Confessions Of: A Happy, Imperfect, Diva

Two Fondant CakesContrary to what some think, my life really IS a bed of roses.

And roses have thorns so sometimes I roll over in this lush bed of life and get pricked in the butt cheek by one of those annoying, painful, pointy little things that could completely ruin the day.  Month. Year. Life, if I let it.  I opt not to allow that.  Hence that is the major difference between me and some folks.

Pain in the body means something is amiss.  Bad pain could indicate a very serious problem.  Pain in our lives is no different.  It may mean you need to change something, address an issue, or it may mean that the most recent card dealt you in the hand of life is bringing about major changes that will cause heartache.  Pain and change will either cause bitterness and ugly things to grow, or they can be builders of character, strength and renewal.

When I found myself single after 22 years of marriage (yes it was 22, not 23 as someone who had their g-string in a knot pointed out to me), I didn’t handle that very well.  I was upset, hurt, shattered…and at the same time sought the silver lining and embraced the good.  It did not mean I wasn’t hurting, it meant I had opted to find reasons to be happy.  Now, looking back over my shoulder, I see even more reasons to enjoy my single status and where I am residing.

I live with 4 other women (soon to be 3 as one is moving out next month).  Have you ever lived with a bunch of women?  If you are female you will totally understand why this all can be the best time ever!

Need a razor to shave your legs?  Hair scrunchie?  Ran out of moisturizer or face scrub?  Just don’t have that right shade of eye shadow, lipstick or nail polish?  Well when 5 women live under one roof, someone has your back!

Having a work issue you need to vent about?  Who better than your main girls to pour it out too?  Men want to fix it, that is how they are wired.  Trouble is when a woman needs to vent she isn’t looking for a fix, she just wants someone to say, “no sh*t” and “I know, right?!”

Get up with a slight hang over from a night of over indulgence while singing karaoke on the deck til 2am?  Your guy will likely tell you all the reasons that was stupid, and heck probably tried to pick a fight with you while you were tanked because that is always the best time to tell someone how dumb they are behaving is when they are not thinking clearly (my ex loved to do that).  Your girls are too busy laughing and singing with you, and the next morning are full of sympathy and have a purse full of  helpful remedies to make that headache vanish.  They even help you clean yourself up and put you to bed to sleep off the aftermath.

Life in the Diva Den as we call our home, rocks.  By the way, contrary to what someone says, I did not proclaim myself a Diva.  A former “enemy” turned friend (it’s amazing how real, confident, beautiful women can mend a fence), had proclaimed me the Airbrushed Diva.  It wasn’t meant to be nice, as at the time I was butt deep in the swinger lifestyle and had a few photo shoots done that were then airbrushed to perfection of ridiculous proportions.  The funniest thing is that men would tell me I looked dead on my photos!  Poor dudes really were off their rails.  Anyway rather than allow it to make me mad, I embraced it.  My sister, nieces and mom even embraced it and we dubbed the home the Diva Den and our first night in our new house, we celebrated with wine, called Divas Uncorked!!!  

In the sense that a Diva is a strong willed, sometimes bitchy woman?  Yep guilty as charged!  I’m also amazing, wonderful, marvelous, fun, funny, adorable and a host of other diva-like qualities.  Humble too.  *big cheesy grin*  All are things I am told by others and I embrace them.  Heck the ex’s wife wrote a book that was fiction but had a lot of truth in it, and called me Zelda.  It was meant to be a slam, as was how I was described throughout it’s pages (no accident, I am sure, that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s mentally unstable wife was named Zelda – that was not lost on me!), but I opted to embrace the name.  Heck yes I was acting crazy at that time in life, everything I held dear was taken from me and my heart and soul were raw with pain.  Zelda in Yiddish means “luck”.  I am one lucky (blessed) woman.  Looking back, those crazy times were a shedding of who I was based on what some man told me I should be,  and allowing me to unwrap, uncover and rediscover ME!  And I am pretty awesome.  I was lucky to have the opportunity to start over with people surrounding me who love me just as I am and don’t want to change me.  I not only don’t hold it against her, I want my own darn, autographed by the author copy!  It actually helped me take a step back and see that I needed to reign myself in some.  She is an awesome lady and I really LIKE her!  How many women do you know that can say that of their ex’s new spouse?

farting catSo what does this Diva look like now that she is FREE to be herself?

She loves cats!  She OWNS a cat and no man will ever tell her she cannot again.

She has a Yorkie and she will have another dog if she wants too, NO man gets to tell her otherwise.

She makes mistakes now and then and rather than be beat down over it and told it was “stupid” she is rallied around and helped to her feet to stand up, brush off and try again.

Sometimes, while doing her make-up, sitting all demurely at her vanity, she lifts her butt cheek and FARTS loudly with absolutely NO regrets.

She struggles with and works hard to get out of debt, and build a direct sales business that will one day give her the financial freedom to do things she wants to do.  Oh and no one will tell her what she can spend her money on because it will be all hers!!

She has a great full time job working for someone who appreciates that she is PASSIONATE (not unstable or crazy) about what she believes and pours her heart into.

She sleeps in whenever she feels like it on the weekends and no one asks her if she is going to ever get her a** out of bed!

Books? No one to whine about how many she owns!  Granted they are on a Kindle Fire now but still my money, my books, my expense.

Church? She attends and her walk with Christ is coming along.  She isn’t perfect but He is and through His blood her Father In Heaven sees a perfect child.  He shapes her and molds her and she tries hard not to fight too hard against the hands of that perfect Potter trying to mold her into what she should be.

She is happy as a single.  She tried the whole relationship thing for a year last year and she opted to walk away from it.  She loved again, but would rather be single and answer only to herself.  Been there, done that, on to her next great adventure.  She doesn’t need another half, or someone to complete her.  She is a complete person.

As to those who have opted out of my life, that is THEIR loss.  The person they walked away from is not that woman anymore.  She is far better and changed, she is REAL and really herself, not the version someone else tried to turn her into.  You might even find that she is indeed a great addition to your life!

This is MY life, and I am indeed living a life that is a bed of roses.  This doesn’t work for everyone, but then they or you aren’t me.  But for me this is absolutely M-A-R-V-E-L-O-U-S!!!

Confident Women Don’t Hate

I follow a woman on Twitter who I have truly grown to love, Real Talk Kim (@realtalkkim) and tonight she tweeted:

“Oh darling, you can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else. Confident women don’t hate!”

I LOVE that!  She is a pastor’s wife, and full of very frank, biblical things to share on her Twitter account.  I don’t even remember how I stumbled on this one, but I’m not sorry that I did!  Next week I am going to dial in to her Tuesday morning prayer call out of curiosity.  I also follow her on Instagram, where I found this gem:

singleladies

 

Honestly, it really applies well to married ladies too!  Which got me thinking and confirmed my choice to deactivate my dating profiles.  Waiting on the final word from the one so that it can be removed.  No man on there was even close to what I am seeking.  I want a man who puts God first, seeks to serve Him, prays for his woman, and guides her toward her Savior.  That is not what I found on the dating sites and in fact what I was finding added up to booty calls.  No thanks.

