Monday, December 19, 2011

What a girl (like me) needs.

1) Love
2) Affection
3) Support
4) Gentleness
5) Lots of patients
6) Compassion
7) Strength
8) Guidance
9) Humor
Most importantly: 
10) Reassurance. I grew up in a family where reassurance wasn't given. I never knew when I made people happy, only when they were displeased/dissatisfied with me. Now, as an adult, I constantly seek out reassurance. If I'm in a situation where I know I'm not doing the BEST, I'll avoid you. Afraid you'll point it out. Even worse though is when I'm doing my best and it's pointed out that I did something someone wasn't satisfied with. THE WORST feeling is knowing someone is dissatisfied with you. So, I need constant reassurance. Some people see this as being needy. It's not needy in the sense that I need you there every moment of my life it's needy in the sense that I need to feel like I'm doing things right for you, weather it be friendship, relationship, work, parenting etc. The moment I feel like you become unsatisfied I go into overdrive, afraid you will retaliate. So I want to know everything, I won't drop the situation, I become manic about things and that's when I lose control and just kinda go in a downward spiral.
As a child the retaliation I experienced was discipline, kids not wanting to be my friends etc. I responded by either fighting back or begging for friends. Regardless, neither was the right approach.
As an adult I have mainly seen this affect my relationship with my SO. In past, it's pushed them away, in present it does the same. I respond by being overly dramatic, turning the situation onto ME so I can "fix" the problem. I just want to move past the situation. "Get over it" sort to say.

Regardless of my up bringing, my past or my current stage of life, I am the one who needs to "get over it". No one on Earth is responsible for reassuring me. No one on this planet can fulfill that constantly and eternally. The only one who can fill my cup up is God. I know all the stories, I've read a lot of the books, but I need to start actively leaning on Him. Humans are sinful and will ALWAYS disappoint. If I continue to depend on them, I will continue to feel inadequate. When in reality, I am and always have been sufficient enough because of Him.

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3 things
1) Today I am thankful for my sweet sweet daughter. She was so bright today
2) Today I am thankful for a day to get things done around the house
3) Today I am thankful that it will be the last night I'll have to go to bed worrying about the alarm going off at 5AM.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A year in review.


Then...
lived with my dad
Commuted INTO work, 45 minute drive
Z went to school in Glendale
Searching for Him
Searching for "The One"
Serious diet control (this was the only real thing I had control over)
Mourning loss of a marriage
Mourning loss of friendships
Partying EVERY weekend
Neglecting my work
Neglecting my daughter

Now
Found Him
Found The One
Live in Buckeye
Commute 15 minutes to school
Z goes to school in Buckeye
Commute into Tempe 2-4x week (45 minute drive)
Rebuilding friendships
Learning to live life with The Ex
Spending more time with Z (she loves helping me cook!)

I started writing this post about two months ago. I've kind of picked it up and dropped it since then. My life has made a complete 180.
I can not believe how much God has shown himself and changed me for the better. I am amazed at the people he has put into my life, taken away and/or brought back. I am amazed that I was strong enough to do this myself (because of Him).  I am so in love with Him and can PROUDLY say I have found a home church, after not having one for nearly 5 years. Not only has God lead me to this church but I have also become a member of this church and am SO SUPER excited for what will come from this community, spiritual growth and support. Some days I'm still in amazement that I went from a dry desert to a habitable, nutrient dense jungle.

Not only has God worked in my life on a spiritual level, but He has worked in me and through my Ex to make what little "relationship" we have conducive to raising a child. He has taught me through multiple outlets that not only do I need to swallow my pride for Z's sake, but to strive to behave the way Jesus would've. I am incredibly thankful that we (T and I) can have dinner with him and his fiance. I am thankful He has placed a women in his life that 1) speaks to his needs, 2) communicates with me, 3) doesn't over step her boundaries as a "step" parent and 4) helps him to see my perspective.
A year ago, I was so done with him, I really was ready to cut all communication but I did have a dream to make things civil amongst us for Z's sake. My heart has truly changed and, although I still go through rough patches communicating with him, and emotions get mixed up, I am glad I sucked it up and worked it out with him.

One of the biggest blessings to come out of this year is T. To write the story would not do it justice. I met a boy one cold windy Sunday morning who I thought nothing of, aside from the fact that we had chatted online for a few months. In all honesty, ever since then we have pretty much be inseparable. He has grown immensely and I see God shaping him and I see his eagerness to please God. I see his love and desire for all that is good for me and for us. I have never met a person who express so much how they feel for me and actually follows through with those words. Here we are almost 12 months later, we are engaged and planning a wedding, but  more then that we are seeking God's desire for us together and consistently. It was hard for me to image letting someone into my heart again, but he has become my best friend, someone I can depend on. I am grateful and immensely blessed that God has chosen to place him in my life. 
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Thankful fors
1) A God who NEVER forsakes his children
2) A daughter that is so freakin cute
3) Having more places to call home then 99% of the population.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Uneasiness

Sometimes, the littelest, insignificant things bother you. Not only do they bother you, but the enemy has away of allowing those things to anchor in your heart.

The last few days, maybe even a week or so, I have really been struggling with inadequacies with my own body and movement within relationships.

Growing up, I was never comfortable in my skin. I was ridiculed by family and classmates about my appearance. I remember in 5th grade, I stood before my aunts cabinets (where she stashed all the yummies) and consciously made a desicion to not eat snacks any more. In fact, from there, I stopped eating all together. I would eat dinner, just a bit, to keep my father from asking me questions. I remember I used to hide candy bars in my bedroom. I'd never eat them, but kept them "just in case". When I'd want to eat one, I would just look at it and smell it. The sweet aroma that came from package was satisfying enough.
As an adult, I was still ridiculed by my family and in some ways my ex. I had gained a lot of weight and was by all means obese. I went from eating nothing to eating everything. I didn't want to stop. Food was the only thing that made me happy. It never talked back, never called me fat, never backed out of chores, duties, arrangements. It was also the center of a lot of my friendships.
During this time, I never once dieted. I was "content" with were I was and how I looked. I had a husband, friends, family and a good job. What more should I want? Anything above that is being greedy. Eventually, it was decided that we would try for a second child. Before we started, I wanted to loose some weight in hopes that the new baby wouldn't come 2 months early like my daughter did. So, with a ready heart and mind, I started dieting. I ended up loosing a total of 43lbs. (woohoo)
Fast forward, I have been in a serious relationship for about 7 months. I have gained about 6lbs back, which in reality is NOTHING. I know it's nothing, but I seriously feel like shit about the way I look. I hate that my thighs jiggle. I hate that I have a muffin top, I hate that my arms are fat, I hate that my boobs sag and that I can't wear a two piece. I hate that there are other people more "perfect" then me. It makes me feel deficient. Trust me, I know how far I've come. I know that a lot of other people have a much greater struggle then I. I know this is really just minuscule in the scheme of life, but it has really gotten to me this week. I have a man who loves me for the beezy that I am. He loves me EXACTLY the way I am, and that isn't good enough. He constantly builds me up, spiritually and emotionally. I just can't get past this.
Last night, I read a blog from Myra at myblesssedlife.net. Although her blog isn't specifically about struggling with self-image, it really spoke to my heart. A big part of me feels like my best isn't good enough. No matter how hard I try, I will have all these physical (and other areas) imperfections. And at this stage in life, I feel this way not because anyone specifically says anything to me, it's just the expectation I've placed on myself. T and I talked after he got home from a men's bible study and He just spoke to me through T's lesson last night. Not only do I need to allow God's love and grace to be enough, but I have no right to doubt it. T is amazing with words in these situation. He truly knows how misguided my heart and thoughts are, but knows how to steer me in the right directions using those calm, encouraging words I so desperately need. After our talk, I laid in bed tossing and turning. I reflected upon all the things that have got me to this place, about the way I look. I need to forgive people for what they say. Truly forgive, not just excuse the comments. I need to work on letting God be sufficient, because no matter what, I will always fail myself. T will always fail me, work will always fail me, friends will fail me. The only thing perfect is God. I also need to realize that I am exactly what God made me to be. I was created after his image. I need to allow these words to penetrate my heart and wounds and allow them to soak in and be absorbed. I will only find satisfaction through Him.
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Speaking of failure, to go right along with T and Myra's "talks", I feel like I've failed Z in so many ways. This summer I had so many dreams and expectations for us. I wanted to do a lot of art with her, start writing, get better with colors, shapes, ABC's and numbers. Instead, I've sat on my butt, doing school work, overall not placing her first. She deserves so much more attention and better effort. UGH.
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I am also struggling with the way my ex is doing some things. He seems to have found a girl and is ready to introduce her to Z. I feel so uneasy about this. Just knowing where he is in life, it makes me wonder what kind of women would consider really dating him (enough to be a part of his daughters life). I know I have no room to judge and don't have the full story, but I just don't feel at ease about this.
I'm also bothered by the fact he keeps trying to add me on Google+ because he has personal things on there I am not ready to see or be apart of. I purposely hide those from him because I do not want to cause awkwardness, but he seems to not have that same respect. It may also be that I don't want to see him move on. I don't want him to be happy....he doesn't deserve it. (ouch that's harsh, and deep down I don't REALLY feel like that, but right now, I still have a lot of anger towards him) Honestly, I just want him to be away from me. I want to not have to always consider him, think about him or wonder how he's going to react to things in my own life.
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I'm kind of in a dark place. This time of summer, I always get restless and a bit depressed.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memories

