Life On The Other Side…

Why Can’t You Understand?
March 11, 2011, 4:52 am
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I was married to a man for 20 years.  He was a man that told me in year 2 that he never loved me.  He was a man that would go into mad, angry rages where he would call me everything but “white woman”.  He was a man that thought flowers were a waste, any extra money we got should go into guitars not bills and thought nothing of flirting with women right in front of his daughters and wife.  If this man was married to my daughter, or my sister, or my friend, I would have no problem staying away from him; I would be so angry with him that I wouldn’t even want to be in contact with him!….So why is it that I have people that are close to me (or should be close to me) that still “love him” and want to keep him in their life?  Why is it that these same people, think that God can change his heart (even though he wants nothing to do with God), but God can’t change mine?  All I hear from them is that they love him….I never hear them say they love me… hurts.

I forgave my husband a while ago.  I am happier now than I have ever been!  My children are happier now there is not anger and strife in our home. I really should thank him for leaving us.  I forgave him….is it wrong that I don’t want to be around him?  Is it wrong that I am hurt when those who are supposed to be my support system and are supposed to be there for me, are there for him instead?  Is it wrong that it hurts to be in his presence?  If I don’t want to be around him, or if it hurts me that those people want to be with him and defend him, does that mean that I haven’t forgiven him?  Am I still full of bitterness just because I want a life without him around all the time?  No, I have no bitterness toward him.  I hope he moves on and can find happiness.  I just don’t want him to be around me.  It is a reminder that I was rejected.  It is a reminder that I failed.  It is a reminder that this Christian woman did not act like a Christian wife.  It’s a hurtful reminder.

He chose to walk out the front door.  He chose to be angry all the time.  He chose to leave this family.  Then why am I the one that is paying the price?   Why am I the one who is constantly put under the microscope?  Why are my children and myself always being judged by how we will react when in his presence?  Why isn’t he being the one being judged?  Why am I being treated like I was the one that left him?   Why is he not judged or questioned or made to feel like a failure?

Someone hurt my father very badly.  This person never once hurt me.  Actually they treated me quite wonderful!  My dad was hurt by them and because of my love and respect for him, I do not go out of my way to see or talk to this person.  If I run into them, I say hello and go on….that’s the way it should be.  I love my dad and because of that, I choose to not hurt him anymore by seeking a relationship with someone that hurt him.  Do I think he’s bitter because he doesn’t want to be around them?  No, I think he’s hurt!

When my children bristle in the presence of their dad or hear his name, it is not because they are bitter.  It is because they are hurt!  They are hurt because their dad chose to move out.  They are hurt because their dad would rather go out and drink than take care of them.  They are hurt because their dad did not choose to love their mother.  They are hurt because their dad chose a life without them. They are hurt!!!  Why can’t you understand that?

This is not bitterness and anger in my face and heart…this is hurt!  I am hurting, and those closest to me cannot understand this hurt.   I feel betrayed.  I feel unloved.  I feel lost.  I feel hurt.   I AM hurt!

Why can’t you understand?


Me, The Chicken and The Bachelor…
February 15, 2011, 1:36 am
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Today is Valentines Day.  Nothing makes a single person feel even MORE single than Valentines Day!  At work all day, I was fine.  I saw ladies walk to the reception area to pick up flowers their husbands had sent, people wished me Happy Valentines Day (nice thought, but really?!?) and even had a few Hershey Kisses that someone brought into share with all of us.

On the drive home, I was stopped at a light and I glanced over to see a man unwrap a Valentines candy (you could tell because the wrap was pink and red and shiny!) and pluck it in his mouth.  Then I looked behind his head in the backseat.  There were 3 big balloons with the words “I Love You”, screaming at me in all their foiled Mylar essence. “I Love You”…those are 3 words I won’t hear today.  Oh, of course, my children all told me they loved me today, but it’s not the same.

When my husband walked out, I never thought I’d EVER want to be with someone ever again!  My heart was broken and my trust had been trampled upon.  I just knew that I could never, nor would I ever want, to trust any man ever again with my heart.

