Monday, October 26, 2009

Day Old Cassrole

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. ~1 John 4:1


When it comes to matters of the heart, your relationships....mind your tongue.

Can you truly know the frame of reference of the person you confide in? Can you be certain that person has the Spiritual maturity to intercede on behalf of you and your beloved? ~Before you spill your marital problems, be sure you know WHOM your speaking with. Does the advice come from righteously sound counsel? Think about that before you call your "friend" to "vent". To Whom are you speaking to? or for that matter to WHAT?

~Does this source allow you to go on and on about how awful your spouse or boss is?
~Do they "co-sign" during your "venting"..
~....remind you later of your frustrations once you have just simmered down?
~Do they take you to Margarita night when you just told them you were trying to lose 15 lbs?
~Do they tell you to go ahead and get that bag at Nordstrom.. when its SO not in your budget?

~Is this advice... from a reliable source? Always check your source. How successful are they in the area you need help in? Have you allowed yourself to be a vessel in which misery travels forth and to?

I must admit I have... guys know I am (literally) an open book now and errrr body knows my biznazz...(:-). However freed I thought I was from the opinions of others there was nothing like having my indescretions throwned up in my face to remind me just how close the enemy hold us in his deck of playing cards. I had a rude awakening to how he plays the game...when I realized that not everyone had the sincerity about my revelation. Conversely, someone I allowed to carry over into my new walk from the shadows of my misery tried to pour a rain cloud in my pertual Sunshine.

Thank God for wisdom and obedience. Because He knows what we do not...He instructed me to stay away from my "friends" (on facebook... and in everday) long enough to see who it was that truly held my interest...


No sooner than I was finished with my fast.. did this evil cloud reveal itself.

See, In my darkness, I relied heavily on the confirmation of others ..."friends" who would give well meant advice...and some... not so much.

But that was in the darkness...And we don't dwell in what we can no longer see.

Trust me... I don't see you. Your misery is beneath my current understanding ;-)

The next time you are having problems maritally, financially, or evenprofessionally.....ask God to ponder your heart with understanding of what it is you need to do in whatever situation...then WAIT for the answer. It always comes.

In any case, I have learned this valuable lesson.

Advice, like casseroles...ALWAYS tastes better the next day. Pray on it...then put it in the fridge overnight and let the flavor sink in. Yummy.

Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.- Psalm 37:34

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Contracts Finale :-)

This is the end of this series on how I was saved; but truly not the end of the story He is telling with my life. My purpose is limitless, and I am sooo excited.

He has given me clarity; my eyes see with an open perspective. I see how I helped the Enemy contribute to my own personal Hell. I see how I had no love in my heart; therefore I could not see the ways I lacked goodness in my relationships with my family; professionally; and with my friends.

I am and always have been a sucker for a good love story. ;-)

The fruits of the spirit are all formed in and for LOVE...

Galatians 5:22-23 says...The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.

It is amazing that He has brought me this peace in my heart. I am not afraid to fall asleep and I wake with so much fervor for what He will have in store for me. That is love...

I can't stop smiling... I have forgotten all about my Zoloft prescription. I feel unspeakable joy at all the blessings He has favoured me with just for loving Him and putting Him first in my life! In two weeks, a much needed escrow check, a job!, a phone call from my dad...He allowed me to see how abundant my friendship ties are. That is love...

...That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings..."Phil 3:10 ...Not our flesh induced suffering; which is mostly self inflicted through our ability to sin...but the natural suffering that comes with life; that which builds character. I can look back on my mothers lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia and rejoice: that she loved God everyday of her life despite her pain. He is so good, He truly allows ALL things to work together! Now I feel what my mom meant. She was free. I can think of her and smile now. This that I have been through has also served a greater purpose so I am no longer regretful...That is love...