I remember one time when I was sorting through my mom's photos, I came across a picture that was ripped in half. After looking at it for a bit, I realized it was my dad that was cut off. At the time, I just accepted that that was the way it was. My mom and dad didn't want to share the memories they once had and wished that the other wasn't there. (I understand now the pain that comes with a divorce and understand why that action was taken to begin with).

That moment always kind of stuck with me for some reason. I decided early on that should anything happen to my marriage, I would not do that. Anything worth taking a picture of was obviously a good memory.

For those of you who know me, know for an extended period of time I was a pretty avid scrapbooker. Over the last 3 years I have slowly backed away from it because I didn't have anything "worth" taking photos of. My life wasn't "picture perfect" or happy. During the summer I'd scrapbook an entire year in about 5-10 pages.
Once I moved out of the house, I got rid of all my major scrapbook supplies. Ready to walk away from scrapbooking. I tucked my books away on a shelf and didn't bother looking at them for a bit.

But within myself, there were many moments that I wanted to go through them. One reason was to relive those past memories, to take me to a place that was happier. Ultimately I didn't. I thought about looking at those pictures and all the feelings coming  back to me (memories evoke feelings right?) and decided if I want to keep these books intact, I need to walk away from them.

I have decided that I will not alter those books at all. The fact of the matter is this:
1) Those books contain some of the most important events, milestones and happenings that have happend to me in the last 13 years. It would be unfair and selfish of me to get rid of these things.

 
High School Graduation, 2002  
Wedding, 2004

New York, 2007 
Birth of Z, January 16, 2008

Phamily vacation to Mexico, July 2008
 
Christmas 2009




2) I don't want Z growing up thinking/feeling she was a mistake or that her parents didn't care about each other or her. In all honesty, The Ex and I had 13 years together. We had a lot of great times, millions of memories. I want her to know all those things. I want her to know that she was created out of love and that she wasn't a result of a fight or an accident.

If I were to change anything about those books, I would  be lieing about my life, about where she came from .
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I've also decided that I will back up all my pictures on my computer from that time and lock it away for Z for when she gets older. She can decide what she wants to do with them from there, but I have no need for them on my computer anymore. 
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I am also madly in love with a very special man in my life. We've started to make memories and I am excited to solidify them in a book. I've heard a lot about digital scrapbooking and think this will be my new adventure.


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3 Things
1) I am thankful for time. It helps to make rational decisions
2) I am thankful for my daughter. No matter what, she was the light in that darkness
3) I am thankful for a real and active God, who continues to heal me and move me forward for the next journey in my life.



Thursday, April 21, 2011

His plan is ALWAYS greater then mine.

*This was pulled from my FB account. Dates back to NYC times. It's lengthy but could be worth a read AND there is a reflection at the end. *

 

Such as life i suppose.

by Jasmine Lok on Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 1:17pm
so... it's almost been a year since we moved out here. 10 months.
i want to go back to where i was before. i miss my friends and family. the community there was unlike anything i have found or heard of.
am i holding on to the past to much? should i just let it all go. all the people.. all the memories... all the possibilities?
i know god will direct us in the right area, but until it's "right" my heart longs for what i had.
i feel like i've gone through a divorce that neither party wanted. my heart hurts so bad and i know others felt/feel that way too.
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things in NY have been getting better. we've forced ourselves to plug into a church. i'm not quite sure how i feel about it. i like the people, but i dont know, there's just something about it that i dont get. maybe it's because it's "too big". i dont get that sense of community amongst everyone.
no one prays for anyone. no one touches anyone. it's just more... sterile i suppose.

job hunting is going to SUCK!! i know nothing about any of the schools, nor where any of the schools are. so this shall be interesting. i'll have to start my masters next year, which i dont want to and will also suck.

we're probably moving to brooklyn in june when our lease is up. it's too expensive here and we'd like to save up more then what we are able to now. the commute into NYC will be the same (which will be awesome) but the rent will be $500-$700 less, so that would be even more awesome.
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over all, things are getting better here. as things get better here, i'm still finding myself wanting to go back to flagstaff more and more. i dont know. i'm crazy sometimes i know, but i just want to go back. i miss everything about it (even the snow which is WAY better then NY snow).
every once in a while aaron will say "let's move back. just cut our losses and move back" my heart always skips a beat because i know that there is still so much more for us to see and do in NY, but ultimately that means nothing when you dont have family or friends.
we wouldn't be so lonely. so distant from society. so lost.
i'm sure it'll get better, but when and will i have patients for it to actually happen?
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 REFLECTION
Wow, is all I can say.
Those of you who know me in "real life" and have had conversations with me about New York, know that I am IN LOVE with NYC and sorta, kinda, just a little bit, regret moving back to AZ in 2008. It's amazing to re-read this and see where I was in that stage of life. Even at moment of my life. I was working at the preschool and was still a TINY bit disconnected from my co-workers. Come July, when I moved,  I had developed friendships that would last a life time. I can not believe that I had such little faith in God at that moment. My co-workers were my greatest friends in NYC. My job, also became the best job I have ever had. I miss both on a regular basis. Although there are days when I miss my Flagstaff family, I had built a real, true, authentic community.

