Love is Attentive

The very first time that Obed and I ever had an argument, I was out of town. We were on the phone and I was having 2 conversations at the same time. I was with one of my besties and as I was speaking to Obed, I kept engaging in conversation with her too. Obed was not particularly fond of me continuing a conversation while I had him on the line. In the moment I thought, he was overreacting. I could not understand what the big deal was.

However, once we discussed his feelings about the situation, I understood why he was bothered. In our entire relationship, time was always working against us. Every moment was important to him. I remember him telling me, that he would rather me let him go and call him back later than for him to be sitting on the line in silence, listening to me engage in conversation with someone else. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, but now I understand the rules of phone etiquette much better.

It is rude to not give the person on the phone your undivided attention. It is also rude to answer the phone in the presence of others in certain scenarios. In this particular situation, Obed and I were newly dating. My bestie and I were on a road trip and he was calling to check on me. I answered his call and continued to chat it up with her while I had him on the phone. He was on his break at work and he didn’t have much time to chat but he made it a point to call and make sure we had made it safe to our destination. From that point forward, it was always an issue when I did not give him my undivided attention and rightfully so.

I always felt like he was just finding something to complain about, but as I matured I understood why it was bothersome to him. When I spoke to him and he would put me on hold for literally 5 seconds, I would get frustrated. It was a double standard. I always expected him to give me his undivided attention but I wouldn’t do the same for him. It may seem like something so trivial, but there is an important lesson here. RESPECT.

Now I am not saying that you can’t say, “Hey can you hold on one second? I have to do X Y Z…” I am simply stating that when we engage in conversation with others, we have to be mindful of the attention we are giving them. It’s ok to say, “Hey, I am right in the middle of something, can I call you right back?” instead of acting as if you have time for someone, when you really don’t. Right now, we are living in a world where everyone is constantly on their cells, we do a million different things at once and completely disregard how we share our time and space with others. That is something I learned in my own marriage and about my own actions.

While O and I were married, we made it a point to put away our phones when we were together. Unless of course we had some selfie action going on, that was always fair game! Now, that I am single and go on the occasional date here and there, I make it a point to put my phone away. We should be mindful of sharing our time and space with others and remember to be fully present. I know for me personally, if I am with a guy and he is constantly on his phone it is a huge turn off. It definitely decreases his chances of hanging out with me again.

When in company, I try my best to make it a point to be completely present and give that person or group of people my undivided attention. There is something very sweet and thoughtful about it. It means this person is engaging and is fully committed to making the most out of your time together. Quality time is what they call it, right? In a world full of social media – sometimes, it’s nice to just be present in the moment and not always try to capture everything. Another thing I learned from Obed. This is a guy that literally never took selfies, unless he was with me. He didn’t have any social media accounts and I honestly loved that about him too.

All this, just to share my thoughts on phone etiquette and how we can express our respect and love for others by being attentive.

When you are spending time with others, be present, be attentive and be mindful of their time.

Lessons learned.

 

 

 

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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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Single AF and Diggin’ It

Well, I have officially been divorced 1 whole entire year and 8 months to the day. I honestly can’t believe that I am only 4 months shy of being divorced for 2 whole years. It went by fast and let me tell you that I am proud of where I am. I can’t even remember the last time that I cried for Obed. Of course I still miss him on occasion and yes, we still talk from time to time, but most days, it is just me, myself and I!

I never knew how much I would enjoy being single post divorce. It is seriously amazing! I buy myself fresh flowers every week. Taking relaxing baths without interruption is life! I get the entire bed to myself on the nights I am not out sleeping on my balcony in a hammock and I don’t have to take anyone’s suggestions on dinner options. I just cook and eat what I want. Cooking for 1 – however, is still a challenge!

Life is grand y’all! There are so many exciting things happening in my life right now – like seriously! Being single has helped me come into this new appreciation for myself and what it means to be confident, bold and happy – like truly happy! Happiness, I’ve learned, is an inside job and I can now say, with certainty, that I am secure in who I am and what I want. I am super choose-y about who and what I will allow to occupy space, time and energy in my life. I only want the best – anything less than that, is simply not worth my precious time or energy.

I’ve spent so much of my time as a divorcée getting reacquainted with myself and with God. I have read countless self-help books and dug deep into the bible. I also make it a point to surround myself with family and friends that only speak life into my world. You know, people that lift me up and believe in all my goals, dreams and aspirations? That’s my tribe! It’s quite healthy and really helps me to look forward to what is yet to come.

Previously, I wrote about dating and being a little “playa-fo-life” but that just ain’t me, baby, it ain’t me! haha I had boo’s all over the world y’all! One of my besties even nicknamed me United Nations! hehe Dating is just not for me right now. I would rather focus on myself, crush my goals and let the next Prince Charming that is going to waltz into my life, sweep me off my feet – completely off guard! Doesn’t that just sound so pleasant? I imagine he is going to be pretty amazing to be able to handle me and all my wit, glory and sass! Do y’all even know how crazy it is going to be for me when I find a mate?

I feel like I loved Obed so much and I could never even fathom the idea of loving anyone else besides him. Now, however, things have changed. Sure, he still holds a piece of my heart, but my heart doesn’t bleed or yearn for him anymore. I am over it! ha No, not really, but I am healing and I have made a lot of progress. I still have so much love to give!

