Friday, October 19, 2007

I Think: Marriage and Faith

By: Mia Black

What do you do when you call yourself a woman of God and you find yourself knocking on the door of divorce? For me I got down on my knees and prayed to God. I don’t know what I prayed for, but I can say that He has stepped in and renewed my faith in His power, His strength, and His on-going presence in my life. No doubt my husband has his shortcomings, but mine are there right alongside his.

My problem stems from my mouth. I talk things to death to all the wrong people. The only person I should be sharing this with is God and other married women that have been in my shoes and stuck through the bad times. But unfortunately I run to my group of friends. Not that I don’t get their blessings, but it is not the same. None of my close friends are married. Some have walked in my shoes and some have had long relationships with the fathers of their children, and some have no children at all, but ultimately marriage was not their final decision like mine. It doesn’t make anybody right or wrong, it just breaks that commonality that once linked all of us.

Because for me right now, I know I am not going to leave my husband. I know that when I came to do this the second time around, that this was it, hell or high water, and God willing; I am going have a 50 year anniversary. Because the one thing I did in this marriage that I didn’t do in my previous marriage is have kids.

Now I’ve been told by numerous people don’t stay married just for the kids. You need to think about you and what’s best for you and your happiness and you, you, you, you….blah, blah, blah. I’m sorry, but I will stay married for my kids. I apologize for my Whitney quote, but I do believe our children are our future. The day I chose to have kids with this man, was the day I vowed to make every effort and sacrifice to ensure they have both parents in their house everyday. This is not law or the way it should be, but it is me being true to the morals and values I was raised with. You marry the person you have children with. And I am not ashamed of these morals or values, to the point that I want to pass them down to my kids. And the only way I can pass them down is to lead by example.

I know my kids have witnessed arguments and they know when we run short on money to pay some of the bills, but are those reasons worth leaving my husband for? Hell no. Because for the rough times that they have experienced, they have seen tenfold the happy times. In my household, it is not mommy that gets them up for school and all that morning stuff that I just can’t handle; that is all Daddy. Daddy get’s them up, dressed, and dropped off at daycare and school everyday. When Mommy needs a break, Daddy takes them to the park or movies and spoils them rotten. Monday is Mommy’s day off so Mommy doesn’t have to do anything. Daddy has the morning and evening routine. Every Saturday and Sunday they sit down to breakfast and dinner with Mommy and Daddy. It would be more, but my husband’s and my schedule are offset. Then there are the holiday eves and mornings that will hopefully set traditions in their lives as they were set in mine.

I use these examples from listening to my friends, co-workers, and acquaintances along my journey in life, and I do hear about the impact that divorce does have on kids. Not seeing or knowing their father. Having to spend the holidays with just one parent or being battled over in court and having to choose which parent. Sorry, just not something I want to put my kids through. So if I have to shed a few tears or not go on a vacation or two, I will do it. My kids are worth it.

I don’t claim to have the answers to a happy marriage, but overall, yes I do believe I have a happy marriage. By no means is it perfect, but God didn’t promise me perfect. And every challenge and every obstacle He has set in my marriage, has made me and my husband grow as individuals and united us as a couple. I will say we have been through some serious tests that I’m sure most marriages won’t experience in a lifetime. But I must constantly remind myself, we have only been married for three years. In the span of forever that I vowed my husband and God; that is nothing. How can I quit on forever when I only gave it three years? I don’t know what God has in store for us. I have and will continue to pray for forever, because I owe it to myself, my husband and most of all God and my kids. And I have the faith in God that He has my back and is working behind the scenes on my behalf.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What I know: Surprise you’re pregnant!

By Jennifer Texada

A very close friend was recently stunned by the news of her own pregnancy. This struck me as odd because she has been praying that she would someday have a child for at least the past 2 years. She has complained endlessly about her desire to get pregnant, her fears of not being able to get pregnant and her regrets for not thinking about this earlier in her life.

So, on Sunday morning I got a call. The stick had one and a half lines, and she was almost in tears. I instructed her to go pee on another stick. On Monday morning I called her “What’s the word?” I asked. The stick had two solid pink lines, and she made the blood test appointment. My response was Hooray!! I am so happy for you, let’s plan the baby shower!! She did not cry, but it was clear that she was not ready to plan the shower.

Her response to this joyous occasion went something like this “But it’s not the right time, I thought it would take longer, can I really do this? I am not ready…what am I going to tell my mother…but I am planning a cruise in June…”

My answer…there is no such thing as the right time to have a baby.

There are better times than others, but no matter how much money you have, you never think you have enough money. No matter what kind of job you have you will never feel like you have enough time. No matter how much support you have you will always feel like the burden rests on you.

Although it may seem that some are more adept than others at this parenting thing, no one is born a parent. I just found out today that damn Dr. Spock, the guy who wrote the book on parenting, had a son that committed suicide. You are the expert on raising your child. I am not saying you should not seek advice, but you know what you hope for your child’s future and parents are are tasked with doing everything in your power to get that done.

