I had such a sheltered and spoiled background. I breezed through my childhood so fast that it’s hard to remember it. I wanted so badly to grow up and be an adult, a wife, and a mother.
I had a pretty awesome upbringing with loving parents, a big wholesome family, a kind religious community, and I was even a Girl Scout. But is it possible that sometimes things can be too perfect that you miss out on living and experiencing?
I have Stone City Blog on my mind right now. It is a collection of blogs written by men in prison, which I manage. Honestly, I’ve struggled with putting in all those hours helping men who couldn’t give me much in return.
I help men in prison share their voice with the world. At first, I choked on my own voice when telling people this. It wasn’t something I wanted to brag about. I mean, it’s not exactly the same as a volunteer program for hungry children in Africa. These men have their meals, clothes, and shelter provided. I seriously found myself wondering if I was helping the wrong crowd.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
At one point, I read this quote online and I immediately began to feel that I was giving all my time and energy to these men while neglecting my own needs. Some quotes out there seem positive and inspiring, but its all about how you apply them to your life…and not just applying them to your Facebook wall.
That quote above sounded selfish to me as I read it. I needed some serious perspective and balance in my life.
Deep inside I had a strong feeling to quit everything and focus on me and my marriage. But I forced myself to keep managing this blog. I didn’t fully understand why, but I kept at it…sometimes having bursts of energy, and other times rolling my eyes.
When I was younger I helped others while doing group service projects through my church. Mainly just because everyone else did it, and because there would probably be snacks afterwards. I know, pretty ridiculous.
I was kinda clueless back then. But the good news is that I am looking back at those life lessons. I have learned that service towards others does not include receiving material rewards. It’s honestly about human beings helping human beings, no matter their circumstance.
After I changed my outlook on the situation, I started delighting in the inspiring snacks I received within. I did not realize how much humbling I needed in certain areas of my life. Nor did I ever think I’d discover it the way I have.
Two very different worlds, yet with the same life lessons to experience.
Prison is most often depicted in a dark & gloomy way, and rightfully so. Part of the idea of Stone City Blog is to show a glimpse of how it is on the inside. They are human beings with friends and family, too.
This platform has not only helped these men, it has also unlocked a love inside of me towards serving others. I feel like I am being taught how to be a stronger woman, a better wife, and also learning valuable lessons to help me be a loving mother one day.
Stone City Blog is helping to fill my cup in a unique way. It brings me added perspective, understanding, and knowledge of what it’s like to be on the other side of those bars…a place where it just so happens, my sweet husband is.
Prison is a part of my life now. Instead of fighting that fact, I’ve come to accept it. And I feel so much more peace inside.