Bethany G. Paget

Midwife of words



Dear…. FMF Post

Dear Abigail,

I want you to always know how much mommy loves you.

When we play the I love you game every single word I say is true.

I would never lie to you about how much joy you bring me or how much I love you.

I want you to know that I see those places where you have deep hurt. I see them because I know them. I have those places too.

The good news is that we can get through it all and heal, together.

I know you are scared that one day mommy will leave you. That’s just not true.

One day when you’re older you might move out to start your own life but mommy will always be right there, in spirit and just a phone call away.

You’ve changed my life so much baby girl and I have never once doubted my choice to push through and love you, and mother you the way I’ve been called to.

I know we fight sometimes but those words we say, they are soon swept away like dust.

They don’t linger.

I love you,


31Days – Faith and Motherhood

If you have been a steady reader of my blog you would know that I struggle in my relationship with my daughter.  I haven’t kept it a secret and the reason why is growth.  I am vocal about how hard it was to accept that I was going to be a single mom. I desired to get married so Abigail can have a dad.  My faithful readers know that this last year has been incredibly difficult for me, which thus makes it difficult for Abigail.

If it wasn’t for faith, grace and redemption I wouldn’t be able to write this post.  I started out motherhood incredibly conservative.  As a new Christian I absorbed all the parenting advice I could because I wanted to make sure that I was raising a Godly daughter.

When every parenting book said to spank, I did; even though it felt wrong in my spirit.  I saw how the children around me that were spanked and realized I didn’t want to be like that at all.  Abigail was four and in therapy I laid down ALL of the parenting books. I decided that I was going to start listening to Holy Spirit on how to raise her including discipline.  It was the best time of my life.  Abigail and I started getting along a lot better.  For once I started to have hope that our relationship really could be restored.

We have been in therapy together since she was 3 (stemming from an incident that happened in 2008) As I did my own work, Abigail did her own work and then we worked together as a family.  It was an incredibly eye opening experience as I started to see that many of the things I did in my early parenting were things my parents did.  Having that knowledge set me free to really do things different, and I have.

The last year has probably been the best for the two of us.  I have learned where my struggles are and how they affect my parenting.  I learned that being firm and giving consequences doesn’t mean that I am a mean mom.  It means that I have chosen to do things different and that I am actually showing her how much I love her by being firm, never wavering.

It’s tough to be on top every day; being single definitely has a lot to do with those rough moments we experience.  It more often than not results from me being too busy or too tired.  I have learned to identify what Abigail is feeling based on how she is acting and it usually has nothing to do with what she’s really upset about.

Being a parent with C-PTSD and raising a daughter with PTSD certainly makes for some difficult moments.  It’s in those moments though I have seen God through the darkness and have believed that he’s actually moving.

My faith is definitely under the microscope right now as I examine where I was, where I thought I was and where I want to be. That starts in the right now of excavating my faith and walking through my murky Jesus waters.  I do know He’s on the other side.

God means what he says when he says he loves his children.

I know that much to be true.

As Always,


Reclaimed Motherhood

I just looked over at Abigail, all of 7 ¾ and asked her what I should write about.  She looked at me with those big, puppy dog brown eyes and said “me, write about me.”

How can I say no to that; I mean really.

I could write over 100 blog posts about her, about how she’s drastically changed my life for the better.  I could talk about how when I look at her it feels like the breath leaves my chest.  Since the day I found out she was going to “BE” my life hasn’t been the same.

I never saw past being a drug addict.  From 12-24 that was my life; I never saw marriage or children.  I couldn’t comprehend college or a job, a future or any of the things little girls normally dream about.  My life was a chaos train that was moving fast toward a brick wall.

However on that balmy December day in 2005 I suddenly realized that I had a chance.  I was being given a do over.  The opportunity to start again, as someone’s mom.  It still strikes me as a little crazy that God saw fit to give me a baby when I was addicted to drugs and living in a cheap, pay by the week motel yet He did and she and I are here as living proof that He’s a God of Grace.

The beginning of our relationship was like being thrown out of an airplane not knowing if your parachute was going to open.  I had never been given any type of modeling from my own mother on what to do and was deeply neglected by all three of the parental figures in my life which left me at a literal loss with what to do.

It stayed hard for a long time.  There were struggles and choices made out of me not knowing what to do or why I was feeling the way I was.  When I was able to pin point what was going on the dry ground started to shift and change started to happen.  That’s when our relationship started to grow and flourish into this beautiful thing it is today.