I have been unkind through my selfishness; through pride and bitterness. Four years back my biological father was delivered from a fifteen year crack cocaine and heroin addiction that prohibited his involvement in my upbringing. Instead of rejoicing in his recovery and being thankful that I was able to have a father in my life, I was bitter and unkind when he reached out to me. I was so unbelievably mean. Once, I recall yelling at him for trying to go and visit my mothers grave. Though they never divorced, I had some strange twisted idea that he had no right to her, that he hadn't come to her funeral, that he wasn't there for me, so he should stay away from her grave site. I was disrespectful and filled with hate for him. No apology was large enough. I mistreated that man; holding him responsible for how unhappy I had been in his absence. I didn't know forgiveness. But God had already shown it to him. Because when I had no one else to turn to...who do you think was there? That's right. Without one word of resentment, my dad. That's love...

No longer is my motivation for being a "nice person" fueled by a desire to be accepted; or a fear of rejection. I witnessed such enormous GOOD in Winter, Bree, Lesa, Nakia, Kenya, Tone, My Dad...when I thought I was all alone these guys showed me what goodness and love comes from true friends. I am thankful I was able to witness what true friendship looks like. He placed these souls in my life at that time of darkness to remind me what goodness looks like. I have big shoes to fill. :-)

Self Control:
I have always lacked the ability to control my emotions. If it seemed to make me feel better: I did it. Whether it was drinking, or idleness, or gossiping, or sex... I did what I wanted with no restraint. And for my efforts, I have been imprisoned to these false idols that filled my heart. But they were empty calories. Now, because I love Him, He has blessed me with conviction for my wrongdoing, so that I will always think of Him first and remember to live according to His word. I cannot sit idle while my house is disorganized, self control helps me to keep a budget and not to overspend to fill a void in my heart. In all these ways my heart was opened, and it overfilled with an indescribable bliss, that sustains....SUBSTANCE.

My friends say I sound different. My husband says so, too. The first few days of my new faith, he was skeptical, to say the least. He was almost laughing at my open acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He asked if I was going to be a "stuffy church lady" now. I smiled. A week later, he was in Bible Study with me, holding my hand and whispering to me how much he never wants to leave me again.... :-)

FYI: Things between the mister and I are much, much better. We have a date night and we pray together every morning. We no longer need to pervert our union to be whole and that is better than anything I have ever known.


I know what went wrong before with The Love Dare... it was unsuccessful for me... because I was solely motivated by self. I only wanted to know what I got out of the deal when it came to His Word. But truly, why should He ordain and bless what was entered into... with no regard for Him? What is the point in what we called a "marriage" if we are not a united force for His purpose in our lives?

I repented for my selfish motives for wanting to save my marriage. They included but were not limited to: Fear of being a stereotype. Fear of financial burdens. Fear of being alone....

I was never alone.

Today is Day Seven of The Love Dare. So I must close this. I have work to do :-) I hope if you continued to read thus far, you have been inspired in some way to have a personal relationship with Our Savior. God Bless you all!

Facebook Fast Day 3 Lesson: Abundance

There is so much going on at one time my head is literally spinning...

lets see...where to start...

Loren is potty 2 of new JOB... day 3 of facebook fast... day seven of love dare, day 1 of p90x... still scouting a perfect daycare for my potty training naked baby... making sure I attend Bible Study and Sunday Worship... writing...booked a wedding; cook dinner, clean house, prioritize mommy and daddy bonding time...

There are more blessings. So many I find my day filled with amusement at how wonderful He is...

Even though my day starts at 4 am and ends after midnight...I am so grateful. I know that this is conditioning for the marathon I am about to start. (Literally, I am going to do a Sickle Cell cycling marathon this Spring.) AND figuratively; how can I complain and get tired now; with Clark in the Spring and sometime soon...a book tour? :-) (He did say speak that as if it were... did He not?)

I am so blessed to say I have a full days work to do. When 4am comes creeping around my clock in a few hours...I will remember the feeling of GRATITUDE when I got the offer letter for my new job....I will remember that my bonding time with meathead should be cherished when I get cranky because I am too tired... and when I want to quit..thoughts will go to how happy I will be when Naked Loren soon gets onto potty... and out of my carpet. :)

Oh ...and a word on FB:

I have also realized that it is not facebook that I miss. I miss talking to the same five people who read my ridiculously long blogs and comment on them, encouraging me...(I bet I can put a million dollars on the people who are actually reading these things, and I bet another million out of 215 friends or so... you can take away 210....


