Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Peace in south Texas

I can't remember the last time I went more than a few weeks without posting.  It seems like I could never go more than a week or so without some topic working itself out in my head. 

But here I am, more than a month later, and I have no thoughts.  No issues plaguing my mind.  Nothing.  Nada.  

Recently someone asked my sister how I was doing.  Her response, while truthful, made me think.  She said " I don't know, I never hear from her now that she's happy."  

Wow. 

While on one hand it made me realize I need to call my sister more. 

On another hand... she's right. 

For the first time I can remember I have no problems, no issues, no unsettling feelings.   

I have peace and joy and pure happiness.  

No, life is not perfect.  We still have car troubles, a tight budget and even unruly young men who can't pick up their dirty socks in the living room.  But those things are just life.  

I have a happy home that is full of love and laughter.  I'm married to my best friend, and our boys all get along and are thriving. 

I have only the Lord to thank for where I am right now, and only He knows what things will look like in the future. So for now, I will enjoy this time of happiness and peace

I wish you all a merry Christmas!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Home.

The longer I live here in my new life, the more it starts to feel like a life I used to have a long time ago. David and I have been married four months now. At first it was all new and changes were around every corner. Nothing was familiar, and I was constantly at unrest.

But it seems with every month that passes, the more settled I get. I know the roads, I know the grocery store, I know how to be myself in a house of 6. I can sit on the couch and relax without feeling weird or uncomfortable... that's a big step for me.

Sitting in church yesterday I started having flashbacks of a different time in my life. A life that was wonderful. Having supper together around the dinner table, praying together before meals, going to church as a family. It was a wonderful childhood that I have no complaints with. Everything was simple. Everything was easy. No complications, no drama. It was my own version of 'Pleasantville' where nothing ever went wrong.

Then I grew up.

It's very weird now. I look back on my twenties and early thirties and I wonder who I was. I was so lost, even though I thought I knew where I was the whole time. I was out in the world denying the way I was raised. My home wasn't being ran the way I was taught. I wasn't conducting myself the way I knew I should be... I ignored the things in the deep, dark corners of my mind that meant the most in this life.

These days, I'm starting to see glimmers from my past in my present life. David and I have a family together. We eat together, pray before meals, attend church together, among other countless things. We try to teach our boys why this life is better than any other life. Unlike how David and I grew up, our boys have witnessed first hand what the other side of the fence looks like. They have seen the effects of selfishness, painful words and heartache. They don't have the rose-colored glasses we had at their age.

I pray they won't forget how they were raised when it comes time to start their own lives.

I pray they stay close to the church in everything they do.

It's the only way to live in this world.

It's home.

I'm home.

My life has somehow come full circle. I've come back to my roots. The Lord watched over me while I denied Him, and despite my stupidity, He showed me the way back home.

Thankful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.


I'm home.


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.





Thursday, August 7, 2014

My happy place

We've now been married almost seven weeks, and quite honestly... it's been the happiest seven weeks of my life.

David and I have fallen into a groove that just flows. We work together so well, there is no problem too big. Neither of us gets bent out of shape very easily, we just go with the flow... knocking out the problems that come. Praying about each issue that rises, and thanking the Lord after the problem is resolved. We don't get irritated about each other's short comings, but instead, forgive and overlook them because we both know what true marital problems are. Dirty socks on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink aren't problems. Spouses who let things like that irritate them are causing unnecessary strife in their marriage. I don't get that, and it saddens me to hear them gripe. But that is a soap box for another day...

...today I'm thinking about how much the Lord has blessed us. This kind of major change in a family should not be going this smoothly. Seriously. For things to be this easy is all the Lord. David and I are not capable of making things go this well. We are still both sinners that make mistakes and say the wrong things, but the Lord is blessing us and I'm thankful for it.

Our favorite part of each day is when he gets home from work. That moment he steps in the door at five o'clock is when the best part of our day begins. He's usually had a long day, so we just relax and take it easy. A little supper, a little TV or maybe a walk around the neighborhood. We usually end up staring into each others eyes debating over who loves who more. We hold each other and reflect on our days, and plan what is to come in the future - both near and far off. And finally before we drift off to sleep, we pray to thank the Lord for this wonderful gift we have been given to be together, and for the family we have been blessed to create.

So, here I am at the beginning of another day... My work is ahead of me, and I have a lot that needs to get done before five o'clock. So I guess I'd better get busy. He'll be home later today, and I'm already anticipating it. I'm ready to be back in my happy place, which is in his arms.




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wait!! Something's missing!!!

One month ago my life completely changed.

I got married.
I moved states.
I became a stay at home mom.
I gained lots of step-sons!
I'm living it a totally different house, trying to find everything, and trying to find my place in it.

Everything is going smoothly, but every once in a while I get this weird feeling.... like I've forgotten something. I check my to-do list, I check my purse, I count my kids... I even check to make sure I have all the ingredients I need to make supper. It's all there.

What am I forgetting??

From what I can gather, I'm still transitioning. I have many tasks and responsibilities here in my new life, but I also had those things in my old life too. Just different ones. A lot of my jobs are the same here, but maybe my mind is worried about not doing my old chores, or maybe I'm just missing all my Arkansas friends. I'm not sure. Maybe I feel like I'm forgetting to go to work. It's very bizarre.

For the next two and a half weeks my boys are at their dad's house in Arkansas. I miss them terribly. yesterday was my first full day back home without them, and I was so lost. I've been without them before the wedding. All the time. But this is my first time in this house without them, and I just couldn't function. I went to the gym and I wasn't able to relax because I felt like I should have them with me or that I needed to go pick them up from wherever they were.

I'm afraid my feeling of missing something is going to be pretty bad till I get them back.

The truth is, I'm homesick.

I don't think I've ever experienced true homesickness till now. Not that I want to move back, but I just miss my people. I miss knowing where everything is. I miss the familiarity of my life back in Arkansas. Everything is different here...

...except two things. The love of my husband and the church. I'm so thankful that no matter where I am, if there is a church, then it's home. It might be a different building with different people. But it's still home.

I thank the Lord everyday for this life I've been given. Soon I won't be so homesick, and I'll stop feeling like something's missing. I pray for that day.

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's complicated

There was no way for David and I to prepare ourselves for how complicated it would be to combine our families. We thought about my boys, we thought about his boys, and in theory we just thought we'd all live under this one roof. But there's more to it than that. There was no way to foresee how we would all mesh.

The older ones are actually taking to the little ones quite well. They each have their boy that they can relate to, and I think that's great. But I have found that there are a few cracks in my plan...

I've found that my biggest struggle is being too timid. I have a very large and unexplainable fear of making people mad. I wish I could figure out where that fear comes from. I know I had it before the divorce... I really think I had it before my first marriage. But the longer I'm around people the more comfortable I get with them. I'm hoping that happens soon. If not, I fear that I'll end up being a maid to all these boys because I can't tell them to pick up their socks.

That. Cannot. Happen.

These older boys need to be taught how to pick up after themselves. They need to learn responsibility. They need to learn that the sink is not a trash can... what's up with that anyway?

I might not be working right now, but I still have a very important job. I'm a mother, a step-mother, a wife - a minister's wife at that, I'm a nurturer, and I'm a roll-model. I have all these guys looking to me for guidance and answers, so I have to step it up. Big time.

