Why I Am Still Single

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*Looks up at the mast of my ship*

::Thinking:: I don’t SEE a freak flag or weirdo magnet up there.

Seriously the freak parade of late has me wondering what I am doing to attract so much attention from so many bizarre and unwelcome sources. As in guys. Like males. And, um…no, thanks.

Why do people find it weird and want to ‘fix’ or rescue you if you are single and 54?

“you are so attractive, why aren’t you married?”

“baby you are sexy and need sex, why you so frigid?”

20914351_1178048255664405_8447931029261688239_nFor the record, I’m not frigid. I have desires and longings, I’m a normal, healthy woman who enjoys intimacy. I choose to ignore those, replacing those thoughts with other things to ponder. Like, why is the coffee pot empty? What day is this anyway? Now where did I leave my phone this time?

Actually truth is I re-grounded in my faith some years back, after being totally crazy stupid and I’ve no desire to go back to a life of sin. I won’t be shared, won’t share what is mine (as in my other half), and as a Christian I feel intimacy outside of marriage is a sin and I’m not going down that road. Ever. Again.

I’ve had more than one guy tell me I’m going to be alone, forever, if I’m not willing to have sex outside of marriage. Let me say that I don’t believe that for a minute, but if that is in fact true, so be it. I’m not a toy, I’m a child of God, daughter of the Most High, a royal princess in the Kingdom of Heaven and not willing to just give away the gift of me that belongs to a spouse should God’s plan for my life include one again some day.

No doubt the fact that I’m not dating, looking to date, seeking a male companion, is impacting the lack of a significant other in my life. I don’t have time for a relationship right now. My life is full, and busy, and relationships take time and need to be nurtured. Between my job, health coaching, mom, kids, grandkids, church, and miscellaneous lists of things I do when not doing those things, I simply do not have the time or energy to put into another person.

like my freedom. Want to sleep in? No one complains. Feel like a day of bed head, jammies, morning breath topped with coffee so that it smells like ass and can singe hair? No one cares. Being the introvert that I am, at the end of the busy day I need alone time to recharge, so not really into going out dancing or partying and I’m delighted for my time by myself.

List of “you don’t need it” I’ve spent/about to spend money on:

New personalized plates, jigsaw puzzle, puzzle storage box/mat to use while working said puzzle, yarn, yarn, more yarn, toys for Nana’s toy box, sun shield for my windshield to keep car cool, new Skechers for work….and NO ONE tells me I don’t need it! MY money, my decisions, and I’m pretty pleased with all of it thankyouverymuch.

Long Beach has resurface again…told him politely NO WAY, no thanks, not going to happen, not your girl. No doubt he will resurface yet again in about 3 or 4 months.

19894760_1149967351805829_7339269333859343132_nThen there is NYC. SIGH. I’m growing weary hearing about how much he wants to ______ me. When I explain about my faith and not interested in a relationship, his latest come back was:

Good luck finding your bible carrying man with his home made blueberry pie. I think your going to be lonely. You’ll never get laid again. You have narrowed your selection of men down to a microscope level. There won’t be any left who want to f*ck you.”  

*head to desk*

First off what in the name of duck tails does blueberry pie have to do with this? Food, for the record, is not my love language. He keeps telling me how he’ll cook for me, is trained by a master chef and doesn’t seem to grasp that I don’t care about food. I don’t really care for blueberry pie at all!

Second, if getting laid were the goal, trust me I have a lengthy list of men tripping over themselves to be my booty call.

Third, I’M NOT LOOKING FOR A MAN IN MY LIFE! I do not want a relationship, marriage, to get laid, etc etc. And there are plenty of single, Christian men my age that if I were interested have made it clear they’d gladly wait for marriage for intimacy with me because they too are followers of Christ and waiting.

BUT I’M NOT INTERESTED!

So then he tells me I am one f*cked up piece. Um, NO I am a woman.

Not a piece of anything.

F*cked up is relative. To him, perhaps, because I’m not matching the mold he wants to squeeze me into. Sorry this bird is not caged, she is a free spirit. Cage her and she stops singing. And he wonders why at 57 he is still single….

I’ve blocked him on phone and email, Facebook, LinkedIn etc etc.

Y’all, if you can see the freak flag up there, waving in the breeze from the mast of this vessel known as Marti, would you be so kind as to shoot a flaming arrow through it for me?

 

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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.

#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.

Day 18 ~ 30 Days Of Thankfulness 2012

I am thankful for my Bible. Thankful that copies are available in more languages than imaginable.

