12.23.2006

Thank you E-town

I was awoke out of a sound sleep to what sounded like armageddon. I could hear screaming and wailing from all of my children and Scott screaming even louder and then on top of that I could hear Darren's puppy crying and yelping louder than any of them.

I threw on my robe and went running out into the midst of chaos to see Scott holding the screen door open just far enough to get his arm out and was beating on something, the kids screaming frantically (that doesn't do it justice) "IT'S KILLING OUR DOG!!!" and my entire front yard was full of people...neighbors, strangers driving by...just people willing to help.

It turns out that Maddie had taken the puppy out front and hooked him up to go potty and as soon as she came back in the house a pit-bull came out of nowhere and attacked our puppy. He was putting up a fight for his life but the other dog wouldn't let go. They were against the front of our house (they broke the siding) and against the front door. Scott was trying to get the door open far enough to beat the other dog off and drag the puppy through the door quickly but was unsuccessful. People driving by stopped and started beating the dog and throwing rocks, our mailman was the most heroic though. He grabbed a golf club from one of our neighbors and beat the tar out of the pit-bull...he hit him so hard he bent the club but it didn't touch the dog. Scott was beating him with a huge torque wrench and it didn't do any good. The other dog finally drug the puppy over into our neighbors yard near his door and finally after getting another golf club the mailman beat the hell out of the pit bull and our neighbor successfully pulled the puppy inside his door.

The dog then started trotting off down the street surrounded by a group of people who didn't want him to get away before the police and dog warden showed up...which they did eventually. I can't believe what good shape Deuce (the puppy) was in after all that...I expected him to be dead and in pieces...but he wasn't. He was traumatized for sure and covered in blood. His one leg was really mangled and you could see the bone...but he was alive and the vet says he thinks he'll eventually be ok. Scott said the neighbors basement landing and steps were covered in pools of blood. And we know he was also sprayed with pepper spray with the other dog. Bless his little heart....I just felt so helpless looking at this little puppy wanting comforted and scared to death and knowing I couldn't make it better for him....not to mention for my kids! Oh my gosh...my kids! The word traumatized doesn't even begin to describe what they were going through. They were scared to death about the dog and then they were scared that the dog would get Scott...it was just a mess.

I want to thank all of the people who literally risked their lives to help save this little dog and help our family....Thank you. We'll keep you posted. (and it will probably be in the paper tomorrow...the reporter was here for quite a while.)

12.15.2006

Here you go Megan!

Firsts

1. Who was your first prom date? I didn't go to prom...I was already married and had to work at Cedar Point.

2. Who was your first roommate? Randy...unless you count my foster sister Carla that I had for a short time.

3. What alcoholic beverage did you first drink? Amoretto then Wild Irish Rose...hey what can I say? I was high class! lol

4. What was your first job? Telemarketer for Olan Mills Portrait Studios

5. What was your first car? Grey 1980 Chevy Malibu that was doing a mean lean to the left because the suspension was off.

6. When did you go to your first funeral? My Grandma H. in 6th grade

7. What was your first surgery? Third grade...tonsills out right before Christmas.

8. Who was your first grade teacher? Mrs. Looney...and boy was she! She beat me with the wooden paddle for coloring on the carpet. I was bruised all down my back and legs!

9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? Connected in Atlanta then Ft. Lauderdale.

10. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with? My friend Charmaine and then it was only to sit in my yard beside my house. lol Other than that I've never snuck out.

11. Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with? My Soapie Soap Soap! And my cousin Michelle.

12. When was your first sleepover? Wow I can't remember...early with my cousin Michelle.

13. Who is the first person you talk to in the morning? My husband Scott.

14. Whose wedding were you in the first time? Michelle's...no, actually my moms when I was was 13.

15. What is the first thing you do in the morning? wake the girls up for school

16. What was the first concert you ever went to? Oak Ridge Boys...Lorain County Fair.

17. First tattoo or piercing? No tattoos, but I had my ears pierced when I was in third or fourth grade.

18. Who was your first crush, EVER? Wow, I can't even remember his name! It was in kindergarten. The earliest name I can remember was Mickey Buck. I was in first grade he was in 2nd.

20. First TRUE love? Scott.

21. First Heartbreak? Scott

22. When was your first detention? I've never had one.

23. First fight? Alot of them. Michelle used to come over and play with my neighbor Pam and they'd gang up on me and ignore me in like 3rd grade. lol

24. First Hangover? I was 21. The day after Michelle and Dewey's wedding. It was the first time I'd ever drank and I'm sure I had alcohol poisoning...it wasn't pretty.

25. First Sporting event? Football game in high school. Go Wolverines!

11.14.2006

According to the wishes of Tracy & Scott

I HAD THE MOST AMAZING EVENING SUNDAY!!!!

The weekend started off with all my girls arriving Saturday evening from Dayton. It was so good to see everyone but we didn't have long before we had to run out for the rehearsal. What's funny (and you'll see later why) is that as we were walking up to the doors of the church Allison whispered to me "so does the pastor know your name now?" She was referring to the fact that I had been uncomfortable going with our associate pastor because there just seemed to be something "off" about him. He was very impersonal and could never remember my name. Even if he just saw me the day before, he would walk up and shake my hand and welcome me to the church and ask my name. He was never tuned in. So anyways, we had rehearsal and then us girls went to Cracker Barrel to go on carb overload... and it was GREAT! lol Then just Allison and I went to El Jarabe for some chimi cheesecake and got harrassed by the irritating waiter the whole time. He was nice enough, I just wanted to yell at him to go away! But the cheesecake was delicious and really bad for us...just what the doctor ordered! lol After that we picked Megan and Shawnda back up at the hotel and headed to my house to perform surgery on my dress. We did some minor slicing and dicing and nipping and tucking and it actually turned out fabulous! I was so much more pleased with it and at ease about the way it would look afterwards. And so everyone left at midnight and I went straight to bed since I had to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to go decorate.

I tossed and turned all night...couldn't sleep much...and was awake between 6 and 6:30. We got up, started packing the van, drove to the hotel to get our bridal party and were out to the hall shortly after 8. All day long we had people coming in and out helping us. Let me say...I am so grateful for the massive amounts of help I was given that day. I HAVE THE BEST, BEST, BEST FRIENDS!!!!! I was thinking about all of the help that I received and was adding up all the free gifts given to us...catering, cake, video, photgraphy, bartending, alcohol, etc.... and am left simply awestruck at the goodness of hearts that surround me. I am so truly blessed.

So then I was back to my messy destroyed-by-the-wedding-week house and quickly showered so that my hairdresser could work her magic on me. My hair wasn't exactly what I had expected, but it was gorgeous none-the-less. I had vintage looking necklace and earrings from the 1928 collection and then bought some vintage looking hair combs to match them. As soon as my hair was done we were back on our way to the hall to get makeup and dressed. We were stuck in the coldest bathroom in all of northern Ohio (I'm willing to wager on that if there are any takers!). It was freezing. We spent the whole night praying we would not have to pee! At one point I broke down and couldn't take it anymore, went to the bathroom and changed my mind when I got in there...I just couldn't do it. It was SOOOO COLD!!!

The ceremony was beautiful. And I made it all the way to Scott up at the altar before I broke down sobbing...I think I did pretty darn good! But poor little Courtney was crying since we were in the bathroom and just couldn't shut it off! Bless her heart. She is her mothers daughter through and through. Everything went smoothly through the ceremony until the very end when the pastor was ready to pronounce us man and wife and he said..."According to Jesus Christ and the state of Ohio...and according to the wishes of Tracy and Scott..." DID YOU CATCH THAT? That's right...he called me Tracy! I just looked at him funny...and I think my look shook him up so bad that he immediately got really nervous and screwed up our last name. lol Scott turned around and corrected him and he fixed it...but we laughed all the way back to the receiving line! And when Allison handed me my flowers she said "here's your flowers Tracy". lol He later handed us the marriage license and said "don't worry...it says Veronica on there." And then got out of Dodge...I think he was just really embarrassed. lol And I know that things go wrong at every wedding and so I have to say that if that was the only thing that went wrong at my wedding....I'm pretty darned lucky! He's just lucky that he had a laid-back bride to deal with instead of some other bridezillas that would've wigged out on him for screwing up their name like that! lol

There was plenty of dancing and fellowshipping...it was beautiful and we had a great time. Everything just fell into place and went wonderfully. The cake was beautiful and tasted just as good. The food was great. Everyone got more than one wing and one meatball (which had been a concern beforehand...long story. lol). The only other problem wasn't until right at the very end when I unfortunately thought that I was going to have my first spat with my wonderful new husband. We had agreed to not get drunk at the reception and it appearred that he had broken that agreement....and I was plenty upset to say the least. I was really praying hard about how to handle this because I didn't want to ruin my wedding night. It all turned out fine though. And I'll just say this...he should know better than to mix alcohol and strong back pills....especially like THREE of them!!! I understand the back was hurting and all but come on! Anyways...that all straightened out...my brother avoided jail after a run-in with the police on the way home...Alli and Pew didn't run out of gas and made it home safely... we ended up chillin at the holiday inn and having a quiet morning the next day. It was magical! No worries of kids, phones (well, let me take that back...my idiot ex-husband called me at 9:30 the morning after my wedding...do you think he was being a little spiteful??? Anyways...), no stress about wedding planning anymore. It was just peaceful and loving.

Then we returned to reality and was home by 12:30 to four kids, a stinky dog and Randy let the water get shut off....at least I got a COUPLE of hours of peaceful honeymoon! lol Now I'm just counting down the minutes until after Christmas when we can take our REAL honeymoon!! AHHHHHH......

