30 Days of Gratitude – Day 22

images

Today I’m grateful for my Valentines.  I was single for 22 years and during that time I only had one Valentine, my Lord and Savior.  I figured that since I was the bride of Christ I would conduct myself as such and think of myself as married to Him.  I even wear a ring on my wedding ring finger reminding me of this position.

So when Valentines Day would come around I would be content most of the time with my Holy Valentine.  The times that I felt lonely and wishing for a Valentine with flesh and blood I would pray that if it was God’s will that He would bring one into my life and if it was not that He would fulfill these feelings I was having.

Now I still have my Holy Valentine and God has seen fit to bless me with a flesh and blood Valentine as well.  I feel so blessed to have both.

My human Valentine was so good to me and I’m so grateful to have him.  He sent me a beautiful bouquet and wonderful card.  I was sick Valentines day but he was so patient and kind with me, especially since I brought the sickness on myself.  I’m diabetic and had consumed so much sugar the day before that I had sugar poisoning.  Not smart and not something this addict is going to do again I pray that I’ve learned my lesson once and for all.  Anyway that’s another story.

IMG_0125

The next day I was feeling better and we took a lovely trip down the Pacific Coast Highway from Huntington Beach to Dana Point and came back home through the Majestic and Silverado canyons.  This day trip was beautiful and fun just talking and watching the third love of our lives Tessa my dog looking and sniffing and all the new things she was experiencing.  She was exhausted once we got her home.

Should you have felt alone this past Valentines Day my heart goes out to you.  I know all too well how that feels.  But may I encourage you to think of yourself as having a Holy Valentine and falling in love with that Valentine until He sees fit to give you an earthly Valentine?  Trust me it’ll be the best love affair of your life.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 17

Today I’m grateful for the wonderful relationship that I’m in.  I may have been grateful for this in the past but what I’m most grateful about it is that he is willing to walk with me through my Bi-polar disorder.

Unknown

So you can understand why this is such a big deal let me share a little of my history with you.  I was married once a long time ago and my husband never asked questions regarding my disorder, or did much of anything to try and understand me.  He did however bring a lawyer to a hospital I was at, under the guise of a “friend of the family, helping my ex make some decisions”.  I thought that he was a psychiatrist or therapist so I answered all his questions to be of help to my ex.  I thought this would help our relationship and he would better understand me.  I was way off base.  His plan was to see if I could be institutionalized.  He ran from my disorder and wanted nothing to do with me, so the marriage eventually ended in divorce, since I wasn’t fixable.

images-4

That pain, hurt, betrayal hit me hard.  I thought that I was permanent damaged goods that no one in there right mind would want to have anything to do with me.  So I resigned myself to being single the rest of my life and believed it was preferred as Paul mentions I believe in Corinthians.

God saw things differently He decided to bring healing to that area of my life in the form of the most amazing man from my past.  I had cherished his friendship always but something caused us to loose track of each other.  I now believe it was God’s providence.  We had the basis of a wonderful friendship but it wasn’t the right timing for more.  While we were apart I kept praying that God would bring a man like him into my life.  I missed getting the male perspective on things.  Twenty years I prayed hoping God would one day answer my prayer and He is so good.  He didn’t give me a man like him He gave me the original.

images

He has always been compassionate, man of God, Godly leader in the relationship whatever form that took, a gentleman, knows me well, but now I’ve noticed that he really pays attention to me and has insight to me.  He also works very hard to understand my disorder and assures me that he isn’t going anywhere.  Those two things alone make me so grateful for this relationship that I’m nearly bursting with joy.  He also warns me that there will be times when he gets frustrated with the Bi-polar disorder in not being able to understand it.  That’s comforting to me in two ways; 1) I don’t have to worry that it’s me personally that’s got him frustrated and 2) It’s a human thing, I get frustrated with this disorder as well.

images-1

Waiting 22 years after my divorce to find the perfect man for me was well worth the wait and all the work that had to be done in preparation for it.  If you find yourself newly single can I give you some advice and words of encouragement.  Don’t rush into anything.  Give yourself a chance to heal.  Give God time to work.  And always hold out for God’s best for you, you’ll never regret it.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude Days 1 – 3

Hi there! I know it’s been quite a while since I last posted a new post, but here is my own challenge for the month of Thanksgiving. To post at least one post each day and that post be a post of gratitude.

As you may notice I’m 3 days into the month so I’m going to give you three different things that I’m grateful for.