For years, when married, we served in our local church, actively participating.  If the doors were open, we were there.  We prayed together out loud every night before bed, for each other and various needs.  It is an amazing thing to pray together with your spouse each night.  I woke every morning earlier than I needed, in order to spend time in my bible and devotions.  Life was on the right path.  Then, somethings went haywire and some how we ended up going down a road we did not belong on.  I believe it was the beginning of the end.  And while a real man would never have allowed his wife to go there, or himself, sin is a powerful force.  Dabble a bit and you get sucked in.

I cannot lay the blame at the feet of my ex, I allowed myself to skip on down that road that led into one of the sleeziest chapters of my life.  While a real man leads his family, a real woman doesn’t sit by and let things go sideways without standing up for what she knows is right.  In taking responsibility for my actions I accept responsibility for the failure of my marriage as well.   I was angry, there was a war going on between my soul and sin.    On the way to work and back right now I’m listening to a CD series by Darren Hardy that goes with his book, The Compound Effect.  While it is not about marriage, sin or God, the lessons apply across every avenue in life.  He talked about how he learned that relationships are not 50/50, they are 100/0.  You are 100% responsible for your relationships, and everything else in your life.  My marriage failed because neither of us took responsibility, and frankly I can say I am 100% responsible for it’s failure.  I let so much outside impact the inside that I have no one to blame but myself for the path we were on, my reactions to things and ultimately the way I handled things in the end.  It matters precious little what he did or didn’t do, I’m responsible for what I did and did not do.

Make no mistake I am far from perfect.  Even today I was chatting with someone about a former friend, and while I didn’t say anything unkind, and neither did she, there were no uplifting utterances either.  And since I didn’t have anything nice to say there was no need to say anything at all, even if it wasn’t unkind.  I need to go back and add that person to my prayer list again, because I learned long ago that if you are truly praying for someone, you cannot hate them.  In fact you really do grow to care for them and start to speak kindly again.  I’ve been slipping, and I have no one to blame for that but me.

No doubt this is why, when I pulled out my bible the night before last, praying for guidance as to where to read from for this week, I found myself directed to Psalm 119 (trust me, there was a definite directing to go there).  And these are the verses I’ve been pondering:

Psalm 119:1-11New American Standard Bible (NASB)

How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.
You have ordained Your precepts,
That we should keep them diligently.
Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!
Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.
I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly!

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

The emphasis for 9-11 is mine.  I have to stay on the path, treasure God’s word in my heart.   I am responsible for me, for my actions, my forgiveness or lack thereof, and I cannot control what someone else does.

And so, to the friend I was chatting with, forgive me for not speaking kindly of said individual, I need to remember to build her up, not break her down, and continue to reflect Christ’s love even to those who do not, in my mind deserve it, because I certainly did not deserve His!

Sunday Evening Wine Musings

10528037_661869007231960_1756530536_nIt has been a beautiful past few days, and regretfully the holiday weekend is coming to a close.  The weather has been completely perfect, in the 70’s with blue skies and lots sunshine and breezes.

I love where I live for many reasons, not the least of which is the house full of crazy, fun other women in my family.  Friday evening we sat on the front steps watching neighborhood fire works, then moved onto the deck.  It turned into karaoke until 2 am when we all went to bed.  My family is so much fun.

10516943_661129657305895_661815101_nAnother reason I love it here is the park like atmosphere.  It is so peaceful to sit on the deck and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee. There are woods behind us and therefore we have plenty of deer that come through.  I went to let the dog out that next morning and found this doe laying between the trees, near the deck, enjoying the sunshine.  Later that afternoon a fawn came prancing through the backyard.  They are beautiful creatures, dumb as bricks, but quite the sight.  I admit, I wouldn’t mind having her in the freezer come hunting season.  I don’t hunt but both of my kids do and I am always happy to take some venison off their hands.

It was a great message in church this morning, which just topped off the weekend.  I have trust issues with God, I see that after today.  I need to ask Him to help me with that.  I also signed up for the running group at church, but with the walkers.  I need to start walking then I can run.  I also ordered the 24 Day Challenge from Advocare (did I mention I sell for them too? – Direct sales junkie! I might need and intervention).  I have to get serious before I end up with health issues so now is the best time and they say the best exercise is the one you will do.  Well that would be walking!  Eventually running.

I will be returning to writing something of substance this week.  Need to learn to block my writing time and then actually sit down and do it.  That and everything else I need to do.

 

What’s In A Name?

Names seem to carry with them some significance as to the personality traits associated with the name.  The bible talks of names, and even at times of God instructing a father to give a certain name to a particular child.   I know that when I look up meanings of names, my children do seem to have the characteristics associated with their names.

I also find it interesting how we are named by our parents.  My name, Martha, is from my mother’s side.  It is common to name the oldest daughter after the mother, and son after the father, at least in the Roman Catholic faith.  I carry my mom’s first name, as I am the oldest.  She is the oldest of her siblings and named Martha like her mother.  My brother is named after my dad, and so on.  I broke that tradition with my children. Oops.

Nicknames are a funny thing too.  While mom is named Martha, her siblings all call her “Marty”, though outside of family, everyone calls her “Martha”.  When I was born I too was called “Marti”.  I changed the ‘y’ to an ‘i’ going into high school for several reasons, one being that too many assumed “Marty” was short for “Martin”.  I wanted it very evident that it was a female name.  In 50 years no one has ever called me Martha other than in school those first few days until teachers got used to the nickname.  More than once I’ve sat through hearing my name called at the doctor’s office or other places where they have your legal name, because from the day I was born no one uses my given name.  Well, one person did, and that was my grandfather.  I was born on his birthday, was his first grandchild, and he always called me “Martha Marie”.  He loved that name.  Even grandma called me Marti.  No greater man has graced my life than my grandpa, and therefore, honestly, I do not deem anyone worthy to call me Martha Marie.   I love the name Martha, as I first encountered it outside the family when I was very little, in the character of “Marvelous Martha” on Sesame Street.  I always loved that little snippet.  It is where I got the idea for my blog name, as I do find life to be very marvelous.

My mom’s family, after my birth, called her ‘big Marty’, or ‘big Mart’ and me ‘little Marti’ or ‘little Mart’.  That still is the case today, which is funny to hear one of my uncles or aunts say “hey, little Mart, how are ya?”  When I was pregnant with my daughter, my one uncle asked if we were going to name my daughter Martha, so then we could have Big Mart, Little Mart and Mini Mart.  While we found this rather comical, the ex-hubster said NO.  And that is okay too because I love the name he chose for my daughter, Liesl.

So, what is in my name? In Hebrew it seems it meant ‘lady’.  I like that.  But I wanted more, so I went looking.  The Kabalarian Philosophy website has an interesting take on names and their power in our lives, and I have to say that the characteristics associated with both the name Martha, and Marti, are pretty on target with me.   Too much to publish here, but you can check it out and check out your own name there.

The Wisdom To Know The Difference

4fa9c207124314ea58629d35d3d7dc9aThe Serenity Prayer, commonly used by AA, and other programs, is one of my favorites.  It is also one I need to seriously learn to take to heart a bit more than I already do.  When it comes to accepting things I cannot change, well that is a tough one for me.  I have the need to fix things and make them right.  This can be both a wonderful gift and a huge curse.  Most of the time, it is a tremendous blessing.  Grudges for example, I don’t hold onto wrongs or even perceived wrongs for very long.  Forgiveness tends to come far too easily to me, but it keeps my heart from becoming bitter.

