The World Didn’t Come to an End

damn-charliefhfhfA “do over” wouldn’t be a do over without change. For those of you who have followed me on this journey of my Mid-Life Do Over, you’ve seen everything from broken-heartedness, revelation, frustration, excitement, as well as a marriage (and pregnancy!) come about in my public do over. There can be happy as well as sad times. It can be challenging and sometimes downright terrifying. The trick through all of it is finding peace whether that be from God, family, or even a new hobby – though I encourage seeking peace through God.

My changes and transitions have been anything but smooth. I’m a clumsy person by nature so therefore I don’t handle change gracefully. It usually consists of me kicking and screaming, or has been known to keep me in bed with the lights down low, shedding a river of tears for quite a length of time. I’m a Melancholy. Change, whether it is voluntary or involuntary, bad or good, is never accepted well on my end. That is one of my many weaknesses and I am okay with that. At least I am aware of my responses and behaviors. This allows me an opportunity to turn my weaknesses into strengths which in the case of my temperament, means I have to find that particular strength in Christ.

Picture-5For most of my life I have referred to myself as the proverbial “Charlie Brown”. I say this not to feel sorry for myself or to gain sympathy from others. It’s merely to point out to readers that when I’m regularly not met with poor luck, I am usually met instead with some crazy obstacle. That’s okay. In the past few years I’ve come to the understanding that this is either a season of strengthening and learning, or God’s way of saying, “Yo, chick! Listen up! You’re going the wrong way!” And of course, I naturally respond to Him with self-pity followed by reluctant acceptance or – if I want to be real honest with you (and I think that’s best in most cases) – blatant rebellion accompanied with the middle finger. What can I say? I’m human. I’m stubborn. I will speak as though the world is out to get me or the sky is falling only to to find in the end that I have grown, become better, and that He still does all things for my good – even if I gave Him that finger gesture. That’s life. It continually moves on with or without our consent and it’s how we respond that ignites growth and maturity (human AND spiritual). This is when I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes of all time which can be found being delivered near the end of “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” by Linus Van Pelt.
Thank God, I married my Linus Van Pelt.

“I suppose you feel you let everyone down, and you made a fool of yourself and everything. But did you notice something, Charlie Brown? The world didn’t come to an end.”

Charlie Brown kite 2

Married life with Matt has been wonderful – from what we’ve experienced so far. We had a fun wedding. A short reception. A honeymoon. And then reality hit us square in the nose. After we allowed our eyes to water a bit and realized that our “noses” were not broken we were reminded that long before the exchanging of vows and even the popping of the question we spoke of how, if we were to marry someday, that we’d dedicate our lives and our family to do God’s work. I meant it at the time. I mean it now. However, I know that unless God reminds me in a way that only I will take heed to, I won’t follow through. Call it a lack of motivation or a diversion of life. It happens.

Last Christmas, without a promise of marriage, I knew that I wanted to be closer to Matt. The decision was made and I began to follow through. I was moving to Murfreesboro. Since January, I have been beyond diligent in sending out resumes and spending hours upon hours filling out applications online for a job in the Murfreesboro/Nashville area. I knew competition for job openings would be stiff and that it possibly wouldn’t be until May when I’d finally get a breakthrough. PERFECT! The boys would be out of school and by then I would have graduated with my degree in Counseling! God was going to provide that perfect job for me on His timing (aka, MY timing).  I had a few phone and person to person interviews but nothing fully materialized before May. But I knew I was on the right path because on March 31st, the man I loved and wanted to share my life with asked me to be his wife. That had to be a sign, right? May came, I graduated, the boys got out of school with nothing but honor roll year ’round. Things really started looking up… and then I was t-boned with the revelation that I was pregnant. Rolling with the punches, we made our apologies and moved on to utter excitement. I could actually get pregnant still! Not exactly the order in which God calls for, but nonetheless, He was blessing our soon-to-be union with a baby! Our plans continued forward. We were going to even buy a house. I mean, why pay near $900 a month for an apartment that our family could fit into when we could pay $700 a month to own a home of our own of the same size plus a yard?

