Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

I haven’t felt very bloggy lately. My last post seemed to stir up some folks unintentionally. Plus I haven’t had much to say. When I write about typical and untypical mommy moments I tend to get a lot of positive feedback so I’m gonna go back down that safe path.

I found Kylee sitting naked in her sink the other day. Pause for reaction -------I wasn’t sure what shocked me most, all the water on the counters and floor or the fact that she was naked. In a sink. I guess the entire scenario threw me off. My bewilderment caught Kylee off guard as well. As if I should know, understand and support her nakedness in the sink. I had to laugh. She told me she was just playing and felt like it would be fun to sit in her sink. Naked. But not to worry because she was going to clean it all up when she was done. (Done with WHAT?!)  I still don’t know. But I respected her privacy and felt safer with the out of sight out of mind theory on this one.

Logan pooped in the tub, AGAIN. I’m considering installing a garbage disposal in the tub for future doo doo accidents. Let’s just say, I can never have enough bleach in the house. My goodness will this boy ever poop in the designated areas?! That isn’t a rhetorical question, will he?

My birthday was earlier this month and I celebrated it with everyone I love most in the world. (Except my mom of course as she was babysitting. Shout out mom!) Actually let me clarify, not everyone I love dearly could make it. But they are fellow mommies and wives with kid parties to plan and attend, lactating breasts to pump, new babies and other responsibilities and priorities to attend to; Which I fully understand and they were missed. So a special thanks to all my friends who made it! A few girlfriends and I went to breakfast Saturday morning, followed by a nice little spa treatment. We laughed. A lot.  Later we all went to dinner and a comedy show. And truth be told, I don’t think I enjoy anything as much as I enjoy laughing. I love it. Like that guy in Mary Poppins who floats to the ceiling when he laughs. That was me on my birthday. I got to celebrate it with the Boy who makes every day better just by existing. Even though by 11 o’clock I was ready for bed, it was a good time. Funny how when you’re a teenager you want a later curfew and sneak out late to go to parties… But as an adult we’re downing a 5-Hour energy just to make it through dinner before the party even starts!

The girl's spa treatment 

A few of us dancing the night away


A few good friends!

It’s been a nice jump start to the summer!

This weekend the kids and I are going swimming and to a BBQ with some good friends. The Texas heat has us running for the pool every chance we get. I hope you’re finding a fun way to beat the heat this summer besides locking yourself inside reading 50 Shades of Grey or Jersey Shore. OK sorry, just kidding and no offense to those trying to cleanse their mind of brain cells. Go on about your day… oh and LOL.

(Adding LOL makes it okay)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Be careful little eyes....

This blog has been on the editing floor for about two weeks. I have wrestled with it, deleted it, re-wrote it, prayed about it and here is the final, finished product.
Before reading this, please know that my heart’s intentions in writing it are not to condemn, judge or preach.

Unless you have been living under a rock buried underground and covered by cement, you have heard about Magic Mike and 50 Shades of Grey. The porno epidemic has been a raging problem for individuals and relationships for years. But now, at the aid of social media and Television, it is almost unavoidable even for those detached from all of the social media plug-ins. Shielding our eyes, ears and hearts has become even more difficult than before.

I bet Satan is leaping for joy this very minute at how easy his job has become. He gets paid off our sin and we are making him very rich. He is still in the business of destroying people and relationships, corrupting our children and killing our potential to live and lead a pure life.
I’m not implying that those who choose to read 50 Shades of Grey or go to the Magic Mike movie can’t live a pure life. The abundant supply of grace God gives us proves that we can. But I believe seeds are planted in our hearts and mind daily whether we intentionally put them there or we are too preoccupied to shield ourselves from them. We have to be diligent in protecting what we allow into our lives.

I didn’t grow up pure or make decisions based on my faith. I used my physique and wits to build all of my relationships. I had it and I flaunted it. I wasn’t selective when it came to choosing boyfriends or friends for that matter. Whoever gave me the most attention “won” but ultimately I was the one losing. With every choice I made I was losing myself and the purity I was born with. I continued to make decisions that made ME feel good in that moment. It was all surface level satisfaction because deep down I degraded myself and put a value on my worth that was so cheap anyone could afford me. Years of bad choices and lack of self worth by the age of 18 I decided to move out with my boyfriend. At 19ish I didn’t like the commitment school required so I dropped a few classes with the best of intentions to make them up. By 21 I was unmarried and pregnant and college was dead last on my TO DO list. From 21-24 we struggled in multiple ways; financially, emotionally and spiritually.  By 24 I was pregnant again. At 25 my marriage was falling apart. By age 26 I was going through a divorce and officially a single mom. I never finished college. I just turned 28 on Tuesday.

My choices back then paved the way for my twenties and I’m knocking on 30’s door! Your twenties are when you’re supposed to grow, live and have fun. I wasted it because I didn’t recognize or know my worth. I didn’t know God. I didn’t have to contend with 50 Shades of Grey, Magic Mike, Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant or any other trash TV like that when I was growing up. So imagine the battle our youth faces now. There is more and more we have to protect ourselves from and truthfully, I am terrified for my own children.  Aside from locking them in a padded room with no TV or radio, how do we guard our children from sexual an immoral corruption?

As a youth leader at church, I get front row seats to the teenagers and their daily struggles. Has anyone told them the value of their virginity? Has anyone explained the long term effects of devaluing themselves? Has anyone explained that their physical temptations are normal but how to tame those desires and steward their sexuality appropriately? In today’s world modesty is lame and sexuality is popular. A quick mobile upload and a few tags later your worth is public domain for your 500 friends to see. We post in our News Feed pictures and words that describe our worth to the world. Intentional or not. We gage our importance on how many ‘likes’ we get or how many comments our posts have; All the while ignoring God’s ‘likes’ and comments for our life ‘posts’. 

