Monday, December 26, 2011

~Motivational Monday~ my gift to you

Yes - I know it's Tuesday
But most of us have been off work and actually had a long weekend.  Tuesday is our Monday this week.  First day back to the grind and even though it's a short week, for some reason, they always seem harder to me!

So - here's a little inspiration for the week!
My Christmas gift to you  :)

I hope everyone had a wonderfully happy and joy filled holiday Christmas weekend.  I must say, Z and I must have been extra good this year because we were abundantly blessed!!!!  And I'm not talking just gifts here - I mean, the good stuff.   Love.  Joy.  Peace.  Family.  Friends.  Blessings all around.

I was approached over the holidays by someone asking how I'm doing.... and after all I've been through, how I'm able to stay so positive?
Truth of the matter is this..

I can choose to lay in bed every night and drown in self loathing about what I have done wrong or how I've been done wrong...
I can choose to look back on the things that I did wrong, that brought me to the RIGHT place!
I can choose to look at all that I'm blessed with.
I can choose to look at all that my future has to hold!

I make that choice daily.

And so should you!

I hope that you looked at your life through the Christmas holiday and thanked God above for all you are blessed with.  I hope that you let yourself off the hook for just long enough to smile.  I hope that for Christmas you gave yourself a clean slate of forgiveness (for yourself AND others) so that you can start 2012 without any negativity held over from 2011!

That is what I wish for each and every one of you for Christmas!  :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve

I just wanted to take a quick minute to wish every one a VERY Merry Christmas and remind you all....
Please remember the reason for the season.
This time of year we tend to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle and keeping up with who got what - that we lose focus of the true meaning and blessings of the Christmas season.

Today - tonight - tomorrow - some time over this holiday, do something selfless.  Not for the glory, but for someone else.  Stop focusing on the THINGS of this world and focus on the things of the heart!
There is something so much bigger out there than that iPad.

James 1:19-27

Listening and Doing
 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.  22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Tonight, in honor of Jesus' birth and in the spirit of giving, I (following the example of a friend) went to Walmart, went in and bought a gift card, and then staked out the parking lot, patiently waiting for a tug leading me down the path I should go.  I found a lovely family, politely walked up and handed the mother a gift card and wished them a Merry Christmas - and walked away.   The little girl with them softly said "awwwww...." as I was walking away.   And with that - I was gone.
Tonight - I will say a special prayer that the family will be blessed a special way this year.

From there - I went on to purchase a gift for an anonymous person that I pray for regularly.  This gift will arrive and never be acknowledged.  But I will pray tonight that this gift does not go unused or unanswered.  It was delivered with a special dose of love and prayer.  Special blessings to this person and family.

I hope that you all stop and remember how blessed each and every one of us are - in our own individual way.
Wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas
I am VERY thankful for my savior's birth, death and resurrection.

I.  am.  BLESSED.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

~Motivational Monday~ Keep Dreaming...

(or Tuesday, I'm a little late!)

So I took a little time away from my blog.  Not because I don't love you all and not because I don't need this blog.  But because I needed a mini vacay from my brain and all my thoughts and analyzing!

And now I'm back....
so fresh and so clean clean  :)

Lots of people have checked in on me over the past several months.  (some have been checking for longer than I realized!)  Lots of friends have left me with kind words, prayers, even little gifts here and there to let me know that everything is gonna be alright.
People keep asking how I am.
People keep saying they are sorry for what I'm going through.
I'm so VERY VERY lucky and thankful for ALL your kind words and support and thoughts and prayers.
I truly truly am.

So here is what I want you all to know.
I'm ok!  :)
and I'm just gonna keep on dreaming! BIG!!  :)

Someone told me recently that they were going to have to stop reading my blog because it was too sad.   I told them - it's not sad, it's HOPEFUL!  (I mean... it IS right?!)  And that person said "you are one resilient individual"
Thing is.......I choose to be!

You see.... people go through trial and heartache every day.  We are all VERY good at hiding it.  But trust me, the amazing thing about me writing here is the feedback I get in return.  Not just people supporting me, but people asking for support and prayer from me.
People - THAT is what life is all about!!!
Not pretending to be something that your not!
Not pretending you have the BEST life out there!
Not putting on a face so that everyone envies your life above everyone else!
It's not our job or our RIGHT to make others feel inadequate.
People do it to make themselves feel better.  And trust me, it makes you NO BETTER!
Get down off your high horse and open your heart and look around.

Yes.  I'm honest!
Yes.  I'm an open book!
I will tell you the truth.  I will tell you details that maybe most wouldn't.
I have nothing to hide.
Am I perfect?  Absolutely not!  But I do my best every day to make someone around me feel loved.
Have I been hurt?  yes.
Will I give up on people?  No.  Never

I had faith in a man and a marriage that let me down.
But guess what.... as much as it broke my heart going through - I look back now and I realize God saved me.  He saved me from walking down a LONG road that would have only gotten worse.
I don't believe in divorce.  I don't think God predestined me to BE divorced.  But I do think that people make decisions and choose paths against God's will (infidelity, lying, cheating, disrespecting, dishonoring) that are out of our control.  And for that reason, judge me if you will, but for that reason I DO believe that divorce is sometimes used to save one life because another is gone astray.  Rather than two falling down, at least one chooses to be saved.