We ended up plugging into a church called Forefront. I still attend that church when I visit, and my cousin now goes there. I built several relationships there have carried through with my move to AZ. At the time, we did become very involved and left, loving the church and people.

We moved to Astoria, rented a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom, with a yard for about $1800. SUPER CHEAP and SUPER HUGE. We signed a 2 year lease. 2 months into that lease we found out we were pregnant and the landlord let us out of the lease no questions asked. It was literally a miracle. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There were many wonderful things about NYC that I was too blind to see at the time. Now looking back, I can recognize them. However, I also recognize something more important. Should I have stayed in NYC, I would have ended up completely alone and helpless in NYC during and after the divorce.  Did God for see what was going to happen to my marriage and choose to bring me home so I could have strong family support, guidance and help? Did God know that I would need a few years to build DEEP friendships to help me through the divorce? Did God know? I know there is free will. God knows all the choices a person can make and all the outcomes that will happen because of that choice.
It's taken me almost 4 years, but I see He was protecting me. Giving me what I needed, when I would need it. He put things into play WAY before I knew I would need them.
Again, I am so disappointed in myself. So disappointed that I so quickly lost faith in God. So disappointed how quickly I thought God wasn't present.

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3 Things
1) I am thankful for seeing God's plan
2) I am thankful for God's sovereign timing
3) I am thankful for a life that is good because of Him.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Realizations


God is been revealing a lot to me over the last several weeks. I’m grateful for this insight and that I am seeing Him move in my life.

First, God has shown me that what I thought I knew love was, was in fact incorrect. In my marriage, neither party was patient, kind, forgiving etc. Intimacy was rare. Through time, I started associating intimacy with love. “When I love you, I am intimate with you”.  I started to feel as if I wasn’t loved because he wasn’t intimate with me. This realization brought me back to the whole reason I became saved to begin with. 1 Corinthians 13.

The realization that someone or something (God) should/could be patient, kind, isn’t envious, keeps no record of wrong and isn’t’ easily angered etc.(really badly summarized)  by my actions was infeasible. I grew up in a house where a lot of this wasn’t shown or displayed. When I read this, I knew this is what I wanted and what I needed in my life and also how I wanted to reflect love in my life.

Now, as I’m entering into a new, real relationship, I am finding that I’m putting that “when I love you, I am intimate with you” mentality back into place. BUT when I take a step back (which has only been recently, as this realization only hit me on Wednesday as I was driving home) I’m seeing that I don’t need to. Its misplaced assumptions.

T is so amazingly patient with me, it is unbelievable. I cannot ever put into words how surprised I am how he reacts to me when I flip my lid, or say something harsh, or go through something difficult. He is always slow to anger, slow to speak and eager to listen. He forgives me for all my little flaws, wrong doings and understands that I am working on those things and prays for me/with me.  To me, he truly embodies 1 Corinthians 13. Realizing this is what I have in my life, has pointed out to me the misguided feelings and thoughts I have on what love is. Although this realization was pulled out through the relationship T and I have, it’s God that even put this feeling on my heart and its God that made me realize the association I had with it. 

                Second, God is teaching me that I need to constantly pray for myself and my family. In recent weeks, I have been attacked spiritually with thoughts of fear, doubt and withdrawal.

When I was at my “peek” relationship with God in college, I was very aware of the spiritual realm. I constantly prayed for myself. I never felt anything bad or negative around me and just assumed it was how my life would work. Since realigning my walk with God, I haven’t prayed for this aspect of my life at all. I was totally ignorant to it.

Two weeks ago, I started to withdraw from my routine with God (Bible study, listening to worship music, wanting community). That Tuesday, the song, Blessed be your name (by Tree63) came on. In all times past, this has been a song that has ALWAYS lifted my spirits weather I was needing it or not. That morning, I DISTINCLY did NOT want to listen to it and I turned it off. There was a part in me that cringed when I did that, but I ignored it and moved on. That Thursday, I went to my first RC group (like a Bible study) and the ENTIRE time I was there, I was just angry. (I was angry because of what I felt like I was owed from God. I was mad he had taken away the community I had, the leadership I was in, groups I had lead. I was jealous that there was someone there whose walk with God was so deep and passionate as compared to mine. Really, all silly things) The anger took over and despite the authentic relationship and community this group of people has with each other, the desire for me to connect into a Bible study, I did not want to be a part of it.  I left discouraged. I felt like I was starting all over again and I didn’t want to do it. On a side note, I had been a part of MANY Bible studies since college and have never felt this way before.  T pointed out that a lot of this is fear and that the enemy could be using this against me and getting a grip on me.  Just to make things go full circle, that following Sunday, one of the last songs we sang at the end of the service was Blessed be your name.  Seeing, reading and singing those words are exactly what I needed that day. It made me realize that He will give and take away but regardless I need to keep my focus on God, blessed is His name. Even when the darkness closes in, I need to keep my focus on God, blessed is His name.             

I walked away from that week realizing how quickly I turn my back on God and try to do things myself, or lose faith that He can do it for me.  I learned that one negative seed can quickly sprout if I don’t pray about that aspect of my life.
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3 Things
1) I am thankful for a God who is caring, merciful and patient
2) I am thankful for the relationship that I am rebuilding with God
3) I am thankful for all the amazing things He is whispering into my ear. ALWAYS at the right moment. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Obedience Vs. Willing Heart

Is there anything wrong with doing something out of obedience rather then a willing heart?

When The Ex and I left the last church we attended together, I started going to churches on Sunday in search of "home". Home didn't come (it would take about 2 1/2 years to find something I could call home). After a while I just kind of picked a church and attended it regularly because I knew that is what God would want me to do . Not because I wanted to go, but because I knew it was the right thing to do.

Once I moved out of the house, I switched between NCC and Vineyard North Phoenix. Both very good churches, I just never felt connected and struggled to stay connected through small groups or functions. At this point, I was really angry with God and really didn't want to go to church. But I continued to go. I hated going a lot. It was such a "hassle". I had to get Z ready often times and figure out what service would be best for us, or coordinate with my parents if she was going to go to church with them. I was tired of sitting by myself in service. Yet I continued to go.

Through out this time, I tithed on a regular basis. I wanted to support "my" church, but my heart wasn't happily/willingly giving. I just did it out of respect for God.

She Who Can Not Be Named, sometimes questioned me on this. Asking me why I can't just give happily with an open heart. God has given me EVERYTHING I could ever need or want. Why was I being so selfish. I don't even deserve Jesus' sacrifice. That alone should be enough.
Her comment to me has stuck with me and kind of put a damper into me doing things. Sometimes I have felt guilty for doing something even though I didn't want to.

S, my mentor, has always mentioned how important it is to stay in The Word even if your heart isn't in the right place. She points out that the enemy is sneeky and will get his hands on you easily especially if you are not regularly surrounding yourself with God.

Today T and I were serving. He asked me if we should take two cars so that I could get Z if I needed to. He didn't want me to feel obligated to stay just because he was there. This conversation sparked these same emotions from the conversation I had with SWCNBN. Why was I doing this? Because I really wanted to or because I wanted to support T?

Ultimately I really truly believe that God blesses those who serve, tithe and worship. Even if their hearts aren't always willing. There is so much scripture that talks about obeying God, serving him faithfully. Sometimes, when you're in a dark phase, that is all you can do to keep yourself connected to him.

