Monday, December 28, 2015

To Be Candid

Previously, as in just the last post, I told you about my insane love for Christian books that turn God's truths into practical application.  I think I may have also told you that I tend to read 3 to 4 of these types of books simultaneously.  I can't help it.  Perhaps it is the fear of actually finishing the book or it's the fact that I get caught up in a certain writer's prose that  I need the distraction of another's for the words to really sink in; and by distraction I simply  mean thought process.  I have so much that I want to write about.  Yet much of what I want to share I cannot - for fear.  Not fear that you random people will backlash, but fear that those I know will take my words and twist them so incoherently that the point will be lost in their interpretation of my thought.  Yes, this does weigh on me.

I want to be candid. I want to throw out the words, the feelings, and the struggles I am having.  I want to know I am not the only one in this position.  I want to know that there is balance and understanding and acceptance behind the knowing.  I simply want secureness and closure.  But, alas, we don't live in a world of absolutes.  No, we live in a world where you get the half-truths from others and the words they want to share to simply keep the peace.  It is sad, really.  It is sad that in a world where diversity is more commonplace than anything whole that people cling to the pieces more than the picture itself.

I know, I am speaking in riddles and vagueness, but it is truly wrapped in the bluntness of fact.  There is always that part of a person who remembers when and because of that refuses to accept the what if, most specifically when the now fully contains people that were never in the before.  I don't know if there are books out there for me to read, for me to find, to seek, and to learn the answers to my questions, but there has to be something.  There has to be because the struggle isn't worth all of the pain.  There shouldn't be this much tension.  Oh, I'm not certain of the quantitative value of the external tension, but the internal is enough to keep this writer medicated.

Where is the balance in the aloofness and the caring?  There is always a level of hurt for one when the other expresses an aloofness and yet, simultaneously it hurts to both care and not to.  Quite frustrating for sure.  I hope I haven't lost you with this random spewing of words, but I had to get them out.  They have been sitting here struggling for release and understanding.  There is an understanding I am certain.  There is a right answer with out a doubt.

One last thought that  has weighed heavily on my mind since I heard it.  During Christmas Eve service Pastor shared a story, a beautiful story (I love the Christmas Eve service so very much) and the last sentence read was that of a statement made by one of the characters in the story: "I am right where God wants me to be and that is a lot to live up to."

Oh, how heavy of a thought.

Blended families.  Step-parenting. 

Love, M

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Not my Strength Alone

I've been very lax in my writing to  you, or perhaps it is better said, in writing to myself.  Oh, yes, you are the reader, sure, but it is for my soul, my clarity, my health that I write.  Oh, I don't mean for that to sound, well, mean, but it is true.  It's been an eventful year.  I'd like to say that it has been all rainbows and roses, but honestly it has been rife with clouds and thorns as well.   But through those times, there has been growing and learning.  I think that there is a lot to be said in that.  Growth.  I think there is a reason we "grow" as a child, so that when we are older we don't remember the growing pains that we had to endure to get where we are.  Honestly, though, I think that growth as an adult is much, much harder.  The things that are learnt are above and beyond that of anything taught in a school book.  Real life doesn't have an answer book.

Speaking of books, I have a very particular pallet when it comes to what I read.  I love (LOVE) Christian "self-help" books.  I know that isn't what they are really referenced as, but they are the ones that take the lessons in God's Word and brings them to personal and life application.  These are the books I have more of than any other kind.  What can I say - I like to learn and grow.  Yet, when I look at myself I seem to see a person who is wholly stagnant in their growth.  Yes, I've endured much pain and heartache, but I have also not listened completely to all that I have been taught.

You see, I am really, REALLY good at hearing God tell me something, but I am NOT very good at LISTENING to Him!  There is such an epic difference.  If I were to list out the things he has spoke to me about and I listened and the things that he has spoke to me and I heard, well, I'm sure the obvious answer would jump off the page.  I struggle.  I have an honest to goodness problem that I think I am able to overcome, and can for some days at a time, then I fall.  I fail.  I do not have the strength to succeed for longer time than that.  I hate it.  I absolutely, positively hate that I can't conquer it.  Then I remember, each time, that I am trying to win on my strength alone.  Me.  But it isn't a problem where I am strong enough.

