Women Power?

IMG_5507_2 (1)Wives submit to your husbands. What?! Did she just say “wives submit to your husbands? Girl, it is 2019, we are equal, what about women’s rights, what about equality?” Women, simmer down!

It is 2019 and we are completely in a day and age of power, women want power, actually it appears as though everyone wants power. I am here to tell you that seeking all the power is dangerous. I can tell you from personal experience that trying to be dominant will only land you on your behind.

I was married ten years ago and I had no idea what it meant to be a wife, I had no idea what it meant to be respectful, and I had no idea what I was doing. Lean in, let me to tell you a secret… whispers, “I tore down my home with my own two hands.” Now, for my fellow bible readers, you might know what I mean when I say this, but for those who are not bible readers (or bible thumpers as some have called us), there is such a thing as women acting a fool which will basically lead to you shooting yourself in the foot. 

Everywhere I turn it’s “support women”, “no uterus, no opinion”, “women’s equality”, now as a woman, yes, of course I want respect, of course I want to be treated with fairness and love, and yes, I want to be acknowledged, and no I do not want others making choices for me. I get it. I am the most rebellious person ever. Let me put it this way, I have always been the type of person to do the opposite of what I was told (even if I didn’t want to) just to prove a point, just to show you, “you can’t tell me what to do”. FOOLISHNESS. This did not change when I became a wife. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my husband deep down in my heart however, towards the end, I completely didn’t show it, I showed him the opposite actually. 

My husband and I dealt with the same issues every other married couple dealt with; finances, taking turns with chores and parenting, and the worst one of all, “why should I do this for you if you don’t this for me?” Isn’t this what we all hear everyday my friends!? Congratulations world, we have now managed to turn love into a tally marking kind of game! (Slow claps)

While my husband and I had marital problems, we also had respect problems… as in I did not respect him. Yes, I am calling myself out, I did not respect him nor did I show it, and for this I am deeply sorry and completely remorseful. Now, I won’t go through all the details only to protect his privacy, but I will say this. My mentality was “YOU will respect ME“, “I will be the dominant one”, “I will not let you run all over me”, “I will show you”, “women are equal, women are equal, women are EQUAL!” Oh dear….. how I wish I could go back in time and shake myself. 

So where did this lead? What were the consequences of my ratchet behavior? Well….let’s just say I am now a single mother…..and not because I wanted to be. Unfortunately, I realized the error of my ways once he was fully checked out, not only mentally and emotionally, but physically too. 

I think the mantra of this era is “love wins”……(and “protect women’s rights!”). Do we even know what that means? What is love? I said LOVE. I did not say lust, I did not say retaliation, I did not say stipulations, I did not say conditions, I did not say feelings. I said love. What is love!?

Did you know that when you love someone you do not slander them nor are you rude to them? Did you know that when you love someone you are not proud? NOT proud! You don’t keep records of wrongs either….which means no more marking tally’s my friends! Did you know that when you love someone you are to be patient and kind? Also, love is not selfish! Oh boy….NOT selfish! (somewhere out there someones bubble is bursting) Now that is a huge one as our generation has become HIGHLY selfish! “Do what makes YOU happy”, “Girl who cares how he feels, how do YOU feel?” I wonder why there are so many divorces….probably because we are all thinking of ourselves…

My ladies, God tells us to be submissive to our husband, to respect them. Now my assumption is that God is a lot wiser than any of us….I mean…he did create us and all….but what do I know…. I mean, I only experienced first hand what happens when you’re the opposite of submissive and respectful, and I do not wish it on anyone. But wait, you know what else God says? Husbands, love your wives! God does not want men abusing their roles in the marriage. Whew! What a relief, looks like God is lookin’ out for us after all  huh ladies? God is a God of order. He has roles and purposes for all of us, this is why he commands us to do certain things, or not to do certain things. For example, for you parent’s out there… you wouldn’t want your child playing with fire right? Why is that? Not because you are trying to be a fun sucker, but because you do not want them to be burned! From a child’s perspective, the parent is a real kill joy, but the parent knows what will happen if the fire touches the child. God is the same way, he wants to protect us!

In conclusion… I have felt eager for years to tell women everywhere what no one told me… be submissive, be gentle, be love. Love IS NOT a feeling. I REPEAT…LOVE IS NOT A FEELING- it is an actual VERB. A VERB. LOVE IS A VERB! Ugh…I need a mountain to scream this off of!

