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.


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.