In keeping with the “courage to change the things I can”, one of the passages of the bible that always haunts me is Romans 12:1-18.  More than once I’ve posted then deleted something either on Facebook, Twitter or my blog, that was less than kind.  Especially in the months and even year or two after my divorce, I was deep in the crazy phase after that, emotionally and mentally shattered and raw. (by the way, if you are going through, have gone through, or know someone doing the divorce dance, this book, Crazy Time is a must read!)  I know that once words are out there, you really cannot take them back.  But I do try to make things right when possible.  It is a part of me that I’ve had to work very hard to change and I’ve made impressive strides.  However, I do have a long way to go, I know.  I won’t give up trying though, I know I need to pray and keep trying to right my wrongs.

When life is going well, and I am able to see so many blessings weaving my happiness, it is then that I feel I really should try to make amends for the wrongs I may have committed.  So, here in life things are amazing, and I’m happy. In turn, I decided to reach out and try to make amends.  A former friend popped up in my Facebook “you might know”, likely due to us having like 50+ mutual friends.  At first I joked that Facebook needs a serious reality check, as that person would rather give up their slut shoe collection than ever accept a friend request from me.  Funny thing, it has been so long now that I cannot even remember exactly what the issues were that caused the rift.  So, on a whim I went ahead and sent the request.  After all, she claims to be a Christian, posts stuff on her page about forgiving folks etc., so I figured maybe she really IS a changed person.  Maybe she really is a Christian.  This is about that time the “wisdom to know the difference” should have kicked in.  I got back a response about how I had posted something she assumed was about her a few weeks back, blah blah blah and essentially no, why would I want to be her friend.  Hmmm…so I did mention that whole thing about profession of faith, posts about forgiveness, but I guess that is selective??  I have offered in the past to sit down, face to face and put it all on the table, whatever it all is, but that was shot down.  This time, I’m blocked.  Too funny.  Maybe she missed that verse, Romans 12:18?  Or that whole section (12:1-18) in her bible studies?  Oh well it is off my head, I did in fact try, this isn’t the first time.  And all I can do is continue to pray for her.

It is funny to me that 2 days later she is on her page begging for attention with the baiting phrases of, “Seriously contemplating breaking one of my own golden rules“, “Just a nagging pain in my @$$ from the other night. I’m allowing someone to irritate me, and thinking about “airing my dirty laundry“, and “This is a resurfacer!!! Sadly, those who are on that “list” have a way of rearing their UGLY heads….I’m washing that dirt out of my thoughts!!!”  So much for that, she came back after her treadmill time with, “As for that individual, she is unhappy! For all of the blogs she posts, about how “marvi” her life is, truth is, she is not living the life she hoped to have. Thank you (name removed) for your valid insight. I’m very happy that woman is “praying” for me. All goes to show, therefore but, by the grace of God go I. I’m bless’d to have such loving friends, and apparently, foes as well. Life is very good!

I will give her that the life I am living is not the one I had hoped for, and thank God because this one?  It’s far better!  I’m not only NOT unhappy, I’m ecstatic!  As she never talks to me I’m not sure how she could think I’m anything BUT happy.  I’m a very open book, to a fault.  I post my life openly on many social media outlets and my blog, with nothing at all to hide.  When I’m not happy, I post that.  When angry, upset and/or bitter, I post(ed) that too.  Why would I not post, therefore, when I am happy?  I have a wonderful man, a great job, live in a really sweet house, I am loved by far more than not, I have 2 adorable grandchildren and just found out that I’m gaining a super guy as a son-in-law.

Having the chance to step back and evaluate me, my life, dreams, goals, desires, blessings and curses, I uncovered a lot about myself that was not pretty over the past 3 years up until this past May when I turned 50.  It wasn’t easy to face the woman in the mirror at times.  Don’t get me wrong, I sought the silver lining, the glass half full, and despite being in a great deal of emotional and mental anguish after my marriage ended, I clung to what was good in my life.  I knew that focusing on the good, positive and happy things would cultivate those very things all the more.  And it did.  I went through a purging of sorts, tossing out the things about me that needed to go, and filling up the closet of me with things that needed to be there.  And when I was ready, God brought a very special person into my life and flipped my world on end.  I’m back to getting butterflies in my stomach when I head home, knowing he is there waiting for me.  Exchanging texts throughout my day with someone who always sends me a good morning one before I head out to work (he is up and gone before me).  My life is full of laughter and  joy that I never imagined I’d know, joy such as exceeds anything I knew before or ever dreamed of having.  Again, she is correct, this is not the life I had hoped for, it is way better than what I had hoped for!

Now, mind you, I am not the “independent family specialist” she claims to be, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and tell you what I think.  I think it is she who is unhappy.  She cannot imagine going through what I did and coming out the other side a very happy person.  She is aging, and that scares her because she knows those younger, hotter women at the swinger club are going to be a bigger draw to the single men than she.  She’s always threatened by anyone who seems to have a happier life than her, is prettier, has a kinder heart than hers.  Sooner or later everyone who calls her a friend manages to get on her bad side and make her ‘list’.  She craves the attention so much so that she’d even make a post like the “contemplating breaking one of my own golden rules”, or as we’ve seen in the past, something eluding to someone having hurt her blah blah, until everyone says “Oh honey what’s wrong”.  Then of course, she ‘hates for friends to have to read this but….’, not understanding if she truly hated for anyone to read it, she’d never post it in the first place.

And yet, for some unknown reason, I still love the woman I called a friend.  But that is me, I always have had a huge soft spot for idiots, fools, the lost, the hurting and the underdogs/misfits.   I’d still welcome sitting down and putting all the cards on the table (well she’d have the cards as I have nothing against her), but she honestly isn’t a big enough person to do that.  So, instead I will just go on praying for her, and hoping one day she knows true happiness, from the top of her self proclaimed royal head to the tips of her painted toes.  Meanwhile, perhaps it is time to ‘know the difference’ between a situation that can be mended, and one that is hopelessly lost.

Kicking And Screaming To A Quiet And Gentle Spirit

By imagerymajestic, published on 07 December 2012 Stock Photo - image ID: 100125371

By imagerymajestic, published on 07 December 2012
Stock Photo – image ID: 100125371

For a very good portion of my 22 year marriage we attended church.  I loved my church family despite that they, like myself, fall woefully short of perfection.  It is the one thing I love when I hear folks say that Christians are hypocrites.  We are, you know.  Often times we over look our own imperfections because we are entirely too busy worrying about that blemish on another person’s soul when our own is a disaster of sorts.

In women’s bible study on Friday mornings we worked through a book called, “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace.  It was a real convicting study to say the least.  I also worked through her book, “Becoming A Titus 2 Woman“.  Both are bible studies.  Both often left me feeling hopeless.

The scripture passage that defines a Titus 2 woman, and others that are used in both books and dozens of others is as follows:

~*~

Titus 2

New King James Version (NKJV)

Qualities of a Sound Church

2 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

1 Peter 3

New King James Version (NKJV)

Submission to Husbands

3 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

~*~

Yeah about that.

If you were to ask my former church family, and the old ex-hubster, ‘quiet and gentle’ are two words no one would use to describe me.  Ever.  And yet, that is exactly what a woman who follows Christ is called to be.  Heaven help me.  No really, because that was the only hope I had!  Then again, when you are waltzing through a lifestyle filled with immorality rivaled only by those described in the New Testament Corinth, one can hardly hope to really be much of an over achiever in the reverent behavior department.