Today, when I saw those balloons, I longed to hear those words.  I longed for a man to send me flowers or big ugly Mylar balloons that screamed “I Love You” to the people in the cars driving around me.  I longed to go home to a man that loved me and cherished me….I’d actually never had that before.  Certainly not in the 20+ years I was married. My ex thought flowers were a waste of money, and don’t even get started on balloons or a card!

I cried.  I knew when I got home, the house would be dark and lonely (the girls are at dance class on Mondays) and I’d have to drag my tired body into the kitchen to make some sad, lonely dinner out of the sad, lonely chicken I left to thaw in the sink.  There would be:

No flowers.
No candy.
No Mylar balloons.
No card.
No nothing.
Just me, the chicken and The Bachelor.

Maybe one day, God will bless me with a man after His own heart.  One that will get a thrill out of sending me flowers just because.  Or a man that will send me Reeses Peanut Butter cups because he knows they are my favorite.  Maybe a man that will send me balloons just so he can suck the helium and tell me he loves me in that wonderful helium-tone voice one gets after sucking helium.  And maybe, one day, God will send me a man that will turn that sad, lonely chicken into a spectacular dinner and then sit down with me to watch The Bachelor so I don’t have to do it alone….

She’s Twenty!!
June 18, 2010, 5:39 pm
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Today is my oldest daughter’s 20th birthday—where have 20 years gone?!?!  It seems like only yesterday, we were heading “down the pass” (Colorado speak for driving from a mountain town into the big city!) to have our first baby.  I can remember the excitement and the fear–would I have horrible pain?  Would it be a boy or girl? (We wanted it to be a surprise!)  Would I be a good mommy?   Would I be in labor long??

I went into labor at 10pm-ish on June 17th.  We were living in Woodland Park, and had just gotten home from Colorado Springs, where we had spent the day with my family.  We had gone to the grocery store, and I had just carried a bag into my kitchen when my water broke.   My thoughts were “Are you kidding me?  We just drove up from the Springs?   This couldn’t have happened before we drove up here??”    J called the doctor while I grabbed a few things to take to the hospital.  I heard J giving all the info to the doctor and then I heard him say “Oh, this isn’t Dr. F’s office?”  In his excitement, he had called the wrong number and told some poor guy all about his pregnant wife’s water breaking all over the kitchen floor!!

Labor wasn’t too bad—I didn’t feel a thing until right before I was ready to deliver.  The nurse that hooked me up to the monitor was amazed that I wasn’t feeling anything because the contractions were apparently really strong!  (Thank you, Lord!)  My labor progressed so quickly that I wasn’t even able to have anything for the pain of delivery.  When the doctor said it was a girl, I was so excited!  He handed me this beautiful, tiny baby girl with jet black hair and olive skin (Yes….A started life out looking a little different than she does now!).  She was perfect in every way–no pointed head, no cheesy stuff all over her, no imperfections that I could see.   My baby girl was here.

She was a dancer from the start.  When she was about 8 months old, she would “roll” (she never learned to crawl) over to the audio speakers and bang on them–this was my sign to turn on the music.  Then she would sit up and just bounce up and down!  Amy Grant was her favorite.  When A was born, Amy had just released a song called “Baby, Baby”…I used to sing it to her all the time.  That became “her song”.   (When I got the chance to meet Amy Grant and take pictures of her, I told her about my girls and their songs—it seemed that every year I had a daughter, Amy released a new album/song, so all of their songs are Amy’s!)   When she learned to stand up, she would stand on her toes.  A ballerina was born!

She had a squeaky little voice and was always tiny.  She loved to dance, sing and perform.   She loved Laura Ingalls Wilder and all things “Little House on the Prairie”.  She loved her little sisters fiercely, and unbeknownst to me, she would lure her sister, E, with food, into some cabinets we had in our basement and she would lock her in there.  This was something that was just recently brought to my attention.  I always thought E got in there herself!

