Saturday, August 31, 2013

Humbled

lower (someone) in dignity - humiliate 
make (someone) feel ashamed and foolish by injuring their dignity and self-respect, esp. publicly - embarrass or mortify

This past week I had a few instances where I was humbled. I was humiliated and embarrassed. It reminded me of 10 years ago when I was in high school and similar situations happened. 

How is it possible that I as a person can be so prideful that even when I fall I do not accept help getting up? 
How is it that I can be so self-centered not to keep an eye out for what is right in front of me? 
How can it be that I am too distracted to realize what I am doing as it is happening? 

Monday I was walking down the hallway at school - and then I was suddenly on the floor... Apparently there was water on the floor and I hadn't realized it. As I heard a girl passing by say water I was already on the floor before I could register what she was talking about. 

Humiliation humbles a person like nothing else can. I am reminded of my place. 

Ironic that I so quickly try to jump up and not allow anyone to assist - even though I'm hurting and am not even sure of my surroundings or if I'm okay. Far too mortified to stand around and let others bask in my embarrassment. I just walk quickly away before I start to realize the pain I am feeling- two days later I discover the debt in my computer from the fall - I've been struggling ever since just walking in general because I am pretty sure I bruised my hip. 

Even with all of that said - I cannot help but think about all the times in our lives that we are down, get knocked down, fall down... And we are so quick to jump back up and into things without even assessing ourselves, our surroundings, and the situation as a whole. 

The evidence of the fall sticks with us and slowly affects us over time; progressively getting worse. And yet we continue on forward, thinking that eventually the pain will just melt away. 

I know that I cannot do any of this on my own. Although I am quick to jump back up and continue trudging on, I am also quick to identify and assess the situation. See that I was wrong to jump back up and back in. I have to learn to humbly as for help- to acknowledge that there is something bigger - I have to lower myself to see what else there is. 

Often I find we are self focused - not observant enough of our surroundings and completely distracted. This leaves us vulnerable to falls, bumps, bruises through life. This is where the hard falls and learned lessons come into play. Until we humble ourselves we will not see the bigger picture; the greater mission.  

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6 NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

All of this comes with first recognizing - when you are down - you need help up. When you are damaged you need time to heal. When you are humble - you will be lifted up and you will prosper. 

Why is being humble so hard? Why is it in our nature to want to be on top? To WANT to be in charge? To feel the NEED to be independent? To be so COMPETITIVE? How do we change? Where do we go from here? 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Silence

This is the first time in a long time that I have been silent. I have been battling with the idea of whether or not I should censor myself. I have so much to say and I just am not sure how to say it. I have had a couple really tough weeks in my personal life and I have also had such insight dropped into my lap within that time. 

There are a few reasons for questioning the censoring. Obviously I am not here to hurt anyone or throw anyone under the bus. I am also not here to make anyone feel uncomfortable and I do not want to at any point in time offend any of my readers. With that said, I have to understand the reality of the situation is that I have likely already done that and will likely do that again because I am here to express in writing ideas, thoughts, and emotions. This is not eggshells that are meant to be tip toed on or around, this is a place where I throw fuel on the fire an let it burn. 

With that said I am still deciding what to write and how to write it. But I am battling with this idea of censorship - when it is or isn't appropriate. I am battling with the idea of truth- when is it just time to speak it and when is too much truth harmful and where do you apply truth with grace? 

In tough times I have reverted to silence because being silent is so much easier than making a statement, but what I have to realize is that being silent is in itself making a statement. My silence is very telling. 

Someone last night told me that my eyes were speaking - even in silence I am speaking so loudly with the rest of my body and my soul. I have to realize and understand that this is truth. No matter how much I want to believe - I am unavailing the truth whether I speak it out loud/ write it down or not. 

So as I begin to feel this weight lift of indecision and guilt I will dive into my next blog soon. I just need some time to come to terms with what I will put in black and white before its permanently there and I cannot take it back. It's been a long road - a long journey - but a learned journey. 

I am so ready for more lessons, but lessons that I take in stride as they come and learn as I go - not the lessons that slap you in the face after you are knocked down and having to be helped back up again. 

Until next time...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Taking the Queen in the Night

So the strategy is always the same and the concept has never changed. The objective is to take the Queen in the night - obtain the throne - and knock the ruler down so that you can rule. Most likely this will happen in the night because this is the time of most vulnerability and when it is least expected.

I am taking the queen in the night.