Anxiety Charlie BrownBy the end of June, our plans began to fall through the cracks no matter how hard we tried to salvage them. I was ordered on bed rest due to a “vanishing twin” and other issues. (By the way, bed rest sucks.) I no longer had the option to work and be a financial team player with Matt. Well, I did have the option but at the risk of losing my surviving baby which is not an option in my book. We were able to re-prioritize our budget and move forward on the house that we had chosen. Granted, things were going to be tight on one income, but it was doable. Sacrifices: no more Starbucks, no more Bare Minerals, excessive driving was to be cut back, no more movies, no more going out to eat (I was going to have to learn how to cook).

July. The month of our wedding. The last month before God re-established himself as a clear focus in our lives. The financial stress of my lack of employment fell upon my parents unfortunately. I hated that. The inexpensive wedding that Matt and I were paying for became my parents burden instead (though they’ll swear it wasn’t a burden). This was my second wedding and call me “old school”, but I didn’t feel like this one was their responsibility. They paid for the first one. But they provided the most fun and amazing wedding anyway and for that I am beyond thankful! And let’s be honest, they did this not just because they love me, but mainly because they love Matt – probably more. *wink* I was served court papers that prevented me from moving my boys to Murfreesboro. This in no way is bashing their father. He’s actually an awesome dad. Since the divorce we have shared custody because he lives close by. I get the boys one week, he gets them the other. The boys love it like this. In my move to Murfreesboro, their father would no longer get them every other week and I wasn’t willing to relinquish every weekend to him due to our religious differences. So, he did what any  loving parent would do – he fought for his children. I hold absolutely NO grudges against him for this. But this was just another obstacle that I would have to hurdle, an obstacle I could very well lose.

Charlie Brown. I told you.

We had a wonderful wedding. I officially became Melissa Ellis-Clyde on July 20th on a hot, sweaty Saturday evening in the dead of summer. Maybe I was so sweaty because I was pregnant? Go figure.

Football FumbleDuring our honeymoon we were faced with an obstacle of not closing on the house in time. Matt was due out of his apartment at the end of the month. That gave us three days after we returned from the honeymoon to move him out, into a storage unit, and clean. Stressful doesn’t even cover it. We agreed that I would remain in Crossville while Matt continued working in Murfreesboro. Matt would commute to see me when he could until we would finally be able to close on the house. So, our married life wasn’t different at all from our dating relationship. Not exactly a picture-perfect start to a marriage, but we agreed to refer to our marriage as an “adventure”, allowing obstacles and risks without any prior expectations.

If you look back, starting at my “Last Christmas” paragraph, you’ll see where we never once seeked God for His will in our lives. We made a plan and ran with it – not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes He requires us to look beyond ourselves and our own selfish goals and to look to Him and what He has in store for us. In the long run, He always proves that His way is better anyway. On August 1st, God made himself very clear after months of giving us clues. Without any details to be given (because quite honestly, it’s really nobody’s business but our own), we were shown that Matt’s time in Murfreesboro was done and mine was never to come. This decision didn’t come lightly and quite frankly, we’re kicking and screaming. But we’re submitting.

It was devastating at first, but as we spent more time reflecting on not only all the signs/obstacles we kept facing but also how we felt led at times, how our heart strings were tugged in certain directions in the last year, we found peace. I never have peace, so that’s proof enough that this is God. All the obstacles we faced in the past few months, those were all God’s whispers. It took a scream in the face for us to listen. So in the last two weeks we have abandoned all plans of our own and are listening for His voice in our next destination. In this we ask that our friends, family, and readers to pray for us and with us that breakthrough in this somewhat scary transition is just on the horizon. It hasn’t not been easy on me, Matt, or the boys.

pitcher Charlie BrownFor the time being, our home is in Crossville. The one town I have tried moving mountains to get out of – on and off – since the age of 12. (Why do I keep ending up back here?) Maybe we were meant to be here all along? Maybe God will bring us right back to Murfreesboro and is just giving us a season to seek Him for a deeper intimacy? Matt is looking for employment, not just in Crossville, but between the Knoxville-Nashville stretch of interstate to keep a wide variety of options open. The boys are, however, thrilled that they have been able to return to their previous school with their friends that they have established in the last three years. That makes any mom’s heart swell.

And we are in search of our new church “home” where we can step into the ministries we were called to. Matt and I were never meant to be “bench-warmers”. None of us are. It’s exciting to know that God is working through us, bringing us to place of destiny. Our hope is to continue healthy and loving relations with our prior “home church”. With that being said, we ask that others refrain from accusations, assumptions, and gossip during this transition. We are leaving our church family with love, grace, and yet a broken heart.