She has always been a scrappy little thing, and no one ever had to wonder where she stood on any subject!  She has an opinion about everything and doesn’t mind sharing it.  I love that about her!

She went through her teen years relatively easily—-don’t get me wrong…she was a drama queen, but if that’s the worst she did, I couldn’t ask for more.  She loved N*Sync…mostly Lance…and we went to several of their concerts together.  She had her share of crushes and heartbreaks, nights of crying and wondering if she would ever find someone that understood her.  She graduated from high school, survived her parents separation, and finished her first year of Bible college, all in one year.  Most of all, she loves the Lord, and for that I am most thankful.

Many nights I spent praying for a Godly man for Ashley.  She is strong-willed with a temper to match, so she will need someone special.  At Bible school this year, she met such a man.  They are suited well, and both of them love the Lord.  There has been talk of a wedding in 2011, which makes this mommy a little emotional.  How do I let this little girl go?  How do I go to sleep at night without a kiss and hug from her?  I guess I should make the most of my time with her now.

She is now 20?  Where did the years go???

Where Did the Time Go?
April 28, 2010, 9:08 pm
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I feel so old…yesterday I spent the afternoon (well, actually only about half an hour..)at the DMV to help my middle daughter get her Learner’s Permit for driving!  When did she get old enough to get a drivers license?!!?  Wasn’t she just born yesterday?!   Where did all those years go?

I remember when I was pregnant with her.  I was so excited about another baby.  Our oldest and firstborn was almost 4.  I had just recently had a miscarriage so wanted a baby very badly.   At about 5 months along, the doctor ordered an ultrasound because he wanted to check for twins because my belly had grown an inordinate amount (To clarify—I hadn’t gained a lot of weight–only about 8 lbs!  The belly measurement was larger than it should have been!).  Since twins ran rampantly in both my family and my husband’s, he wanted to check to be sure.

We did the ultrasound and had decided that if they could tell the sex, we didn’t want to know—we wanted to be surprised.  Well, we got there, they did the ultrasound and then asked if we wanted to know the sex.  We said “no”.  Then, it got the best of my husband and he had to know.  I told the nurse to tell him, but don’t tell me.  They went into another room and he came back grinning.  I couldn’t tell one way or another, but I had my suspicians (which were right).  That lasted about an hour–on the way home I told him I couldn’t stand that he knew something I didn’t. (And if you knew me, you’d understand how very true that statement is!! Lol…).  It was another girl!  I was fine with that.  I loved my little girl and I knew how to take care of girls.  Another girl was great with me!  When it came time to pick out a name, we were undecided between two different names.  We couldn’t decide, so we deferred to our daughter and let her pick between the two.

When E came, it was the most horrible pain I have EVER encountered!  If I had had her first, there would be no other babies, I’m sure!  (Which is kind of funny, seeing as how I did have another baby after her!)  I had terrible back labor and couldn’t get anything for the pain!  Luckily, the whole labor and delivery lasted only 4 hours, but it was the most horrible, pain-filled 4 hours of my life!  If you had asked me then, I would have told you I was in labor for 72 hours!!!  She came so fast, the doctor almost didn’t make it to catch her.

My precious, E was here.  When E was a baby, she was adorable.  She was a wonderful baby.  She was a happy baby.  In all of the pictures we have of her, she is laughing.  She had one of those infectious smiles.  Even today, E is the happiest, most easy-going of all my children.  She makes us laugh and smile on a daily basis.  Now she is old enough to drive….where did the time go?  Before long, she will be graduating from high school and moving on.  It makes me sad, but I know God has an amazing life for her.  She wants to be a missionary–she has since she was a small child.  She can almost always be found reading her Bible.  She took it upon herself last year to read through her Bible in it’s entirety–she accomplished that long before the year was over.  I’m very proud of her.   Sometimes I know she feels she gets lost in between the drama of her two other sisters, but that’s one of those unfortunate side effects of being the middle child.

Now my middle child will start driving, and I’ll only have one left to go…. Go home tonight/today, and hug on, and love your little ones, because before too long, they too will be getting their drivers licenses.  In the meantime, watch out world, E will be out on the streets driving!

