Love

love is…

Candy to a child

Flowers for no reason

Being your best for the other person

Being able to let them help you at your worst

Quality time

A kiss any (all) the time just because

Joy

Longing for each other when apart

Being able to be apart

Giving up what you want for the other (without begrudging it)

Patience

A quiet hug when there are no words

Peaceful

That knowing gaze into one’s eyes

Serving each other

An electric shock to your heart

The ability to persevere 

Verbal affirmation

Losing track of time when with each other

Taking care of yourself

Laughter 

Never ending

Snuggling by the fireplace

Unconditional 

Selfless

Fighting a battle you may lose

Standing up for the other

Watching sports when you don’t understand it

Always good

Having to take a place on a backburner 

Always trusting

Hopeful

Taking an interest in the other’s interests

Kind and gentle

Encouraging and supportive

Love is …Beautiful 

Take a Chance

“What if…” “If only…”

Such an elusive way to think.

This is me.

Someone took a chance on me.

They trusted and freely gave

And then they forgot

Their reasons fading away

Like water through my fingers

They left me alone

I couldn’t decide which thing I must have done wrong to have deserved it.

But I thought, “what if I had…”

And in the end, I now know it wouldn’t have made a difference.

There are many things in my life that I think to myself that I would change if I was given the opportunity, and yet, I am happy for the wisdom I have through it all.

Yet, I still go through this constantly.

Teeter-tottering on the concept of failure versus success.

Someone else took a chance on me.

I was tough now-more secure.

They accepted me and I them.

But I wasn’t enough in the end.

I found that out through heart-ache and tears.

Head and heart beaten to pulp.

Loss and…failure.

I had lost, again.

I wasn’t looking in the right place.

If ONLY someone who I already trusted was with me, it would be different.

But this time I wouldn’t get so deep.

Another chance-

Another heart-ache…what is wrong?

With me?

Like a rag doll…once a cared for possession but tossed aside.

I longed for it,

But grew to trust only me.

Then it happened!

My long lost ONE!

I took a chance.

I rocked my world and went all in.

Full throttle into the life I thought was right.

I wanted him to take a chance on me too.

I thought he did, but still undecided.

And then wavered…

He couldn’t give me the chance-it conflicted with the life he desired.

And again, I was alone.

More alone than ever-and broken.

But what is broken can let in more love-more hope.

I trusted and I found one.

No chances taken-I just said let it be, whatever it may be.

Don’t take a chance, but believe in me.

I have a few friends who have taken that chance on me-they have believed in me when others wouldn’t.

They watch me fall flat on my face…

And get back up each time-tear stains down my dirtied cheeks.

But they LOVE…they ACCEPT the inevitable ME.

They don’t know my outcome and they’ve seen (or heard of) my so-called “failures.”

And yet, they still took the chance on me-they counted on me to pull through.

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My challenge to you is to take that chance and continue to have faith in someone even if and when it is not what you expect.

I am preaching to myself right now because I want the “what if” and “I hope” to work itself into reality but the fact of the matter is that it is me putting expectations on someone and that isn’t fair.  Hope is good-unconditional love is BETTER! Acceptance in SPITE of someone’s outward appearance or maybe a stigma-a label.  It’s hard to walk in someone else’s shoes.  And that is why I am happy I have had so many unsuccessful relationships in life, because it has taught me all of this-Love is eternal and people will come and go.  (Yes, you read that right.)  I have been torn and tattered.  I have been abused in almost every way in my past and who I am-how I am is too much for most people (family, spouse, friends included).  I have lost much, but I have not lost ME-and GOD has never lost ME.  HE loves ME-for ME!  HE knows where I am going and what will happen and HE takes a chance on me and that I will follow and love Him and do what HE says (definitely not because it’s popular).