All the growing pains that I  have had.  All the lessons that I have learned and I still fail.  Because I need strength that does not come from me.  I need the strength that comes from the Lord.  I need the strength that only he can provide.  I HAVE TO HAVE THIS!  And if all the books I have read have taught me anything I also know that I cannot do it without the honest to goodness faith that the Lord alone will  help me.  That he is the strength enough that I need.  He wants me to do this. He wants me to learn that He IS.  HE IS!

Oh, how I need to head these words.  I fear the outcome of not.  It paralyzes me.  And yet I am not strong enough. 

Lord, please be my strength.

Love, M

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

In case I've never shared this before - I sell makeup.   No, not Mary Kay or Avon, but Younique.  Don't worry, this post won't be a sales pitch, you can stay here and read a while!  Today I was a part of a Small Business Expo in the town next to here.  To be quite honest I was petrified to do this.  I mean here I was going to be in a room with ladies who have done this sort of thing for a long time, but I didn't give into the fear. 

Even though I was there early I was not the first person there.  I got everything set up in a short bit and was quite impressed with how it looked.  Professional - eh, in my mind's eye!  (Of course I have my friend to thank for that, she let me barrow all of her display stuff!)  But again, this isn't even about all of that.  No, it is bigger than that.

People, I did it!  Me!  I put my fears aside, I put my nerves and shakes away and brought out the me that was confident and strong.  I know this had a lot to do with the fact I love the products (it's easy to sell what you love) but also because I got my strength from another source today.  You see, I prayed.  Now, I didn't pray that I would sell a lot of things, that I would make a lot of money, but that I would let the love of the Lord shine through, that I would just be there to meet his people and be a conduit for what may be.  He did it!

Sure, I did sell makeup, I got contacts, I gave away some samples, but most importantly I made friends and conquered a fear.  Have you ever felt that before?  Have you ever beat that voice in our head that told you you couldn't do it?  I am not a public speaker.  I can talk to people I don't know on the phone or over email with no problem; after all, that is what I do for my 9 to 5, but here I had to not only step outside of my comfort zone I had to leap and dance out of it. 

I don't want to sound like I am bragging; I am not.  I am simply resting peacefully in the knowledge that the Lord answered yet another one of my prayers.  He is so incredibly good to me.  Below is my booth. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

An Essay and a Prayer

I did something brave yesterday.  Well, actually it started a few days before that.  And actually it isn't all that brave.  A big step, yes.  Brave, no.  What did I do?  I filled out my application, submitted my essay, and got 3 recommendations for Grad School.  I am equal parts excited and petrified.  I haven't heard back from them yet.  I am taking this solely as a sign that my essay is in a big pile on a desk and hasn't been reached in queue; not that it has been rejected and the letter hasn't found its way to my mailbox yet. Ok, I may be exaggerating a wee bit, it has been less than 24 hours and I'm quite certain these things take longer than that!

In the meantime I have spent so much time wondering why I did this.  Then telling myself that I did it for all of the right reasons. I read one of my devotionals today and wouldn't you know it had something to do along these lines.  Now, I'd like to tell you that it affirmed my decision, but in all actuality it did not.  In fact, it made me think that perhaps maybe I jumped the gun just a little to much.  Maybe I didn't pray hard enough, long enough, specific enough.  Maybe I was relying solely on the emotions of obtaining another piece of paper that would allow me to pursue my childhood dream.  Maybe this is not the path God had for me and in my humanness I chose to make the path myself and I will fail epically.

That can happen, you know.  You can make all the plans you want in the world, but if they do not align with the will of the Lord then they will just die, miserably, and sometimes painfully at your feet.  In those moments you will inevitably learn something.  I think also, there is a lot that we take and mix up.  Ok, there is a lot that I take and mix up in my head.  I think I am paralyzed by fear.   Broken down and bent and incapacitated by fear.  Fear is what makes me question absolutely every choice that I make, yes even the ones that I know I have prayed through. Is this one of them?  I cannot say.

However, one thing that I do know and I know we have been taught this in many Bible study lessons and a few sermons, the Bible is the guide book.  It holds all the answers, but it will not hold the specific answers.  Let me explain that before some of you question my sanity.  If I were to pray about getting a new car the Bible isn't going to tell me yes or no.  It isn't going to tell me if I should get a blue one versus a red one, one with or without the leather package and extra options. No, what it is going to tell me is that my money is God's money.  That he gave to me selflessly and that I am a steward of it.  That all he is asking for is a tithe and the rest is for me to manage, smartly.  (That is example is one of many, by the way.)

