Monday, April 29, 2013
I think my hardest thing to cope with these days is my self worth. I just don't feel I have that much to offer someone else. I was in a situation where my thoughts, beliefs, and opinions were neither listened to nor cared about, and I'm just now starting to realize how much it is effecting me. To be honest, I'm not sure what I would do if I were with someone who was actually interested in my views and opinions. I've gotten rather good at switching around conversations so that they are about the other person instead of about me. I was with someone who only cared about things he was interested in, and if the conversation ever turned to me his eyes would glaze over and he would end the conversation. This was normal for me for years. I learned to accept it and move on. But when you are with someone for that long under those circumstances, it's very easy to believe that your own opinions and views aren't worth anything, and that hurts.
Unfortunately, I feel it is going to hinder me in my future. I'm afraid I will end up settling for the same kind of person, because it is what I know, and I know how to deal with it. But then I will live out the rest of my days with all these thoughts in my head, and the person I love doesn't care about any of them. That makes me sad. That makes me seriously want to just throw in the towel and be alone forever.
But how do I change? If I feel I have nothing to offer someone, then I will never find myself in the right kind of relationship. My self esteem is very skewed these days... I worry that if I gain a few pounds, or get some grey hairs or wrinkles that I won't be able to attract anyone. My subconscious is telling me that those things won't matter when the right person comes along.... but what if the right person comes and I'm having a bad hair day. Then what? ...surely I won't win them over with my sparkling personality... If there's no attraction, then why would they care what was in my head?
I know I'm being silly, but there is some truth behind my silliness... When you are with someone that makes you feel this low, it's hard to break out of that mold you've been stuck in. It's very hard to believe that you have more to offer someone than just what you look like on the outside.
I usually have enough logic to calm down my over-active imagination when it comes to stuff like that, but that still doesn't keep my insecurites and 'crazies' from surfacing every now and then.
When it comes down to it, I pray for, and believe, that God will lead me to the right person in the right time.
And when He does, I pray that I will be able to express my thoughts and opinions without feeling unworthy of expressing it.
But most of all, I pray that I will one day know what it means to truely be loved, and to feel like I deserve that love... but for now, that's still a tough one for me to grasp.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The beginning of the week is always a great time for me. I've just come off of my weekend, and I have the Lord fresh in my mind making everything better. It makes the world seem less daunting. But by Wednesday or Thursday the world starts to get to me. It starts to get under my skin and irritate me. I wish I didn't let it do that. I start out listening to my church singing, or at least something positive or instrumental... but by the end of the week I'm back to listening to the radio or my ipod, and the music on there doesn't have good messages at all. By Thursday or Friday everything seems to slide backward. My faith waivers, my hope fades, and I start to lose sight of the big picture.
I know it is a wondrful blessing for me to be able to have a career to support my boys, but I do believe that women are more suited for the home than at work. God designed us that way. I never thought I would ever say that, but it makes sense. I completely agree that we are the weaker sex... not in our physical strength, or even our intellectual strength. But emotionally. If I were able to stay at home with my boys, and only see about the affairs of my house, then my emotional and spiritual state would stay a lot stronger during the week.
I have a wonderful work place for the most part. My co-workers are my friends, and it's a job that I enjoy. But it's still out in the world. There is still 'water cooler' type talking, there is snipping and back-biting and other harmful talk. And I'm just as guilty as the next person. I also have to deal with customers and contractors that don't always have the best attitude. Not every situation is enough to bring me down, but when they add up all week it wears on me. Men are able to brush off a lot that is thrown at them during the day, but it's harder for women. We are still porcelain cups that break easily.... over and over.
I'm thankful there is a church meeting this weekend. My spirit will be renewed, and by Monday I will, Lord willing, be back up where I need to be.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
In my teens and twenties I was so carefree. I probably behaved a little more like a college heathen than I'd like to admit, but for the most part I was a good kid. I dated whoever I wanted, and managed to keep my wits about me. I always had a clear head on my shoulders with a plan for my life... and it went according to plan for the most part, till rescently.
When I was married, temptation was not a problem at all. I had no desire to even look at another man. Now that I'm back out in the dating world, it's not as easy as it was the first time. It's not as innocent as it used to be. Unfortunately, I am now seen a well-seasoned, been there/done that adult, by worldly standards. It's very sad and degrading.
