“Two Years”

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WordPress just informed me that today is my two year anniversary with them. Two years of being a blogger. Never really thought that was something I would be. If you had told me that, I would have laughed. Two years….

Two years ago, I jumped into the blogging world not knowing what I was doing really. All I knew was that my demons were chasing me and I needed a way to bring something positive to my life through photography and writing. Last January, I dreaded the turning of the calendar. I didn’t want to see that month come into focus because two years ago, it had been the worst month of my life thus far. But I survived it.

This year, I didn’t even really think about it. My transformation continues and this time around it didnt seem so bad. (So far…the month is only half over!) The phasing out of anxiety isn’t a quick process by any means. I’m sorry to say that for those who are going through it but it’s an honest truth. If I were to put a different spin on it though, instead of calling it a “phasing-out” process, I could say that the “transformation” God is making in my life isn’t a quick process. More so, it has been the beginning of a new relationship. That’s really what it’s all been about..and any good relationship takes time to build a solid foundation.

Just as when you meet someone for the first time and you start dating, you get to know that person. You learn as much as you can about them and you want to spend as much time with them as possible. You begin to like them more and more because of how they make you feel. You feel warm and fuzzy inside and begin to feel yourself falling in love. You can’t imagine your life without this person and feel like a part of you that has been missing for so long is now making you whole. You see your future together and you commit your life to theirs.

I have been lucky enough to have all of that happen to me and to fall in love (and recently become engaged to) a wonderful man that God brought into my life. Even better news is that I can have all of that through a relationship with Christ also. Although I already knew who God was, I didn’t begin to fully know Him until this totally new relationship began two years ago. As I leaned on Him more and more to get through the days that were dragging me down, I began to crave more of Him. I wanted to know more. I prayed, read scriptures, listened to worship music and began to live my life more as He would want me to. I still have a lot of work to do, but I have changed in so many ways.

Open your heart today and allow yourself to have that relationship with Him. No matter where you are in your life or in your walk, it’s never too late. It may take you two months or two years but trust during that time that God is working on you and keep focused on Him and how He is changing your life for the better.

 

“She Shall Be Called Woman”

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Attention ladies! This one is for you…

Let’s talk about guys. You either love them or hate them right now. Am I correct? I’m willing to bet I am. I always have to laugh at that option on the Facebook relationship section. The one that says “in a relationship and it’s complicated”. Well of course it is. They all are. We are two different species. That’s how God made us. Isn’t that what all those books say? The ones about Mars and Venus? But God also made man and woman to complement each other. As it says in Genesis, God did not think it was good for man to be alone so He created woman.

I’m sure ever since the sixth day, when man and woman began sharing the earth, the  argument that men don’t understand women and women don’t understand men has been going on. At a time in my life when I was in and out of horrible and terribly complicated relationships, I would be the first to jump on the “men are stupid” train.  But the last few years with my love and the years before with the wrong ones have taught me a lot so I want to share what I know to be true, with you.

1)      Oh how I wish I could get through to all of you young teenage girls (and even twenty-something and thirty-something ladies) who are on the chase for a guy’s attention. STOP!! That movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You” is dead-on. Been there, lived that. If a guy is interested, sincerely interested in you, he will go out of his way to show you. He will text or call often. He will do what he says he will do when he says he will do it. He won’t make you feel like an afterthought or second best. He will treat you with respect. Don’t ever be someone’s option. And don’t every put 100% into someone who is returning about 10%. You deserve better. That’s the most important thing to remember.

2)      Love is respect. A guy who cares about you will not hurt you. He will not call you degrading names. He will not make fun of you or point out your flaws. He will constantly have your back. I have seen so many women, myself included, who thought they deserved what they were getting. They loved the guy and he would change eventually and everything would be okay. I’m not saying change is not possible but I think it takes another presence to  be involved for that to happen, which leads me to number three…

3)      God is a crucial part of a relationship. Up until now I had never had anyone who believed as much as I do that God must be the center of a relationship. The bible says not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. How can a relationship work if one or both of you don’t believe? I pray often for Greg and he prays for me. We pray for our relationship. By submitting our problems to Him it takes the load off of both of us.