When I was climbing, I learned to trust each hold and each path I chose.  When you lead, in rock climbing, you literally “commit” when you reach out and put all of your weight on a crimp or a smear and you “commit” to that route (you usually can’t go backwards unless you fail fall).  It’s so similar in life-you have to take that chance, trust, and then commit.  It’s actually a pretty simple formula.  Then if you fall, you try another route and eventually…hopefully stronger in the end, you make it to your destination.

I don’t like sounding like I’m preaching and I know if you are like me, you won’t just read this and learn it-you’ll have to live it just as I had.  If you don’t take a chance on someone, you may never know how amazing they are or will become. And you will never know how their ripples will affect you.  This may be on a loved one, lover, child, parent, co-worker, friend.  I don’t know, it may actually be that you need to take a chance on you.

Whatever the case, you are thinking of something right now that you need to take that chance on…something you just need to know. Maybe you won’t and you will never know.  Sometimes I think to myself with a smirk that I have come such a long way and done so much more than anyone who had taken the chance on me and then given up would have ever thought possible  But I don’t do these things for them…they’re because it is just the path I’ve walked.  No, I haven’t always “walked in the path that God willed” I’m sure…but He knew before the world was in motion that I would walk this path and He promises in Jeremiah that “For I know the plans I have for you…plans of good and not evil.”  We just need a little perspective to see how God equips us for those hardships and brings forth the best in each of us if we let him.

Ok, haha!  I got a little preachy and I’m sorry.  I guess I was having a moment looking back at some old poems from the past and realizing just how much I’ve come through-all which I would never have had the strength to go alone.  I struggle a LOT (hey-no one said this is easy), with who I am and why I was never “enough” for those who supposedly committed to me.  I have high expectations sometimes-more for myself than others.  And when someone does seemingly take a chance on me now, I have a hard time trusting.  I push them away and don’t talk to them much because I am afraid of not being what they “thought” and then feeling disappointed when they leave my life.  I will share an experience from my younger years that has stuck with me for a long time.  When I was in 8th grade, I was living in a 5th-8th grade girls dorm in a tiny boarding school in Bolivia, South America.  The prior year I had been in a large public school in the US (my parents went to the US every few years for a year “furlough”), so I knew none of the rules at this boarding school for this age.  Well, within weeks, I was breaking (pretty innocently) rules and my dorm parents sat me down in their office.  Their words will always sting-they told me they had expected me to be an angel since they knew my parents and they were disappointed in me.  WOW!  That hurt…and I believe that was the first of many disappointing moments in my life.

Anyway, take the chance, trust, and commit.  That is my challenge to you-to myself.

The ever-changing skyline of (my) Life 

(Posted in February 2015 but deleted by author)

Sitting on my plane, I am pondering a few things and needing to put my thoughts into writing to sort it all out and make sure I’ve understood the lesson just learned (I seem to learn a lot of lessons). 

So, I just embarked on a short two day trip thinking I really needed this time away. A few months ago I was even in a spot where I figured if I ever had the chance to take a trip, I might do something crazy and unthought of like not coming back. Granted, I have children and the whole reason I moved to New Mexico was for them. 

Anyway, the feeling I had been having HAD been that I was on a path…yet more stepping stones…to something different/better. Basically the “grass is always greener” sort of thing. Well, in the last few weeks, I’ve felt a little more distant as far as not knowing what or who my future would hold. But I kept hearing in my mind “for better or worse”. Perhaps the thought was a reminder spurred on from watching the now-out film “American Sniper” as Chris Kyle’s emotional walls were apparent. A little background/sidenote…I’m married to a similar man emotionally and he is also a sniper in the military. Watching this movie actually helped me understand Kris (my amazing husband) a little better and feel more connected to him. Connection is sometimes difficult when there are things that the other can’t talk to you about, plus Kris wasn’t raised with the touchy feely stuff so this he’s already not that way. 

Anyway, like I was saying, I had been feeling like this “lack of affection and connection” meant maybe I’d make a mistake and remarried too quickly or not for the right reasons. 