And that is the thing.  Should I go to school or should I continue where I am.  Should I proceed to fulfill the dream I have had since I was a little girl or should I work where I am and grow where I am?  I cannot say.  However, one thing I know is that my Lord gave me gifts, in fact he gave all of his children gifts (and I'm not speaking of the gift of eternal life here).  My spiritual gifts are teaching and knowledge.  And before I knew about spiritual gifts, and Jesus, and forgiveness, and salvation, and works and deeds, and grace and mercy - I knew I wanted to be a teacher.  In my heart of hearts it is the one of the most noblest professions I can think of and it is my lifelong dream.

So, with that I took the plunge.  I took the step of faith that this is the path and road I am to be on at this time.  Will it lead to where I want it to go?  I cannot say.  Will it lead to where the Lord wants it to go?  I surely hope so!  Will they both be the same destination?  Well, only the Lord controls that. 


Monday, August 31, 2015

The Power of Prayer

Let's get a little deep, shall we?  This past Sunday, guess that was just yesterday, we had a wonderful service at church.  First there was the Sunday School lesson.  I'm not going to lie to you, I absolutely LOVE my Sunday School.  I don't know if it is the lessons we learn, the conversation, or all of the people in my class.  Honestly, I think it is all, because all those things together have grown us all together.  I truly find myself without words when I think of the blessing this class has been to my life.  However, that isn't the point to this, well, mostly.

You see, I have a very bitter heart from time to time.  My heart will think the worst of people.  It will fabricate the meanest of thoughts and unspoken words.  My heart scares me sometimes.  I'm quite certain from this utterance you have all counted me as being a vile person and are now forming labels to put on me.  That's ok if you are, this is something that is coming from your heart, something deep inside of you.  Don't worry, when you take the opportunity you'll see that you too have a spot or two or three that are just as concerning.  I'll not judge, it isn't my place.  After all, I am here sharing mine.

In my heart I want to hate, and be jealous, and wish bad endings on people, and curse people out to the Nth degree, and well, just basically let them know exactly what I think and feel.  Oh my goodness, if I uttered as many words as I thought.  For instance, in my heart, I've let a certain someone know exactly what I thought of their parenting style, I've let another certain someone know what I thought of the way they control other people, in yet another I've let someone know how I thought they were quite simply incapable of living a life of their own.  Yes, in my heart I can be quite something.

Yet, each time I get to this point.  This point where I want to scream all of these uglies aloud and be certain these certain someones know it is them I am speaking to, I stop myself.   And I pray.  I pray.  I pray to the Lord, my God, to forgive my thoughts.  To keep my tongue bound, to keep these thoughts close and allow them to dissipate somewhere between my mind and His love.  You see, God, He already knows the words I've thought and the person I've thought them about, but more importantly He knows my heart - through and through.  He knows where I struggle and where I soar.  He knows where I am weak and where I am strong.  He also knows, that I know, I am nothing without Him.  THE EXACT PLACE I WANT TO BE.

This brings me to the point.  This past Sunday, we finished a 5 part message series on Prayer.  The importance of prayer, what prayer really  is and isn't, what to do while we are waiting for the Lord to answer our prayers, how to pray as the Lord prays, etc.  But the thing that I walked away with touching my heart the most is this:

Before the message even began, during prayer/open alter time, I went to kneel before my God and asked Him this - open the eyes of my heart, soften my heart, help me to pray better, more earnestly, to seek His ways, and to be the woman He wants me to be.  I asked Him to help me be closer to Him.  You know what He told me?  He told me some several minutes later in the form of the message and the time spent in His word that prayer is nothing more than a verbal one-on-one with Him.  That my relationship with Him is only as strong as our conversations, that for my heart to become more aligned with His I need to spend more time talking with Him.

And from this I got - I'm not doing so bad.  I'm giving Him my thoughts.  I am letting Him squash them before they are uttered, but I want to go deeper than that.  I want Him to eradicate them before they even form.  You know the best part of that?  I absolutely, positively know that he will.  Why?  Because My God is power, and glory, and might.  My God is sovereign, and just, and loving, and right.  My God is personal, and here for me.  My God He is.

