Florida, no love lost
So, I am a Minnesotan girl through and through. I love to bundle up and trudge through snow, the smell of fresh cut grass after a spring shower. Long lazy afternoons on the lake and ALL 4 SEASONS! I mean I got married in the middle of winter when it was 10 degrees out in a sleevless dress and made sure to take pictures outside. (my hubby on the other hand froze like a popsicle)
Now there are times when we need to push a little harder to change your situations or make a move to get away from "fill in the blank"
But have you ever stopped to ponder why you are where you are? Life choices good or bad, you grew up there, your jobs there... What ever it is; you are there for a reason. In Proverbs 19:21 is says "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails"
So as hard as we try, when God's purpose for your life (which we all have) conflicts with the thing WE want to do in life; His plan will prevail.
The most famous story, to me, of God's purpose is Ester.
Here is a girl who lost her parent, adopted by her uncle and Jewish (in a time that Jews were being persicuited) I am sure she just wanted to live a simple normal, quiet life. But God had a bigger plan, one that was much bigger then herself.
I have found it best stated here;
"In the midst of her turmoil, Esther realized she could not allow fear to paralyze her into inaction; that in itself would be a decision. Instead, she left the outcome with God. It was clear she had only one real choice."(https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/esther-a-woman-of-faith-and-courage)
Ester had a choice, she could suffer in her circustances or rise up and be couragouse. Use her position (where you live, work, learn) and speak out. It may not be your ideal place, but it is the one that you have been placed in. It is where God wants to use you to magnify His greatness.
So when you are going through your day and you are discouraged with your current circumstances. Remember that God loves you and want to best for you He makes no mistakes and "who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Ester 4:14)
Friday the 13th
I had a friend of mine contact me a few days ago, concerned that I was giving into the darkness of my past. Totally understandable. As a survivor of trafficking and sex crimes it is an easy rabbit hole to go down. But the more that I speak about what I have come through and how I have grown from it the better I feel. The more confident I feel and I am more and more driven to keep others from staying in or becoming trapped in that kind of life.
So now is as good a time as any to "get it out there"
At 18 I moved out of my parents’ home, in extreme defiance and with complete lack of knowledge of the really world.
I had no money, no job, and no place to go...
I floundered for almost a year, hopping around living arrangements, jobs, and friends; none of which were good for me. (hind sight is always 20/20) If you would have asked me then I would have told you “life’s great” that “I have it all together” and that “life’s short so live it up” Eventually though it all catches up with you though. I was kicked out of where I was living, my parents wouldn’t allow me to move back home and ended up in jail because of a “friend”
Fast forward-à Still with the same friends and same bad choices I ended up in a bar, under-age drunk and under the influence of a master manipulator… But that I wouldn’t find out for years. For 7 years, I lived a secretive life, hidden from family and friends. They all could see that something wasn’t right and even though I had changed it wasn’t for the better. Behind closed doors my X was trading me to strangers through online websites and pornographic photographers and keeping a bank roll of the income from “club” he convinced me to work at. I was verbally an emotionally being twiddled down to shell of a person. No personal thought, or goals. I believed I couldn’t survive without him, because I had nothing and was nothing.
I had allowed self-doubt, and a lack of self-esteem to dictate the course of my life, UNTIL…
I had my daughter. Even then it was a struggle to stand up and say no or push back, but it was a start. Watching that beautiful little creature so innocent and sweet. A life before her that I vowed would never be like the life I lived.
But, it doesn’t happen overnight. It took me years, another child, abuse and 2600 miles to get me to leave that life and to free myself and children. A trip home, away from the pull and manipulation and the quiet question of my sweet girl from the back seat “Momma what’s courage?”
I couldn't really spell so I would just sing along, but as I got older and I finally figured out what she was spelling I also began to understand the story she was telling. Divorce was unspoken to protect the kids and she. really didn't want that D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
In the Bible it talks about divorce, in a pretty bad way. (Not that it isn't, don't get me wrong) But being divorced we are called adulterers, and sinners we may already be this one commandment always seems to haunt me.