I have never done such a thing before and it is not something that I necessarily want to do, but it is something that is necessary. In this instance the queen is preventing growth and change and positive outcome. I cannot have negativity and prevention surrounding me or those in my life and therefore

I am taking the queen in the night.

This will change everything. It could change those that surround me. It could change those that stand behind me. It could change who stands beside me. I know where I stand, but I still cannot believe that

I am taking the queen in the night.

Have you ever imagined of creating an army? Of fashioning a coup against someone or an organization? Have you ever considered taking the queen in the night? Now the time has come where I must and it doesn't feel right. I don't know if it is my heart that tells me she is a good person at the core, or if it is my heart that tells me it is wrong. Either way I have to think with my head and know that this is the right decision to make for the business. I have to know that this is the best to help the business grow and therefore I have to take the queen in the night. She will not know what is coming, it will strike her suddenly and unknowingly, but it will be what is necessary for the bigger picture. Can you say that you have ever taken the queen in the night?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dear Future

To my future,

I decided that I deserve you. Let me tell you that it has been a long road to get to this point. I haven't had the gall to stand up to someone yet or really to feel the way I do now until now. But I am glad that I do. I have decided that I deserve something more. I deserve respect and honor. I deserve faithfulness and commitment. I deserve love and support. I deserve stability and consistency. I deserve you. So I have decided to leave my past behind and continue looking onward and forward into the future and continue looking for you.

This is such an odd concept for me because I have never thought to leave the past behind even when I was still tied to it. I have always cut ties first and then moved forward. It is much more difficult to move forward knowing that there is still a connection to the past. I know that this is the decision that had to be made because it is the best for my head, heart, and mostly it is the best for you - future.

I know this road has been bumpy and there have been many ups and downs. I don't know what your road has looked like. But I pray every day that when we meet that you will know that I am your future as I will know that you are mine. It is so trying this world we live in but I know that love surpasses everything and just as Jesus did I will forgive your trespasses as you will forgive mine.

Life is not about living happily ever after, but it is about living happily with one another. There is a childhood sunday school song that sings about having the joy down in my heart. This is what I think of when I think of my future. When I think of experiencing that true joy in my heart I cannot explain anything else except a heart that is overflowing.

I have so much love to give and I just really need somebody to bake for. So I'm excited for the day that comes when I can say my future has finally arrived. But, until that day arrives, I will patiently wait. I will pray for you and our relationship that will be. I will continue to grow in my faith and pray that you grow in yours. I will prepare my heart for you.

Love - your future.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

home

Home is where your heart is. I am sure we have all heard this many times.

Where is our home?
Where is our heart?
Are they together?
Are they spread apart?

Are we lost?
Are we found?
Have we been searching?
Do we need to send the hound?

Lost forever?
Is it a lost cause?
Can we be redeemed?
Are there too many flaws?


Was I caught up in it?
Caught up in his art?
Where is my home?

Where is my heart?

We all ask ourselves sometimes where our hearts are. Where is our focus? Sometimes our hearts may be focused in the wrong direction and that leads us down the wrong paths and toward the wrong doors.

Home is where our hearts are. What if we cannot find our hearts - let alone recognize a home?

To me - growing up - a home has always been considered a place that offered a roof over my head. Whether that was a house, apartment, hotel, church, friends house, etc. It was a place that rendered a sleeping environment where I didn't feel worried or scared that I had to fear for anything or sleep outdoors because we couldn't afford shelter. As I grew older, home was a place similarly representing a place where I took shelter from the outside. It was a place that generally offered a meal, a place to sleep and there was always someone else there - and most frequently never a dull moment.

I have moved around frequently in my life and have never sunk roots down because I have never felt at home. I never have sunk my heart into a place really hard enough to grow roots deep enough to want to stay planted. Until now....

I have come to realize that this where my heart is - The 10 - Mission Church - Mission Students - Education - Writing - Blogging - Family - Friendships - etc.

All of this that is growing as my roots are growing faster and deeper and it is more than I could have ever expected. I cannot even begin to understand what I am experiencing here because I have never felt at home somewhere like this. I have never wanted to stay somewhere the way I want to stay here. It is such an inner struggle I have been facing. I want to be closer to work and school, but I cannot bring myself to move there because that would draw me away from the roots I am planting here. I cannot pull myself away from this and it is the first time in my life I have ever been faced with this type of a dilemma.