Keep praying my dear readers.  Do not give up on the power of prayer, most especially when you are at your wits end and are beyond ready to throw in that towel.  God will ALWAYS be there for you.  No mater what.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I Used to Be

Today at work we were all rehashing "the glory days."  You know, those days where earning the varsity letter, hanging out with your friends, perhaps having a part time job, and counting the days until graduation where all there was to live for.  In my office we have some pretty good "used to be" stories.  It's actually quite impressive, but alas, we are all in an office doing our bit to make a company run instead of out making millions with the skills from our "used to be's." 

I got to thinking, I know, a terrible habit of mine!, about last summer and the summer before that, you know, when I used to be a runner.  I have had one injury after the next, all with my knees, and the verdict is overuse.  So, I used to be... I'm going to be honest, not being where I was physically weighs on me.  It tears me apart mentally and emotionally.  Why?  Because in my mind's eye, I used to be pretty good.  I used to get on myself for not running a sub 8-minute mile for an entire 10k.  I used to think running a half marathon in over 2 hours was slacking.  I used to...and that, my lovelies is the rub.

There is always going to be something in life in which we used to be.  I used to be.  We used to be.  I have restarted this running journey, mixed with a bit more cross training (at the insistence of my physical therapist).  It is slow going, quite literally.  I get frustrated and mad when I can't get a mile in in under 9 minutes (when just 2 summers ago I was completing them at around 7:30).  But, I look back a bit farther and 2 years prior to 2 years ago, I couldn't run around the block.  So, in all, there is some perspective to be had there.  I refuse to give up on my love of running despite where I used to be, because I know someday I will look at today and think, I used to be.

The moral to this?  Oh, you  had to have known there was one.  Come on, it's me after all!!!  There is a very common saying "I may not be where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be".  This is so true.  I think sometimes in life when we don't "feel" the forward progress we fail to see the movement in that direction.  Sure we all have set-backs and lessons learned along the way, but we are getting there.  I can't say I'm where I need to be, I mean, I'm overweight, stressed continuously, struggling with some things, and constantly wondering if I'm doing enough, being enough, and so much more in the physical sense. And then there is my spiritual growth.  I want to be this woman that God can use.  This woman with whom God is pleased.  This woman who knows she's in the will of God.  But I am not.  I am not in all this cases.  Then I see where I was.  Let's start with 3 years ago.  I am not that woman.  Thank God I am not where I used to be.

Basically, dear readers, there will always be that one thing (or more) that you wish were different, that situation you pray would change, that time when you could have done this or that, that thing about yourself that you want changed, I could go on this way forever.  There is that relationship with the Lord that you want to know is growing faster and stronger with each day. Yet, if you were to take a good hard look on the inside, and because it is always the best thing to do, talk it over with the Lord, (to have His perspective and all), you will truly see that you aren't where you used to be, all the while living in the not where you need to be.

And that is the greatest place, to be.  May the Lord continue to grow you and move you.

Much love and prayers,

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Even Grown-Ups Need Grown-Ups Sometimes

It has been a quite some time since I have shared a post in which I spoke of my grandma.  However, today, I am missing her like crazy.  Actually it has only been in the last few hours where I've missed her so much it hurts.  You see, a lot of women have moms where they can go and talk to them about everything, where they can seek advice, tell them about their day, and all those other joys.  If not a mom, then well an aunt or woman of sorts.  Me, I had my grandma.  In some ways my grandma was like a mom to me, well, in a lot of ways, but mostly because she just was there for me.  I could talk to her about absolutely anything and she didn't try to fix it, correct, berate me, one up me, belittle me, hurt me, chastise me, or turn it into something about her by cutting me off mid sentence. 

My grandma was the best.  In the last couple years of her life her memory wasn't the best, and with that came some moments when talking with her were more difficult than others, but still I would.  I could call grandma any time of the day, and  you know what?  I did.  The wee hours of the morning, yep.  The middle of the night, yep.  Even during Letterman she'd turn off the TV just to talk with me.  She's been gone for over two years now and I have not had another big girl conversation with anyone since.  Now, don't get me wrong, I talk a lot and have conversations with a lot of people; I mean the essence of my career is talking.  Ha!  But to have a conversation where I could just share and be free to share. Not a one.