Luckily, when my husband left, he left the door wide open for Jesus to come in. I know now what love is because Jesus has showed me. He gave me undeserving love. I am so grateful that God is not like humans… other wise Christ would have never walked in through that wide opened door, he probably would have patted my husband on the back and said, “Good for you! She doesn’t deserve you, you show her who’s boss! Now, let’s go get a pizza!” Nope, I believe he hugged him and then came and hugged me, without picking teams. Jesus has been teaching me to serve, after all Jesus humbled HIMSELF and served us, died for us, and is our advocate! If a king humbled himself down….we should too.

I don’t always get it right and to be honest I am naturally a very irritable person… but I’m working on it…EVERYDAY. Take heart guys… Jesus can overcome it all. He is a redeemer. No one can show love if they don’t have it, if they don’t know what it is, but if you know what it is, go show it to someone who clearly doesn’t have a clue. Spread that stuff like wildfire. No one deserves it, yet God is gracious enough to give it, we have the power to do so too. Be powerful….IN LOVE.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:22-33

 

 

Against All Odds

 

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What is your purpose? I must admit, this is something I have been asking myself lately, every. single. day.  Sure, I know what I love; I know I want to write, I know I want to help others, but when exactly is this all going to happen? When am I going to make a living off of these passions? What if I never get to that point?

I recently graduated with a bachelors degree in sociology and I thought that once I graduated I would have it all figured out. Nope. I don’t even have my outfit figured out! I remember thinking on January 1st of this year ‘This is going to be the year, I am going to be back on my feet again with a place of my own, I’m turning 30, I am graduating, I will have a bachelor’s degree. This is my year! Life is moving forward!” Fast forward a few months down…I turned 30, I moved out, lost a job…landed a job that might as well be in Japan, and now I have arrived at a fork in the road with a recent career path and perhaps re-enrolling into school. Another 2 years in school? Oh boy….

I am not going to lie, the year of 2013 was the hardest year of my life, but for completely different reasons 2018 has been really tough to take in as well. 2013 was filled with tears, starvation, uncertainty, and complete and utter shock and disappointments. 2018 has been no picnic, there has definitely been tears. These tears have been for completely different reasons, turns out that this year is not my year of having my life figured out…..but that is a question of perspective. Then again, I wonder….will I ever have it figured out? Am I even supposed to? Are we even supposed to….

Every single one of us on this earth was born and had a passion placed in our hearts, as well as a purpose. Some find their purpose earlier in lives, but then again purpose can also be seen as perspective. Purpose doesn’t necessarily have to mean your career. Purpose can be anything. How are you living your life? Maybe your purpose is to show kindness to the grumpy customers who walk in the door, maybe your purpose is to give water and shelter to the abandoned animal on the side of the street, maybe a simple hello and smile to the begging homeless man are ways that your purpose can be fulfilled.

There have been so many different things I have wanted to do in my life, I went from wanting to be an actress to a writer, from an Olympic gymnast to a writer, from a writer to a writer, from an English Lit teacher to a writer, from a cosmetologist (so I wouldn’t have to go to college) to a writer, from a person who saves society and then to a writer again….not that I ever wanted to stop being a writer. See the pattern? Writing has been implanted in my heart and perhaps I will one day be some big time best selling novelist…..and maybe I won’t be….but either way maybe writing itself is not my purpose. Maybe who I speak to through my writing is my purpose? Maybe sharing my own experiences through my writing has helped a reader and that has fulfilled a purpose….. perhaps a kind word or gesture that I acted on or spoke was needed in the world daily and that fulfilled a purpose. Is it possible that by just giving a helping hand or displaying kindness to someone who doesn’t even “deserve it” is fulfilling an even greater purpose? Maybe your kindness saved that “undeserving” someone that day. Talk about purpose!

I have on-going challenging relationship with a person whom I consider to be  a little more on the difficult side (some relationships you can’t escape as they are family or attached to your children), actually I have a couple challenging relationships…. but this one in particular is my most challenging one and I can’t for the life of me seem to do what is right in this person’s eyes.  I can set boundaries, I can be nice, I can even give this person what they want…..and I still lose and become the villain of the story. Regardless of what I do, I am still labeled negatively in this person’s mind, this was something that use to impale me.