The peace that has now infiltrated this transition has led us already to some amazing rebirths and simplicities. Matt and I are getting a crash course on marriage obstacles and so far, we’re just thankful to be going through this with each other, with God in the center. Where I thought I would have to pull out of my plans for a Master’s Degree recently, I have been given a greater revelation that I am to move forward in my education of Christian Counseling. It may take slower than I desire, but it will be accomplished. I have felt for a long time that I was called into this ministry, focusing on relationships whether it be family, marriage, or even within a church. This education will solidify and intensify the wisdom I hope to provide for others. Bringing me to this…

In September, I plan to unveil my new blog, “Grace and Glass Houses”. It’s my hope to utilize this blogsite to inspire, motivate, and educate the Christian community (and beyond) in our relationships with one another. I hope to have many guest-bloggers and plan to do a lot of hard work in each blog – i.e. research, study, and heartfelt prayer. That blog will be less personal than this one, but still with insight to my own personal revelations – my own glass house. The whole point of the blog is to embrace and love others. To throw grace instead of stones.

In closing, I’d like to  reaffirm that though I worked hard, putting things in play and struggling to keep them together, and feeling as though I let everyone down when the bottom dropped out, and made a fool of myself and everything – did you notice something? The world didn’t come to an end.

On the contrary. All is right with the world.HappinessIsAWarmBlanket_Stills_520-2


And Now, May I Introduce…

Christians, in general, have given themselves a bad name for their lack of grace when others seem to stumble or simply not measure up. Unfortunately, I must admit that I am not only guilty of stumbles and temptations, but also guilty of throwing rocks in glass houses.

Not much by means of privacy...

Not much by means of privacy…

Welcome to my glass house! If you find it necessary to throw any stones, feel free. I’m slowly learning that once I show humility and repentance for my wrongdoing — maybe even apologizing to a mass of witnesses for my indiscretions — that once I’ve released that shame and actually have left it with Christ, the problem one has with my sin is no longer my problem, but theirs. My glass house then becomes shatterproof. That’s not to say that if my sin has left a trail of disaster for me to clean up that I simply leave the mess in my house; I am to accept full responsibly and take consequences for my actions. I am to clean my house; no one should live in filth.

Now, before you begin to think that this blog post is really a sermon or a how-to on house cleaning, stick with me. I’m just working myself to the ultimate goal of surprise and excitement. And I am not a preacher—by far… nor a house cleaner. I am quite the clutter-queen.

I am 36 years old and I am marrying a 27-year-old man. Many find this amusing, some find this disgusting, and then we have our fans who are either un-phased by our age difference or are shocked that I am as old as I claim to be… and trust me, I despise admitting the truth about my age. It’s a woman thing. Matt and I plan to have children of our own. I have two awesome boys from a previous marriage (Divorce – something else that I have been “stoned” for among Christians a time or two). We were going to start trying to add to our wonderfully blended family next year when he would finish his Master’s program. I would finish my Master’s shortly after, as well. Still we had a concern that getting pregnant was going to be a somewhat tough battle to overcome due to the simple fact that it’s easier to get pregnant in your twenties than your thirties – not to mention late thirties. I have also had a pregnancy mishap in the past that could be a reoccurring issue. But to us, it is worth the try. We want children together. And quite honestly, my other two minions are more than encouraging to us to give them a baby brother or sister (preferably sister, to Minion #2).

The Adventures of Matt & Mel

The Adventures of Matt & Mel

As I mentioned in my previous post, Matt asked me to marry him on Easter this past Spring and I eagerly (beyond eagerly) said, “YES!”

Wedding plans have been underway. We didn’t want a long engagement and wanted to be settled in a routine family life in our new place so that Minion #1 and Minion #2 would be better prepared for the new school year in a new place—change can be hard, you know? I started a diet and even started exercising. By the end of April I realized that I hadn’t lost a pound but instead, had gained five pounds and even a few inches around my waistline. It was the worst time to realize I had no control over or didn’t understand my own body! Finding a wedding gown became virtually impossible. I wanted to slit my wrists (not really) at the size of dresses I was having to try on and when I would finally cave in to the idea of a dress, I would go back to find that it, too, no longer fit! It was devastating to say the least. Practically begging Matt to cancel the wedding altogether and just go to the Justice of the Peace, he refused stating that we had too many friends and family who have waited for too long for us to unite as husband and wife… and I admit, he was right.