Over these past almost 4 years (good grief time flies), I’ve had the chance to stumble on through the mud and muck, trying to claw my way out of the swamp and back on to the road that would lead to a life that honors Christ.  And yes, I am fully aware that I’m no where near it yet, as I am ‘living in sin’ with the boyfriend.  We’ll make it right, all in good time.  Believe me when I tell you that is small potatoes on the lengthy list of things my Heavenly Father will address on judgement day.  Pray now you aren’t behind me in the line or come prepared like you are camping for a week long wait for a 52 inch flat screen TV on sale on Black Friday.  We’ll be a while to say the least.  When it comes to getting things right, especially that whole quiet and gentle thing, I go kicking and screaming all the way sometimes.

I noticed something recently while in a number of talks with my mom…I’ve acquired, through trials, tribulations, and the grace of God:  A quiet and gentle spirit.  My heart became teachable somewhere along the path.  It started to show itself when my ex found a new woman to share his life with, and rather than hate her or be jealous, I really liked her.  She become a step-mom to my kids, and now grandmother to my grandchildren.  When once I would have been insanely jealous, I now see the blessing she is to them all.  She who never had the joy of having her own, now gets to be ‘mom’ in a unique and special way.  And through the blessings of my being mom, and now sharing my children through God’s work in the circumstances, she is also a grandma.  Things that went all sideways and wrong through sin and divorce, have now been turned around into something wonderful and special for many.  Children are a gift from God, they are meant to be raised up to leave the nest.  In other words, raised to be shared with the world.  Grandchildren are even more precious, as without children you cannot have them.  Unless, you marry someone who has those priceless treasures you do not, then you are blessed with gifts that can only come to you through others.

Never would I have imagined, when I gave birth to my children, what gifts and blessings they’d be to so many.  And that in my acceptance of God’s plan for it all, and praying for everyone involved, my own heart would be softened and quieted.  Praise the Lord and give thanks for ALL things, you just never know what is to come.

Dear God, It Is I, Your Marvelous Daughter

Dear Father In Heaven,

MjAxMy01NzRiYmNiOWI0NWUxNzk5I’m a tad raw right now so please, Lord, forgive my frankness.  Though You know my heart and thoughts so any attempt to flower this up with special language won’t hide what You see inside.  At this moment You know that I’m a few shades off of Marvelous.

You made me, fearfully and wonderfully as Psalm 139 says.  Within that weaving of fibers to create this woman You gave exceeding strength in many areas.  Strong willed like the sign of the Bull under which I was born.  Stubborn as the year is long, that is me.  On a negative path that bull headedness can make me very inflexible and difficult to deal with, but when directed down a positive road it gives me the determination and drive to get things done.  To stand and face adversity when it comes my way and fight my way back out of it.  Sometimes things that are difficult and painful, and sometimes that gold ring up ahead that will get me through to the reward.  It keeps me from curling up in a ball and just giving up, I simply do not know how to quit.

You also gave to me a positive spirit that can quickly find the silver lining in those storm clouds, the sunshine and rainbows when the skies unleash a downpour.

You saw to it to provide an inner strength that enables me to keep treading, keeping my head just far enough above the surface to breathe and keep fighting when the flood waters wash over me.

And you gave me compassion and a spirit of forgiveness that often goes far beyond that of my enemies, 70×7 and then some, even though I get stabbed by them over and over again.  I can feel others pain, and have a special place in my heart just for the underdogs of the world.

This past week I feel as if I’m sinking in the high water and I’m confused, exhausted and growing numb.  The strength? Well it is reaching maximum elasticity.

First dad fell, breaking his hip in the wee hours of the morning.  He spent close to 90 minutes dragging himself to a phone in between tears from the physical pain, to call for help.  While we knew it was not a matter of “if” but one of “when”, this really is bad timing.  Following that, within 48 hours he had hip replacement surgery.  He already walked with a walker because of Neuropothy in his legs he cannot feel them.  It’s almost cruel that the hip replacement had to be done considering he will never walk again, as he cannot feel his legs to do what needs to be done for physical therapy!  Now, he is in a nursing home, and me and my siblings are left to do our best to get his things to him, sell the rest, and sell his home.  The memories in that house are vast, complex, and not all that welcome at the moment.  As if this were not bad enough, the leg is now infected.

In the midst of dad’s crisis, my oldest ends up at the hospital with a very high blood pressure, heart palpitations and very high resting heart beat.  Healthy as a horse and in excellent physical shape, this really yanked the rug out from under me.  We’re awaiting test results.

My baby girl is carrying the weight of the world as she watches her man suffer through the loss of a very good friend who suddenly passed away at 36 years old, no immediate explanation, just called from this world.  It is hard to watch her learn that sometimes there are simply no words, no magic wands.  You love them, hold them, pray for them and hope that is the balm their heart and soul needs to start healing.  All the while knowing it will fall short of enough.

And then we learn my mom’s appendix cancer is back.  Again. For the fourth time.  Really?  At a time when my world tips on end, it is my mom who tends to be the one that helps hold things together.  She totally understands that a cup of coffee is often the first step to figuring it all out.   I look to her, admire her, and find my inspiration in HER strength.  This will be her 5th time battling cancer (breast cancer was round 1).  We need her, You need to fix this so she isn’t slowed down while we fix the dad situation.  Coffee on it’s own won’t help with this!!!

I do thank You, for the wonderful man you brought into my life.  He doesn’t know what to say, and that is okay because words really aren’t adequate, from anyone.  Instead I feel his love, see it in his eyes, and his hugs and just being snuggled with him at night give me peace and strength.  And he makes me laugh, and that is healing.  He is my bright spot in all of this, I love him so much!

We’re always taught that You won’t give us more than we can handle.  That is just not true.  You DO give us far more than we can handle sometimes, so that we will learn to lean on You.  Well Lord, I’m here to tell Ya, I’m about at that end of the rope and hanging on here to a small thread.  I could use some Divine assistance down here!

Sure, I can be a real bad-ass, but even I have my limitations.

With love,

Your marvelously imperfect daughter

A Mickey-D’s Morning Musings

Similar to my frequent Coffee Musingsonly I’m musing over McDonald’s breakfast with a huge, fountain, Diet Coke.  Because I had enough coffee already today, it’s too stinking warm in this office with no A/C for anymore coffee, and fountain style is the greatest way to have Diet Coke.  I have no idea where we’re heading today, only that I need to write.

First order of business, PLEASE do me a huge favor, my marvelous readers, and go vote for my son as Cincy’s Hottest Dad.  I realize beauty and hottness are in the eyes of the beholder, but as a mom I am biased as hell and his wife is too.  And he could win a $1,000 shopping spree, which if I know him will be used more on the wife and kids than himself.  And besides, odds are you don’t know anyone in this particular contest so help a sister out here. Click -> HERE <-  to vote.  You need to register your email to have your vote count, and can vote daily!  Please do and please spread the word. Thank you, wonderful readers!

Life in the castle just got better last night, as if that were even possible.  First, my cat, Pixel, finally decided to venture up from the lower level bathroom where the litter box is located, and explore the house.  This while we were up and active.  I strongly suspect she comes up at night, as there is no way one cat is eating all of that food herself.  But her making her way up while the Knight and I were watching TV is fantastic.  Sunday it will be 2 weeks since I relocated her to the castle, and while I know it can take 2 full weeks for them to get confident and venture out, I was getting worried about her, down there in the bathroom, residing behind the toilet.