I have lived the majority of my life wanting the approval of others, I have been co-dependent, allowed what others thought of me to effect me, which to be honest unfortunately by doing this has allowed opportunities to pass by and relationships to be wrecked….all because of my insecurities. I have allowed what others have said about me to derail me from who I am. I have delayed God’s Will for me by doing this. I have allowed others to speak over me and my life instead of allowing God to do so. What are you allowing? What is the lie that you are in agreement with?

Allowing others to label me has thrown me off from being who I am and who I was meant to be. I have been called flaky, slow, not smart, insecure, weak, a witch (to put in a PG-13 rating), “just a hairstylist”, a drama queen, unstable, indecisive, an over reactor, naive, too trusting, a dreamer, and pathetic. I have also been ridiculed for my faith in Christ, I have been made less of because I have not been to Bible college, and have even been told that I use God ….. I totally let that effect me at the time. Because of all these things I have found myself wanting to prove all the name callers wrong. My mentality had become, “Well, I’ll show them” and all that did was take the energy out of me….and steer me away even more from my focus. The way people think of us is not our focus. What others say about us just doesn’t matter. Yes, yes….words do hurt and words are powerful but you must ask yourself….is what this person saying about me true? Just because someone says something about you, does not make it true. Does this person have power over who or what I am? You can not and will not be able to make everyone happy. As long as you’re breathing and your heart is beating, you will always always always be criticized and thought less of by someone. One of my favorite quotes by Aristotle is this; “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.” Yes! Drop the mic.

After five years of accepting Jesus I am finally understanding that my worth does not come from others opinions of me, what people have done to me, or even my own mistakes and what I have done to others, as yes I too have hurt people. Truthfully, just last night I found myself venting to my friend about someone I care greatly about. I went on and on and on about this person realizing that I was giving my friend who I was venting to foggy colored lenses about this person. I was allowing my friend to see my loved one in a bad light. I immediately felt bad after this. Immediately. Even my own words about someone else hurt me….and them. I admit to you, I am not perfect and I have quite a few kinks to work through within myself, but my kinks do not make me worthless or less. My kinks do not mean that I am behind or that I am not good enough. What others think of me or you is not the definition of who we are. Whether you believe it or see it, God loves you right where you are wherever you are.

What do I ask myself now whenever someone tells me I am not good enough? “OK, but what does God say?” That has become my anthem.

God qualifies the called, he does not call the qualified. Check your motives, check your heart.

So, do I have my life figured out as far as my career or at least until I become an income earning writer? Nope, no I do not. What I do have…..is a God who has not let me go. These past five years I have derailed, I have been enticed to separate from Christ, and I have encountered temptations. Five years ago I was given a promise by God and although I was excited about the promise five years ago, I have asked God to release me from this promise within time. But this year through more tears, confusion, doubt, and scary trials….God has strengthened me a bit more, he has shown me, and told me….that it is not over. So I am choosing to follow and wait.

No matter your age, gender, color, or what you have done or has been done to you…while you are still breathing, and your heart is still beating…..there is still a chance, there is still a way, you still have a purpose. No one is hopeless.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

(2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

 

 

 

 

Stoned

She stood at the doorway of his hospital room, standing there hesitantly, waiting for him to wake up. She didn’t know if she should walk in or not, feeling as though he no longer belonged to her, he hadn’t belonged to her in so long, and yet there he was. Afraid and heartbroken not knowing if he would ever wake up, if he would ever forgive her if he did.

She needed to hold onto him in some way- as she already had been after all this time. Physically he was no longer there, but he had never escaped her heart. She wanted to get closer, but didn’t know how.

After a minute of trying to talk herself out of going into his room, she finally built enough courage to take a step into his room. Slowly she took a step towards his bed, one foot after the other. She grazed the bed with her fingertips, moving her hand slowly towards his. Her fingers finally met his, and at the touch of his hand, tears filled her eyes, and rapidly moved down her cheeks.

“Adrian” she whispered. “Can you hear me?” she wiped the tears from her cheeks. She sat down in the chair next to his bed. “Adrian, if you can hear me, I need you to know that I am sorry. I am sorry for how we got here.” She continued to sob and softly placed her hand in his. “I miss you, I’ve missed my best friend. If I could take everything back, I would.” She kissed his hand and laid her head on the bed. She never let go of his hand and continued to sob into her arms.