11.11.2006

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow


I can't believe it's here! Tomorrow I will be getting married. Everyone keeps asking me if I've gotten cold feet yet and...no, I haven't. Everyone also keeps asking if we've had a major fight this week (I guess most couples do before their wedding? I don't know.) and...no, we haven't. We DID just have a minor spat this morning over something stupid and he snapped at me and I snapped back...but we made up 10 minutes later. Everything about this wedding has had such an ease to it from start to finish...God is so good. Certainly it's had it's stressful moments, but overall it has just flowed from one thing to the next. Everything has fallen in line as if God has had his hands on the chess pieces and has just been moving them around the board. Yesterday we worked on the flowers all evening. It took about five hours and I wish I could say my friend Kathleen came over to help me with them...but in all honesty she came over and did them. lol Half-way through my first boutonniere I knew I was worthless in this department. So I basically lended moral support for the rest of the project. lol But they are lovely and they are now on my back porch enjoying the cold fall air since there is no room for them in my refrigerator. My mom got into town last night and took all the kids to the hotel with her for grandma time and swimming...WOOHOO!!! lol But wouldn't you know this one and only day I have to sleep in I woke up at 7 in the morning??? What's up with that??? Oh well. Allison and crew should be leaving within the hour to come on up here and then the evening will be filled with rehearsal and fixing dresses and girl talk. I can't wait. I just can't wait. *tear*

11.05.2006

Happy Birthday to me (things lost in translation)

Well I've been meaning to blog about my bridal shower that happened in Dayton now for a whole month and for one reason or another haven't yet. It was awesome! We all met at Olive Garden and had a great lunch together and then went back to Allison's house where we opened gifts and then everyone read aloud to me a letter that they had written for me. It was very moving for me and so it was a good thing that Soapie had made a huge cheesecake for comfort food! lol We then settled in and watched Father Of The Bride which I love. It was a really great weekend with my girls and I can't wait to see all of them again next weekend!

Yesterday some of my friends at work got together and took me out to dinner for an impromptu "bridal shower" of their own. They're not exactly slick...which is good, because I hate surprises. lol I knew all about it the whole time and watched them trying to secretly pass around the card they bought for me. When I watched Wende not five feet from me trying to get someone to sign my card and I rolled my eyes at her, her response in typical Wende fashion was "Negro don't be lookin over here!"...ahh the language of true friendship! lol

So they all took me out to dinner at "El Jarabe", a new mexican restaurant here in E-town and it was great. The best part was when the whole crew (who hardly spoke ANY english) came out and put the sombrero on my head to sing me "HAPPY BIRTHDAY". I just started cracking up and when they were done Wende through the laughs said "they told me they 'no know congratulations'...they only knew how to say 'happy birthday' in english so we took it." It definitely made for a moment I'll never forget.

I've been so grateful for the love and support of all of my friends lately! You are all so wonderful and I cherish each and every one of you!

10.24.2006

Thank you card

This morning we woke up at what seemed like the butt-crack of dawn (at least for this family! lol) and our enterprise rental car was here to pick us up at 9:00. We immediately hit the road for what we thought was going to be a long, hard day of finding a new vehicle and arranging financing, insurance, etc. It never fails to amaze me how gracious God is even when we get ourselves into the same old mess. I just have to crawl before him singing "oops I did it again" like Brittney Spears and admitting that...yes indeed, those are my fingerprints all over the crime scene Lord... and yet he is merciful. Dissapointed, maybe...but merciful...and loving...and gracious. As we drove down the road towards the bank Scott & I held hands and prayed over our situation yet again...apologizing to the Lord for not being good stewards of the gifts he's given...repenting for having a poor financial testimony...asking for mercy and earnestly and honestly promising to do better. God knows my heart...and my true hearts desire is to be God-honoring, even when I screw it up. God is so good. Even when we aren't.

By 10:00 we had found the perfect van...like it was sitting there just waiting for us to pick it up. Oh, we test-drove a second van just to pretend like we cared but we knew right away that we were taking the first one. It was good looking, in really good shape, not bad mileage, etc. By 11:00 we had the financing complete and the paperwork signed. By 11:30 I was home and on esurance.com and by noon or so I was back in bed trying to take a nap. Everything went seamlessly. Too easy almost. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop...it just couldn't have been that good. But it was. And the day continued to go that good. Needs were met out of nowhere. Kids behaved. D-A-R-R-E-N behaved!

The reason that I'm sharing all of this certainly isn't to brag about getting off the hook, or say "hey, look what I got", etc. It's to say... GOD IS SO GOOD. No, I don't deserve a second chance...not in any area of my life...but none of us do...

that's the whole point.

That's always been the point.


He is good just because he is good. And he rewards obedience. And he delights when we handle things biblically and when we seek to do the God-honoring thing even when we're trying to clean up our own mess. He loves us. He loves me. He loves you. You can't earn that love. It's a gift. A beautiful second (and third, and fourth...) chance wrapped in a bow. Thank you Lord...and I'm not just talking about today.

10.22.2006

What to do now???

I've been procrastinating blogging for a couple of weeks now because I had so much to talk about but I've been REALLY sick so just haven't felt like it. But I'm gonna drop a couple lines tonight so that everyone interested can say a couple of prayers for me. Tonight my car got repossessed!!! Well, I volunarily let it go back, but it doesn't look any different on your credit when it comes down to it. I have been toying with the idea for some time now and even spoke to some of you about my thoughts, but hadn't really made up my mind yet. Well, the decision was made tonight for me! What saddens me is that they had known my thoughts and I was very willing to work with them, but yet they didn't give me a heads up or anything....they just showed up and knocked on the door (at least they did that). He said "I've been trying to get it at your work all week, but could never find it there." I replied, "well I sure am glad that you didn't leave me stranded at work! It was better to let me know." I can't imagine. So anyways...I'm not upset at all about it...really I'm not. It's a HUGE relief and have been thinking about it for quite some time. I couldn't fit all of my family in it anymore and the payments were $500.00 every month plus insurance...just too much. But because they didn't let me come turn it in and just came and took it when they heard my thoughts...now I'm stranded. Enterprise is supposed to come in the morning to bring my rental car for a day or so. Being so sick and calling off the last several weeks has left me with NO extra cha-ching...so I don't know what I'm doing at this moment in time.

I have no doubt that it's all going to be fine. God knows I have to work. And I can always tell when it's the right thing because I have an overwhelming sense of peace about everything. Sometimes things will happen in my life and I'm just up-in-arms about them. Stressed, sick, angry, etc. But just like (and I hate to compare it) when the evil one went to jail...most people would've been falling apart at the seams but I had this amazing composure and peace that came over me...I just knew it was going to be ok.

So anyways...please continue to send good thoughts, prayers and energy my way. Pray for me and I'll pray for you. Thanks guys.

10.06.2006

Hell week, cont'd.

I hear Maddie & Emma out there playing. I hear Darren opening kitchen drawers. I hear Scott snoring quietly beside me during his afternoon nap. I know just by the sounds exactly what each member of my family is doing. As a mother you get very attuned to those kinds of things. I know that everyone is safe and being good...the only problem is that I can't hear Courtney. That's because she's not here. That's because what's become jokingly known as "hell week" here at home hit an all-time low last night.

Courtney was in one of her moods. Part of the hormonal haze that consumes her every month. It's a time when she is downright hateful. She spits acid out of her mouth, her look, her attitude. Last night she was already pushing buttons by snapping at everyone and bossing people around and when I said something to her about it, she started in on me. And so I sternly told her to get in the kitchen and do her chores that hadn't been done in two days she blatantly and defiantly responded with a very attitude-filled "no." as she laid back in the recliner. Here's a short sampling of what followed:

"Excuse me??? Did you just tell me 'NO'????"

"Yes! I have a headache and I'm not going to do crap!"

"Little girl you'd better get your butt out of that chair and get in that kitchen NOW." (as I turn off the tv she was watching.)

(Screaming...) "What did you turn that off for??? God I'm so SICK of you and this house! I AM NOT going to go in there and do those dishes! Why don't you pick on one of your OTHER kids and leave me alone!"

"GIRL YOU HAVE TILL THE COUNT OF THREE TO HAVE YOUR ASS OUT OF THAT CHAIR AND IN THAT KITCHEN! And then when you're done you can clean the living room too."

"Of course I can! Because you could care less about me! I'm so sick of this I want out of here so bad! I'm not doing any of it and you can ground me all you want."

"Fine, you're grounded for two weeks. And when you're done with all of this you can do the counters and table too (which are Maddie's chores)."

(Looking at me very coldly she quietly says) "Why don't you make it a month?"

"Fine, have it your way. You are grounded for four weeks from tomorrow...that will take us till November 3rd."

"I don't care. Ground me all you want. I'm still not doing what you ask! OH MY GOD!! I HATE YOU SO BAD!! I CAN'T WAIT TILL YOU MOVE! YOU TREAT ME SO UNFAIR. I HAVE NO ONE! DARREN HAS DAD, THE GIRLS HAVE YOU AND I HAVE NO ONE! I don't know WHO I'm going to choose to live with because you and Dad treat me the same. Except DAD DOESN'T TALK TO ME THE WAY YOU DO!"

"Oh, you think that's because he's better than me??? No! It's because YOU DON'T TALK TO HIM THE WAY YOU TALK TO ME! You try even once to talk to him this way and see how long before he yells at you!"

etc, etc, etc.

It ended up in a screaming match the likes of which haven't been seen in quite a while around here. Her screaming how she's leaving and hopes she never comes back. Me responding "you want out that bad you've got it!" Then me throwing on a pair of jeans under my nightgown and sobbing as I grabbed my keys and stormed out slamming the kitchen door so hard the whole house shook. I flew out of the driveway and sped away crying and screaming out loud about how dare her this and why do they have to be so ungrateful that.