I have some really neat and important news to share soon, but I don’t want to give it all away in just one blog post (must spark curiosity and keep you coming back for more). I’ve got to build some suspense people! ha I hope everyone is doing well and life is treating you kind. I also hope you are receiving more peaches and cream rather than lemons. My wish for you, where ever you find yourself now, is that you would take a moment to appreciate the life you have, the people that are in it and the simplicity of the beauty that surrounds your every day life. If you search for goodness in your life, you will always find it. Be happy, be grateful, and be humble.

Appreciate what you have, the trials that have strengthened you and the love that you carry within. Don’t fret if you feel like you are alone in your suffering, whatever you might be going through. Rejoice and know that God is with you.

& ON THAT NOTE I WILL SAY: As-Salaam-Alaikum my friends! Virtual hugs, love y’all! XO

 

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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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Serendipity

I’ve always heard that “love happens” and sure enough, it always happens when you least expect it. As previously stated, I wasn’t looking for love when I met my now ex-husband, Chef Obi-Wan. For me, Obed will always hold a special place in my heart. He is the only man that I have ever truly loved. Before him, I had only exclusively dated 2 other guys. Shortly after meeting and dating Obed, I realized that he was my lobster. I understood then, why it simply never worked out with the other guys before him. I believe that we will experience love many times in our lives, but I also believe that when you experience “true love”, it is a love so deep that you feel it to the depth of your being. A love so strong, so penetrating that you sense each other in each others absence.

I am talking about a love that stays with you for a lifetime and is not so easily forgotten. Now, I know when you read these words on my blog, you understand that I obviously still love Obed. As I have stated before, I consider him the love of my life. It doesn’t mean that he never wronged me, or that he was a perfect mate but you will never hear me speak ill of him. I will share some of our not-so-perfect moments, as time goes on.

Tonight, however, on this particularly cozy and gloomy night – I want to share how serendipitous our “meet cute” really was. You see, I am also a believer in everything happening for a reason and predestination. I believe that people come into our lives with a purpose, a lesson and sometimes, just for a season. We never really see the lesson or the purpose behind these occurrences, until life reveals it to us, ever so gently. I guess you could call these occurrences, “Aha!” moments. Surely, you remember the blog about our “meet cute” moment, right? The one where I walked into a cafe, Obed and I lock eyes, meet for the very first time and fall madly in love? Well, that restaurant,  Hook, Line and Sinker is the exact place that I had my very first date with my ex-boyfriend. The guy I dated right before Obed. Isn’t that something?

So if I had never dated this guy, I would have likely never known about this restaurant. In fact, when Obed and I met, he had already been working there for about 2 years. All of the guys there knew who I was, and when Obed and I became exclusive, they all wondered how he had never noticed me before. I believe it was all in God’s timing. We met at the exact, predestined moment and we came in to each others lives when neither of us were looking for love.

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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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Summer Lovin’

After our first date, Obed and I became a hot item, very quickly. Things happened faster than a New York second! We spent all of our free time together, and even then, it was never enough. You see, since I have known Obed, time was always against us. His work hours were always crazy. He was off one day a week, sometimes twice, if he got lucky. I was going to school full time and looking for the perfect paralegal job. I always refer to our courtship as our “Summer of Love”. 298223_1957673543059_1245175_nWe met mid-June, a few weeks later we started chatting and texting. He proved to me that chivalry was not dead and he was the absolute sweetest man ever.

Obed was quite the gentleman. He opened doors for me, made sure I was always walking on the inside of the sidewalk, and he paid attention to every detail. He knew exactly what I was wearing the very first day we met, how I had my hair fixed and even the color of my nails. Dating him was so different than any other guy I had ever dated. There was something so refreshing about him. He made falling in love so easy. Every day we spent together was magical. Some days we would go for a walk in the park, other days we’d spend hours hanging out at his pool, swimming and grilling. We would go grocery shopping and cook dinner together. Of course, he mostly did the cooking and I would help with the dishes.

So finally one night, after dinner and a movie, we were hanging out on his sofa, talking. Then, suddenly, we had our first kiss ever. It was such a sweet moment, but was interrupted by Obed pushing me away, looking me straight in the eyes and saying to me, “Mira, tu me encantas,” (Look, I adore you) “but I don’t want to be hugging you, kissing you, touching you…I don’t want to do anything like that with you, unless you are going to be my woman…” I didn’t understand what the hell had just happened. We were in the middle of a moment and he completely ruined it. Then he continues to plead his case.

“I know you don’t want a relationship, but if you just let me love you…I promise, you won’t regret it.”

Before I had a chance to even respond, he looks up at the clock and says, “I will give you some time to think about it, but if in 2 months, maybe even 4 months, you don’t know that you want to be my woman, then we can just be friends.” Still, I had no idea what was actually happening. Then he says “It’s getting late and I am sure your parents are waiting on you, so you should probably go ahead and head home.” & then he sent me on my merry way…

The whole way home, I thought about what had just transpired. I thought “this guy is crazy…who wouldn’t want a relationship with no strings attached?” At the time, I had been single for a while. My previous break up was hard on me and I just knew I would be single forever. Dating was the least of my concerns. That night, however, Obed changed that for me. Immediately when I got home, I called him to let him know I made it home safely. I also called to let him know, that I would accept his proposal to be his woman. This was on July 23, 2009, just one month after, that one fine summer day when we first met.

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