This is what I miss...My friends. I don't miss facebook... I miss...FACES. I don't miss social networking... I miss being around my true friends- and that's what I gained from seeing the little box with a familiar face and funny random thoughts... pieces of their days...what their kids said to make them laugh and what the dog did to make them smile...

I miss my friends... I know they are one of the many blessings that God has sent to me.

Today I learned that quality is always better than quantity. When The Lord sends your blessings, be ready to hold out a large bucket for the downpour.

I have an abundance of blessings.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Part 3: Contracts...

Boy, how I fell.

He laid out his terms, and they didn't include me. He said he "could no longer respect me as a woman, that I didn't contribute to his ultimate "personal legend"... He was going to leave the house and our mortgage; unless I was willing to move, then in turn, he would stay in the house and get roommates to cover the expenses. He already had roommates lined up and ready to move in! I had exactly one week to find other means of living. Outraged? Hardly. Devastated beyond human comprehension? Now your getting closer...

I looked for answers where I thought I could find them. Another really good friend, (shout out Big Dog :) ) asked me if I had prayed, and suggested the Love Dare book from Fireproof. What was with these guys and this book?I told him of course I pray; and I had already tried The Love Dare.
"It's pointless, hopeless and thankless; this marriage", I said.
I could tell he wasn't amused at my desire to give up so quickly. He asked me to get another book, The Power of A Praying Wife.... I told him I would put it on my reading list...soon... but we both knew I wouldn't...

Self pity was far more alluring to me than actually looking at the problem holistically; let alone spiritually. How could this be happening to me? Had I not suffered enough in my life?

I was no stranger to rejection. This hurt.

Like Hell.

I called my girlfriend Tone, hyperventilating from crying hysterically for so many hours. I told her how empty I felt, how utterly I had lost my way, I could no longer find my way towards anything that even resembled peace. I told her I was tired of being thrown away...not measuring up...something in me was so flawed no one thought I was worth sticking around for. NO one, Not my mother who was gone too soon; not my father who never wanted to try to know me; my Grandma; not the many guys who had left me heartbroken, not some of my "friends"... no one stayed.

I knew I sounded like a self pitying crybaby but I was so broken down I didn't care.
I just wanted to cry until the hurt in my chest was numb.

She listened patiently, and in her amazingly soothing voice she told me that I would not like what she had to say.
Oh great, I thought.
'Do you pray?" She asked.
Here we go again, I thought. What was everyone's deal with this praying buisness? I didn't feel comfortable asking God to save my marriage.
We weren't exactly on speaking terms.

"Yeah, I mean, God's knows my heart...I am a good person Tone." I fumbled through an explanation.
"If you are lead by your heart, this is why your life is in turmoil. Do you know what God you serve?" She asked.
"Of course, girl. The same one you do!" I replied, more than slightly insulted.
"No, don't, girl. You have made your husband your God. You do things to win his approval, others approval...but you don't make the one true God the priority in your life. You don't love God the way He loves you...yet you search fruitlessly for an Unconditional Love in everything ...but the one place you can truly find it...."

I wanted to argue. I wanted her to be wrong. But nothing out of her mouth was a lie. The first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing before I go to bed is.....ME. Even when I thought of my children or husband; it was ultimately self serving to try to hold onto these things like my life depended on it. When my marriage started crumbling; I clung to my children for salvation, and if anything ever were to happen to them...I am certain I would have given up.
More than anything, I was motivated by what served my own purpose.

But what I was calling a life... was falling apart. Without any explanation. Even when we tried to explain to others, we couldn't really pinpoint EXACTLY what was wrong with our marriage.It just wasn't working.

What is a marriage without Love?
What is Love... if not God?

All we had done was entered into a contract. Literally.