Sadly the world captivates our attention to things that lead us straight into sinful destruction. We are exposed to movies, books, websites and people multiple times a day. It’s inevitable that things will sneak into our minds and heart. Those unintentional seeds we allow to be planted are the most dangerous kind.

I’m saddened and burdened by the way the world defines love. Love has been corrupted into something that only meets a physical need. We are driven by our heart’s desire. A friend once told me to be careful because the heart just loves to love. That explained a lot of my past and broken relationships. I allowed my heart to love anything and anyone regardless if they were “profitable” to my life.

1 Corinthians 6:12-13 (Jackee paraphrased): Under the grace of salvation provided to those who place their faith in Jesus as the one true way to God, all things are permissible but not all things are profitable. All things are permissible: under grace all is covered by the blood of Jesus that allows a person to be seen without sin in the eyes of God. Not all things are profitable: there are actions which will have natural, emotional and/or spiritual consequences, some which will shape a heart in hidden ways.

In closing this really long entry, I challenge all readers to be careful what we allow into our hearts. There’s a children’s song that we should all apply to our lives:

O Be Careful, Little Eyes
O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little hands what you do
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little feet where you go
O be careful little feet where you go
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say

Thanks for reading!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Eternal > External

When I come here to write and vent about my frustrations with single parenting or trying to co-exist with the X-man I usually feel better right away. Something about publishing how I feel validates the hurt and emotions that brought me to that place. Writing clears out the junk in my head and leaves a vacancy for more junk to take up residency.

I pray daily. It’s part of my routine. Talking to God about everything gives me an eternal sense of validation while the blog is more of a superficial source of support and a place for me to rant about life as a single mom and ex wife. Lately I have felt challenged by God to embrace my trials instead of trying to figure them out or fix them. I’m a planner, a do-er and a fixer. So I plan things, I get things done and if it’s broken, I fix it. It’s a self reliant trait that I’ve developed over the past two years. But being so self sufficient leaves little room for me to rely on Jesus Christ. It’s a thin line and I try hard never to cross it.

It’s extremely out of my character to let go of the reins and let problems fix themselves.  Some say I’m a control freak and to them I say, shut up.

The truth is God will never waste my suffering and He can use my problems to further His kingdom. It’s humbling to think that my itsy bitsy problems could be a small part of His bigger plan. I don’t believe God’s plan for me is to fight with the X-man for the next 16 years. I believe God is trying to use my circumstances to produce patience, perseverance and peace in my world.

When we put our focus on all the negative things and people around us, it steals the rightful spotlight away from God and all He is doing in our lives. It’s a magic trick the enemy uses often. He creates diversions and interrupts our peace in many different ways.  Recognizing this trap is so difficult because I allow my emotions to rule over my eternal perspective of the situation.

God I pray that you will steady my heart. I surrender my emotions to You. I want to focus my heart and eyes on Your work in my life, not Satan’s. I know his attempts pale in comparison to what you are doing in my life and what You have already done for me. I won’t let my circumstances trump Your blessings. I will worship You in the way I face each new trial. I will reflect Your goodness with the words I use and choices I make. Please take my external perspective and make it Your eternal vision for my life. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Co-Parenting for Dummies

I wonder if Barnes and Noble’s has a Co-Parenting for Dummies book? Craig’s List, Amazon, Ebay maybe? I’m not sure anyone has completely mastered this art. It should totally be a sport in the Special Olympics of parenting.

Every marriage ends for different reasons. One thing that all failed marriages have in common is the inability to compromise on serious issues.

If two people who were once in love can’t compromise on issues to save their own marriage, what’s in it for them to compromise on anything post-divorce? Answer: The kids. Well yes of course! The kids! That’s the go-to golden answer but the truth is, if arguing and fighting can be done via text message, email, facebook or late night phone calls behind the kid’s backs, then I ask again, where’s the motive to WANT to compromise with your ex knowing the kids won’t know one way or the other? Ah-ha, there is the tricky part folks.
For me personally the motive is simply, peace. I’ve had enough rounds toe to toe with the X-man. I’ve forfeited many fights and waved my white flag numerous times. Fighting was moot then and its even mooter now. The other incentive really is the kids. I want our actions towards one another to illustrate how to treat people we don’t necessarily like, but have to deal with. I want to disagree respectfully. I want to resolve things together without threats or puffing our feathers.

The X-Man and I have different priorities, different views and opinions on almost everything. It doesn’t surprise me that our parenting styles and methods differ slightly majorly. Disagreeing respectfully is a task we have not mastered or come close to comprehending in the slightest. I’m trying to come to terms with the truth that I can’t earn the X-Man’s respect no matter what I do.  It would be a delicious treat if being the mother of his kids, sacrificing and providing a good life for them would be enough to gain some of his respect. It’s not going to happen. Maybe in my next life I will come back as a strip club toilet seat  or a fossil watch, then I might get the reverence I feel I deserve from him. But unless that happens, I’m just the mother of his kids, not worthy of child support, understanding, sympathy, or 3 minutes on the phone without being hung up on. My expectations were yet again placed too highly for him to reach.  

I’m constantly being brought back to this pool of frustration and drowning in anger. I’m treading the rough waters with tired limbs and exhausted spirits. The desire I once had to have a civil relationship with the X-Man is quickly becoming a distant memory. I can’t paddle this divorce raft alone. If drifting is my only option, at least my mind, heart and spirit will get a break from doing the work alone.

I’m drifting.