Friday, October 3, 2014

Ghosts

A while back my husband wrote an article on Facebook about ghosts.

Not the smokey looking figurines that haunt old stomping grounds, but memories and tragedies from our past.

During the time he wrote it, we were both fighting off old memories from our previous marriages. Since then we have learned - and are still learning - what buttons trigger the bad memories. We've had to learn how to talk to each other, how to treat each other, even how to work through our differences the right way in order to avoid those old ghosts. And even still, without even knowing, a ghost will come back in the blink of an eye. The wrong word will be said, or something will go amiss and *BOO* Ghostville.

Now, I'm about to get real with you.... Not everything I say next will be all unicorns and butterflies. David and I had to go through hell. So please bear with me as I try to share what I'm going through and the lessons I'm learning....

David and I divorced for the same reason, however our situations were quite different. I won't go into everything he had to endure or the ghosts that he is having to fight off, because it's not my place to put that out on the internet. But speaking for myself, I had to deal with the cheating - and the speculation of cheating - for almost two years. Two. Long. Years.

During those two years I developed habits... habits that became part of my daily/hourly/minutely routine. It was my every thought during the day....

I checked up on him.

I checked his phone.

And I questioned his every motive.

These habits are my ghosts. I hate them. I hate them so much.

Here I am in the best relationship imaginable, and I have the nerve to check up on him. Why??? Because I don't trust him? Nope. The trust is there. It's just because it became my habit. It's ingrained in me to do this... and I have to change.

I can't act this way, and expect everything be ok. I have to be able to not worry every time he leaves my sight. I have to be able to see him texting on his phone, and know that everything is ok. Because it is. I have nothing to worry about, and I know this. I have faith in our marriage and in the Lord. David and I both had the same thing happen to us, so for him to cheat on me is imaginable.

I'm doing good in most areas of my healing, but there is one thing that is very hard for me to forget. I made my mind up a long time ago that texting and messaging on phones is the work of the devil. Even though I do it, that it's probably 90% of my communication these days. I still hate it. There is nothing more secretive than a text. And to me, there is nothing more ghost-provoking than seeing David texting someone. Even if I know who he's talking to, my subconscious will plant a seed in my head that will eat away at me.

Maybe it's not who I think it is.

Maybe he's using that person to talk to someone else.

Maybe he's not who I think he is at all!

This isn't David's problem, it's mine. I have to learn how to deal with this. I'm praying, and talking to David as much as I can. This is one of the many reasons I knew I had to marry someone who's 'been there'. Any average Joe off the street, or in the church, who has never been in our shoes would not understand the ghosts that haunt us.

I know my writing about things like this, and putting my life out out there is a little odd for some to understand. But I know of a few readers that are currently going through similar situations. There are people out there in different stages of their healing process that could be wondering what marriage is like after losing someone to an affair. I'm here to let them know that life goes on, and it can be wonderful! We just have to keep our ghosts in check, and pray without ceasing. Anything I go through that can help someone else, to me, is worth putting out there for them to read.

LLM

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's just a number...

18

That's the number of years between me and my husband.

So what's the big deal?

If it were the number of sands in an hour glass, it wouldn't be very many at all.... on the other hand if it were the number of cars owned by one person, that would be a lot.

But really.... it's just a number.

There are times that he acts like he's in his thirties, and I act like I'm in my fifties. Then other times we both act like we are in our twenties.... Frankly, I was depressed after the divorce when I realized the men my age were still very immature. I even went out with a man 10 years older than me, and he was still just a big child. I was done. I decided if that was the way men were these days, then I wanted no part of it.

What happened to chivalry? What happened to romance and sweetness??

I have enough beefs about the way girls are being raised in this day and age... but the boys aren't being raised much better. I can say that, I have boys, and I hope I can teach them better than the other boys their generation are being taught.

David is the perfect old fashioned gentleman all wrapped up to look like a modern day man. He calls me names like 'darling', 'sweets' and 'doll'. He takes care of me, treats me like a lady - like a queen, actually - and proves he's my hero everyday.

You're only as old as you act, he always says.

We know when we go out in public there are those that think the worst of us. The world comes up with terrible terms like 'cradle-robber' or 'sugar daddy'. But the world doesn't know what we know. The world doesn't see how perfect we are for each other.