After a minute, she calmed down, and looked up at him. She observed his face and placed her hand on his cheek, softly caressing it with her thumb. She gently touched his eyes, and grazed his nose and placed her forehead on his. She took a deep breath and then stood up. She took another look at him and kissed his hand again before placing it back down on the bed. Taking another deep breath “see you later” she whispered. She turned around and headed towards the door.

“Ellie.” She heard him whisper her name. She stopped and didn’t have the courage to turn back around and look at him. ‘Did he just say my name’? She thought. “Ellie” he said again. “In case I forget to tell you, I love you.”

Want to know the rest? Want to know the beginning? So do I! Guys and gals; I humbly present to you a little preview of my story. My story is certainly based off of true events, but what is mostly important is what I have learned and continued learning in the process. Regret…regret….regret….and more regret, just like my gal Ellie in the story here. As much as I have learned from my past mistakes, I struggle with moments of “what if’s”. “What if I would have said this”, “what if I hadn’t behaved in that way”, “was this the right career move?”, “I wish I would have figured this out earlier..” and so on and so…..I just want to go back in time and display what I know now to my past self…wah!

Have you ever met an over thinker? You know the kind…..the person who can’t make a choice because for every scenario they have some big story or catastrophe that could be happening behind the scenes or in the end and they never take action upon anything because ultimately they will probably step on a grenade and bam!!!! That’s the sound of them messing up their lives……yeah…..overthinking….I invented it….it’s mine! Doesn’t sound like there is a whole lot of trust going on there does it?

Well, five years ago I lost. I. Lost. Bad. Completely creamed. Well, so one would think anyway. I definitely felt defeated and I totally blamed it on myself, who am I kidding…sometimes the little monster inside of me creeps out and still likes to point the finger at me.  I can’t do that anymore…we can’t do that anymore.

Did you know that back in the day people used to get stoned? Nope nope nope, I do not mean that kind of stoned…..I mean….literally….stoned. Like…..with blood and death… you know…stoned? Well, there were these people called The Pharisees, they were pretty self-righteous and looked down on everyone. If you broke a law they put you on blast and took the opportunity to stone people for their wrongs- totally legal thing for them to do. I’ve realize that we all have a tendency to metaphorically stone each other, you know…call out each others wrongs, tell people about others who have broken us, hurt us, angered us, disrespected us, abandoned us, and so on. We also sometimes have a tendency to stone ourselves, some more than others. Why?

How can putting others on blast better the situation? How can blaming ourselves help us go into the past and fix it. It can’t, unfortunately, it just can’t. I am one of those people who are afraid to make a move, I recently made a move that I am already regretting and have been beating myself up over it. Call me crazy, but all it’s been doing is having me act like a “Debbie” (as my good friend called me the other day). Perhaps our faults and mistakes are a stepping stone to who we are supposed to be, where we are supposed to go, and to our ultimate purpose. For every wrong you or someone else has done is one step closer to something right! Hey….even Walt Disney (he whom I look up to in all my Disney geek glory) dropped out of high school, was homeless, laughed at for his ideas, and he now has taken over basically the world! It’s never too late.

Something many of us lack is understanding and compassion. We’re hard on ourselves but we’re also hard on others. Instead of being angry, bitter, or having the urge to “stone” someone else, why not have compassion on them? I make so many errors, maybe not the same kind as my “least favorite person” however, they are still errors, faults, vices, wrongs…and to be honest all I want is a little bit of grace and a little mercy for these wrongs I do. Let’s not be Pharisees people!

Back to my story…I love Ellie! Spoiler alert: Ellie messes up bad and Adrian messes up bad…and they both come to regret their actions. Maybe you regret yours? You might think you picked “the wrong something” or went “the wrong way”- maybe you did or so it looked like at the time, perhaps it was your stepping stone? Ellie and Adrian teach me something in this story; everything and everyone is redeemable, no matter when redemption takes place…it will take place.

No more stoning.

 

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” -C.S. Lewis

“I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed
I’m redeemed
All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, ‘Child lift up your head’
I remember oh God, You’re not done with me yet”
                                                                -Big Daddy Weeve

 

no need for lube

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Four years. It has been four years this month since I have had…sex. Whaaaaattttt!? Yes, you read that right people, I have not had sex in four years!