My Provider…
April 16, 2010, 6:06 pm
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As a single mom, I think one of the toughest things is the financial aspect.  For 2o years, I stayed home to raise my daughters.  I worked little jobs here and there to provide extra income, or to make up for shortages when my husband’s income wasn’t the best.  I made crafts, sewed American Girl doll clothes, made costumes for little girls, read books for Doubleday Books, worked in our church nursery just to name a few!!   Of course, none of those jobs provided enough to actually “live on”–they were just supplemental income.

When my husband moved out almost 2 years ago, we didn’t have a court order in place concerning alimony/child support, so he just gave me what he wanted—it’s still that way!   I was fortunate enough that I have parents that, God bless them, have helped me out so much over the past two years.  I know that not everyone is that lucky.  If not for them, we would have lost our home a year ago.

I have come to a point where I need to be making better money to relieve my parents of that added stress.  I tried to get on at my workplace full time, but right now they just don’t need the help.  My photography business has also not picked up as I had hoped it would.  I knew that my only hope was in God.

I am a Christian.  I believe God’s Word.  God’s Word tells me that He IS my provider.  His Word says that He shall supply ALL my needs–not just some, but ALL.  I have had a hard time believing in this concept.  It is not a “name it and claim it” philosophy.  When Christ went to the cross, He not only took sickness and disease, but he took poverty as well.  As I studied this concept, I realized that I have a poverty mentality!  I realized that I felt that I don’t deserve to be prosperous.  That is a lie out of the pit of hell!   Jesus came to give us life, and life more abundantly!

Most people think this is talking about spiritual things, and in a way, it includes spiritual things, but it also means all things that pertain to life.  A home and food pertain to life, don’t they?  Having money to pay bills pertains to life, doesn’t it?   God provides for the birds of the air, and the flowers in the field, so why wouldn’t He provide for me and my daughters?

Sunday at church, I went forward to have some prayer warriors pray for me about my finances.  They prayed with me.  They spoke to my business and commanded prosperity on it.  I knew that God was going to bless my business.

I went home that day, expecting a bump in my finances.  It is now almost a week later, and the financial blessings have rained upon me this week!  I got about 6 orders for my photography business, was hired to shoot a prom tonight, and a wedding on Sunday!  On top of that, my tax guy called to tell me my taxes were done and that I was getting a huge amount back–the most I’ve ever gotten!!  Praise God!

It is only when we realize that God is our Provider–I am not my provider, my job is not my provider, my husband is not my provider!  It is in Christ alone that I can rely to provide for me.  That doesn’t mean that I can just sit home and wait for God to drop money in my bank account.  It means that as long as I am doing something, God will multiply it!   What it doesn’t mean is that I can go out and spend frivolously or extravagantly.  It doesn’t mean I can run out and charge a bunch of stuff on my credit card either!    I need to be a good steward of what God has given me.  I need to be wise in my spending.

I look over the years of my life and I remember the things God has done for me.  About 18 years ago, we had a utility bill that we didn’t have the money to pay for.  We prayed about it and the next day there was a check for the exact amount from our church!  We called the church to find out what it was for, and the pastor said he had been praying and the Lord told him we needed that amount!    A few months after my husband moved out, he lost his job and I had to make a house payment—-I knew that unless God provided a miracle, I wouldn’t be able to make the payment.  I prayed about it and that very day, I was asked to design some cards for an online company.  They asked how much I charged—I didn’t really know because I had never done that before.  I prayed about the amount and God told me to put it back in their hands.  I contacted the company, told them I really had no idea and what would they offer me.  They emailed me back and gave me an amount that was 3 times what I was originally thinking about charging!   There have been other things like this.

I don’t want to be like the Israelites in the wilderness….I want to remember daily all that God has done for me.  God is my provider and He will never let me down.  Do you keep in remembrance all the good things God has done for you?  Is He your provider?   Or are you relying on yourself or someone else to provide for you?  I encourage you to seek God in this area of your life.   I AM blessed and highly favored!  Are you?!?!