My heart has not been so homeland focused over the past couple years and I intend to spend some time refocusing. I am excited about everything that will happen as that is happening. Home is where your heart is - when your heart is home focused what more can happen I am sure will be amazing and I cannot wait to see what will come of it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

tug a rope

have you ever played a game of tug a rope? you know that game where there are two teams trying to pull each other into the middle where usually there is a pile of mud or something awful? sometimes both teams end up pulling so hard and giving up at the same time that the tension and give way of the rope pulls them all down and into the middle. then both teams and the rope end up in the pile of mud.


this is how i feel a lot of times. like i am being pulled in two different directions. most of the time it is my heart and head pulling me two different ways. sometimes it is myself and my family/friends thoughts/beliefs pulling me two different ways. but no matter what the struggle is .... the point is - im still struggling here.

fighting to stay afloat. fighting to not fall into the mud pit. fighting to make sure that i can make it out alive and keep moving forward and in the right direction. fighting to stay alive. heels dug into the ground pulling with all my might ... rope burns forming on my hands from the rope slipping slightly. trying to regain balance and ground. trying to regain more rope and re-brace myself on the soft wet muddy earth. i feel myself slipping. i feel myself coming down. both sides colliding together in the mud pit.

it's too much work - it's too hard to fight. it's too hard to keep up this constant turmoil. pulling back and forth always trying to choose a side and figuring out a winner and looser.

I'm sure every person has felt a little like this in their life at some point. Life can sometimes be a game of tug-a-rope. We win some and we loose some. We get hurt, fall down, bruise our knees, egos, hearts, heads, and then we get back up - brush ourselves off and start again. The funny thing is that we keep jumping back in line for that same game of tug-a-rope even though we know the risks, dangers, and hardships we will incur. We are people of habit - people of repeating history. We don't enjoy pain, but we know how to endure it and most of us feel as if we deserve it at some point in our life so we take it on as some form of punishment or another. We keep fighting these endless battles and we keep loosing because they are not battles we are meant to be fighting to begin with.

Next time - before you get in line for that same tug-a-rope ... think about what you are risking - think about what you are putting on the line. Is the energy, turmoil and hardship worth it all?

This past week I was faced with my own choice. Something that I struggled with back and forth. I really struggled with my heart and head. Of course my head won because my head is logical and my heart lost because my heart is emotional. My head thinks of the future and what is just and right, while my heart thinks only of the present and near future and emotions that will affect me in that timeframe. This was a difficult decision for me because I have to consider it a tie - because there was a win and a loss. I struggle most with this because I will likely question my decision many times, I will second guess myself, and I will sit back and ponder the multiple "what if" statements.

But just as any other tug-a-war .... the battle is over... i am not defeated. Though I may be down, bruised, hurt, broken, whatever - I will just keep moving because that is the best thing to do in a moment like this. Just keep going - till you don't realize that you are a robot in motion anymore and you are actually living again.

Tug-a-rope... who knew it could be so challenging?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Love is...

Have you ever seen those cute little love is comics with the little man and girl ... 

My parents used to cut them out and give them to each other when I was little. As I have grown up and seen them here and there they have really grown on my heart. Some of them are really silly and some are really sweet - other are downright romantic and are the glue that binds two together. 

Love is awesome and beautiful - love is compassionate and fruitful. Love is hopeful and full of dreams. Love is passionate and kind. Love is caring and heartfelt. Love is respectful and warm. 

Love is also heartbreaking - full of sadness and despair. Love is hard and takes two. Love is full of loss and emptiness. Love is sacrifice and compromise. 

Love a lot of times is lonely. The thing they don't tell you in all the comics and movies is that it doesn't end in rainbows and butterflies. There isn't a happily ever after every time or for some there isn't one at all. The hardest part is that even though you are sharing everything with someone - you feel alone, lonely, etc. 

It's hard enough to help along a functional and healthy relationship - let alone trying to make something work that won't. We are human and we try to fix things and people. We try to fix what's broken and if people aren't like us we automatically assume they are broken. So, when a man comes along who is nice but isn't ready for marriage a woman thinks its her mission to ready that man for marriage. Or when a mans not ready for children, then put them with children and make them fall in love - they will want one of their own... Etc. 

Unfortunately, we are never ready for the backfire. When the plan doesn't work. When the man doesn't follow through. When life doesn't pan out how we planned. What do we do then? We keep moving on. 

Because - love is letting go. 

