Forgiveness: 36 Years Worth

Happy Birthday to me!! I am so blessed to celebrate another year of life. As I celebrate my 37th year on this earth, I can’t help but look back on my first 36 years. My gift to myself is, RELEASE. I don’t often open up about my childhood, I especially never thought I would blog about it, because it was very painful. However, I have learned that in order to grow, you must look back, forgive, let go, and move forward.

I thought that I had let go of what happened to me a long time ago. I realized that I didn’t, because I had not forgiven those who did it to me. I don’t want to carry these pains anymore. Well, in my 36th year on this earth, I finally forgave the ones who robbed me of my childhood innocence.

I forgive the stranger who thought that a seven year old girl was a great target, and tried to rape her on her way home. I forgive my Godmother’s adult daughter for abusing me out of jealousy and putting scars on me that will make it hard to forget, because she could not stand how much her mom could love a little girl whom was not her own. I forgive my godmother’s husband who found it appropriate to sneak into the bed of a child and molest her. I forgive all the adults who knew what was happening, but did nothing but look at me with shame. I forgive the son of my mom’s best friend who tried to rape a 13 year old girl, whom had already been through so much already.

Most of all, I forgive my mom for never letting go of her abusive past, and taking it out on me, because I was born from rape, and looking at me was a constant reminder of that. I know that you love me mom, but the pain was so deep, that you couldn’t forget it. I know that pain, because I went through it too. I am sorry for the reminder that I was of that painful day in your life, when the man you trusted, broke that trust in the worst way. I am so glad that in my 36th year, we both found peace, and finally forged the relationship with each other, that we both deserve.

I know that some may think that this is dark for a birthday post, but this is my truth, and I wanted to RELEASE it all before I celebrated another year. Also, my spiritual counselor has told me for years that sharing my story may be a blessing to someone else who may be living their truth in silence as well.

So to all who know the truth, let’s celebrate letting go.

I am so thankful for the good childhood memories that has allowed me to remember that though we may go through times of struggles, there are reasons to smile and be grateful.

I am grateful for my sisters who gave me their blessings and pushed me to release, when I told them what I was going to write about. I am thankful to my dad, who stepped in and loved me as his own. He showed me the qualities of a great man and father. I am thankful for my husband and kids whom are a constant reminder of God’s love for me, and a reminder of what true unconditional love looks and feels like. I am so thankful for this gift of sewing that God has blessed me with, that has given me a place of peace to go to and Express myself creatively. I am thankful that this past year I was able to meet some wonderful people in the sewing community whom has strengthened my hope and belief in human goodness.

Me at 8 years old
My 9th birthday
My sisters and I Christmas 1991
My skinny self at the beach (9 years old)
I thought I was so fashionable as a teen πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
I was always following my sister Simone around, she never knew it then, but I looked up to her. She was my hero.
My high school graduation
My beautiful and stylish mom in the 80s
Me at my senior prom
I was 19 in this photo
I was 21 in this pic
Me and my military battles
My mentor and my best friend
The love of my life on our wedding day.
The man who may not be my bio dad, but he stepped up and was the father I needed in my life. I will always be grateful to you Dad. I love you.
I love you mom. You sacrificed so much for us, and you loved us the best way you knew how.
Me and my daughter. My first born.
Me and my son, my little superhero.
I made it through so that I could be what I needed to be for them.

The few times I have shared me story, people always ask me the same question. “How did you make it through all of that. How do you smile so much after all you’ve been through.?” My answer is always the same. “God helped me through by placing the right people around me in the right season, and I am a strong willed individual, who will never let circumstances keep me from the life I desired.”

Today is my birthday you guys, and I am moving forward, and believing that my best life is ahead of me. This dress that I created for myself means a lot, because I created it with love, hard work, and determination. I chose blue not because it’s my favorite color, but also because it is known to be a peaceful and tranquil color. I am at peace in my life. My past will never be forgotten, but it has been forgiven.

I am a true virgo.
Thank you Lord for another year
These hands have created so much goodness, they should never be used to tear down nor destroy.
Happy Birthday lady!! Live, love, and laugh. You deserve it.
Turning my back on the past, my future is now my only concern

Thank you guys for sharing in this moment with me by reading my blog post. It was most personal and most difficult post, but I am so glad that I wrote it. I don’t know who you are, but someone was supposed to read it today. I pray it helps you in the way you need it most.

FINDING ME ON INSTAGRAM

IT’S ALL FOR FUN RIGHT?

When I joined Instagram in 2016, I had no idea what I was doing, I was just having fun posting photos of my makes. Little did I know how serious Instagram was, and that there are “guidelines.” But I wasn’t worried about having the perfect Instagram page, I just wanted to share my sewing for fun. Isn’t that the most important thing?