I tried to call Allison from the car but got her voicemail. That's not the kind of message someone needs to get. A bunch of sobs and sniffs and undecipherable words. So I called Joleen. She hasn't heard from me in that state of mind for many years...so she knew it was bad. She made out what she could and said "I'm in my pajamas but I'll be there in twenty minutes. Have her pack her stuff, I'm taking her for the weekend.

So she came and picked her up. By the time she got there Courtney was in full-blown martyr mode. "I didn't do anything!" *sniff sniff* Joleen stood in my dining room and held me as I cried and prayed with me and for me. And then off they went and I haven't seen her since. We exchanged a few texts last night apologizing and saying I love you but nothing more than that.

Of all the parts of me, why did she have to inherit the stubborn, head-strong ones? I can remember being her age and feeling so defiant. Hell would overflow before I would give in! I understand her but I can't tolerate her. I feel like I'm doing so much damage. Lets hope that we all make it through intact. We've been through so much worse I know. One of the major differences now for me though is that I have a loving man who held me when I had no words to talk. And ministered to me in every way he knew how. That's an amazing thing to have...I've never had that before.

Speaking of men who came before...RANDY STILL DOESN'T KNOW ANY OF THIS HAPPENED! Because he didn't come home until the middle of the night last night and hasn't been home all day today on his day off. How can someone be so disconnected from their kids? Oh well, I digress. Maybe when Courtney is all better I can find someone to take Darren? A girl can dream can't she?

10.03.2006

Ya'll gonna make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here


A couple of you have already heard my B'GAWK!!! today about the ghetto un-fabulous woman who lives on the next street. For those of you who haven't heard yet...... A FOURTY-SOMETHING YEAR OLD WOMAN THREATED TO SHOOT MY CHILD TODAY!!!!! And of course you can all hear me in her face screaming.... OH HAAAAYYYYYLLLLLLL NOOOOOO!!!!
She claims that MADELAINE of all people called her an expletive and threatened to shoot her....when actually what was said was, "I'll be right back, I'm going to get a drink." But she claims that she heard "B****, I got a gun!" So she turns around to a group of 2 six year olds, 2 nine year olds and an 11 year old and starts cussing them out and threatening to shoot them and kill them in their "own front yard" with the gun she supposedly had in her purse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Scott heard it first and was out the front door yelling "DID YOU JUST THREATEN MY CHILDREN WITH A GUN???????" When I heard that I was out that door and past him like a linebacker! Oh no she di-int!!! I could not believe the NERVE of her! And to claim that Maddie said it??? HAHAHAHAHA! Yeah right! But even if you truly believed that's what you heard, do you honestly think it's appropriate to cuss out and threaten to SHOOT AND KILL a group of small children?

To say I was beside myself with fury would be the understatement of the year! I turned into the ghetto queen tonight needless to say! lol I was wearing a little floral skirt and a little white eyelet shirt...feeling so feminine all day....and then I almost beat someone down and went to jail in it! lol
Scott actually taught me a lesson afterwards (as I am STILL fuming about this) when I asked him what he thought about all of it. He just quietly responded, "I said a prayer for her afterwards because she obviously doesn't know better...and she needs love." That kind of caught me off-guard. As I was talking to Joleen about it later I had to admit that there wasn't anything Christian about the way that I acted today. I doubt she'll ever listen to me witness to her! I need to learn and/or remember to do more praying BEFORE a situation like this.

Hell week of Oct/06

I'm finally starting to feel better! HALLELUJAH!!!!! We've all had some kind of cold/flu/bronchitis thing going on for a week now and it's been miserable. I called off work all week...which was wonderful...but I wish I didn't spend it sick. Other than that there isn't a whole lot new going on here...it's the beginning of "hell week". Courtney's hormones are so strong they're smacking me in the face from across the room! This is the one week every month that to say she acts like a big ol' biz-natch would be a huge understatement!!!! lol Pray for me or I might not be able to make it to my bachelorette party because I'll be in need of bail money! lol Today she kept calling my phone while I was sleeping saying she wanted to come home from school (because she woke up late and couldn't do her hair, so suddenly she was "sick"). After telling her NO numerous times and also in a text message I turned off my ringer. GUESS WHAT SHE HAD THE NERVE TO DO??? OH YES SHE DID GIRL!!! She told the school nurse that she couldn't get ahold of me and so she called Joleen (who's on her emergency card) and had Joleen come get her from school!!!! So I had to drive out to Joleens this afternoon to get my "sick" daughter! I was so irritated with her...and then she spends the evening having the nerve to actually say the word "NO" to me when I tell her to do her chores. Ooooooh child! She's ready to be beat down!

Other than that...not much else going on. Can't wait to see everyone this weekend and have some girl time. Don't want to back to work on Thursday. Or ever actually. But what else is new right? :)

9.19.2006

Every dog has his day

Do any of you guys watch "Dog the Bounty Hunter"? I LOVE that show! It's one of my favorite shows to watch actually. It started out as kind of like ambulance watching...I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I had to stop and watch for a little while. But the more I watched it, the nearer and dearer it grew to my heart. It was one of the many tools that God has used over the years to remind me not to judge a book by it's cover. Judge them by their hearts, by their actions and by their fruits. When I first started watching, I simply thought Dog was just some rough and tumble guy...and then I was totally caught off-guard when this big, burly guy and his crew huddled together before going out on a bounty and started praying. Not just some generic, anyone-can-pray-it prayer, but a truly heart-felt prayer to Jesus that comes from someone that is a Christian and loves God. Why did this surprise me so much? Well, because despite how much I fight it...I was still raised in a very traditional, fundamental, straight-laced church and I've been programmed to think that Christians have to look and dress a certain way. They have to have "the" haircut. Never any jewelry on a man...etc., etc. He didn't fit any of those molds!

Neither did his wife Beth. And to tell you the truth...alot of the time, neither do I. Which is why I love this show so much. This is a show that's considered "cool" by the world...and yet it shows them that "cool" people pray and have faith and live a good life...and that "cool" people can outwardly and loudly love God. And it also shows them that yes...Christians are still human and that sometimes they screw up...but that's where mercy and grace come into play. That's awesome to me. Recently there was a huge injustice when federal marshalls arrested Dog, his brother Tim and his son Leland and sent them to Mexico. See, a few years ago Dog tracked down and captured a serial rapist who had fled to Mexico. No one else had been able to find him and so they called in Dog and crew. But because they found him in Mexico and brought him back, Mexican authorities are wanting to charge them with kidnapping. Not only is it so wrong because our government is not exactly running to stick up for him...but it's very scary because anyone with common sense knows that these men probably won't last very long in prison...let alone a Mexican prison. They are the enemy. They are the bounty hunters who sent many people to jail.

They are on the public's side...not the criminals. So the reason I'm writing this is to ask for everyone to please say a prayer for this family and their situation. It's easy sometimes to forget that celebrities are human beings with feelings and marriages and little kids and church families. This is just one more time when the devil is trying to get the good guy and drag him down...but as always, I believe in happy endings! Good and justice HAVE to prevail. They just have to.

9.13.2006

"Fall"ing in love again


I LOVE THE FALL! Oh let me count the ways that I love the fall! Seriously. I get stupidly happy and romantic in the fall. There's something about the cool, crisp air. The way the colors are more subtle...like everything is getting more sleepy and it makes you want to snuggle under a blanket. There's nothing like pulling out your favorite old sweater or sweatshirt and just falling into it. And I have no idea why, but to me "my" music goes hand in hand with the fall. The jazz...the instruments, the romantic melancholy of it just makes me think of fall. So right now just let me say that I am absolutely in my perfect setting....I am sitting at my desk right next to my open patio door looking at trees that are starting to turn a little bit already. It's a beautiful 62 degrees and all I can hear is my music and some crickets outside. This is bliss to me.

9.03.2006

One margarita, two margarita

I've had alot of questions come my way recently about where we're registered and to tell you the truth...I didn't plan on registering anywhere. When I think of registering, I think of dishes, towels and silverware. I don't need any of that stuff! lol Well, I got to thinking about what it was that we really did need/want...and the thought came to me of what a blessing it would be to have every person that wanted to get us something help to invest in a little piece of our honeymoon...memories that are going to last a lifetime...and will be much more important to us than silverware.
That being said, I searched for a site that would help us out with that and I definitely found one. So here it is if you're interested! And for those who choose to participate...of course the thank you notes will come...but I'm thanking you in advance because anyone who knows me knows how hard it is for me to accept compliments and gifts. I always feel like I should be the one giving. So thank you...from the bottom of my heart...in advance.

9.01.2006

Weeds

The grass is always greener. At least that's what we, as humans, naturally think. That's what we always tell ourselves. Spouses cheat on each other, people leave jobs, leave churches, move to new homes...always looking for the "next best thing." But there's no such thing as the "next best thing"...there's just the next thing.

I've been coming to this realization lately myself....although it's something I've always known...I myself have been guilty of going on a little treasure hunt this year. I left my church for the big coffee-shop-in-the-lobby, huge contemporary praise team, so many members that no one knows your name church earlier this year. At first it was GREAT. It was awesome. But over time certain things just wouldn't sit right in my soul. Certain things that were done or said that didn't jive with my doctrine. Every time I entered the church and saw my pastor's Lexus sitting there in his designated parking spot the hair on the back of my neck would stand up and I would get a knot in my stomach. I don't want to judge the man because the Lord knows that I too would love to own a Lexus! lol But... that's just not the way I was raised. Not at all. My pastor made a modest living, drove a mini van in case we needed room in a car to pick some people up for church. And he would never DREAM of taking the closest spot. As a matter of fact, he would either leave his car at home or park at the back of the lot so as to not take spots from those who might truly need them. The final straw came recently when we needed to talk to the pastor and get a little counseling. Normally it's just a given that you would be able to go and talk to your pastor when you need to. BUT NOT HERE. Not only do we not have access to our pastor...AT ALL...(we have to see an associate pastor that we don't know)...BUT we were informed that we could only see this associate pastor a max of two - three times. At that point we would be referred to a church staff member who is a licensed social worker who would charge us FIFTY DOLLARS AN HOUR to talk to us!!!! Yes. I know. Unreal. So it was after this fiasco that we've decided that we are going to find a smaller, SLIGHTLY more traditional church where they accept you, they are more worried about helping people than buying a new cappucino machine and the pastor will actually pastor his people when needed.

