A Reflection of My Heart

Today, I have been divorced for 2 years, 3 months and 11 days…

I cannot even begin to tell y’all what a blessing my divorce has been to my life. It is the single, most tragic, yet absolutely beautiful, life-changing thing that could have ever wrecked my life. It is amazing how things that are meant to break us and shake up our lives, can still allow for so much growth and beauty in our lives.

Perspective – that is what my divorce has given me. It has helped make and mold me into the woman that I am today.  I can’t stress to you enough, how going through this experience was the best-worst thing that could have ever happened to me.

When Obed and I divorced, I thought we were in a fairly decent place. I was excelling in my career, as was he. We were struggling, but I was determined to make things work. We started counseling and it was going great. Then suddenly, a major shift happened and it was not a good one. I was so frustrated and focused on all the things wrong in our marriage instead of focusing on the good. Despite the progress we were making, in my mind, it was not happening fast enough. I wanted Obed to realize his faults and flaws but I never for a moment considered my own. I just thought he was wrong and that he was the problem in our marriage.

Control. That is what I wanted and what I kinda always intended in my marriage. Obed was sweet. He was very patient with me. He hardly ever went up against anything I wanted. I was spoiled. He treated me so kind and always did everything in his power to make sure I felt good. He was selfless in our marriage. I wasn’t.

Now, I was good to him too, but I was not patient at all. I admired and adored him for so many reasons, but I was also very selfish. I loved getting my way and enjoyed our marriage when Obed was doing the things I wanted him to. Some would say I was probably a bitch to him. My family actually always brought things to my attention about my participation in my marriage. They saw the way I didn’t always honor Obed in our marriage. I never listened though. I knew what I was doing, and I knew Obed would never leave me…until he did.

Looking back now…man (sigh), it hurts my heart sometimes. It is a tough pill to swallow. As much as I like to think I was such a good wife to Obed, in reality, I wasn’t. There were so many things he needed from me that I never gave to him. There were definitely a lot of things I needed from him too, but when we accept responsibility for ourselves and our actions, it helps make sense of why certain things transpired in our marriage.

Whatever was in my cup (my heart) was what I was pouring out into my marriage. When it was good, it was amazing! But when it was bad…it was ugly! I did and said things to Obed that were just awful. Instead of lifting my husband up and acknowledging all the goodness in him, I chose to magnify all his faults and flaws. I pointed out everything that was wrong in him, without thinking twice about myself and how I was affecting my own marriage. Instead of magnifying my God in my marriage, I magnified our problems. I didn’t know how to fight fair. All I thought about was myself and how I wasn’t happy in our marriage.

As time has gone on and I have taken my divorce one day at a time, I can recognize how I contributed to the demise of my marriage. I understand now how I never listened to the things that Obed asked of me. I realize, that marriage is not only about “you” and what you get out of it. It is more about what you put into it. It is about loving your spouse where ever they are, in good times and in bad.

Marriage is about choosing to love your spouse, even when they are unlovable.

Marriage is hard work, no doubt. However, if you take a look at yourself first before you point out all the ways your spouse is failing you in your marriage, you might find that they are not the problem. You may discover that you have your own issues that you need to work through. Your husband or your wife is not responsible for your happiness. You are. They are just there to support you. They are your picker upper, when things aren’t quite right. Your spouse should be the person you confide in the most to help you be the best version of yourself possible. & if they aren’t healthy and happy, pray for them. Think about how you can show them grace, the way that God shows us grace every single day.

How can you love your spouse more like Christ loves us? Are you magnifying your problems instead of magnifying your God? Are you creating more problems in your marriage instead of creating a solution? Or have you even considered for a moment, that there is something you could be doing differently in your marriage?

Love your spouse. React to them in love, instead of lashing out. Honor them and check yourself first, before you start pointing fingers. Don’t think for one second that you are not responsible for where you are in your marriage – whether it is good or bad. Check the condition of your heart and it will change the condition of your marriage.

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Gratitude, Beauty & Lashes

Well hello again friends! How is everyone doing out there? Are you happy to be entering into February? I know I am! There is a lot to be thankful about as this month comes to an end. How many of you made New Year resolutions? Are you staying on track? I honestly am not a resolution person, but I do believe in goal setting. My main goal for this month was to stay rooted in the Word. I have been very intentional about seeking more of God and spending time with Him, each day, preferably in the mornings, as I enjoy the sunrise. There is something so serene about waking up at dawn and spending some quiet time with the Lord. It helps set the tone for my day and allows me to view my life from a place of gratitude.