I gain much comfort, wisdom and encouragement in God’s Word.

While I am all for memorizing passages, I cannot imagine not having it readily available to pick up at will and read.

In keeping with that I’m thankful for the various studies available both in print and online that allow me to really learn and study what the Word says.

Coloring Outside The Lines – How It Began

Sin never seems to just burst through the door waving a flag, blowing on a bugle and screaming “COME ON FOLLOW ME!”  Instead it creeps in slowly, at least in a believer’s life.  Like David on the roof top, maybe we look just a little too long, or take a second glance.  Someone flirts and we flirt back.  Someone gossips or speaks ill of someone, and instead of shutting it down by changing the subject or walking away we join in and make an unkind remark.  Someone tries to provoke us and instead of praying for our enemies as God commands, and loving them as His Word instructs, we poke back.  Maybe we reason away that one drink won’t hurt anything when we know we might have a problem controlling our alcohol intake.

Regardless of what it is, we let it slip in through a crack that forms in our foundation.  That crack happens when we take our eyes off the Lord, when we start letting other things come between us and prayer time, study time, and gathering with other Christians.  Maybe it is a TV show, or a football game, staying up late and over sleeping on Sunday morning.  Whatever it is we allow things to start taking priority in our lives.  In and of themselves they are not bad or wrong things, but we let them come before what is most important.  And anything that we put ahead of the Lord is an idol.  Over time we hold that up, giving it attention when something else should be getting our attention.  The crack starts there.

What begins as a hairline crack, nearly undetectable at first, starts to grow in length and width.  Not fast, mind you.  It takes time.  We start to notice short comings in others because if we are focused on them and their behavior, we are not focused so much on our own.  We become disgruntled, the crack grows more.  Dirty water from around the foundation begins to seep in through the crack.  Just a drop here and there, but then bigger drops, and more of them, until it is a tiny stream.

The bible says in James 1:12-15:

12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

We’re first tempted, when we let our desires seep in through the cracks.  We are enticed by fantasies and dreams, and we begin to breathe life into them, verbalizing and sharing them.  As time goes by they grow and become more prominent in our speech.  Before long those desires conceive and give birth to sin.  We act upon the desires and fantasies, and the crack breaks open more and sin is born.

That is exactly how it happened.  Time, events, “life” got in the way of what was important.  Little by little, we let more and more things become more important than being at church.  And the fantasies began to be voiced, talked about, used to entice and excite.  In time they were acted upon and we began to lead 2 lives, one that on the surface looked like we were good, church going, bible believing Christians.  The other was kept in secret and away from the eyes of friends and family.  We made new “friends” that helped us to justify what we were doing.  Consenting adults, it wasn’t sin if we both were in agreement.

The first clue that something is a sin might be the ‘secret’ part.  When you have to hide it, there is a reason.  Cheating on your spouse usually starts out with secrets…texts, flirts, emails, conversations, meeting up for drinks or lunch, things you do when your significant other is not around.  Things you would never do in front of them with their full knowledge because it is WRONG and you know darn well what their reaction would be.  If you cannot share it with the church family, or your blood family because they would ‘judge’ your actions as wrong, then maybe you need to be thinking again.  Hidden things, secret things, things that could cost you your position in the church, damage your testimony and/or reputation, cost you your marriage….yes those things are not okay, or you would not be hiding them.

We justified that they would not understand, even tried to convince ourselves that God never intended for us to be monogamous because after all, He made us with these desires and as long as we go home each time with our spouse at the end of the night or party, then it is okay.  If it was we wouldn’t have been hiding what we were doing.  I believe deep down we both knew very well what we were doing was completely wrong and sinful.  But oh the fun, the parties, the open mindedness.  Sharing intimacy wasn’t really my  thing, that was the other half’s joy.  But I enjoyed the parties, dressing inappropriately sexy and embracing the knowledge that I was sexy, desirable and so many men wanted me.  Sure, that was indeed a draw, but what I really wanted more than anything was for my spouse to feel that way about me, and me ONLY.  But I walked into this with him and saw no real way out.  Instead of shutting down those fantasies when they first came up, I put him on the pedestal and tried my best to be what I believed he wanted.  I am just as guilty as he is for where we went.  I could have prayed for him, steered things gently away from the sinful desires, but I opted to feed the flames.  I put my husband’s desires and happiness ahead of the Lord, I actually made him my idol.  I carried things entirely too far from his being my hero and center of my world, when I should have had his spiritual health, the state of his soul as my major concern.  Instead of praying, I added to the temptation.  I ate from the forbidden fruit through the images I’d verbally weave and handed the fruit off to him.