So, since I am being so honest and putting my business out there for ya’ll to read…..the very last time I had sex was with my husband, *cough* ex-husband I had no idea would be the last time I would have sex ….for four years, no idea. So, what gives? Why have I taken this on and allowed myself deprivation of one of the most natural things in the world?

Let’s start with the fact that I realized I had grown an addiction to sex! Yep, an addiction! An addiction to that and well some other things….

Have you ever had an addiction to anything? I had an addiction to coffee. Yup, I realized it about a year ago when I decided to give it up for some health issues of mine and let me tell you, that first month going without coffee was the worst…month…everrrrrr! Ever. I felt as if someone had hit me in the head with a bat. I felt like I had the flu! I did not have the flu. I was having withdrawals and I wanted to climb underneath my desk every day at work and just cry, rocking myself back and forth in a ball. No joke.

So sex is just as intense! I didn’t feel like someone hit me in the head with a bat but I have definitely wanted to cry and scream. I mean, our bodies crave sex just as they crave food. We feel the need to eat and we feel the need (maybe the urge is  better wording for it) to have sex. It’s natural! Our bodies have been designed to have sex just as they have been designed to eat. Although if we stop eating we will most likely fall down and die so I can’t completely compare the two but you get the point. Our flesh is alive!

Now, what I am about to mention may not be your cup of tea…..maybe it is….but I gave up sex because one; whelp my sex partner (husband) was no longer there and two; I realized that I was ready to do it with, anyone, anywhere, anytime (that’s not good)…..and three (this is the part you might be scratchin your head on) I wanted to lead a single life of purity. Purity?

Purity? What does that mean? When I was 16 I lost my virginity (officially). I was in love, my hormones were raging, and I had no self control. I did it and I did it a lot for many many years and to be quite honest, I was completely reckless! I wasn’t always protecting myself and I put myself in situations were it was so easy to get caught……I mean broad daylight “people walking by” kind of places (if only myself now could go and slap myself then). I never practiced purity. Purity was no where to be found and was not apart of this world. But I’ve decided I am not apart of this world. I am apart of something bigger, I believe we all are.

As I’ve grown in faith, in age, and have been in the process of learning to love myself more…I have realized that sex is not just physical. Believe me I get it….sometimes you just want the physical. But sex is so much more than that….it’s completely spiritual, emotional, mental.

I was seeing this guy a couple of years ago, this beautiful guy with the most hypnotizing eyes I have ever seen in my life. His entire face seemed as if it wasn’t real…I haven’t even seen a celebrity as beautiful as this guy.  I can’t tell you how badly I craved this man, he interrupted my thoughts through out the day, and I thought I was going to go insane. I just need to do it once.

Well, naturally I would put myself in this situation with him where I would stay at his place from night to morning, end up making out and then I would get the heck out of there at 4 a.m. before I would let anything further happen. Why did this guy chose to keep seeing me after this when I would torture the both of us this way? I have no idea! But he told me something once (before the late night to morning shenanigans). He told me that sometimes he wished he could just have an actual sex partner, just one because sleeping with random girls sometimes freaked him out because he had no idea where they’d been.

Of course he enjoyed the sex and didn’t want to stop, and yes he enjoyed the attention, but he wanted to keep just one “sex buddy”. I asked him why he didn’t chose one. He scoffed at me and said “because there is no way a girl can just have sex and not grow some attachment, I  don’t need to put myself or some girl through that”.  I was kind of annoyed when he said that, I thought, “Um wow- what an ego!” But I later realized he was so right! It wasn’t his ego speaking, in reality, women are this way (and men can be too). I know plenty of girl friends who have been hurt and tormented because of sex, not only because of attachments, but because they woke up feeling dirty, scared, wondering if they’ve become pregnant, afraid they caught something, seeking abortion, looking for the next guy to fulfill their empty void which unfortunately no, we can’t fill that void with a night of sex. There is a deeper root people! We can’t cover it with the band aide of sex….although it feels really really good. Really…..good….(sigh).

Are you someone who is spiritual? Do you put your faith in someone or something? Everyone has some kind of faith in something, even if you think you don’t. For example, I think all of us have faith in chairs, we sit in them knowing that they’re going to hold us right? Some have faith in science, some have faith in people. Everyone one has faith in something. I have faith in Jesus. Because of this, I am able to (most days) fulfill myself with him. It’s not easy, my body craves. But what better way to kill your cravings from anything then to stop feeding it what it craves?