Over time, I have been getting DMs as well as ads on my feed about how to grow Instagram accounts, and a lot of the advice are about taking the right photos, staying on trend, finding your niche and sticking to it, making sure your page is brand friendly, making sure your page tells a story, etc etc. I guess it was not all about having fun, it was also about creating another version of you, so that you will be liked and followed.

I feel that before you take advice on the ins and outs of Instagram, it is important to figure out “Your Why.” For instance, are you on Instagram for fame, hopes of monetizing your account by getting recognized by brands, or just for sharing? Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong reason, but make sure that whatever your reason, you are true to yourself and “Your Why.”

STRESSED AND CONFUSED

At one point after I joined Instagram I felt a lot of pressure to make sure that my photos were just right, to the point where I had my poor husband out for hours going to different locations for perfect lighting to try to get a great shot. It became very stressful, and he was not liking it. There was also someone I met on social media telling me constantly what my page should look like, and I listened because I thought their page was beautiful. They even told me to look at other people’s page to see what mine should look like. I became so overwhelmed, that I forgot why I was on Instagram to begin with, and I was no longer having fun. It felt like Instagram was another job I was not happy doing. Life can already be overwhelming, I didn’t need to add more stress to it.

At one point I thought about shutting down my page. I mean, I just wanted sew and have fun sharing. I had no intentions of trying to brand myself, nor focus more on making what others wanted to see me make, rather than what I wanted to make. I basically became someone I did not recognize, and my page did not look like me. I had to literally separate myself from Instagram and refocus.

One day, while talking to a good friend, she gave me the best life advice. I even give this same advice to my children when it comes to peer pressure at school. She said, “If you find yourself changing to please the world to the point where you don’t recognize who you are anymore, then remove all of the people and things that are making you unrecognizable.” That is just what I did. While on my break I will admit that I missed Instagram. I had met some lovely people in the sewing community, and missed seeing their creations. However, before I came back, I had to figure out my why, and never lose sight of it.

I later came back to Instagram, but with a purpose in mind, to sew and share my love of sewing with all those who wanted to join me on my journey to building a self made wardrobe.

MY WHY

I joined Instagram because I love to sew and share with others, that’s it. I honestly don’t follow trends, I just make what I like. My page is not perfectly curated, because honestly my life and my sewing is not. I truly wear what I make, so sometimes you may see me in a beautiful dress, and sometimes you’ll see me in shorts and a top, but you can guarantee they are all made by me.

There are times I get really cool photos, and there are times when I get a shot in or near my house before I run out. Don’t get me wrong, nice photos show off the details of your make nicely, so I am not saying it is not important to take nice photos for your page. Just make sure that you are not stressing yourself out so much about the perfect location and photo. I have seen some instagrammers with beautiful photos inside their homes in their creation. You don’t have to be in some out of this world location in every photo, unless you are a travel blogger.

INSPIRATION

I am inspired by some fashion bloggers and other sewists on Instagram, but I don’t want my page to look like theirs. Why? Because I am not them, and what works for them may not work for me. If someone takes notice of my page, and a blessing comes from it, then I will be grateful. However, it will be because they like me, and what I represent, and not who I want them to think I am.

THE LESSON

I have learned that Instagram, like any other social media platform is what you make of it. You can have fun with it, you can gain income from it, but most importantly in my book, you can inspire with it. Don’t let it cause you to be someone you are not, because at the end of the day, it’s not the real world, and there is so much life to live off of social media.

My name is Faith, and I LOVE TO SEW!!

thank you guys for taking the time to read my blog, I truly appreciate it. Have a wonderful day. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe.

Sewing Saved Me

For me, sewing is not just about needles, threads, fabrics, etc. For me, sewing has been something that has saved me mentally. Please watch the video below to learn about me and the impact that sewing has had on my life. Also watch the video your of my sewing space. Follow me on Instagram to see photos of my latest projects that I did not blog about. Thank you guys for taking the time to read my blog, have a wonderful day.

Comfort Blanket Project

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I have been on here, but I am back and am so excited about a current project that I am working on, however, for this project to be a success, I need your help.

As many of us know from our own childhood and/or from being parents, children love their blankies. My son is about to be eight years old, and he still carries around his favorite Spider-Man blankie. There is just something about a blanket that brings comfort to many. For that reason, I am partnering with my sewing sister ElleRussSew to start the Comfort Blanket Project.

THE PLAN

I am asking my fellow sewers and non-sewers to sew or create no sew blankets to donate to the children at the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. I need at least 100 blankets no larger than 2 yards by December 10, 2017. However, you can continue sending blankets through February 5, 2018, because I would like to donate the remainder of the blankets to the Pregnancy Resource Center.