Starting with what I was grateful for on the 1st was that our community made a good showing for the meet and greet for our new property manager and the caretakers of the property. In the past for forming community meetings this has not been the case and it was so nice getting to know new neighbors better or at all. It was also great how the management was interested in getting to know us and our concerns for the property. I really am blessed to be living where I live.

The thing that I’m grateful for for the 2nd day of the month is that as much as I needed to get done I was still open to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit when urged to visit with an old friend. I was able to be there with information the friend needed at just the right time. Obviously, God’s doing and I’m just grateful that what was a nice visit was also an opportunity to be a blessing to another. God is so good that way, as long as we stay open to His leading.

The thing that I’m grateful for today the 3rd day of the month is: That is is another beautiful fall day in Southern California and for my very dear and wonderfully hard working boyfriend. Who loves me more than I deserve but I love him all the more for it.  I’m so blessed by God that He brought Ron into my life and I pray that I never take that blessing for granted.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart.

Lora’s Lesson – A Short Story – Part 8

Diane worked 11pm to 3pm that day and thanks to Flossy, news had reached the hospital. Diane went to Lynn’s school straight from work to see how she was holding up. Lynn was busy talking to the teacher’s aide with her back to the door. Once the aide left the room Diane grabbed a nearby chair. When Lynn saw Diane she fell in her arms and wept. Diane stroked her hair and kept repeating “We’ll get through this Lynn, we will get through this.”

Eventually Lynn’s crying subsided and she asked, “Does everyone know what happened?” “I don’t know about everyone but I do know that it has reached the hospital. Lynn not that it changes our friendship and how much I care for you but just so I know how to support you were you raped and did you go through an abortion?” “Yes it is all true.” moaned Lynn. “My boyfriend at the time was drunk and forced himself on me.” A quizzical Diane asked, “Why would Lora betray your confidence like that?” “I’ve been seeing Kenneth Randolph; he turned out to be the new counselor at school. He started the Monday after we meet him at the bar; we’ve been having lunch every day since then. I finally told Lora about it and asked her forgiveness for not asking her permission to see him but she blew up and decided I had destroyed our friendship.” Diane consoled, “I’m so sorry that Lora has decided to do this act of revenge to you.”

Concerned but not wanting to hurt Lynn, Diane ventured, “I’ve known that something has been gnawing at you since college but I never knew how to talk to you about it. I also noticed that you’ve always been on the thin side and life gets stressful you get almost scary thin. I realize now I should have spoken to you in college about the weight thing. I also noticed that at times you would spend a lot of time in your room almost like you were hiding from the rest of the world. Where you hiding?” Lynn answered, “The hiding thing yeh maybe. The thing gnawing at me you now know even Ken mentioned it, is it that obvious?” “I don’t think it’s obvious, only those closest to you would see that deep into your soul.” Diane said.

Lora facing away from the door didn’t see Ken pop in to check on her. Diane gave a quick knowing look assuring him she had things under control. He slipped out and left the two friends alone. Lynn said rather insulted and annoyed, “As for the eating thing I think you are way off base Diane. Just because I eat healthy and don’t have a big appetite like other people and have small bones people think that I’m too thin. I’ve never been too thin in my life! If anything I have had trouble keeping my weight down.” “I’m sorry Lynn; I didn’t mean to hit a nerve with you.” Diane caring for Lynn ventured at the risk of their friendship, “Have you ever dealt with all of this or have you hidden it away hoping it would go way?” “I’ve done my best to put it behind me hoping never to have to think or hear about it again.” replied Lynn. “It might be hard to understand this right now since this has come to light it could be an opportunity for healing.” suggested Diane. Lynn looked at her in shock and horror. “I don’t want to look at this!” Diane continued, “Lynn have you allowed yourself to grieve over the loss of choice? Curtis robbed you of that choice the moment he forced himself on you?” Lynn moaned, “No, I never allowed myself to completely face it. I cried that night and the next day and that was the last of it.” Once again Diane tested their friendship, “That is not all he robbed you of have you grieved the loss of your virginity?” “No.” groaned Lynn.