Let my coloring book stand as a warning.  We cannot allow even the smallest temptation to cross over into our lives.  Once we let just the smallest sin in, it takes over and grows.  I have no idea who said it, but I’ll stop tonight with this thought, as it is so very true:

Sin  will take you further than you want  to go.  It will keep you longer than you want to stay.  And it will cost you more than you want to pay.

I Color Outside Of The Lines

I am an oldest child.  My poor parents cut their parenting teeth on me, and survived not only me but 3 more offspring.  They did well though, no one ended up in jail and we’re all pretty responsible members of society.  At  least we fake that part well most of the time 🙂

I have always been one that is a tad different, maybe even eccentric at times.  I tend to think out side of the box, dance to the beat of an odd drummer, and I color outside of the lines.  All this is a good thing, or can be, if I keep it under the lens of a biblical perspective.  On the simplest of terms, what would Jesus do.  I am not overly fond of that WWJD thing but it works for now.  Perhaps it would be better said, what would a daughter or son of the Most High do, what is the most Christ like, God honoring thing to do?   I love jewelry that is crowns, but not because I think I’m the self-appointed queen of anything.  I love crowns because they remind me that I’m the daughter of the King of the Universe, and that one day every crown I’ve earned will be cast lovingly at the feet of my Savior in heaven.  I wear a cross necklace not to tell everyone around me that I’m a believer (my behavior should do that), but so that when I see it in the mirror, I am reminded to look closely and be sure my reflection is mirroring my Lord and Savior.

Nearly 2 years ago I returned to my home church briefly.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was but I let too much get in the way of it being the life line.  Part of issue I had was that when I went back expecting things to be as I left them, and they were not.  When we left it was “Pete and Marti with the party”.  When I returned it was a solo,  emotionally and spiritually battered mess.  I left and it was various friends, one couple in particular.  I returned and our former best buds were divorced and it was him alone in the pew with his kids.  Other members had left, and there were many new faces.  Then as I was trying to regain my spiritual footing in the midst of feeling judged (my heart issue), a former friend turned enemy decided to send my pastor an email making sure the church knew that they had a wretched sinner among them.  She, claiming to be a born again, God-fearing believer herself, wanted to be certain it was known that I was a former swinger, and that I had ‘attacked’ her on twitter.  It rocked the boat for me just too much.  The wounds of losing my husband in a divorce, the former dear friend turned enemy, the attempts to smear and attack (not to worry they already knew about where I had been), I was unstable and just didn’t last long there before going all lone ranger Christian.  How did that work out for me? Not so good as you can well imagine.

Here I am now, just 2 months shy of the 2 year mark of trying to return, but this time I went back ready.  I am prepared for the storm of judgment and attacks that may or may never come my way, either from others there, others in my life, or that former friend who herself is neck deep still in that swinger lifestyle.  My heart is very aware of where it needs to be each Sunday.  I’m back to being in God’s Word every day, or that is the goal.  I openly admit I miss one now and then but most days it is the case and I’m in the middle of some good bible studies that help too in reaffirming my faith.  This time I’m prepared to stick it out, because I’m not here for anyone by me and the Lord.  I’m there to worship Him, and be fed.  Anyone having an issue with my past, or how I dress, or my wild, bleach blond hair, well that is their issue not mine.  That is between them and God to deal with, not me.

Sadly, when one lives a life of coloring outside of the lines, they leave themselves open for other people to judge.  Okay even those that color meticulously inside of the lines also are objects of others scrutiny.  Anytime you are different from those around you that is just human nature to pick it apart.  Different draws attention.  But different is not always a bad thing.

I dare to be the line pusher, rule breaker and that can be both bad and good.  I have always colored outside of the lines, but not always in a good way.  When we sin we color outside of the clear lines set down by the Lord in His precious Word.  That is a big mistake.  It causes damage, it is sin, and sin always has consequences.  But when I stay within God’s lines, yet color outside of man’s lines? Well that can be a good thing.

I’m going to be doing a series of posts about coloring outside of the lines.  Some will be about my journey off the path and into the pig pen, some will be about my journey back home as a prodigal daughter.  Both are really one big picture of coloring outside of the lines.  But maybe, just maybe, when I’m done, you can see that it isn’t always a sin when the color goes past the boundary, sometimes it can be a beautiful picture if you stand back and look with an open mind.

I’m Not Who You Think I Should Be

I’m not who you think I should be.

