Sunday, December 20, 2009

Authentic Relationships

I'm so missing those people in my life who accept me exactly as I am. With all my mistakes and issues and quirks. The people who truly know me, and love me anyways.

I hate feeling like I have to constantly be guarded, and keeping everything at an arms length to keep myself safe. I so miss those people who I can just be myself around. The ones who have known me for years. The ones who understand me, who get me.

I don't have those people here. And I so wish I did. I miss having my friends to just talk to, relate with, and do life with. It's hard doing things alone.

And I had NO idea how hard it can be to find true friends. I guess that's because the true friends I have are the people who have been in my life for years, since I was a kid. As children, we simply were who we were. Open to ideas and possibilities and things that were different than us. We each simply were who we were, without pretense or understanding that our innate personalities needed to be changed. This made it easy for kids to connect and get to know each other, and true friendships were formed.

Now, as adults we all have to work so hard to be the "perfect" whatever - mom, wife, employee, etc. Instead of being real with people, we have to make sure we project the image we want everyone to see. We create idealized versions of ourselves that have very little bearing in reality. That lack of authenticity makes true relationships nearly impossible.

I want to be real. And authentic. And get to know other people who are the same way. I want lasting friendships with true friends.

I guess that's a process though. So for now, I am SO incredibly grateful to be heading home for Christmas to the people who really know and love me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Front Page News

Ok, deep breaths... lots of them...

In... Out... In... Out...

These last few days have been some really hard ones. It just seems like I can't finish dealing with one emotional rollercoaster before another takes off. And I'm struggling to maintain some semblance of sanity and not end up right where I was 6 months ago.

Can you believe it's been 6 months? On one side, it feels like yesterday that I was so torn apart I couldn't function. I can remember every emotion, every hurt, every way that I tried to cover it up and make it go away. (None of them worked, by the way)

One the other hand, it feels like an eternity since I had the life I did 6 months ago. Both the good and the bad. It's amazing how far I've come and how things have changed. Solely by the grace of God, I survived. There were days I probably shouldn't have.

But this isn't about 6 months ago. This is about today. It's about moving forward instead of going back. It's about finding some peace in all the chaos and trying to just breathe when I feel like I can't.

I'm really good at hiding things. I am an impeccable liar when I want to be. I can make anyone believe just about anything, and I can hide things that I don't want people to know for as long as I need to. These "skills" (I say that because I do know that these are not positive attributes) helped me get away with way more than I should have as a teenager and beyond. It hasn't been until recently that I have learned that just because I can get away with these things doesn't mean I should.

However, there are some secrets of my past that I am so ashamed of and guilt ridden over, that I've never felt I had any choice but to hide them from everyone. Not a single person in the world except those who were a part of the experience had any idea about the nightmare that I lived for a year.

That all changed yesterday. When it became front. page. news.

Let me tell you how much it sucks when the one thing you've spent the last 8 years of your life desperately trying to hide from everyone makes headlines in the morning paper.

It feels like someone ripped open my soul and exposed it for the entire world to see. One ugly detail at a time. And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it but sit back and watch it all unfold. I have a front row seat to my own demise. I get to witness my entire wall of secrets come crashing down and the awful truths behind them glaring out for everyone to see.


And frankly, I haven't been dealing with it well. At all.

A (few) stiff drinks and an abundance of pills, mixed with plenty of anger and hurt have been my weapon of choice for riding this out. Curling up under the covers and wishing it would go away has been playing an active role as well. Of course, these things are much better alternatives than facing this thing head on. Than dealing with it once and for all. Than talking to someone about all the things that I've kept hidden for the last 8 years.

Nope, I'll just continue to do it my way. Because I'm not ready to talk to someone or let them be there for me or deal with this disaster. I just can't.

You'd be surprised at all the things that time DOESN'T heal.

Monday, December 14, 2009

You can have THAT "god"...

I was walking into an OBGYN office today, where the doctor also happens to do abortions. *Note - NO I am not getting an abortion. I am not pregnant. I don't plan to be. I was there for totally unbaby related reasons*

As I was walking in, I was "greeted" by a group of people holding signs and yelling at me about the evils of what I was about to do and telling me that there were other ways because their "god" loved me. All this while shoving pictures of aborted babies and the burning fires of hell in my face.