Diane risked Lynn’s repercussion once more, “Have you ever grieved the loss of your child?” Lynn hadn’t thought of it but the question put it together for her, she replied, “It never occurred to me but I did feel dead and empty inside after the abortion. I couldn’t talk to Lora about it she thought of it as something to just get over with and so did I until it was over. I never imagined that I would feel even worse after the abortion than I did before it. I wish I had carried it and given it up for adoption.” Diane sympathized, “Lynn I’m so sorry, what you went through was hard enough, the fact that you had to do it alone is even worse. I know that I can’t do anything to change your pain but I want you to know that whenever you want to talk about any of this I am here for you.” Lynn felt relieved she had a friend to talk to when she was ready. She responded “Thanks Diane, I’ll take you up on that but right now I’m more concerned about how these revelations are going to impact my life now. Such as what will Curtis do now that this is out?” Diane replied, “We will deal with each fall out of these revelations as they occur.”

Noticing Lynn’s drawn face and tired eyes Diane said, “You look spent. Would you like to get some dinner so you don’t have to cook or I could bring some take out over?” Wanting to be alone Lynn answered, “Thanks, but I think I just want to take a nice long hot bath and go to bed early maybe I’ll have some yogurt and carrots for dinner.” “Try to eat a little more than just that for dinner you will feel better.” ventured Diane. Lynn quipped, “Thanks Diane but I’m a big girl, and I know how to fix my own dinner.”

Lora’s Lesson – A Short Story – Part 6

Lynn gave Lora a call before school was out and asked her if they could meet for coffee somewhere this evening. Lora suggested a local place called, The Coffee Hut, “I’ll meet you there at 5:30 pm.” Lynn responded, “I’ll see you there.” Lynn had made emergency prayers in the past; asking God to stop the rape, hoping she wouldn’t get pregnant, hoping no one would find out about the abortion, but she now realized she was falling in love with Kenneth and she was begging God that Lora would give her blessing or at least understand. When the girls met they hugged and exchanged the usual greetings. They asked how one another’s day had gone and what was new since they had last seen each other. Lora had big news of a promotion in her advertising company. Lynn mentioned that they had a new counselor at the school. Lynn added, “The new counselor is the reason why I wanted to get together with you.” Lora questioned, “What have I to do with the new counselor?” She then took a closer look at Lynn, “Are you or have you fallen for him?” Lynn answered, “We met his first day and he invited me to lunch, we went to the park so we could talk. We have been having lunch together every single day now for two weeks. In answer to your question yes I have fallen for him. I fell for him even before we met at school.” “How can that be?” interrupted Lora. “If you’ll let me finish I’ll tell you.” responded Lynn. “The first time I saw him was at a bar, one look and I fell for him hard. You know me Lora I’m never one to make the first move so I waited begging God that he would notice me. He didn’t, he noticed another girl.” “Well, what does that all matter, you have him now.” interrupted Lora again. “I hope you feel that way when you here the rest of the story.” stated Lynn. “Lora, the guy I’m talking about is Kenneth Randolph. I know that I didn’t ask permission to date him. But it didn’t seem like dating at first. I truly couldn’t put my mind around the idea that he was interested in me. I guess that is why I didn’t come to you immediately.” “How dare you go behind my back! I thought you were a better friend than that! I’ve never dated someone you’ve dated. I surely wouldn’t even consider doing so without consulting you first! All these years of friendship and you’re just throwing them away for a guy!” screamed Lora. By now Lora had the attention of everyone in the coffee shop. By the end of her tirade she was storming out the door. Lynn picked up her things and sheepishly exited the coffee shop. Once in the safety of her car she let the tears flow. When she looked up again it was dark. She called Ken to see if she might meet him and talk about what happen. He invited her over for dinner.

Lora was still beside herself the next day with anger. She fumed and fumed debating about how she could get back at Lynn for this betrayal. It was obvious that Lynn was madly in love and unwilling to give Kenneth up but that is exactly what she wanted Lynn to do. She was hurt to the core by this betrayal and she wanted to make Lynn hurt. Then it came to her, she had the perfect weapon to wound Lynn to her very marrow. She would broadcast Lynn’s rape and abortion to anyone that would listen. First thing to do was to write her family and let them in on the news. Then she’d let Flossy know an old high school acquaintance that was known for gossiping. Flossy would be certain to get the news around to all of the old friends. Maybe I should even tell Flossy that she told me she was raped and I don’t know for sure, Lora thought. Yes that’s it she would simply let everyone know that Lynn told her that she was raped by Curtis and that she was with Lynn when she had the abortion.