And here I am today, tears running down my face because I struggle to know why I am not accepted by the "grow-up" women in my life.  Why I'm constantly made to feel like I'm a burden, or a pest, or merely just that person who is taking up space in their life.  This hurts.  I will not deny that I am very self-sufficient, I am quite capable of taking care of my own and I will be the last person to ask anyone for help.  It is just not me to do so, but to be reminded that there really isn't anyone who remotely cares, that hurts.  And by anyone, I mean grown-ups, you know, those in the generation before mine. (My hubby cares and he does listen to me quite well.) It all makes me what to scream from the top of my lungs, "what is wrong with me?"

I'm sure the answer is quite obvious and I'm simply too dense to see that it is staring me straight in the face.  Until then, I seriously just wish, I had a grown-up to talk to, but you know, hey, we can't all have our cake and eat it too.  Besides, to think that this is a problem that only I suffer from is quite selfish on my part.  Excuse me while I go put my big girl panties on and continue to take care of myself.  Who needs grown-ups anyway?!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Writing 101

Almost 3 years ago I started a 30 day challenge and then my life turned upside down.  In those subsequent months I found words and strength and advice that I know only came from the good Lord above.  That said, a few days ago I came across a blog (I dearly love blogs) that detailed a woman's journey to finding her inner writer, her desire to become one.  I took notes, as I am often apt to do, and from there decided that I too, would start on this journey to become a writer.  After all, wasn't it Lao Tzo that said, "A journey starts with a single step" or in this case a single word?!

To share what I read/learnt:
1. Make a goal. Umm, hello, as with all things in life this is a good start.
2. Try out your goal before committing.  Ok, I'm a runner.  Or at least I was until, well, other things deterred me from it, but I am.  I am a runner.  One of the biggest things with running is that you have to...let me stress this...HAVE TO make a goal, a commitment if you will, to run.  You have to decide that no matter what you are going to complete 'X' number of miles each day in order to meet  your goal.  This is the same with writing.  You have to commit to a goal.  I.E. I will write (type) 500 words per day.
3. Set a start date and STICK to it!  Alright, in order to get good at something you have to start, right?  And what is the worst thing for beginning something?  That's also right, procrastination.  Find a date.  Any date.  STICK with it!  This isn't a diet, there aren't any re-dos or cheat days!  (It's ok, you'll learn to forgive yourself.)
4. Learn to use tools & technology  like a boss.  Truth is, I don't do technology.  In fact, you tube videos seems to be the way of things in place of written blogs.  I have only created one video of myself; demonstrating make-up.  I think I will stick with this medium when it comes to sharing thoughts/feelings/and general randomness that comes from my brain.
5. Create an idea list. Alright folks, I don't have one.  I did a few years back. I had a whole list of things that I wanted to talk about.  However, as with all things in life, I changed, as well my ideas, my thoughts, my  passions, well, everything.  I am still working on this list of ideas.  I want it to be grand; however, it will be what it is. 
6. Learn to walk away from a piece.  - Ok TRUTH time... I am one of those people that feel that once I committed words to my keyboard they have to be saved. I know, completely insane.  I mean, after all, I have submitted several papers during my college tenure that undoubtedly resulted in me erasing a sentence or page or two, just saying. I struggle with this when it comes to this blog.  I think that once I start writing I need to keep writing and then share with you.  I am sorry!!!
7. Realize that no one has to see your first draft. - OK I excel at this.  If I published everything I wrote you would all walk away.  It is quite frightful what the mind, then the fingers, can type when left to their own wondering vises.
8. You have to work the work.  So apparently when I write I have to actually work at it.  Who knew?!  I mean, writing and thinking and completing and doing get the picture. Sheesh...everyone is a critic!!!!
9.  You have to decide that your stories and your words are important. - Alright, truth hear.  No, I mean an epic level of truth.  I thought my words only meant something when I was growing, when I was going through something that was life changing and personal development worthy, but I think I know that is not entirely the truth.  In fact, I think there is a lot of "story" left in the days that are controlled by living, by doing the mundane and stepping forward, diligently in the onward direction.  Not everyone is going to understand where you are or where you have been.  Not everyone is going to think you are witty or funny or worth their precious 5 minutes.  And that is ok!  Seriously!  You have to write for you, and I promise, when you do, you will have a calm in your being like you have never had before.

There you have it people.  I have decided to embark on a goal that involves much more than just thought, it involves me making something concrete of those thoughts.  While I am certain, as with all things, there will be set backs with this goal, I will continue to do my best to bring my words to life.