Nothing about that agreement had any motivation for serving a greater purpose for God. There can be no love without God. Only binding papers.
Which is exactly why I stopped enjoying love making...once I was married; the very thing I should have been saving for marriage all along. There was no God in our home; in our children's lives; and certainly not in our marriage.

As I sat there on my couch talking with my friend Tone, we prayed. That night, for the first time in a long time, I slept a peaceful sleep uninterupted by nightmares or worry. I decided I would go to church with her that Sunday.

For years, I have been bound by my insecurities, my self centered loathing... very few who know me have seen me bare faced and make-up free; far fewer have EVER seen my hair unkept. I have called out of work for a bad hair day.

Please believe it.

Not this Sunday. I was not allowed to call out because I wasn't cute that day. The BOSS was giving promotions...did I want to stay at the bottom entry level or advance to the Kingdom? I stood before that alter, my hair unkept, in plain clothes. In a room full of people, I was alone. It was just me and GOD and He spoke to me so clearly. HE SPOKE TO ME. There is no way on earth, that this preacher I have never seen, knew my darkest secrets, fears, doubts IN DETAIL. (events, skeptics ;-) he couldn't have known.) Things I never even said aloud. Ever! Yet HE spoke through this man, this stranger, directly to my soul...
HE said it was okay..
That years had been taken from me, but that I was free to forgive those who hurt me. That HE forgives me even though I can't forgive myself. That HE LOVES ME...and LOVE is a real feeling, not a metaphor... but complete and absolute!

The fact that I don't care one way or another what one may think about my revelation; is a testimony itself. I am no longer bound by my self centered desire to please others. I think most people who know me would say I am "sweet" ... "always smiling"..."a people pleaser" ...but what is this, if not selfishness? It is fueled by a desire to be liked, accepted by mans terms. Even if those terms cause God and ultimately, myself; pain. Being a "people pleaser" is the reason I was promiscuous at a young age. Being a "people pleaser" is the reason I have hidden my true opinion from my friends when I should have been giving honest advice. Being a "people pleaser" is the reason I invited and allowed pornography to defile the innocence of love making with my husband. Pleasing Man is the reason I have hated my own reflection and concealed it. All of these things have kept me running in circles looking for absolution in places I would never find it.but...WHEN I FOUND IT! ! !

It wasn't until I knew His Love that I was sure that the place I was trapped in all my life is surely a preview of Hell.
I don't want it. The Enemy can have it. I have spat him out the way he spit and chew on me my whole life...

When I was still bound; the misery blinders kept me only thinking of the glass half full. With the Light; I see how He was always there to keep one foot in front of the other when I was too lost, too weak to go it alone. He makes me strong. And proud. I hold my head high. I can see the blessings clearly; I had a family- an imperfect one, but a living breathing entity still, that can also grow and learn our purpose together. I am so thankful for His grace! If the only blessing He ever gave me was His love, I could never repay Him for showing me out that dark place.
I made it so complicated.
God is Love.
And everything makes sense.

Thanks for reading this guys. It is never easy to air your darkest secrets to the world. I did so because it is what He would have me to do for others who have been here where I was. I encourage feedback if you know what I mean when I say... HE IS AWESOME! Even if you don't know it, leave feedback if you want to know it.
There is an ending tomorrow. Please come back to read the final part. Love you guys!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

FB Fast-Day One Lesson: Obedience

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. -Psalm 143:10


It was harder than it initially seemed.
Doesn't it sound simple enough; stay off Facebook until the 29th day of your fast...


I was doing great, folks. I had WONDERFUL prayer time this morning, listened to my Spensha Baker singing like an angel... Journaling my inner thoughts, and optimistic for the future in my new walk with Christ.

Then I had a splendid idea after I posted my "Contracts" blog this morning. I would send out... an email! Yes! To everyone, telling them to read my blog since I couldn't "update my status" on Facebook. Genius!

On to Google I went. I would simply tell my facebook buddies to "spread the word" in my absence.

The problem...
Is I only have three email addresses saved to my gmail account. Not exactly how I saw the buzz getting out there.

Then entered another idea:

Go onto Facebook, just for the email addresses of your friends.