So today or tonight, when ever you read this, I want to challenge you today to just take a moment, take one deep breath and visualize what you are most grateful for in this day. Then do it again tomorrow, and again the next day. I promise you, your days – no matter how good or bad they are, you will always be able to find something to be grateful for. Try it!

To catch you up on how I am doing: I am in-love with this super cool, exciting place I am in right now in my life. Every year, I try to choose a word that sets a theme for my life in this new year. This year, I chose the word RENEW. If you have been following my blog for some time now, this may not come as a surprise to you. I have been through the most challenging yet rewarding time of my life with my divorce. Through it, I discovered so much about myself and I have grown from my experience into a whole, unique and new person. It is amazing how God transforms us, especially through our brokenness.

These past two years, as I have been dealing with unresolved issues, working my way through my own guilt and shame about what transpired in my marriage and divorce. It has been a season of pruning and restoration. God has renewed spirit and mended me. I learned so much about what it means to be at peace in my solitude and how to find comfort in the Lord instead of things or people. Granted, there were a ton of wonderful people that prayed over me and encouraged me along the way too. However, God is healer.

I’ve found so much beauty in the ashes. Right when I thought the worst of my life and couldn’t see the light in the darkness, God was there. What is most exciting though about my journey, is not just the healing and growth that has taken place, but the fact that I am able to live out some of my most wildest dreams. I’m doing things that I love. I am encouraging others in the same ways that people comforted me. I can’t even begin to tell you how many “divorce talks” I have had, with people entering the same season I once found myself in, and the hope I am able to share with them about what God can do through the pain. It is pretty incredible to be able to see God use my testimony for His glory.

Aside from that, I have also been presented with so many cool and fun opportunities to do more of the things that I love. I’m learning music, I am singing more, I’m drawing and painting, I am writing, I’m part of a book club…

There is literally just so much goodness in my life, it is pretty hard to focus on anything else but that. Even on my worst days, my life is pretty peachy! My life is well-rounded right now. I won’t say that I don’t miss having a companion, because there are times that I do. More than anything though, I am just excited to see how God continues to use me, make me and mold me.

Lastly, I want to share how bomb Lash Boost is! Y’all this stuff seriously works!!!! I previously reported, here, about an opportunity I had to be a product tester for a sweet friend of mine. She sells R + F Products (Rodan + Fields) and I had been very much impressed with the results she kept posting about her lashes and I just knew I needed to get my hands on it. Sure enough, we worked out a little deal and wala – guess who has gorgeous lashes now? Yup! I sure do. If you are interested in purchasing some product or learning more about R + F, reach out to my friend here. You won’t regret it.

 

Well gals, that is it for now. I’ll type y’all later!

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In Waiting: We Find Peace

Eight (8) years – that is how long Obed and I would have been together this month, had we not gotten divorced. Our dating anniversary was July 23, 2009. Before, dates like this affected me so much. It made me so angry and upset. My heart would feel so heavy and sometimes it would bring me to tears. I’d allow an entire day be ruined by my double-mindedness. I would claim to have faith in God and trust in His plan for my life and my marriage, then I would contemplate over and over why or how we ended up divorced. A marriage I felt so strongly about and believed would be forever – now dissolved. It was heart-wrenching to go through, but looking back, I would not change my heartbreak or pruning for a “happily ever after”. I know God has that in my future.

One year and seven months later – I am stronger, wiser and more confident in who I am without Obed. As I have stated before, I don’t have anything negative to speak on in regards to my marriage or Obed as a human being. I will always regard him as a very special, unique and sweet person in my life. This does not mean that there were not any negative things about him – in fact, there were many. I just choose not to degrade him because regardless of my circumstance, I learned from him.

My short-lived 4 years of marriage helped make me into the person I am today. I learned so much about myself during my marriage and even more so after my divorce. I became a different person. I’ve learned to be a better listener, to be more compassionate, less judgmental and even how to fight fair. I understand now, that marriage is not about me. A husband is not responsible for making me feel happy or complete. Marriage is about honoring God. It is a covenant between two people to put Him first, while being selfless, drawing closer to God in unity with the person you have chosen to love, every. single. day. 

Love is a choice; it is not a feeling. Actually, it is more than just a choice, it is the intentional and unwavering decision to continue to love someone, despite their flaws. You know – like God loves us? Unconditionally.