With much love and God's biggest blessings,


Monday, June 29, 2015

A by-product of Compassion

I have to be honest, there are times when I can't hold on to the joy, the happiness.  Now, before you get the wrong idea about what I mean, I need to be completely open here - the underlying thing I'm talking about it the true essence of compassion, but we will get to that.

If any  of you have followed me for any length of time, and many of you have you know that I've had some ups and downs over the past few years.  Now, I won't recount them all because frankly it isn't the basis for this post.  I've come to realize that nothing, absolutely NOTHING prepares you for something except to actually go through it!  NEWS FLASH!!  I KNOW!

Here's the thing, while yes, I've been broken, rocked to the core and torn in two, I've also been healed, loved, knitted back together, and blessed immeasurably.  True, not each of those things happened in a succinct step-by-step manner, and often times I had to relearn a step or two.  Which brings me to where I am right now. 

You see, I know ladies who have been down this road; this broken, twisted, winding, pothole laden road.  In fact, I know ladies who are still on it, who joined me (against their will) at about the same time, but have not found their "exit", so-to-speak.  Oh, I'm sure it isn't for lack of trying, I've been there after all.  And that is why I am where I am right now.

I feel guilty for being where I am.  Like my happiness is their demise.  No, I'm not trying to rub it in their face, I'm not toting my good fortune around like a flag of honor.  It is nothing like that.  I am simply happy.  Actually, I am way more than that.  I am in awe of the love that the Lord has shown me that he has brought me to where I am.

This doesn't mean that I don't hurt for you.  That I don't care about you and how you feel.  It means that I know, I understand, and I want to listen, to pray with you, to be a shoulder for you to cry on.  Please just know that I want to be happy and not feel wrong for wanting to be.  I don't want to look in your eyes and think of how I'm being judged. 

Then as I reflect back on the timeline of my life I realize I, too, had that same look in my eyes.  That look that had me begging for the inner peace, that shoulder to cry on, that reprieve from the pain and hurt, that desire to get off the stinking road.

It will come and it will look different for you than for me,  but it will come. 

Share in the joy.  Share in the happiness. 

Compassion holds so much.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Write My Story - Part 3

It's been months!  MONTHS since I've shared with you all.  Part of me has thought about you so often, my dear friends and readers who've read my tear stained words, who've triumphed with me, and who've wanted to box my ears on some occasions.  I've been here, but joyfully busy.  So much so, that I had to re-read my last post to find where I left you.  I didn't really leave you, you know, I was just simply gaining more information for my story.  My story.  Oh my word guys.  Hey you guys!!! (If you didn't just have a Goonies flashback you may not have had an epic childhood...I digress!) My story.  I have one.  One given to me by a God who has loved me and never left me.  I was given a story because God had the one...the perfect one to help fill the pages of a blank book he created before I even came to be.  I think the greatest thought behind all of that is knowing that he's done the same for us all.  Yep, even when you don't think you have one, you do.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to run.  To say it became my obsession for the longest bit is an understatement, it was my lifeline.  This past January I got the most wonderful surprise.  I'd like to say I didn't know that something was up, I mean my love doesn't just volunteer to run with me, at my favorite place, in the middle of winter for no good reason.  But, alas, he did.  I was SO excited.  Seriously, and he knew, that the quickest way to my heart was offering to take me to the State Park up the road just to let me run.  Sigh...God is so good.

I have a very specific spot that I love to go park when I run.  Now, I knew that there was a high probability that the roads were going to be closed off to some degree due to snow, but I kept urging none-the-less.  First, things first.  I am getting ahead of myself after all. Little did I know that most of this was a conspiracy between him and my best friend.  The sneaky Pete's that they are!  My littlest two littles stayed at her house and my oldest had a friend stay over; he had his littles stay with their grandma all in the sake of taking me running.  Sheesh...I so have a keeper!  So the next morning as I go up to tell my daughter that I'm going running I was super surprised to see she was already awake.  (Anyone with a teenager knows the rarity in this, especially at 7:30 in the morning!)  From there he took me to get my absolute favorite pre-long run breakfast - Cracker Barrel (don't judge, they have good food!).