Okay, I thought. That's good, right? Just get the emails and get off, right? Don't comment or even read status updates...right?. No YoVille...or Sorority Life...or videos...on and off. No one will ever know the difference...right?

Stop right there...WHO WON'T!

God is not fooled by my bending of the rules!

No sooner than I got the first ten addresses, did a fellow "truth seeker" catch wind of my cheating... and call me out on the facebook chat! (Thanks Ma'am, we need folks to keep us in line sometimes ;-)

I got off line disappointed in myself, with deep conviction. Not because I had been "caught" by a friend, she was joking in her tone and I am sure meant no harm.

No, it was God I had disappointed.

I tried to reason with Him:
"But God, I didn't read any comments..."
Still, conviction.
"And you know it was for a good reason..."
No dice.
"...God, but I want to share my story with others. You said it was my purpose, remember? ...Remember?"

I went to my Written Source for answers to why I felt so...well, guilty.

I found it.

"Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as manpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.
-And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
-Knowing that the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance for ye serve the Lord Christ
."- Collosians 3:22-24


So that's it. I had gone wrong when I disobeyed the service put on my heart to fast from my dependence on social networking. The people pleaser in me wanted to get the message out; but God would not have us to be disobedient to His Word, to bend the rules just a little for the greater good, would He?

Absolutely not!

He said no facebook for... one month. No negotiations!

The flesh is so weak, even when we think WE are "doing the right thing" and go against FAITH to get what we think we need, we have lessened the almighty power of HIS WILL. This is how the enemy creeps in and plays on our pride, egos, fears and insecurities. That is why the Living Word and the Written Word is so detrimental to staying faithful to your love walk.

Have you ever "bent the rules" thinking you knew what was best for you instead of God?
Think about a time you may have let the enemy trick you into going against faith to "Shortcut" your way to what you think you need?

Wow! He is so good. I understand now more than ever why this fast is important for me. ( I do miss you guys in FB land already though. )

As far as the blog "Contracts", I am putting my whole entire biznass out there; in faith that it will serve a greater Purpose- to testify to how low the enemy will take us and to how beautifully He can lift and renew our very souls.

It will reach who it is intended to help because I have faith it will. HE doesn't need my help in that. He said "tell the truth." That is all.

To have faith is to simply say: The rest, I leave in HIS hands.

Day Two will involve no cheating, I promise! :-)
Love you guys! God bless!

Part Two: Contracts

Part Two: So if your reading this, you were intrigued by part one from yesterday. For all you truth seekers, I appreciate your interest. I know it may be shocking for some of you to read this very personal account. I just want to tell the truth as I saw it; for who do we really fool in being decieving? Thanks for reading. I don't know exactly how many of you read it since I can't check my facebookmobile or the PC :-)(day one of the fast...) As I said yesterday, it is a dark story the first few posts. I promise it lightens up ;-) Anyway, this is importing from my blogspot, which some of you subscribe to. Leave feedback if you read it.

...It felt like I was living with a stranger.
The stranger was not my husband, if that what you think I meant.
The stranger was... inside... me.

By the time we got here to Atlanta; we were all but shells of the once alive and in love couple that we had previously been. Things took an even darker turn in the last two years.

We got pregnant with Loren, and what should have been such a joyous occasion will forever be scared. By the time we had our first child together the disconnect was so far between us; on the way to the hospital to have the baby, we quarreled...Lawrence said he didn't know why, but he simply was not "in love" with me anymore. Yes, on the way to deliver the baby...

He's no monster. To be fair, at any given time we would have these "moments" where either of us would decide that we just don't work; and try to just walk away. The whole concept of "till death do us part" .... just didn't resonate.

I began to spiral down a deep and painful depression. I tried everything: Zoloft, The Secret, along with every other self help book at Borders, shopping, clubbing (social networking), drinking...heck, even weed...I tried it all. I began to believe that there was nothing inside me alive anymore, if there had ever been, I couldn't recall. I remember telling my husband it felt like I didn't have a soul. The walking dead. The further I sank into depression, and looked to Lawrence for emotional structure; and ultimately, the more he shut down. We were your classic Hypo-Hyper emotional Texas Giant of a ride.

