I Am Thankful For {Opening Up Today}

by The Park Wife on November 14, 2012

Today’s ThanksBlogging topic at AWB is “I AM THANKFUL FOR”

I thought about giving you a numbered list, but it could go on so long it would actually be Thanksgiving before you finished reading it.

Then, I thought about referring you to old posts since my blog is a love letter to my husband and children, that list could get a bit crazy long  also.

If you know me, or read here, you know I am most thankful for God’s grace, His mercy, and the desire to know Him and love Him more each day.

With all that said, here we go……

See, it is hard some times being a gypsy. I love to move to and experience new places (which are usually very small towns) and am blessed that my hubby is my best friend and our kiddos rock so I have a strong core family.  But, with each move, I have to start anew meeting women/finding girlfriends. Sounds easy for someone outgoing and on the lookout for fun, right? Well, not so much actually.

Here goes some brutal honesty, opening up like I have not before on here.

I am in a strange situation. Yes, I homeschool our children and I LOVE the Lord…….

BUT……

We do not attend a bricks and mortar church, nope, He does not have us in organized religion right now. WAIT!! Breathe!! Stop the judging!!! Do not start planning your intervention nor planning your emails with scripture lined out on how wrong we are.

O.K., we can proceed.

So, if you are a homeschool mom and are not part of a church,  that takes out a huge group of potential friends in a new town (note: not because I have a problem with them being churchgoers). Plus,  I do not wear blue jean skirts or jumpers so I am considered immodest to one faction of homeschool women.  Yep, another group that does not want to hang with me. Oh, plus I like an occasional glass of  wine with a nice dinner, yep, there go people of certain religions.

Then there are the non-homeschooler women who think I have lost my mind to homeschool or think I have a problem with them sending their kids to school, which I DO NOT, at all. The numbers are dwindling.

But, over time, a few beautiful souls in these towns emerge who accept me. Yes, some are homeschool moms (that are churchgoers), some are grandmothers, some are just plain fun people that love beyond stereotypes.

This was part of the reason I started Arkansas Women Bloggers, I just knew that I was not the only woman out there like me. I was right! That little project has grown into a beautiful place of non-judgement, where over 300 women have come together to encourage, grow, and genuinely help other women tell their stories. We are launching a group in Oklahoma soon and I look forward to watching those women gather, grow, and connect with each other.

Photo by the beautiful Amy James of Our Everyday Dinners

Today, I am thankful for women bloggers who reach out beyond their computer screen to get to know me in real life, who accept me for who I am.

Fawn, Julie,  Beth,  Amy J., Stephanie Mc, Gina K,  Lyndi, oh the list goes on and on.

I love and am thankful for each and every one of you!
The Park Wife

 

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie Mc November 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I’m thankful for you, my favorite gypsy.

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Joyce Grippi November 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm

What a great post. Keep keeping it real sister. You will never be alone and we love you too!

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Jessica November 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Great post! :) If I were in your area we could definitely hang out. It’s hard to find grown-up friends sometimes, no matter who you are.

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Amy James November 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I think I’m going to cry. I don’t care if you’re from “off” or if you are a homeschooler. I wouldn’t even care if you wore a jumper (ok I might care a little). So proud of everything you are doing!! xoxo.

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Brittany November 14, 2012 at 6:10 pm

You are pretty special. Look at how much we all love you!

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Jacqueline November 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm

We love you just the way you are.

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Jodi November 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm

It makes me sad and mad that so many groups would exclude you – that’s a just a silly, narrow minded way to lessen the awesome in life if that’s how they approach things. I’m glad you’ve found a community that respects and loves you as you are.

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Adrienne November 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm

A). I had to take a side trip and read your gypsy post. I just want to say that my Ladybug’s actual name is the same of at least THREE characters on Gilmore Girls, though one is no longer the reigning Ladybug, since she passed away and was buried in “fresh” clothes.