I was thinking about this tonight because I decided to check in on some of my favorite blogs to read...all of which were based in New York City. I always lived vicariously through these women and loved it. They all lived in different parts of the city and I loved reading about their experiences. Needless to say I was disappointed when the first one moved away a year or so ago. She moved to Austin...just because it was supposed to be a new and hip place to live. Then The Girl Who moved back to Utah recently. I couldn't believe it! That one I really was surprised by, but ok. Who am I to judge? I mean, I live in Cleveland for crying out loud! So tonight I went to check on my last link to the city. My last girl standing. I hadn't been there in a while and wondered what was going on. *cricket, cricket* SHE MOVED TO DALLAS. What the frick???

I'm so disappointed. Disappointed, but a little relieved actually. This is because I'm not alone in realizing that all that glitters isn't gold. Sometimes it's just glitter. Living in NYC sounds so glamorous...just like my fancy new church with the one million dollar youth center in the back. The grass always looks greener in someone else's yard...until you remember that they have weeds in their yards too.

8.30.2006

The most wonderful tiime of the year

I woke up this morning...at 11:00...and it was so quiet. I opened my eyes and I listened closer...nope...still quiet. I walked into the living room and no one was fighting with each other. No one had to get yelled at. I poored a bowl of cereal and sat down to eat it in peace while watching tv. Then a smile formed across my face as I realize this is how it's going to be on most days now..............


I LOVE WHEN SCHOOL RETURNS!!!!!
!!!!!WOOHOO!!!!!

8.25.2006

Back on track

Last night was a long night. We were up hashing and rehashing everything. Negotiating and renegotiating. There has been so much stress and emotion lately as well as some major misunderstandings this week that we weren't taking the time we normally would to talk, reason, empathize and communicate...and all that led up to one huge, catastrophic B'GAWK. lol And that scared me so bad that I was willing to take a step back and rethink everything if need be because I'm so unwilling to take even one step forward if it's an unhealthy step...I'd rather stay right where I am...even if it means staying where I am alone.

Thank God that things got worked out. When it came down to it, Scott showed me that he really is a good man. Believe me, he has issues...just like I do. We are so much alike that everything that drives me crazy about him is what I want to change about myself...and vice-versa. Luckily at the end of the day, I have a man who loves me and is willing to keep God in the middle of it and work things out. I've never had that before and I've prayed so hard for it...and while it's so nice to have, it's all new to me and so I can be just as much to blame as he is. I've been praying for a long time for the Holy Spirit to show me everything that's wrong with me and then fix it. Well trust me...God answers prayers! lol Because he has been faithfully showing me every area that needs fixed....and that's painful! And I'd much rather go through all of this before the wedding vs. after. I want to be SURE. And last night showed me that I am.

On a side note, today is the one-year anniversary of my dad's death...which is another thing that's been on my mind. I've been kind of sad thinking about it and don't even have the time to get to visit his gravesite. Oh well, at least I can be assured that he's not there....he's in heaven (woohoo!). :) I'll just drop a prayer and ask God to give him a hug for me. :)

8.24.2006

Contemplation

I hate to write a post like this, God knows I do, but I need to. Nobody spend any money on anything for the wedding or make too many plans. There have been one too many temper tantrums thrown in the last week or so and it has me thinking and slowing down. I'm not willing to settle and so there is some heavy thinking to do. No I don't want to talk about it right now, thank you anyways, so please don't be offended when I don't answer my phone. Why is the universe so hell-bent on making a fool of me?

8.16.2006

A louder yes

Well it's happened...my quiet "yes" has gotten louder. When Scott first asked me to marry him I said "yes", but quietly...if that makes any sense. I was still kind of in shock and was still thinking and praying about it. I didn't tell anyone right away...not even my parents or kids. I was keeping it to myself...at least for the time-being. I really don't know why, that's just the way that I work. I'm open about everything in my life...but only after I've processed it and digested it...and the other night at work out of the blue and with a bang it hit me. I sent Scott a text message and said "So when do you want to get married? xoxoxo"

So now it's on! The stress that is. I've forgotten what a pain in the butt wedding planning is! YIKES. I'm not complaining...I'm grateful for the opportunity...BUUUUUTTTTT........... lol
See, I had been convinced that if I ever got married again that I wanted to elope and not even have a wedding per se. But Scott has never had a wedding...only justice of the peace...and so he has his heart set on having a wedding. *sigh* I'm more than happy to have one, but now to plan an intimate, charming, elegant, SMALL, inexpensive wedding......BY NOVEMBER...is gonna be tough!

So please pray for me! Today looking on the internet trying to figure out where to have this thing at has already sapped some of the romanticism and optimism from me...I NEED INSPIRATION!!! I wish more of you guys were from around here so that I could have help figuring things out and could get some good ideas!!! I'm all alone here....and I'm feeling it! This is when a girl needs her friends most...I'm really missing you all right now!

8.11.2006

Blessed hands

I just got done watching part of the Oprah show from today and I feel so humbled, touched and inspired. There was a segment on a little boy who was stabbed six times and left for dead by his own father after watching his mother be murdered first.

There are sooooo many parts of this story that got to me I don't even know where to begin! First of all, this little boy was amazing! When Oprah asked him how he survived when his dad came back he said "the angels told me to play dead". And asked how he got to the phone to call 911, he said "the angels lifted me up to the phone." What a reminder that we are surrounded at all times with love and protection. How many times have we been saved from injury and weren't even aware of it? I can only imagine. Yesterday morning on the way home from work I was stopped and waiting to make a turn and glanced up at my rear-view mirror just in time to see a big red van swirving around the back of me at about 50 mph, just barely missing my car....he hadn't seen me stopped there. At that moment I was immediately reminded of God's presence and a prayer went up thanking him for his protection and for my guardian angels. God is so good...even on our worst days!

Another part of this story that got to me was when they brought the paramedics on that saved the little boys life. One of the acknowleged just how bad off the little boy was and he said that at that moment he said a prayer to make sure that there were a second "pair of hands" helping to save this child. He said "I know they're always there, but I really needed guidance at this moment."

This was actually my favorite part (naturally, being a nurse and all!). I'll never forget my very first job after graduating from nursing school...it was at St. John West Shore hospital. During the first week (orientation) on the last day you had to go to the chapel for a "blessing ceremony". Several prayers were said blessing you as a caregiver, blessing the patients, and then one blessing your hands...because they were the vessel that care was delivered through. After that they anointed your hands with oil on the front and the back in the shape of a cross. Then you also had to attend one of the ceremonies and get re-annointed at least once a year as long as you worked there. That moved me so much that (of course) I was the only crying in the room. It was just sooooo moving to me. It reminded me just what a sacred and blessed mission I have as a nurse and I also decided right then and there that unless I had no other choice, I would only work at faith-based institutions. Secular hospitals would never consider praying over my hands and anointing them!

A few weeks ago at work they had some kind of a poster contest between floors. You had to make a display of what you viewed as something important to medicine, or a value of your floor, etc. Most of them were nice but really boring to me. They were on everything from learning another language to better communicate, food pantries, etc. Yeah, yeah...very nice...I get it. But then the very last one I went to got me. I stopped dead in my tracks and my eyes watered up as soon as I saw it because without even reading it, I knew what they were after. It was a huge tri-fold display and all around it were pictures of sets of hands...palms uplifted...of every person that worked in their department. Each picture then had the name of the person underneath and also a list of his or her positive qualities and what the offer to the people around them. WOW!

Whenever I'm asked what part of a person I look at first, I almost always say their hands...and that's because I truly believe you can tell a persons character by the way they use their hands. The way the handle things...the way they touch. It says alot about what's really going on inside of them.

Thank you Lord for my hands. The hands that touch the ones I love, the hands that I lift in worship to you, the hands that help to heal the sick you send me. Amen.

8.07.2006

Am I a thermostat or a thermometer?


I think being misunderstood is one of the worst feelings in the whole world...if not the worst. To do something or say something and have someone totally take it wrong or attack you and all you want to do is scream "but you don't know what you're talking about", or "wait! you misunderstood me." At least to me, down at the very root of it, it's a real shame-based situation. Some people could care less if they're misunderstood...they just think, "I could care less what people think." But I do...I care. When I am misunderstood it usually catches me off-guard and I'm left thinking, "why did they get it wrong? what impression have I been giving them?" And it bothers me big time. It's really important to me for those around me to know who I am...and for me to affect others...not be effected by them.

Tonight I ran into a situation...albeit a very mild and no-big-deal situation...but still it was something that made me take notice and check myself. I need to get back into balance. I was sitting there watching tv...one of the few shows that I record through the week. I usually only watch maybe one or two shows a day max. Actually, I usually save those one or two shows and just sit down for a good while once or twice a week. I never watch tv. Well, I never did until Scott came to good old "E-town" that is. I've been watching alot more just so I can be around him while he's watching it, etc. So tonight I'm watching tv (and it happens to be a show he doesn't care for) and he says "I can't wait to get another tv over here so I can watch something I like...you and your reality shows!" I looked at him and said "one of the few shows I watch...I only watch maybe a show or two a day and you're giving me grief about it?" He rolls his eyes and laughs while he says "WHATEVER!" That little comment bothered me soooo bad! Not because I'm overly sensitive but because I was thinking that I haven't been showing him the real me. Oh he knows the real me well-enough...but even that one factor about me being wrong bothered me. I have been watching more tv....because of him. And if someone asked him today if I am a tv watcher or not...he'd say yes...because that's what he's seen.