The long wait David and I had till we could get married was tough... I almost viewed the wedding as an end. And end to loneliness, an end to my life in Arkansas, and end to being a single parent, and and end to life as I knew it. But really it was just a beginning. A beginning that was hard to see. It's always great to think about 'happily ever after', but it's so hard to see all the work that goes into that fairytale... It's hard to see what your daily life is going to be like. And no matter what, it's never like you imagine it will be.

I imagined my life with the older boys mixing with my younger boys. I could see us all in the house together. But I couldn't see all the details. I couldn't see how the older boys would help me get supper ready, and all the crazy concoctions they'd come up with. I couldn't see the basketball games in the backyard with all the boys playing against each other, and the older boys being illegal screnes so their little teammate could make the shot. I couldn't see the grocery shopping trips where I'm being educated on what all they usually eat, and trying to mix those things with our 'usuals'. I couldn't see the endless supply of gas and burps.... yes, I'm the only female in a house full of males, they got comfortable with me real quick. And I couldn't see how much my boys would look up to the older boys. That makes me happy... even if it is them trying to burp the ABC's like the older guys do.(yay.)

No, not everything is perfect. We have our good days, and we have our bad days. But every night David and I pray together. We pray to thank God for our wonderful little family, and for guidance for each of us. That is our glue. We are a three fold cord, and it doesn't matter how tough things get, he and I will always have the Lord. And that will make everything better. What a wonderful little marriage this is turning out to be.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

...three weeks later

Wow, has it really been almost three weeks since the wedding???

I can't believe it. The time has flown by so fast!

First of all, the wedding was wonderful! Here are a few pictures from our very special day:










That day will live in my memory as the best day of my life. You know why? ...besides the obvious reason that I married the love of my life... It was because he cried when I walked down the aisle. That's right. I've never had someone cry because of me. It was the most amazing feeling in the world. I've watched wedding shows all my life. Some grooms cry, some don't. I have always wondered what it would be like to have someone love me so much that it brought tears to their eyes. It was the best feeling in the world.

There were many tears shed that day. Some sad tears because I was moving, but mostly happy tears. The wedding guests knew what David and I had been through to get to this point, and the love and support from them all was overwhelming. I can't describe it.

It was such a beautiful day.

After the wedding came the honeymoon. We stayed in a cabin in northern Arkansas for four days. It was a wonderful getaway after the whirlwind month we'd had. It was also nice to rest up because as soon as we got back, the move was going to start!



And start it did! We got the truck the day we got back into town and immediately went to work.



After a long two day drive to San Antonio we finally arrived and began unpacking. Unloading a house full of stuff into an already full house was tough. This was probably the most stressful day. No one knew where to put anything, and so it was all just brought in and stacked. My job: Make sense of the mess.



But after two weeks of working non-stop things are finally starting to settle down. All the kids are hanging in there with me through all the changes, and all the many different places I move things. All of them know if they can't find something to just ask me and I'll know where it is. As you can see things are starting to come together, and soon this home - that is already bursting with love - will be functioning like a well oiled machine.



And as far as David and I are concerned....



We're still seeing fireworks.

Much love to you all! I'll keep writing when I can!

Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm not a bride

It's the night before my wedding, and I have so many things on my mind.

All week I've been called the bride. I don't really like that. I've already been a 'bride'. I've had the big dress, and the fancy wedding. I did all that, and it failed anyway.

I'm not a bride this time. All I'm doing tomorrow is saying 'I do' to my best friend. It's not about the wedding. It's not about what I'm wearing, or the size of the ring. It's not about the perfect song or the perfectly tiered cake. It's not about making sure your bridesmaids match your groomsmen, and it's not about unity candles or aisle runners.

It's not going to matter if I spill something on my dress. It won't matter if I wake up with a zit on my face. I can sneeze all day because of allergies (and I seriously may), but it won't matter. The boys may cut up or burp as they walk me down the aisle, and it's not going to ruin anything.

It's going to be a day just like every other day. It will begin and end the same way. There won't be any more hours added to it, nor will time stand still. It will pass just like today did.

Only after tomorrow I get to be the wife to the most amazing man I've ever known. Tomorrow is important, but the day after tomorrow is what it's all about. I'm not a bride. I'm a wife-to-be. That's it.

And it's the most wonderful feeling in the world.

Yes, I'm getting married tomorrow.

But more importantly... I'll be his wife the day after tomorrow... and all the days after that.

Till death do us part.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful man.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Warning: Quick to tears!!

Ok, so I'm walking through an antique store yesterday looking for mismatched cake pedestals for the wedding, and before I know it I'm crying.

Because of the antiques, you say?

Nope.

Because it dawned on me that in two weeks I'll be standing at the front of my lovely church saying 'I do' to my best friend.

Darn, there I go again...



Ok, I'm better...

I can't believe it's two weeks away. Three months ago the days and weeks were crawling, and I was miserable just waiting and waiting.... and now it's like life is on fast forward! I'm actually wanting time to slow down just a little so I can breathe and enjoy everything.

My best friend. Wow. He really is.

I find myself looking at other couples, and wondering why it is that some meet their best friend when they are very young, and some when they are not so young. Everyone's life turns out different. I may not get as many years with my best friend as some will get with theirs, but the love we will put into those years will be enough for an entire lifetime. I've already been loved more in the past six months than I have all of my other years combined.

Before this year, the term 'happy tears' was just something I'd heard of but didn't really understand. These days, I get it.

Totally....

...and they happen quite often. Just be forewarned.




Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Answered prayers

We are officially less than three weeks till the "Big Day", and I'm so ready! It makes me think about prayer I prayed many times a year ago. That prayer was to not be alone forever. Even though, at the time, I felt the Lord wanted me to be single for a while. I just didn't know how long that would be. I knew I didn't need to rush into anything too fast. I needed to be there for my boys, spend quality time with them, and make sure they were healing from the trauma of the divorce, and put my needs on the back burner for a while.

I'd made up my mind that I needed to forget about finding someone, and just be content with where I was in life. I was in a good place.... I was feeling incomplete.... but I was content. During the day I'd be fine. My evenings were great. I'd spend time with my boys, or get some much needed work done around the house. But then night would come. Nights were too quiet. Too lonely. So I'd pray. I didn't know who I was praying for the Lord to send me, but I would pray for someone.

I like to think about the things going on in our lives as roads. There are little roads, big roads, highways, and even little dirt roads. When all these roads lead to one thing, it's easy to see that it is the Lord guiding you. I was guided by the Lord. There was no other way for me to go, and the Lord's way is always the best way. When the Lord provides an answer to your prayer, it's obvious. The timeline for David and me was right on the mark. The Lord guided us to each other at the perfect time for each of us.

It brings tears to my eyes when I think about my life finally going the way the Lord wants it to go instead of the way I wanted it to go. I'm so thankful all my plans failed. The Lord led me to someone who understands me, and loves me without question. The Lord knows what we need more than we do. Trust the Lord, and pray for things that are in your heart. The Lord will answer the prayer with what is best for you.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The lasts

It doesn't seem possible, but the boys and I have actually gotten to the time when we're starting to have our 'lasts'.

This past weekend was our last time to go to one of the churches in this area.

Tomorrow will be my last day at work.

I was even sad to have gone to my health food store for the last time. I go every two months, so I won't be going again. The next time I buy Ezekiel bread will be in Texas. It's surreal.

Every time I have a 'last' I get closer to where I want to be.