But on the outside...
I was the envy of all my single friends, wishing they had this elusive thing called marriage. Everyone told me how I was so lucky to have the perfect little family... That is how we appeared to be. When will we learn about appearances? All a thinly vieled fascade. Just like my fascination with outward beauty. It is by no accident that I ended up in the fashion/make up industry.

While I may have appeared to be groomed to perfection: what lies beneath was just as ugly as whatever was growing inside my would-be happy marriage...
I could not get it right. I needed to be loved. He craved stability. And like a sad faced circle, we went around in a cycle of destruction. I wanted attention, and began an "emotional affair" with someone online. (Don't get all distracted trying to figure out with who. I didn't know him personally, and we never met.) My husband began a similiar "inappropriate friendship" with a colleage from work. Neither of us are very good liars, and quickly our indescretions were discovered by one another. I was certain it was over for good. For years I was able to convince others that they should evny me. Everyone was "always so proud of me"...and "I was always smiling"...and "she's sooo pretty"...and "sooo sweet"...I had it together...I had beat the odds...I was dying. Really, I was. I had increasing moments of sheer terror; I felt impending doom...

In May, I began having severe panic attacks.

At random times, in traffic on the middle of photo the parent teacher conferences...I could not escape. The walls were caving chest... I thought I was going to die. Which I would have welcomed, but I was afraid of what waited to grab my empty soul...was it the same thing that was showing my previews of Hell in my recurrent nightmares...?

I lacked any ability to cope with even everyday stressors. The doctors diagnosed me with severe clinical depression, with post traumatic stress disorder.

I was ashamed to let my sons see me in such a state. Ticking time bomb is an understatement....

While you were telling me how awesome it is that I have a "beautiful family" and an exciting career as a make up artist, what you didn't see...

was how Kameron began to have nightmares, worrying about his momma, his grades dropping down to near failing...
you didn't see me crawl into the fetal postion and cry until no sound came out.
Sleep and sleep and just pray I wouldn't wake up again. To doubt everything from my abilities as a wife and mother- to even if I was truly as talented in my GOD himself. I stopped selling myself as a make up artist. I even gave half my professional kit away, saying it was pointless...I was secretly screaming "help me"...

Saddened, a good friend (Mr. Smith Gregory, ur the best!)..suggested that my husband and I watch the Christian marriage movie Fireproof. We did, and it was amazing as Greg had said it was. I cried like a baby at the end. Could this be the answer? God?...

My husband, however; fell asleep while watching. He had been drinking and he never could catch the end of a movie when he was on the sauce. I got angry- told him it was pointless. I felt like I was the only one "trying." So The Love Dare went unfinished. ...As did our recovery.

A few months passed. On the surface, things were getting "better"...I guess. I took my prescribed Zoloft, I lost twenty pounds. Kameron started this school year in his dad's school district, and his grades improved 100%. (His lowest grade thus far: 94!)

Sorry, I digress; proud mom moment.

So all's well that ends that way, right?
Not quite.If you think so, then your still missing the big picture.

I am inviting you to scratch the surface for this one time.

I was still trying to win my husband's affections.

I was hurting that despite my efforts, he was still so distant and cold.
I really would try:

"do you want to go for a walk?"
"Do you want to go bowling with me?"
Not really.
"Do you want to talk to me at all?"

It was obvious that he wanted out. If not from his body language, from his actual words. He said...I no longer measured up...
I have learned the victim role well over time. I have a doctorates in despair with a specailty in tapping into bitterness and blame to escape accountability.
If he didn't want to love me anymore - fine.
I was willing to give up, too. Afterall, I have my pride...
What is it that they say about pride...oh, yes.

Pride always comes before the fall...

Part two was a bit longer than one, thanks for hanging in there with me. It gets better I promise. Part three tomorrow. Leave feedback! or follow me on :-)
Love you guys!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Contracts are binding indeed...but Love sets the spirit free.