At the same time all of this has been happening, I have also been in a job that affords me the time to go back to school (finally) and although I’ve wavered here and there on my major…I finally have felt good about the Criminal Justice degree I am shooting for. Check 1 for finally doing something to better myself!
Sooo, my point of this whole little entry today is to point out that we often, without even realizing it, have forecasted our “weather” so-to-speak. We are convinced that one direction is better than another and end up willing to follow through on our so-called dreams, going off of our very limited perspective. Or we may write out options because we never thought them possible or attainable.

For those of you that do know me and my story, you’ll know I’m a fighter. I have literally climbed mountains and battled with physical and emotional demons for a good majority of my almost 35 years now. Decisions are finally not impacted by my upbringing/family. (My missionary/pastoral upbringing that taught me I had to be perfect but never could match up to my siblings who are all still married to their original spouse.) But…I am a very inward person (emotionally and socially) now than I was before. I make decisions for my own reasons and not always based on what would make me “feel” most happy for the moment. Well, when I met Kris, I felt like he was a kindred spirit/soul, even though we have very different backgrounds and personalities. We both had some similar, and very heavy, baggage. We knew our relationship and communication would take extra work and honestly, when we committed to being partners, weren’t sure either of us ever wanted to remarry. But, here we are, 1 year and 4 months after meeting, married for 7 1/2 months and a little crazy at times…hahaha! I think when you’re with someone for awhile, you lose track of them and yourself…you lose some of both most times and then somewhere, expectations have taken over as has selfishness, and oops…here come the arguments and silent treatments and bottling unexpressed emotions. So, for those of you who are on your first marriage, I have observed that if you stick with it, you can often get passed these obstacles, but if not, lemme tell you-they don’t get easier or cease to exist in the next relationship! Whew! Each time, they come out and rear their ugly faces earlier on and faster because we are more set in our expectations and desires and how dare that other person deprive you of the life you thought you’d get! 😉 But…with that aside…sometimes what makes a person stick with it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s having kids together, or not wanting to hurt the other family involved (in laws). It does, however, have to be a matter of conviction! If you are doing something for a reason that you don’t believe in with all your heart, you will just breed contempt and resentment. 

Anyway, back to my short trip…. I am living proof that hearts and desires change. I thought I had it figured out-that end point where I wanted to be. Either option has hurt involved and either is about equal, however….I’m sure a large part of it is purely God and his convicting me to stay. Sure, when marriage has tough stuff that no one should have to handle, I can see quitting…but in the end, it’s sooo much better!!! Stepping away from my life has been good for me because I sincerely miss my partner in life. I mean, I did pick him out of thousands, because he had a spark…something I recognized inside myself. And although I didn’t instantly fall head over heals for this quirky, multi-talented, perfect-American Eagle Outfitters-manniquin-style body man, I have grown to love him more than anyone in this world! Obviously I knew/felt this way when we got married or I wouldn’t have married him, but now that the honey moon phase faded away, I was seriously questioning it and our “best friend” status. 

When it came down to me having the option to choose another path, and temptation beckoned me it’s way…I couldn’t bear the thought of hurting my man…MY husband, and not following through on MY vows. Notice here, it’s not about him… It’s about me. My husband may give off a “grim” look but he’s actually very endearing and loving and I know no matter what, he has my back and has the desire to work on us. He’s proven it more so lately and taken the brunt of my hormonally-emotion-charged attacks about his parenting and husbanding and actually worked on himself. I’m not lonely or afraid without him…but I do adore him and respect and admire him. He doesn’t see himself as a great and wonderful man but he is! I thought the horizon of my relationship had darkness and not just storm clouds. I thought I was forecasting our end…. But really, that skyline changes constantly and right now, I’m convinced that the clouds are clearing and we will get through our storms together and blue skies will magnify the sun that shines brightly on this choice. 

So, my lesson to myself in all this? Don’t forecast your life and jump the gun on what could be behind those clouds…I’m forever hopeful and still a climber/fighter! 🙂