But thankfully, the Lord knew, and not only brought us together, but gave us the ability to not care what anyone thinks.

And we are thankful - SO thankful everyday!

Yep, 18 is just a number... just like 37, and 55.

When we're together, we don't think about the numbers. Age means nothing. When we're together, we are the same in every way.

Others may not get it, but we do.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The most important work...

...you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home - Harold B. Lee

My day to day life is very different than it used to be. For the past thirteen years I have worked full time as a graphic designer. The only time I didn't work was the six weeks that followed each of my boys' births. During those six weeks I was quite prone to cabin fever. I really thought I was one of those women that needed to work outside the home in order to stay sane.

I've had many friends and relatives that were stay at home moms. I've admired them all very much because I knew I couldn't do it. If six weeks at home with a little baby almost broke me... how could I do this full time? My mother is a workaholic, my grandmother was as well. It's in my genes. It's already been determined that being at home wasn't a good fit for me.

Or so I thought...

It's been almost five months since I clocked in at a real job. I'm working harder than I ever have before. I'm on my feet most of the day, and working longer hours than any regular job would allow. And I have to say... I'm really loving it.

I'm the only female in a house of seven people. It gets interesting to say the least. My female logic doesn't always understand the male thinking that goes on here. But I've learned to move past the point of frustration, and use each opportunity as a way to learn more about them. The more I learn about them, the easier it is for me to get through to them when I need something done. They say you need to learn to speak the 'love language' of your spouse. I agree, I love that thought, and I work on it daily... but I'm also trying to learn the languages of three different young men that live here as well. I have to talk to each of them differently when I need their help.

Between David, the three older boys and my two younger boys I am constantly switching gears. On top of my normal day to day things that I do around the house, I'm also juggling scraped knees, girl troubles (or 'goil' troubles as David says) and time with my husband. There is always something going on in this house. I think I've only been home by myself once in the past three months, and that was only for an hour. These guys I have here in this house need me, and it's really nice to be needed. I'm also very proud of my little boys for sharing me with the rest of the family.

This is definitely a hard but important job, and I do worry about growing weary in my day to day grind. But when I start to worry, I just pray to keep going everyday. I pray to enjoy the work I do here. I pray to thank God for being able to stay home with them. And I pray to make a difference in the lives of all these big and little men I'm helping to raise.

God, please be with each of them, and lead them in the right direction. Amen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Real marital advice

Ok, so I was reading this article on the internet that listed marital tips for younger wives. It was from a fairly popular religious group for women that can be found on all the major social networking sites. I thought that since it was posted by a religious group that it might actually contain biblical advice.....

...nope.

It listed things like: Hold hands often, never leave without a kiss, forgive freely, and be patient with him. This is great advice and all, but I'm thinking they missed the mark here. I will give it to them, one said to pray for your husband. That's excellent advice! However, no where in the article did it mention being submissive to your husband. It's like that is frowned upon. I don't get it!

Girls these days are being taught that they are equal with men, and I don't agree with that at all. That is not the way God set up the marriage relationship. I'm not saying we are less of a person than our husband, or even that we are the weaker sex. We each have our role in the marriage, and each role is very important. There's got to be one chief and one indian... two chiefs is bad news, and it causes conflict. (If I'm being too politically incorrect then pretend I said 'chef' and 'sous chef'... same difference.)

It took me a long time to see things clearly when it comes to marriage. My first marriage was brainwashing to an extent, it was scary! But the Lord has helped me over the past few years, through prayer and reading my bible, and now it's obvious to me how marriages should work.

There are very few things that need to happen in order for a marriage to be successful. So I'm going to make my own list:


1. The husband needs to be submissive to his Bride.... you mean his wife?.... nope, his Bride, the Lord.

2. The wife needs to be submissive to her husband.

3. The husband needs to love his wife, and show her that he does. Everyday.

4. The wife needs to respect her husband, and show him. Everyday.


That pretty much covers it. If these things occur, everything else will fall into place. Any small nit-picky problem can be traced back to one of these four things. I truly believe that. If one of these components is missing, I fear for the future of that marriage.

I pray everyday for my husband and for our marriage, and to thank God for blessing us. He's not perfect and neither am I. But even in our little day to day screw ups we try to deal with them in the right way. Problems can be solved if love and respect are used. In our speech, our mannerisms, everything. It doesn't always work out perfectly.... but that's where forgiveness comes in.