4)      This one is going to blow your mind. We women are NOT always right! Yep, I said it. We aren’t. We would like to believe that we are but we know deep down inside that there are moments when we are wrong. But here’s the thing: How often do you admit it? Most importantly, how often do you admit it to the man in your life? Are you afraid he may pass out if those words slip from your lips?! Or that you may choke on the words as they come out? I am wrong a lot. I am wrong when my patience wears thin and I snap. I may assume my way is always the best way, only to find out, it wasn’t. I was wrong. I can freely admit it and apologize on top of that. It’s a matter of respect.

5)      Men are not mind readers. I know, another shocker right? Let’s say you are extremely upset about something your guy did or didn’t do. He should know what he did wrong right? I mean, he should just know! Wrong. Men are simple creatures. Not to say that in a degrading way. They just don’t put as much thought into things as we do. We assume they should be in tune with every random thought that runs through our brains. But think about this…how many of those thoughts are there in a given day? It’s like having 300 tabs open at once on your browser. How could he possibly keep up? Here’s what you do. You tell him. That’s right. You tell him. Tell him what is wrong. Tell him what he did or didn’t do and work it out. It’s not that hard. It’s just that our minds are trained to believe that men should be tuned into our every thought and need. Not that he shouldn’t be aware of the most obvious ones but sometimes he just needs to be cut some slack. Are you flabbergasted yet? There’s more…

6)      Respect. Appreciation. Being needed. When you look in a mirror, what do you see? A reflection. The exact copy of what you are looking at. An image or likeness. You would be amazed at how much smoother a relationship goes when you give what you get and get what you give. Like an image in the glass. Show appreciation to your guy and I can almost promise you he will do the same. In my house, we thank each other every day. Just for the little things. “Thanks for doing the dishes”. “Thanks for mowing the yard”. “Thanks for helping me”. “Thanks for restocking the toilet paper in the bathroom cabinet”. Yes I said that a couple weeks ago! (It was very much appreciated when I realized the roll was empty and I hadn’t restocked the cabinet yet!) Men love to hear “thank you” and will return it more easily when they are being praised. It’s a simple matter, again, of respect. He feels appreciated and he also feels needed. Men need to feel needed. It’s born in them to be that way. Unfortunately women have spent decades trying to prove how strong and independent we are. Now there is nothing wrong with that to a degree but letting a guy help you now and then gives him a boost and he feels his role as your guy is being fulfilled. He is the supporter and takes care of you. So let him help you when you need it. Don’t be stubborn and try to do it all alone. It only wears you out… and you might break a nail.

I could probably go on and on but I think I have rambled enough. I dare you to try these things if you aren’t already and see how your relationship improves. We often think the man is the one who needs to change and maybe that is true in some situations but if we change as well, things can take an amazing turn. Let God into your relationship. Be more patient with your guy. Communicate! And show him how much he means to you. I can almost guarantee that the dynamic of your relationship will change.

And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh – Genesis 2: 2-24

“God Knew”

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Three years ago, God knew what condition my heart was in. He knew that it had been battered and bruised. He knew it had been given to the wrong person many times over and always returned in tiny little pieces. He knew not to answer my prayers…the ones that begged Him to please let them love me back.

Three years ago, God lined up the right road, the right friend, the absolute perfect timing for a phone call, the right emotions and the exact moment for me to find the one He had been saving for me. He knew I would need someone who could accept a single mom and an adorable freckle-face into his life. Someone who could care for a child who wasn’t his own.

Three years ago (and many before that, no doubt) God knew that I was going to face one of the hardest times in my life…anxiety, fear, depression. He knew that I was going to need someone with a gentle hand and a strong heart.  A heart big enough to love me the way I needed to be loved and brave enough to see past the anguish I was dealing with and still see someone he loved. Someone to hold my hand in church and pray with me as well as for me.

Three years ago, God knew that the plan He had started many years before would take shape. That every single closed door, fallen tear, disappointment and chance that never got taken was actually redirecting me down the right road. A broken road that God himself was blessing all along.

Three years ago today, I met someone I truly call my best friend. I no longer question why God let my heart break so many times. It was all a part of His grand design. Love is no longer that thing people talk about, sing about and write about that I just don’t “get”.

Three years ago, it became clear to me why love is patient and kind….why love is never boastful or conceited, rude or selfish….why it does not take offense and is not resentful…why it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes…and why it never fails.

Never give up on the hope that God is planning someone just for you : )