I’m definitely not here to tell you to not  have sex or to tell you to believe in what I believe in. But I encourage you, my reader to know why you want what you want and to know why you chose to do what you do. Love yourself and fulfill your heart, your soul, and your mind before you give in to what can cover up whats really underneath…it will only last a moment.

Self Respect, self worth, and self love, all start with self. Stop looking outside of yourself for your value. -Rob Liano

What is within?

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Everywhere I look and turn there seems to be couples getting married, having babies, falling out of love, wishing for divorce, remarrying, and the cycle continues. I am divorced. There, I said it, I am divorced.

For the longest time I haven’t been able to say those three words, “I am divorced”. Instead, I have told others that I am single. You know those doctor forms (or any other form) you have to fill out and they ask you to check a box…. Single, Married, Divorced….. Yeah, I always marked the “single” box. I mean, did I really want to admit that I was 26 and divorced? Did I really want to admit to the world that I failed? My marriage failed? My love…..his love…..it failed…..? Did I want to give all the “nay sayers” who told us we were too young to marry satisfaction and prove them “right”? No, I was ashamed. I was humiliated. I was mortified. I was….. divorced.

Being divorced was never in the plan…well, is it ever in  the plan? Does anyone really go into marriage thinking, “Well, I surely can’t wait for my divorce party”…? Well, maybe someone out there does, but I sure didn’t. I wanted my husband. Did I show it very much towards the end? Probably not. That’s the thing about losing, we don’t really realize sometimes how much something means to us, until it is no longer ours.

I have learned the importance of being a strong woman. Many believe that to be strong you must be aggressive, overbearing, the “I will put you in your place” kind of mentality. I believe sometimes this might be necessary, but I do not believe it is necessarily the meaning of strength. The dictionary defines strong as “being able to withstand great force or pressure”. I believe being strong is pretty dang difficult. It takes strength to fight the urge to eat the cupcake when trying to lose weight. It takes strength to hold your tongue. It takes strength to speak up and state the truth when you’re so scared, and it takes strength to avoid the attractive forbidden man (or woman) at the office.

Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life says “meekness is not weakness” and that “meekness is strength under control”  He states to picture a wild stallion that has been broken and is now tamed. The stallion still has as much power as when he was wild, but now that power is bottled up for the master’s use.

This meekness that Rick Warren describes, or the strength the dictionary describes is not something I practiced as a married woman, nor something I practiced growing up, to be honest, I still have some issues with it….however, when my marriage died I began to learn this strength and this meekness…..no one changes overnight am I right? But as I was married, I was rough and certainly did not keep my strength under control. I was emotional and let those feelings loose….everywhere. Unfortunately, my lack of strength caused pain (myself included).

I have a friend who recently became engaged who asked me, “What would you do different?”  When I became engaged, I had many people tell me I was too young to be married, well no offense but I know a lot of “older” people, in their 40’s even who have no business being married, who do not understand that marriage isn’t 50/50 as they say…..it’s actually 100/100.

Give it your all.  Marriage is not an age thing, it’s a maturity thing. Call me old-fashioned but yes, I learned through my errors that a woman should respect her husband and a man should love his wife. What would I do differently? I would have zipped my lips when words weren’t necessary, spoken up when they were, stayed calm during uprising situations, said thank you more often, made more  meaningful gestures, complimented him, and never would I have threatened divorce during hard times. Ladies, men hurt too….in case you didn’t know it….I sure didn’t.

One of the many things I know and can say now without embarrassment, “I am divorced”. Why? Without my divorce, my loss, my pain, I would not have known or seen the truth. I would not have known who I am meant to be and what it means to be married. I am divorced.

What would I have done differently? Strength.

 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will sore on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

 

 

Three, six, nine

I am 29  years old. The last year of my twenties is about to be up, in exactly two months I will be 30. Is anyone else freaked out about that, leaving their twenties?

Actually, I have been told by quite a few 30 and overs that hitting their 30’s was actually great! Once they hit 30, it was as if they received some type of clarity about who they are. My questions are….. what if you still have no idea who you are when you reach 30? And why do many of us have some sort of anxiety about turning 30 anyway?

Is it because we think we’re supposed to have reached some sort of goal by 30? Be married, have kids, have our dream career? What is it!?