I was stressed and was becoming resentful with my own wedding. And as we all know, stress can sometimes mean more weight gain and so, I gained more.

Fear not! There was a solution! (Nope, this isn’t a Body by Vi pitch either.)

Two days before Minion #1’s tenth birthday, I was given an encouraging word from a very spiritual woman in our church. She assured me that I needn’t worry about my wedding or the dress. That I was going to be beautiful! And that my baby was well favored with the Lord.

Say wha-?

Say wha-?

*record scratch* Say wha—?

I laughed (think of Abraham’s Sarah) at the promise and said, “I’m not pregnant, I’m fat.” Then I gave her this huge spill about how I’m having the hardest time losing weight and that I’m actually worried that getting pregnant is going to be a trial because of my irregular cycles and age and past trauma. Clearly, she was embarrassed with her “word” of my pregnancy and back-pedaled immediately, claiming that maybe she just heard the Holy Spirit wrong — maybe she was supposed to assure me that getting pregnant would be easy after Matt and I got married because God had so much favor on us and our union. This seemed to be an acceptable answer to me for about 5 minutes until I walked away from her and told Matt. Know that this woman is highly anointed by God in the prophetic and I can honestly say that I have never heard her pass on a “prophetic word” without any truth attached to it.

Maybe she heard the Holy Spirit right and I was the one wrong? So I went home and took the fourth pregnancy test since February….

Without further ado, Matt and I introduce to you Minion #3!!!

(And that woman of God that gave me the prophetic word, I now refer to as my walking-talking pregnancy test.)

get-excited-we-are-having-a-babyWe are pregnant! And I shout this a huge smile on my face. Yes, yes… I am very aware how this came about and that we are not married. “Shame on us” – Am I remorseful? Only for my actions of intimacy. Am I a hypocrit? No, because I’m openly admitting to you all now that I make mistakes. I screw up often. I don’t do it on purpose nor with the agenda of fooling the world.

The Word clearly states in numerous scriptures that sex before marriage is immoral. And for those of you who want to argue with this way of thinking, it’s not up for debate. Our [Matt’s and mine] consciences clearly stated the same when sexual intimacy would occur. We still do not condone it, do not encourage it. There is so much that goes in to intimacy that sometimes we can’t even wrap our heads around it! I blogged at least twice on this issue.

Still, I’m a firm subscriber that God holds his children accountable, wants us to take responsibility so we can mature, like a good Father does. He doesn’t seek out to punish us for our sins; they were all taken to the cross. And He really does all things for our good. It’s not the best timing, sure — that’s our consequence. But He knew and still knows our hearts’ desires—and therefore, He has blessed us with a Minion!!

We are beyond thrilled. And I will proudly display my round tummy in a maternity dress on July 20th when I walk down the aisle. From here on, I’m leaving my shame and guilt with Christ, right on that cross. I love our baby Clyde and absolutely cannot wait to meet this little dude – or chick.

Our counselor reminded us that apologies are no longer required at this point. That with every new apology we issue for this pregnancy, this baby becomes less of a blessed gift. This is something I plan to enforce when I counsel and come across this very situation in the future.

So this will be our last apology:

I am sorry if we have caused you to stumble in your walk someway or have caused you great disappointment. We both work in a church setting and understand the nature of the sin and hurt that has been caused. But from here on, we are focusing on the bright future before us and invite you to take part in our joy as well. It’s how we handle this situation from here on that will speak volumes. Matt and I are very human and oddly enough, I’ve made more mistakes as an adult than I did as a stupid teen. My hope and prayer is that when others see our carnal fall and then our graceful climb back to our feet, they will also see two people they can seek for honest, loving, and confident counsel. Our hearts have been with family minded ministry for a long time – to encourage and counsel – and I believe that this was all part of God’s plan to make us more qualified and understanding to meet others’ needs.

Al Pacino - Godfather III (I actually pretend that this movie was never made, but great line anyway.)

Al Pacino – Godfather III (I actually pretend that this movie was never made, but great line anyway.)