Lora’s Lesson – A Short Story – Part 5

Lynn had heard Jefferson was getting a new student counselor, but it wasn’t until Monday morning she learned his name. One of her students, Angela, had been acting out for weeks. The old counselor had been unsuccessful at getting to the issue, so Lynn hoped that the new one would have better luck. She dropped by the office before classes to introduce herself and make him aware of her problem. The door had no name on it, so she would have to ask. She knocked and was welcomed in. She was so surprised to see Kenneth Randolph standing before her that she lost all her senses; she was stammering, stuttering, and stumbling at what she had come to talk to him about. Kenneth very kindly said with an enchanting smile, “Why don’t we try this again. Hello Lynn. I’m so glad to see you again. How may I help you?” Again in control of her emotions Lynn responded with a smile, “Forgive me; I didn’t know you were the new counselor. I have a student. Angela Browning is her name. The old counselor met with her and couldn’t get her to confide in what was troubling her. I was hoping to bring her by today and see if you can help her. Something has her very upset I’ve tried to get her to open up to me but nothing works. I’m concerned that something very serious is going on. She has been acting out for quite some time.” “Well, I’ll do my best. I’m no miracle worker but I’ve been told that I have a way with the kids.” Kenneth said half joking, trying to lighten the situation. “On the lighter side of things, what are you doing for lunch Miss. Fields?” Her mind went reeling; how did he know her last name, lunch, what would Lora think, who cares, I care about this man, does he like me, oh, when he says my proper name my knees go weak, how can I be this fortunate? “Miss Fields, did you hear my request for a lunch date?” Kenneth reiterated. Oh my gosh he said it again, thought Lynn. Shaking her head to clear her mind Lynn answered blushing slightly, “I’m so sorry. Yes of course we can have lunch together. I’m curious how you learned my last name?” Kenneth answered, “Oh that was easy. I like getting an early start on my first day at a job so I’ve been here since 5:30 am to get my office together and I was sitting in the office as everyone clocked in and either introduced myself or asked the secretary their name. You fell in the latter category.” “Why didn’t you introduce yourself?” said Lynn coyly. “It’s not like we haven’t met.” “No, I didn’t see you until you were leaving the office. The secretary recognized you from behind. I never put you and the name together. Where’s a private place to have lunch I would like to talk to you without interruption?” questioned Kenneth. “Well, on campus the only place that I can think of is the boiler room but that isn’t very pleasant.” Lynn softly laughed, and then continued, “However, off campus there is a park nearby with a lake and benches around the lake. If you didn’t bring lunch there are some sandwich shops and fast food restaurants nearby.” informed Lynn. Kenneth responded, “I brought my lunch, not knowing what was available in the area.” He beamed, raising his eyebrows, and his eyes shining mischievously as he said, “If you brought your lunch I would opt for the lake.” Lynn wondered with that look in his eyes what she was getting herself into, but there was something about him that made her trust him. She thought why not have some fun? Lynn informed Kenneth that she had brought her lunch, it was agreed Kenneth would drive as Lynn navigated to the lake. “By the way,” Kenneth said, “have Angela come and see me during class.” Lynn responded, “I will, thank you so much.”

Diane, Lora and Lynn had been unable to get their schedules to work for a “Sisters Three” lunch in two weeks. Lynn really wanted to tell them face to face who the new counselor turned out to be.

Lora had been making excuses, yes work had been busy but in reality she was holding her breath and waiting for Kenneth’s call. He intrigued her.

