The letter

Today’s challenge is to write a story about a letter that was found but be as brief as possible. Here goes. 

There was a smudge of lipstick in the top right corner of the dainty stationary. It was directly above a heart. The carefully drawn heart contained two sets of initials.  

Those words that filled the page gave me hope. That letter made me believe in love again. 

The Details of His Birth

I love Christmas. I love thinking about the events surrounding the birth of Christ. I love celebrating his birth. I love how Mary “pondered” the Angel’s words in her heart.
I like to think of her snuggling him right after he was born. Did she count his fingers and toes? Did she look at him to see if he had any of her features? This was her baby and her savior. Imagine the love and adoration she must have had.
Just imagine you are pulling the late shift at work (the shepherds) and some amazingly awesome being tells you the person you’ve been told about since birth has been born. Do you leave your sheep unattended? Did they cast lots or pull straws to determine if anyone needed to stay back and continue keeping watch or did they act on faith and leave knowing they would be okay?
I love the perfectly orchestrated details. The glory of the Angels would not have been as great during the middle of the day but at night I’m sure it was breath taking. God could have ensured their arrival in Bethlahem in time to get the best accommodations. He’s God and it was his son, heir, part of him heading to earth on a mission.
Oh the Magi…imagine them showing up after traveling for months and quite a distance. They brought the baby some gifts. How wonderful and thoughtful and prophetic of them. They literally came from the ends of the earth to worship this new born king. God could have used local wealthy people to bring gifts. But these three people and their entourage went back to their country using a different route. You know people asked them coming and going why they were traveling such a great distance. Think of all the people they would have told about this infant king.
I love how Joseph had a dream to get up and leave immediately. You know God could have given them more notice so they could pack more supplies and get some souvenirs. I also love to think Joseph and Mary hesitated or waited until the last minute to awaken Jesus. You never wake a sleeping baby, right?
Of all the places on earth to run to for safety, they went to Egypt. Of course this was to fulfill the scripture.
I love all of those reminders of how God will orchestrate a situation down to the minute details.

Sometimes I Cry

Sometimes I cry out of frustration
Other times I cry because my heart is hurting
Then there are the times I cry and laugh
Today I cried because it was time to say good-bye
I cry when life gets overwhelming
I often hear people say, “you are strong”
I’m only strong because I allow myself to cry
It’s the external manifestation of my current internal situation
The tears come when the numbers on the  barometer that measures the atmospheric pressure of my soul gets to high
Numerically speaking, when you multiply responsibility by tension then add negative relations
You get frustration
When frustration is divided by demands
It equals life
And life, in terms of numbers, is prime
When you divide it by its self, you only get one
At times I cry because some days, during this 1 life that I live, are filled with sorrow
But I will take this life and not covet any other
Because this life allows me to cry
If water is cleansing and refreshing
Then my tears cleanse my soul and refresh my spirit
Just a while ago, I said farewell to somebody who was dear to me
Today, was a day that I cried

Happy Valentines Day and Singles Awareness Day (2/15)

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The teenager approached me last week and said, “Valentine’s Day is just not what it used to be.” We always treated Valentines Day like a major holiday. I would decorate the house with hearts and quotes or scripture that depicted love. I bought ballons and decorated the dining room table with flowers for the honey girl and plates, napkins and a centerpiece. Leading up to the day I put love notes in their lunch boxes. But this year we only put the sign on the door. We pulled out the box but I realized that some decorations were missing or in bad shape.

The Fantastic 4 are with their dad this morning. There are no table decorations or balloons. Not yet. I think I will make a last minute run to the store like so many others to make this day special for them and our two friends who are spending the night with us so their parents can have a night out.

This day is hard for a lot of single people or people who thought they had a special person in their lives. This is the day that seperates the main squeeze from the side kick. This is the day people look at their lives and feel bad if they don’t receive flowers, a card, a box of candy, a text message, a tweet or some type of acknowledgement that they are loved. I don’t have words of comfort to offer you. But I will say I have been there.

Happy Valentines Day to all of you. Reach out to someone else and send them a bouquet of virtual flowers or just say “hi, I’m thinking about you.” Make this day and other days about somebody else. If you give it will be given back to you. Call it karma or the Golden Rule. But it works.

Courage, Redemption, Grace & Mercy (part 1)

As I’ve previously stated, I don’t typically use my blog as a forum to discuss my divorce or previous marriage. On the rare occasion that I do, I will speak MY truth. He has his version, the Fantistic 4 will have theirs and I, the person holding the pen, have mine. Since this is my blog, you will read my version as lived from my perspective.
This is a three-part post, I reserve the right to add more as needed.

Courage

I was a stay at home mom. I was laid off from work while I was on maternity leave. I worked part-time about half the time to keep my skills current and to add a small amount of income to our very tight budget. I can’t tell you how many people were surprised by my decision. I was told I was wasting my degree. But it was the right one for us and I have zero regrets. Leaving the workplace and depending solely on your spouse to support you is an act of faith. Is comparing it to sky diving a little extreme?