That is how I tried to love Obed and sometimes I failed at it but I love and respect him enough to keep his flaws to myself. My mother always told me that a marriage is between 3 people: you, your partner and God. Everything else is not anyone else’s business.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I will share with you some of the lessons and not so glamorous moments in my marriage, because if it were all just rainbows and butterflies, I wouldn’t be blogging about my divorce. Obed wronged me. He betrayed me and hurt me. He absolutely was not a perfect mate, but neither was I. I was selfish. I didn’t always love him unconditionally. There are so many times that I can remember when I tore him down, instead of lifting him up. I was snide, disrespectful and I didn’t always honor him as my husband. He is guilty of the same. It’s bound to happen, when you get two imperfect people together. Regardless, however, I am grateful for my marriage and my divorce.

Y’all may or may not remember, but I posted a blog about blocking Obed, a while back. I felt like I needed to in order to sort things out within myself and “get over” him. However, that has since changed. He is unblocked, and we are now friends. It still kinda bothers me to regard him as such, because he was so much more than that to me, but it is what it is. We are friends.

I spent a lot of time, thinking of all the reasons why I should not be his friend. In fact, I’ve never been friends with an ex. I mean I don’t hate any of my exes. I would smile or say hi if I ever happened to run into them in public but with O, it is different. He was my husband. He was ONE with me and he is a scar on my heart that will remain there forever. Now if you are wondering why, I would keep in touch with him at this point, it is simply to share God’s love. One of the things that I remember so vividly about the demise of our marriage, is something Obed said about me to our marriage counselor. He told our counselor that because of me, he knows that God exists!

I don’t know about you, but that to me is pretty powerful. It means that I somehow impacted his life in a major way. It means that regardless of my imperfections, Obed saw God in me. Since my divorce, I have prayed and pleaded for God to show me if I need to let Obed go and this is what He has shown me:

I need to let go of the things over which I have no control. I need to let go of my feelings of fear, anger, resentment, uneasiness and judgment. It is not my place to understand God’s plan for my life, it is my place to trust Him. He has shown me that I can still love someone even when that love is not well received or reciprocated. He has replaced all those negative feelings with confidence, serenity, excitement, peace and acceptance. I know now, that I can be Obed’s friend and still love him from afar. It is ok for me to share God’s love with him and continue to be a light in his life. I don’t have to be constant, but I can be present. I can continue to pray for him and be a friend if he needs one.

I’ve let Obed go as my husband, but I have held on to hope that God will bring a new love into my life, when He is ready. One that will have many of the same qualities that I admired so much about Obed and even better ones, that I cannot even begin to imagine. Enough time has passed now, that I have let go of the idea of only loving Obed for the rest of my life. I have given myself permission to love someone else, and not feel like a failure because my marriage didn’t prosper. I understand now, that nothing I plan for my future will ever be prosperous, if God is not in it.

His plan will always prevail over mine, and that is where I want to lie down to rest and wait on God to fulfill His will for my life, whatever that may be.

 

 

 

 

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Progress = Happiness

Have any of you ever felt like something is missing in your life? Like you know you are on the right path and you are making progress but you just feel slightly overwhelmed? Sometimes, I feel like I am not where I want to be. Other times I feel confident in the direction that I am going and when I reflect on where I have been and where I am now, I find peace because I know I am exactly where I need to be.

Life isn’t always perfect, but it is always beautiful – you just have to stop to take notice.

Before I go on, let me apologize once again for being a bit of a slacker. I haven’t been on my blog game lately but I am re-committing myself to you all – my avid followers. Thank you for supporting my journey into bloghood! ha I have been working behind the scenes, however. I am connecting and networking with other bloggers and like-minded individuals to help me crush my goals. I want to build a successful blog and following. So, recently, I have been working on learning more about the blog hustle and venturing into other new business opportunities. A little progress each day, adds up – they say.

So, let me tell you about where I am right now. I hadn’t really had the time to blog recently because I have been “parenting”. Recently, my 18 year old niece and all her “wizdumb” has made herself a part-time living headquarter at none other than my tiny little Dallas loft. It has been challenging to say the least. I am not a parent, I don’t necessarily even like kids all that much if I am being honest, or at least not for too long, so you can imagine how I am dealing.

She costs me lots of money, I have to gripe at her for being irresponsible, and I also have to be wise in how I advise her. She just graduated high school, she thinks she has life figured out and well, she is also a brat. Now, don’t get me wrong, she is a good kid (or at least better than I was at her age) but she’s been through things that many people can’t understand. I won’t share her story, because it is not mine to tell. However, I will say that I have learned some things through the process.