Today we laugh at jokes and then laugh some more when one of us snorts from laughing so hard.  We spell our names backwards and it becomes the funniest thing since Buddy the Elf belched after drinking an entire 2 liter of soda.

She writes me love notes and hangs them up on the wall of the house.  Over the weekend she made me a breakfast in bed coupon and then actually made me breakfast, well on the couch but you get my point.  She’s equal parts sass and sugar and I wouldn’t trade one bit because she is exactly like me to the bone.  I look at her today with her amazing personality and I want to weep with compassion for the mom in me who was told to break her spirit because she was stubborn and strong willed.

We have coffee, movies and first breakfast on Saturday mornings.  We walk to 7/11 and make it an adventure (when really it’s because we don’t have a car) She makes me pancakes and brings me my coffee.  On the night of each full moon we go out together in the night and plant our moon water.  We dance beneath mama moon, grateful for her presence.

My girl loves little notes in her mailbox and surprises.  Her heart jumps when hears her favorite song or when I watch her favorite movies and shows with her, and not just watch them but am interested in the characters.  Can I tell you that I know ALL about Selena Gomez, Lab Rats, Good Luck Charlie, Frozen and Justin Bieber :0

She likes it when I dance with her, even more so when I agree to play the part of the handsome prince (somebody has to do it.)  She feels big and she feels deep and these days she trusts me enough to tell me how she feels.

I couldn’t imagine our relationship being like this if things hadn’t changed, if I hadn’t made the decision to claim healing once and for all.  It’s been a struggle, as I have gone deeper into climbing out of the darkness many things have to light that have caused several struggles.

Yet one thing remains clear I have one of the biggest reasons for continuing to walk forward and she’s 4 feet tall with curly brown hair and big, brown puppy dog eyes.

I have noticed a change in her over the last month.  At first it was subtle but then all of a sudden it hit me.  She’s growing up right before me and it’s a beautiful but hard thing to watch.  She’s still a kid but she’s growing into the amazing person before my eyes.  One who is strong and independent, and knows what she likes and doesn’t like.  Her creativity and imagination astound me every day and when I look at her I am struck by the fact that she is my mini me.

I remain thankful each day that I have been blessed by being given the opportunity not just once but twice to be the mama to this little girl.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that at almost 33 I would be raising a child.  Yet here we are, together.  Walking this road as a family united by The Spirit and learning as we go.

I am thankful for second chances, for the God of grace and peace and hope.  Without those things I doubt I would be able to look at where we have been and where we are now and see that there is life blooming even through the broken spaces.

As Always,


I Know you, Grieving Mother

I know you

The grieving

Wounded mother

You are not alone

Those aches

They are mine too

I have cried those weary tears of frustration

Of never ending, steadfast love

Locked bathroom doors

Hot angry prayer

Of why?

Not again – Not tonight

As fists rage

A battle not worth fighting

I lie here with you



You CAN fight

Get back up

I have

But for tonight

Dear mother



As Always,


The ways of God

Trigger Warning: Abuse, trauma references and probably some other stuff that might piss people off.

I have decided that for right now, in the space I am in that my writing needs to be raw, vulnerable and unedited.  I can’t go back and allow second guessing of what I am putting out there.  There are so many thoughts and words that are bouncing around, begging for the freedom of being put on a page.

So here I am, again.  All of me.

I tend not to talk a lot about Abigail.  I do in the general terms of our relationship, of us being a family and my being a single mom.  What I shy away from her is personal trauma and my role in that.  I want to respect her privacy as well as my own.  It is an ugly topic to bring to light because there are still places in my heart that are not healed.

We have struggled.  I left her “father” (I use that term in the lightest way because he has done nothing for her) when I was four months pregnant.  We haven’t heard from him in 2 1/2 years and it’s better that way.  I made the choice to protect my daughter from his abuse and we are better off.  After that though I was on my own.  I moved from Florida where we had been living back to Colorado when Abigail was three months old.  Back to my “home” in with my parents who were incredibly abusive growing up.  Moving into to a controlling environment, with a baby, not knowing how to parent because I had NEVER been parented was a shit storm waiting to happen.

Once Abigail and I were on our own is when things started to really get bad.  I was alone.  I was scared.  My trauma that for so many years I had kept buried under the surface with drugs, sex, cutting, detaching and dissociating was rearing it’s ugly head like an angry lion that needed to be fed.  Now believe me.  I kept it covered with my “perfect little church girl ways” Paid my lip service.  Raised my hands in worship, served others, went to bible studies, MOPS, prayed like a mofo.  But when I was alone with Abigail at home that’s when it fell apart.