Disclosure: This is deeply personal. I am trying to overcome the spirit of people pleasing. So I am putting this portion of my thoughts and actions on display in hopes that if you felt like I did, that I can inspire you to want to seek a higher place; no matter what anyone else thinks of me for doing so. It is in segments, and begins very dark. No one call gets better. :-)

So...I took time to self reflect.

My ephipany...was, that I realized that.....
I was utterly sick and tired...
of self reflection.
I needed a new target.

Have you ever met someone, and couldn't figure out for the very life of you; why they got under your skin? No matter what they did to win you just couldn't shake the fact that this person was not your cup of tea? Somehow you just new you would never really like them.

What if that person was yourself?

What if you were trapped inside a shell with a soul you didn't recognize?
What if you tried your hardest to remove yourself from no avail?

It is not a far exaggeration to say...I have NEVER been happy. Ever. Not as a child, not as a troubled teenager full of unknown angst...not as a young adult...not after I graduated from basic Training...not after I began my career in make up artistry...not after the birth of my children...still, there was some hole I couldn't fill.

Not happiness. Sometimes pleasure, but NEVER happiness. Not at any time I can remember....ever. Not even when I got married. Yeah, thats right ladies, I said it. I was not that princess at the end of the Disney movie- elated about the happily ever after I was to partake in with my picture book perfect husband.

Why not? Had I not kissed more than my share of frogs before I found my Prince? Why was it that the very moment I entered into contract with my husband... did I lose all desire to make love with him?

For years, I have held the truth in shame; that when it came to intimacy with my husband, I found that my once overly active sexual desire had all but vanished. It wasnt a lack of sex, but the place my mind had to go to in order to desire him once we were married.... that distrurbed me. We watched ex rated material; additionally, I allowed talk of sinful nature to enter our bedroom. I was ashamed and it just didn't make any sense.I just couldn't seem to keep an interest in him once I had the moral right to. After a while; I stopped trying to figure out what kind of twisted mind I must be possessed with. It was disheartening to admit- that after years of being objectified by men (and most of all, by myself); that I could not enjoy a healthy sexual relationship- without still objectifing myself.

So needless to say, after a few years, it became increasingly difficult to pretend; and our love life waned. This created a new list of problems for us. I had invited ex rated material into our home; and in turn, became angry and insecure with my husband's growing tendency to watch the videos once I no longer wanted to.We began to lack any communication. He would come in from work and not speak. I would bait him into arguments just to get him to talk to me. It felt like I was living with a stranger. By the time we got here to Atlanta; we were all but shells of the once alive and in love couple that we had once been.

Things took a much darker turn in the last two years....

What happens next? LOL!!! That is all you can read without getting lost in blogland.
Part two tomorrow...

Friday, October 9, 2009

The 7 days of Friday Lifestyle!

The power of Friday...

Its every one's favorite day of the traditional workweek. Friday.

You can feel the energy from every classroom...corner office, every cubicle...even at every mall and restaurant where the workweek isn't over, the barista was smiling a little harder at Starbucks this complain less about the commute into the city....

Why is it that Friday invokes a powerful emotion of optimism, and appreciation?

Is it truly because we are counting down the seconds till we're free?

Are we just glad for the break in the monotonous J.O.B?

For some, this may be the case.

But the TGIF feeling exists in those who don't even work a regular work week.

My husband's off days are Tuesday and Wednesday of every week. While he refers to his Monday shift as his "Friday"(his day before his two days of rest)...he also seems to have more pep in his step on the actual Friday work shift; even though he would be returning to work Saturday morning. I was puzzled and compelled to explore a new social experiment: The 7 days of Friday Lifestyle!

What if, like Fridays: you could view every single day of the week with just as much gratitude and excitement?

What if, on even your most dreaded day of the week, you woke up excited to being a day full of promise and purpose?

Tell yourself what it is about Friday that excites you. Is it getting more time with your kids for the weekend? Upcoming football Sunday? Is it perhaps a date night that you hold with your spouse Saturday evenings?

Tap into what makes Friday a day to look forward to.