The other reason life got even better in the castle?  We got cable!!!!  The Knight has a wonderful, HD, projection TV…9×15 foot!!! It totally rocks.  He plays Call Of Duty on it.  I wanted to watch The Walking Dead and other favorites on it.  Now I can! WOOHOOO!  I love this TV!  Not nearly as much as I love him, mind you, but what a perk!  And those zombies look scarier and their brain splatter nastier on that large of a screen.  AWESOME! Just have to get my hands on the remote (*wink*).

1010260_641335462560958_218663362_nOkay I am trying SO hard to be patient as I adjust to the horribly rotten “different” driving habits of Kentucky drivers.  I am now a Kentucky resident so I am one of them and need to become “one” with them on the highway.  But I just don’t see that this can happen.  These folks SUCK as drivers!  REALLY they are terrible!  One of the worst, deadliest stretches of highway in the United States is supposedly the I75/71 “cut in the hill” in northern Kentucky, at least I had heard that it was at one time.  It isn’t in the top 10, or even 15 that I can find.  It is a very steep grade, I will give you that.  But honestly, is it necessary to come to a complete stop before venturing downward?  I’ve skateboarded on steeper hills folks!  I kid you not, we’re moving along a decent clip, heading north, when suddenly traffic stops.  I swear I can hear the other drivers, “OMG!!! THE CUT IN THE HILL, SLOW DOWN OR WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!”  Yesterday it was going south, which is UPHILL on this stretch.  Again, dead stop.  If traffic comes to a complete halt, I expect to see bloody carnage, severed body parts and shattered glass strewn across the lanes, crumbled cars, maybe one on its top and a random bumper to add some drama to the scene.  I simply cannot, with my lead foot, conform to the Chicken Little ways of my new community.

Okay now on to the serious sex part.  Hey, I get that sex sells, I really do.  Men are just horn-dog animals (Pigs according to the ex-oinker, King of said swine).  But really, am I the only one disturbed by the lack of respect for the sanctity of marriage?  I stumbled on a show, Mistresses, and I am really disappointed.  Oh I know, what did I expect with that title, but really?   No one on this show has any respect for marriage. NO ONE.  All the leading ladies are bed hoppers except the one, a widow, who has discovered her dear, departed spouse was carrying on a multi-year affair and had a love child. I can accept and deal with the lesbian couple (so far they seem to be the only ones faithful to one another), but everyone else is either married and banging others or single and doing the sheet mambo with someone who is married.  Is it any wonder that marriage and life long fidelity is almost unheard of anymore?  Even supposedly devout Christians have a huge problem in this area.  Lured by images, tv shows, movies, magazines the temptation just keeps growing and folks cannot seem to resist and lean on their vows.

Years ago when the ex-oinker had ‘issues’, he worked through a fantastic book called Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Timeby Steve Arterburn.  Not only was it super for him, there is a section in every chapter for the wife/girlfriend that helps her understand men and their sexual needs.  Though I haven’t read it yet, but it is on my book bucket list on my Kindle, there is one for the gals too, Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillmentby Shannon Ethridge (forward by Steve Arterburn).   (Every Woman’s Desire is a great book, not just for the women, but for men to read to really understand us women and what we desire…but it is pricey and not on Kindle.  I’m going to check my local library for it because it can’t hurt me to read it again)  I really do not know all the answers, but ladies, meet his needs! Men, fulfill her desires!  COMMUNICATE and learn about what the other needs and stay faithful!  Oh, and the book Love and Respect is awesome too, though I’m learning “respect” is defined differently from man to man, so ASK him what it means to him.  I’m waiting for the Knight to define it in his terms for me, as showing him respect is paramount in my heart.

I no longer will ever accept infidelity in a relationship.  One strike, zero tolerance, it is O-V-E-R.  Temptation? WALK, no wait, RUN THE HELL FROM IT! If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, tend to your own and maybe it will green up!

The storms have blown through, now I’m working and listening to multiple scanners hoping to find work to dispatch my crews too. More work equals more money.  I am all about getting those finder bonuses!  Guess it is time to get back to what I’m paid to do.  Ya’ll have a marvelous day!

Friday Confessional

 photo HighHeeledLove_zpsbbcc137c.jpg

WOOHOO!!!!

It is F-R-I-D-A-Y baby!!!!

Confession, it is said, is good for the soul, so let’s get started!

I confess…

I am just about dancing on the ceiling!  Okay so I know it is likely water weight but when the numbers on the scale begin to DECREASE I get happy and very very motivated.  3 pounds down this morning and that is making all this water (I could seriously row to work) worth it.  And giving up my wine for flavored water, and measuring everything that is going into my mouth.  Next step is to add in walking.  I WILL beat my mom, sister, and sis-in-law in Biggest Loser score.

I confess…

Tonight it will be hard to be good.  Train ride, dinner, all with a dear friend and my kids and their SO’s.  But I WILL make an effort.  It is the start of ‘pre-partying’ or ‘tailgating’ for my 50th next Friday.  By good I do mean watching what I eat and drink.  I mean it, I have every intention of being very careful.  And grandma used to say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I’m screwed.

I confess…

That wine glass from yesterday’s post?  I should have stayed off of that website.  SO many amazing ones to chose from.

I confess…

When I was out with my friend last Saturday, the topic of Internet dating came up as that is how we originally met.  I got to strolling down memory lane, wondering what fodder was there for my novels in the making.  I have to say that it was fun, meeting so many men and enjoying conversation.  But there were a few horror stories in there as well.  It could make for a great book in and of itself if not a few chapters.  So, for shits and giggles, I checked to see if my profiles were still there, and they were inactive but accessible, so I activated them.  Holy Mother Of Freak Parades, into my mailbox came the full blown marching band.  Thankfully I’m able, due to past experiences, to weed through the clowns and ring masters to find the truly REAL and nice guys on these sites.  They are few and far between.  NO I am not looking to date, was just curious, and yes I know all about the cat and curiosity.

I confess…

I am about to go devour a wonderful salad with tuna and fresh avocado on it.  Avocado is a new thing for me, and while I’m still acquiring a taste for it, I’ll admit it ain’t bad!

A Soothing Balm For My Soul

I was laying in bed this morning checking my phone and pondering life with a pre-coffee brain.  Yes, this can be very dangerous, but today it went well.

I don’t recall the dream I was having in any detail just before my cat landed on the bed, scaring the snot out of me and waking me up, but the song that was playing in the dream was still in my head.  Helen Reddy’s, You And Me Against The World.  While it was released 10 years before he was born, for some reason when my son was little it was pretty popular on one of the radio stations I was frequently tuned too.  The song immediately takes me back to my apartment, sitting in my “Morticia” chair (those wicker ones like Morticia sits in at the beginning of “The Adams Family” tv show) with my son curled up in my lap.  He was all of 18 months old, with big blue eyes and shaggy blond hair that needed a trim, but I didn’t have the heart to clip off his baby curls just yet.  The song was on and I was singing it to him, and if I close my eyes I can still feel him snuggled up to me, completely unaware of the troubles that surrounded us at the time.

