget to have his breakfast ready. I’ll be NAILING it by appreciating all of the hard work he puts in and then totally ruin it by complaining about some other small thing that didn’t quite meet my expectations.
These are not things that he points out to me regularly but they do come up, and they should! I want him to let me know when I have made him feel less than what he deserves from me. It’s painful to know you don’t meet the mark every time, but it is humbling and you have to know these things in order to grow and for your marriage to be full of richness.
She gives a few practical steps in how to be intentional on learning how to really live in our Godly roles as wives. They are actually very simple:
_Thank him for all of his efforts and refrain from pointing out the flaws in what he tries to accomplish. Focus only on the good!
_Ask him daily if there is any way you can help him accomplish the tasks he needs to get done. Could you pack his gym bag for him as he gets ready to leave for work? It can be simple!
_Respect him at ALL costs. This can be difficult for women because we typically don’t see respect as such a pressing issue but for men, it is how they feel the most loved and most capable. (This is the area I struggle the most in.)
_HAVE FUN! I am sure that you guys love spending time with your husband but we have to be so intentional in doing this. Make a priority to set aside some amount of time together at LEAST once a week even if it means staying up a little later than usual one night or sending your kids outside for 30 minutes and locking the door! We have to keep the fun element in our marriages!
I by NO means have this marriage thing figured out. I am actually really beginning to see just how much I don’t know about my husband and how marriage works. But I am learning. And I love him. But even more so I love GOD and I want to honor GOD in my marriage so I will do everything His word instructs me to do in order to love GOD well, and serve my husband.
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