Now, to answer questions that will be asked (I’m sure): No, we have no idea what the gender is. We don’t even know how far along I am. (I haven’t cycled fully since January, have had 3 negative tests since February, and look as though I’m in my second trimester.) Our first ultrasound should be July 2nd. For a girl we’re considering the name Gabriella (“Gabry”) which is feminine for Gabriel. This would make her a “heroine of God”. As for a boy, Brody McClintock — like the John Wayne movie (so Brody would be a hero too). Minion #2 wants a girl and Minion #1 believes it’s a boy AND a girl. (I could kill him for speaking that over me.) I will be registering for baby stuff after the wedding because I haven’t had a baby in eight years and basically have nothing. I don’t even have maternity clothes anymore — “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”

Now to wrap this post up…

Our families have already moved beyond the hurt and anxiously await the newest addition of the Ellis clan and the first-born Clyde grand-baby. Thank God for our loving family!

We announced our growing family to our church family yesterday and were met with nothing but love and support from them as well. Some even had similar stories of their pre-wedding babies. The church accepted our remorse but better yet, accepted our joy and are now taking part in it. Our glass house hasn’t even a crack in it. I told you — shatterproof, when we truly repent and leave our sin with Christ.  Everyone (if they’re bored enough) is now just watching me sweep up the mess, vacuum a bit, and put everything back in its proper place.


Folks, this is real Christianity — God’s people — and I am sorry if you have not experienced it first or second-hand. But I assure, this is how God wants us to be with one another — it’s always comes down to love. Plain and simple.

And our adventure just got bigger… literally.

Oh, and if you find many typos or grammatical errors, I’m going to give you the same excuse I’ve been giving Matt for the last few weeks-worth of forgetfulness and clumsiness… I’m pregnant.

Fearful Daydreaming

Missing. Last seen in a creek on a makeshift raft with Barbie and Ken. Jem and her holograms are suspects.

For most of my life I’ve either been a late-bloomer or just an true-blue oddball. For instance, in junior high while other girls were on the phone talking about boys, bras, and makeup, I was trying to get off the phone with them so I could return to playing with my Barbies. (Michael Jackson had recently taken a dive off the raft that he, Ken, Jem, & other random Barbie dolls all had built to leave the deserted island they were stranded on. In reality, he [Michael Jackson doll] fell into the creek that ran along-side our house, never to be seen again… but that’s another blog for another time…and probably another age group altogether.)

In early high school, while girls were already dating and going to at least third base, I was panicking that I would never get my period. (No fear, I got my first “monthly bill” at the end of my freshman year. I’m completely normal.) Late high school and early college, it was the beloved Bridal magazine–usually accompanied by the age-appropriate Prom magazine. Girls would flip through the pages daydreaming and envisioning themselves in their favorite gowns and planning their ceremony as well as their reception. Nope. Not this girl. I was mapping out my future as a Broadway star, deciding which classes in college and auditions to attend that would shoot me straight to The Great White Way.

I never made it that far on stage. But this isn’t about my supposed “shattered dreams”. Those dreams don’t  feel even remotely “shattered” to me at this point of time in my life. This is about why I always felt behind and where I’m finally at now, now that some things have already been said and done. In high school, I did not daydream about my future wedding. I did not ever imagine what my marriage would be like, let alone my gown. The same stands for college. I didn’t even want to get married. Having kids were O-U-T, out.

But it all happened anyway, didn’t it? Maybe I should have daydreamed about it, even if only once in a while. Maybe then I would have held myself to a higher standard. Better yet, maybe I should have prayed on it–just once–before I said “I do”. I never once concerned myself with God’s favor in the marriage. I was never officially proposed to (and no, it was not a shotgun wedding). I didn’t really get to choose where I wanted to be married. I had to invite a ton of bridesmaides to match the groomsmen count. I never had musicians play at my wedding (and that’s a HUGE no-no for me seeing as how I am a musician. In my opinion, the whole wedding should be set to a soundtrack as opposed to a soundtrack set to my wedding.) And don’t even get me started on the reception–it was a complete disaster…

(Maybe I should actually spend a whole blog spilling the ruined details of my wedding sometime?)

None of it just wasn’t what I imagined… but then again, I didn’t imagine much before then. So, here I am. Divorced. But not because I had a crappy wedding. Not at all. It was because I wasn’t ready. My heart wasn’t in it from the get go. I didn’t press in to God for the answers.

Some areas of society today, such as the small town I grew up in, promote the unspoken suggestion and pressure to be married in your 20’s. Start young because life is short. You can finish college when you’re married. You’ll get your career when you’re married. You aren’t sure of who you are yet? Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out someday together when you’re married.