Music fascinates me with its power to transport us to another time and place, pulling memories of events long ago recorded in the brain and forgotten.  Different smells and tastes will pull open various file drawers in our mind too, and with those recollections the full emotion that was felt at the time is easily recalled as well.

Roast beef and chunks of potato – I’m at Grandma B’s with aunts, uncles and cousins…everywhere!  Smarties candy and mint iced tea in a colored, aluminum cup will take me there too.

Supertramp’s song, Take The Long Way Home comes on and I am 16yo, in the maternity home, out to there pregnant.  My black and white radio sitting on my desk, which faces out of the window of my room, and I’m working on my algebra home work totally NOT understanding it.

And Can It Be is a great hymn, and every time I hear it or sing it in church I’m back on the second pew at Bible Chapel, my ex is standing by the piano, singing it solo for the special music portion of the service, and his voice is cracking as he fights tears, the words impacting him.

The smell of cinnamon brings thoughts of Christmas that are just too numerous to list.

Orange slice gum drops and I’m back on Annie Erdman’s back steps getting our daily candy treat from her, “quota” as she called it, along with my siblings and some of the neighbor kids.  Those orange, candy peanuts land me there too on the gray painted surface of her back porch.

Dustin Lynch comes on the radio, singing Cowboys and Angels and I’m at Sunset Grill, under the stars, sipping a beer and enjoying a burger with Ralph.  Suddenly he is on his feet and pulls me to mine, and we make our own dance floor right there by our table, dancing to ‘our song’.

Today music is a soothing balm for my troubled soul.  I have a wonderful CD from my friend, Jane, that she gave me when I first came back to church a few years ago, The Shadow Of Your Wings by Fernando Ortega.  Her son sang one of the songs on a Sunday morning to open the worship service. This collection of music is a lot of Hymns in arrangements that are very different than the originals, as well as many scripture passages put to song.  I can meditate on God’s Word through most of these songs, very powerful the impact on my heart right now.

One song in particular stands out as I’m writing, the words are from Psalm 19:14 and Philippians 4:8

Psalm 19:14

New King James Version (NKJV)

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Philippians 4:8

New King James Version (NKJV)

14 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things arepure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Saturday Coffee Musings…

Coffee cup with steamAnti-Stress & 31 oils in the diffuser – CHECK!

Relaxing Celtic harp music playing in the background – CHECK!

Hot cup of coffee within reach – CHECK!

Okay I can muse now.  :)  It is the weekend and for a change I have N-O-T-H-I-N-G I have to do.   No workshop, hair, nails or other appointments.  It’s all about doing not-a-darn-thing and I’m liking it.

Before I go any further, I wanted to explain that, upon seeing the movie, “Wreck-It Ralph” with Cowboy and my granddaughter, he and I jokingly refer to each other as Vanellope and Ralph.  We both related well to those characters.  He is actually more a blend of Ralph and Fix-It Felix.  Built a lot like Ralph, he goes on a job site and ‘wrecks’ it (rips out the damage), before his Felix side fixes the water/fire/storm damage.  He used to build houses, and has a very impressive portfolio of designer homes and buildings to his name, all over the world.  He is often misunderstood, like Ralph, but has a heart of gold.  Me…I relate to being a ‘glitch’.  I am a bona-fide misfit of sorts.  But remember, that glitch turns out to be a princess after all.  As I roll through this life I do have to remind myself at times that while I am a glitch, I’m the daughter of the King, the creator of this world, and while a prodigal one at that, I AM a princess.

Last night I had a few drinks and popcorn with my mom and niece, and fell asleep on mom’s bed while we all watched TV.  Earlier in the day I had received a call  from my other niece to check on me and be sure I was okay.  I am very fortunate to have a family that wraps around one of its own and loves them through the boo-boos life inflicts at times.

Ralph has checked on “Vanellope” a few times too, concerned about my heart and mind being bruised from the book I mentioned yesterday, and the unkind character assassination written of me.  Over many miles on his Harley (nearly 5,000) and many beers he has listened as I have shared my pain over not being with the ex, losing my home, and the close contact I had with my kids when I lived there.  My fun neighborhood and many friendships, all of which the ex retained “custody” of when he divorced me and kept the life I had been a part of.  Ralph, like many of my readers, knows how shattered I was through the divorce and he knows that the two most priceless people in this world, to me, are my son and daughter.   Naturally, he also knows that when someone hurts me I have a tendency to want to make them “bleed”.  I will go on the attack and do all I can to inflict back every drop of pain x 10 that they caused me.

I was hurting for my sister too, who, while it was credited to me and my insanity in the story, was attacked in the book as well.  My sister who has a friend from all the way back to high school. A beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit and voice, who is dying from liver cancer.  A woman who has praised God every single day throughout her chemo and battle that she is losing, dying a very unkind death, and yet she gives God glory in everything she does.  Her faith inspires so many of us, and has especially moved my sister.  When Jodi was losing her hair, she praised God that she is more than her hair, and many of her friends shaved their heads in support, as did my sister.  She went one step further and had a tattoo done on her scalp with a green ribbon (the symbol for liver cancer) and the words “for Jodi”, and until Jodi leaves this world all the ladies are staying bald with her.  My sister participated in a fund raiser to assist with her friend’s medical bills, and keeps us all updated. Jodi is currently recording a praise album, though her voice is starting to fail her as the cancer is sucking the life out of her, she never gives up and thanks God everyday.   This beautiful act of support and love for another, my sister shaving her head, was made fun of and made light of, in the book.  It broke my heart because it wasn’t enough to attack me, it was extended to my family members as well.

I went to bed only to wake up and cry some more during the night, and pray.  This morning I woke up with the following verse heavy on my mind and heart:

Ephesians 4:29

Expanded Bible (EXB)

29 Don’t ·say anything that will hurt others [L let any rotten/unhealthy word come from your mouth], but only say what is ·helpful [good] to ·make others stronger [build others up] ·and meet [L according to] their needs. Then what you say will ·do good [give grace; be a gift] to those who listen to you.

New King James Version (NKJV)

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

I have meditated on it all day when I felt the urge to unleash a hell storm of emotion and try to strike back and inflict pain in return.  It has kept me in check.  There won’t be a tell all blog or book from me trashing my ex.  While he enjoys telling folks that there are no skeletons in his closet because they are seated in the open on the couch, I do know of plenty still hidden that he’d not want anyone, especially his children, to know.  Instead I will do as I have done for quite some time now:  pray for my ex and his new wife.  For peace, joy, good health and prosperity in their life, and in the lives of my children.

I may be a crazy, nutty, bleached out and sometimes pink haired glitch, but I am dearly loved by many, and loved by One who was willing to suffer and die to save my wretched soul.

I am a princess in the only royal family that matters.

And on that note, I will put the topic in a box to join others on the shelf of the past, behind me, where it belongs.

Who Are You?

istock_000012608923smallWho are you who claims to be a believer?

Who are you who claims to have the love of the Lord in your heart but turns your back on the unwed daughters in the church who are pregnant? Or the sons who drove drunk and now carry a DUI and are slipping from your grasp?  Those who have practiced unfaithfulness or have  stolen or any other “grievous” sin?

Who are you to think you know what is remorse or not remorse because they didn’t stand in front of the congregation to declare their sins?  Can you SEE that their heart is hard or see that deep inside them it is breaking under the weight of their sin and they NEED you to pull them to you not shove them away until they ‘repent’ as YOU feel they should?  Who are you to claim to know their heart?