Again, I'm not pregnant, and I'm certainly not in the market for an abortion. But what if I was? What if I was 18, pregnant, and scared to death? What if the baby's father had left me and I had no one to turn to? What if I felt that I had let everyone in the world down and didn't know what to do? What if my parents had kicked me out and my friends had abandoned me? What if I felt like an abortion was my only way out? Would these people, screaming at me in the name of "god" and telling me I'm going to go to hell for what I believe is my only option really going to change my mind? Will it make me feel like everything will be ok and that people love and care about me? Of course not.

You can have that "god".

You can keep your "god" in who's name you blow up buildings, murder innocent bystanders, and shoot unarmed people. You can have the "god" who condones the rape of an innocent child, the forced marriage of a 14 year old girl, and the right of a man to beat his wife into submission. You can hang onto the "god" who wants his followers to walk into an Army medical clinic and shoot unarmed soldiers on American soil. You can keep your "god" in who's name people fly planes into buildings, plant car bombs in highly populated areas, and kidnap and kill those who don't share their beliefs.

I want nothing to do with a "god" who would turn his back on the drug addict desperately trying to get his life together, the prostitute who was sold into the business as a child, or the adulterer who only wants a second chance. I don't want a "god" who would want his followers to unabashadly hurl insults and accusations at a scared and alone 18 year old pregnant girl. I have no interest in serving a "god" who would turn his back on a single mom doing everything she can to support her babies, even if that means working in a bar at night. I don't want a "god" who allows his followers to spew hatred at a person because they are gay, or who refuses to have anything to do with someone because of the way they dress or the tattoos on their body. This "god" that judges people based on their social status and the amount of money they put into the offering plate is not something I want to be involved in. I don't want a "god" who demands perfection and will accept nothing less, so that I never measure up and spend my entire life feeling unworthy.

People do horrible, henous, AWFUL things in the name of "god". I promise you though, those people do not know GOD.

All over the world, these people use "god" has their posterchild for whatever cause they happen to believe in. They use religion as an excuse for their actions. That is NOT God, that is manmade evil. People take their personal opinions and put god's name on it to give them an excuse for otherwise inexcusable actions.

God gives his people a cause. He calls his children to a mission higher than ourselves. But that mission has nothing to do with judging people, changing people, or killing people in his name.

God's cause is simple... LOVE PEOPLE.

That's it. Not "change people". Not "force people to do what you believe is right". Not "scare people into not having an abortion". Not "judge people". Certainly not "kill people".

Just love people.

God's people have a mission, but they don't haveto justify it by screaming to the world that they are doing it in HIS name. Those who truly know God are the ones comforting the children who just lost their family to a suicide bomber. They are the ones feeding the hungry and nursing the sick back to health. You will find those that know God comforting the woman who regrets the choice she made to have an abortion, and welcoming the tattooed biker into their church. You will find them on mission fields around the world, helping to show God in practical ways by bringing food and clothing and education and healthcare to some of the poorest nations in the world. You will also find them in your own backyard, spending time with troubled teens and helping struggling single moms.

These people know God.

So those people across the street today, screaming at me about how I would spend eternity in hell for having an abortion do NOT know God. The man who rapes and beats little girls does NOT know God. The coward who opens fire on a room full of people in the name of religion does NOT know God.

So it's simple... you can keep your "god". And I'll do everything I can to help that terrifed 18 year old pregnant girl know that she is loved and safe and things will be ok, no matter what choice she makes. I'll show her what God really looks like.

And it shouldn't be hard...

I was that girl once.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

So, I LOVE MckMama and her blogs. I'm actually probably borderline obsessed lol. It feels like you know her, and I've been following her family's AMAZING story for a while now. I especially love her "not me" Mondays, and have decided to participate. Enjoy.

I did NOT put Olive Garden to go boxes in the oven and then turn it on, and come back to melted plastic and seafood alfredo all over the racks. And I certainly did not take a quick picture and then proceed to close the oven door and leave it there. Nope. Not me.