Every night I pray for patience for my future. When it comes to me and patience, we are not good friends. I trust that the Lord will show me clear signs to lead me in the right direction when the time is right. Unfortunately, in the mean time, I'm afraid the Devil has other plans. It seems that just when I get nice and settled into my 'patient mode' something (or someone) comes along to steer me off my course. I'm willing to bet the Devil knows me rather well. He knows my weaknesses. He can see that I'm ready to move on. He probably knows the nights I'm lonley. He understands that I have gone a very, very long time without hearing a compliment, and he is playing on these weaknesses of mine.
He used to be pretty easy to spot, and to ward off. But I think He's getting better at his job. I am finding it harder and harder to ward off these temptations.
This is going to be a silly analogy, but it really helps me wrap my mind around the situation:
It's like I am stuck in a bakery, and I'm hungry. I feel like the Lord is back in the kitchen finding me the perfect gluten free, slightly sweet, whole wheat bagel that will be good for me, and he will bring it to me when the time is right. But in the mean time I'm stuck out here in the front with all these donuts. They are very tempting donuts too. Deep down I know these donuts are all just sugar coated, and cream filled, and will only do bad things to me.... But that's not keeping me from being tempted by them. So, how do I live in the bakery and stay away from the donuts while I'm waiting for my bagel??
Please, Lord, help me be able to resist them, and to just be patient.
Monday, April 22, 2013
I was blessed to be born into the most wonderful family. I was blessed to have an upbringing that prepared me for what my life has become. My Mother always told my sister and I growing up that, no matter what, we need to be prepared for the worst. We needed to get our education and establish a career that would support us in case the unthinkable happened. Which I'm sure at the time she was thinking of the death of a spouse, but the unthinkable is anything that leaves us supporting ourlesves. I would love to be able to stay at home with my kids, and maybe that will still be possible one day. But for now I am blessed to be able to provide for them.
I am blessed to have two children that are the lights of my life. I focus my thoughts on the fact that if I had never married who I did, I would not have gotten the boys that I have. They are a part of me and a part of him, and with that combination they are who they are, and that is something I would never want to change. I am blessed that I get to have them most of the time and raise them and discipline them the way they need. They are much better kids after this past year. I'm not a perfect Mom, by any means, but kids need discipline and structure. They will always do better in that environment.
But most of all I'm blessed by what happened. I made my vows to him almost 12 years ago, and I would've lived by my vows till my dying day. But unfortunately, I had made my vows to someone that turned into someone else. I really dislike the saying "people change", it's overused and sounds like an excuse. But honestly, that is what happened. He started to let the devil in and over time he changed in ever aspect of his life. He's not a good person anymore. He's not who I met and fell in love with so many years ago. The way things were before out house burned were not good. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I knew how I should be living my life, but I wasn't able to and still be a supportive wife.
I know there are people out in the world that are in the same situation I was in... and much, much worse I'm afraid. I feel like God removed me from my bad situation in order to make a better life for me and my boys. I didn't deserve it. But I got it. I got a second chance.
How did I get so lucky?
I didn't, I was blessed.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
I like that this is somewhere people can come on their own free will to see what I'm saying. It's not like Facebook where I'm shouting things out to all my friends. This is more personal to me. Places like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are places I can put impersonal things. Funny things. This place right here is where I work though the jumbled mess in my head.
Granted, most of the things I've writen on here have been deleted. I would write them out, organized my head a little more, publish them for a bit untill I realized they probably don't need to be read by others, and then I would delete them. Which is for the best in most cases. But even if they were deleted, everything I've written has helped me in some way or another. Even if it was just a thought that I needed to get out of my head. Sometimes it's like the words get trapped inside my head till I get them out somehow, and then once I get them out I'm better. That fleeting moment of bitterness or sorrow is gone, and I can move past it. When I think back on the things I wrote about around the beginning of February, I wonder how I even felt that way. My emotional and mental state is constantly changing and evolving into a fully healed person, and I'm so thankful for that.
I think the biggest difference I can see in myself over the past couple of months is my ability to forgive. Being able to get out all of my frustrations and anger has helped me truely forgive him for what he did to me, and I wish him nothing but the best. Mostly because he is still a major role model for our boys. I pray each night for him to become a better role model for them, and to live his life better because their little eyes are watching him. I hope he gets married and is happy and makes something better for himself.
My whole attitude has changed when it comes to what I write on here. No matter what happens to me, my thoughts and actions and words are a constant reflection of my character. Just because I'm feeling negative one day, that doesn't mean I need to get on here and vent about what happened. I pray to be sober minded, even in the face of adversity. Even when I have to deal with unpleasantries that are sadly now part of my regular routine. But mostly I pray that when I do have to deal with those unpleasantries, that I can do it with grace and dignity, and keep my thoughts on here just about the jumbled mess in my head and not about the unpleasant things I still have to deal with. And maybe it will be something that when my boys get older they can look back on and really understand what is so confusing to them right now.