So after my show was done I got up and I started doing what I normally do. I cleaned up, I read a little bit... I'M BLOGGING (which I haven't done lately because TV DOESN'T INSPIRE ME! lol). As I walked through the living room he looked at me and said "are you ok? You're just all over the place cleaning and stuff." I responded..."I'm just doing what I normally do." And it was the truth. Not meaning it in any kind of a negative or snotty way...just realizing that I need to stay true to myself no matter what the situation or who I'm around.



I need to be a thermostat...not a thermometer.


You see, thermometers simply read what environment they're in. If it's cold...they get colder. If it's hot...they get hotter. The adjust to their climate. A thermostat however, says "this is what I am and if the temperature's not right in here, I'm going to affect change." It doesn't change for the environment...it stays true to itself. And it's a calming influence too. It can cool down a heated environment and it can bring heat where things are cooling down. Let me tell you, I can see a thousand thermometers telling me how hot it is this season...I'm not thanking God for them! What I am thanking God for however, is the thermostat that can tell how hot it is and kicks on the a.c.!!!

8.04.2006

The bull is behind me

I wonder what's new with them. Maybe I don't. Do I really want to know? Do I really want to go there? No. Not really. For the first time ever I realize that I don't even really care. I'm not even really curious. I have indifference. That's how you know you've moved on...not by anger, hurt or even sadness...indifference is the one you're looking for. For the first time ever..."the bull is behind me".

Nobody in the world has ever known what that little inside joke has meant. It was just between us. But it had to do with a little plastic bull (I still say it's a goat...but he was always too stubborn to give in) and it hung on a towel rack behind his toilet. And as crude as it sounds...in this day and age of technology where cell-phones and laptops can go anywhere ...sometimes I'd ask him what he's doing, or what he's up to and he would reply... "the bull is behind me". It cracked me up...but it stuck and became code. Now it has a different meaning to me though...as in I've really put the bull (and all that came with it) behind me.

I'm always nervous driving on that side of town because I don't even want to see his car. Will I see him in the doctors office? In the store? Man I hope not. I'll be civil. I'll be polite. But I'm just so uninterested in anything that has to do with him now. What a change from a year ago huh? I think it's so ironic that one of the things God has used in my life to bring healing was also named "Scott"... I love that...when God heals he does it completely...he even healed the sound of that name in my ears...now it's just beautiful. Except that no one ever knows who in the world I'm talking about sometimes when I say "Scott this or that...", they always say, "wait a minute...which Scott?" lol

I hope that they are doing fine. I'm sure they are...he's not done with her yet. Oh, did I say that out loud??? Ooops! And if he still reads this from time to time I'm sure that comment will sting a little bit...but I stand by it. Oh well...moving on...which is exactly what I want to do. New life. New hopes. New dreams. Someone who is genuinely interested in me. And he may not be perfect...but neither am I. But he has integrity. And he's honest. And he's genuine...not contriving, self-righteous, or an opportunity seeker. He loves me. And he's loyal to me....and those things combined can truly cover a multitude of sins. I love you Scott....MY Scott...the only one that matters to me.

7.27.2006

Progress

I just knew that writing about what I was feeling would be cathartic...and it was. I feel like I had a huge breakthrough today in the situation that I was going through. I felt twinges here and there of the resentment that I wrote about, or the guarding of myself and pulling away...but overall I have to say it went pretty good. I was actually able to let my guard down and enjoy this person like I always have and like I know that I should. Woohoo!!! I LOVE progress!

7.25.2006

Reactions


Recently someone did something that sent me reeling. I don't really want to talk about what it was, but it was someone that I trusted implicitly and loved very much and when I had seen what this person had done...I was so hurt. And mad. I felt betrayed and was so sad. And it's still haunting me. The problem is that I don't want to stay there in that ugly place. I want to heal and move forward, but I just don't know how. I know that this wasn't a true reflection of this persons character...at least I hope not, and so I don't want to shut the door on them forever. I want to forgive and so I'm praying for the Lord to show me how. The desire is there, but God has to do the healing I suppose because it seems that my whole being has shut down in large part to this person. Trust and vulnerability were all affected and I can feel myself starting to get really depressed...which is what worries me the most. I really don't want to ever go back there again. I feel resentful and lonely. And I always say that carrying resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die...it does you no good at all. So I've gotta get rid of this pronto.

This person has apologized and I believe they are sincere. I know that this is a situation for the Lord to heal....something between he and I....not this other person and I. I need to decide to get over it and heal and set better boundaries next time, but it's oh so easy to just shut down instead. Even if I don't mean to or want to...it's subconsciously happened. I've been praying alot lately for the Lord to teach me how to react appropriately to situations. I think because of my unhealhty upbringing that I never truly learned that art. Everything was unhealhty and dysfunctional, so the way I learned to react was the same. I have always either under-reacted and things just roll off of me that others would be shocked at...or I over-react and go off when I don't really need to go that far. I do believe that I reacted appropriately in this situation...the problem now is letting go. React appropriately, process it, heal, move on.

I'm hoping that writing about it will help exorcise some of these demons and get it out. I'm willing to try anything I guess.

7.23.2006

Oops, I did it again


Well that didn't go so good! A silent prayer in the form of "Lord, oops I did it again." I confronted Courtney about her myspace page with all the proof, pulled up her page for her...with all of her pictures on it, etc. And do you know what she said?????







"It's not mine."







OH YES SHE DID!!! She says a stranger must've stolen her pictures and made it...that people do it all the time. I responded with, "with all of your personal information and stories in all of these surveys?" You know what she said then???







"You can't prove it."







That's when the first silent prayer of, "Lord please help me because I'm going to kill this child!!!" went up. The calm cool conversation that I had planned out for a week or so with God's help and guidance suddenly turned into one HUGE






"B'GAWK!!!!"


Yeah, it didn't go so well. lol It ended up with her screaming a blood-curdling "I HAAAAAAATE YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!" me threatening to throw her in the detention home vs. knocking her braces out if she continued to run her mouth to me, and both of us in separate rooms sobbing. Not so great. So as usual....I'm sitting here deflated and wondering what the heck happened back there? Keep praying for us please. Thanks friends.

7.20.2006

Leadership

Sunday at church the sermon was on leadership. It was based on Acts 20:28:
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

The pastor talked about how the positions of leadership that you are in, whether it's over a large corporation...or just a home and family, are given to you by the Holy Spirit. They don't belong to you...they are God's...bought and paid for with his own blood. You are simply the stewards over those gifts and that we all need to strive to be good leaders.

I started thinking about the positions in my life where I am in places of responsibility and leadership. First of all, at work I am often charge nurse. Really, it's not that big of a deal...but even there I can find places to either gain or lose respect. Most importantly, my children came to my mind. They have been the largest (and most challenging, might I add) responsibility I have ever had in my life. Naturally, they're also where I've had the most challenges.

The pastor was talking about the first part of the verse that says, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves...". He reminded us of how it's so important when in a position of leadership that you have to nurture and take care of yourself first. Such as on an airplane when the oxygen masks fall down. They always tell parents to go against their natural first instinct and place the masks on themselves vs. their children. Afterall, if you're child is well-oxygenated and you're not...how can you take care of them and protect them? You can't. It's imperative to take care of yourself and make sure that you're healthy because "if you're sick then you will lead in a sick way." This has always been something that I've known and strove hard for. Sometimes I do better than at other times. But I've always said, "My kids are only going to do as good as I do." I'm always trying to analyze, pray, grow, change, do the best thing. I hope that when it's all said and done that my kids will see the good and not just my downfalls.

He also talked about how a shepard LEADS his sheep, he doesn't drive them. He walks in front and the sheep follow. He isn't behind them nagging or shoving. He sets the example and he is followed. My question has been this... so if I'm leading, why am I not being followed??? Why does at least one of my sheep always feel the need to forge her own path among the dangerous rocks and other dangers? Just like the shepard who will leave the flock to save the one wanderer, I have left to go find her so many times. I bring her back to the fold. I teach her (at least I try to). I try to be a better example to her. I try to watch more closely. But still, she insists on venturing out again.

I'm at a loss as to what to do anymore. I don't want to be like the lifeguard that sees someone drowing and in danger, but has to wait until the victim passes out in order to save them because they won't quit thrashing and doing themselves harm. I don't want to see my children harmed. Plus, they are a reflection of me. Acting a fool out in the world people will look and say "where is the mother? who taught them to act that way?" Well, she is right here! And she hasn't taught them to act that way! And she is struggling to save them from themselves right now.

Lord, I'm not sure what to do...please show me.