I don’t mean to negate her fear. Fear is a natural response to the unknown. As important a job as this is, I would think a first time parent without any trepidation is a parent that does not realize the gravity of their task, or does not care.

I think essentially all that a child needs a parent that cares. If you are willing to try and love this little person and help them to navigate through this weird world of ours you really have nothing to fear.

I have a feeling that this is not the last time I will talk about this. I will try to share what I can about what I know about being a mommy in relation to the questions I am asked by my friend who is about to become a mommy… Congrats girl I am happy for you even if you have not decided to be happy for yourself yet.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

What I know about: Being True to Yourself

By: JT

You may find if you choose to live your life in a way that goes against the status quo your choices may be challenged at every turn. I am in a place in my life where I have decide who I want to be, and how I want to live. I want to be happy, I choose to be nice, and try and treat people how I want to be treated. I want to respect my body and my morals and live within my own comfort zone. I want to develop my career, and eat healthy and raise my children to love and respect and behave. I thought these were qualities that I should aspire to. Not everyone thinks so.

At Work
In the office this week, I think I was insulted, but I am not sure. I was told that I was too nice. I did not know this, but apparently you cannot be nice to people at work, you cannot help people if they are not giving you something in return.

I don’t agree, so I am sure that my work relationship with people who feel that way will suffer.
When I go to work every day I want to do my best. I want to work in a way that God would be proud. I choose not be easily offended and choose to be happy even in the face of adversity. Being argumentative, judgmental and insulting to people does not does not accomplish this goal. I cannot imagine anything that anyone at work could say or do to me that would make me compromise my joy, or forsake my positive work ethic.

In Dating
I just started dating after being in relationships for the past 13 years. I come out into the world only to find out, in general if you are not sleeping around, you will only get one date. With almost every guy I have met, we have been on a traditional first date, and then asked to come to their house for the second date. I am a smart girl, I know what they want.
I have been told, by people who love me, I should take full advantage of this time. I should go ahead and have a “booty buddy” and a “out for lunch” guy, and fun party guy and just play the field. I have options and choices, I should just have fun.

No thanks,

I can have fun, but my idea of fun is not stringing multiple men along, or selling my body for a plate of popcorn shrimp. I need to feel comfortable with a person before I share that much of myself with them. I need to know that they care about me and don’t intend to hurt me before I let them so close to me. Call me old fashioned but I think you should have a relationship before you have sex. I can buy my own lunch, and attend parties with my friends, what I want is a companion.

I considered relaxing my standards a bit simply because my friends told me that in order to move forward with my life this is what I had to do. But after thinking it through I decided; the guy that is right for me is going to not only be okay with my standards, but he will care for me and respect me even more for having them. True that guy may be hard to find, but I believe that there are still men out there with morals and respect, and those are the guys for me!

Know who you are, know your standards and your limits and embrace them. Be who you are and love who you are. At the end of the day you and God are the only ones who have to be happy with your decisions about how you “do you”.

Monday, October 1, 2007

What I know about: Being Happy in the "NOW"

By Jennifer Texada (I have owed you this one for a while.

I get teased
bit about my always upbeat demeanor, especially at work. In the office, sometimes things are a little stressful, with deadlines, and complaining customers and such. Many of my co-workers tend toward complaining. Sometimes, I don't blame them, people can be mean, and deadlines can be short. Believe me sometimes I want to give into the peer pressure and complain right along with them, but when I catch myself doing it, I stop. I always try to turn it around with a statement of solution, resolution or something positive.

Because "This is a day that the lord has made, I WILL REJOICE and be GLAD in it." It is as simple as that for me. So far there is nothing going on at the office, in my house or in traffic that is bad enough for me to give up my happiness for. The next statement I make, may be controversial. I personally believe that happiness is a choice.
There, I said it.
I believe that if you want to be happy, you can, just like if you want to be offended, or stressed, or mad, you can do that too. I have things in my daily life that have the potential to steal my joy, but it is up to me if I let it. If someone cuts me off and steals my close to the store parking spot I can honk scream, swear and let it ruin that moment in my life, or I can go find another parking spot, and walk a little further. Thank you God I have legs to walk and the strength to get from that spot to my destination.
I love being happy, and I will defend my right to be so. It took me a long time to get here. I fought my share of battles with depression and hurt, and stress. I spent years looking for happiness in men, friends, food and malls. Finally after quite enough of that, I figured out that I can be happy if I want to be, no matter what. Even if there is something I lack at the moment, I refuse to let it steal my joy.
I also choose to speak only good and positive over my life, and the lives of others. This was a hard habit to gain. I think we all say things like "I am so stressed" in the heat of a trying moment. But I find that I am less stressed when I change my inner dialog to something like "It is going to be okay" or "Just hold on, this moment will pass". It is MY inner dialog I can say to myself whatever I want to. I choose to steer my inner dialog toward my joy instead of my decline.
I am pretty young, only 35. So maybe I am naive in thinking I have a choice in my emotional status. The way I see it, I spent many years choosing to be miserable, depressed and lonely, and I did a good job at that. Being unhappy is a hard way to live. So far this has already been easier.