I looked back one night at blogs I posted after I got married, and the fact of the matter is... as much as I loved him and believed in us.... I couldn't make him love and respect me the same.
Yes he will go on and tell people I was a hateful bitter woman and no one will ever live up to my expectations, and yes in the beginning I wanted to shout what he did to me from a mountain top and defend myself.  Yes.  There is ALWAYS an ugly side in us that wants to look better than the other person.
But here is what I have learned through all of this....

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” ~Paul Boese

I forgive and move on.   And frankly - I'm just done talking about the PAST and the pain and the regret and the mistakes.  I have forgiven not just him, but MYSELF also.
And for that - the door to my future is happy and positive and WIDE OPEN!

Will I find love again with a man?  maybe!  :)    I have faith!
And if I don't find it in one man, I will find it in ALL the world all around me  :)

"All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it"

Here is my challenge to you ALL for the week!!!!!
Christmas is just around the corner - right?!  Everyone is caught up in the hustle and bustle of gift buying and the commercialism of what Christmas has become.
I read something on facebook tonight that someone did  - and it inspired me!
I am therefore passing this along to inspire EACH and EVERYone of you!!

Here is her post........

"I told myself I was going to bless somebody today. I bought a gift card while at Walmart...walked up to a complete stranger & said Merry Christmas. She looked at me like I shocked her. I told her I don't know if she needs it or not, if she doesn't to pay it forward to somebody that does. She thanked me, we hugged and I walked away. I received a blessing today as much as her.♥"
I challenge each of you to do this very thing this week!
Please please share any feedback or blessing you share or receive in this endeavor!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On a white horse?? nahhhhhh

Watched a movie ...
put some things into a new perspective.
Not really new for me, just a reaffirmation of sorts!

Remember as little girls (boys.... you know the story too) we all dreamed of the "Cinderella" story... our prince riding in on a white horse and sweeping us off our feet and riding off into the sunset happily ever after.
Yeah - ok - we believed that maybe yesterday when we were very young.
But then we got older; we watched movies like Pretty Woman and believed in our modified grown up "Cinderella" story.  A rich handsome man would come rescue us from our hard life and take care of us and we would live happily ever after.

WHERE ladies did we get so darn preoccupied with NEEDING a man to RESCUE us!!!!!!
....stupid Disney movies!!!!!!!!!

But I mean... really... as we get older - do you REALLY believe that is the way things happen?!!  And in all honesty - do you really truly WANT that?
My mom told me once, as women, we should never get ourselves into a situation that if something happened, you couldn't take care of yourself.
My interpretation:  never depend SOLELY on another person... financially OR purely for your happiness.

#1 - be happy with you FIRST
#2 - always be prepared for the worst.  Don't EXPECT it.... but be prepared.   Speaking from experience, you never know how dependable that Prince will be!!!!!

I am one of those crazy girls that STILL believes in true love!  I do.
EVEN after having my heart shredded to bits and being disappointed like I never imagined.
Even after that.....
I'm one of those girls that still believes...... that still hopes........  one of those that CAN, and DOES, still sit down and watch a good love story and STILL believe that YES - there are men out there capable of loving!

I don't NEED a prince.  I would like a genuine honest trustworthy caring man....
but I don't NEED him to sweep me off my feet.  Just love me for ME.

I don't NEED someone to take care of me.  I would like someone to help take care of US...
but I don't NEED him to put me on a pedestal every day, just respect me as his partner.

So I'm watching this movie....
honestly having NO IDEA what I'm in for - and to be honest - I was pleasantly surprised.

"Friends with Benefits"  (Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis)
Based on the previews, it looked funny.
(plus - hello - it had JT shirtless!  LOL)

So I'm watching and a scene comes up (I'm not ruining the movie for you.....) where Mila and her mother are discussing "prince charming"
and I felt just like it was me and my mom... sitting there having the same conversation!!!!!

MOM:  "We all have our prince charming - you just have to know it when you see him!"

DAUGHTER:  "Mom, it's PRINCE CHARMING - we should just KNOW"

MOM:  "YOUR prince charming is not going to RESCUE you with a horse and carriage - that's not who YOU are!!  You're looking for a man to be your PARTNER... to take on the world WITH you!"

"You gotta UPDATE your fairy tale!".

my movie... my character.... my fairytale!
LOVE IT!  :)

I remembered that I DO believe in true love  :) 
always have... always will... even if it's not for me...

Monday, December 5, 2011

This is my... ME

People ask me all the time, "why do you blog"
"WHY do you do it?"  "Why do you put so much of yourself out there?"
I think I finally found the answer to that question tonight.

I always say that this is where I heal.
This is where I vent.
This is where I come to spill myself.
And I do it to heal me - but to help others also.
Someone somewhere could be going through what I'm going through right now at this very moment; if one word or one line of my SELF I share touches someone... well then it is all worth it in the end.