I did NOT move the clock back 30 minutes so I could put the boys in bed and have a few minutes to myself. I would NEVER do that.

And I certainly did not finish my 5 year olds homework for him because I forgot about it before I put him to bed, and didn't want the phone call from his teacher tomorrow explaining the importance of completing all homework. Not me. Never.

And finally, I did not have nachos for lunch and a bottle of wine and gummy bears for dinner. I would never be that irresponsible or unhealthy. Not me.

What did you not do today?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Complicated...

"It's Complicated"

I use those words a LOT.

To describe relationships, my life, my thoughts, my past...

But what do I really mean?

Do I really mean "I don't want to talk about it right now"? Or "You're not worth the effort it will take to explain it"? Or "I just don't want to go there"? Or "You wouldn't understand"?

Well, at some point I'm sure I've meant it in every one of those ways... but the truth is, it really is complicated.

It's hard to explain something that I myself don't fully understand. It's hard to reconcile the past with the present, the absolute with the variable, and the simple with the not so easy.

Part of it is that I know what's there to explain. I know how bad it gets. I know the ugly, sordid, sometimes unimaginable truth that sits behind the questions. Truth that I wish I could change. Truth that is so repungent that it hurts to even think about, much less explain.

My life wasn't always beautiful. There is a lot hidden beneath the surface that few have any idea exists. But unfortunately, it is what shaped me into who I am. That doesn't mean it is simple, or easy, though.

It's complicated.

I guess what I mean when I say it's complicated is that there is so much shame there that I can't, or won't, talk about it. Shame for things I've done, shame for things that have happened that I had no control over but that still deeply affected my world, shame for decisions I've made because of circumstances I was in... That's what is so complicated... figuring out the "hows" and "whys" and moving past the "what ifs".

I want to let someone in, to let them know me completely... my life, my past, my world. I want to be able to open up completely to someone, and lay it all out. But it's complicated... how it is possible that another person could accept and understand, when even I can't? It's easy to tell someone that there is nothing they can say that would make you leave. It's entirely different to feel that way after someone's darkest secrets come out.

I keep thinking about the song "Only Grace". In case you haven't had the opportunity to hear it, here it is...

I LOVE this song. I just haven't figured out how to live it, yet... I can't wrap my head around the concept, even though I SO want to. I can't imagine it all being let go. It all being over. It was a huge process to put it behind me. One that I've finally been semi-successful at over the last few months. But the idea of truly letting it go? Of not being terrified of someone seeing what's there? I wouldn't even know where to begin...

"I'm a lot better before you get to know me". I heard that said today, on (which you should absolutely check out if you haven't, by the way).

I think that's true of me. I think that's true of a lot of people. We are so trapped by our past that we can't just let go and allow the future to be. We sabotage relationships, successes, and friendships because we don't want anyone to see beyond the surface. There comes a certain point, and then after that, it's complicated.

That's all people get after a certain point. And that means we're cheating them. And ourselves.
But it's safer than allowing someone to see what's really there. Especially when it's dark and ugly. So at least "It's complicated" is safe.

But at what point do we decide to push past the complications, open ourselves up, and allow grace to become a permanent part of our lives? Honestly, I don't know. I haven't done it yet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am sitting in front of a crackling fire (that I started ALL by myself - I'm so proud of myself) and sipping a glass of wine.

The boys are in bed. The laundry is *mostly* done. I am watching The Polar Express and, until 2 minutes ago, was working on my Christmas letter.
It's another Thankful Thursday, and there is PLENTY to be thankful for.
I am thankful for...
...having a REAL Christmas tree for the first time EVER. I've waited 25 years for this, and I LOVE it. Isn't is pretty? *I'm also thankful for the great guy who had the patience to put up with my mother and I spending an hour picking it out and then did all the work to load it and cut it and haul it in the house*
... the possibility of SNOW in HOUSTON tomorrow. It's amazing. And I am incredibly excited. It will be like a tiny piece of home.

