Its only temporary

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Relationships are tricky, we maneuver through life in various types of relationships our entire lives. It starts with our parents and other close family members. The bonds or lack there of, formed in those relationships directly affect how the relationships with the “strangers” that show up in our lives will go. If we are lucky we will find that one perfect “stranger” that we’ll decide would be better suited as family, get married and build another branch on the family tree from there. Relationships are a fact of life, sometimes relationships hurt. Hurt is also a fact of life.

Its up to us what we do with hurt. We can hold on to it, pretend that keeping it close in our memories is protecting us from future hurt. Holding on isn’t really keeping us protected, hurt compounds. Holding on allows us to turn the smallest, most insignificant thing into a huge issue and from there we add another layer. Those layers continue to build until one day they are so thick no one can get in and we ourselves are unable to get out. The layers have become walls and will have to be broken. Breaking is not a fun nor easy thing to do. The other option is to let hurt go. To examine what happened, the role we played in it, develop a prevention plan for next time and take a chance on living. Its scary and it may hurt but like everything else in life, the pain is only temporary.

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About last night

580383_10200682868573149_923908864_nBack in the summer when I was looking for a job I was worried about what the rest of my life would look like and if I would miss my opportunity to make a difference. That’s all I want to do with my life, make a difference in the lives of others. I knew that I no longer wanted to work in social services, I love working with and helping people but I cannot do it 40 hours a week. While the job I had was needed and helpful to many, I didn’t always feel as if I was helping. The system sometimes works against everyone involved. As a result, I looked for an office job. Something that would pay me what I needed to live and allow me the time to do the things that I wanted. I know many people say that we should work our passions but sometimes a job is just a job and that’s all it needs to be. In late August I started working at the children’s hospital. Its a non-profit and there are many opportunities for volunteering within the organization, the pay could be better but really other than that it’s the perfect job for me. Still I was worried, how will I help others and fulfill that personal need in my life. I took sometime to pray about this, I needed some direction maybe there was an organization or a church with a program I could get involved with. I needed God to tell me what my next move was to be. His response, you are already doing it. I thought about that for a minute and all the young ladies I have had the pleasure of talking with and helping throughout the years came to mind. What do you know I’ve been making a difference in the lives of others for quite some time. Still, I had times when I wondered if the things I said and did really mattered to them, was I deluding myself? Then on Saturday night I went to a friends costume party. I haven’t seen her in a few years and we only say hi on Facebook every once in a while. When we worked together, more that 3 years ago now, we would have these deep, real conversations where we unpacked the realness of who we were and why and shared the wisdom we had each learned from life lived. At the party Saturday I was one of the first guests to arrive. I didn’t know anyone there, I only came to see my friend, not to stay, she was still upstairs getting ready. I sat on the couch for about 20 minutes playing on my phone,  my friend finally made it down stairs and when she saw me she screamed and jumped into my lap and just sat there hugging me tight until I told her to get up. After that the other guests at the party became more interested in who I was, what made me special enough for that dramatic of a greeting. Her reaction was everything for me, it let me know that I was truly making a difference and I realized how much I love her. I think about her and pray for her often because I want the best for her life. It took going to my first Halloween party for me to see myself through someone’s else’s eyes, the best part, I liked what I saw.

That was the clarity, now on to the opportunity.

My grandmother used to always tell me I needed a husband and two or three babies and I would be fine. She swore I was happier when I had a man in my life,(not at all untrue) and would always encourage me to make the effort to find somebody to love. So when I met Mr. L and learned that he had three kids, my first thought was that granny had something to do with this. Saturday night, before the party, Mr. L and I met up. I am not calling it an official date, his grandma had the kids for a couple of hours which gave us a little while to talk. The conversation flowed nicely, nothing was forced and there were no awkward silences. We talked about life, were we are, where we have been, where we are going. It was nice. We were hanging out at his place and with no phone call, no warning, his granny decided she was done with the kids and suddenly there were three young girls, full of energy coming through the door. I think the little one and I are BFF’s now. I wasn’t prepared for “family time” so I decided to go home. Which turned into a 20 minute conversation in the parking lot of his apartment complex, where for some odd reason he decided to pick me up. I am no little girl, so the fact that he successfully did this impressed me. Up about 8 feet off the ground all I felt was excited. I wasn’t scared or worried that he would drop me. I didn’t care if anyone was watching, I was living in the moment and I enjoyed every bit of it. When he let me down I told him we were getting married, he laughed so that’s a good sign…right?

Gaining clarity and taking opportunity, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday night.