Unless I delete all of it, which is entirely possible.
Just kidding.... sort of.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I was raised better than that. I knew I had been, and I knew I wasn't doing right by me or my boys. Just because I had an unbelieving husband didn't mean I should let him dictate the direction our family was headed. But I did. I felt I should be submissive to him.
After the house burned I felt a desire to be in church more. The Lord had spared me and my boys from the fire. I should sing His praises and thank Him for protecting us. I started to feel the conviction to be in church more often. I began by taking the boys to church every Sunday. After a month or so I added in the Saturday night service at my church once a month. The conviction I felt to go to church wasn't something that hit me all of the sudden. It was a slow process. I added on a service here and there gradually.
When my marriage started falling apart I had no where to turn but to the Lord. I knew there was nothing I could do to help the situation, so I took my cares and problems to the Lord and knew that whatever happened would be His will.
The world became cruel. My home became a place of turmoil instead of peace. Church was my safe place. Nothing could hurt me there. That was when the major change occured. Everytime the doors of one of my churches in this area were open I was there with my boys. Everytime I left one service I was thinking about the next time I could go. I would think to myself: "Ok, I just have to make it through three more days and there'll be a service Wednesday night.... I can do this." There was - and is still - no where else I would rather be.
I had people telling me that I was going to burn myself out on church. Hearing that made me chuckle a little. It's just not possible. It's now over a year later, and I still have the same convictions I did then. I can't even count the number of church services I went to last year. What should've been the worst year of my life, kind of turned out to be the best.
And life just keeps on getting better.
After going through my situation I have a lot of people tell me their problems and ask my advice. I'm very humbled by this. I know they see how I've made it through and wonder how I've done it... and how they can do it to. But most of the time when I tell them I made it through with prayer and church it doesn't seem like that's what they want to hear. I'm not sure what they were expecting. I guess they were hoping for some 'magic diet pill' type answer. There is no magic pill for heartache and pain. Just the Lord.
Monday, April 15, 2013
I found myself walking through my house marveling at the beauty of everything in a whole new way. This is my house. I bought this house on my own with no help. These are my walls that need painted. These are my carpets that totally need replaced. I have heat and air, running water, shelter from the storms, and everything I need to take care of my boys. I may not have all the luxuries of life, but what I do have is mine. With the Lord's help, I have what I need and it's a beautiful thing.
The past ten years of my life have been based on 'keeping up with the Jones's'... I don't even know who the Jones's are, but they can keep their 'stuff'. I never thought I'd be happy with less 'stuff'. But I am. Now, don't get me wrong, I know Im not doing too bad. I am still able to have some of the luxuries in life that a lot of people don't. I don't have to go without things like cable, internet, my smart phone, or my newish car. And I am thankful for that. I know I could do without those things if I had to, but I'm thankful that I am able to have these conveniences especially to help me in caring for the boys. The thought of an unreliable car scares me with the precious cargo I tote around. And these days you almost have to have internet to help your kids with their homework. I'm thankful I don't have to go without these things.
The past couple of days I started working on my garden. The house I bought has a fenced off area in the backyard that has two raised beds in it. They are very over-grown with grass and weeds. My neighbor said the previous owners never did anything with it. So I am. All I have is a shovel and a hoe, and I'm going to town. I've already gotten a good start on it, and am about to go get me some tomato plants to go in it. I think this has added to my happiness the past couple of days. Working with my hands and accomplishing something is so great. My boys are into it and helping me and learning so much. I can't wait to show them the fruits of our labor. It will be so gratifying!
My whole thinking process has changed. I hope forever. I honestly have nothing to complain about... and the little things that happen here and there are measly little problems in the grand scheme of things. Yes, the world is an awful place to be in sometimes. But if you live your life right, stop trying to keep up with the Jones's, and appriciate what you have and the work it took to get it, the world becomes so much better.
I'm so thankful for where I am today, right now, this very second. Are you?
Sunday, April 14, 2013
This weekend was very eye-opening for me. I had a great conversation with someone who is in my exact situation. He is a minister, which was the best part, because I was made to realize that even ministers aren't immune to the tribulations of the world. It finally sunk in that I didn't do anything to cause what happened. I don't know why it took me so long to come to terms with that. I kept trying to rationalize an irrational situation. We talked for a long time sharing our stories and how we are doing now, and I learned from talking to him is that it's ok for me to be happy about what happened.