My heart is really turning back into a "willing heart". I want it to be there. It's amazing what three years in a dark place can do. I'm so disappointed that I let myself to get there, that I didn't have faith in God, even though I always thought I did. I was blind but now I see. I'm ready for this new adventure and I am very excited. I realize that I depended too much on myself and not enough on Him. I'm working on this.
(Side note: "I'm working on this" seems to be the term of this season for me)

____________________________________________
3 Things
1) I am thankful for an all forgiving God. 
2) I am thankful T going out on a limb and serving
3) I am thankful for my daughter. She's finally turning back into herself.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fixable I

The last few weeks I've had one thing pointed out to me over again.

I've always appreciated about myself that I was easily approachable and easy to talk to. While in NYC my old boss B and I were talking about an incident with a male and female co-worker that I witnessed. Ever since then I have not had warm fuzzy feelings about the female co-worker. Despite all my intentions and such, I guess I came off abrasive. Then, again, when I saw her this past week, I did the same. I asked B why she thought people (mainly girls) saw me that way and she said it's because I come across as if I know everything. As if I'm smarter then them.

The Ex has said many times that I talked down to him and made him feel stupid (I find that so hard to believe becasue 1) he's so dang smart he out logics me in ANYTHING and 2) he's one of the smartest people I know.)

T said that sometimes I talk like I know more then he does about something, regardless of if he does or doesnt. Example that was used was food. I get down on him for being so one tracked when it comes to food. He told me that although he likes specific foods, I don't realize that he's had wine tasting classes, knows how to cook etc. I just assume he's "uncultured".
He also told me I caught his room mate off guard with my attack on her about brocolli. Which I 100% was trying to be polite, I guess I was a bit pushy.

What sucks about these comments is I strive to be the opposite of that person. It's apparent that I am that person.  It's an area I struggle in. I know that I can be a B, but in general every day conversation I truely strive not to.
The good thing is that I have people around me who can point this out to me in a loving manner. The better thing is that I can accept that people view this way and want to change it. The wonderful thing is that I don't have to try to change this on my own. From today forward I'm going to try really hard to compose, present and verbalize myself with the honesty, compassion, humility and love.
This can be difficult because I have a very sharp tongue and a very short temper. I'm praying.

________________________________________________________
3 Things
1) I am thankful for peace in major desicions that were made.
2) I am thankful for all the patience people in my life give me.
3) I am thankful for God ALWAYS providing especially when I need it the most.



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Selfish Struggle

Lately I've been struggling with where my financial status is and where it could be in the future. I have to admit, that with the salary I make now I am not happy at all. I know that I should just have faith in God and let it be what it is, but I am selfish. I want to be able to afford vacations, I want to afford putting my child(ren) into an amazing school, I want to be able to afford a house payment, I want to be able to afford shopping for clothes etc. All these are things that I don't NEED, I just want.

I struggle with the idea that one day I might marry someone who won't provide me with what I want. This is a struggle because I know it isn't right to be concerned with this. I know God will provide me with what I need and my hearts deepest desires. Not that He needs to prove Himself to me, I've already seen Him provide for me time and time again. I know I am just holding onto a lifestyle that was a phase and has passed. It was a phase that wasn't good for me either. It caused me to loose sight in Him, loose sight of my family and my true desires. Having a partner with money is not good for me.

There are moments of weakness when I covet what someone else has and just wish for that money so I could also have it. But, more and more, there have been moments when I look at that same thing moments or a days later and really feel like "my life is complete without it". It's a struggle. Something I am seeking God to change within me. Something that will slowly fade away because ultimately it does me no good to be greedy, rich, materialistic or to covet what someone else has.

I kind of had a melt down this past week. Contracts came out and once again, for the 4th year in a row, my salary has not increased. Not only has it not increased, but I also don't have a husband who makes a substantial amount of money. So, I'm raising a child on essentially "pennies". Not only did that freak me out, but other changes that are occurring within my friendship circle are kind of making me want to make the leap into something that pays more...ANYTHING. After talking to my friend R and then T about it, I've calmed down. I'm realizing and feeling within myself that minimalism is what I need right now.  Simplicity is going to be the key to my success in this phase of my life. I am accepting that and am ok with that. It's time "I practice what I preach" and live the life style I've claim is so amazing.

Right now, I have direction. I have a goal and I am taking steps to attain those goals. Will those goals lead to that brand new BMW I'm wishing to get? Probably not. Why? Because I am realizing more and more I have other priorities such as raising a family, serving God and paying off my debts. Regardless of where my income is in the next few years, I will always have struggles if those are not dealt with in the appropriate matter. In fact, my selfish struggles will only get worse if I choose to ignore them.

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3 Things
1) Today I am thankful for a sister who can not only guide me but also forget my transgressions and have fun with me
2) Today I am thankful for the city that never sleeps
3) Today I am thankful for friends scattered here and there that make the same effort I make to maintain our friendships. 
4) Today I am thankful that I made church a priority even while on vacation. My heart and soul needed it. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Timing

God's timing is PERFECT but always a little funny/awkward/hard to decipher.

After going what's essentially amounted to 5 years without a real passion/conviction/desire for God, I really think I've found it. Not only have I found that passion to PLEASE God, but it's also come with convictions.

Conviction is something I've never really experienced in my walk with God before. A lot of it has to do with the church I am going to. Redemption Church has a lot of relevant, real and convicting sermons. Right now we're going through the book of James. So far, every week I've attended, I've walked away feeling I need to do more or change the way I've been doing something.
Week 1: Certain aspects of my relationship with T
Week 2: Reconnecting with people in the church/bible studies/community service
Week 3: Sick, didn't go, but HEAVY burden to start tithing again
Week 4: Serving/Leadership.
 Not only am I having these convictions, but they aren't going away. There are emotions that are coming about because of these convictions.  I truly am desiring to change these things or get back into the flow of things.


Relationship. Although I was looking to date guys, it was definitely halfheartedly. Not only was it halfheartedly, but I NEVER thought anything long term/serious could come of any of the guys I had talked to or went on dates with. I was just "getting my toes wet". I had written my list of requirements, but all the guys I dated/picked were lacking in one crucial area (among other areas). A belief in God. Not just a belief, but the desire, yearning for a relationship with Him. The passion to serve Him and to lead a family. T really is amazing. He embodies and has the desire/potential to be those things that I need. I've learned that in ANY relationship I am in, God must be first.
Anyways, back on topic. It's funny/frightening that I have found a relationship I could be proud of. I'm noticing how awkward it is for everyone else, that T and I are actually dating, but it is what it is and I am not going to avoid this relationship because it makes people uncomfortable.

Schooling. Although I've said many times "I'd never go back to school", I had often time asked The Ex to let me go back. He always said no because it would be too much of a burden on him having to pick up the extra slack of taking care of Z. He just said that he'd work more hours to make up for the income I could potentially make. After we went our own ways, the first thought I had was "go back to school". I start in May. The end result will help me to achieve my dreams. The dreams I thought were only possible because of the income The Ex brought in. Now I'm seeing that the more I rely on God, the more this is going to fall into place and truly help me achieve that dream.