... the ability to have children. I didn't think I wanted any more babies, ever. But after a couple of months ago when I thought I was going to lose that all together, I am so grateful that I can hopefully and Godwilling still have a child someday if I choose to.

... employees who keep me on my toes and keep me entertained. I love the guys who work for me. If I have to spend 8-10 hours a day with a group of guys, they are definitely the ones I would pick! It makes my job so much easier to be around people I consider friends.

... the inner strength I have only recently discovered that I have. I am so PROUD of the ability to be independent and take things in stride and do them myself. I can change lightbulbs, start fires, hang draperies, and even fix flats and kill bugs if I HAVE to. (Of course, I prefer not to do ANY of those things given the choice) But the point is I didn't think I could for a long time, and now I know that I can.

... music. It is such a gift. I love music. I love singing. I love performing. And I miss it. It's something I'm starting to seriously consider getting involved in again. Some of my BEST memories from the last 15 years involve music - London, CCC, Centralaires, junior high, singing in church, performing at the bar. All of it was pretty great, because it was just me being me, and doing something I love. And it's always nice to have something you're good at :)

... the little things. Pretty flowers, Midol, chocolate covered gummy bears, Precious Moments ornaments with tons of memories, taking pictures, hot bubble baths, warm blankets, and chilled wine.

Life is beautiful. Always.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

After A While...

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul

And you learn love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open

With the grace of an adult
Not the grief of a child

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling apart in mid-flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much

So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers

After a while you learn
That you really can endure
That you really are strong
And that you really do have worth

And you learn... and you learn...
With every goodbye you learn

In case you were wondering where I got the name of my blog - this is where.

You learn, and you grow, and you figure it out along the way. And life goes on. Always.

Even when you think you can't. Even when you don't want to. Even when you don't care.

It still goes on...

I spent a LOT of time waiting for the flowers. And it was such a waste of time and energy.

I started taking little steps towards planting my own garden and decorating my own soul about 2 years ago. I was in the midst of a crazy, abusive, broken relationship and was a disaster. But somehow, in the middle of all that, I got brave enough to do something for ME. I bought a motorcycle. At a huge price. Not monetarily, but emotionally and sometimes physically. And I have NEVER regretted it. Because it was the first step to finding me.

Despite the small steps here and there, it's still only been in the last 6 months that I have really began to decorate my own soul. Find what makes me happy. Discover my passions and abilities.

It's my guitar. It's my music. It's my motorcycle. It's skydiving. And dancing. And scary movies. And chocolate covered gummy bears. And cooking amazing new dishes. And concerts. And photography. And football. And tons of other things that I'm not even sure about yet.

It's decorating MY soul. And then surrounding myself with people who love and appreciate it.

After a while... you learn...

Monday, November 30, 2009

OH, and P.S.

I just found out that Beth got MARRIED on October 16th to that idiot drug dealer she's been dating for the last 8 years.

Somehow, she didn't seem to think that this was important enough information to personally share with her older sister.

My parents only found out a week or so ago.

So my little sis, who used to be my best friend, got married.

To a loser.

Without her family.

Without a dress.

Without a real ceremony.

Without even bothering to tell anyone.

I'm pretty pissed about this.

Because she is sooooo much better than that. Than HIM.

And she just threw her life away.

Missing Home

Wow... so I am incredibly homesick right now. My parents being here, and celebrating Thanksgiving, and decorating for Christmas and spending time as a family made me miss having that close at hand whenever I want it. Throw in bad PMS, low blood sugar, a total breakdown by my 5 year old over his daddy, and unpacking all the ornaments that my grandma made for me before she died, and you have one huge homesick, emotional mess.

I really am. I just spent the last 2 hours crying with my mom over life, home, family, hurts, things I can't change, things I wish I could...

Now where am I homesick for?

That's the thing, it's not a WHERE. It's a WHAT.

Sure, I miss Fort Collins, and all the people there. I miss the CCC Holiday concert, the Lincoln Center Christmas Tree Gallery, meeting up with all my friends in Old Town, Christmas Eve services at Timberline, watching the snow fall, skiing, sledding, making snowmen and hot chocolate, and spending time at the cabin. All of those things are near and dear to my heart. But that's not why I'm homesick.