Before I know it, we'll be walking out of this house for the last time. Even though it seems like it's taken forever to get here, it really has happened very fast. But in a good way. I wouldn't have wanted it any different. In fact, if it hadn't been for our kids we would've gotten married months ago.

But the Lord knows what is best, and His timing is always right on the mark.

Every 'last' we have is a little bit of closure for this phase of our lives.

And every 'last' we have here will be replaced by all the 'firsts' we're going to have there.

Now that's exciting.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I don't have all the answers

Where has faith in the Lord gone??

As we approach crunch-time for the wedding, I'm being approached with many questions. Questions about life in Texas, visits to the boys' dad, visits to our parents' houses, traveling to meetings across the country, and many other things.

I've heard them all. And the truth is, we have thought about these questions. But we also know the Lord will provide the answers in time. We don't have to have all the answers right now. I don't have all the answers. But that's okay. We're not supposed to.

I've heard David preach about what we need right now. 'Give us this day our DAILY bread'. All we need is enough for today. The Lord will provide for us one day at a time. Pray about the future, but don't worry abut it. Those answers will come when we need them.

Sometimes I think my loved ones won't pray for what they are worried about, because then they won't be able to worry about it anymore. Sounds silly, right? But I think it's true. If they would just pray about all these questions they have, the Lord would provide them with the peace that David and I have.

If you are questioning things, you need more faith.

If you need faith, you need to pray for it.

Sometimes I wonder why this concept is so hard to grasp......



I guess that means I should be praying for them.


.............................. wow.


I think that just answered my question.

Why is it that the Lord answers me when I write? By the time I get to the end of my thoughts, the Lord has helped me figure out the solution.

There ya go. I just need to pray for my loved ones to have faith. I've been stewing for days and have YET to come up with that answer. (I'm not very bright sometimes, especially when I'm stewing).

The answer is crystal clear.

Now if y'all will excuse me, I have some praying to do. Good day.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The ugly truth

I'm very thankful that the Lord protects us. Sometimes I wonder if He protects us from reality. I think maybe the Lord has kept me from realizing something till I was strong enough to handle it.

This week the truth has hit me.

The ugly truth.

I've realized that there are a lot of people out in the world that don't like me. There are people that think I'm a horrible person for taking my boys away from their dad. I have to see my ex-husband's family, or I run into former friends and acquaintances that I had in my previous life. I can see their smiles, and hear their 'Congratulations', but I know what they are thinking on the inside. I can see it in their faces. I'd be thinking it too if I were them. They think I'm a terrible, awful person for doing this.

It's somewhat disturbing for me to realize this, but I'm also strong enough - or secure enough - in what the Lord has planned for me that these thoughts don't bother me like they could.

Three or four months ago when I first got engaged I might have been disturbed to the point of wanting to call it all off, had I realized the backlash. But really I know there is no way that would ever happen. The Lord shows me everyday how right this is. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Every obstacle that was in front of us has vanished with little effort. The Lord has guided us, protected us, and provided for us. This is right.

There was no need to go to court.

There were mutual agreements made between their dad and myself.

The boys are not only okay about moving - they are ready to get down there as much as I am.

We are excited to start our new life, and it's truly amazing.

So, I get it. I'm not liked. That's okay, I'm not on this planet to make people happy, or to please the people of the world. I'm here to serve God. God sends you where you are needed. I'm needed in Texas, and everything I need is in Texas.

Winston Churchill said: "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something in your life."

That's what I'm doing. I'm standing up for the Lord. I'm standing up for my boys. And I'm standing up for myself and the love of my life. There are no worries. The ugly truth can't get to me. The opinions of those people don't mean anything to me anymore. I will continue to walk with my head held high.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me the strength and courage to walk my day-to-day life knowing that what I'm doing is right.

That has been my prayer from day one: THY will be done.

This is God's will.

And my confidence in that cannot be shaken.






Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Life after....

Life after my two week's notice...

It's glorious! I love it! It's all about letting go of the reigns so others can step up to the plate to take over my duties. My job right now is to finish any orders and projects I have going on, and to not take on any new ones. I have to teach as many details as I can to the next person, and then wind 'em up and let 'em go. It's. Awesome.

Life after getting married...

I know the act of combining our families is going to be harry at times, but when I think about each individual personality I can almost see how we are going to mesh. My younger boys are going to adore David's older boys. And I hope the older ones are accepting of little ones running around wreaking havoc. I look forward to the dynamic that we'll have. We are all so laid back, I think it will be great. Me and my guys. I love it.

Life after moving to Texas...

I love Texas. I'm very happy to become a Texan. My love and my life are in Texas, therefore my heart is in Texas. My only worry is the boys' dad. Not that he's causing problems, in fact it is quite the contrary. Everything is going very well. I just know I'm going to have weeks where I won't be able to see my boys. A year ago I was worried about not seeing them for three day, and now I could go two or three weeks without seeing them. That scares me. I worry about the boys being exposed to their dad for long periods of time. I worry about me not having my right and left hand guys with me at all times, and I worry about David who will have to talk me down from all my anxiety attacks. I pray the Lord comforts us during those times.

Life after becoming a minister's wife...

I've grown up around ministers. They are not foreign creatures to me. My dad, grandfather, and two uncles are all ministers. I've watched my mother, grandmother and aunts my entire life. I know the basics. I just hope and pray I can fulfill the role of a minister's wife the way I need to. I pray I always conduct myself the way I should. I'm already starting to feel lots of eyes watching me, but I know that's going to increase. I pray I always know how to be there for my husband in what ever way he needs.... and I pray I keep my nose out of any business I don't need to be in. It's going to be a learning process. I wasn't there when he was ordained. I'm the newby in all this. I pray I do okay.

When I started the whole process of getting a divorce, I couldn't really see the 'life after' part. I was so clouded by all the stuff going on around me that I couldn't see past the end of my nose. Now the smoke has cleared. My future is looking bright, and I can see the life after.

I'm so ready for it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's hit me...

Yes folks, it's true. It's finally hitting me. The waiting period is over, the changes are starting, and I'm becoming the emotional wreck I knew I would be.

Reality set in this past weekend, and I know it's going to be hard from here on out.

Especially the goodbyes. They are getting a lot harder. Every time I see David I don't want it to end. I had to tell him goodbye at church Sunday so that he could get on the road. He had a long drive ahead of him. Part of me got a little embarrassed for crying as much as I did, but in the end I was thankful to be with my church family who can make it all better.

I'm ready for a time when I don't have to tell him goodbye. But I also know that when that time comes, I'll have to tell a whole lot of other people goodbye.

I'm putting in my two weeks notice at work today. I'm nervous. Please say a prayer for me if you can.

They know I'm leaving, but I'm moving up my quit date. I need to have more time off before the wedding in order to get everything ready for the big move. There's so much that needs done, and I just don't have the time to do it. So after a lot of praying and talking to David, we decided this is what is best.

The changes are coming fast, and I pray the Lord will continue to help me (and the boys) adjust to them.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Think on this...

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post, but I have some thoughts swimming around in my head that I want to get out.

I know you all know this already, but I'm in love.

I mean, really in love!

I didn't know love like this even existed! And the best part is, I'm loved back. Equally. A month or so ago, I would look at happily married couples and think "Wow, now I know how they feel!" But now when I look at them I think "There's no way they can be as happy as we are right now." We're so in love. We are beyond finding words to describe how how in love we are. I don't even think happily married couples understand this level of love.