Dreams. I haven't had real dreams since my friend S went on his first tour of Iraq. That was when I first moved to NYC, so 2006. Since then, not only has my relationship with God discintigrated, but the gift he has given me has weekend.
I went to my dad's house this past week to have dinner. After my dad left, I had "women" talk with my step-mom (that's what she called it). Among many things we talked about, she brought this up. She told me she had been praying for me in this area, that God would bring it back and draw me closer. Its ironic because that whole week I had been having very vivid clear dreams and they haven't stopped since then. Nothing prophetic or ground breaking, but definitely poignant, honest, vivid and sometimes scary.

______
All of this is happening RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW my life is changing in the direction I have only drempt of/prayed for. I CAN NOT BELIEVE that all of this is coming together after such a dark and empty period in my life, not just spiritually, but clearly in my marriage as well. I have prayed for a spiritual leader for almost 8 years. I have wanted to go back to school for at least 4 years. I have dearly missed my dreams. And secretly unbeknownst to me, I've wanted conviction in my life.
It is perfect timing. I'm realizing more and more as I'm away from The Ex and in a relationship with T, that if I would have been given ANY of this, I would not have been ready for it. I would've failed at it. I know this is GIVEN to me and they are all precious gifts. I am prepared for the responsibility and ready to step up to the plate. I want all of this and I will honor God by trying to do it the right way, because He is the one who has given it to me and can also take it away at any point.


Monday, February 28, 2011

How to say good bye

There are times in my life when the right words to say goodbye came to me. A time when they were easy, understood and mutual.

In the summers, when church camp was over, it was always expected that there would be massive amounts of sobs, blubbery words, hugs exchanged (which was a HUGE deal cuz the church I went to didn't allow ANY physical contact between opposite sex kids), email addresses swapped and whatever else we thought the other person deserved...

When college was over, my cohort engaged in "the last supper", even though it was actually breakfast, we all showed up at a little place in Flag, had one last meal together and enjoyed everyone's company. We knew this was going to be the last time we'd all ever be together again.

When The Ex and I moved from Flagstaff to NYC, our church spent one last Sunday meal with us. All our friends went to say goodbye together. We went to all of ours favorite hangout, prayed and ate like nothing was going to change. At the end, we said "good bye and see you soon".

When I left NYC, my closest friends were there to say goodbye. B took me to dinner a few nights before we left and B2 took me to Johnny Rockets. We spent our times together to say goodbye and when the time came for me to walk out of the VPC doors forever, I just gave everyone a hug and walked out.

When I moved out of my own house, I just left. There were no words that were needed.

BUT
When I moved out of my dad's house, there was nothing. That's how we roll.
The whole week leading up to the move was a bit awkward. I felt like I was disconnected from the family as if I wasn't living there anymore. Conversations kind of went no where, peopel were in their own world.
The whole week after moving, not a word. No one called, including myself. As if everything went back to "normal"

It's not a negative feeling, just an observation on how different relationships function.
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3 Things
1) Today I am thankful for the support to appropriately discipline my daughter (I struggle with this)
2) Today I am thankful for my mentor S. She is stern and honest with me, BUT does it with love. I need that.
3) Today I am thankful for some quiet.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Open Letter


 You made me scooby snacks and moe-coo countless times. You perfected baked ham and turkey just to see the satisfaction on our faces.  You worked your tail off to provide our family a safe place to live. You always loved to bring up eating wings with my pinky up, Area 51 and Uno. You spent many hours "flinging shit" in the front yard, fixing the neighbors house, chopping down the trees in the back. You used to help plant flowers in the spring and lost countless Christmas gifts in the abyss. When one of us was sick, you loaded us up with vitamins, checked on us in the middle of the night to make sure we had no fever and made us drink nasty concoctions so we could get healthy again.  You were protective of us.

In a lot of ways you showed me what it was like for a husband to love his wife. You were delicate, caring, considerate and paid attention to the needs of your wife. You went on adventures with her, consulted with her about any things her children wanted to do, never letting them play you against each other. Nursed her back to health countless times and held her hand through many rough patches. In my mind, I know you are the reason she is here today. I know you are the glue that held her together. You two were a single unit.

You were a father to me. Growing up, you taught me how to defend myself, how to challenge my thinking and the thinking of those around me. You also taught me how to care for my body and what it is like to care for others.You forced me to exercise with you, not just because you wanted to torture me, but because you wanted to make sure I was healthy and strong.You teased me relentlessly not because you were mean, but because you wanted me to have a tough outer shell.You took me to my first high school dance, let me bring my first boyfriend home and also wanted to protect me when that first boyfriend broke my heart several times. You taught me to love and respect an adult without fearing them. You taught me that there are consequences to my decisions they were never from you but you always warned me about the outside forces.

Some where something went horribly wrong.

I can't remember my life before you and I'm struggling to envision my future without you. You've done some really nasty things to our family and to me. Most of which can not be forgiven. Most of which, we now know are true. The hardest part is that despite all the nastiness you've brought into my life and into my family's life I struggle to let go of the man that rushed to my house to pick me up the day I moved out of my dads. The father that picked me up every day from high school and took me to the chiropractor. I can't forget the protector that ran after the truck that rear ended us and took off. I can not believe he is so far gone. I can not fathom a person changing so much in 3 years.

I'm praying for you. I do love you despite what you've done to my family and I. I want the best for you and I hope that you can find peace because I know that is what you're missing.
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3 Things
1) I am thankful for T taking care of me and Z while we were sick
2) I am thankful for friends who helped me move into my new living quarters
3) I am thankful for spending all day in bed sleeping.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What I'm Going To Miss The Most...

3 out of the 4 siblings + Z in MY bed when I come home from school. 
Late nights talking with my sister and brother
My brother and sister are amazing. They always know what to say and when to say it. Throughout these last 6 months they have listened to me to cry about a broken marriage, recount wild nights, my fears about being on my own and my anxiety over new relationships. Although we don't always see eye to eye, they are ALWAYS there for me with solid, heart protecting advice. 
Getting frozen yogurt after dinner with my sister and Z
Going shopping with my sister

It's so awesome to have a shopping buddy. It's even better when that shopping buddy 1) always scores amazing deals and 2) is a style fashionista.
Laying in bed with my sister
Tormenting my sister
Trying to convince my sister to cuddle with me (she did hold my hand once)

When she was little, I used to pin her down and force her to "cuddle" with me. As she got bigger, I somewhat respected that she didn't want to cuddle, but still tried. Once I moved in, one of the things I struggled most with was not having someone to hold me. She never let me hold her, but laying in bed with her talking was good enough. She did once tell me that she'd let me cuddle her instead of me cuddling a boy. I later tried to take her up on it and she declined.
The homework bar
This is a phenomenon I hope to have in my house with my children. All of us sit around the dinning room table with our laptops. We do homework, we blog, we facebook, we share funny videos, clips and trailers. Being around each other just existing is awesome. It also provides a lot of opportunity to learn about each other, to see what the other is up to in life and to talk. The four of us have spent countless hours around the homework bar. Often times, our late night conversations stem from the hours spent at the bar.
Working out in the family gym, with my brothers
Amazing food cooked by my dad and step mom
The constant ruckus happening in the house

Growing up I lived in a house and was apart of an extended family that was large and loud. Silence was something that I wasn't very familiar with. Once I moved out and lived with The Ex,  my life became very quiet. I found I didn't sleep as well. Now, living in a house with 6 other people, all of who have different schedules and one that is a toddler, it's constantly loud. I love coming home and hearing "my" tv blaring, or my brother playing some instrument. I will miss the noise. The constant presence of someone.
My little brother consuming everything under the roof (he's got a six pack too!)
The convenience of everything being in Glendale. 