7.15.2006

Ahhhhhhh

Tonight I'm back at work. It was such a wonderful ten days off. I'm totally jealous of Rachel who gets all summer off man!!! Let me tell you, it was G-R-E-A-T. Especially with Scott here. We've gotten so much done. First of all, the kids have been gone and so it's been peaceful and restful. lol I love them, but...ahhhhhhh. Second of all, we got the storage building cleaned out, lightbulbs changed (sounds funny, but they've needed done forever lol), and he got soooooooo much done around the yard. His nickname is Macgyver for a reason! lol He has been such a blessing to me. He has been so selfless in his giving. He has such a servants heart and it is such a blessing to me to be around someone like that. I'm usually the one giving around here and to have someone actually going above and beyond just to bless me is such an odd but wonderful feeling. He even found a ditch full of beautiful wildflowers and dug some of them up just so he could come and plant them for me in my back flower bed because he knew that they were my favorite.
As usual, the other person living in the house hasn't contributed much, but I didn't expect him to. A servants heart is definitely not one of his personality traits unfortunately. Oh well. What goes around comes around...and not just for him so I'm certainly not judging.
Today Scott rented a place here in town. After coming to visit, he decided that he didn't want to go back. He wants to be close to me and the kids so that he can get to know them better and we can be near each other. I'm so excited. I get choked up just thinking about it. All-in-all, it's been an amazing ten days and as sad as I am to be back at work, I know that my batteries (mind, body and soul) were well re-charged. God is so good...on the good AND on the bad days.

7.13.2006

Life


Have you ever noticed that right in the middle of the word "life" is the word "if" just staring out at you? Yep A big bunch of LIFES are just made up of a bunch of little "if"'s. I was thinking about this today as I was pondering my life and the rest of it. Lately this has been a pretty easy thing to do since I've been so peacefully happy. But today I allowed a few of the little "what if's" to pop into my mind. What if something goes wrong? What if he decides he doesn't love me anymore? What if he cheats on me? What if he withdraws emotionally and becomes depressed and never connects with me and we end up having a lonely relationship? You can see how the "what if's" can really get to you. But in order to maintain fair balance I decided to allow the other side of this debate to speak. "What if it stays just as peaceful and balanced as it is right now?" What if he really is as genuine as you've always known him to be? What if he really is as good around your children as it appears that he is? What if he really is that affectionate, funny, smart, friendly, helpful and God-seeking as he seems to be right now? Ok, here's a big one...What if you let him go out of fear...and then he turned out to be the best thing ever? I think that's the most appropriate question. Because I think he really is so wonderful. And spending this week or so together in close quarters has only made me believe it and see it so much more. And it's brought up other "if" issues too. Such as, What if he's the one? What if I'm supposed to say yes. What if this entire situation was set up by God himself so that I could appreciate the beauty of imperfection I always love in different situations. The fact that the timing was off and he was in another state and his health wasn't perfect and neither was his financial situation. I've thought about all of that and I've come to the conclusion that all of that was orchestrated with God's hands just for me. The girl who loves messy love. And loves people and situations that are beautifully and imperfectally perfect. Yes, perhaps that was it. Perhaps that's what he was thinking... "if I give it to her like this, and if he says to her like that...it will strike that chord in her heart that will resonate throughout her like never before. That's right...never before. Well, never since I was 15 and I knew it with him. I knew...I just always did. I considered him "the one that got away". And I looked for him and searched for him always asking God "what if" when I found him. And I did find him and it did open up a whole fresh box of "if's" for my life. But it seems that every question I've asked, he has answered with a sweet and beautiful answer. I question, he answers. I say "are you?", he says "yes I am."

I've always been a firm believer in "doubt-means-don't"...but what's so scary is that I haven't had any doubt. And I've been praying for doubt in a big way. I want to be discerning. I want to be responsible and aware. I want what God wants. And it even seems that when I ask God the same question, I get the same answer... Lord, is he?....Yes he is.

I was asked a very beautiful, heart-felt, personal, important question by Scott recently...and I said yes. It's a very quiet yes for now....but still a yes. I need to continue seeing the consistency in my life for a little while longer still before it becomes a big, loud yes. Please pray for me as you would want me to pray for you.

p.s. He bought me flowers today. The most beautiful little silver bucket of lavender, white and periwinkle buds you could ever find. Perfection...absolute perfection. What if he changes? What if he doesn't? What if he stays the same thoughtful, genuine, loving guy that you've always known him to be? Then I guess I'll be a pretty lucky girl.

7.11.2006

Revisited, vol iv

There are onlya few weeks left until the one year anniversary of this blog. :) I'm almost a toddler! lol So I figured that at least once a week for the next several weeks I'm going to repost a blog from the past year that was significant to me...starting with the oldest and working my way to today. It's amazing to me to look back and read these and seeing just how far God has brought me in the last year. A year ago I was still in a horrible depression among many other things. It's nice to see the progress of walking through the valley...and coming out on the other side. :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Originally posted January 31, 2006 Selfishness vs. Calling....

It's amazing to me how self-absorbed we as humans can get when we find ourselves in the midst of misery. I've been so miserable it's hard to explain. It's hard to breathe. My chest hurts. I'm short of breath. My head hurts. My muscles all ache. My throat is feeling slightly better thank God (for all my complaining..... thank you prednisone!).

As is typical with me I tend to always live in denial and try to push through the pain. Living with a chronic illness (lupus) and NEVER feeling "good", I've gotten used to a new kind of "normal". I know what a normal day feels like to me, but I always wonder what it would be like if someone else were transplanted into my body for just a day and walked in my shoes. Would it be "normal" to them? Or would they say "wow, this is really miserable!". I always have suffered from the "oh, I'll be okay...." syndrome. I hate to be the center of focused attention, you know... "oh you poor baby" type of thing. I always feel like a stupid big baby. After all the sickness I see all of the time I know that there is always someone else so much worse than me. Almost like I don't have a right to be sick. So unfortunately like I said... I tend to push through the pain (emotional or physical). Well that isn't a good thing because what happens is usually a nasty downward spiral and I end up sicker because I don't give myself a timeout to heal. I have to be everything for everyone and never take time for myself. I have to go to work, be there for my kids, make sure I return that phone call or email, make sure I go to lunch if i said i would go to lunch, etc. So I think I mentioned this morning about how my friend Don reminded me that people who are most susceptible to mono tend to be the "run down" people who don't get enough rest and have run themselves ragged (which is true). And he raised one eyebrow and gave me "the look". lol I call Don "Big Daddy" because that's what he is to me. He is a protector and giver of wisdom. I love him so dearly. And as much as I hate to admit it (especially to him)...he's right. So do you think that my stupid, sick, stubborn butt learned anything? pssshhhhh, yeah right! lol At first I did. I came home, cancelled my hair appointment I had scheduled for the afternoon and decided to "cacoon" for the day. So by the evening time I'm totally beating myself up because I'd been laying here all day long. I even let myself get a whole THREE hours of sleep for crying out loud after working all night. lol So what do the really sick who need rest do when they're miserable? What else but take their four kids, Joleen, her husband and their five kids to the roller rink for skate night for two hours!!!!!!!! I'M SUCH A FREAKING GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT!!!! I am my own worst enemy I swear! I just kept thinking "you can't be THAT bad. You'll feel better if you get out moving around.", etc. Well, NO. I DON'T FEEL BETTER NOW! In fact I feel worse. DUH! *rolling eyes*

So now I'm home. Feet up in the recliner contemplating going to the emergency room because I feel so bad. (you know it's bad if i'm willing to go to the e.r., let alone leave my house!) It's beyond feeling like crap... I am struggling! I decided to watch the Oprah that I dvr'd from today and Anderson Cooper from CNN was on there. There was a story of little one's that were dying in another country from the drought last year. My heart broke and I started to weep. Once again I got caught by the Holy Spirit wallowing in my self and my own story. You know what? Honestly, even if I got worse and worse (I know I'm over dramatizing here) and ended up dying, yes it would be sad. I by no means want that to happen. I have babies that need me. BUT if it did. I've lived a good life. I've been comfortable. AND I'm saved. I know Jesus. If I died tonight no one would have to wonder about where I am. And I've probably even made a difference in some lives here in America. But what about the children over there? And there's still so many people who need help here too! Oh my God (literally my heart is crying out to my God)... the suffering that these little ones are going through. And they are dying right in the middle of the newscast. I'm so sad. As a mother and as a human, my heart is sick.

As I was watching the story the mother and the nurse inside of me were commiserating. Oh Lord I just want to hold those babies. Scoop them up and comfort them. Their poor mothers. I can do something to help them. I know how to do everything those nurses and doctors are doing. I know what all of those tubes are. I know how to put them in. I HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE. AND THE HEART. And that's when I heard God say "EXACTLY! BINGO!" And suddenly all of the debate I've had going on in my head lately (and on my blog) came flooding back to me..... "DO I REALLY STILL WANT TO BE A NURSE? WHAT ABOUT THE EFFECTS IT WILL HAVE ON ME???? WHAT ABOUT IF IT MAKES ME SICK???" Wow. Lord, I am so sorry. Please forgive me for being so selfish. And I hope that every person that comes across these blogs would forgive me. More people will look at me than I will ever know. I never know who I am affecting and planting seeds with. We are all examples even when we don't know that we are. We ARE being watched and studied by people who might be searching for a way to be. No, I don't feel good. But my eyes, feelings and heart need to go past my own misery. I'm always praying. For myself, for others, for the president, my pastor, etc. But that is only part of the battle. TO WHOM IS GIVEN, MUCH IS REQUIRED. And that is a mantra that I plan on repeating frequently from now on. If I ever had a desire to get a tattoo (okay let me just say.... ewww! tattoos on girls are gross! lol) I think that's what it would say. So I need to find a good balance. I've always been on the quest for "balance". I've talked about it for as long as I can remember and I'm still working on it. Being too far on either end of the spectrum (in ANY situation in your life) is not good. And so I need to find the perfect balance to take care of myself AND take care of my mission. I can't do one without the other.