Ken and Lynn’s first lunch went swimmingly. Lunches at the lake became a daily occurrence. By the second week Ken was talking about going out to dinner and dancing on Saturday night. “Ken I’m concerned about what Lora will think about you and me going out. She’s given permission in the past but I haven’t asked. Lunch was so on the spur of the moment and during school hours that, although I hoped it was going somewhere, I told myself don’t this is just a friendship thing. As our conversations progressed I realized that we were going beyond friendship and now the very thing that I deluded myself of, I can no longer. I hope that you can understand that I have to talk to Lora first about this. It’s not that I don’t want to go out with you, I do!” voiced Lynn. “Do you really think it will be such a problem? All we did was one night of flirting together. Nothing happened besides the flirting. Do you think she will put a claim on me because of that?” Ken responded. “That’s what I’m afraid of,” said Lynn “that she will think she has a claim on you and I’m stealing you from under her nose.” “That’s ridiculous!” shouted Ken. “It may seem ridiculous to you, but there is an unwritten code for women and the dealings of men. I’ve broken that rule since I didn’t get permission first.” Lynn said calmly. “I’ve grown to care for you and our lunches and I’d like to see where this could go, but I must face the very real fact that by doing that I may be jeopardizing a lifelong friendship, something I mustn’t take lightly.” Ken responded, “I have grown extremely fond of you Lynn. Something tells me given a little more time that fondness will not be the right word. I knew while I took Lora home that I wanted to see you. You have qualities that drew me to you that first night. How I wish I hadn’t gotten hung up on the flirting. Your sweet, caring spirit was evident that night. So for me there has never been anyone but you, not anyone of true value and real interest. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when you walked through my door that Monday morning. I knew immediately that I wasn’t going to waste any time like I had with Lora I was going to take the bull by the horns. I knew what I wanted was you. Does this information help you in making your decision?” Thrilled at his words, with angst Lynn replied, “I realize now that if I was going to take Lora’s feelings into consideration I should have done that with the first lunch. I was attracted to you the moment I saw you at the bar, your smile, the way your eyes danced at a joke, your beautiful hair, something that I could see deep in your eyes and the way you dressed, a complete package, but I’m not one to make the first move so Lora was the first to catch your eye. So you see at that first lunch I wanted to get to know you and make up for lost time. Had I stopped and thought I was already possibly getting into deep waters with Lora. It would have been better if I was up front and asked her if she would mind.” Ken commented, “Sounds like we’ve gone past the point of asking for permission.” Lynn agreed, “I know that. I’m not sure what I would do if she said no at this point anyway. I care for you too much to just go to a colleague relationship.” There was a tear in Lynn’s eye. Ken with his thumb and his hand cupping her face he wiped the tear from her eye and then took her hand and said, “Me too. I can’t go to a colleague relationship with you. It would hurt too much to see you every day and not to have our special talks or our lunches here in the park, they have become the highlight of my day.” Lynn continued, “All the same I have to at least somehow try to get Lora’s permission.”

Lynn asked, “Do you think telling Lora is something I should do on my own or should we go to her together? I’m not trying to wimp out. I just value your opinion on this Mr. Counselor.” giggled Lynn. Ken replied, “If it were just the beginning of our lunches I would have said this is between you and Lora.” Ken paused. “The more I think about it the more I still think it should be between you and Lora. If I were there she might feel ganged up on. Yes, we have grown very close and it is our relationship involved but it is your friendship at issue here. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you talk to her.” Lynn said, “Thank you for your wise counsel. Just one of many things I cherish about you. Thank you for the prayers also. I have a feeling I’m going to need them.

Dating Blessed

I can’t say that my dating experience is all that huge but I can tell the difference between dating blessed and dating unblessed.

When I was dating my ex-husband, sure he took me out to nice places and some expensive dinners.  But my ex and I got physical fast and all to soon that was all the relationship was about.  I of course thought that I was getting love, when all he was getting was his physical needs met.

Not to say that my current boyfriend hasn’t taken me out to some very nice places, but we can be just as happy no where special just talking.

I was not staying within the laws of God and this caused me great guilt for my sin.  I knew better and as a Christian felt awful that I was breaking God’s commandment to stay pure.

I saw red flags in the relationship but since we had done the act I believed that in God’s eyes we were man and wife already so I better go through with it.  We had already made ourselves one flesh now it was time to just make it official.  It was a very unhappy and unblessed marriage the main reason is God was never truly invited into the relationship.  My ex had no leadership in this area and later in our marriage had no desire to have anything to do with God or anyone that had anything to do with Him.  Obviously I couldn’t stay in that environment.

I do not wish a divorce on anyone but now that my dating is blessed by God.  I would highly encourage you to invite God into your dating relationship.  If both of you are not willing to do that, that should be a warning sign of things to come.

Let me speak to the woman out there for just a moment.  You want a man that will lead you in all things but most importantly in spiritual matters.  I’m very fortunate because that is what I have now.  We pray together and praise God together.  We are looking into what verse to work on memorizing and looking at starting a Bible study together.  These are the type of qualities we all should be looking for in a husband.  Not that your man has to lead you in spiritual matters the exact same way that mine does, but you should be looking and praying for a man of God if you are dating and want God’s best for you.

This time my dating is different.  We are taking things slowly and this includes holding hands except for when we pray together.  We have had no need as of yet to have the physical boundary talk because we have done nothing other than hug. But when that time comes I know my limits and am ready to stand true to what God has shown me is all I can do.  Which by the world’s standards is not much.

Women be still give him the opportunity to lead and bless you by being the man of God of your dreams and then you too will be dating blessed.

A Woman After God’s Own Heart!