Happy Birthday Mama

Today marks a very special day in the life of one of my most special, favorite people. Today is my Mama’s birthday. There is something special about the mother-daughter bond. It’s why so many girls would describe their own mother as the best ever. That is certainly how I feel about my mother, she is the best mother.

She lead by example teaching me how very important it is to love Jesus, to be kind, to be thoughtful, to be gracious, to be loving, to be caring, to be selfless, to be thankful, to be honest and to be hard working. She taught me what it means to truly love someone unconditionally.

She taught me how to smile no matter what life throws at you, and know that tomorrow will bring new promises and hope when you feel down. She taught me to value myself, to surround myself with like minded people and to know when it’s time to cut ties when someone isn’t good for you.

She taught me to honor my commitments and to keep my promises. She made me value education, perseverance and personal values. She raised me to be a strong woman.

If you’re new to my blog, you may not know this about me, about us. This is why I feel our bond is so strong. I was adopted at 3 days old. God basically hand-picked these amazing people to be my parents. And y’all, I won the parent lottery!

She has been my loudest cheerleader and she always believes in me, even when I don’t believe in myself. I know she has many more lessons to teach me as the years continue to roll on, and each day I value our relationship more than the day that has past.

Then on top of being an amazing mom, she’s the best grandmother ever. She goes by Nanny, and she sure loves these two. These littles of mine have no clue how blessed they are to have a Nanny as wonderful as she is. I’m so glad that our littles have her right next door to love and care for them. And teach them and help them. And let’s be completely honest…She spoils them too.  Y’all, we have lived out the “it takes a village” mantra.

If it wasn’t for this woman, I would not be who I am today. It is certainly a blessing to be able to say your mother is your best friend. And she is clearly that, my best friend. I live beside her, normally see her every day and talk to her a million times a day.  She never once complains of the hundreds of times I call her to ask silly questions like what does bad hamburg smell likeI have a skunk in my chicken coop and need your help or can you look and see if this injury is emergency room worthy? I am truly blessed!

As we look towards the future, I just want you to know Mom, I love you. It feels like such an inadequately simple phrase to express how very much I care for you. My life is blessed because you are in it. Everything I am and will be, I owe to you. You’re the best. I hope the year to come is one of your very best yet!

An Open Letter to My Body

Dear body,

Remember when we were little and we were friends?  You weren’t good or bad, fat or skinny, ugly or beautiful.  You were just me.  You were the vehicle I rolled down grassy hills in, screaming with laughter.  I wrapped myself in you to swim in the ocean with my Grandma.  You were the cocoon I snuggled in to sleep at night.

We’ve walked the streets of Mexico, the shorelines of beaches and endless miles on dirt roads.  We’ve birthed two perfect, extremely large babies and we’ve fed them with milk we made from pizza, steak salads and cold cereal. We’ve walked endless miles with my Mama shopping.  We’ve danced for hours upon hours, all sweat and motion.

We’ve been through a lot together and we survived!

Despite everything that I’ve put you through, you’re still carrying me through this life.

I’ve tried to change you more times than I can count—perming your naturally straight hair, starving you to fit into a smaller size, spending early morning hours at the gym trying to make you more toned and laying in the sun for endless hours to make you darker.

I’ve pierced you and permanently tattooed you.  I’ve dyed your hair more colors than I can count.

I’ve allowed what other people think change my thoughts of you.

I’ve abused you verbally.  I belittled you.  I called you fat.  I complained about you.  I compared you to every single woman that walks past me.  I talked to you worse than I ever would speak to anyone else.

I’ve abused you physically.  You have endured multiple displays of my clumsiness, bad luck, horrible aim and dumb-flat-feet-make-me-trip.  And by multiple I really mean uncountable…but yet, you kept going.  You didn’t throw your hands up in the air and say that’s IT, this girl is unreal…how can she fall UP the stairs and DOWN them?

I’ve had one simple surgery somehow turn into 17.  Through it all, you never gave up or gave in.  Not even in ICU where you were so, so very tired.

You are an amazing creation that God designed specifically for me.  You have carried me through 42 years of playing + walking + moving + learning + thinking + creating + loving + living.  We may have had good times and bad times, but trust me when I tell you that I really do love you.