Seeing those little ones on t.v. renewed my mission. It "shook my jug" as I like to say. Do I feel the need to fly to Africa? No. Not really. But it did make me see ALL of my patients in a renewed way. Suffering in general. That has always been my calling... to help those that are suffering. To bring the love of Jesus and the healing of the Holy Spirit through MY HANDS to those that are suffering. Let me tell you, it's VERY easy to become jaded and calloused in the nursing profession. Seeing sickness and pain, death and dying every single day. It didn't take cleaning many dead bodies and putting them in body bags for me to stop weeping and grieving over every single one. It's just not possible to stay that vulnerable and be able to function. But again it's about BALANCE. I've found a space to exist where I'm compassionate and love every single patient but also not SO vulnerable. Lately I've gotten a little out of balance though. My lens became unfocused, especially with being sick frequently over the last several months. So it's time to change my lens. I need to sharpen up the focus. I've been reminded that not everyone can do this job.... I am a blessed, blessed person. I'm a nurse. I've been given the PRIVILEGE of taking care of people when they are at the absolute most open and vulnerable times in theire lives! Everyone always says to me "how could you be a nurse???? Yuck! How can you handle doing the things you have to do????" But it's a matter of focus. What's the focus of that picture? Blood, puke, dirty sheets, etc. What's the focus of MY picture? "Wash their feet." And also, think about it... if tonight something happened to you.... you were in an accident and broke both of your arms and suddenly you couldn't even wipe yourself.... how humiliated would you be everytime you had to ask for help? You would be embarrassed and humbled..... and someone would have to have the heart to see past what the physical task at hand is to your heart and be willing to say "yes I will help you." That's why you don't go to college to become a nurse...... God creates a nurse in you. It's a calling. And in order to take care of my calling in a more responsible way than I do now I need to take care of myself too. So if I seem missing in action sometimes please forgive me. I know that some of you are waiting for return messages from me, cards in the mail, etc. And I have to say.... please forgive me and be patient with me. I'm not well right now and I need to get back to "good" as quickly as possible so I'm going to rest. At least I'm going to try to. After all, He's still workin on me!

7.02.2006

All warm and fuzzy

I've gotta tell you...I just can't get over how good life is lately! Of course with all the normal I-could-use-more-money-sleep-and-time stuff aside. Everything else is G-R-E-A-T. My kids have been SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD! lol I've been feeling pretty good. Aside from the mini-meltdown the other night, everything with Scott is FABULOUS. Randy and I are getting along. Last night (the first of three-in-a-row) work was AMAZING. Not even ONE call light of mine went off all night long!!! That's unheard of. I had only three patients and all of them were independent and could take care of themselves and slept like babies all night long. I actually had to crack their door open and stare at the blankets to make sure they were breathing a couple of times. lol Is this the calm before the storm? I sure hope not. I hope it lasts for a little while. But boy is it nice! I'm just happy. Plain and simple. And it's been so long since I could say that. :) It feels good.

6.30.2006

My hiding place

Those old familiar demons are out in full-force poking and jabbing sticks at me and tormenting me. We had our first fight and now I am simply hanging on by my fingernails with the temptation to run back to my hole. You know the one...the safe solitude of my "single" hole. When you're single there's no one to hurt you. When you're single there's no explaining. When you're single there's no fear of being alone...because you already are. There's nothing to lose. You're not invested in anything but yourself. If there's no beginning...there can't be an end. You won't take a chance on someone and climb out on that limb only to turn around and find that you're standing there alone because he's gone. Why risk the pain? Because I know that it's worth it to take the risk. He's worth it. But in these first moments of raw emotion and hot tears is when it's so tempting. Me, myself and I doesn't sound so bad. We've already kissed and made up ( as much as you can from 200 miles away anyways) and by morning it will have all passed. Time heals everything and love conquers all.

2 Timothy 1:7:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

6.29.2006

Life is good

I've gotten alot of messages asking where the heck I've disappeared to. Let me just start off by saying thank you to everyone for their interest and for their support of my blogs. It's definitely meant alot to me over the last year. So where have I gone? I guess I've just been living life. Living life and not just writing about it, that is. I've entered a bit of a more private phase in life lately. I think and after having ex's and ex's of ex's and current flames of ex's invading my space I've noticed myslef closing ranks and becoming more protective of me and mine. Don't get me wrong...my blog is public and I've consciously chosen that all along because I want to share and help...and I didn't mind any of those people reading my blogs at all, I was actually kind of flattered that they would...until a few of them decided to turn nasty one night that is. After that, and even a little before that, I withdrew even more.

This blog definitely has a place in my life, but it has been more of a means to an end. It's been a tool used for the journey and if you're constantly moving forward on the journey of life, you don't always need the same tools all the time. I'm at a pretty good place right now and am at peace with just living most of the time. Alot of the reason that I had so much to write about along the way is because I had all of this "stuff" pent up inside of me just dying to get out...and now it's out. I had a good case of bloggorhea and now I feel much better, thank you very much. lol But now it's back to living...and experiencing. Getting material for the next leg of the journey when God swings me into a more introspective mode when I need to process, analyze and then share. I have no doubt that will come...I'm an analyzer by nature. Always wanting to learn and grow.

So needless to say everything's good right now. I'm enjoying summer with my kids. Things are going wonderfully with Scott. More on that to come later...as I've said before, I find myself being so protective of my relationship with him and of Scott himself. I just want to tuck this beautiful thing away from the eyes, judgement, advice, etc. of the world. I'm so content that I don't want anything or anyone raining on my parade. If you're not happy for me then you're not invited to the party. He is such a beautiful soul. Not perfect...of course none of us are, but I see in him something so different than I've ever seen in anyone before. He has bits and pieces of people I've met along my journey that I've silently whispered to God, "Lord I want that part of this person in my man." Actually, I think as I met all those other people in my life, I was actually just remembering Scott from our younger days. Everyone always got subconsciously compared to him. I always considered him "the one that got away." Always in the back of my mind thinking...if I could just find him again. I'm really happy to say that he isn't much different than he was back then. He's been on quite a path and has made mistakes and had rough times, but (just like me) I think he's coming to a full-circle moment in his life...back to the more peaceful, happy person he was meant to be. The most important thing is that being in his presence makes me want to be a better person/woman/friend/christian/mother. My spirit is calmer with him. I'm at peace and I'm happy.

I'm still praying diligently and fervently for the Lord to direct my path, give me wisdom in all of my decisions, help me to be discerning, etc....please continue to pray for me! But for this moment in time...I am at rest. Everything is as it should be... God is good and so is life.

6.24.2006

He just IS that into you

I was reading a friends blog today about relationships. More specifically, it was about the book "He's Just Not That Into You." If you've never read it...you should. It's about the way the we (typically women) keep men around that really aren't all that into us and we continue to make excuses for their behavior and lack of attention. For example, if he doesn't call, it's because "he's really busy", etc. This originally came up on an episode of sex and the city where Miranda has a date that she thinks went extremely well. The guy says goodbye to her at her door and she invites him up...and he declines due to an "early meeting" the next day, but says he wants to go out again and had a great time. She's excited about it, thinking that date #2 is on it's way. The next day she's out to dinner with her girlfriends and "Berger" (Carrie's boyfriend) and proceeds to tell them all about it. The girls are soooo excited for her and agree with her that it sounds very promising. Then she looks at Berger and asks what he thinks and he looks at her plainly and says "he's just not that into you." He goes on to give his opinion that not only will there not be a second date, but that she should be expecting an uncomfortable email/message/text soon explaining why he hasn't called and basically dismissing himself from her life. Berger says that he knows all of this because when a guy is into you...he's sealing the deal. No matter what "the deal" might be...he's going to go through with it. Early meetings don't matter. Saving the world wouldn't matter! If he's into you...there's nothing stopping him from paying attention to you. He will spend time with you. He will call you. Show you attention. Try to take things to the next level. Basically, when a guy is into you....you will have NOOOOOOO doubts about it. And none of us should settle for anything less than that, should we? But we all have, haven't we? I know I have. I've had a serial run of guys that were unavailable in one fashion or another. The sad thing is that when you are around that for long enough, you kind of become desensitized in a way. It's not that big of a deal to you anymore. Not as much of a surprise. And because I had started to become a little numb in that area, that meant that when I came across a man that really WAS that into me....it took me by surprise because I wasn't used to it anymore.

I have been blessed with a man in my life now that is the polar opposite of the men I have dated before. I feel like I'm on another episode of sex and the city when Aidan gave Carrie his apartment key and the girls responded with "Wow, that's big!!"...and she said, "No, that's the OPPOSITE of big" (referring to "Mr. Big" who was very emotionally unavailable). I have been rather protective of Scott so far and so I haven't spoken much about him on here...but I'll share a little bit tonight, simply because I'm so blessed by him. He is such a genuine, authentic person and he goes above and beyond to let me know how valued I am in his life. He calls, he spends time with me, he lets me know how important I am to him and all of the positive things he thinks about me. Not one cell in my body has to question whether or not he's really into me.

When you're with someone who's not giving you what you need, you can tend to question whether or not you're being overdramtic or over-reacting....until you come across a man who DOES give you what you need....then you know! You have no questions. No doubts.
Don't settle! Hold out for the real thing...you're worth it!

6.20.2006

Under attack

Today was a horrible day. I mean it man...it was a HORRIBLE day. I know that most of it seemed magnified to me because of the fact that I'm sleep-deprived, but it was very apparrent to me that today was much more than just "life" happening to me. After all, crap happens to everyone...and I'm not special, so I expect my fair share of garbage from time to time. Trouble is what you bring on yourself, the rest is just life. And then there are days like today.


Ephesians 6:12..."For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."



Scott and I have talked alot lately about how we can expect a spiritual attack to be coming our way just because we've both been spending more time with the Lord. We've been trying to do the right things, we pray together,etc. And the Bible guarantees that the instant you start moving in the right direction that satan will wage war against you. Well today we had ourselves a battle.