Reality of it is, I'm a city girl. Through and through. Living in a small town is suffocating to me.  I love everything that a big city has to offer: preschools, restaurants, people, diversity, shopping, and loads of other things. I enjoy that everything is within 10 minutes of where I live. In Buckeye, I have to drive "into town" to go to a good restaurant, movie theater or for any sort of shopping.

Although the time living with my parents is over, I am eternally indebted to them for taking my daughter and I in during my time of need. I am eternally grateful for my brother and sister, "holding" my hand as I experienced the death of a relationship and growth of an individual. I leave this house on a hill with mixed emotions. I'm so excited for the freedom and the opportunity to do things on my own, but I am also so afraid to do it "by myself", knowing I can not come home to them and ask for help or advice.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    I've spent the last 6 months...

    These last 6 months have been crazy, crazy, crazy. I've grown in many ways and have experienced life. I'm moving out in less then a week. That alone, will begin a whole new chapter in my life. I'm using this time, to reflect upon the last six months.

    I've spent the last 6 months:
    living on top of a hill in Glendale.
    with a 45-60 minute commute.
    not paying any rent
    not having a grocery bill
    going through a divorce
    figuring out where God is
    sleeping in the same room with my daughter
    sharing meals with my family, that I've missed
    figuring out how to raise a child on my own
    balancing a new social life with mommy-hood
    living paycheck to paycheck
    madly looking for a masters program and applying to one
    losing 30 pounds
    teaching 180 kids 5 days a week
    running on very little sleep
    making mistakes
    "reliving" the college days I never had

    My goal for this year was to become self sufficient. Starting Saturday, I will write my first rent check, I will buy my own groceries for the first time in 6 months and start my journey as a real (as opposed to fake?) single mother.  I"m excited for the future and grateful for the past. God is good and will continue to provide for me my needs and I will choose to let that be enough.

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    3 Things
    1) I am thankful once again for antibiotics. Hopefully this time around Z will feel better
    2) I am thankful for friends who are understanding, considerate and helpful
    3) I am thankful for an hour to myself.


    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Does the medium matter?



    I've struggled to connect intimately with God for almost 3 years now. The moment I left NYC, I stopped hearing His voice. I searched and searched. Tried starting a home church, lead Bible studies, drifted from church to church, listened exclusively to Christian music, read the Bible, prayed, you named it, I tried it. All of this to no avail.

    There were moments here and there where I thought I heard His whispers. But, I didn't, it usually lead to a dead end or disappointment. I know that a lot of my own issues were that I constantly compared church/God to what I had experienced in college. I know that I need to move on past that and accept it for what it is.

    The last two weeks, I've gone to Redemption Church-Tempe. Not only have I gone, but I've been attending with my boyfriend T. The first weekend, was pretty awesome, as I mentioned in my last blog. This past weekend was amazing for me. I feel the passion, I feel the yearning of the congregation, the unification of the people the true authentic home of God. It is such an amazing feeling to be fed again. To have my cup filled.

    I was talking to my friend S, kind of a motherly mentor to me, and confessed to her that I was hesitant that these last two services were real and authentic. I was fearful that I was feeling this way only because T was there. S pointed out that regardless of why I was feeling God's presence, I should be grateful I was feeling it.. I need to use that feeling to propel myself into individual spiritual growth throughout the week. I need to stop over analyzing everything and let it be what it is.

    So the question to myself is: Does the medium matter? Does it really matter how I hear God, so long as I'm hearing God? The answers are clearly NO. I really just need to take it for what it is and enjoy this time of rekindled romance with my God. Take advantage of it and grow from it.

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    3 Things
    1) I am thankful God bringing T into my life. 
    2) I am thankful for perspective to sympathize with my mom.
    3) I am thankful for the last 6 months for pain, growth and reflection.

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Today I felt God

    1/30/11
    Today I went to church with T. It was our first time going to church together and it was a church neither of us had been to.
    Once we got inside, we found our seats. I tend to sight in the middle of the middle if that makes any sense. This way I can see the worship team AND the pastor when he speaks. I don't venture much from this area.
    Before worship even started, I immediately had flashbacks to Flagstaff Vineyard. I saw the electric violin, the 5 guitars, the electric bass, piano and drums not to mention the 3 microphones. It all brought back memories, feelings, things longed for.
    Worship started. It was pretty good. I felt the passion from the worship team as they played and I felt it in the audience. Their song selection had a very familiar flow. My heart was softening.
    The sermon was over James 1: 13-17.
     13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
     16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 
    The entire sermon was about taking responsibility for your temptations/sin and not blaming them on the devil, your neighbor, your friend etc. The pastor also talked a lot about what needs to be done to remedy the situation and how it can also start to consume your life. 
    Really, it was a slap in the face. As I'm sitting here typing this, I'm realizing many other aspects of my life that this touches upon. For example: choosing to walk away from God because of my anger towards Him. I blamed Him for things that were happening in my life, rather then REALLY stepping up and taking responsibility. Although it was a painful slap, it is much welcomed. The fact that I felt the slap, let alone His presence left a huge smile on my face. 
    After going so long with out feeling His presence, and then randomly, unexpectedly getting such a "comforting touch" is amazing.
    I'm really praying this is the reboot of my relationship with Him. I've really missed Him. A LOT.

    -------------------------------------------
    3 Things
    1) I am thankful for God putting someone in my life who is very patient with me.
    2) I am thankful for friends C in NYC and R in Seattle. I love those girls and miss them. 
    3) I am thankful that God has ALWAYS provided me what what I've needed, not always what I WANTED, but what I needed.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Supportiveness and Encouragment

    I've never experienced true support in my life..... until recently.  My family tries so hard, but I know that I let them down. I know that a lot of times our ideas, opinions, and beliefs do not align. I can imagine how hard it is to support someone who is doing something you don't believe in or don't want them to do. I've been there.

    I've been blessed enough to have some amazing friends who no matter what I tell them, have chosen to walk beside me. Letting me make my mistakes and supporting me in the choices I make. Even better is that they tell me they support me. Now, I'm not saying that they support free reign, but they are letting me make my own choices and helping me every step of the way. They are not judgmental but speak the truth. They do not separate themselves from me because of the choices I make, but draw themselves closer.
    ______________________________________________________
    Encouragement is another area I felt has lacked in my life. The Ex tried to encourage me, but it just never meant anything. It never stuck, it never motivated me. I think because a part of me knew he didn't really mean it.

    It's interesting having friends and family who are ENCOURAGING me to go out and do things, meet people, live on my own, support myself, go back to school, etc. It's nice to know that they think I can do it. It helps me to believe in myself because as a single mom, working full time with nothing to really show for it... sometimes it can be hard.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    3 Things
    1) I am thankful that my sister and I can have honest, painful conversations for the sake of God and having an authentic relationship
    2) I am thankful for a restful weekend
    3) I am thankful for antibiotics. Z had strep this week and is doing MUCH better.

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    I still believe in marriage

    George Clooney won't do it again
    Jim Carrey doubts it'll happen for himself
    Hundreds of other "normal" people run away from it.

    Marriage is something that I still believe in. No matter what I've been through, I'm serious when I say I know it can work and be forever.