I love your lips and eyes that show my heritage, the skin that has allowed me to age gracefully and that tans oh so easily.

I love the stretch marks that show you carried and fed two healthy babies.

I love that you have arms that have allowed me to hold my sweet Grandma as she passed into the arms of Jesus, to hold and twirl my babies around the living room while the music was too loud and to wrap around my husbands shoulders during every hug.

I love your laughter, even though it’s loud and obnoxious.  I love that we can find humor every day, and laugh so hard we can’t catch our breath.  And I love that you passed that exact same laugh to my daughter.

I love that you’ve always had a bit of booty.  I may have tried to hide that part of you when I was younger, but just know that I appreciate those humps now.

I love your dark brown eyes, though I spent many days when I was younger wishing they weren’t so boring.  They show me beauty and allow me to capture it with my camera.  They allow me to experience all the beautiful creations of God displayed around me daily.

I love your ability to sing and how much pure joy it’s brought me throughout the years.  From harmonizing beside my Dad in church to car dance parties with my littles.

I love the multiple scars we have, they show we persevered and we’re alive!  It’s because of you that this Mama can see her kids grow up.

I promise to try harder at accepting and embracing you for what you are instead of harshly judging you and holding you to an impossible standard of perfection.  God gave me a perfect gift when He gave me you.

Q + A WITH AMY

I want to share an opportunity for YOU lovelies, one I’m so super excited about!  Send any and all questions my way for a little Q&A session on Monday, January 15th.  How fun is that!

I wanted to treat this as a chance to share more of my story with you, and to have some fun while doing it.  Ask me anything!  Feel free to ask about blogging, faith, photography, chickens… anything you like.

You can ask in the comment section below, message me on Facebook or shoot me an email at gypsytree@windstream.net!  Let’s have fun!

Partner With Me

This little blog of mine, we’ve been through an awful lot together.  My first ever blog entry was July 19, 2006.  Twelve years ago y’all.  TWELVE.  And it’s been such a blessing!

It was started as an outlet, a way to share my scrapbook pages and a way to keep in touch with family.  But then something happened.  As time went on, more and more people started reading.

A few months back, I glanced at my site meter.  I saw something that was beyond anything I could have imagined.  I have readers from Russia, Canada, China, United Kingdom, Germany, Philippines, France and Malaysia.  And I realized, in that moment, that this blog was my Ministry.  God has done something I never, in a million years, would have imagined this country girl from a tiny town in central Pennsylvania doing.  I have actually “went into the world” from my living room.

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
Mark 16:15

I write blog posts to inspire others and make them smile; to share hope, grace and truth; to share my own mistakes and sins; to share my heart; and to share Jesus and His amazing love with others around the world.

And now I want to give you that chance as well.

I’m looking for people to partner with me in 2018.  I’m looking for guest bloggers, products to review, businesses to promote and sponsorships!

Have you always wanted to try your hand at blogging, have a testimony to share or a gentle nudging at your heart to share something specific?  And maybe you’re afraid to jump into maintaining a daily blog?  Write a guest post for me!  I’m looking to, hopefully, once a week feature a guest blog post here.

Maybe your an author with a book you’d love for me to review, or you have a small business and you’d love to get your name out there more.

I’m so super excited to connect, make new friends and work together with amazing people in the new year. There are so many amazing things to come with Forever Beloved this year, and I’m beyond excited to share that with you!

Shoot me an email at gypsytree@windstream.net or connect with me on my Forever Beloved Facebook page and lets chat about the details!

January Wallpaper // Freebie

Happy New Year everyone!  To grab these wallpapers just right-click on either DESKTOP or IPHONE below, right-click on the image, save the image and set it as either your desktop wallpaper or your iPhone Home or Lock screen.  Enjoy!

DESKTOP // IPHONE

 

Disclaimer: These designs are Copyright © 2018 Forever Beloved/Amy Cutler and are for personal use only.  You must not re-distribute or use commercially.  If you share one on social media, please tag @foreverbeloved or link back to www.foreverbeloved.net