I'm homesick for that sense of belonging. The feeling that where you are is where you should be. That you have found your "place" in life. I desperately want that sense of community and family and relationship. To feel like my deepest throughts and feelings matter to others, and that I have someone to turn to and lean on. Friends and family and truly deep meaningful relationships. That's what is missing in my life right now. And that is what I need. A place can't give me that. A single person can't give me that. I'm not even sure what can...

I don't know where life is headed. I don't know what happens next. And I really don't know how or where I'm going to be able to cure the homesickness that I'm feeling. Just going back to Colorado won't do it. I know that. It's more than that. It's deeper than that. And I'm really trying to figure it out.

But for now, emotional breakdown over for this evening, and my parents flying out at 6 AM, I am going to try to get some rest.

Tomorrow is another day to try to find the answers...

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's ON

So the countdown is ON... my parents will be here in less than 24 hours. And I, to say the least, am STRESSED. I've been working like crazy trying to make sure that my house is, well, honestly, as close to perfect as possible. KK has been having some serious 5 year old meltdowns, almost on a daily basis, much like the ones he had when we first moved to Texas. I so had hoped we were past this, but I also understand that it's his way of dealing with change and protecting himself. And what is Bri's life if not constantly changing? On top of that, I have a boss who I'm absolutely SURE is bipolar, and at the moment we're on the really not fun side of that. Plus I'm dealing with respect issues from employees. Being the youngest in the company and one of 3 females surrounded by testosterone can make for a very difficult work environment, especially when I'm the boss. I feel like it's an uphill battle to gain these guys' respect sometimes. To top it off, some ghosts from my past have decided to reappear randomly, which always makes for a great time. So between fighting those off and fighting a cold, I am exhausted.

Now don't get me wrong... I don't hate my life by any means. And what I'm dealing with at the moment is a cakewalk compared to the struggles I was having a few months ago. As a general rule, life is good. It's just these last couple of days all of these things fell on my shoulders at once, and it's pretty tiring. But I know God doesn't give us more than we can handle. And I have handled far worse multiple times. (Not that I'm asking for the challenge again - REALLY Lord, this is plenty!)

I'm really excited for my parents to be here. It's been a long time since I've seen them. But I always feel like I have something to prove when they are around. Somehow, I go from being a strong, independent, stable 25 year old to feeling like I'm 15 and in high school again. Except this time I actually care about their approval! I just want to be able to show them that I've succeeded, that I'm doing ok, and that my life really is good. Last time they were here, that wasn't the case at all. I was, to say the least, in one of the darkest times of my life. And they got a front row seat to my personal hell and subsequent self destruction. So now I want to show them how different things really are. I'm not exactly sure how a spotless house and perfect meal do that, but in my mind, it's a start at least. I guess I just feel inadequate a lot of the time. Like I'm not good enough, not doing enough, not being enough. And having my parents come just increases those fears that I have. Those are issues I need to figure out - and are definately for another day.

The last 6 months have included a TON of change and transition for JC and KK and me. JC has recently taken to calling us the 3 musketeers, which I have to admit I love. Those 2 precious boys are what make it all worth it. They are my reason for getting up in the morning. I love that despite all the mistakes I've made, as a mother and as a person, they still look up to me and trust me to care for them. It's so humbling to know that I am who they depend on, and who they love and trust. There have been some super rough times, but there have been some great ones too. Enjoy the pics :)

KK and JC at an Astros game in July

My boys at the Houston Zoo

Mario and Megatron... I wanted them to do matching outfits SO badly.
They totally refused. No idea where that stubborness comes from!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

We are a WEEK from Thanksgiving... I can't BELIEVE how time flies... It feels like only a few weeks ago that we were in the throws of summer, trying to survive in 110 degree weather and hanging out by the pool every weekend in search of relief. Now we're only 35 days away from Christmas!

So, in the soon to be Thanksgiving spirit, I am thankful for...

