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 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....


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. 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.