  • I cuss like a drunken sailor at times.
  • Black is my favorite color because no matter what color my hair is, black shirts, dresses, coats, etc. just look best on me.
  • Speaking of hair, I like to wear mine a bit wild. This includes the color which changes permanently at times, other times it is spray in/wash out pinks or purples, or whatever color goes with the football team I’m cheering for or just the mood of the moment.
  • I have a  nose ring.
  • I have 7 holes in my ears and sometimes enjoy filling each one.
  • I have 3 tattoos and yes there WILL be more, including a full arm sleeve.  No I will not cover it up to make you more comfortable.
  • My favorite attire is jeans.  I don’t own many or care to wear dresses. I don’t own many pairs of dress pants.  I simply prefer and will wear jeans. Yes even to church.
  • I like all genres of music.

After a brief time, I left what should be my church home because I felt judged upon my return from walking in darkness for a number of years.  In fact I was judged.  It made me mad to be honest.  No one knew the heart of the woman that walked in there that day. Oh I was welcomed by many with open arms and even tears of joy.  That going ‘home’ was one of the most difficult things for me to do.  I knew some were more than aware of some of the paths I had walked since leaving ‘home’.  The prodigal son has nothing on his sister, trust me on this.  One day I will share that testimony of coming out of the darkness again and reaching for the light, but not now.

For a few weeks things were great and I was hungry for the food of God’s Word and the fellowship with other believers. I over indulged in wanting to reach out to others when this broken angel was the one needing healing.  I was under a microscope, and some around me began to nitpick at every post I had on Facebook, my blogs on the other page, even a post about a song I totally related too was torn apart because the artist who wrote and sung the song is not a believer and if anything is the complete opposite in character of one.  They missed the point of the post because they went all Pharisee on me instead of READING it and trying to understand what I was saying.  Instead of feeling reconciled to my ‘family’ and the love and encouragement I so desperately needed, I felt like I was falling short and being judged by the outside of the vessel and not what was on the inside.

Outside, the part of me that others initially see before getting to really know me, is sometimes not what one would expect from a believer.  I’m not the one to run around with a Christian sticker on my car so that every mistake I make driving (including a less than kind gesture with my hand) draws judgment upon my faith.  I don’t outwardly wear or do much of anything that would draw attention or judgment to my beliefs.  I prefer to let  my story, my actions, and the things my right hand is doing apart from the knowledge of the left one, be my testimony, though at times those are indeed rather weak.  Too many times I’ve watched those that “walk the talk” and have a certain way about them that seems all true believer, that impresses and draws the others praises, fall off the path in the worst of ways.  Even some within the very body of believers I called home.  It should be a glaring reminder to my brothers and sisters in Christ that anyone, regardless of their strength of faith, can and will disappoint you at times when they fall from grace.  Don’t be so quick to judge the vessel by what is on the outside.

Those who would judge me by my jeans and black shirts, and the lyrics to a song by an artist far off the path, would have a field day with what I could share of my own fall.  You who would pass judgment on me need time to accept me first.  May I suggest that there is a enough debris in front of your own door to tend too that you ought not be so concerned about what is in front of mine.  Indeed there is a spec (in all honesty several) in my eye, but you have plenty to contend with as you deal with the logs within your own.  I have  plenty of my own sins and short comings to deal with, I do not have the time to be busy pointing out yours.

My point to all this? Don’t judge me because I do not fit into the mold that you think I belong.  I am not Betty Baptist or Suzy Sanctified and don’t own those masks.  No mid-calf length jumpers and barely there makeup or sensible shoes for me.  It is NOT my style or even comfortable on me.  When I arrive on that pew again this Sunday, I will be dressed how I am comfortable.  It will be modest, but it will be ME.  I am not there to impress you with my clothes, or by saying the right phrases or buzz words of the day.  When I again walk through that door I come as a sister in Christ, starving for the food of God’s Word, hungry for the fellowship of the fellow sinners saved by God’s grace and not anything of their own doing.  I am there because as believers we are not to forsake the gathering with other like MINDED in faith. I am there to learn, be fed, praise and worship the Lord.

A dear friend and sibling in Christ, shared this with me:  “It’s not that people necessarily deliberately judge or are unkind; they just think they know what you should be like….and don’t understand that you simply aren’t what they think you should be.”  I am NOT who you think I should be.  I am a broken angel, my wings are tattered and torn, dirty and wounded.  But I am who the Lord has made me, a work in progress and an ever changing (for the better when I let Him do the work) vessel.  I’ve flown through storms of my own choosing, and yet I was and am exactly where He would have me to be.  I don’t fit into your mold, but if you can look past the outside and into my heart, you’ll see a long lost sister who has come home and needs to be with her faith family again.  If you cannot hug and love me for who I am, the unique, special, marvelous creation spoken of in Psalm 139, then you sit on  your pew and I’ll sit on mine.  I’m not there for you. I’m not there for God’s mercy.  I’m there because of God’s mercy, I’m there for Him and Him alone.