My apologies for the mushiness...

So I was talking to David about this yesterday, and he helped shed some light on my thoughts... He said the feelings we have for each other are that much stronger because we've seen the other side. We've been through hell. We've been through the fire, as some say. We were both married to spouses that didn't respect us, didn't show us any appreciation, and - in the end - didn't love us enough to stay faithful to us. We have been through the worst, and it is making us appreciate what we have with each other that much more.

The Lord saw that David and I would be a perfect fit in every way. We've been on the receiving end of harsh words, belittling, and disrespect. He also knew that we would need someone in our lives that understood that, and would treat us better. We are a perfect fit because we are kind to each other, and we respect and appreciate each other enough to always speak in a way that gets the point across without making the other feel bad in any way... not to mention all the other thousands of ways we are compatible. But the best part, for me, is knowing I don't ever have to worry about making him mad enough to yell at me. And that's a really good feeling. Other people may not understand that, but I do. And I think David does too.

Now, I promise I have a point to all this lovey-dovey stuff, so just hang with me, ok?

I have become very sensitive to the way I see husbands and wives treat each other. I am very quick to pick up on disrespect, or not being appreciative of each other, and it pains me. Seriously. I try to tell myself that these are couples have been married for years and years, and I'm just being overly sensitive to it because of my past. But in the end, they are your spouse. Your best friend. You should always love, appreciate and respect your best friend. No you're never going to agree on everything, but there is a time and place - and tone of voice - for things like that. Snapping at each other in public, or even private, just makes things worse. Not to mention the way it makes the people around you feel toward you and your spouse.

So these are my thoughts tonight. Think about the way you speak to your spouse. If you feel there is room for improvement, then work on it. Better yet, pray about the way that you should be speaking to them. Some people think that that's just the way they are, and it can't be changed. I disagree. I feel if you earnestly pray about it, the Lord will show you how you should speak to them respectfully.

Just think about it.


Monday, March 24, 2014

The mullygrubs

It seems no matter what stage or situation I'm in, I always pray for two things: strength and patience.

I had a time when I would pray for the strength to make through every hour of every day, and patience to wait for the Lord to show me the next step I need to take in my life.

These days I'm praying for the strength and patience to make it till June.

I'm missing the love of my life. I'm trying so hard to concentrate on my life here and now, but it's hard. I'm ready to be with him everyday. This waiting period.... or holding pattern.... is killing me.

I've heard somewhere before a saying that goes: The days are long, but the years are short. I agree. but in my case, the days are long, but the weeks are short.... or sometimes it feels like the days are short but the weeks are long. Oh, who am I kidding... the days and weeks are both long. I don't have the desire to do anything. I basically have 'Senioritis'... That stage you go through right before graduation where you are so ready to get out of there you slack off on everything. Yep, that's me. I'm slacking, and it's not good. I'm just biding my time till my life can start again. I don't have the desire to do my day-to-day things because I don't have him here with me. It's not a good place to be.

Don't worry, I know what I need to be doing, and there's no one in the world that can lecture me about that better than myself. I'm my worst cridict, and toughest competitor. I know exactly what I should be doing.... I'm just not doing it. Sometimes I let my chores slide so I can sit and daydream about my future. I'm like a teenager... actually I'm worse than a teenager... I'm a thirty-something working mom that can't stay focused.

*sigh*

This long distance relationship thing is very hard. It's going to be totally worth it in the end, but that doesn't make it any easier right now. I'm missing him. He's missing me. We both have the mullygrubs, and we're chomping at the bit till we can be together.

I always told myself I would never use my blog to complain. And I'm not. I'm just using it to tell you what I'm praying for tonight. I'm praying for strength and patience. I'm going to need lots of both to make it till June. I can't do it on my own. I need my Lord to help me through each and every day. And I have faith the Lord will bless me to be able to make it till then. That's the nice thing about praying... In my moments of weakness I can say a quick prayer, and instantly I have the strength to make it a little bit longer. I don't know how people survive without prayer. I really don't.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The pursuit of happiness

I think the idea of happiness confuses many people. They feel like they need a person, or things to make them happy. Or they feel like they can just choose to be happy and *poof* it will happen. Then after trying this and that, dating person after person, buying that one perfect thing they couldn't live without... they realize they are no better off than they were before, and they still aren't happy. They have a void in their life, and they don't know how to fill it.

The past two years have taught me many things, but the main thing I learned is that serving the Lord is the only thing that brings true happiness and joy. And most people don't get it... And even worse, they don't want to hear it. They want to live in their little world where the things and people are supposed to make them happy. The internet is full of sayings and lists of ways to be happy, but very rarely do they mention serving God.

I know this is the way to true happiness because I've lived it. I watched my ex-husband spiral downward. I heard for two years how unhappy he was, and he didn't know why. He had that void in his life, and he tried to fill it all the wrong ways. He bought material things thinking they would help, and eventually, he had the affair thinking it would too. He never went to church with me, but I have faith that he is a child of God. He'd shown many signs of it throughout our marriage, but he didn't want to believe there is a God, nor did he want me to bring God into our home.

I think about my life this time last year and it amazes me. The boys and I had just moved, and I was the keeper of my own home. I was finally living the way I was raised to live, teaching my children about God, and we were being blessed. The house we moved to is much older than our other house, we weren't able to afford many luxuries, and I was single as single could be. Any normal person would see this as a set back, or a path to being less happy. But I wasn't, I had my Lord. I had been attending church as much as I could, I started reading my bible and praying with my boys more, and I would spend my evenings out in my yard working with my hands and digging the dirt, growing things and building my life. It felt good, it felt productive, and it turned out to be the best year of my life...

...however if you ask me next year, I'll probably have a different opinion on that, because this year is shaping up to be even better.

but I digress.

I remember crying many times last year out of pure joy. I was happy. Seriously happy. The happiest I can ever remember being. Ever.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. James 1:17

All good things in our lives are blessings. Blessings come from God. If you serve God and keep his commandments, you will receive blessings. That doesn't mean that we won't have problems, but when you serve the Lord, He helps smooth the problems out in a way that makes them not so bad. He gives us strength to take on the problems instead of feeling overwhelmed by them. It's really amazing.

Every time I encounter someone trying to find happiness the wrong way, I want to tell them.... In fact, I want to shout it from the rooftops! Maybe somehow I can. Maybe this is a start. If one person reads this and is blessed to see a glimpse of how happy they can be, then maybe I've taken one baby step in the right direction.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Beauty from ashes

Last year on March 13th I had written a blog post that described - down to the last detail - the events that happened the day my house burned. However, no one can read that post because it is one of the ones I deleted. With just cause...

On that day in 2010 my house burned, up until then it was the worst day of my life. Little did I know worse days were coming.

That same day in 2011 I re-lived it with complete clarity, and cried most of the day.

In 2012 I remembered it well, and still had a hard time dealing.

Then in 2013, I wrote the story of what happened. But I also wrote, with complete bitterness, about how that day was the beginning of the end of my marriage. But I know I was wrong.

I blamed the house fire for my marriage failing. I won't go into why, but for a long time I believed that. I now know they were two separate events that had little to do with each other. It doesn't matter if my house burned or not, the affair would've happened regardless. I can truly believe that now.

I know most of this will only make sense to me. If you knew the whole story you'd understand, and it's not that I don't want to tell anyone, it's just irrelevant now. What's done is done, retelling it won't accomplish anything.