Mamma Mia!
April 12, 2010, 5:29 pm
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Have you ever seen the movie “Mamma Mia”?   Being an avid fan of abba back in the day, I loved this movie.

Sometimes I wish life was like a movie.   Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to sing through the ups and downs of life?  Here you have a single mom, who can still sing and dance through all her troubles.   Why did my life not become a musical when I became single?

I thought I was a good parent.  I taught my children about the Lord.  I prayed for them daily.  I work hard so they don’t go hungry and have a nice home to live in.   I give my all so my kids can have a good life.  Some people think I spoil my children, but I don’t think I do.  I expect a lot from them.  I don’t allow them to just sit around and eat bon-bons every day.  They have responsibilities.  I don’t buy them everything they ask for, because quite frankly, I can’t afford to buy them whatever they want!  They are good kids.

So, when did I become a bad mom?  When did my life become all about me?  Where did I go wrong?  Why do I now need to walk on egg shells around my children because no matter what I say or do, I “don’t listen to them”, they “can’t talk to me anymore”, they all discuss how when I’m stressed out, I ‘take it out on them”.   What do I need to do different?  What am I doing wrong???

Sophie never talked back to her mom.  Sophie never yelled and got angry at her mom.  Sophie’s mom was the “Dancing Queen” for goodness sake!  Why can’t my life be a musical?  Is it because I cry and get angry about my lack of finances and every day problems instead of singing about them?

If my life were a musical, I could:

Sing about my favorite things when I was feeling bad because girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes really have no appeal to me at this time.

Sing about dancing all night when I have an exciting evening mostly because who wants to dance over an evening of watching “Survivor”?

Sing super long words when I just don’t know what else to say because “supercalifragilisticexpealidocious” is a much nicer word than d@m#.

Sing about my prince coming some day, while scrubbing the floors because my prince did come and turned out to be a frog.

Sing a happy song while rodents and birds cleaned my house because quite frankly, rodents creep me out.

Sing and dance in the rain instead of running for cover and hope that my basement window well was not leaking!

See the world on a magic carpet instead of being content to look at someone else’s vacation pictures.

Ask Argentina to not cry for me because I’m pretty sure it cries daily for me.

Feel the love tonight because I sure didn’t feel it last night.

Climb every mountain because right now I just don’t think my 40+ body could take it!

Wouldn’t life be grand as a musical?   Unfortunately, life isn’t a musical–at least mine isn’t.  Every morning I wake up to a blaring alarm clock, drag myself to the bedroom and get ready to start the day.  I get my kids off to school, go to work, come home, get dinner ready, plop down in front of the TV to watch how the “real” housewives live, and then go to bed.  I don’t look like Julie Andrews or Meryl Streep (thankfully!), and I certainly don’t have a heavenly voice like Ms. Andrews. (If only!)   I don’t have captains or men that look like Pierce Brosnan vying for my love.  I don’t have children that come running when I blow a whistle, nor do I have children that have a nanny!

Of course, if my life were a musical, I don’t think I could have ever climbed the Alps to escape the Nazi’s, and I could most certainly not leave the hunky Phantom for Raul….  Instead, I get angry, I get frustrated, I get stressed out.  Sorry, that’s real life.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go take a ride in my surrey with the fringe on top…

The Glory of the Blood
April 3, 2010, 5:28 am
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In the solitary moment of His birth

On this barren, dusty land

All of Heaven kissed the face of earth

With a miracle of love

God became a man

But He was sent away to draw His final breath

When He was only thirty-three

And in the shame of dying, a criminal’s death

He cleansed an angry world

And in His suffering I see

The glory of the blood

The beauty of the body

That was broken for our forgiveness

The glory of His perfect love

Is the heart of the story

The glory of the blood.

I could not have said it any better….

“For God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,

That whosoever believeth on Him,

Should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

The Glory Written By Jim Cooper and Regie Hamm