Sunday, September 6, 2009

LIFE IN FAST FORWARD MOTION...


I recently perused through some of my blog posts that I entered around this same time last year. While I was a happy camper back then too, I marveled at the thought of how our lives are always changing...especially from one year to the next.

A year ago, the most exciting thing I had going for me was beginning to get hyped about the coming holiday season. I was almost done with writing my 1st novel. And I spent the early part of September loading my internet radio station with Christmas music to prepare for the season kick-off. It was a joyful time for me. I was at my personal best within & happier than I'd been in years.
Fast forward to one year later and again I'm still a happy camper. I'm in the midst of loading my internet radio station with Christmas music once more. I've started to work on some Christmas gifts and my novel is currently undergoing it's first edit. There is just one thing that sets this year apart from last & it's the presence of the most wonderful man who I've been fortunate enough to be blessed with by Almighty God.


A year ago, I didn't think life could get any better...well...at that point & time...I was thinking a book deal would be kinda nice! But I'll be the first to admit I never thought in a million years I would ever find the love of my life & my thinking would go from one extreme to another in the love department.
I mean, heck, I'd practically swore I'd remain happily single & carefree for the rest of my life. It just goes to show that we are never in control of our lives. God ultimately is all-knowing & has the plans for us all laid out ahead of time. We are only in control of what God allows & even then depending on the choices & decisions we make with regard to what He hands us determines the outcome each & every time.
If there was ever a time in my life where I was given the blessed assurance that God is in the driver's seat, it would have to be upon meeting Andy. The way our relationship has seemingly unfolded before our very eyes, makes a believer out of me each & every day. I know without a doubt there is a Higher Power at work in the universe orchestrating events & circumstances. There are just some things you 'know' would have never happened otherwise had God not had a hand in it.

I suppose everything that occurs in our lives is just like that. God controls it all, owns it all & blesses us beyond measure. Sometimes the hurdles of life sure don't feel like blessings, but to be sure a blessing can always be found amongst a thorn. I've made plenty of mistakes in my life & often wonder how it is that God can bless me so immensely in spite of that? I have been given the most precious gift from God outside of my three children. Andy is truly God's work. I'm amazed at not only how God could create such an incredible human being that has the heart & compassion of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, but that He ultimately chose Andy as the one He wanted to grace my life with.

I often wonder had I not been a sinner if God would have had need to bless me in such a huge way. It is a surety that despite our shortcomings God doesn't hold them over our heads. Instead He holds out His arms to us, waiting to shower us with all of His goodness. If only we humans could have the same level of compassion for each other. Imagine the blessings that would come from it.


























Saturday, September 5, 2009

HONESTY IS ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY!!!


I've often pondered throughout my adult life just what it is that compels people to do the things they do; be it for good or for bad. Granted when someone does something that is of a good nature it can be assessed that person has a deep love & passion for it. However, when one does something that is not of any benefit to themselves or those around them, I have been hard pressed to understand the logic in it. We are all complex human beings. I certainly don't profess to be perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just as human as the next person. But what amazes me is how society has gotten away from old fashioned morals & standards & replaced them with their own way of thinking forcing those remaining few to deal with what is dished out.


There is a complete lack of love & respect among the human race these days. People are more concerned with how to get ahead with little or no regard for how they will get there or who they have to step on to do so. Most form their own agendas by which to further their cause. Oftentimes motives & tactics take shape as a means to manipulate or control others.


There is a key word that sums up what society lacks today; effort. It is far easier to look to someone or something to make things happen in one's life versus putting forth the effort needed to see something come to fruition. Granted there are those who honestly don't know any better. However, the vast majority of those out there have figured out that they can successfully accomplish what they set out to do by being dishonest with others & more importantly, themselves.

At the end of the day, no one wins though. It may seem to someone they have prevailed, when in essence all they have managed to do is deceive and cheat themselves out of the true satisfaction of what it means to handle the scenarios of life in an honest & fair way.


When we encounter those difficult individuals in our lives, it can be taxing to say the least. I often like to think certain people are put in my life to teach me something or at best I should strive to learn from their mistakes by never making them myself. Sometimes we are graced with people of this nature because it is an opportunity for us to teach them something instead. We draw from one another and realistically it should inspire us to be better. It doesn't always work out that way.

Some people are so wrapped up in themselves they can't see the opportunities that are presented to them as the blessings they are. They claw & fight their way through the scenes of life as if they are starring in a daytime drama. Their sense of reality is marred and confused with fantasy. They relentlessly wait for their curtain call so they can enact the dramatic ending for the chapters in their lives.