  • having my motorcycle back and semi-working! So the situation isn't ideal, but it could be SO much worse. At least I have the ability to take it out of my garage and on a ride, and it's only going to get better! YAY!

  • my parents coming for Thanksgiving. I realize that people who know me think that's CRAZY, but it's really true. I am super excited about getting to spend time with my parents. We have gotten a lot closer over the last year, and I'm grateful for that too. (And guess what - for the record, it wasn't them that changed)

  • Google. I really don't know how I would survive without being able to look things up on the internet or my phone at any given second. I'm totally spoiled by technology, and I LOVE it.

  • the way that God works in unexpected ways. I had no idea what was just around the corner, and it's amazing what happens when you just learn to trust and follow. God loves his children, and wants what is absolutely best for them. I love that!

  • hot bubble baths. It's my way of relaxing and getting myself together and just being able to take a deep breath. Actually, after those couple days this summer, I'm grateful for ALL hot water. And electricity.

Life truly is beautiful. Sometimes you just have to look beneath the surface to find it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No Man Can Ever Love You Like Jesus...

"No Man Can Ever Love You Like Jesus"

Those were the most profound words I have heard in a while. So simple, but so true. Those were the words that Pastor Ryan spoke today. After an entire sermon about "What Women Want".

As a woman, I long for intimacy and connection and security. I want to feel that connection on a verbal, emotional, physical, and spiritual level. I have spent SO much time looking for a man who could be ALL of those things. Who could give me all of those connections all the time.


Can you imagine trying to be all those things for one person? To be their "everything"? To be their sole source of intimacy and connection and security? That would be exhausting. Yet it's what I've expected.

And every man has failed. Shocking.

A man can't be my Jesus? Really? LOL. Of course not. I've just tried to make him that. And then been hurt and angry and disappointed when he has inevitably failed.

No man can fill those holes in my heart. No man can give me complete and total intimacy and security. No man can love me the way I long to be loved. Only Jesus.

If I search for Him to fill my heart and soul, then the rest will fall into place. I will no longer hold men to a standard that they can't possibly meet. Even the good ones. Even the ones who think they can.

It's about just letting go and letting God. And in that, there is perfect love. Perfect security. Perfect trust. And all I have to do is simply accept that. Today and always. And it will be enough.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday -

  • I am thankful for tanning beds. Ridiculously thankful for them actually. Because they are the only 20 minutes out of my day that get to forget about everything else and just relax. I LIVE for those 20 minutes. Is that sad?
  • I am thankful for funny movies. I love being able to just let everything in reality go for an hour and enjoy the smiles and laughs of comedy. Laughter is good for the soul and I appreciate it!
  • I am thankful for my mother. She is an amazing woman, and I have learned a lot from her. I know that I put her through ridiculous amounts of craziness and heartache, and I appreciate her every moment.
  • I am thankful for my new truck. I LOVE it. It's fantastic to have my own vehicle that I adore driving. Yay for God taking the bad things and creating good out of it.
  • I'm still thankful for frozen chocolate and comfy beds. It's the little things in life...
  • I'm thankful for country music - I can so relate. The lyrics are awesome, the music is great.
  • I thankful for sleep - which I'm about to enjoy! Goodnight!

Monday, November 9, 2009


My heart is searching... I can feel it...

I went on a date tonight. And I was so attracted to the guy... and then I sat back and started to think about why... It's because he reminds me in way many ways of Jon. This in itself is certainly not a bad thing. The personality, the looks, the views on life, everything. It was like my heart has been trying to fill that empty space that was created when Jon left me. And while it wasn't a total fit, it was similar to what had been there.

The fact that I realize this is both good and bad I suppose... good because I see myself desperately trying to get Jon back. Maybe not him exactly, but what he was to me. I want his essence. I want to feel the way I used to felt...

It's bad because I know this, but I don't care. The pain is still outweighing the ability to not do it. I want so badly to feel what I felt before, that I'm honestly willing to do whatever it takes most of the time.

I'm wanting to feel complete and loved and whole. But I don't. And I KNOW that I will only find that when I put my faith completely in God. But I've known that for years. And still done it my way.