Who is embracing those who grew up in the church but have wandered when you, their church “family” does not embrace them and support them? The world you preach so hard against?

Where is the love?

The love of Christ that dined with the sinners.

Are you really any different than the Pharisees who thought they knew it all and looked down or turned their back on God’s prodigal ones?

Did Jesus make the adulteress woman go before anyone except HIM to confess her sins when she was about to be stoned? or did He show her compassion and love, and encourage her to the path that leads to Him?

Who are you to judge the heart? I thought that was God’s to do?

Where oh where is the love????

Could one person who reached out and loved from the heart, showed the love of Christ rather than shunning the lost and fallen, have made the difference?

And the gossip..oh the juicy tales passed from person to person about that fallen one, did that not make you a sinner too? Isn’t the ground level in front of the cross of Christ?  Where was the compassion and love to reach out and catch those who stumbled and help get them on the path?  Instead the gossip, the shunning,  could that be what assisted them in falling off the path and in to the pit of sin rather than just stumbling?  You who have never been down that slope, have no idea how hard it is to reach out and cry for help, trying to claw your way back up, when the doors have been seemingly closed.  The humiliation carried by the sinner and being so lost under that weight that you cannot bring yourself to reach for a brother or sister…and you wonder, as they’ve talked about you  rather than help you, is their heart going to accept you and help you if you could bring yourself to their door in search of love?  And while you ‘shun’ them, the world reaches for them, loving them, soothing their wounds, wrapping around them until they have numbed from the still, small voice, and now feel the love and acceptance of the darkness because it DID reach for them, it DID care for them, it DID embrace them when the “christian family” did not.

Surely they who fell into sin will stand before God and be judged.  But you who turned a cold shoulder, who demanded repentance instead of showing love, who watched them fall into the embrace of the world rather than embrace them in the love of Christ, won’t you too be judged for how you dealt with them?  Do you really think you will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” any more than the ones stumbling? YOU too sin every single day with your judging of others, with your gossip, with your less than loving hearts, with those little white lies you tell and other sins of omission…one’s sin may be more evident and glaring than another, but is it any less wrong? Any less a sin?

When you discovered a brother or sister was off the path and wadding in sin, did YOU do anything?  Did you run and tell another, dial the phone to share the nugget of naughtiness? Or did you run to the fellow believer and sinner and do all you could to bring them back on the path and be restored to their walk?  Did you really show LOVE, or just legalism?

Did you fawn all over the ones who joined the flock who could say all the right Christian buzz words, talked softly with a seemingly quiet and gentle spirit, served in so many ways….only to fall and then SWIM within that lake of sin.  Yet the ones who might be rough around the edges, struggled in their walk but their desire to please and worship Christ was there but you didn’t invite them to your home, or your circle of friends, you kept them at arms length when what they needed was your love and compassion.  And yet both those you put on the pedestal and those you saw beneath it, fell into sin…because we ALL are sinners, we all need Christ.

Where, brothers and sisters in Christ, is the LOVE?

Surely you’ve heard that phrase, “you may be the only Bible some folks ever read”.  What sets you apart from the world? OTHER than your haughtiness and carrying your Bible and being able to quote a scripture or two with a pat on the back and “I’ll pray for you”.  You jet off to serve in the “mission field” rebuilding churches in a place hit with a natural disaster, all the while people sitting around you every Sunday are starving to death on the pews in need of real LOVE.  I suppose it is easier to go help a stranger, drive some nails, clean up the damage to buildings, than it is to sit down and help someone you know find their way out of the damage in their life caused by sin.  To really connect and FEEL what they are feeling.

Sure, you can give a defense if your faith is questioned.  You can explain in great detail what scripture says about sin and the need of a Savior, and tell the date you came to Christ.  But can you defend YOUR faith, your heart?  Can you honestly say you have shown true love for the brethren, got down on your knees and held a shattered brother or sister to rise above their sin?  Did you talk TO them, or just talk ABOUT them?

These are the things I am struggling with this morning when I should be at services with people that I love, worshiping my Savior.  Not only do I know those who were shunned and talked about…but I was one who did the shunning, AND… I AM THAT SINNER THAT NEEDED YOU!  I fell off the path, slipping further and further away until I was out of reach and eating with the pigs in the pigsty rather than wrapped in LOVE from my brothers and sisters.  YES some was my own heart attitude, but short of listening then quoting scripture, who reached out? Who left their comfort zone to find out what was driving that attitude, and what was pulling from the other side of the path down the slippery slope?  I pray in the future I am willing to crawl down and grasp the hand of a fellow believer who has fallen into sin, to really SHOW the love I talk about having.

You warm a pew…but are you truly the remnant spoken of in the Bible?  Having been on both sides, I fear the remnant is far smaller than I once believed.

You say you love…but where is the love?

Who are you?

 

My One Word – Narrowing It Down

myonewordI have participated in a growing movement to forget about New Year’s resolutions, and instead pick one word that will be the focus of my year.  The idea being that focusing on that area will bring about good things in all areas as it spreads.  I picked SEEK the year before last, then JOY this past year.  SEEK God was the focus, then finding the JOY in all things.

I was going about it just fine but this year decided to not only check out the website but to also read the book.  It has been a life changer already and it is only the 3rd of January.

My word was harder to pick, as there are so many areas of my life that need change, improvement or just to find a way out of the door of my life altogether.  The book has been very helpful in narrowing things down.  I was down to just 4 words, all of these words would have an impact on my life if they were chosen as my ONE WORD for 2013:

KNOW – as in really get to know my Savior through God’s Word in extensive study.

REFLECT – as in reflecting Christ in my life every day as if I am the mirror that reflects Him to the world around me.

APPLY – apply the Word of God in all areas of my life.

SURRENDER – as in yielding, surrendering all areas of my life to Christ.  While I do not care for the whole “WWJD”, maybe more in line of what would Christ have me to do.  Based on scripture and not my ‘gut’ feel.  And praying through things before making choices and decisions.  Surrender my thoughts, actions, Sunday mornings…everything to the Lord.  This word will encompass the others as time goes on, so it was the clear choice.

sur·ren·der

[suh-ren-der]

verb (used with object)

1. to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; deliver up possession of on demand or under duress: to surrender the fort to the enemy; to surrender the stolen goods to the police.

2. to give (oneself) up, as to the police.

3. to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.: He surrendered himself to a life of hardship.

4. to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.).

5. to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor of another.

verb (used without object)

6. to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.

The word will be in front of me all year…taped to my dashboard, as my bookmark in my bible (maybe several as I’m all over in there), anywhere I might come across it or the need for it, I will have it in front of me to remind me to focus on that word and what it entails.  It will set the tone for my year, be at the heart of much of my writing for this blog this year, but more importantly it will help me to grow in my walk and faith with my Savior, Jesus Christ.

In addition, I’ve taken the “30 day challenge” I’ve heard on K-LOVE, and I am listening to only Christian music for this month.  Again, it is already impacting my thoughts and mood.  Guess that whole “garbage in (to the brain) = garbage out” could be true.  I catch myself  little more when using less than appropriate language, when a negative or unkind thought goes through my brain, etc.  The music and songs may lack sound theology, but they are positive and encouraging, as K-LOVE often uses as their slogan.