Life is not meant to be lived in this manner. Every event that occurs in our lives does so for a reason or miriad of reasons. Everything that we experience is connected and prepares us for the next phase of our lives. We are constantly being prepared for what is to come. That is life. How we live it determines the outcome time & again. Our choices, decisions, & expectations are all part of it. Our shortcoming and failures are equally as much so. We each have to reach a place within us of true contentment. It is not up to those in our lives to ensure that we are happy and at peace. Everything we do must first begin with us before we can even begin to share our lives with another or give of ourselves in the most positive ways.

When we take shortcuts in life to get ahead we are not only cheating ourselves but cheating ourselves out of experiencing life to the very fullest. Life is what we make it. We get out of it what we put into it. We only get one chance to give it all we got. There will come a day when our opportunities, blessings and chances will run out. It is then & only then when we will realize that life is indeed too short so what we do with it while we are here is up to us.

Monday, August 31, 2009

WELL, WELL, WELL.....LOVE DOES IN FACT PREVAIL!!!

Yep...you read the title right! For all the naysayers out there, I'm here to tell you that I've been made a believer again in the one thing that I had become numb to...L-O-V-E!

I know, I know...if you're a regular follower of my blog you've had the uncanny experience of reading of my past relationship tales. As a matter of fact, one of my last blog posts (some months ago) had me all but swearing off men forever because my last (brief) relationship took me right back to the same place about men that I was at before my 2-yr hiatus from dating. After all, that experience was a grim reminder why I took a 2-yr hiatus in the 1st place. That relationship once again proved to me that staying single for the rest of my life was my destiny.
But then just when I least expected it, I met someone who over the course of the past 4 months has completely refuted & dismissed every notion I ever had about that little 4-letter word & relationships of my past. I guess it's true what they say, 'love will find you when you least expect it'. Maybe that was part of my dilemma in the past...love was never finding me. Or maybe I was just a magnet for the wrong guy to find me. No matter how you look at it, this relationship completely caught me off guard.

My favorite social networking site, Facebook, was the place where I met "Mr. Wonderful"...(please stay with me...no need to grow nauseous...just yet anyway...). I received a friend request from him in December of last year. His credentials stated he was someone I attended high school with, but in the far reaches of my mind, I couldn't place him. His good looks alone was enough to make me add him....(as that was all I had to go on at that time). We exchanged brief hellos & emails by way of Facebook here & there. We even chatted some inbetween. He seemed like a nice guy but outside of his good looks, pleasant demeanor, & deep intellect, I had nothing more to go on. Early on following one of our chat sessions, I had this sensation that told me that somewhere down the road, something would occur between he & I but just wasn't sure what. It wasn't a thought I studied or lost sleep over. I put it out of my mind & continued onward.


This type of interaction between us continued for several months following my acceptance of his friend request. Then one day, the tides began to turn. For fun, he posted a pic from his high school days on his profile & turned it into a fun little quiz. The 1st person who could name when & where the pic was taken would win a free Starbucks. All I needed to see was the word Starbucks & I was on it like white on rice!! And ironically (or maybe no so much so) I was the winner of said Starbucks!
We set up our chance meeting at our local Starbucks. Mind you, it is only fair to add that I never for one second thought he was serious about actually awarding a prize to the 'lucky' person who won the quiz. But he made good on his promise. And little did I know what would then unfold between us following.

Four months later, I've been made a believer in love again. Suffice it to say, before Andy I 'thought' I knew what love was. Heck, I even thought I'd 'found' it a time or two. It wasn't until meeting Andy that all my previous ideas & notions about love & relationships were blown right out of the water.
Being with Andy is something like right out of a movie. Each day feels like we're on the big screen watching our lives unfold magically before us. He is everything I have ever dreamed of, hoped for, searched for & believed existed. My previous relationships put a damper on my true inner beliefs about love & relationships to be sure. But now I have a real understanding of why things happened the way they did before him. Why my other relationships failed & for that matter, why those who graced my life did so. I was being prepared for Andy. My 2-yr hiatus was all part of it too. I had to go through everything with the others in my life to get to where I was meant to be & who I was meant to be with. Everything fits together now. He is the missing piece that I've been searching for.

I look back on my life & time before Andy, and I silently chuckle inside to myself. I had gotten to a point where I all but swore off men forever. I was content being happily single the rest of my life. Men had proven to be anything but a positive in my life. Why not just stay single? I had more success it seemed as a single woman than a 'taken' one. I refused to ever sell myself short for the sake of having a relationship ever again. I would just 'wait it out' & live my life in the meantime. And that is what I did for 2 yrs.