    I still believe because I've seen:
    1) two people fall in love
    2) two people stay in love
    3) two people choose to always work on their relationship/friendship/marriage
    4) nothing greater (outside of God) then the love and companionship a marriage brings
    5) two people remain committed to each other through think and thin

    One day I will find my prince charming. One day I will marry him. One day. Until then, I will be content with where God has placed me. But, boy, don't I look forward to that day and who knows, maybe he's already in my life, I just don't know it yet.


    "there is no greater risk than matrimony.
    but there is nothing happier than a happy marriage."
    --benjamin disraeli, 1870
    in a letter to queen victoria's daughter louise,
    congratulating her on her engagement.
    via the book committed by elizabeth gilbert
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    3 Things
    1) I am thankful for teammates that work their tails off to get things done. They seriously rock! 
    2) I am thankful for doors being held open for me at dinner. It's the small things that count sometimes.
    3) I am thankful for new beginnings and look forward to some awesomely amazing secrets being revealed (no, I'm not pregnant or engaged or married)



    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Sudden Resolution

    When I was 13, I went to the Glendale Public Library with my friends. I remember this was a bit exciting because my dad let me out of the house for a bit to do a research project. My friends brother and his friend were going to be there. We walked to a seating area that was located behind some shurubery.
    I remember as we approached the girls I saw this kid that looked like a bird. He was scrawny and had a big nose. There was no attraction. I remember he pursued me to no end. I was flattered that a boy would pay this much attention to me and I enjoyed that attention.
    Fast forward 13 years later, and that flattery is far gone.
    My friend E has been bugging me to call the judge who is handling our case because she felt like it was odd he wasn't signing off on our papers, despite the fact that we had agreed 100% on the terms. So I called yesterday, left a message and never heard back. Last night while talking to a friend, the divorce came up and he was basically kind of reiterating everything a lot of other people have said to me. So this morning, these two conversations were weighing heavy on my heart. Today around noon, I decided to try to find more information on who to call regarding the divorce processes. I finally got a hold of a human and explained to them my situation. She told me that our February 14th court date (WTF by the way right?!) had been canceled. I asked her why and she said because the divorce was finalized. I asked her to clarify because I didn't understand. She said that as of December 15, 2010, the divorce had been finalized. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. All this time, that I was Ms. Lok and I had no idea.
    I immediately started crying.

    First I panicked for a few seconds.WTF.... I have no one I'm attached to. I am all by myself. I can do whatever I want. I AM SINGLE, alone.

    Seconds later, the tears that streamed down my face were out of pure excitement. I couldn't and still can't believe what was given to me so quickly. My heart skipped beats. My new life flashed before my eyes. All the possibilities came to life. Instant relief came over my body. Everything loosened up and was relaxed. I could breath again.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    3 Things
    1) I'm thankful for a sudden resolution to my divorce
    2) I'm thankful for feeling life on 2 hours of sleep
    3) I'm thankful that I don't have to spend Valentine's day in court.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    The benefits of NO friends with benefits

     :::Warning: Too Much Information below, parents, don't read if you're going to judge!:::

    I'm realizing more and more that this is some sort of socially exceptable relationship in the "real world". I honestly had no idea and kind of fell into it TWICE not realizing what their expectations were.
    This is why I won't do it again.

    First off, there is self respect. I'm learning more and more that my mind nor my heart wants this type of relationship. My heart wants to be in a committed and exclusive relationship. Where there is respect for each other, communication, value and honesty. Not a booty call or "weekend friends". I'm learning to stand up for what I believe in and not cave into desire, which is fleeting. Maintaining my dignity and self respect is definitely a benefit of having no friends with benefits.

    Secondly, who does it benefit to sleep around? These days it's very common for people to "date" multiple people at once. I know my definition of "dating" is clearly not what the average American practices. Therefore I'm assuming when they are "dating" other people they are also sleeping with other people (unless exclusivity has been spoken about). So not only does this really minimalize the intimacy within sex but also is a great way to spread STD's. Clearly a clean bill of health is a benefit of having no friends with benefits.

    Lastly, I hate having to dance around or tip toe through a FWB relationship. It messes with my mind and I don't want that or need that. I appreciate knowing where my position is on the "totem pole". Nor do I want to have to worry about "the other girl". It's not right for me or any other girl to be sleeping with a guy when he's "seeing" someone else. I don't ever want to be "that girl" EVER.

    Fitting for tonight's post.
    Young the Giant- My Body
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    3 Things
    1) I am thankful for being able to stand up again for what I believe and feel
    2) I am thankful for Z playing with me
    3) I am thankful for NOT breaking my toe after rolling over it with a cart filled with $400 worth of bottled water and candy. OUCH!!

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    When will Jasmine move out? That is the question Part 2

    *Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I've been overly busy. ;)
    Let's revisit this topic for a moment. (If you didn't read the first one, read it here)

    First off, it's official, I am moving out the weekend of Feburary 12th. I'm still nervous as heck. I love my family so dearly and so appreciate their help and dedication. It's going to be hard to be on my own. I don't want to depend on my friend "family" the way I do my family. It's not right. There are moments when I doubt my abilities to do this on my own, BUT here are the facts:
    1) I'm a freakin strong person
    2) I'm pretty logical, I've got commen sense and I'm some what smart
    3) I have great friends in Buckeye that will support me and encourage me.
    4) I have amazing family in Glendale that will support me and love me and help me when I need it
    5) I'm independant.

    I've got a pretty good head on my shoulder. I was raised by 4 wonderful parents who have all contributed hours upon hours to my growth as a child, teenager and adult. The combination of parents I have is so amazingly diverse, I really think it's what makes me so level.

    Even if I end up moving home (which I don't see happening) a friend of mine told me this today:
    "You have to be allowed to make mistakes in your life other wise you'll never grow."

    This move is no where near a mistake, but it sometimes feels like a blind leap of faith for me. I'll be honest when I say the move wasn't my idea. I have three friends who have really pushed for this move, and I can say with 100% honesty, I trust their judgment, insight and opinions. I FEEL it's the right move it's the lack of seeing the future that makes me hesitate the slightest.

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    3 Things
    1) I'm thankful for freakin amazingly fun friends. 
    2) I'm thankful for a daughter who cuddled ever so slightly with me today
    3) I'm thankful for the slow drive home today.

    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    Unsure of the unsure

    Anxiety is something I have never struggled with. In fact, in the past I've been pretty unsympathetic to those who have struggled with it. I've always felt those who struggle with anxiety were either causing their own issues or didn't know how to handle the issues that arose in their life.

    Since September, I have had 2 small anxiety attacks and countless moments of anxiety ridden thoughts. I hate the feeling. I hate that my heart races in a bad way and gets heavy. I hate that my stomach gets sick and that I can't sit still. I hate that every time it happens, I feel like I'm not in control of the situation. (Maybe the point of the anxiety is to open my eyes up to the things I shouldn't panic about or try to control??)

    A few days ago I did a bit of snooping around on the internet and found out a few things that kind of bothered me. One potentially good and one just awkward. They instigated the "situation" that day. It only lasted a few minutes, but regardless, it's interesting that I am experiencing this. 

    I'm pretty sure that most of the anxiety is happening because I am in a phase of my life where my ground isn't solid like it used to be. I have never been one who didn't have a plan, a goal, an idea or a dream. Since single-hood, so many options have arisen and have been thrown my way. Anything from opening my own business, getting a masters to moving out of state.  I am embracing this phase of my life but still hate the fact that I do not have a solid foundation to raise my daughter on. <- This is what makes me scared shitless. This is what keeps me up at night more often then anything else. This is what gets my heart racing in a "not fun" way.  This is what gives me anxiety.