B). It IS hard being a SAHM. Ladybug is too young to homeschool, but we’re not in any playgroup, and though we belong to a church, we haven’t even ever gone to Sunday School yet because we keep coming up with excuses. I imagine being a homeschool mom who does move around a bit is even more difficult. I don’t judge you, because we consider homeschooling at least a few times a year. The only denim I own is in Old Navy jeans.

C). Thank you for starting AWB! I may even try to join the Oklahoma group, because I’m a native Oklahoman!

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Amanda November 14, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Ahh, Steph, I think so many of us can relate at such deep places! You know we aren’t homeschooling, but the emotions you’ve described are so similar to my own…for diff reasons. I’d love to visit with you about this! Thank you for sharing such a personal post!
Amanda

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Talya Boerner November 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Thanks for sharing! I’m glad I found AWB:))

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Debbie November 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Amen! Loved your post. I would also love hanging out with you and grand mothering those babies of yours! You are a blessing to all of us.

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Tracie November 14, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I had to stop a minute and check to make sure I didn’t write this. Homeschooling mom? Check. Not currently in a church? Check. Not wearing a denim jumper? Check. Enjoying a glass of wine tonight with my hubby? Check.

I’m very thankful for the friends and connections blogging has given me.

Maybe one day AWB will expand to Florida. I would love that.

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Babbie November 15, 2012 at 12:50 am

This homeschooling mom from off is sure glad you moved here!

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admin November 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm

And I thank you for taking me in to raise Babbie! I love you.

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gina November 15, 2012 at 12:55 am

You know what I love about you? You’re sincere and you have a great laugh. And, you give good hugs and that you’re just so much fun to be around.

Thanks for being you! And, for introducing me to so many new friends here in Arkansas!

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MegAnne Townsend November 15, 2012 at 3:46 am

Hey! We have a date Friday night! We gonna have some FUN!

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Shelley November 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Stephanie,
I know you won’t remember me but we lived on the same moutain for a few years (Petit Jean). You might remember my husband, chef Adam. It’s crazy how i found your blog a few months ago. It was through my sister-in-law, Kristina Hanry, who attended your Women’s Bloggers conference at OFC. She was talking about it when she got back and mentioned how much she loved Stephanie Buckley so Adam & i told her how we knew you & your husband (what a small world).
I’m so glad your family is doing so well! Your boys are precious!
And as for this blog, i think it’s great that you homeschool your boys!!!

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admin November 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Of course I remember you Shelley, I keep updated on you guys from various Petit Jean folks. We made it through the ice storm of 2000 together, remember that? We hope to head that way for a visit soon! Tell Chef hello and I can not wait to meet your little ones.

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Fawn @ Instead of the Dishes November 15, 2012 at 9:05 pm

“I like the way you talk, too.” ~ Karl, in Sling Blade

So, I don’t know if you’ve seen Sling Blade, but that’s one of the things I love about you. We come from different places, we talk differently, but our hearts are the same.

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admin November 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Are you insinuating that I have an accent? bwaaaahahaha

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Karen W November 16, 2012 at 12:59 am

And I am SOO thankful that you started Arkansas Women Bloggers. I finally feel like someone other than my family reads my blog and I love having a group of friends that I don’t actually know in real life! You rock

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Sheila November 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Oh it so very hard to know where we fit in. I thought that would all end after high school, but I think it only gets worse. I also am very thankful for you, and the many amazingly talented and gracious women and men that I have met through the world wide web ; ) hugs to you!!

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Katharine Trauger November 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Hey, Stephanie!
Imagine MY surprise when I discovered you’d gypsied yourself out of our area! I have always loved what you are/were doing with your darling boys, always loved how gentile you two both seemed, always understood.
But here it is: we also do not wear skirts 24/7 (especially Jerry!) and we also have sometimes not churched, although we called it home-church. I understand. Only now that Jerry is preaching in a brick-n-mortar, we do really have to attend. Sighs. ;-)
Craziest thing is that although I hardly knew you, I do miss you. Called you the other day and got this wierd recording. Ha.
Well, have fun organizing. You do that well. :) Kathy

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