What if we didn’t need to have it all figured out? What if we still had no idea who we were? What if we were still without kids, without finding a forever spouse? What if we just started college at 30? What if we were completely single and still a virgin? What if we completely do not have anything figured out but at all!?

As I am getting older, divorced and still single, something that is often asked of me, “why aren’t you dating?” My answer is always simply that I am not interested. Then I am asked, “well, are you having sex?” and my answer has been for almost 4 years, no. Yes it’s true! Usually, that surprises people. It’s not really popular to not be sexually active. It’s also a bit strange to not be dating. Single, almost 30, and not even trying to date. Why aren’t I interested?

There are so many people who spend so many years of their lives looking for the life altering love. A love that pierces through them, a love that they can feel through their veins, pulsating within their bodies. A connection that is natural, that feeds and quenches you.

I remember being in high school when I fell in love. I admit, it was not the most healthy love as being apart from each other created some unreal withdrawals. None of the less, I was in love. I had found a best friend, a soul mate, someone who completely understood my worries, my dreams, my fears; I didn’t feel alone anymore as I always did growing up. He was now there.

Both our parents believed we were too young to be so serious about one another, and actually so did our friends. We became married at 20 years old and my friends asked me if I was sure? I was, I completely was.

The day of our wedding I was nervous, scared, a little edgy…. not because I wasn’t sure, not because I did not love him, but because oh heck, I’m just an anxious person. Unfortunately, I was under the impression that everything was meant to be perfect, I turned into a crazy bride that wanted perfection- my bridesmaids can attest to that…you know who you are- sorry ladies! But when I walked down the aisle March 6, 2009 and my eyes locked with his, smile met his, everything else stopped. Worries were gone, anxiety was gone, edge was gone, fear was gone. It was just him, me and him. He was my calm.

I met him at the alter, where my dad handed off and entrusted his youngest daughter to this boy who he had known since he was 15, a boy who was becoming the husband of his little girl. A boy whom he had viewed as a son he never had. We were becoming husband and wife. IMG_2643

Now, I have to be honest, I cannot remember at all what my vows were to him, I do not know what I did with that sheet of paper. Conveniently enough, I remember his- I have them pierced if not in my brain….in my heart. Sadly, this love of my life and I…we broke them, we broke our vows. One sentence I will share; “There is no obstacle big enough to challenge our love.” Love.

I have come to the conclusion that most of us believe love fades away. Does it? Does love fade away? What if what we felt for someone wasn’t really love after all? What if love never ended? What if love in fact was eternal? What if love was something that none of us really knew the definition of. What if love was something bigger than what we know….what we experience….what we feel. What if love wasn’t a feeling at all?

Strangely, when you’re in love, that piercing quenching feeling of passion….of “can’t live without you” ‘love’…..you seem to believe it will always feel that way. That love shouldn’t be work. Love should be easy. Is that love? Should love be easy? I became hard to love. He became hard to love. I think at some point, we all become hard to love.

So what does this all have to do with finding yourself? With becoming 30 and knowing who you are? What does it have to do with dating and not having sex? Everything. At least for me it does.

I am young. As much as I like to believe that I am getting so old (eye roll from wiser ladies) I am aware that I am young, young enough to “still have time to find someone else”. But I don’t want to. My biggest mistake when I fell in love with someone else, when marrying someone else was not that I was young, it was that I did not know who I was nor did I love myself. How could I love someone when I did not know what it meant to love someone? Especially when I did not know what it meant to love myself? You cannot give away what you do not have.

So to answer the question, I am learning to love myself.  Remember how I stated that when he came around I was no longer alone? Well…right there…..that was the problem! Another person cannot cure you of loneliness….you have to fix that within yourself. Within your faith. Aren’t we meant to share ourselves with someone because of something we can give….and not just take?

I loved a boy whom I can admit, I will never stop loving. As pathetic as that might sound to someone else, it’s real. I believe in unconditional love. I believe in forgiveness. I believe that we are all broken. Every single one of us has imperfections, that’s what makes us perfect for one another doesn’t it?

I am becoming an improved version of myself, even if it doesn’t come by 30……no matter the the length of time. So that one day, I can love the way I was meant to love. Because when I do get my chance to love again, the guy will still be hard to love, and so will I…..but at least the foundation will be sturdy.

We all will get to our desired destination at our own pace without age interfering. Don’t be afraid to get older, you’re closer to your purpose than you think.