Sometimes it's hard for us to see because we have our love blinders on. Come on. We all know what I'm talking about. Those love blinders we keep on because even though deep in our hearts we know the truth we just don't want to believe it so we blind ourselves from it in order to keep on living this way. Yet in the long run it only hurts us more. 

Love is speaking the truth. 

When you have something to say it should be said no matter the cost. You shouldn't try to appease the other person or be careful of their feelings to the extent that you aren't sharing yours. Honesty is the best policy and always has been. We know this. So - sometimes the hardest things to say are the best things to say. They might hold the worst sting or bite but that pain will ease with time and the scars will heal. 

Love is not settling. 

Never settle for less because when you settle for less you will always be looking for more. This is not fair to yourself or to your significant other. You have to search for what satisfies you and keeps you challenged. If you aren't challenged then you aren't keeping up with what's best for you. Never settle for less than what you deserve because you deserve more than you believe you do. 

Love is respect. 

Respect is such a huge quality that lies at the core of love. Even on your bad days when you are fighting and not liking each other, you should still respect each other. Respect the sanctity of your vows, your commitment to be only to each other. Respect your partner verbally, emotionally, physically, psychologically. Respect needed space and respect time. Respect the need for intimacy, etc. 

There is so much more I could talk about here but I won't... 

Love is vulnerably and willingly giving your whole self to another person expecting nothing in return- passionate, selfless, patient, kind hearted. 

The worst is when you love like this but you don't receive this love back. Recently I watched the bachelorette with Desire and she was distraught because she felt as if she loved like this over and over yet never received this love in return. Until she found Chris. He really loved her the same way she loved him. It was amazing to watch. (Even though its sappy and tv) 

But we all look for this love story - the one that ends happily ever after with the true love and sappiness all intertwined. Sometimes the road getting there is just a little rougher than expected. 

Love is patient.   

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My body and me

You know when you are young and you are just discovering your body - it's that age when you don't really understand what is going on with everything and you are trying to figure things out. For most kids that is puberty - we've been there and done that. Most of us have discovered our bodies and we understand and know what our body does and what it is all about.

For me unfortunately I am still discovering my body. It is such a struggle every day to re-learn what I can and cannot do. Yesterday I learned that the test results came back from the rheumatologist for an auto-immune deficiency disorder.... he retested me for something I have been living with for the last 8 years of my life. Yesterday I found out the tests came back negative. I am so confused. Have you ever wanted to jump for joy and cry at the same time? Cause that is how I felt in that moment. I'm not sure how many of you know what antiphospholipid syndrome is but that is what I was diagnosed with eight years ago and have been being treated for ever since. I was told that I couldn't have children, I was on blood clot watch, I have a weakened immune system, etc... and now... eight years later I am being told that I don't have that.

So needless to say my body and me are struggling. We are not in sync - we are not on the same page - and we are not understanding each other. The doctor thinks that all along I have had rheumatoid arthritis and that the original doctors mistakenly diagnosed me with APL syndrome instead because there are a lot of the same symptoms that tie in both auto immune deficiency disorders.

What I struggle with - if APL isn't the reason I cannot have children - what is? if APL isn't the reason my immune system is weak then what is? Why am I the only one in my family who got stuck with all these medical problems? Why does my body feel like it cannot move or function one day but feels perfectly fine the next day?

There are so many things in life that do not make sense and one of the simplest things that makes sense to most people but doesn't make sense to me is my body. But, it is something that we have to live with. It's like if you loose a limb and have to learn how to function again without it. Or after an accident or a head injury and you have to learn how to cope again with lose of memory or mobility. There is so much to learn and I feel like I am way to young to be walking around like a penguin because my bones and joints are in so much pain I cannot even walk straight.

I guess the next step is waiting on the approval from insurance for the medications - but that can take a while so we just wait. Until then - I just keep learning how to cope. My body and me just learning how to get along slowly but surely in this new life together.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

drunken fireworks

Last night i went to the Hammond Marina to watch some fireworks.... first I watched the sun set and it was beautiful. Just to get a different perspective - a different view of the city and of life.


So beautiful it was to watch the sun set over the city from this view - out walking the pier and watching all the kids play and the people on their boats. It was just an interesting experience. But that experience obviously had to lead to the ultimate event which everyone was waiting for - the fireworks!


We chose our spot on the pier and sat/stood waited for over an hour for the fireworks to start. We wanted to have the best spot and the best view. We didn't want to have to stand around other people or look through trees. I didn't want to have to be stepped on or pushed by others trying to get that view they waited till the last minute to get. So we waited on the pier at our spot for over and hour, just standing there waiting... 

