Sunday Evening Coffee Musings: Plan B

iStock_000044919954SmallI’m sitting here with my ever present cup of coffee, musing about the past week.  For a week that should have been totally awesome, and it was pretty marvelous, it also was book-ended with hurt.

The book end at the beginning of the week was coming home and finding in my mailbox the gift I had sent off to a former friend.  It was nothing expensive, just a small thing, sent as an olive branch of sorts.  It was returned to me and that did hurt.  I will leave it at that and just say that I will always pray for her despite her feelings toward me.

In between the book ends life was pretty good.  Sticking to my blocked calendar to do my classes and enjoying the learning process.

The book end at the finish of the week brought more hurt and plainly sucked.

Friday is my favorite day of the week.  Yes, it is the end of the work week but it is more because I love reaching the end of a week and knowing I accomplished much.  My work week is always wonderful, the team is great and most days it is stressful but fun.  I went in as always with my trusty sidekick, my Yorkie, and started my morning.  It was only me and the production manager.  After a bit our web designer and IT chick showed up.  We were getting new virus software and servers set up etc as the company is about to go to the next level.  I was really excited about this, the mission and vision were coming together and I was finally in a class to learn QuickBooks and was understanding it this time.  The production manager came in my office sat down, and told me as gently as he was able that my job was being eliminated.  Seems I made too much money and they couldn’t afford to keep me.  Because they have to bring on someone else to handle emergency services with their new franchise, they had to cut someone and that someone was me.

Needless to say I ran through a variety of emotions but ended on very hurt.  We always made decisions as a team at the table, our ‘style’ being like a motorcycle club (MC).  But lately decisions were being made without the input of all members and this was one of those.  I never was given a chance to offer to take a pay cut.  So, I joined the ranks of the unemployed on Friday morning.

It was time for Plan B.

I packed what I cared to take, left the rest behind and headed home.  Channeling my frustration and pain into house work I had things in order when mom got home at lunch.  That is when we sat down like we Divas here do and plotted and planned.  The first order of business was getting me a laptop since I had always used my one from work and they wouldn’t even allow me to borrow it over the weekend.  We hit the store and purchased a nice one, so I am thankful for that blessing.

Our next plan was that since I had been praying about it a lot, I would jump into my Avon business full time.  40 hours a week will now be devoted to sales and recruiting and building up a business that can support me.  I know personally plenty of reps doing just that but I had only played at it as a hobby.  But now, my ‘why’ is pretty substantial and so it will be a full time job.  We have a large roll of paper that we cut into a big planning board on the wall of the Avon office, we worked on brochures and threw our first Girls Night Out Friday night.  We are rolling forward with well thought out plans and not looking back.

That is the benefit of living with your female family members, your Divas.  When the cards are down, they plot, plan, wrap around you, fill your wine glass and help you figure things out.  This morning at church I realized that God is never wrong and this is a blessing.  Who knows what will happen to the company, but He removed me far from it all and I have to accept that there is something much better out here for me.  Something that truly honors Him with integrity and that my life will be blessed in more ways than I can imagine.  Every song on the radio on the way to church was about trusting, and His plan unfolding in bigger ways than we could know, so I am going to give it all to God and know that He has a better place for me.  I will be working for myself now, so I cannot be a layoff victim again.

On a positive note, my evenings will now be free, as I won’t have to try to divide my time after the office, between leisure and Avon.  That leaves more time to do my class for Nouthetic Counseling too, so I can speed up the process of getting my certification as a biblical counselor.

Last night I watched my grandchildren and I walked away with new knowledge through the eyes of a 20 month old.  He trusts beyond a shadow of a doubt that his daddy is there (mommy too).  He cries when he wakes from a nap and a parent is there, he is hungry, they feed him, he hurts and they comfort him. Any need he has they handle it and it is met.  Surely then God, my heavenly Father who has all the riches and power of the universe, will go far beyond what an earthly parent can do if I can just trust Him as my grandson trusts his parents, to protect me and supply all of my needs.

So beginning Tuesday I start working my Avon business full time, working like a boss!

 

You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up Thursday

YCMTUTIt is Thursday, welcome to my very first episode of, “You can’t make this sh*t up” Thursday.

My life is incredibly weird, no doubt about it.  So much of it I just don’t bother to share, the small segment of the world that knows me doesn’t need any fuel on the “she is crazy cat lady material” fires.  But sometimes I just have too open up about it!

Take for instance The Count.  Remember him? Search if you don’t, over yonder in the box Looking For Something.  He has an older brother who happens to work with my younger brother.  Small world stuff, ya know?  And in a city this size,what are the odds that his older brother would happen to cut the grass of my neighbor 2 doors down?  Welcome to my insanity.

Then there is my own yard here at the Diva Den.  The ex-hubster has a lawn care/landscaping business.  My son-in-law works with him.  Guess who cuts our grass?  Yep, my ex-husband.  It’s the plot for a fun novel, no doubt.

Recently I learned that the owner of the swing club I hung out in many moons ago is in prison.  Now, Oz, as I used to call him (as in the Wizard of Oz who was all dog-and-pony-show fake), well nothing bad seemed to stick to him despite the many things he was doing.  When I heard he was doing time, I actually felt kinda bad for the guy.  He is not one I’d think would fair well in the Gray Bar Inn.  Then I looked him up on the state inmate search, and this poor soul who had a real love for his very long haired mullet? Well the prison system, it would seem, makes you shave your head.  Now I really did feel bad for the guy.  Trust me, if anyone had reason to be glad he finally got what was coming to him, it was me.  But I tend to forgive way too easily, and I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdogs and fools of this world.  The bible pretty clearly spells out how we are to treat those in prison in Matthew 25, so what the heck, I wrote to him.  We are corresponding. Odd I know!  Now do I trust him? HELL no, but he is not a violent offender and everyone deserves someone to give a rats butt.

On my way home today I had an encounter of sorts with God.  No, I did not spy Him in a bush or anything, don’t panic.  I’m a tad warped but not certifiable.  On payday I make up several cash gifts for the homeless.  Two, $1 bills, folded in thirds that I carry in my sun visor and if I see a homeless person on a corner with a cardboard sign I give them one of those.  It isn’t a lot but it is what I can do.  I have been out of them for a week, and in fact yesterday had looked up and didn’t have any to give when I saw a needy man, and felt really bad.  Today, I pulled up to a stop light and spotted a gentleman I see frequently, and felt bad I had nothing to offer.  I glanced up at my sun visor and there was money.  One single dollar bill, folded different from how I fold my $2 bundles.  Crisp and new.  I was quite shocked, but pulled it out, put the window down and handed it off to the man.  I’m still in a befuddled state, as I know that I did not put that there.  As I said, I fold them a certain way, and always and only $2.  God works in mysterious ways, and I suppose this man really needed that $1.  And I guess maybe I needed to see a wonder.  :)

That is this weeks edition of YCMTSUT.  See ya next week!

 

 

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