It started off with my not being able to sleep...even after taking ambien. I got last night off of work because I was exhausted and then was still wide awake this morning at 9:30. Yep, all night long...not one wink. So of course as soon as I fell asleep my kids got up. I slept for about an hour or so, which means my defenses were low to begin with...and I was cranky. A prime target! lol My morning started with Darren acting out and picking on everyone. Then in typical fashion, he tried to start on me when I scolded him. That continued for a couple of hours on and off with the occassional sending him to his room for time out and him slamming the door so hard he knocked the pictures off the wall in the hallway. Then he would get in trouble again....round and round we'd go. Then I spent an hour in the sprint store arguing with their staff. My phone has been really acting up lately...shutting itself off and rebooting,etc. The say that if they don't witness it first-hand that they can't do anything about it. (!!!!) So I'm arguing and asking them what the heck do I pay that extra $$ for every month for then?? It's supposed to be covered. But they stand their ground and won't help me. So I go to buy a new charger...$43!!! NOT! I politely leave and we go over to Marc's to go shopping...who do I bump into in the store??? THE SPRINT GUY! Yay me! Felt like poking him in the eye and duking it out right there in the produce section! Right after that, Target can't fill my perscription for the ambien i used the last of last night because I have to mail away or pay full price. GRRRRRRRRRRR. Giant Eagle didn't have the shrimp I wanted. My kids continue to bicker the whole time I'm out. We come home and they turn hateful because they have to do their chores. The shrimp wasn't de-veined and so I had to stand there and do that nasty job. What did I pay $8.00 a pound for if I have to do all the work myself??? Then after Darren gets scolded yet again, behind my back I hear one of my new plates shattering on the ground. I look at him and he gives me the "gee mom, I don't know how that could've happened...it just slipped out of my hands" look. I ended up so mad and at the brink that I punched a cupboard and yelled "if there was one day that I could just run away, this would be it!!"

I feel bad that I let it get to me so bad. And writing it down is bringing me back into focus and reminding me just how petty some of the stuff was. Words definitely have a way of minimizing things don't they? They take all of the emotion out of what happened. You don't hear tone, see tears, feel exhaustion...they're just words. But in the moment....in the reality of those words...phewwww. I was at the brink. He knows right where to hit with those fiery darts, doesn't he?

All day long I kept thinking, "I should really spend some time in prayer...read my Bible a little bit." But I kept putting it off because there was so much to deal with in the moment. What I should've done was cover this in prayer IMMEDIATELY.

The word says to "take on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand...". It doesn't say that you already have it on. And it doesn't say that God puts it on for you. It says that it's available to you, but you have to take it on. Girting your loins with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked and taking on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Because I didn't want to take a little bit of time today to prepare myself for battle, I got my butt kicked. A definite lesson for next time...and there will definitely be a next time. That's the path I choose. I am a Christian. I am so proud to be a Christian. I am priveleged and blessed as well. Although there are times that I walk closer than others, I never plan on leaving this path...it's who I am. I love the Lord...he is my true first love...because he first loved me. And like I always say, if you never meet the devil head on then you must be going in the same direction. So needless to say, I expect the fight...I just need to remember to prepare better for it next time. Go before me Lord.

6.16.2006

Revisited--Do you think I'm beautiful?

There are only about eight weeks left until the one year anniversary of this blog. :) I'm almost a toddler! lol So I figured that at least once a week for the next eight weeks I'm going to repost a blog from the past year that was significant to me...starting with the oldest and working my way to today. It's amazing to me to look back and read these and seeing just how far God has brought me in the last year. A year ago I was still in a horrible depression among many other things. It's nice to see the progress of walking through the valley...and coming out on the other side. :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Originally posted
February 17, 2006 Do you think I'm beautiful?....

"I made you some iced coffee just like you like it." That's the first thing I really remember Jesus (pronounced 'hay-zus' for all you whiter-than-white folks out there! lol) saying to me. I know there were other conversations but that was the turning point. That was the exact moment in time when I consciously felt a shift. I was aware of him now. He was no longer a co-worker, he was a nice guy who had unbeknownst to me been paying attention to the fact that I liked to make iced coffee..... and he got it exactly right too.

From that moment in time an intense flirtation erupted. He wasn't the kind of guy that you'd normally see and think "wow!" but there was something about him. And admittedly the fact that I was only about 3 months out of a horrible marriage helped things alot. lol I mean here was a really great guy who was REALLY into me.......
you can imagine what that does to a girl. ;)

It's funny how my life works. Most of the time, in any area..... there will be absolutely nothing going on and then BAM! Alot will happen overnight or even in a matter of hours. Well, that's how it went with Jesus too. One night at work (he was off) it was about 2 in the morning and I decided right then and there that I liked him enough to make it official. I called him. Of course he was up.... just like I would've been too. We DID have alot in common. :) I'm sooooooo the opposite of a boy-chaser.... and I can't stand when people invite themselves over either....oh man and stopping by announced is the worst!.... okay so anyways, back to the story. So I call him and was hinting around about how boring work was and I wished I could leave early (pretend to be sick) but I didn't feel like going home, blah blah blah. I was throwing out bait and he was gobbling it up as quickly as it was tossed! haha FISHED IN! FISHED IN! lol (I'm having visions of the SNL 'cheerleaders' doing their skit...."who's that spartan swimmin in the sea??? IT'S ME! IT'S ME!" LOL) From what I heard later he was having a guys night out type of thing at his house and as soon as he hung up the phone totally kicked everyone out within five minutes so that I could come over....I had no idea! That's a guy who's into you! :)

That was the night that we started dating. We had our first kiss and spent hours on end talking and talking. And believe me when I say I could've gotten whatever it is that I wanted that night (*wink, wink*), I knew just how much I really liked him when I said that I didn't feel comfortable taking it "further"....and he kissed me on the forehead, smiled and said "that's okay." And it was. It was okay. He was a gentleman. Wow! I had never had one of those before! I had no idea what it was like..... and now I had a taste and there was no way I was ever going back.

Jesus was a relationship of firsts for me. Lots of new experiences. And I learned alot of things from him. He was such a cool guy. Very smart. Was in military intelligence for a long time. FANTASTIC cook. Loved restaurants and knew which wine to order with which meal. I soaked him up like a sponge. I have to say though, that the most important thing Jesus did for me was make me see that I'm beautiful. Oh I know..... no one wants to hear someone say that they think themselves beautiful. You can get the "who does she think she is???" type of thing coming at you. But you know what I've learned to be true? That those are usually the people that have never had their own 'Jesus' show them just how beautiful they are too. It's kind of like "can you believe she's WEARING that???".... it's really not meant to be a question. It's meant to be a judgment. It's kind of an if-you-spot-it-you-got-it type of thing. If someone judges someone else like that it's because of their own self-esteem issues. So I'll say again.... Jesus helped convince me just how beautiful I was... inside and out. You know, I had been married twice before and NEVER one time had I ever heard anyone tell me that I was pretty. I make sure to tell my children just how beautiful they are all the time because of that! But Jesus thought I was pretty. He thought I was beautiful! Another thing I've learned (I actually learned it from the book 'Do You Think I'm Beautiful' by Angela Thomas......best book EVER EVER EVER for women) is that when you aren't willing to listen to God telling you that you're beautiful, smart, funny, etc..... he will often place people in your life (even if only temporarily) that you ARE willing to hear telling you. That was Jesus' role in my life...... to be the embodiment of God's voice telling me that I was beautiful. *TEAR, SNIFF* lol Man oh man.... he LOVED my curves..... every single fleshy, womanly thing about me..... even my "wobbly bits". LOL (How much did you LOVE Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones when she was trying to get dressed undercover so that he wouldn't see her 'wobbly bits' and he said "I happen to have quite high regard for your wobbly bits"....in his yummy british accent...... *ahhhh, swoon*).

After a little bit of time I started to believe him. Every time he complimented me or just wanted to look at me I didn't shrink away and get all embarrassed. I learned that he genuinely thought I was pretty..... wow! someone thought I was pretty! :) .... maybe I'm not so bad.....wow! he thinks I'm smart too!..... and he thinks I'm funny!!!! No one has ever told me I was funny before! .... he thinks I'm "witty".... am I witty????..... WHO KNEW! :) lol

I came to realize that I'm not so bad of a person! After living with an abusive man in my life since I was twenty years old I had started to believe all of the lies that were programmed into my brain at least a hundred times a day.... "You are so ugly. And stupid. Wow are you fat! You are nothing but a stupid whore with four kids...who will EVER want you?????", etc. etc. etc. It's staggering the difference between a twenty year old and a thirty year old isn't it???? At twenty these girls really just don't have any clue as to who they are yet and what is acceptable. I was willing to put up with so much crap just because I thought it was better to have someone than no one... and after all he didn't really mean it! Right??? He LOOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEDDD me! Bullshit! lol GOD HELP the man that ever even thinks of treating me with jealousy or with insults again!!!!!! I have three words for him.... OH HEEEEELLLLLL NO! Jesus helped to deprogram me from all of the damage that had been done..... and for that I will forever be grateful.

We dated for about six months. It really was a wonderful time in my life. It just wasn't meant to be though. He had other issues that he needed to deal with before I could be with him long-term. We got together once or twice a couple of months after we broke up. It was like getting a little shot of vitamin-J. LOL The first time I was sick....really sick. He had called for something and heard how sick I was and since he still had my house key (yep, I had forgotten about it....oops!) he had brought me over some food. He came upstairs and helped me get out of bed to go eat and when he pulled the covers back and I stood up his face just kind of went "dumb-struck". I said "what's the matter????" And he just kind of stuttered "um, well, you sure do still got it where you need it don't you?" And it made me smile. Everyone needs someone to think that they're beautiful.... even if they aren't a couple. Even if I never see Jesus again I will know for the rest of my life that he thinks I am..... and I am so grateful for that gift. :)
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