Now - if you know anything about me then you know how much I just love waiting... ugh! Really how much I hate waiting. But I was willing to wait in order to see the beautiful fireworks because I knew they would be worth it. 

Then the fireworks start! Right on time. A few blasts in a family comes over - mother, father, and a few children. The mom asks me if we can scooch over a little so her kids can sit and watch the fireworks. My heart went out to them and there was a little room - three little kids could fit, so I scooched over and said sure. 

Obviously.... this is where the real story begins.... 

She plops her butt down on the ground - her and the husband are obviously drunk - the dad is yelling and the kids are crying - so much for an awesome fireworks experience.... 
She keeps pushing toward me until she is literally sitting on top of my foot because she is trying to make me move over more - her husband is ashing his cigarette on his little girl and she is crying that her daddy is burning her... the mom is yelling at the kids to shut up and sit their asses down... 

My heart went out to the kids and I wanted them to have an awesome experience and be able to see the fireworks so I let them in, but obviously the mom was the one who wanted to sit, the kids didn't want to be their and both parents were too drunk to care. 

At one point the little girl wouldn't stop crying, the dad picked her up and attempted to give her a pep talk. He said to her that she would remember this day for the rest of her life - that going to fireworks was such a fun experience and her parents were the only ones who would ever bring her to places like this and that she should be having fun not crying about this. 

I thought to myself... ugh - don't judge... 

But really what I was thinking was... what she is going to remember is that you burnt her with the ashes of your cigarette, that you are a drunk, that she doesn't enjoy fireworks, that you keep screaming in her ear, and that as she gets older this will all get worse and more embarrassing. 

A friend was with me and he just observed this entire experience and pointed out that it was completely different to be sober and watching the drunk people.. 

I was scared to think about who was driving those little ones home. And even thinking about the future and where those babies would be in 10 years or more... 

I know that I come from a history of alcoholism and a family that holds alcoholic tendencies. There is a lot of alcohol in my past and I personally have struggled with that and others in my life have struggled with that, but recently I have made the choice to stop drinking because I observed what was happening in my life and in the life of those around me and I didn't want to see that anymore or see what that would turn into. 

I never want to be that parent  .... 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What if...

Have you ever played that what if game? Asking yourself what if this or what if that? Thinking about what would happen if you did this or that? What would have been different with this or that?

So many times in my life I have wondered what would have been different if I would have done this or that... if I wouldn't have gone out that night... if I wouldn't have taken that drink... if I wouldn't have met that guy...

So many times in my life I wonder what will happen in my future... how will my day play out or my week. What will this next semester of school hold or with my students?

We always plan things - plan for things - map our what we believe our day or week or even life will be like. Unfortunately, it never is like what we believe or what we planned for. So the real question is what do we do next? How do we plan for the unknown? How do we not plan?

I like to be spontaneous. Not a current planner - like an in the moment spontaneous type of person who doesn't plan for the afternoon, night, or weekend. I enjoy sporadic planning and deciding events on a whim. While this is how I love short term planning I hate this for long term. I am a planner when it comes to the future. I want to be able to map out my life, my dreams, what I will be doing in 5, 10, 20 years. It is hard to think about the future knowing that all the plans I once had haven't come true and won't. So now I am restructuring and replanning.

Always playing the what if game makes you rethink what you have done and question what you are doing... but does it make you make the right choices? Or does it scare you into not taking risks or into taking the wrong risks?

Where are we? Where have we been? Where are we going? What would our lives be like if... and then here we are again playing the what if game...

So I plan even though I don't know what will happen or if my plans are right or wise, I still plan. I plan for the future and what my life could be like. I still fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to the present because I enjoy the spontaneity of it all. I enjoy last minute decisions because they keep me on my toes and they remind me that there are bigger and better things in life than me.

Even if I were to map out my entire life - guess all the what ifs right - it wouldn't make a difference. I am just one in this sea of many and it doesn't make a difference what I plan unless I am making a difference. So the real questions I should be asking are - have I made a difference? Am I making a difference? Will I make a difference? This is what I should be focusing on over all - not what I ate for lunch - or if what I wore today was cute enough - if I picked the right car a few months ago - or the right classes for next semester. All of these things will work themselves out. If I am not making a big enough difference - then nothing else in life matters....