All I know is this year the 13th came and went without a single thought of the fire.

That is my point in this whole thing. It's gone. Not quite forgotten, but almost.

I find that amazing, and I'm so thankful for it.

I have too many blessings in my life to think about the past. Whether the fire had anything to do with the affair or not, I'm thankful it happened. Seriously. It got me where I am today. I think about life before the fire and it makes me sad. I was in a toxic marriage and I didn't even realize it. I was weak. I wouldn't stand up for my beliefs. I let people walk all over me. Not anymore. I never knew I could be this strong. If you'd have told me four years ago where I'd be today, I'd say you were crazy. The Lord has helped me and blessed me more than I could've ever imagined.

It feels good to finally let go of the bitterness I held on to for so long. The Lord helped me do it without even realizing it. I have nights that my only prayers are to thank God for helping me and my boys through the pain and changes, and for bringing David into my life. I'd do it all again to be where I am today.

This blog, for me, is a testament of the amazing beauty that truly can come from ashes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mixtures of joy and sorrow

I am the kind of person that isn't comfortable with major changes. I get very attached to things and people, and it's hard for me to let them go. I'm in a situation that would normally cause me a lot of grief and sadness, but so far I've yet to feel that.

I've called Arkansas my home now for almost nine years. That's hard to believe. And even though I moved here for my ex-husband's job and family, I have made a life of my own here.

But now I'm moving.

I'm leaving the best friends I've ever had. I'm leaving my church family that I feel are my blood relatives. There is a couple in the church I call my grandparents, even though they are not. I have girls in the church I call sisters, and not just as my church sisters... these girls have been with me through everything. Every time I needed one of them, they have been there for me. And I'm leaving them.

But here is the weird part. I'm not sad yet.

I don't understand it, and in fact, I feel guilty because of it.

My head tells me I should be sad. But my heart isn't letting me. Or maybe it's the other way around.

I honestly feel like the Lord is wrapping me in his strength. I'm so focused on the future that awaits me in June that I haven't gotten to think about the other side of the coin. I know I'm going to miss Arkansas, but it still hasn't sunk in. Maybe the Lord is easing me into the understanding that I'm leaving my loved ones. The realization seems to be coming a little bit at a time.

One thing I can rest easy in, is the fact that I am sure that this is the life God has led me to. There are no doubts. There is no second guessing. I know this is what is best for me, and for my boys, and that makes all the difference. I've never been more sure about anything in my life. There has been so much prayer involved in this, that I feel 100% confident that I am meant to be in Texas.

I go to church and see my loved ones, they ask how things are going, and I light up. My smile could be seen from the moon! Then tears well up in their eyes. They remember I'm leaving. It breaks my heart to see it. I hate to leave them, but I look forward to going at the same time. It's such a strange concept to grasp. Joy and sorrow in the same exact moment.

My point in all this is a lecture to myself. What I need to be doing is making every moment with my church family count. I need to be visiting them during the week, having lunch with the girls, and making memories. It's okay to plan for my life that is coming, but I also need to focus on my time here in Arkansas while I can. Because soon this time will be gone. Like a vapor.

Thankfully I have a comfort in knowing I'm not gone for good. The boys' dad still lives here, so we will be coming here a few times each year for that reason and for church meetings as well. I will be able to see my loved ones and catch up on their lives. I guess that is where my heart is right now. It's making me focus on the fact that I'll be back to visit, and that's good.

I'm waiting for it to hit me, and it will soon. And when it does, it won't be pretty. I know me, and I know that the breakdown is coming. I will need to shed the tears to move onto the next phase of my life. That's just how I work. It is my letting go process, and they are inevitable. But I have faith the Lord will help me through once more. It will be a sad time, but it will be very happy time too.

As Truvy says in my favorite movie: "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." (name that movie...)

That is where I will be when it hits me. Laughter and tears. Happiness and sadness. As one of the old hymns says: God has not promised joy without pain. My joy is coming, but so is the pain. I just pray to make the most of my time here in Arkansas while I still can.

I pray I don't look forward to the future so much that I forget to enjoy the present.

That is my prayer tonight.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

On a side note....

The more I think about it, the more I actually LIKE the idea of having donuts as the wedding cake!

Now, just hear me out for a minute...

Donuts are round. You know what else is round? Rings! See, I'm not so crazy after all! There is so much symbolism when it comes to circles and weddings. Ahh, the joy of unending love.

I bet I could come up with a really cool way to make a donut wedding cake. And it would be so sweet to have little donut holes there for the kids, and for David and I to feed each other.

Call me crazy, but this sounds like a really fun idea. :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The calm before the storm

I went to lunch with two of my girlfriends from church today. They were asking how everything was going, how the boys were adjusting to the idea of moving, etc, etc. Then one of them asked me how I was doing with all the changes coming...

And I thought about it, and realized I'm in a situation that would normally completely stress me out... in fact, it would push me over the edge.

But it hasn't...

I'm calm.

Extremely calm.

When I answered her, I knew exactly why I was calm. The Lord has given me peace. Peace in my upcoming marriage. Peace about moving to a new state. Peace in completely changing everything in my whole life. That's right, just about everything I call normal right now will change. I'll even be changing my job title. I'm going from working full time to being a stay at home mom. I actually think of all the changes that one scares me the most. But even then, I'm at peace with it, and I'm looking forward to it.

It's now just shy of four months till the wedding and I have very little actually planned for it. I could see my girlfriends stressing out when I told them this. But not me. I'm as cool as a cucumber. I know it will all come together eventually, and if for some reason I do forget something major, like the cake, it'll be okay. It won't keep us from getting married. If that happens I'll just grab a few boxes of donuts on the way to the church and we'll still have a grand old time.

And at the end of the day I'll still be married to the love of my life, and that's the most important thing.

I'm not worried.

Everything can go wrong, but if I'm there and he's there then it will all be perfect.

It's the calm before the storm... but not a bad storm... Changes are coming. Adjustments are coming. It will be a storm of a lot of things happening all at once. But I know that the Lord will guide us every step of the way.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The story of us

I've been wanting to write about how David and I got together for a few reasons:

1. It is an opportunity to write about how amazing the Lord is and was when it came to getting us together.

2. I want to get down all the details now before they are just a memory.

3. So our children can go back and read about our story long after we've gone.

Our story begins in August of 2012...

The third weekend in August is the annual Rich Mountain Association in Arkansas. I'd heard of it, but had never been to it before. David, on the other hand was a regular to the association. I'd heard it was coming up, and I really thought it would be a good opportunity to get out and meet people. Looking back now, I know it was the Lord giving me the conviction to be there.

While there, I heard David preach for the first time. I'd never heard of him before that weekend. I knew of two of his brothers and his dad, but not him. All it took was hearing him preach one time, and I was completely captivated by him. I couldn't explain it. I was just drawn to him. I didn't know anything about him, so I just assumed he was married - which he was at the time. So to be drawn to him as much as I was, was something I couldn't explain.

When I got home from that meeting, I looked for him on Facebook. He was easy to find, and I was happy to see that he had over 1,000 friends. I knew that if he had that many friends, then it wouldn't be weird for me to 'friend' him. So I did, and he accepted not having a clue who I was. For the next six months I would read his posts, and continue to be intrigued by the things that he would write.

But in February of 2013 he had a post that not only made me hurt for him, but it made me really want to get to know him better. He posted about the divorce between him and his wife.

