New Traditions

I grew up in a family of mismatched people and no traditional celebrations other than birthdays.  We were different from most families, but we were the “fun” family.  People always wanted to hang out with us at our house.  I suppose that could be considered a tradition in itself.  No matter where we lived, it was always a given that the place to hang out was at my house.

When I was young I longed to have the traditional family.  The gatherings, the long lost cousins coming to visit once a year on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  We didn’t have extended family.  There was no one to come.  I promised myself when I grew up and had my own family, I would ALWAYS have a traditional get together on the holidays, inviting many friends and family to feel the love I wanted to share.

Welcome to reality.  By the time I was married and had a child, it was too late to start these traditions I wanted to share.  My mom had passed, my then husband’s family had their own celebrations in another state and were too old to travel, and basically, he never allowed me to invite people over.  I was forbidden to ever have a dinner party or gathering.  If I did, he would always find a way to ruin it, or make me “pay” in some verbal or mental way.  So, I avoided it, just to keep the peace.

Finally divorced the man that caused so much anguish for me for over 13 years.  I was finally free to start new traditions with my little girl.  But wait, she is only with me on even years as per the divorce.  So much for the traditional celebrations, again.

Imagine how excited I was when I fell in love just before Valentine’s day 2011.  I’d NEVER had a Valentine.  Then we celebrated 4th of July together.  Oh boy.  Next up, Thanksgiving.  Plans were made, time off from work scheduled.  Heart break 3 weeks before the turkey was to be cooked up and served with love and tradition in a mountain community surrounded by a family I had fallen in love with.  So, my friend lovingly invited me to her home, with her family in from California, to celebrate with them.  It was wonderful to be among the love and noise of this family.  However, it wasn’t mine.

How blessed I was to fall in love again just before Valentine’s day, 2012!  As we cautiously nurtured this relationship, we spent time together, Memorial day, a birthday, vacation time, even flew out of state for a concert.  I was hopeful for the start of a new tradition with my new love.  Possible Thanksgiving with him or he with us.  Life is so cruel sometimes.  Heartbreak again.  A month before the warm roasted turkey would be served with savory stuffing and warm pies from the oven.  Now it felt like I would just die, a nice bologny sandwich would suffice at this point.  Who needs tradition?  Not me.  I never had it, why start now?

Another loving invite from the same friend who took me in last year.  Then it dawned on me.  I do have a new tradition.  I have a friend who treats me better than my family ever did, than any man ever has, and that means a heck of a lot more than any heartbreak just before a holiday.

New  traditions?  Definitely.  May not have been the way I saw them in my “visions and fantasies”, but God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave me Angela Staples and her loving family as my earthly angels.  My traditions may not be a set table in my own home with my significant other and our children.  My traditions may not be with my blood kin.  Apparently, my traditions are just like they were when I was growing up.  Mine.  My traditions.  Eclectic.  Spur of the moment.  The place that love built.  In my heart my traditions will always be, and I will always and forever be grateful for loving friends that seem to always be there for me at the exact time I need them.

Funny isn’t it?  How God has TRADITIONally provided exactly what I need, at exactly the right time?

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I Want You in My Life

I want you in my life!

How often do we hear this in our lives? As children we love to hear this from our parents. As teenagers, we long to hear it from our friends. As adults, we desire to hear it from the people we love and pray they love us back.

“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue these….”

Love. I hear “love” screaming from this statement. It is stated in 1 Corinthians 13:13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Oh yes, I want to pursue love, I want what the bible promises.

Withholding love and not communicating is not the pursuit of love. It is not telling someone you want them in your life. It is the opposite. It’s screaming that you do NOT have room in your life for them, you do NOT need them, and perhaps, even making them feel they are not even worthy of being loved.

I hear God shouting to me, “I WANT YOU IN MY LIFE”. I hear you Lord. I do.

Sometimes things happen in life to prevent love. It can make it feel that pursuing it anymore seems worthless. At times we need to come to the ends of ourselves to find God. Sometimes, being broken is the only way. I had forgotten for a time that you can’t change what has already happened, you need to look ahead instead of behind. That is where you will find love. The love God promises. God creates the masterpiece from all your broken pieces. The anointed and appointed love will grab you and never let go.

“Our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off is the truest index of our real situation.” C. S. Lewis

Our longing to be wanted is part of us, it is placed in us while we are being woven together in the womb. It is a need that can only be fulfilled with God as the driving force. With God as the main piece of the 3 part chord, love is everlasting and can not fail. I want you in my life. I need you in my life.

God, I want YOU in my life. All consuming. Unconditionally. Forever.

Our Prayer

Heavenly Father, I thank you for taking all my worries, concerns and fears to heart. I need you to cover my anxieties about everything, including every day life. Thank you for loving me, for bringing your comforting arms around me and for giving me the light of the Holy Spirit. You are in charge of my heart Lord and to You I give my praises throughout the day. Thank you for bringing Chuck into my life, for guiding us into a friendship and then into a love I have never known before or could even imagine. My thoughts always turn to You when I think of him, for he is honorable, loving, and trustworthy. The man I call my friend and love with all my heart. I just stand, NO, I fall to my knees in awe of how You must love me. Keep us both firmly in Your grip as you know the world and it’s heathenism can try to separate what You have brought together so carefully, and are completing the puzzle minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. If this prayer appears to be a ramble, I don’t apologize for it for You know exactly what is in my heart. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Image

When do you know?

When you love, you share yourself completely. When you love, you risk a lot. When you love deeply you do what you have to do to make the person you are in love with – happy.

The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was just this, doing what I have to do to make happy the man I love more than life itself. What does this entail?

Releasing him. To heal. To reflect. To become the man God intends him to be.

“The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God. What we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose.”
C. S. Lewis

As Christians, we try to be the light. I have gotten closer to God than I have ever been in my life. The past 3 weeks have made me realize God is not done with me yet, I am a work in process. I can not place my happiness above anyone else’s. I have to put another first. And yes, this is the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I want to be selfish, I want to keep hanging on by my finger nails to a love so purely meant to be, but not at the expense of health and growth in Christ.

How do you know when? You don’t. You never know when its right. I do not profess to know the feelings being experienced by the man I love. All I know is the guilt I feel. The heart ache that I feel every day, over and over and over again. I can’t even imagine how hurt he is that he would choose to not communicate with me. It’s like having my heart broken each time there is no response to a text, an email. I don’t try to call, I know I’ll only get a voicemail and no attempt to return the call. So for me it is more humane to just back away and deal with the hurt all at once, like a band aid being ripped off an open oozing wound, than to succumb to the hourly and daily tears I have been experiencing for 3 weeks.

The no “I love you’s” and the non communication speak volumes above and beyond a simple text of “I miss you” every once in a while…. It’s deafening and lonely to be here.

I’m not that strong. I’m not. I am however that loving and caring. In constant prayer for healing and mending. The fruits of these prayers have not been shown yet. After all I am just a woman, with her own hurts and needs. and now add a broken heart…

How do I know when? I don’t, I only know my heart can’t break anymore than the little fragments its already in, I now realize it’s time to focus on my own repair work to heal and mend.

Will God eventually include him in my life? Oh I pray He does. I pray for my love to reconcile with me, I know our hearts are forever entwined around our love for our Savior and each other….

When do you know? You don’t. You can only pray that since God is in this, then He will repair, mend, heal, and reconcile.

When you willing give it to God…… That is when you know.