I. Was. Not. Ready.

I felt like I was standing 14,000 feet over the Earth, strapped to a tandem skydiving instructor, hanging onto the sides of an aircraft for dear life until the instructor forced us to a plummet… wait a minute, that actually did happen. 80-year-old, Laverne Everett was in that same position in an actual skydiving incident and her results were much like my marriage.

But several months back, I came to my first self-glimpse of what marriage was supposed to be like. Better late than never, right?  (See “And the Two Shall Become One”.) To be honest with you, the idea of getting married again still sets in fear with me. I’m afraid that I’ll choose the wrong person, or after we exchange vows he’ll realize that I was the wrong person for him. I worry that I’ll make the same mistakes I made before or allow the same mistakes to be done against me. I want to believe that I’ve lived and learned, but I haven’t fully been able to shake the fear. My guilt of a failed marriage has converted to an absolute fear.

“Love at Last Sight” – Kerry & Chris Shook

Prayer has been a constant weapon against this struggle and most recently I have been in a women’s bible study about becoming the Proverbs 31 woman, which has opened my eyes to the kind of Godly woman I’m striving to be. The kind of woman a Godly man will find worthy of being his wife.  Along with these two, I’ve also been reading–for the second time around–“Love at Last Sight” on my Kindle.

And out of nowhere, the change has begun.

A month ago, I decided to waste about 2 hours of my night clicking through the internet’s latest craze, Pinterest. I was drawn to photos of cake decorations. Originally, I was checking out the silly zombie cakes–I know, I’m sick and twisted. But 30 minutes into that obsession I found myself marveling at the wedding cakes. Beautiful and creative wedding cakes. Quite honestly, I didn’t think much about it that night. But when I allowed this insanity to occur the second and third night, I started to panic that I was no longer panicking.

Then I crossed the line. I crossed it big time. Don’t blame me, blame my friend Heather who felt that updating her Facebook profile picture to herself in a wedding gown instead of her current pregnant state was a good idea. I studied her dress for quite a while, appreciating the fact that this being a second wedding, she steered clear of the traditional white and chose more of a candlelight color for her gown. And I asked myself… would I avoid white for the obvious reasons? Would I be bolder and actually add some vibrant color in the dress?

One hour and 45 “saved” gowns on my hard drive later, I realized… Maybe I’m not so scared anymore? I mean afterall, I’ve been taking this becoming Proverbs 31 Woman seriously.

Now before there are any assumptions made by those who know me and the person I am currently involved with, we are nowhere close to tying the knot. The idea still freaks us both out. So I repeat, we are not getting married anytime soon. Getting engaged hasn’t crossed our minds as an immediate plan either. I’m just happy to be with him right now and am taking this journey one day at a time… Love is patient, remember?

But I’m finally at that place where my friends were at 15 years ago! Can you believe it? No, I haven’t broke down and purchased a bridal magazine yet, but that’s because I have that sort of information at my fingertips now, thanks to Google. I have just recently entered the realm of do I have a ceremony outside or indoors? And even considered an elopement in Ireland!… or honeymoon. There are so many possibilities!

This all may sound crazy to most and scary to a few, but keep in mind that this is how older girls play “dress up”. I’m in prep-mode which is perfectly normal and healthy. And for once, I’m excited about it. Told you I was a late-bloomer.

Just not excited enough to actually followthroughwith it… not yet anyway. I still need a few tweaks in my life, behaviors, and fears. For starters, I want to finish school this time. I want to have at least the beginning of a career that I believe in. I want my two boys to be ready and prepared for the change in our lives when I get married. I want to lose a few pounds so I can look super-hott in a wedding gown. Not to mention gaining a healthier body to possibly have another baby (yes, that is a daydream too now! Wow!).

I want the fear of marriage and the possibility of messing up gone, because I’m going to mess up and more than just once. But now I understand that a sincere “I’m sorry” goes a long way. That I need to be intentional in my dedication to our marriage. That my marriage will be more than two lovers, but as best friends. A relationship. That I am to love my partner as Jesus loves His bride… that I will never turn my back on that union despite the flaws and shortcomings. God is working on me, creating me for someone. In a few months to a few years, depending on His timing (because that’s what I’m banking on this time around–Him), I’m going to be the perfect match for someone, ready to commit my whole being to him–to us–and jump into a whole new adventure together.