Yes, I just said that...
Don't get me wrong, I had to endure a lot of pain and anguish, and I'm still working through problems and lasting effects of it. Especially lasting effects on my boys. But to see how much happier my home is now and how loving my boys and I are is so amazing. There is no more yelling in my house. There is no more mis-trust and speculation. I'm closer to the Lord. I'm a better church member than I used to be. I have so much joy in my life. But for me to actually say I'm happier because of what happened is just strange to me. But I am. I really, really am. I'm actually thankful for what happened, because if it hadn't I'd still be on the wrong path with someone who was a bad influence on me and my boys.
It hasn't been all sunshine and roses. I had to go through a lot of pain to get to this point. But I'm here, and I'm happy.
I will never claim to know why my life has turned out the way it has, but I will forever be thankful for it.
It is truely WELL with my soul.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Have I gone through something that is going to define me, or is there more to me than this? I like to think there there is more to me, but sometimes I wonder what it is...
I have many titles in my life, my favorite is Mom. I'm also a daughter, sister, aunt, and other various relative terms. In my job I have two titles, Graphic Designer, and Sales Manager. I'm an American. I'm a Republican. Most importantly, I'm a Primitive Baptist. All these titles have been mine for a long time. The only title I've lost is Wife. So why would I let the loss of one of my titles define who I am?
All I can think of is that the roll I had as a wife was one that I took pride in. It consumed most of my identity. I put time and effort and care into that roll, and without it I guess I was kind of lost. I had to find my niche in the world again.
These days I'm trying to figure out how I'm supposed to conduct myself with this new identity. I have two opposing ideas in my head, and sometimes I don't know which one to listen to. I have part of my head that tells me what I have been through is something I need to not speak about, and live my life as quiet as possible. I don't want to attract more attention to myself than I already have. But then the other side of my head is telling me that if I keep everything bottled up inside me I'm going to eventually explode. I don't know which is right. Is it ok to talk about what I've been through, or do I keep it inside of me and hope I don't internally combust? Like when a conversation turns to a certain subject, do I continue to join in even though I might say something about my past, or do I slink back into the corner and not say anything? What am I supposed to do? I want to conduct myself in a respectable manner, but most of the time I don't have a clue as to how that would be.
I have wonderful friends and family that have listened to me and have been there for me every step of the way, and I know that whatever I do or say, they will support me and reassure me that it is all part of the process. But sometimes I just want someone to tell me I've gone too far. I'm a very open person, sometimes too open. I don't seem to know where the imaginary line is that I shouldn't cross, and I want someone out there to show me where it is. I feel like I'm navigating uncharted waters. I want to learn from the women in my church, but I sometimes feel like I'm not even in the same ocean as they are so I don't know how to learn about where I am. So I end up just staying lost most of the time.
I guess all I can do is pray that the Lord will guide me in my new identity and teach me how I should conduct myself. Whether it is chastisement by the Lord, or my peers, or myself, I hope I will figure out how to navigate through these waters and find my way.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I'll never be part of a marriage that lasts to certain milestones. I see all these wonderful pictures of couples that celebrate 60 and 70 years of marriage, and I know that's no longer an option for me. Even if I re-married this year I'd have to live to be 86 just to see a 50th wedding anniversary. It seems trivial for me to think about that, but it's a loss. Everytime I realize a dream that won't come true I have to mourn the loss of that dream. It's all a healing process. It's sometimes hard to dream of only a 20 or 30 year marriage, but if that's the hand I'm dealt, then it will be a wonderful hand, and it's now one of my 'new' dreams.
I've also had to put away all of the visions I ever had for everything from graduation ceremonies to weddings and grandbabies. The vision will never be what I once thought it would be, but that's ok. I have to keep in mind is that just because it's not going to be exactly how I pictured it, it will still be wonderful in it's own different way.
I have to always remember that just because someone else has a long marriage, or perfect life (which I know doesn't exsist) that doesn't mean my life won't one day be just as wonderful as theirs... and that doesn't mean I'm not happy with where I am right now. I love my life right now. Everything is going in the right direction. But little girl dreams of 'happily ever after' don't just go away because you get older. I may have hit a speed bump, but that doesn't mean it won't be better ahead.
Everytime I let go of an old dream, I'm able to make room for a new ones.
And that makes me happy.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
So, I've been wanting to tackle the subject of dating lately. I'm not sure why, it's just been on my mind.