The Single Girl And The Silver Lining

Face it, singles…we have a pretty sweet life. We have ROOM to be who we want to be and to see what we wanna see. It’s not that difficult to find the silver lining in our situation. ~ The Single Woman

I was reading one of my favorite bloggers, The Single Woman, today, and that jumped out at me.  As I find myself yet again single, it is at times easy to be envious of those that have a significant other to spend the holidays with, especially as it is my very favorite time of the year.  Or to dream, build a business and relationship with, a life for two.   Her blog post today was more about singles that had yet to be married and have kids, that struggle with having so many friends that are marrying, pregnant or new parents. For me, it is at the other end of the spectrum that I reside.

I’ve been married, twice now.  I don’t really count the first marriage that much as it only lasted a few years and other than my wonderful son and the fantastic step-daughter I had during those years, there really is nothing good about that one.  My second marriage ended nearly 2 years ago, the divorce final 16 months ago.  That one I have to count, it was just short of 22 years long and for the most part I think full of good memories.  I will take the ex-husband at his words that it was 90% good.  I think it is accurate, though he is correct it was 10% bad.  And that bad isn’t all my fault or my temper, we had a lot of very difficult hurdles to over come, many related to his health throughout and that impacted us financially.  I have a gorgeous daughter, inside and out, as a result of my long marriage.  So, I’ve done the marriage and dirty diapers thing, and have the best kids a mom could ask for that are all grown up and one even getting married in a few months.  No envy for that portion of life, I feel my cup over flows there.

My envy is the lack of someone to hold me when I cry, to walk the beaches with, go to the Festival Of Lights with to see all the lights at the zoo, to snuggle with and watch TV.  I had it 3  times now since the marriage ended, and each time very much loved the men I was involved with, Mr. Wonderful, The Superhero and The Count.  Sadly each ended and really there was nothing wrong on either side, it simply didn’t work.  Unfortunately the heart gets some cracks and even broken pretty badly as a result.  But that is another blog for another day this week.

Being single at 48 isn’t really that bad, in fact in looking for the silver lining, it pretty much rocks!  And as envious as I am of those in relationships and marriages, I know that The Single Woman is correct, many attached females look sideways at me with jealousy too.

The Silver Lining Of Being Single:

  • I get  to make my own decisions without having to consider how the outcome will impact others.
  • I wear the perfume I like, not what ‘he’ likes.
  • I get the whole bed to myself.
  • If I need to snuggle at night, I have a teddy bear, and he has never been unkind, spoken harshly, argued with me or hurt my feelings.
  • Chick flicks are a given.
  • I don’t have to wrap my schedule around anyone elses.
  • I can dye my hair any color I want without worrying about someone not finding me as attractive.
  • Same goes for ‘littering’ my body with ink, only one that has to approve or like my new tattoo is me.
  • I can sleep and snore like a freight train without a nudge, elbow to the back etc.
  • I don’t have to listen to anyone else snoring, Teddy doesn’t snore and neither does my cat.
  • My cat is always happy to see me, even with muck mouth in the morning.
  • I don’t need  to clear purchases with anyone, the money is all mine to do with as I see fit.
  • I can be who I want to be, not try to adapt to who I am needed to be for someone else.
  • No one says “I told you so” if I mess up something I wanted to try.
  • I don’t have to split the holidays with someone else’s family, I get to enjoy mine every holiday.
  • I can flirt, unashamed, with the cute mechanic working on my car.
  • I can accept a dinner date or drink, and share a hot passionate kiss with that cute UPS guy.

The list could go on forever.  Certainly I had a long list when married or in a relationship that made singles jealous, but now I’m single and I can see that I have a pretty green pasture over here on this side of the fence too.  And as The  Single Woman said, “Anyone can get married.  Not just anybody can be fabulous.”   Not that one needs to be single to be so, but I am pretty darn fabulous.

GRACE – A Virtue I need To Acquire More Of

Only to read about this…you have to stop over at CINFUL CINNAMON’S page!  She is doing a series on virtues with guest posters supplying their thoughts on various ones.  I guest blog over there today so click the icon below and come visit my blog bud, the spicy one herself, and read all about it!