Here's where it was getting interesting though.  I had texted my best friend to let her know that I was going to run, but if she needed me to come pick them up just to let me know and I would.  She told me not to worry about it.  Then my love's phone just kept going off, and off, and off, and I was getting MAD!  It was my best friend.  Seriously what on Earth did she have to say that required that much of our time.  (Yes, I'm a silly girl!)  We ate breakfast and he kept trying to get me to spend time looking around the general store at the restaurant and I just wanted to get on the road to go running.  That and I knew that my best friend had plans and I needed to get the littles and come home.  Like soon!  Anyhow...

As we were driving his phone kept going off.  Message after message after message.  At this point in time I didn't even notice that we weren't even going the speed limit.  (He ALWAYS goes at least a few miles over.)  We get there and I buy the new annual pass and we get to the top of the big hill and park.  Seriously people I still have not a clue.  I think under all this brown and grey hair I have blond roots!  So we get out, I try to sync my Garmin, which was having no bit of giving me what I wanted that morning and he says lets go.  I'm like are you sure?  It's cold.  You aren't used to running in this weather or terrain, but he's a trooper and said yes, but asked if I would slow down for him if he needed me to. 

We start off towards the back of the park and we are talking...ok, I'm talking...he's listening.  Apparently he started asking me what was ahead...yeah, news flash, when I run I tune out everything.  EVERYTHING!  Not only didn't I notice what was going on ahead of me, I didn't even notice that he had started to fall back.  We get further down the road and I see people, but not just any people.  My people.  His people.  Our people.  The littles that we love.  It took a moment (alright, who am I kidding, an eternity) for me to realize what was going on.  That sly man of mine and that dear, precious bestie of mine had put together the best, most perfect, most amazing proposal known to man. 

Naturally, I said yes!

P.S.  she had used my van, and I forgot to put gas in it...oops...this was a reason he was stalling me, she had to pick  up his littles, get gas and get on the interstate before us!  She was only a couple minutes ahead of us which is why he was going slow.  Then she had to pay to get in to the park, which means literally she had JUST drove around the corner when we got there to buy our pass!  He "dawdled" getting around before we took off because she had to park and get the Littles into place. 

But, the best part, I still got in all of my miles and dropped him back off at that truck while I got them in!  Proposal or not, a long run is a long run!  Snort :)

He's a keeper and he is all mine...sigh...I'm blessed...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Write My Story - Part 2

The days that past were such a blur.  Even now, looking back, I can't for the life of me remember each little detail, but I do recall the beauty of it.  First, and foremost, I need to alert you to the fact we are about to embark on a full case of "sappy".  As in a sappy love story.  Man, I have waited so long for this kind of a story.  One of my own that is.  Trust me I've read a lot of others!

In the days that followed December 20th it seemed like every dream I ever had finally come true.  Naturally it was the Christmas season and that alone carries a multitude of magic and love, but this year, even when I never would have thought it could be, my Christmas miracle finally came.  You see, from December 20th on we were inseparable.  It was almost like we'd never met before and we were just getting to know each other all over again. (You know how fun and exciting those first months are.) But at the same time there was the peace and comfort of knowing that each thought, each idea, each word didn't have to be specially crafted because you were in the presence of someone who already loved and cared for you.

On December 26th he took me to Jerad. Now, I really must tell you, every girl's dream isn't a ginormous ring.  In fact, that isn't what he bought me while we were there. One of the things that I told him in the days leading up to the 20th is that if we were to get back together I wanted a promise and not just a verbal one.  So on that day he took me and let me pick out a promise ring!  It is the most beautiful ring; white and rose gold wrapped to form the infinity sign with diamonds in the white gold.  It is simply stunning and perfectly me.  But the bigger surprise was the stores we went to next.  My love wasn't messing around.  No, in fact, we went to a couple of other jewelry stores until we found the one.

Ladies, have you ever in all your set your eyes on a ring so beautiful it truly did take your breath away?  A bit of truth about me, I don't prefer diamonds.  No, really, they are not my gem of choice.  Don't get me wrong, they are pretty (well some of them, like the small understated ones that are accents to the prettier gems), but my favorite?  Pearls.  At this one store I found a pearl ring with a very contemporary setting and 3 small gems to the side that I loved.  Then the lady brought over a ring of small baguettes that when I put them both on together I literally got tears in my eyes and it took my breath away.