Just wait and see

In a bold move this weekend I gave my number to someone. I never give out my number and have on occasion told men that I was happy with Jesus in my life, I had no room for them. However,  this guy is nice, cute, his granny and my granny were pretty good friends, I figured it was worth the chance. But this morning the anxiety hit me. As much as I like this guy and want to get to know him more, I am scared. He is a single dad. Single dads come with a lot of extras; ex-wives, ex-girlfriends,  baby’s momma, full schedules that leave barely any time for socializing. This particular single dad comes with an ex-wife and three girls ages 12, 10 and 6. I’m pretty sure they won’t like me, if this even gets that far. Besides that I have never dated a single dad and never someone with children so young. Adult children, that’s what I am used to. I don’t know what to expect of him, I don’t know what to expect of myself but I do know that my last real relationship ended in 2009, I rarely like anyone enough to entertain the idea of dating them and I am a lot more capable than I give myself credit for. I’ll just wait and see what unfolds.

Balance

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Life is about balance.

Being in the last year of my 30’s I have been doing a lot of thinking about how my 20’s were different from my 30’s. In my 20’s I was chasing adrenaline and dreams. I was the most free then. I discovered a lot about me, what I liked, what I didnt. I loved life I got up everyday and lived. I dont ever remember struggling with depression back then.

In my 30’s I moved home. My grandmother needed a companion and although I did not know it at the time, I needed her.  I made a lot of rules for myself and started operating two versions of self. The one that was still living and the one that was a solid reflection of my strict upbringing. I was the person others expected me to be with my family and a woman with many vices, with my friends.

Now heading off into my 40’s I am stagnant. I am not sure which move to make next. I am torn between selling the house and wandering the world or staying still long enough to grow roots as my grandmother always told me I needed to do. I need to find the balance of the rest of my life, I need to determine what I want to do more. Do I continue to run, pretending life is ok and will work out even when I do nothing to make it work. Or do I stay still long enough to let someone love me.

1st Corinthians 13

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Jesus told his disciples that the world would know who they were by their love. That’s what this life is all about, love. The church spends countless hours teaching people how to be married. Seminars, workshops, a teaching series on how to find a spouse, keep a spouse and deepen the relationship with their spouse. Singles ministries teach the proper way to wait on your spouse, but Jesus never said the world would know his followers by their successful marriages, he said the world would know them by their love. What everyone should be teaching is how to love, unconditionally and unselfishly. 1st Corinthians 13 says love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. When we love someone we will support them through the situations of their lives. The chapter also says that love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. When we love someone we will be honest with them and correct them in their wrong. That information right there is enough to examine your relationships. Who do you love and who are you just hanging out with?

This brings us to another important question, “Who are we supposed to be showing all this love to?” Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Its the age old question, who is your neighbor? We have no problems loving our families and our friends, but what about everyone else? Do we show the same concern for the people we causally know as we show for our families. When  families are going through hard times we offer help. We help with finances. provide a place to stay, make sure others understand our loved ones are only experiencing some setbacks this is not who they are. For others we may pass on a phone number to an agency that may help, our words are often more critical than supportive and often said out of ear shot so we can continue to smile and seem supportive when in reality we don’t care.   1st Corinthians 13:5 “[Love] does not act improperly, is not selfish.”

So. Regarding love…

I would make a good grandma.

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Lifestyles of the single and childless. Its the name of my blog but I don’t think I have ever written about either subject. So here we go.

Its not often but sometimes I do get asked why I  am not married or at least in a relationship. Truth is i am afraid of love. My biggest fear in life is that I will fall madly in love, we will have a few great years together and he will die. I can’t take that type of loss or at least I don’t think I can. That’s not to say I don’t want love, I just don’t know how to push past the fear and say yes to love. Earlier this year a friend of mine died. I almost married that man but I needed him to do one very important thing for me. I needed him to take his health seriously. We had a for real argument in which I told him I would not marry him only to have him die on me. This year he died as a result of the one thing he wouldn’t do for me. When I heard of his death I was sad but also mad and I thought to myself,  “I told you so.” His death reinforced my irrational fear. What other ways does this fear mainfest in my life? I only fall for men that are in some way unavailable. The confirmed bachelor, the one that can’t quite decide what they want, the one who”s heart is elsewhere. The list continues. Its a subconscious deliberate decision.

Childless has nothing to do with me. That’s just the way life has played out. However,  the older I get the more i think I may not want children. I like the freedom I have of traveling when I feel like it, not buying groceries, living a seemingly carefree life. I would like to have children in my life so my solution, …marry someone’s pop pop. I am going to be a grandma! Its really the best of both worlds. I get to have kids in my life and still get to travel as much as I want. I am pretty proud of myself for coming up with this plan.😊

So that’s my single and childless life. Its not a bad life to have however its about time I shared my space with somebody.

Love

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Everyone has a definition of love.

Everyone has an opinion on what love looks like, how others should find it, when they should look for it, etc. etc. etc.

Truth is love comes in many different forms at many different times.

Love may last a short while or a lifetime.

A summer fling is no less love than a 55 year marriage.

There are no rules to love. Love is a feeling followed by action.

Love often.

Love honestly.

Love completely.