I'm at a very good place right now. I'm over the past and looking forward to whatever my future may hold. In the past I had psychotic episodes where I would really start to worry about being alone forever, I even went so far as to be set up on a blind date. I think that was just all part of the healing process. I'm at a place now that I'm happy and content. I've settled into my new life, and it's going smoothly.
So now my mind has started to drift, once again, to my future. I would like to share my life with someone. I would also like a good male figure in my boys' lives. The problem is, I'm at a weird age for dating. I'm too old for those looking for a first wife, but not quite old enough for most in other various situations. I'm stuck here in the middle. I'm not actually looking for someone... but I will consider possibilities if they are presented. I'm wanting to have faith that the Lord will lead me in the right direction.
If I had to make a wish list of qualities I would like in someone, there would only be one thing on the whole list. I would want him to be Primitive Baptist. That's it. If I could have that one thing in a man, the rest is all workable.
Unfortuantely, the options in that area are slim in my age group. So, in the mean time I'm keeping an open mind. I have that teeny tiny voice in the back of my head that keeps saying things like "there are other good men out there.... there are men that would be willing to change to my religion.....dad wasn't a Primitive Baptist when mom married him..." etc. So, I'm not ruling out the option of a non-PB just yet. However, I may have to...
As of lately, the only interest I've recieved has been by a customer of mine who turned out to have a drinking problem, and my son's coach who turned out to be married. Don't worry, I've steered clear of them both, but I'm not faring so well here..... This is why I'm just about to rule out all but the Primitive Baptists. I start out thinking someone is nice, and then it goes horribly, horribly wrong.
Is this really how the world is?
Well, if it is, then I'm better off alone anyway. I trust that if God sees fit for me to have another companion, then he will lead me in the right direction... at the right time.
There are rare times when I find myself in a jam and have to ask for help, and I'm ok with that. It's the times that I know I can handle something, and I get help with it anyway that bother me.
Like today. I have a very large yard. I also have a very small mower... but it was in my budget so it makes me proud. I have my own little mower and my very own large yard to keep mowed. I like this. It makes me happy. However, due to the ever changing weather, and a baseball schedule to work around I hadn't gotten to the mowing yet. but I was going to... this week. I'd made plans to.
But I got home today and my very sweet and generous eldery neighbor had mowed it for me.
My first reaction was to burst into tears because I'm a failure.
Why can't I just be grateful for the help?
I have a very stubborn, independent nature. I've gotten pretty good at taking care of just about anything I need around here. Now I feel like I'm indebted to them. I don't like that feeling. The silly thing is that I would help my neighbors with anything they need without expecting a single thing in return. Yet I cringe at the thought of them helping me.
It just makes me feel like a charity case, and that bothers me.
I just wish I could see these acts as ones of kindness rather than charity, and just be thankful for them.
I think I'll go make them some cookies.
When you are around someone for a certain amount of time there are things that rub off on you. It can be words or phrases, mannerisms, or even just their attitude.
I'm starting to realize that I owe a good portions of my attitude to who I was married to for ten years. When I start to wonder why I have gone through so many troubles instead of thanking God for helping me through them, I feel that I'm having those thoughts because he was rubbing off on me. Not to gripe or complain, but I was married to someone that was very selfish, in more than just the obvious ways.
It really scared me when I realized how selfish my thought process had gotten. It's like a trap you don't even know you're falling into until you're already in it. I'm working on my attitude, but I can still tell when the selfishness starts to creep back in.
I only wish it didn't effect me now, but it does unfortunately. If effects my boys. It breaks my heart to see the disspointment on my son's face when he doesn't feel the love and encouragement from his Dad. All he wants is for his Dad for come to his baseball practices and encourage him and practice with him like the other Dads, but all his Dad does is act like it's a burden for him to be there. I'm thankful my son lets me do these things with him. I'm thankful I can see past my life to show him how much I love him, and encourage him in whatever he does.
I guess the thing that scares me the most is the thought of one, or both, of my boys taking on his attitude as they get older. I'm afraid it's inevitable to an extent from just being around him, I just hope I can influence them some in the other direction as well. I pray that they will see the difference.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
I'm learning there are so many other 'grey areas' of right and wrong that I'd never even thought about. I'm learning something new everyday. I learn what the good things are as well as the bad, and a lot of times I don't learn something is bad until I've already done it, or am caught in the middle of it. But I'm learning. So, if you see me do, or hear me say something amiss... don't worry. The Lord is working on me, and eventually I'll get it right.... or at least better, I hope.