Figure out what truly gives you reason to be. Write down all the reasons everyday of the week, why you are grateful for that day.

Set new standards for quality of life. Want more family time than you get the weekend? Set up a weekly holiday where your family commits as a whole to gather and spend time together in gratitude toward one another. We have a National Kamerons Day at sporadic times throughout the year where we will surprise him with an "unbirthday" Party like Alice in Wonderland..

Follow a similar pattern of gratitude for whatever it is that God has blessed you to look forward to on the weekend, let the same appreciation show in every aspect of your life. Thank Him... even for the annoying guy who chews at your nerve on the job. It can and does get worse than the things we complain of and take for granted.

I challenge you to try. Tell Him that when you wake to have a Friday! attitude on your dreaded Monday morning. Play some good tunes while getting dressed. Make a conscious effort to smile. Even on Tuesday. Bring dunkin donuts to the office for your coworkers, even on Wednesday. Create the culture of TGIF... for every moment of your life. :-)

Update your facebook status, instead of TGIF...(your name her) saying TGIA! (Thank God I'm Alive)

View everyday that the Lord has given you with the same fervor as you look upon one Friday to the next with.

Bless the lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgives all thine iniquities; who healths all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crown thee with loving kindness and tender mercies:
Who satisfies thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.-Psalm 103:1-5

It will make the difference.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A rare and beautiful thing...

So the past month has been...well. Its better now.

But as with all things; the well earned lessons that come from harsh realities far surpasses the trauma of it all.

The lesson I learned that I will always remember, is that friendship...true friendship...will always reign triumphant in tragedy.

Friendship lesson #1: Friends hold you up...
I was distraught. Down and out is a gross understatement...the kind of grief that scares you, you wonder if you will ever feel completely whole again. And there are those rays of lights in the storm...

My first ray of light came in the name of compassion. My cousin Bree is my junior by 5 years; and I have always tried to keep my place in her eyes as big cousin that knows more, has seen more, can make it happen always. But one day when I couldn't move, couldn't breathe with heartache; it was my baby cousin who held my head in her lap until I felt human again. It was my baby cousin that helped me care for my children when all my energy had fled...Thank you for being more than family to me: a Friend.

Friendship lesson #2: Friends keep up encouraged...
I was feeling a little better. A little. My childhood friend that is Ms. Lesa Jimmerson has stayed with me throughout adulthood. She has a very honest tongue. When I am cloudy, she helps clear the fog. I was pretty foggy last week. It is a true friend to give you the hard advice you don't want to hear. It is also a true friend to send you a blessing even when they need one themselves. Thank you for putting up with my for over two decades.

Friendship Lesson #3 Friends are constant...
We as adults have everyday tasks that sometimes keep us from thinking outside our own problems. We may know someone is in distress, but it may not be the forefront of our minds. Thank you Winter for being the kind of friend that notices trouble signs even when I tried my best to conceal them. Even more, thanks for continuing to check on me for every single day leaving me kind notes that I have no doubt took a considerable time to write. Your brand of compassion is a rare and beautiful find. As always, Thank you.

Friendship Lesson #4 Friends help you see the Light...
Sometimes the hardest thing you can do is to leave someone alone. No one wants to be alone; it is our nature to be accepted. With this in mind, often we will hold on to toxic friendships...relationsips...out of obligation. Even when it feels foreign. So when I stopped hearing from my girlfriend Tone, I was hurt initially. Then when she did call she was usually too busy; on her way to bible study, or Sunday School. She didn't come to my dinner parties or want to go out to Girls Night anymore. She wasn't rude or judgemental...just...different. She didn't want to gossip about mutual friends. She was calm. She never complained. So as far as our lives had become it was amazing how consistent she was when I needed her the most. Thank you for giving me an example of what a strong woman of Faith looks like. Thank you for having the courage to say what many would shy away from. The the best gift sometimes. Love you!

I am overwhelmed with how blessed I have always been...and never really knew it. :-)

True friendship is that wind in placid air. It reminds you that hard times are there so we can marvel at compassion and the resiliency of the sisterhood.