Tonight  - I think I have discovered the true meaning of my blog.

It's where I go to be ME when I just need to be me.
This is where I go to find ME when I just need to rediscover me.
And this is where I go to share ME when someone else is hurting and needs me.

When everything around me turns into a whirlwind of chaos and I'm tossed up and down and round and round and tossed about.....
I come here.
I sit down on my couch or my bed... just me.... my laptop and ME!
And I spend time with ME.
My hopes
My dreams
My prayers
My wants
My needs
My joy
My sorrow
My pain
..... my thoughts.......

It's where I let it all out.  It's where I am the most honest.  it's where I am the most ME.
It's where I come to put my feet back on the ground.  It's my safe place.

I have.... NO, wait.... I am BLESSED with a wonderful family.  And I am BLESSED with wonderfully awesome friends that are always by my side no matter what.
They will ALL tell me when I'm right and rejoice when things are good - and they won't hesitate to tell me when I'm WRONG... and cry when things are bad.

But it is HERE that I come when everything is going good - to share my joy with the world.
And it is here that I come when everything is upside down - to share my pains and sorrows with the world.

But mostly - I come here to rediscover me.
And to me - that is priceless.

So I want you to know - to everyone who comes here and everyone that shares just a little piece of me, I am grateful... I am thankful.... I am BLESSED to honestly say...
Welcome to my safe place.
Welcome to my place of getting to know me.
Each of you that reads my posts, whether it be occasionally or religiously, and have ever taken any piece of what I have shared and it made you smile, or it made you laugh, or it made you see your own life in a new perspective...

I am BLESSED to be invited into your world when you click that link that shows up somewhere in your world of technology.
I am honored to share a tiny piece of me, the real raw.... "this is ME" world with you.

Whether you EVER speak a word to me about my blog or about anything I share.... or whether you email me, or "like" me on facebook, or choose to send an email sharing a little piece of you back...
no matter what...
I'm grateful to have this place to come back to...
and I'm thankful for each and every one of you that read and agree; or read and disagree.

"You might just be one person to the world; 
but to one person, you might just be the world."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reason for the pain...

Everybody struggles and has pain. EVERYBODY!! God recycles and redeems the pain the very moment we use our experience to help someone else through their pain.  I read this from a pastor's facebook page that I follow and it was like a million light bulbs went off all around me!!  :)

What a painful word.  
What a painful experience.  
And it happens every day all around us.

Some simply because people literally look at marriage as a trial run these days.  Some people literally take it so lightly that going in, they think, if it doesn't work out - well I'll just get a divorce and start over.  No big deal.
But some of us... some of us still think of marriage as the ultimate commitment of love here on earth.
Some (few) of us wait and search and fall in love thinking this is IT for me.  We give our hearts completely to the one we plan to grow old with.
And sometimes... we get hurt.   Sometimes, well... we simply pick the wrong person to trust our heart to.  OR, maybe we give our heart... loving and caring and having faith that we are on the same path and have the same goals and we believe that that person loves us just the same.
And sadly... sometimes things change.
And when they change... or we feel deceived, there is nothing you can do to take that back.
When the one person that you think will NEVER hurt you, acutally HURTS you... you may not stop loving them, but you have to face the fact that the path that person has chosen is no longer the path the two of you chose together.

I don't belive in divorce... as a general rule.
But when I say that I simply mean, I do not believe that it should be used as an escape for when the going gets tough.
But I do believe that when you have walked down a road with someone who no longer puts your future as a couple as a first priority - sometimes.. well... there is no other option.
When living right in God's eyes and upholding vows that you took together is NO LONGER the priority, and trust and hope and love are treated as though they mean nothing anymore, I don't believe God's blessings are placed upon someone who chooses to purposely keep traveling down the path of pain and turmoil.
I don't believe that God intends anyone to stay in a relationship where you are continually beaten down or abused or taken for granted in any way.

And for that reason, my divorce hit me hard.

But when I read what I read tonight - It just gave me light.  It showed me purpose.
Do I think that God PLANNED and PURPOSED me to walk down an aisle with a man I loved just to end up divorced.
No.  I do not.
BUT I do believe that God uses EVERY experience that we go through to not only bless us, but to also bless those around us.
I do believe that no matter what you are going through... no matter how bad the pain; turning that around to use for good in His name is the ultimate gift and redemption that He gives us.

And for that reason..... I can lay my head down at night and truly sleep.
for that reason I can KNOW that God uses me every day.
He makes me stronger by bringing me through trials a stronger better person  (someone please tell God I'm strong enough....ha ha)
But more importanatly I believe he uses me EVERY day.
He uses things I have been through... the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions, the experience, the "live and learns" to shine light to all those around me.

And for THAT - I am thankful.
And for THAT - I am at peace.

I can let go and I can move forward with what is in store for me next.
And I can do so proudly and confidently  :)

Will I marry again?  who knows
But am I ok either way - Absolutely!

Why - because I know God has plans for me and he'll use me for whatever His will is, and as long as I know that - I know I will be blessed  :)