I need to learn to just be. Be still. Be patient. Be content.

Just BE.

That is so hard for me, because I want it right now. I want to know what is going to happen and how I'm going to get there. I want a road map with the entire route marked out. But God is just sitting back and waiting.

Just BE.

I don't know if this is true for everyone... in fact, I'm pretty sure it's not. But I believe that my Father will not allow me to have that amazing, lasting, true love human relationship until I am content simply in my relationship with him. And I hate that. And he knows it. Because the desire of my heart is to be loved and whole and complete. God gave me those desires, but he wants me to satisfy them with Him. No man can do it. But for some reason, I keep trying to find one that will anyway.

Just BE.

I'm trying to surrender. I'm trying to learn the contentness of resting in God's arms. I'm trying. But the truth is, I haven't a clue how. But I've decided that at least admitting that is a good first step. I know where I need to be, but I haven't any idea, or the will most of the time, to get there.

Just BE.

The desires of my heart are God-given. Security, safety, true love, contentness, happiness, a life partner, feeling like I matter... all of those things are good. It's just the way I go about filling them that causes the problems.

God wants to give me the desires of my heart... but he wants to do it in the way that is BEST for me. Not the way that I think he should. So I have to learn to step back, let him take the wheel, and trust that he's going to take me exactly where I need to be... And all I need to do is...

Just BE.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday... honestly, I'm not feeling very thankful right now. Which is exactly why I need to do this. I need to put aside my frustration and exhaustion and lonliness, and simply appreciate the goodness in my life... Here goes...

I'm thankful that I have a good job that provides for my family. I'm blessed to be where I am, and am grateful to be able to earn a good living for my boys and myself.

I'm thankful that my motorcycle is almost fixed. I'm so ready to jump on and feel the wind against my body as I'm rushing down the road at full speed. It's one of those things that just makes me feel ALIVE. And happy. I'm so glad that it will be fixed soon.

I'm thankful for caffeine. In many forms. I really am. I'm not sure how I would manage to get through such long and completely exhausting days without my coffee and coke and 5 hour energy. YAY for caffeine highs - even if they are temporary and I'm pretty sure I'm addicted.

I'm thankful for the differences in my children. I appreciate how the 2 of them see the world through entirely different perspectives, and are growing into 2 very different people. I'm grateful to be the one to help develop and shape those personalities. I'm also very thankful that children are resilient, and that my many mistakes and mis-steps have not broken them.

I'm thankful for darkness coming early. It helps me to get the boys in bed earlier, and gives me a chance to finally sleep a little bit. Sleep is so foreign to me these days, that I truly appreciate every single moment of it.

I'm thankful that my heart is capable of true love. That I've experienced the awe and wonder and excitement of giving my heart and soul to another person. I'm grateful to know what that feels like, because when it comes again, I'll be ready.

I'm thankful for funny movies, frozen chocolates, nice weather, amazingly soft sheets, and an Ipod full of great music.

It's amazing what happens when you get outside yourself and simply look at all the good things around you. Sometimes I can be so self absorbed that I miss the blessings that God is trying to give me. Oftentimes it's when I step back and take a breath of fresh air, and just say "thank you" instead of trying to make things go the way I think they should, that they start to fall exactly into place.

Life really is good today.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Endings Are Sad...

I've been fighting writing this one... I've known I needed to since way before I started a blog. In order to embark on a new beginning, there must first be an end. But the goodbye is the difficult part. Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad...

I have had many endings in my life. I've ended relationships, ended school, ended a marriage, ended a life in Colorado... My most painful ending thus far in my life has been the end of the first and only true love that I've ever known.

6 months ago, I was the happiest I have ever been in my life. I was engaged to the man I wanted to spend my life with. For the first time, I had wholly and completely given my heart away. For years I believed that I was incapable of loving someone with everything that I am. Jon showed me that it is possible, and wonderful, and scary, and worth it every minute.

5 months ago, my life fell apart. I honestly believed it was over. The day that Jon left, I felt my entire existence go with him. I never thought that I would love someone enough that I would go with them. Not just a piece of me, but ME. Every dream, every hope, every part of what I thought made me the person that I am.