#7, #8, #9 ~ My Grown Up Christmas List

7 8 9To see the full list click  HERE

First, let me apologize for having to put 3 together in one post.  I’ve been sick and just not feeling up to sitting down and actually engaging  my brain into a post.  Thanks to the visit to the clinic, I’m good!

#7 ~ My Friend, Cowboy

Long time readers will recall this was a man I was going to marry.  Things changed, but we are still the very best of friends.  In fact we text and talk daily and sometimes multiple times a day.  He is one of my best cheer leaders to encourage me, and I certainly hope I am one of his.

As with all the men I’ve become serious with in my life, he is one of those I believe I was meant to help fix broken pieces of their hearts and souls, but not a forever love.  Friends but not meant to be lovers and spouses.

This time of year is often very hard on those that have shattered memories.  So for Cowboy I wish for a special Christmas this year, complete with a Christmas angel.  A renewed, inner child-like spirit of the holidays that sees it all through the eyes of innocence.   For some happy memories to be made this Christmas.  For fences to be mended wherever possible, and for the love of the Lord and the joy of the Lord to be his strength.  I believe in miracles and I wish several to come his way this Christmas season.

#8 ~ My Daughter-in-Law

As her pregnancy is winding down to the end she is doing all of those last minute things around their new house to be ready when my grandson arrives.  She is swelling a bit in hands and feet and I know she is starting to get tired. I pray for peace in her heart and spirit,  lots of good solid rest leading up to the delivery.  I pray God’s angels will watch over her and my granddaughter when my son is at work, and over him while he is working, bringing him home safely to his family each day.  And for an easy, complication free delivery and a very healthy mom and baby Collin.

I’m so thankful for her and her beautiful, spunky daughter that have been added to my family, giving me the new title of grandma.

#9 ~ For My Car

I really need my car to be right now, it has been fixed for multiple issues this year.  I need it to be reliable so I can get too and from school the next 2 weeks, and then to and from my job that I will be starting in January, Lord willing.  I need it to also keep my Avon business going.  I had to let that slide for a while without a car to drive.  I really appreciate any and all prayers to this effect so that I can accomplish these things and get myself back on track financially.   I have many bills that need catching up and then back on a regular payment schedule.

#6 ~ My Grown Up Christmas List

6To see the full list click  HERE

#6 ~ My Education Pursuit 

My wish is that this material will come easily to me, and that I can get through the next 2 weeks without issues.  I need this certification and I think I am a good fit for the job and type of work it will allow me to pursue.

I wish for nothing to get in the way of my going and getting my needed education.

 

#5 ~ My Grown Up Christmas List

5To see the full list click  HERE

#5 ~ My Brothers

I  love my brothers.  Both are amazing men, and great fathers to their children.  Both have good hearts, and both have made some mistakes in life.  But both have done their best to fix any wrongs and make them right.

Baby brother has a birthday tomorrow.  I still remember coming downstairs to see what St. Nick  brought us to find out my mom was at the hospital having him, and shortly after that learning I had another brother.

My other brother, younger than me, has a big event coming soon in his life as well, one that makes me very happy for him.

I wish them both all the happiness in this world, and love and blessings.

Family is the most important thing a person has on this earth, Grandpa Fred always told me that.

People are human.

People make mistakes.

People sometimes can be in so much pain already that they can find the demon under every rock, even if it only looks like it is there.

And sometimes people purposely set a stage to make others think there is a demon when there isn’t even a rock.

My prayer is for communication, forgiveness where it is needed, and understanding to see the truth.

I love you both with all my heart.

Praising God In The Hallway

Romans 5

New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Triumphs in Trouble

5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

One of the college students at my church started a Facebook group to bring a bunch of us together across the miles to read through the book of Romans together.  We post our thoughts and discuss it as we go along, following a week by week schedule.  It has already been a blessing to me as I needed the push to find a place to again begin the practice of daily reading my bible.

We’re in chapter 5 this week and as I was reading it yesterday I stopped dead at verses 1-5, especially verse 3, which I highlighted in pink above.

See, my week started off Sunday morning with trials and tribulations.   My car has been in the shop being fixed more than it has been driven this year.  I finally got it back Friday and was so excited to finally be able to get around independently again.  Sunday I get up, get ready for church, it is pouring down rain…and the car is messing up again.  I wanted to cry, instead I yelled.  No one heard me, but that wasn’t real productive.  It was not rejoicing either.  I was determined to go even if I had to walk to services.   The car eventually cooperated and I made it on time for Sunday School, but it was not the way to start the morning.

In hind sight I wonder, could I have handled it better? Certainly!  A stopping, regrouping, and praying would have been a better way to handle it.  Yelling didn’t do anything, I simply raised my blood pressure and stress level.  Instead I could have prayed for the Lord to help me.   I need to be more aware that when a bump in the road hits, I need to stop, breathe and pray.

I did get a lesson in faith though, during worship services.  I put the last bit of cash I had to my name in the offering plate, praying and trusting the Lord for what I needed this week in order to keep my Avon business running.  I did not get a huge influx of cash, but instead, after praying, received just enough to meet my needs.  :)

My prayer of late has been, “help my unbelief”, and to continue to seek joy.  Only now I understand a bit better that even in the rough spots, I need to find the joy and rejoice, praising Him in the hallways of my life.

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#4 ~ My Grown Up Christmas List

4To see the full list click  HERE

#4 ~ My Ex-Husband

This wish is for my ex, Pete.  We were married just under 22 years before the divorce was final.

My wish is 2 fold really.

The first part is that the day will come when he can forgive whatever perceived wrongs he feels I’ve done, and that for the sake of our children we could be around each other in some form of harmony.  I’ve long ago forgiven him for those things I felt he did to me and pray the same may come my way from him.

He is a good man, was a good husband and a fantastic dad.  We were pretty much as close to oil and water as it can get as far as personalities.   I have a multitude of very happy memories from our marriage, and while losing him was incredibly painful, as the song says, “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have to miss the dance” and for all the good memories I have in my heart to treasure, that pain was worth it.

The second part is for his new marriage.  He is getting married next week to a very wonderful woman who is beautiful inside and out.  I really do in all sincerity wish them a very happy, joy filled marriage that lasts the rest of their lives.  I hope and pray (yes really do pray for them) to be showered with many blessings and good things in the years to come.

# 3 ~ My Grown Up Christmas List

3To see the full list click  HERE

#3 ~ My Daughter

This wish is all about my baby girl.

I wish for her faith in God to grow from the seeds planted in her heart as she grew up in a loving church family, and that she would learn from the mistakes she saw her parents make, keeping instead her focus on the Lord.  I pray she develops a strong love for God’s Word, and finds time for it each day.

I wish for her to find a man who is strong in character, morals and loyalty.  One who will love her faithfully, be a good father to her children, and be a man of God.  A strong believer with a solid faith who will love her as scripture says he should, putting her ahead of himself.

I wish for her all the little boys she so very much wants for children, and that they too would have a faith that is strong and unwavering, and grow up to be her pride and joy, as she and her brother are mine.

I wish for her to have a home full of love and laughter, and enough critters to keep her animal loving side happy and content.

And like her big brother, I wish for her, “just enough”.

Seen as part of a post on another day, entitled “Just Enough”. Author unknown.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

- Author Unknown