My first thought was: "Yes, I'm not the only one!!"

I wanted to see him again, I wanted to know his story, and I really just wanted an opportunity to talk to him about being a divorced Primitive Baptist.

About a month later I started hearing announcements that he was going to be at a meeting in our area in April. I knew without a doubt I had to be at that entire meeting, and somehow find a way to talk to him. But I'm so painfully shy around new people I didn't know how that would happen.

After the Saturday afternoon service of that meeting I still hadn't gotten the nerve to approach him. But the Lord took over and made it happen for me. Little did I know someone had told David that he should talk to me, only they didn't tell him why. I just happened to be walking around the back side of the building talking on the phone to my sister, when he started past me. He stopped, pointed at me, and said: "I want to talk to you." In a matter of seconds I told my sister I had to go, and I immediately told David that I wanted to talk to him too.

I introduced myself, and he remembered my name from being friends with me on Facebook. For the next half hour we shared our stories and bonded over the nearly identical situations we had just gone through. It was uncanny how alike our stories were. And it was also refreshing to see how easily we talked to each other. My fascination with him was growing.

In the weeks following that meeting I found myself in a bad situation. I was being tempted by a man in the world... a bad man... and couldn't find an escape from him. This was a low point in my existence, and I knew the devil was playing on my loneliness. I was tempted, and I was interested in dating this person. It was not a good situation. I would pray every night for an escape from him, and wake up every morning wanting to hear from him. I had a split personality, and all I wanted was to get away from him. Thankfully in early May, for some unknown reason, the man stopped talking to me. To this day I don't know why, I don't know what I did, but I've thanked the Lord for it ever since. The Lord provided my escape. The Lord knew I was too weak to handle it on my own, and He took pity on me in my horrible state.

After that terrible man was out of my life, I had one thought in my head. David. I needed to talk to David. I didn't know why, but I had to. The Lord was leading me to him again. We hadn't talked since the meeting back in April, but I sent him a message on Facebook to see how he was doing. We talked a little, and caught up on how we were doing. He then informed me that he was in a relationship and it was getting serious. I was crushed. Up until that moment I didn't even know I was interested in him romantically. I just knew I was drawn to him, and that we were going through similar situations. So, needless to say, my feeling of sadness surprised me.

Over the summer and fall we saw each other at a few meetings and would talk briefly on Facebook to keep in touch, and that fall I jumped at an opportunity to help him out. He was working on a new song book for the church, and was having trouble with some of the pages. It just so happened, the help he was needing was something I do in my job on a daily basis. It would be no problem for me to do what he was needing. Our talking increased because of the book, and our friendship was growing.

Around October he started telling me that it wasn't going very good with the woman he was seeing. My first concern was to be there for my friend, and to listen. But deep down in me somewhere, I started to get my hopes up. A few weeks after that they broke up. I continued to be there for him through his heartbreak, even though it was breaking my heart at the same time. But the more we talked, the more our relationship took off, and the rest is history. Looking back now we can both see the Lord working in our lives, in different ways, but leading us to each other.

There were many complications that stood in the way of us being together because of the way things stood with my boys' dad, so the cards were stacked against us. The probability of us actually being able to get married and be together were slim. But no problem is too big for the Lord. He has helped us overcome every obstacle that was put before us.

The Lord brought us together, and we continue to be amazed at how well suited we are for one another. Our Love has grown into something of fairy tales.

However, we know we aren't the product of a fairy tale.... we are a product of the Lord's will.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's all downhill from here....

"Ok, mom, so how is this going to work? When exactly are we moving?"

"So when we come up here to see Daddy, will we get to see everyone at church too?"

"Mommy, if our electricity goes out during the ice storm can we just go to San Antonio for a few days?"

"We're going to finally live on a cul de sac??? Awesome!!!"

"I bet the temperature in San Antonio is a lot warmer than here... that will be great!"

"So does San Antonio have little league football?"

These are just a few of the many questions and statements Jaxon has made over the past two weeks. Acceptance has arrived. The past two weeks started out rough, but praying non-stop for my child (by me and so many others) has helped him over the hump. The Lord is so amazing! I thank Him everyday for the progress Jaxon has made with the changes. Wow. I didn't hardly have time to worry about how he would handle the news... the Lord blessed him, and he's going to be just fine.

I am truly speechless with what God has done...

All I can say is: Thank you Lord!

And thank you all for the prayers for my child!

Now for the easy one.... I have to tell my youngest son this week so I can get the house up for sale soon. I'm not expecting it to be as bad as his brother, but I don't think it will be a cake walk either... I'm not worried, though, I know that God will bless him too.

The tough part is over.

It really is downhill from here.


Friday, January 31, 2014

Love is in the air.....

With February fast approaching I've been thinking a lot about love. (The gorgeous ring on my hand might have something to do with that too.) I could go on and on about how wonderful my fiance is and how much I love him, but I will spare you all that mushiness. I will, however, share all the other lovey dovey thoughts that might not make you as physically ill.

I'm really in awe of what happens when you pray about what you want instead of trying to go after something on your own. My fiance and I both tried to force relationships with other people because we didn't want to be alone. Needless to say both of those ideas blew up in our faces. We agreed early on to constantly pray about our relationship to make sure it was of the Lord and not of ourselves, and the more we prayed the more confident we both became that it was right. The more we got to know each other, the more we realized he was my missing piece, and I was his. We complete each other - that's the best and worst movie line ever, by the way - but it's totally true. I never knew two people could fit together as well as we do. We have each said on more than one occasion that we now know what everyone else is talking about. We now know what blissfully in love people feel like. It's a feeling that is indescribable. Or as he and I like to joke - all the silly love songs finally make sense!

Wow, the Lord really knew what he was doing when he paired us up. But that's no surprise. He is all knowing. He provided opportunities for us to meet and get to know each other, as well as providing the necessary paths for me and the boys to move to his state, which was no easy task as far as we were concerned. But the Lord made it happen, and made it look easy. Now we wonder why we worried about it so much. When things fall into place like that, it's very easy to see that he and I are meant for each other. It's the Lord's will, and it is coming to pass.

I won't be able to see my sweetie on Valentine's Day, but it's ok. I will see him soon after. All I need on that day is to hear him tell me how much he loves me, like he does every single day. We never miss an opportunity to say I love you, and every time I hear it, it feels like the very first time. It's amazing.

Finally knowing what it feels like to love and be loved is the most amazing feeling in the world.

Love IS the greatest thing, this world has ever known.


P. S. I did get a little bit mushy, and I apologize... I'll just use my one get out of jail free card on this one.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

And now..... the rest of the story.

I have a secret.

A few people know what it is, but most of you do not.

According to the dates of my blog, it looks like I started my blog on March 20th, 2013. The truth is, it started about two months prior to that....

So in the words of Paul Harvey: It's time for...rest of the story....

I had this old craft blog I started back in 2009, but since the house burned I hadn't done anything with it. I somehow decided that I should delete everything craft related and use it to get out some of my frustrations about my divorce. I wrote daily! I had so many things I wanted to get off my chest. I thought I needed to clear the air about what happened. I wanted everyone to know that I fought for my marriage, and that he was the one that left. There were some posts that were worse than others... one in particular I remember was named "She can keep him". Boy did I go through some bitter times.