I begged Jon to come back. I begged God to make him. I cried myself to sleep every single night for months. I tried to get him back. Then I tried to replace him with drugs, alcohol, sex, and other men. And then, slowly...very slowly... I started to let go. I stopped saying "please" to God, and started saying "thank you".

I am learning gratitude. I am learning to be thankful for every moment I had with Jon. I'm learning to appreciate that he taught me how to love someone so fully and completely. Until I met Jon, I was so broken. He helped me to heal. He helped me to see that who I was isn't who I always have to be. He saw a better person than I was. And even when I proved him wrong by showing him the worst possible version of myself, he still believed. I'm thankful everyday that I was privelaged to love a man who loved me so much. I'm grateful for the time I spent in his arms, because for the first time in my life, I felt contentment, and grace, and true love. I thank God that when I saw my reflection in Jon's eyes, for the first time in my entire life, I saw a woman that was enough. A woman that was whole, and happy, and beautiful. I truly believe that God allowed Jon to come into my life to show me his own love for me. And he allowed him to leave my life as well. Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad...

So now the challenge has become not only to say goodbye, but to allow God to wrap me in HIS arms, and give me the peace and comfort and wholeness that I found when I was in Jon's. I made Jon my savior. I made him my everything. And I understand now that no human can meet those expectations. I can only imagine how exhausting it must have been for him, because in my eyes he was my jesus.

I have to remind myself daily that God's perfect plan for me is not the same as my heart's desire. My heavenly Father longs to give me the desires of my heart, but I must learn to trust him and allow him to mold those desires into his will. I can give him my tears, and my hurts, and my broken heart. I know that he, in his own perfect timing, will take the pain. Because I've run from it for too long. And no matter how fast I run, pain can always run faster.

This ending still hurts. I still miss him, every single day. But I'm so thankful that my heart has been opened to love and I've had the opportunity to experience it. I'm also thankful for a Father that is bigger than my hurts. I've learned how to love. I've also learned to be loved, without condition and pretense. And now, I simply have to complete the goodbye. Until I let him go, I will never be free... fortunately I have a patient Father who is gently nudging, and slowly helping me to losen my grasp.

Beginnings are hard...Endings are usually sad... but it's the middle that counts the most.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beginnings Are Hard...

So I have been meaning to create my own blog for a long time now. It was on one of those "to do" lists that I kept intending to accomplish, yet somehow it kept getting misplaced or forgotten or honestly, I was just too dang exhausted to care. But today is KK's 5th birthday. And I woke up this morning wondering how in the world my baby was five. Where did the time go? How have 5 years come and gone? I feel like so much of it has been a blur. So I decided that today is the day that I am going to take the time to write, and reflect, and try to put into some order the chaos that is my life.
I may not have any epic stories. I am not the most eloquent and experienced writer. But I'm hoping that by simply allowing the thoughts in my head to come through my fingertips and on to the screen in front of me, then maybe I will be able to help bring order to the insanity, clarity to the confusion, and possibly find some answers that I have been looking for. Or, at the least, share with others my personal struggles and triumphs and not feel so alone in either. And in the end, isn't that really what blogging is all about anyway? Knowing that your story, your life, matters to someone? Putting your personal experiences out there so that a piece of you is able to be seen by others? Allowing another person into your world and giving them a glimpse of your life? And maybe in the midst of it all, finding comfort in knowing that you aren't alone?
Life never takes the turns you expect... I think those unexpected turns is where I will start my blogging experience. But not tonight. Tonight is simply the beginning. It is the reminder that we must "Plant our own gardens and decorate our own souls". Because it is doing those things, the little things that create the person that we are, that we will grow and change and figure out who it is that we want to be.
So my hope is that this blog will see growth and change that reflects the same in my life. I'm working hard to do more that just be. I'm beginning to decorate my own soul. To be the woman and mother and person that God intended me to be. And I'm excited and passionate and hopeful. I'm keeping my head up and my eyes open, watching for what is just around the bend.
And I would love to have some company on this journey.
This is just the beginning...