He bought them on the spot.  However, I did not get to keep them.  No, it took a bit after that and many, many days of begging and asking and wondering when I'd get to see them again, or perhaps wear them...but that is another story :)

Even though it isn't pertaining to this, per se, every time I think of these days I think of Francesca Battistelli's song, Write Your Story.  Go on, click and read, then find it on your tube and I dare you not to fall in love with the song.

Until next time,

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Write My Story - part 1

December 20th was a big day for me for many reasons - a 50k relay (epic!), a potential love that became lost, and true love that returned.  As many of you are aware my boyfriend broke up with me (officially) on November 17th, 2014; a day that crushed me to the core.  We had been together for well over a year.  There are so many things I could share about the days in between (and probably will - in due time), but it is December 20th that the real story begins to unfold.  I should let you know that God works in ways that we will never fully understand, for this I am so grateful and thankful.  Yes, even when I throw a temper tantrum in between, to which you may have read the words...

There are times we learn life lessons in which we are unsure as to why we learn them, of why the pain of the moment must rest on us and be seared into our memories, but learn them we do.  In the many long days following the breakup I fought hard to hold on, to show him how much I loved him, but there came a defining moment when I finally realized that my efforts were for naught and I resigned myself, and my heart, to not having this man in my life.  So naturally what did I do?  Yep, I listened to what some friends had suggested I do many times over - I created an online profile and, gasp, I met someone.  Honestly, I thought it would take months, but it only took days, um a couple of them in fact.  The randomness of it all made me believe that perhaps maybe this was meant to be.  Oh, dear people, I love how our brokenness can deceive us; how our in ability to just wait can cause us to experience more than we ever bargained for.

This person that I met well, much like a past relationship, showered me with gifts (not pretentious baubles) and flattering words, but nothing that was ever fully in line with what his profile had said he was.  There were red flags and at first I ignored them, but as the days wore on the Lord started to point them out to me more and more boldly.  This time around I listened to him.  People, we MUST pay attention to the red flags - they are there to protect us. Ladies, please don't fall for a deep wallet and shallow words no matter how appealing they may be at the time, especially to a lonely heart.  I struggled with the right thing to do for several days, but on December 20th the truth of this person came to light.  No, I never saw him, but his words struck me across the face and hurt my heart worse than if he'd been physically there.  You see, broken men can damage a woman far more than you know and he, my dear lovelies,  was severely broken.  Praise the Lord for showing me this before it was too late.

That day, after my 50k relay, I came home and was exhausted.  Running on trails has a way of doing that to me, they are much more brutal than the open road.  Thankfully the Littles went to their dad's and I was able to get sleep.  However, the hours of being in the below freezing temps, the numbness in my feet and hands, and the soreness in my bones caught up to me, I got sick.  I was here, by myself, and couldn't move. So I texted him.  The him who had tried to ask me back, but I told him no because I couldn't see past the red flags of the other person at first.  The him who I had loved and given my heart to all those months before, the him who I wanted to make a life and a future with, him.  I texted him.  And he came.  He cooked me dinner and wrapped me up in warm blankets and held me while the chill worked its way out of my body and the ache out of my muscles and bones.  He cried with me and for me.  He was here - for me. He came back - to me.

Oh, my dear people, there are so many details that I am knowingly leaving out, but I do fully believe that day happened just as it should have.  That despite all that was, all that could have occurred, the right moments passed and the right people were involved.  Today, a mere 15 days later, I can truly say that what needed to happen did happen.  That the two hearts involved in this story were open to the Lord.  For years I prayed that the Lord would write my story and I fully believe he is.  He is writing a beautiful story.  One that has been filled with love, pain, joy, sadness, adventure, and intrigue.  In fact, he is still writing this story and I've only shared but one day. 

So, to you, I simply ask you for one thing.  Keep your hearts open to the Lord.  Pray to him even when it hurts and  you think there are no other options out of your current situation.  I know it's hard.  I've been there.  In some ways I am still there.  I know what it is like to wonder when your story gets to happen, when you are going to get to know love.  I know what it is like to hear everyone say trust in the Lord and His timing and you want nothing more than to scream at the injustice of that statement.  I know!  And I do not want to sit here and type those same words to you.  I truly don't.  I don't want to come off as flippant or callous, but it is another one of my lessons learned, because in all honesty it is all we have.  We must trust in the Lord and His timing.

To be continued....

(Teaser:  an earworm of sorts and the still quiet voice)

Much love, M