Don’t rush it ladies (or gentlemen) ……love is after all….patient.

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“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” -Aristotle

“Love is not a fight, but it’s something worth fighting for.” -Warren Barfield

 

 

 

…and a partridge in a pear tree…

Love.

I have received love from total strangers.

I was invited to an event at Sun Valley Community Church (the church I attend) for a Christmas celebration and dinner for single mothers (and some fathers).

Months before (September I believe) this event, I was introduced to a woman…..actually I wasn’t introduced, she found me! This woman at church found me and somehow knew I was a single mother. She spoke to me and asked me so many questions. I shared with her how I felt so confused about the choices I had recently made; I left a well paying job to start over as a stylist and completely felt like I had made a mistake. I shared with her about my failed marriage, and the struggles of raising my daughter as a single mother. My heartbreaks. My frustrations. She gave me so much encouragement and…..something else I wasn’t ready for…..a hug. I am not a hugger (something I am working on) so I didn’t know what to do with that either….. I mean do I hug back? Where do I put my arms? How long do we hug for?

Before I left church that morning, she asked me to write down on a piece of paper my daughter Ava’s biggest wishes, as well as mine. I have to admit I did not know what to write when it came to my list; my biggest wish is not something that can be bought at a store, nor is it something that can be wrapped. Come to think of it, Ava’s biggest wish cannot be bought either. Regardless, I wrote down what she asked; our wishes, our struggles, our hopes.

I left that day a little puzzled because I was not sure what exactly she would do with my list.

Fast forward to December 4th, I was sent an email insisting I come to an event the church was having for single parents. I wasn’t going to make it, I had so many obstacles that would keep me from making the event. However, the leader of the event was very adamant I make it as she shared that there were people waiting for me to come because they had been setting up something special for me as well as other single parents for months now. I did not understand and quite honestly I felt uncomfortable. I knew after speaking with her that there were strangers waiting to give me well….love. I admit, I was afraid to go. I did not want to feel the overwhelming feeling of people showing me love, especially by people I do not know. I mean….who am I to receive so much that I do not deserve? What exactly was going to happen there?

I walked into the church building, was greeted by smiling faces and directed to a beautiful dining room with candle lit center pieces, dimmed lighting, classical Christmas music, and the most tempting dessert table covered with pies, brownies, and tiramisu! Yaaaaaassss please!

We were given dinner, entertainment by two angelic voices who sang O’ Holy Night, and one of the best events of the night was a woman who shared about her experience raising her own kids as a single mom. She was transparent, positive, and encouraging. Her experience transferred a feeling in all of us that we are not alone.

After dinner and words of wisdom we were taken to the auditorium; this is where the tears happened. This is where I watched women stop in there tracks, break into tears of gratitude, and fall to there knees, wondering if this was even real life. At least, I know I was wondering that.

In the auditorium was a room filled with rows and rows of gifts for families. To put into perspective; know when you go to a cemetery and there are rows and rows of tomb stones? Ok, now replace the cemetery setting with an auditorium and replace the tomb stones with mountains and piles of gifts. Got it? Paints quite the picture eh?

Below is my pile.  Gifts for Ava and I. Relieved as I would be short on cash for Christmas this year. I was given a miracle.

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Yes, I felt it, the over whelming feeling of receiving what I felt I did not deserve. The over whelming feeling that there are people in this world who are selfless, who take the time to make a complete strangers dreams come true.

In a world full of so much bad, there is also a world filled with so much good! I’ve seen it.

I have not opened the gifts as it is not Christmas just yet….however I did open an envelope and a box that were labeled “Open before December 17th”.

Inside the envelope were two tickets to The Nutcracker; this was Ava’s wish. And the box? A little dress and shoes for Ava to wear to The Nutcracker ballet.img_2535-1.jpg

This day when I was given so much, I was able to see how I have so much. No, not because of the gifts, but because no matter how much I have been abandoned, rejected, or neglected, there have been even more times when I have been taken care of, listened to, and loved. Funny how the bad can be louder than the good huh? I call that light overcoming darkness. I call that love. I call that well…..God.

There are people out there who genuinely care. My next goal? It’s not to find someone who genuinely cares…it’s to be someone who genuinely cares.

 

“In this crazy world, there is an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy,. But in the eyes of God, they’re never separated. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is kingdom.” -Henri Nouwen