But Andy came along & literally swept me off my feet...truly before I even knew what was happening. You'd have to know Andy. He's not a charmer or player. He wasn't someone looking for a 'good time'. But what he is undoubtedly is the best thing to ever happen to me. He's kind, gentle, loving, considerate, compassionate, honest, and a real modern day knight in shining armor. I've never experienced a love so real before. He's exactly the kind of man I've referred to in previous blogs that women look for & want in their lives. He doesn't have 'man drama'. He knows exactly who he is and what he stands for. He's true to himself, his beliefs, and makes each day with him a true journey that reminds me exactly what life is all about. Most importantly, he comes from good stock...meaning he was raised & taught how to treat a woman by seeing the example set by his own father growing up. You have to admire a man who in this day & time isn't afraid to be sensitive, old fashioned, a true gentleman, & looks to his past experiences of upbringing to be his guiding hand in everything he does. Andy is the 'real-life' version of what every woman yearns for when they watch their favorite big-screen romance. Chivalry is certainly not dead with Andy. He loves life...so much so...that he embraces each day to the fullest. It's his passion to give all he has to me...not materially...but from within. He doesn't hold back but truly has allowed me to see time & again inside his heart & soul. I tend to be pretty philosophical & feel I have a good grasp on the meaning of life...but I've learned since meeting Andy that even I have room for improvement in many areas. He inspires me & motivates me to be the very best I can be every day. Life with him is a true journey. I can barely remember the time before him when I was completely resigned to remaining single for the rest of my life.

I've always heard you just 'know' when you find the right one. Like many other notions I had about love, I found myself scoffing at that...(especially given my past relationships). But I fully understand what that means now. I did 'know' almost from the get-go with Andy that he was 'the guy'. I can't explain how I knew but I just knew. There's a huge difference in knowing something & wishing & hoping for it. There was never a question of whether or not Andy was the one. There have never been any doubts. Now I can't imagine living the rest of my life without Andy, especially when it feels like he's been a part of it forever.

So this is what the 'real thing' feels like. I'm truly blessed because undoubtedly God had a hand in all of this. There was a plan. Despite my misgivings about relationships, I never gave up on love. Perhaps that is the very reason why God has given me this wonderful gift of a man who is in my life now. God never wants us to settle for mediocrity and I stood firm in waiting forever if that is what it took so as never to sell myself short in the love department ever again. Not only did I win a Starbucks that day back in April, but I won so much more. Andy is far greater a man than I could have ever envisioned, dreamed of or asked for in my wildest dreams. I pinch myself every day to make sure I'm not dreaming. When the sting of the pinch becomes real I know I'm not. Dreams do come true & can be played out in real life...just like on the big screen.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

FINDING COMFORT....

I've never considered myself an overly religious person. Throughout my life, I've waivered to & from God in fleeting moments. Like most, in those times when I've seen trials I've leaned on God for comfort, compassion, and prayed like there was no tomorrow.

In my quest to find God time & again, I've often wondered why it is so easy to fall away from God when times are good versus in times of tribulation. I think I may have found the answer last night.

My ten year old daughter took ill in the night. She awoke with one of those nasty stomach bugs that every parent dreads. It was about 12:30 AM & I knew we were in for a long night. When my children get sick, I don't sleep well. Last night would be no exception. To pass the time while my daughter rested I did something I do don't enough of...I read the Bible.

Being awakened so abruptly put me on edge. It wasn't like I hadn't been through this before with my kids, but I was anxious for this storm to pass. It hadn't been that long ago when my daughter had another stomach bug. Typically when my kids come down with this type of illness, I usually don't have to worry about them getting it again for a good while.

Unlike before, I found myself worrying about my daughter like I'd never done before when she's taken ill. I needed something to help contain my worries & put my mind & soul to rest. If you read my earlier post, you know this hasn't been the best of weeks for me. So her getting sick was almost the icing on the cake & definitely made me glad we are on the downhill slope towards Friday.
I read several passages in my Bible. I prayed on what I'd read. I asked God to lessen the blow of this bout of this stomach bug in my daughter & help her to feel better sooner rather than later like last time.

Flipping through chapters and pages throughout the New Testament I came upon a passage in 2 Corinthians 1: 3-11. I was immediately blown away because it was as if the words jumped off the page at me & were speaking to me. The passage talked about suffering and how when we suffer we turn to God for comfort. God's comfort is what allows us to show comfort & compassion towards others. I couldn't believe it! There was my answer to the question I had pondered so many times before.


Not only that, but that answer gave me peace about my daughter's illness. It was as if the moment I read it, I had a full understanding of the grace & mercy of our Father. God allows suffering to take place in our lives so that we never become totally dependent upon ourselves to find the answers to the struggles we face. If there were no suffering, we would never find our way to God & seek His wisdom so that we might find peace & comfort to know all is going to be okay in the midst of the storms of life.


It is such a comfort knowing that I don't have to shoulder life's burdens all by myself or feel alone in the midst of them. God knew what He was doing when he designed that plan for each of us. We can grow apart from Him, but we can never live without Him.













Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A HEAVY HEART GIVES WAY TO LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE...

This week has been a little bit of a tough one thus far for me. On Monday I ended a relationship I had been in since mid-January. It isn't so much the end of the relationship that's got me bummed, but rather the reflection of it all.


It was the first time in well over two years that I'd taken the opportunity to get involved with someone. I had been on this long 'dateless' hiatus due to my misfortune with past relationships & had had enough. I decided after my last relationship that I would just take a break & do some things for me for a change. And it's been nice. No man to worry about, deal with, impress, look after, etc...okay...well, I think you get the picture. But most importantly, no 'man drama' as I had experienced in past relationships. NEWSFLASH: We, women, are not the only ones to have drama in our lives. I think 'man drama' is much worse than anything we women could come up with!!!

So it goes without saying that for the past two years, I've not had to deal with 'man drama'...that is until I got involved in the relationship I just ended on Monday. Sheesh! You'd think in the time that I've been out of the dating loop, that the all too common negative things one finds in relationships would have improved. But no, quite the contrary, as I quickly learned, 'man drama' still looms large & in charge among men.

The 'man drama' I was unfortunately privy to, concerned past relationships. The guy I was involved with had not fully dealt with the past year of his life and the relationships gone wrong. He got involved with me because as he put it, 'I was not like the other women he had dated'. (I guess not! I've been out of the dating scene for awhile & had ample time to get over my last break-up!!)


So, what in the world did he think I was going to be able to do for him? Help him get over his man drama??? Believe me, we talked about his man dramas & talked about them until I felt as though I had been through his man dramas right along with him when they happened. It was exhausting & it didn't take long before that inner peace (that I'd spent the past couple of years finding without the presence of a man in my life) to leave me!! What's worse, his past followed him into the present, which was cause for most of the 'man drama' I experienced.

While in the throes of this relationship, I was reminded why I had elected to remain happily single & carefree for the past few years. And I'm not convinced that there's a man out there who has it together emotionally. (At least not the ones that have graced my life anyway!!!)

The older I get & the more I learn about people, I find that everyone has issues to some degree and most people are just emotionally unstable & generally unhappy. Life has a way of throwing curve balls & that's a given. But what most don't realize is that how they handle catching the curve ball determines the outcome!

I don't think I've set the bar too high on my expectations when it comes to men. I believe I'm no different than most women. We all want a good guy in our lives who can have issues but knows how to handle them. We want guys who are emotionally in touch with themselves & us. Above all, we just want a guy who has his act together. Is that too much to ask for????

I have yet to know or understand why I've had the relationships I've had. Granted I've learned something from each one. A good friend once told me that each relationship was a stepping stone to where we were meant to be. I wonder how many of those stepping stones I'm supposed to step across before I reach the final one along my path of life???
Ultimately my post-relationship reflection has been mostly trying to grasp why I was graced with someone in my life at a time when I've been my most content? I wasn't looking for this person when they arrived. Just minding my own business, doing my own thing, bouncing right along, all by myself. To me, the aftermath feels a little bit like a shake-up to my normal routine over these last couple of years. For the past ten weeks, I've tried to balance (and have completely abandoned at times) my daily routine for this relationship.

I'm now trying to figure out why God felt it was necessary to put someone in my life? I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere, but all I've been able to see thus far is the past two months of my life were a waste of my time because the end result was the same as in the past. It was what prompted me to take time off from dating in the first place!!!
I'm also trying to assess if this person was sent to me to help teach me something. This person told me on our first date that maybe he was opening me back up to the possibility of dating again! Hello, but I don't think I summoned him to 'rescue' me from my happily single status!! After all, as I told him, if I'd wanted to date, I would have been out there dating. There's a big difference in not being able to get a date & not wanting a date!!!

Now I'm left having to regroup & return to my normal routines of life. It's one of those things that tells me in time I will know why I had this moment of togetherness with someone, but I sure feel like I've lost a lot of ground in spite of it all. I'm off track & trying to get back on is proving to be a much, more difficult feat than I would have imagined.

Oh the trials & tribulations of the dating world. Why does it seem that there are more trials than tribulations?? And then one wonders why I've chosen to be single? But never fear! I typically bounce back pretty quickly from a break-up (most of them anyway...there have been 1 or 2 that threw me for a loop). I don't feel spending two months with someone will warrant eating a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's!!! But time that I could have & would have otherwise spent on all my other 'non-man related' projects has been lost! That is time I won't get back. Heck, if I wanted to goof off for ten weeks, I could have done that, not had to deal with 'man drama' & not had my peace disrupted in the process!!

Many of you know that I am an aspiring writer & have recently finished my first fiction novel. Thus far, I'm thinking maybe this experience was the making of a good book! Hmmmm...now there's a thought!



























Until next time.....Dawn