But then I changed my tune - actually I received a swift kick in the rear end. I heard a sermon that made me delete everything I had written up to that point. It was a sermon that I knew without a doubt was just for me. I know this, because the minister who preached it had just recently found my blog. The sermon was about controlling our anger, and not letting the devil temp us to wrath. Ouch. My toes were not only being stepped on, they were being beaten with a hammer!

What had gotten into me?

What made me think I could vent my frustrations for the world to see??

The answer is simple. It was the devil. I thought I was so strong, and that I could fight off the devil from any direction, and he found his way in the back door. He made me believe that it was ok for me to write things like that. I wanted so badly to be normal again and to fit in with the crowd. I just wanted people to see that I hadn't done anything wrong, and that it was all my ex-husband's fault.

But you know what? Everyone already knew that. No, I didn't do everything right when it came to my marriage. I know I should've done things different and better. But as far as the the blame, I didn't need to profess my innocence. That was something that needed to be told simply by the way I carried myself. I needed to make sure my speech was kind and my actions were upstanding. And that's it.

And as far as my venting is concerned, all that did was bring about more anger and bitterness. It fueled the fire I was trying to put out. All I did was sit around and think of more things to gripe about, and I couldn't see what it was doing to me.

After I deleted my entire blog - about 30+ posts - I didn't feel like I should write anymore. I was embarrassed. So instead I started to pray about it. I felt like I had found my voice, and that there could possibly be some good that could come out of me sharing my story, but how do I do it? How do I talk about something that brings about so much anger without getting mad?

I felt impressed to write a couple of posts that didn't have anything to do with my situation just to keep things going. Then slowly I started to explore writing about my story in a positive way, and that is when I met someone who would completely change my attitude about my situation. In my post titled It is well, I wrote about a minister I met that was in my same exact situation. He helped me realize that what I had been though was actually a blessing, and that it was ok for me to be happy about what had happened. Up until that point I felt I should mope and gripe about poor pitiful me and what I had been through, when the truth is I should be thanking God for helping me escape from the horrible place I was in, and helping me get to a much better place.

...and just for an added tidbit of interest, I'm now engaged to that minister.

What I learned by changing my attitude is that the more thankful I was for the Lord's help, the less anger I had. I still pray about my blog and the things that I write on here. I pray that whatever I say, the Lord is glorified. My situation is becoming more and more common these days, and if I can help just one person out there get through their anger, and get to a place of thankfulness, then it was worth it.

So there it is... my secret is out.

And now you know.... the rest of the story....

GOOD DAY!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

But joy cometh in the morning

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Tonight I am thanking the Lord for his help once more.

I told my oldest son tonight that we will be moving to a new state after the wedding. We talked, there were many tears by both of us, and I held him till he fell asleep. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I broke my child's heart.

I know it's going to get worse before it gets better. But it will get better. I have faith that it will. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is the light of a new and wonderful life for me, the man I love, and our crazy mess of boys. The Lord is guiding us toward that light, and I know everything will be ok. Actually, it will be more than ok. It will be amazing.

One more hurdle has been cleared. And even though I know there will be more hurdles ahead of us I'm thankful I won't have to jump them alone. I have the most amazing man by my side - maybe not physically since he lives 500 miles away - but mentally and emotionally and spiritually he is with me every step of the way. I also have my Lord with me. I can go to Him day or night and He helps me. Together we make a threefold cord.... and as the scripture says, a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

This is what I need. This is what I've been waiting my whole life for. It was an odd, windy road of misery and broken hearts, but I know I'm exactly where I need to be now. We are climbing this mountain together, and even though it won't be easy, the view when we get to the top will be totally worth it.

So even though there is weeping tonight, I know it won't last. Joy cometh in the morning. Maybe not tomorrow morning, and maybe not in two mornings, but soon. I can feel it.





Friday, January 24, 2014

Growing pains

The winds of change are sweeping through my house. I can feel it, and so can my boys. Big time.

I'm getting married.

We are moving to a different state.

A different state away from the Dad they know and love.

To a new house, with a new father figure, and new brothers to boot.

...my boys just don't know it yet.

All they know is that I'm wearing a new ring, and that means one day down the road I'm going to marry this man. But that is all their minds have grasped so far.

They met my fiance for the first time this past weekend. It went well, but I can still see my oldest struggling with this new reality. He knows change is coming, and is psyching himself up for the worst.

Unfortunately, my biggest fear is coming to pass. This week he has started to revert back to the way he behaved during the divorce. He is acting out at school, not getting his work done, and at home he is lying and talking back to me. I can't say I blame him. Once again he's not in control of his small little world. His home life is about to change again, dramatically, and there's nothing he can do about it. The worst part is that I'm the one causing his pain. I'm making these changes happen, and he is losing trust in me. I'm struggling with how to merge two families, move to a different state, and still keep the boys' faith in me as a trusted parent. It's a lethal combination, and I can't seem to make it work yet.

Today was a bad day. He got in some trouble at school, and then he tried to hide it from me tonight. He received a hefty punishment that fit his crimes, but I know the tears are hiding other issues. I kept looking for the right words to tell him, but I'm not sure I ever found them. I pray everyday for my boys, and the changes that are ahead of them. I know I need to be patient, and the answers will come eventually. I just don't know when, or how much pain they will go through before the healing starts.

I try not to use my blog to ask for prayers, but if you could say a small prayer for my boys I would greatly appreciate it. It's going to be a tough year for them.

Thank you, and my God bless you.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Two is....


Better than one.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful man.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Don't be like me

I've had the thought for a long time to write a blog post to the young, single women in the church. There are so many things to consider when it comes to getting married, and unfortunately our emotions tend to get in the way of our brains... I can say this because I've been there.

I'm not writing this to tell you the perfect way to pick a husband in order to live happily ever after... I'm not qualified for that. In fact this post is quite the contrary... I'm really writing this to tell you what NOT to do. Plain and simple. I've been there, I've made bad choices, and I don't want to see anyone that I love make those same mistakes. I am simply here to say - don't be like me.

I wish someone would've told me these things when I was younger.... but then I wonder if my young, foolish mind would've listened. I was the kind of young adult that felt I had the world on a string, and that I knew it all.

Yeah right. Gimmie a break...

I can honestly say, it's now 15 some odd years later and I still don't know jack squat.

Let me start off by telling you about my background...

Growing up, my church didn't have very many women to model myself after. It was mostly older ladies, and then my Mom. My Mom married my Dad almost 43 years ago. When they got married my Dad had never even stepped foot in a Primitive Baptist church. He was raised Methodist, and was frankly weirded out by my Mother's religion. But over time, he grew to believe and joined the church ten years later. Three years after that he was ordained as a minister.

It was never stressed to me that I should marry a Primitive Baptist. I always had faith that if I married outside of the church, the Lord would show them my faith and he would one day believe... Just like my Dad. I have learned now that that doesn't always happen... For this to happen for my Mom is either a crazy streak of luck... or a blessing from God. I'll let you decide which one I think it is.

The lesson in all of this is that you should seriously reconsider going into a marriage hoping he will one day convert to your religion.

My personal experience has other lessons as well... Let me just list the red flags you should look for:

-If he will only go to church with you once every month or so - This is a red flag.

-If he was not raised going to church and does not currently go to church at all - Please consider dating someone else...

-Or if he tells you on one or more occasion that he believes the Bible is a hoax, and doesn't know what to believe - Run!!! Run away!! fast!!!