My former marriage, hmmm, well let's say it was more a legal arrangment more then a Godly commitment. (but that is a different story)
Today divorece has become more then a catchy tune or a the hushed scarlette letter women wisper about in the grocery store.
It has become such a common thing, for a child to come from "a broken home" that policies have been put in place for "these types of situations"
~Side note, if you are in an abuse marriage or relationship, get out. God wants the best for you and being harmed is not one of the things he wants for you.~
But if you are hung up on him not putting in his fair share of kitchen duties or she annoys you with her nagging and OCD... That is not a reason for divore (or cheating.) It mean forgiveness and hard work are tools you need to aquire.
Having been on both sides, leaving for safety and putting in the work (dispite how Mr. R. sometimes drives me nuts) gives me better understanding and perspective. Remember, you didn't marry someone perfect and you are not perfect either. You both came flawed and a little bruised from life. But it is those things that played a part in making the person that you fell in love with. The wierd bathroom habbits, they once made you laugh. Her OCD gave you the structure you needed. There is a balance and somedays you will have to carry a little more then your spouse and somedays you will need to lean on them more then you'd like, but that is what marriage and life is all about. Give and take, highs and lows, laughter and tears. So, if you are at a point that you want to throw in the towel, dig in your heals and get dirty. Think on this
If you want to get warm
you must stand near the fire
You want to be wet
You must get in the water
If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life
You must get close to or even into
The thing that has them.
We all have choices and chances, will you choose to take a chance, maybe say your sorry, or that you need them and love them and are willing to make it work.
So let's begin...
I read somewhere in the last week "today is the 1st page in a 365 page book" So this is my book, my story and thoughts. A place of encouragment and hope.
To begin, a little bit about me. I am married to a great man, we just celebrated our 7 year anniversary. I have 5 fantastic kids, 14,13,10,and twin 5 year olds. While homeschooling our 14 and 5 year olds I try to find time to sew for myself, teach others to sew maintain house and home while speaking out again human trafficking as a survivor.
That's a lot of life crammed into one sentance, but it is the quickest explination of what makes up this fantastically crazy life of mine.
So let's begin....
On January 1st my husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. 1-1-10 (made it easy to count the years) We were married in the cutest litttle church in a town just over from where I grew up. It was a small and beautiful service on a freezing cold day with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite places.
But it was not all snowflakes and wedding cake getting to that place. Both myself and my husband had been previously married. He having 2 children and me as well when we met, we didn't really grasp the magnitude of what we were getting into. At the time out kids were 14,6,5,3 and we didn't have the twins.
Now when they say love is blind we normally think of apperence or behavior, in our situation it had more to do with being blind to the reality that we have two exta parties that were part of our marriage that we did not invite. (or as I tell my kids, previous poor life choices that we are dealing with as a consiqunce... choose wisely)
"Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future".Proverbs 19:20
I don't think my husband or I did that the first go round, and why we drive home the point with our kids that it is okay to wiat, there is no rush. God has perfect timing. He has the perfect person for you, the perfect job, home, life. (say what you will) But he does, and unfortunally it isn't always the timing that we would choose.
We have become a society that lives in "the now, for me, when I want it" But there is no lesson in that, we just want more and become more impatient. Trust me I lived it, I know.
The first 6 months of our relationship revloved a lot around dealing with ex's, time-sharing, court battles and filled with a lot of stress. But through it we each grew, helped strengthen each other and did our best to build a foundation that would sustain us through the hard times and give us peace in the easy times.
Now I wont lie, a lot of our mistakes and arguments came from trying to do things on our own, pushing through being patient and did what we thought was best. And it sucked, we made tons of mistakes through knee jerk reactions and didn't wait on God the way we needed to.
So when you go through today, and things aren't going your way; First day back to work after a long vacation and the things you need aren't ready or the person you needed to speak with is unavailable, your kids are not giving you the time that you need to get "your" list of things done. That check isn't in the mail or the news you wanted hasn't come, or has but it's not what you wanted to hear, rememeber
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven":Ecclesiastes 3:1
And just to start you off in a good way, here is The Byrds version