I won’t go into the details but I will say things were rocky from the beginning. As the years progressed and three more babies came the rocks went from pebbles to boulders. We went to counseling and I prayed for my marriage. We received some good as well as some questionable advice, doctrine and guidance. The good was good but the bad was bad. One thing that really sticks out to me is being told he was the priest of our home and blah blah blah blah. I stopped slowly listening at priest. Let me say this, I refuse to bash “the church” or its misguided representatives. The people who counseled us were trying to help us. They loved us and didn’t want to see our marriage dissolve. I will ask, where does the Bible say the husband is the priest of the home? Please don’t give me weak implication or your broad interpretation. I was reading the OT to the 4 last night. We read the part about when the lineage of priests was established and the tabernacle was built. I could be wrong but every husband is not a descendant of Aaron. Besides, if you read NT the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies was torn. This established our ability to have a one on one relationship with God instead of the priest representing us. Now where was I?

There are a few things that happened that gave me the courage I needed to begin the mental process of divorcing my husband.

We had a friend of the teenager over for dinner. After we blessed our food, we all began to eat in silence. This had slowly become the norm in our home. The friend asked the question, “why don’t you talk during dinner?” I lifted my head to look around the table and all of the children had their heads down with sullen looks on their faces. That question created an eye opening moment for me to begin looking at all the places where we no longer had joy and laughter.

I started updating my resume and mentally considering single life with four young kids. At the time they were around 1, 2, 5 and 8.

The second incident occurred at a local water park. My mommy friends and I would buy season passes and take our children to this water park multiple times a week. It gave us a much needed break and lots of time with each other. On one of these excursions I spent some time with another friend who told me she was going through a divorce. That was quite the shock for me as I had always seen her and her ex as a good example of a married couple. You never really know what goes on when the door is closed and the blinds are shut. When I listened to her story, I knew I would survive. Her concerns were different but the same. She had been a stay at home mom for many years and had real concerns about finances. She hadn’t completed her college degree but She didn’t need a degree to walk in her calling and giftings one being a fabulous photographer. I spoke with her often. She gave me hope and courage.

I went to a birthday party one January many years ago. The guest of honor and I went for coffee afterwards. I was watching the clock because I knew the ex would get upset if I was out too late. I was suffocating under a blanket of control but didn’t realize it at the time. After a short conversation, she was able to assess my situation and knew I needed to get out. I don’t know what tipped her off or if she was just that tuned in. I may have said, “he won’t allow…” one too many times. She talked to me that night and when I left, I was building up the courage to take the next step to leave.

I received a phone call a day or two later from a woman who is highly regarded in my circle of friends. After hearing about my marital situation from that friend, she told me I needed to leave. I didn’t have a full-time job yet and I was uncertain. But after talking it over with my sister-in-law, she graciously opened her home to us so I could leave. The husband of the birthday girl came over after my ex left for work and helped me pack a few things and I left. That was almost six years ago.

Courage.
For me it was a series of events that lead me away from a bad marriage but left me at the doorstep of redemption.

All

What do you give the person who has everything but still complains?

Perhaps a mirror so they can see themselves
Maybe a recording device so they can listen to themselves whine
How about a crystal ball so they can see the future is bright
How about a trip to a third world country
Or a peek into the room of a single person who is feeling alone and depressed
A visit to a cancer patient who is in the midst of their fight?
A view of a struggling parent who is sleeping in the car but trying to keep the family together?
A copy of the bank account of someone who is living the real struggle of making ends meet
What do you give the person who has it all except contentment?
Give them the hand or leg of a soldier that had it removed after fighting in a war
Give them that last breath of the one you love
Sell them the soul of the lost
The strength of the weak
The hope of hopeless
They already own those…
I know, provide them with a backhand slap
Shake them out of their self-pity
If you’d like, you can give them a hug
Me, I will give them nothing more than this post
You have it all
What more do you want?

100th blog post

I’m celebrating my 100th post! The one that helped me achieve that mild stone was Box

This blog started out and still is a place for me to sort out my thoughts, create a poem or share something funny and maybe insightful. This blog is a hope realized. I started writing poetry a few years ago as an outlet and a tribute to life and other random things. I was inspired and this need to write was birthed by one person or several experiences with that person or so I thought. I referred to this person as my muse. But then I was reminded of letters and poems I had written to my first inspiration back in high school. I guess the flame that already burned within me was given fresh kindling. But then again, this gift may have been deposited in me while I was forming in my mother’s womb. Is it possible the words were already there? They were anxiously looking for an opportunity to spring forth. The words patiently waited on the right opportunity and occasion. When the occasion presented itself in language arts class, I wrote. Inspired by my teachers and a desire for good grades. When life was difficult and frustrating while I was growing up, I wrote. Now, I write for me, for the Fantastic4 and for you. 

Sometimes I wonder what my fellow bloggers and I would have done if we didn’t have an outlet for our thoughts and words. Thank you WordPress for providing that outlet. 

Thank you to those of you who follow me. 

100 blog posts… A dream realized.