So I guess the real question is ... am I making a difference? Are you making a difference?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Things unsaid

Often we find ourselves in a predicament. There is something we need to say - something we need to tell and we cannot say it or have no one to tell it to because it is not traditional or socially acceptable. Whatever we have to say is something that others may not want to hear and so we keep quiet.


Why must we be the people that keep everything quiet. Why can we not talk about the topics that are hard to talk about. We are an unaware society and this is because we brush things under the rug, rub things off, keep secrets, don't open our mouths when we should and hide evidence that should be brought to light.

Don't let me tell you that I do not fit into this category because I do - I once was a very shy young woman who would never say some of the things I say. I would never do some of the things I do. I would keep to myself and try to just make it through the day on my own. I am very different from that now. I am stronger and wiser. I know what I believe in and what I know and what I am okay with never knowing. I am bold and okay with taking that strong stance.

I want to be clear that when everything is said and done our ultimate goal here is nothing more than to love each other. So why is it so hard to share with each other? Is it because we are afraid of being judged and shunned? Afraid of what our life would look like if everyone knew what was going on?

Just sit and think - just for a moment. What if your neighbors life isn't so different from yours and they aren't saying anything either, but they are itching for a friend. All both of you needs is someone to talk to in order to alleviate some of this insanity you are dealing with in your lives.

What would life look like if we could pack away the judging and open up the loving?

I think about the hard topics like the abused and the abusers. Who is helping the abusers - where are the programs helping to love them and forgive them? Where are the programs showing them they can change and heal? Where are the people who can counsel them and provide them with a second chance in society that isn't full of societal shunning but full of societal embracing because we forgive and love. Who is helping the abused - where are the adults who should be speaking out and helping the children when the abuse is happening? Why does a child get to adulthood before they deal with abuse faced in childhood? How long must this go on before we open our eyes and realize that the abused children we are not helping are becoming the abusers that we are shunning?! When do we start speaking out? When do we step in and start helping? Where is the love?

I think about hard topics like LGBTQ - which stands for the Lesbian, Gay Men, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered, and Questioning Community. I had a conversation just today about this and I sit and wonder how many people in this community feel embraced by the church as a whole or by God? Dr Suess says "A person is a person no matter how small." I always used this quote when I spoke about abortion, but I think that he is referring to a person is a person no matter what. God calls us to love - no matter who the person is or what lifestyle they live. A lot of the time you will hear people quote verses in the bible such as Leviticus 20 where it states that a man shall not lay with another man - but if you read the entire chapter God is speaking about a community of people that are practicing demonic behaviors (mediums/spiritists) and incest behavior. He also references other things such as cursing your mother and father - lumping them all together and making them punishable by death. Is this true today? I don't think so. I do believe that immorality is a sign and that everyone faces that temptation, which is a hard one to battle. There are churches out there that and people that support the LGBTQ Community and their right to not have to be a separate community but to be accepted into society as everyone else is - with the same rights no questions asked lack of judgement that others receive. I found an article by a Rev. Susan Russell which I thought was extremely interesting - Top Ten Questions about God, Jesus, the Bible, and Gay Pride. Ultimately I am sure most of you are questioning what is my stance - and I would say I agree with the don't judge and just love concept. Why is this so hard to do?

Think on the popular song Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - listen to it here: http://youtu.be/hlVBg7_08n0 - listen to the lyrics - feel it.

I think about other hard topics like sexual assault and human trafficking - why can nobody say the word RAPE? ABUSE? SEX? ASSAULT? why are these words so taboo? Why can we not spread awareness and share our knowledge and let others know it's okay to talk about these things. If these topics weren't so taboo I wouldn't have had such a hard time talking about it when it happened to me. I thought it was so taboo and such a bad thing that it had to be my fault and I was the bad person. If I had known better, then I would have felt a little better about talking - but this is still a hard topic for a child to embrace let alone a teenager or an adult - so where are the support groups - the real questions -

Why is it so hard to ask the Sex Drugs and Rock n Roll questions - why is it so hard to answer them? Why has our society made these topics so taboo that we are not able to embrace what is going on around us and actually address it and take care of the hurting and those in need?

Instead we all have things left unsaid, swept under the rug. Family secrets hidden unable to be spoken about. We all have things that we want to share that are eating us alive but we just cannot bring ourselves to do it. Why are we so afraid? What is holding us back? Can we be the people that God calls us to be and love and not judge?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Why Marry?