I had needs.  She had needs and I didn’t know how to meet either.  I needed my environment clean and controlled and with a two year old that just isn’t realisitic.  I had this brewing anger and anxiety in my chest and gut at all times and I would burst at the drop of a hat.  It was bad.  I made some really poor choices as a mom and I hated myself for it everyday.  I didn’t understand why I was in the “sin” I was in.  I would beg God to take it from me.  I figured if I had enough faith, prayed enough, fasted, moved or went to more bible studies He would do something….. ANYTHING.  But He didn’t.

I sank deeper into this storm of not knowing what to do with this beautiful little girl that God had indeed CHOSEN to give me.

I will never doubt that God, in His infinite goodness, knew that I needed to be her mom.  Even though at the time I was a drug addict living in a motel.  Yet I would question Him, hands up in the air in anger at why He would have given her to me if He had know I was going to be such a shitty mom.  I didn’t want to be that way.  I didn’t want to yell and scream and tell a two year old that everything was her fault, or that I hated her.  The shame that I carried for those things was unbearable for so long.

In the midst of this she was sexually abused at a daycare that I had put her in while I was working.  The way the investigation went and the outcome of it still angers me to this day.  The one good thing that came of it was the Victim Compensation board paid for two years of therapy for her.  Which does acknowledge that even though no charges were even filed, they agree that a crime occurred.

In the midst of that, and trying to “manage” and STOP my “sinful” behavior I had so many different people telling me what I needed to do.  I needed to spank her, take parenting classes.  Read “The Strong Willed Child” No thank you and BARF.  People were looking in from the outside, seeing my girl as her uniquely created, spirited self who did struggle with being discipline.  Only because at home everything was so chaotic.  I understand that they were, in their own way trying to help but the by the book, spare the rod spoil the child, authoritarian Christian way does not work for every child.  In doing that they were labeling both of us.  I was defiant because I balk against traditional discipline and she’s been labeled strong willed so many times.

I think I have gotten away from my original intent.   That always happen.  Yet I said I was just going to write what I needed to and not overthink it.

I tried so hard to be a perfect mom, to STOP being a bad mom.  To lay everything down at the cross.  It wasn’t enough though.  I didn’t understand the real cause of why I wasn’t able to parent Abigail the way she deserved.  I was falling apart, our relationship consisted of constant yelling and pain and I even had thoughts about giving up her up.  At five years old yes I did.  I was tired.  Overwhelmed.  Alone and hurting from my own trauma.  Now I have a traumatized child that needs me and I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Now two years later we are moving forward.  We have made huge strides and God had done some serious repair and redemption in her heart, mine and our relationship.  We have an amazing therapist.  I see her for myself and we see her together for family therapy.  I learned the reasons why I was reactive.  Not anger, NOT sin.  Not something that would just stop if I read a book, took a parenting class or spanked my daughter.  I never thought that we would be here.  It was not without a ton of hard work.  We had plenty of two steps forward, three steps back.  My trip to Africa last summer sent us back about 10 steps but we have overcome in huge ways.

It’s funny in a, God has a unique approach to healing kind of way, because Abigail and I have a parallel healing process.  Like we are both in the same place at the same time.  Our spirits are so connected because we are together all the time. We just walk through it together and as I parent and help her heal I am doing the same thing for my heart.  My wounded parts that need healing and re parenting are also very similar to Abigail so I really am learning how to be a mom.  The mom that God always knew I could be when He chose me to be even as a junkie,

It’s still hard though.  I wrote about what keeps me up at night for the Story 101 summer session.  It’s the managing.  The making sure that she’s getting what she needs, that I am getting what I need and that God isn’t getting lost in the shuffle.  That I am not neglecting my anchored relationship with Him.  It does go by the wayside because right now I feel like I am constantly going 110 miles an hour.  Between work and mothering there’s nothing left.  Without a partner to share the load there really is nothing left for me.  Abigail needs a lot of me because she didn’t get a lot of the me she needed in the beginning.  It’s like we are going back to her being a baby (which we actually do sometimes) and are starting over.  After all is said and done, I’m drained.  But her heart is healing and so is mine.  We still stumble and fall but that’s where I have learned just how big the Grace of God really is and how far reaching His love really goes.

The last seven years has been ugly and beautiful at the same time.  If you can learn to grasp the ugly and the beautiful and the same time and still call it good, because you know He is good it takes some of the sting away.

As Always,


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