Yes, ladies, this was what I encountered when I was dating my ex-husband. Please don't be stupid like me and think that love will conquer all. Don't get me wrong, I know the Lord is powerful enough to turn even the stoniest of hearts to Him, but that didn't seem to be in the cards for me. So please proceed down that path with extreme caution, and lots and lots of prayer.

Which brings me to my next point. Pray. This was something that was stressed to me growing up, I just didn't do a good job of heeding the advice. You should always, always pray for your future husband.

Don't do what I did, I was already engaged when I started to wonder if he was the right man for me. And unfortunately, that's too late!! Well not technically, but when the invitations have been sent out and the dress is hanging in the closet, it's really hard to say "I wonder if he's the one." It's much easier to break up with a boyfriend than a fiance. Seriously.

I decided a few months before the wedding that I should pray about whether or not he was the one for me. I didn't know very much about praying at the time, so I just prayed about it one time. I got up the next day and still felt like I loved my fiance, so I thought that was my answer. Don't be like me. Pray, pray hard, pray without ceasing! This is a very important decision you are making. Make that decision with the Lord's guidance. Pray till you know what the Lord's will is. Pray till you can look at the man you love and truly be at peace with a lifetime with him. It's hard to imagine your entire life, but when it's right, the Lord will tell you. Listen to Him.

Pray about every boyfriend you have. If you know he's not the one, move on. It will be better for both of you in the end. If you are single, pray for the kind of man you are looking for. Pray for the qualities that will be good for you and good for your future family. If you are unsure of what those qualities are, pray to know what kind of man would be best for you. Pray, pray, and pray again. I'm begging you, please let the Lord be involved in the entire process. I made the mistake of not praying enough. Don't be like me.

Lastly, I want to tell you what I feel are the most important qualities to look for in someone. I never knew to look for these qualities! No one told me (bad excuse by the way). I didn't learn the importance of these attributes till just the past few months.

First of all, look for someone with serving heart. A heart that serves the Lord, as well as his fellow man. Look for someone who can esteem others higher than himself, and make sure he can be the religious head of your household. If you can find these qualities, you will find a man that will love you and be faithful to you, and lead your family according to God's will. He will be able to fix problems the right way, say he is sorry even if it's not his fault, and wipe your tears even when he doesn't know what is causing them. He will be a GOOD man.

I admit I completely looked for the wrong qualities in someone, and as it turned out, I married someone that was very selfish... which I will say is the one quality you need to steer clear of. Selfishness doesn't seem like a big deal in the beginning, but it will grow into the biggest problem in your marriage. A selfish person will always put what he wants in front of what you need. Yes, I worded that right..... his WANTS are more important that your NEEDS. It may not seem like much when he's wanting more material things, or extra time with his friends, but those small selfish wants, in my case, turned into the affair he never intended on having. He was so used to having his way, and getting what he wanted, he didn't have the self discipline to tell himself he couldn't have another woman. Please stay away from selfish men.

I know I have probably only hit the tip of the ice burg with this post. It's such a broad subject, and it can have many variables and twists and turns. Not every situation will fit the perfect mold. That is why, above all things, pray, pray, pray. The Lord will help fill in whatever holes I have left in my messy little blog post.

I pray the Lord blesses you in your futures.

Just don't be like me.

I love you all, and I only want the best for you!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Help from above

I'm a worrier. Always have been, and unfortunately, probably always will be.

I can worry myself into a tizzy.

I wish I weren't this way, but I got it honest. I am the daughter of the chief of all worriers. My father. Thankfully, I believe the trait has lessened with my generation.

The opposite of worry is faith. When I find myself worrying I think about that, and then I usually get upset with myself... I always claim to have faith, but if I'm worrying, then it's obvious I'm lacking in the faith department.

This new year has already been met with a rather large speed bump... at least I thought it was large. I worried and worried and got myself all worked up, and "Voila!" The Lord delivered once again. The mountain that was before me turned out to be nothing more than a molehill by the time the Lord was finished with it. I wish my faith had been stronger. I felt in my heart things would work out, but that didn't stop me from feeding on the doubts I had.

My Pastor said this in a sermon I heard a year or so ago:

"If you're worrying about it, you're not praying about it. If you've prayed about it, there's no need to worry."

Simple as pie. Right?

These words help me a lot, however I still find myself worrying after I've prayed. So now I've started praying about my worrying. It has helped. The issues that used to plague my mind, are far less than they used to be. I'm so thankful for that.

The Lord continues to help me and bless my little existence, and there aren't enough prayers of thanks to even begin to cover it all.

I can already see another speed bump or two coming up over the horizon. I've started praying about them now, so that hopefully when they get here I will have more faith and less worry. I know everything will be ok. I trust the Lord will take care of me, as well as my speed bumps. Maybe if I start thanking God now, before they get here, I will somehow be able to get in enough thanks for all His help.

I think that sounds like a better use of my time than worrying, don't you?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year

It is the first day of a brand new year.

New Years has never really meant that much to me over the years. It just seemed like every other day. But this one seems different. I've never looked forward to a new year more than I have this one. I know that by this time next year my life will, Lord willing, be totally different. But in a good way.

But part of me can't help but remember the past.

Two years ago on New Years Day my life was a different story... My husband had just moved out two days earlier, and I was a week away from filing for divorce - I just didn't know it at the time. Mostly, I was in a very lonely place. No one knew what I was going through. No one was around to comfort me. But I had made a New Years resolution to myself. My resolution was to go to church. Not just on Sundays, but every time I could. Besides, I didn't really want to be at home. I knew I needed to get out of the house, and be with people that loved me, and whom I loved. I knew that was what my heart needed. It needed my church family.

I remember going to church the first Wednesday night of 2012, and it changed me. I can't tell you what was preached on, or even who all was there, but I knew from that point on my resolution would be easy to keep. I knew that church would be my safe place from the world, and from my life that was falling apart.

Fast forward one year....

New Years day 2013 was a calm time for me. All of the stress and drama from the divorce was past. We had just moved into our new house just weeks earlier. Life was good. My mental state was getting better, and I was feeling less like my life was over, and more like my life was just starting to begin. I went to Wednesday night church the next day, and I was happy to think about all the of the church services I had been blessed to be able to attend that past year. I was happy that the Lord helped me keep my conviction to be in church as much as I could. I tried to make as many regular services as I could, as well as attending big meetings. (One in which, would change my life forever. I just didn't know it at the time.)

Now hear I am another year later...

...and I'm happy. Truly happy. The Lord continues to bless me and my boys despite my constant failings. I've never been more ready for a year to start. I know there are wonderful changes coming. It won't all be easy, and the details of the changes are still up in the air. But I am convinced that by New Years Day 2015 everything will have worked itself out, and I will be even more blissfully happy than I am on this New years Day.

I got up this morning to read my bible, and it was almost impossible to make out the words because there were so many tears of joy in my eyes. Everything I read made me realize how very blessed I am. Today is Wednesday, so I have church tonight. I'm looking forward to it. This service brings back a lot of memories for me. Some bad, but some good too. Because this service is only once a month, it helps me think about how far I've come with each month that passes. The healing that took place that month. The blessings that happened. The changes that took place. Even just this past month, my life is better than it was last month, and the month before. When I think of where I am today, it makes me wonder how things will be next month, as well as next year.

I can't wait to find out.

Happy New Year to you all, and I pray the Lord will bless you in the coming year.