I have recently had multiple conversations about this topic... some of the answers have been awesome and some of them have been disturbing. I wonder what other people are thinking out there and why no one is really able to be honest with themselves about how they really feel.


I was married once - obviously if you read far enough back into this blog you can read from the beginning of that into the struggles, and through the healing. I was married for a short while before I figured out the man I thought I had married was actually a deceitful fraud and I was in a tough situation. I was scared and fearful of my situation for many reasons, but I was also disappointed in myself for not seeing any signs sooner. I thought he was a nice guy and I wasn't going to find anyone better and he was good enough. I would settle for him and things would be just fine. I was happy with my life and he didn't weigh to heavily on that happiness either way so I would be okay if he was in my life or not in my life, but I was tired of being alone and I was comfortable being with him. So, when he asked me to marry him - I was shocked and really didn't want to say yes, but I didn't want to say no and pass up that opportunity either - so I just stood there in shock and let him put the ring on my finger. He obviously took that as a yes - everything else just happened so fast. Before I knew it, I was sitting in a wedding dress waiting to walk up some stairs and marry this man. Saying "I do" for what I thought would be the rest of my life. I was so scared. I was anxious. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to run! But I thought that was just the cold feet or wedding jitters. I guess it was my heart telling me that something wasn't right, but I thought it was too late. I couldn't walk out now with all those people there. I had to follow through. So I did. I put on a smile and walked up the stairs. I walked down the isle and said I do. I committed myself knowing it would be a hard road, but I was willing to work at it no matter what because that was the type of person I was. I gave everything I was - everything I had left in me. Time passed and I realized that I had nothing left to give. I couldn't set this example for my sisters and let them think it was okay to be with a man that was abusive. I could not let them see me so depressed, sad, joyless all the time. I tried to resolve things through counseling but he kept lying - when the counselor confronted him about lying his response was - "Well, ya. I guess I lied. I didn't want to tell the truth." - Over and over again we would end up back at the same place until finally the counselor told us that either something had to change or this was helpless. It was helpless. Now I have to deal with the consequences of making that decision to be married, the decision to be divorced, and whatever decisions follow.

I have a friend who is married - he isn't happy. He tells me his marriage was a decision of ease and comfort. She was a good friend, he loved her and was comfortable with her. When the time came to purpose or break up - it was easier to purpose .... Now it is hard and uncomfortable. Because when two people aren't really in love and willing to make it work. Willing to compromise and give to the other person what they need to survive in that marriage - it makes for a very uneasy and uncomfortable situation. He loves her and doesn't want to hurt her, but he isn't happy and I am sure neither is she. What a conundrum - just live unhappy forever because you don't want to hurt someone. Don't you realize you are hurting each other every day by stealing each other's happiness and joy?

I have another friend who is married - he married out of necessity. It didn't follow the childhood rhyme that we all know - first comes love then comes marriage then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Things happened a little backwards for them and because she was pregnant with his child he wanted to be the good man and do the right thing. He married her. Now he is miserable. She is controlling him and drawing a wedge between him and his family. What is more important? Having a relationship with his family or having a relationship with his child? That is the choice that he has been forced to make! Why do we get ourselves in these toxic situations and relationships?

I have another friend who is married - he claims he loves his wife, but he steps out on her all the time. He says he loves her and she is a great mother to his children, and it's not that she is not enough - he just needs more. He has no intention of leaving her and would never want her to find out about his actions because he does not want her to be hurt. Why is he married in the first place if one woman is not enough for him? Because he said he wanted a family and she would be a great mother. So he picked her. Why can one woman not be enough for a man?

I have another friend who is married - his marriage is falling apart and in the middle of a divorce. He started dating another woman before his divorce was final - but the woman he was dating had no idea he was still married. All along she thought he was divorced and available. He now is madly in love with this woman and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. But, he still is not divorced.

Why marry? When I sit back and look at all these stories and many more that I have and know - I just ponder on the question. I don't understand why people make the decisions they make and then cannot make the hard decisions later on.

I know that I will marry again because I need companionship in my life. I love loving others and I know that I was made to be with another human being. While I can enjoy moments of solitude now and again - I cannot be alone for the rest of my life and I look forward to the day when a man will ask me to be his wife and truly will love me and want to be with me. He won't just be asking because he doesn't want me to be with anyone else, he will be asking because he cannot imagine his life without me a part of it. This next time around though I am sure to be caught in Vegas or on an island - not in a wedding dress walking down an isle.