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    3 Things
    1) I am thankful that my dad is a freakin awesome cook
    2) I am thankful for the opportunity to play on a softball team with friends
    3) I am thankful for a SOLID full nights sleep.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Stuck in reverse

    *Disclaimer: I know that a lot of my posts have been "downers" but I am not depressed, these things have just been on my heart.*
    There was a day when I was obsessed with Coldplay. I played their CD over and over. These days I can rarely tolerate them.

    Today while driving home, this song came over the radio. Instead of turning it, I just decided to "suffer" through it. Although I believe this song is about a struggling love, this is not what caught my attention. It was the first part, that really struck a nerve with me.
    "When you try your best but don't succeed
    When you get what you want but not what you need
    When you feel so tired but you can't sleep.."
    ~Coldplay, FixYou

    So often I feel like no matter what I do, I can't or won't succeed at it, that I'm a disappointment, that I can't get ahead of the game. I also realize that I spend way too much time getting what I want instant gratification anyone? and not enough time searching out what I need.  Most nights/days, I run myself into the ground so I can keep my mind occupied on other things. Yet, I still lay in bed for a bit before I can fall asleep.

    I need to learn that the only opinion that really matters (aside from God) is mine. If I am happy and content with my behaviors, actions, choices, opinions, etc, then what does it matter what anyone else thinks. I need to stop being a people please-er ALL the time.

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    3 Things
    1) I am thankful to be able to stand firm in circumstances that aren't good for me
    2) I am thankful for a full nights rest last night (8 hours)
    3) I am thankful for "professional development"

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Hey Jealousy!

    I struggle with jealousy.
    When I'm in a relationship, I become insecure. I become doubtful as to whether or not I'll be able to maintain that relationship. Fearful that they'll find someone else better, newer, etc.

    When I was married, the jealousy I had was fostered by inappropriate relationships that The Ex had had as a teenager with other girls. Later on, it was only made worse by an addiction. I was always afraid he'd meet a girl, become emotionally connected to her like he had in the past and leave. In some VERY SMALL aspects, this is what happened. Although he regularly reassured me that he was not, I struggled to believe him. I would get nervous when he'd go out with "untrustworthy" friends. I'd panic when he wouldn't come home or call if he was out past the time he'd say.
    I just didn't know how to move on from that feeling. Sometimes I would just ignore it and other times I would ask/confront him about it. He was always honest, I believe, which did reassure me in that moment.

    Exploring new friendships and eventual relationships will be a new time for me. I will have to over come the tendency to be jealous. There is no part of me that wants to feel this way and no part of me that wants to place these ill conceived feelings on a friend or possible partner.
    Some part of me wonders if this fear of abandonment comes from my childhood. If some how I'm still "dealing" with this issue.
    I know I need to give it up to God. Ultimately I just make excuses not to.

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    3 Things
    1) I am thankful for a fire drill that got me out of school 10 minutes early
    2) I am thankful for my brother working out with me last night
    3) I am thankful for the new friendships I am continuing to build.

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    When life gives you lemons

    Life has given me a few lemons lately. BUT I'm making lemonade with them AND it's going to be the best damn lemonade anyone has every had. ;)

    It's been an interesting weekend to say the least. I'm learning so much. I'm making the mistakes I need to to grow. I'm making the decisions I need to to become independent, to stand up to The Ex, to become an adult. I'm guarding my heart as much as I see fit.

    This week a close friend of mine told me I need to start making decisions for myself or I'm not going to survive the real world. That was harsh, but boy was it an eye opener. 


    This is going to be an awesome adventure. I can not wait.

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    3 Things
    1) Today I am thankful for all the time I spent with Z at The Children Museum
    2) Today I am thankful for maturity
    3) Today I am thankful for my bestest friend, who is getting ready to serve his 3rd tour over seas.

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    The Importance of DGAF'ing It.

    In college I did it A LOT. I kinda felt like a slob. I'd wake up, roll out of bed, put socks and shoes on and head to work. Sometimes I'd put my hair back and most times I'd brush my teeth. I just didn't care. In New York, I cared. Everyday. I had to. It's Manhattan. When I moved back to Arizona, I fell back into the old habit. Well as much as I could for being a "professional".

    My sister, is always well put together. Has her hair done, dresses nicely, make-up on etc. I always admired that about her. She looks so beautiful among other wonderful attributes she has. A few weeks back, I noticed that her hair was straight, unwashed and her make-up wasn't as perfect as usual. I asked her what was going on and she said she was "DGAF'ing it".

    DGAF'ING?! WTF is that? :)
    Apparently it means I "Don't Give A F**k". So when I say I'm DGAF'ing it, I mean I don't care what I look like, I'm just trying to get through the day.

    In college, it was just habit. There was no meaning. I just didn't care what so ever. Had no need to. I was married. I worked full-time and I went to school full-time. I also maintained a house and deep friendships.

    After moving back to Arizona, I have slowly grown out of the DGAF'ing phase. I've appreciated coming into my own. Even if it took 8 years. ;)
    So, why is it important? There are moments in a person's life when a they just needs to relax. Just be. Just exist. And not have to worry about anything other then her day to day tasks. When I DGAF it, I'm usually making a statement. Usually trying to prove a point to myself. That I can relax. That image isn't everything. That I don't have to be "perfect" all the time. It's an awesome moment these days. Totally too much information, but the times I DGAF it, it's awesome. I don't take a shower for a few days. Just roll out of bed, pull my hair back, brush my teeth and head out the door. This seriously saves me an hour! An hour! That's 7 more hours of sleep a week. Those 7 hours could mean someones life.
    Basically, it's good for my soul to DGAF it every once in a while. To NOT give a f**k. I care too much all the other times, not just about myself but everything else in my world. I and you too, deserve to DGAF it every once in a while.

    So, in conclusion, DGAF'ING is awesome, necessary and a right. Don't judge people who do it.

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    3 Things
    1) I am thankful for coworkers allowing me to participate in their practices
    2) I am thankful for the opportunity to make my own choices and learn from them
    3) I am thankful for my sister, who has taught me a multitude of things

    Sweet Disposition

    I remember when I was young I would dream about what my life would be like as an adult. I always envisioned that I would have a sweet, dear husband, who treasured me and talked to me tenderly. I envisioned myself as a sweet women with happiness beaming out of me uncontrollably. Sitting on our rocking chairs on the porch, watching people as they pass by our house. Our disposition would be sweet. Very sweet.

    Whenever I hear The Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition, it kind of brings me back to that childhood thought. It makes me analyze my disposition in life. Am I happy? Does it show? If not, what can I do to fix it?

    One time, right before our divorce, The Ex and I got into a disagreement about religion. He basically was making fun of me for getting emotionally caught up into Christian worship music. I quickly brought up how he consistently air guitars/drums/sings to his music because he too get's caught up in music. The whole point of music is to evoke emotion.

    This song does exactly that for me. Not only that, but it stirs something within me to do better, be better and dream better. 



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    3 Things
    1) I am thankful for honesty among friends
    2) I am thankful for pain in relationships
    3) I am thankful for my sweet daughter and the 3 years God has given me with her.