INSTRUCTIONS

The blankets must be made of fleece and be brand new (no old blankets due to the health of the children). You can sew your own blanket or no sew blanket, or you can purchase a blanket. The blankets can be solid or print, as long as it is unisex. Here is a quick tutorial on how to make a sewn or no-sew fleece blanket. Once you have completed your blankets please write a short inspiring note to go with your blanket and mail it to the address below.

Comfort Blanket Project

470 Dacula Rd

P.O. Box 482

Dacula, GA 30019

Thank you so very much for your participation, it is truly appreciated. What an inspiring thing when we use our gifts to bless others.

Little Girl or Little Woman: dressing our daughters age appropriate.Β 

Hello everyone. I hope that you are all enjoying your day. I was scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest for little girls fahion ideas, and while doing so, I noticed that most of the little girls were dressed way above their age range, and rather skimpy. It got me thinking whether a line existed anymore between what is appropriate clothing for little girls or not. As a mother of a little girl, nothing makes me smile more than when I see a little girl all dressed up in her cutest outfit. This is what made me interested in joining the children’s clothing market. I love making fun and fashionable clothing for my daughter and other little girls, but what saddens me, are the little girls whom are dressed like tiny adult women. If you have scrolled through most social media formats, I am sure you have seen photos of little girls wearing ripped jeans with exposed skin, tiny shorts and midriff showing. I promise you that I am not a prude, I love seeing kids look fashionable and trendy, but we have to ask ourselves, where the line is drawn between a little girl and a grown woman. 

Do not get me wrong parents, I am not walking around with the staff of judgement, I am simply a concerned parent who is speaking on her observations. I am not stating that children should look like Laua Ingalls from “Little House on the Prairie,” I am just simply saying that we need to be mindful of how we dress our little girls. 

I remember seeing a little girl maybe around age 8 or 9 on the beach in Florida wearing a two-piece string bikini that matched her mother’s. The first thought that came to mind was “wow, why does a little girl need a string bikini?” I love doing mommy and me looks with both my daughter and my son, but you will see a difference in the way mine is styled and the way my daughter’s is styled.  As you can see by the photo below of my daughter and I, she is wearing leggings under her dress, while I am not, and her shoes are age appropriate. However, she is still trendy and fashionable. 

Little girls will not be little girls forever, but while they are, let’s do our best to dress them and teach them to carry themselves as such. As the older people used to say when I was a child, “A child needs to stay in a child’s place.” Have a great day everyone. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 

Good News: Changing your focus can change your perspective.Β 

​Today I want to share my good news. I woke up this morning to my husband and two children. I was able to prepare them for their day and send them off with a good breakfast. Before they left, their last words to me was, “I love you.” I am a seamstress, and not only do I sew for others, but that gift has also allowed me to uplift others by reminding them that they are beautiful and custom made by God, which means that no mistakes were made in their creation. 

One of my clients wearing the dress I designed for prom.

Another client in another of my designs with her prom date.

I also serve in the children’s ministry at my church, which means that I have a great opportunity to reach children starting at a young age and share God’s words with them, and watch them grow into it.

My son and other kids writing their name on the concrete of what’s going to be the new children’s area at my church.

The children taking part in an activity on stage in our kid’s ministry large group area.

I have witnessed such joy and excitement in their eyes when they remember their memory verse, and a whole room of people are there cheering them on and encouraging them πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰. I get to witness how their faces light up when they see their small group leader and student helper walk into their classroom, because they know that those people have invested their time to love on them and show them God’s love. I have been blessed to see how much my children have grown because of people who have invested in them. My daughter made the decision to get baptized almost two years ago, and that moment will forever be a strong reminder of what God’s love can do. Now, my son is asking about baptism, and we are so proud to explain what that decision means and look forward to taking him to the next splash class at church so that he can get an even deeper understanding.

My daughter at her baptism

You see, my good news is that I get to be a WITNESS πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—. I have seen kindness in unexpected places. During my time in Iraq, I have seen people whom were supposed to be at war with each other form friendships and give to those they were meant to despise. I have seen people who have so little give more than many with lots to give.  When we only focus on the bad things, we can miss out on witnessing some pretty awesome moments that God has created. Yes, there are horrible things going on all over the world, but to witness such beautiful moments and be a cause of some of those moments, that is the best news. Let’s try to not only find light in darkness, but let’s also be that light as well.
Please share your good news below so that myself and others can cheer for you.
#witness #goodnews

Getting ready for urban ops training with my battle buddies

This is the condition I often worked in, because I was in supply and worked outside in the supply yard while stationed in Iraq. We called it “Red Dawn.”

This is how my work day often ended while overseas

Thank you all for reading my blog and getting to know me a little bit more. Have a wonderful day.