God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him... God made a woman." Genesis 2: 18,27

God knew that when he created us we were not meant to be alone and he created another so that there would be a pair. Pairs are how we are meant to live. But, we should be sure we choose wisely in our decisions - who we marry should be a life long commitment. I never wanted to have to make that decision twice, but I surely will not make a mistake the second time around. I just want anyone to know that it is never too late to walk away. Even if you are standing outside the door of the church - you can walk away. If the person inside really loves you and you realize you have made a mistake, they will forgive you and you can figure something out. If you realize you made the right decision, then you have not committed yourself to someone for the rest of your life. There is no amount of money or family members feelings that is worth that type of commitment.

You can be a great father without being married to the mother of your child.
You can be a great friend and love that person without marrying them.
You can find someone who will be a great mother for your children, but who will also be enough for you.

I do not believe there is just one person out there for us, I do not believe in soul mates or anything like that. I do believe that we make our own futures and we pave them out based on decisions we make.

What are you going to do?

Don't say Yes just because you want to be an MRS! Be sure you want to be his MRS because you will be stuck with him forever! Stop thinking divorce is an option before you are even married. Divorce is not an option. We are not even there. This is a societal view, not a biblical view. Sometimes life give you lemons and you just can't make lemonade, well - then you better figure out how to at least make lemon water... because you can't keep squeezing something out of nothing - or nothing out of something - You have to give in order to take.

Why did you get married? Why are you still married?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Wise Minds and Young Hearts

My dad has these sayings... Hang out with him enough and you will find yourself saying them as well. One of the things he always says is - "You are who you hang out with". 

Like most of of his other sayings when I was younger, I would likely roll my eyes and say - "okay dad" - and walk away ... but now I really do know what he means by that and I have also experienced that and seen it in action. As I have experienced life I have seen how the people I hang out with influence me and how that influence shapes and changes me. How I tend to be in certain situations because of those people or that influence and because of those situations there are consequences. Now, of course you can have positive situations with positive outcomes, or you can have negative situations with detrimental outcomes. A significant part of what makes, shapes, defines who we are and who we become are the people, mentors, influences we have in our life.

When I was younger I rolled my eyes because I was thinking to myself - ya okay ... I am stronger than that. I know I can be whoever I want to be and no matter who I hang out with, I will still be "ME". But imagine this... 


One girl standing on a chair and all her friends standing around her - it's so much easier for them to all pull her down than it is for her to try to pull them all up onto that chair with her. 

It's not as easy as I thought it would be for me to just stay "ME" and hang out with whoever I want and not allow their influences to rub off on me. I didn't understand this then, but I understand this now. As I walked through those experiences I just convinced myself that I was doing what I wanted and making those choices because that is what I wanted to do. The fact is, if I had not been hanging out with those people to begin with, I would not have ever made those choices or been put in those situations (or at least not then and there, who knows what would have happened). 

Surrounding myself with wise minds and young hearts is what I have been doing lately. I choose now to surround myself with those that I want to be more like. Jesus said - "Let the little children come to me" Matthew 19:14. I choose to surround myself with those that are young hearted - whether they are children, young adults, or adults with young hearts I know that joy is so very important and I must never loose sight of that. I want to cling to joy in my life and I know I will continue to do so when I am surrounded by young hearts. I also choose to surround myself with wise minds. These people are philosophers, teachers, pastors, mentors and range in age. I want to always be learning, challenging myself, and expanding my mind. There is a silly "infinity" commercial everybody has seen where there's a guy sitting around a table with a bunch of kids and he makes that explosion sound and he says .... "that blows my mind" - that's how I want to feel every day. I want to feel like I have gained so much knowledge and wisdom that my mind is being blown. 

I say all the time that I want to share my story so that others can feel like they are not alone. I also want to share my story so that other people can hear it and possibly not have to experience it as well. I want to impart my wisdom on the world so that I can share my experiences and learned lessons in an effort to help anyone from having to learn those lessons the hard ways like I did. I want to soak up what others know and have learned - so that I don't have to learn any more hard lesson - or as many more hard lessons. 

Life shapes us and defines us - the people we surround ourselves with shape us and influence us - God develops us, helps us to heal and grow. Ultimately, no matter where we have been or where we ware going - who we are with or have been surrounded by - He is at our core and that is where we must focus. Sometimes I look back on my past and wonder where I would be if I had never refocused my life .... 

Where would you be? Where are you now? Who do you surround yourself with? What needs to change?