Maybe that should be #5 on the list... We are still humans that are prone to sin, so forgiveness should definitely be on the list as well.

I know it needs to be there for me.

I mess up too much.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The 'Year Ago' game

Does your mind ever play the 'Year Ago' game?

You know, where you automatically think about where you were this time the year before?

Different things can trigger this game. Dates, weekends, church meetings, seasons, holidays, Anything that happens annually... which technically is every day of the year I guess.

My mind plays this game constantly. For the longest time, my mind would rewind back to what I was doing the year before, and I would feel sad, uneasy or even mad. For three or four years the memories from the year before were bad memories. I really hated when my mind would make me play this game. I didn't want to think about where I was the year before.

I wanted to forget.

I prayed to forget.

I wanted that time in my life to be stricken from the record, and from my memories.

Thankfully I'm getting to a time in my life that I don't mind it so much. This fall I look forward to the 'Year Ago' game. That was the time things started to change forever. Change for the better, that is. That was the time David started to really play a part in my life. I enjoy thinking back to how we first started talking. The conversations we would have, the funny things he would say to make me laugh. The butterflies... oh the millions of butterflies I'd get in my stomach every time my phone *dinged*. I loved it.

So, bring it on 'Year Ago' game. I'm ready for you!

I'm ready to reminisce.

I'm ready to take that walk down memory lane.

I'm ready to have all those wonderful memories come flooding back...

...And the best part is, I have someone I can reminisce with now.

Such wonderful, precious times spent reliving memories with the one I love.

LLM

Friday, September 5, 2014

Guilty? Who me?

Ok, so I've been thinking about this feeling I have... you know, the one where I feel like I've forgetting something... And it's strange because this feeling has turned to guilt.

I don't understand it.

It's a constant nagging feeling.

I feel guilty for not spending enough time with the boys, even though I'm home with them everyday. I feel guilty because I took them away from their dad. I feel guilty for leaving so many friends back in Arkansas. I feel guilty for moving further away from my family. I feel guilty because I'm enjoying being a stay at home mom, and I feel guilty because I still have a house back in Arkansas that I'm renting... not sure where the guilt is in that, but it's there nonetheless.

Why do I feel so guilty all the time??

I just don't get it.

I know that I am where the Lord wants me to be. Everything is right. Everything is how it should be. I've learned my role, and my place in this family and in this world. I know this is my calling. So what's up with the guilt?

Usually when I write about something that puzzles me I can come up with the answer while I'm writing... but this time I'm still confused.

I'm going to pray about it.

I love where I am, and the family we've made, and I'd just really like to be able to enjoy it without all the weird guilt.

LLM

Friday, August 8, 2014

What's your ministry?

This life is tough. We will all go through a great tragedy at one point or another... Only one would be nice, but more than likely it will be multiple tragedies, heartaches and tribulation. It's guaranteed, it says so in the bible.

When the troubles come your way, you can either sit around and moan and groan about poor, pitiful me, making the people around you just as miserable. Or you can use what you've gone through to help others in the same situation.

My husband and I have both been through the same heartache in our previous marriages. Our spouses strayed, and left. That's not pointing fingers at them, or saying we did everything right and they did everything wrong. But, in the end, we sought after the Lord, and they sought the world. The devil got a hold of them, and our marriages were destroyed... Our families ripped apart.

When I was going through my divorce, there was a wonderful young lady in my church that had been in my shoes just a few years before. She took me in and helped me through the whole process. She listened to me cry, and encouraged me with prayer and advice, and I will always be thankful for her. The Lord blossomed our friendship at the exact moment I needed it.

This is her ministry.

When something like this happens in your life you have two options. Seek comfort in the world, or seek comfort in God. David and I chose God. The Lord brought us through our grief and made everything better on the other side, and now we both feel very compelled to help others who are going through the same problems. This is not something we do out in the open. People have sought us out, and we talk to them privately. We share our experiences, tell them what worked for us during our grief, and what didn't. We encourage them in the Lord, comfort them in their grief and pray for them.

This is our ministry.

What's yours?

If you've seen how bad the world can really be, and have felt grief or loss in one way or another. Use what you've been through to help others when the moment presents itself.

Encourage them in the Lord. It's your ministry.