I know that parents can’t always direct our paths as much as they’d like to. I also understand that parents can’t always save their children. I’ve taken on a responsibility that doesn’t necessarily belong to me, but I do it because I love my niece. I also do it because I love my sister and I hope that she knows, and all my siblings know that I love their children as if they were my own. I will always lend a helping hand, if I am able. The main thing however that I’ve picked up on during this season of my life, is that growth has to happen on it’s own.

How many mistakes did you make growing up? How many times did you roll your eyes at your parents, because you knew what was best? If you are like me, it was probably a lot. I have also learned that as wise as parents are and as much as they truly want what is best for us, they don’t always have the answer or know exactly what is actually best. We have to make our own lives, our own mistakes, our own choices, in order to live and to learn.

Apart from parenting, I have also found myself in this period of rekindling of my soul with my God. After my divorce, I really grew deeper in my relationship with Christ and I am still growing now. However, there are times when I feel forsaken, but I know that is not true. Those feelings come from a place of disobedience. Like I keep telling and asking God for certain things in my life and He shows me, and sometimes I don’t like the answer and I try again, ignoring the fact that He’s already heard my prayer and delivered. You see, the answers we seek, are not always the answers we want. Our flesh is weak and we want things to go a “certain” way but God does not work like that. He gives us what we NEED.

I have needed a lot of things, post divorce – healing, peace, joy, comfort, etc. & when I tell you that God is so faithful and He makes all things new, I mean it. Healing takes time. Growth is involved in feeling peace, joy and comfort in our times of sorrow. It is not always easy. Some days will be very difficult to get through, but when you come out on the other side – you can appreciate the beauty in your process.

Just like a diamonds and pearls are formed through great pressure and irritation; we are also made beautiful through our trials.

Right now, I am at a place of serenity. I have forgiven and re-forgiven. I have made peace with my own mistakes and failures. I’ve taken responsibility for myself and my actions and I have opened up my mind and my heart to receive whatever God has for me next.  My heart is happy and my soul is well. How are you doing?

Please write me if there is anything that I can help you pray for. It would be a great honor, dear friend. “May the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;  the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26

Until next time my friends! XO

 

 

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Butterflies & Heart Races

When I initially met Obed, I had no desire to date or even consider finding a mate. As Queen Bey says, I was “focused on my focus!” That “focus” was me, in an effort to better myself and prepare to jump start my career. I would go on occasional dates, but they were never anything serious. I actually had several men-friends or “babes”, as I always liked to call them. They were the ones I could call to fill up my gas tank or take me to nice dinners, when I felt like having company. Between school, partying and sometimes teaching DWI Intervention classes for some cash flow, I didn’t have time for a relationship. I loved my freedom and I enjoyed my singleness.

However, after I accepted to be O’s girlfriend that night, everything changed.

I cut off all my “babes” and dedicated all my free time to this very handsome, interesting, and super sweet Latin lover!

Obed w307433_1957631582010_2604704_n-1as like no one I had ever met before. He was such a hopeless romantic. He was very frank and a great communicator. I loved how educated and smart he was. Obed captivated me with his intelligent mind and creativeness. He was handsome, nerdy, and such a sweetheart.

We weren’t spending a lot of time together, but we talked and texted every single day. We spent every day that he was off together, if my schedule allowed for it. Dating him was so much fun and I was always in for a sweet surprise with him. I remember the first time he ever bought me a piece of jewelry, he sent me on a scavenger hunt to find it. It was a cute silver necklace with a little butterfly pendant. Along with that, was a love letter and poem, written just for me.  Obed always made me feel special and loved. In fact, he told me very early on in our relationship that he loved me and his actions definitely spoke louder than his words. I never had a man treat me the way he did.

Obed respected me – all of me: mind, body and soul. I feel like Obed contributed so much to my growth as a woman, a leader and as his partner. He would encourage me, when I needed it. He was a great listener, he always inspired me and when he got close to me, my heart raced. I was awestruck by him and shortly after becoming an item, it wasn’t hard to fall in love with him.

Every time I spoke of him, I got butterflies in my stomach.

To this day, I will always believe that our love story is one of the greatest. Sure, it doesn’t end with a “Happily Ever After…” but he set the bar high for the next gentleman that walks into my life. Divorce teaches you many things. Especially in the areas where you fell short, but the lesson is the reward in all of your suffering. & if nothing else, I can say that I can move forward, knowing I experienced real love in my life.

 

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