“Love at Last Sight”, Kerry & Chris Shook

Until then, I’m going to continue my own individual journey in becoming who God has always intended for me to be–becoming far more precious than rubies. Striving to be a terrific mom to my boys. Studying hard in school. Allowing Jesus’ light to shine through me daily to others that feel as though they are walking in darkness. I’m going to be an amazing girlfriend, support and best friend to that special guy in my life.

And I’m going to continue daydreaming about my perfect wedding, chisling away the fear little by little, laughing at the future.

God wants me happy and I now know that this dream would actually make me happy.

Happily Ever After… defined as one fun, BIG adventure with a lot of hard work.

The Skinny…

For most of my 30-some-odd years I have been thin. It came naturally to me. As a young girl in grade school my mom would often take me to the doctor for a health checkup because I was so skinny. His questions to her were always the same:

“Does she eat well?”

“Yes. Quite a bit actually.”

“Is she active?”


“She’s fine.”

Whereas heavier girls were self-conscious about their weight, I was self-conscious about mine. I wore sweatshirts in the summer throughout grade school, junior high and high school just to cover my skinny arms. Slouch socks, luckily in style at the time, hid my extremely tiny ankles. I drank protein shakes in high school to gain weight and was actually a whoppin’ 92 lbs for prom because of them–not that I filled my dress out anyway. Thanks to my small weight, I only qualified for a trainer bra until college, and then only wore an AA (yes, they actually exist. They are smaller than an A). I wore little girls’ clothes because they fit better than the smallest offered juniors’ size. I couldn’t even donate blood.

So, ladies, the grass is in fact NOT greener on the other side.

By college, I put on my freshmen fifteen and actually became an appealing lady to look at (in my own opinion). I was healthier looking because of the weight I had put on. It wasn’t because I tried. My metabolism simply slowed a bit. I had no idea how to diet nor exercise, really. I ate what I wanted and was as lazy as I wanted to be. Still I was small.

My depression changed that for me a little. I would get heftier in the winter months because I was so melancholy and chose to literally feed my depression spells. Of course, the weight would practically melt off me by the time bathing suit season came around–without me even lifting a finger.

And naturally, after having a few pregnancies under my belt, my weight has fluctuated in my 30’s.

So, here’s the skinny…

I’m not. Not anymore. I haven’t been for quite some time. Try two years. Does this line up with my divorce woes? Yes and no. When the actual divorce started going down, I chose to feed my depression, disappointment–and whatever else we may call it–with food.  But my divorce has been final for a year and a half, so now that it’s all been said and done… why am I still overweight?

I could give about fifty lame excuses, starting with the fact that I’m practically clueless as to how to get into shape. Realistically, however, we can’t deny the fact that information on weight loss and health is constantly at our fingertips. Just Google it. Not to mention the fact that we’ve been taught since kindergarten that eating right and exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body. Granted, I’ve had a few pregnancies under my belt that have abused, exhausted, and stretched my body–and to be honest, I’d love to run that course one or two more times before I hit 45–but many women have been able to trim themselves down afterward. Maybe not immediately afterward and they may not ever recover their pre-pregnancy body again, but they still look fabulous.

So again, I ask… why am I still overweight?

It all boils down to willpower and how badly I want to be cute again. Sure, some of you may be venting a few evil whispers under your breath at me as you read this. She’s so vain! How superficial can this woman possibly be?! What about what’s inside? Not the outside!

I reiterate. I want to be cute again.

I sincerely can’t stand to look at myself any longer… and I practically want to cry when I see old photos of myself as a thinner woman.

I’m not ashamed of my insistence that I was cuter when I was thinner. It’s the truth how I see it and that’s all that matters really–isn’t that what all the “inner-beauty” blogs are saying? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the message of loving yourself for who you are and disposing the titles of hatred like “fat” or “chubby”. Those are great messages and I believe my blog has touched on self love several times. Truth be told, I feel that the message of wanting to be thin is painted as a shallow goal. Heck, I can’t begin to tell you all how many times on our beloved Facebook that I’ve seen a quote supposedly made by Adele saying: “…my aim in life is to never be skinny.”

Adele’s got it all wrong, folks.

What kind of crap message is that? Her perspective on this issue is quite distorted if you ask me. Not only is the singer holding a cigarette–and I’m a  trained, professional vocalist… it’s UNHEALTHY–but she’s toting this “better than the skinny” attitude. In case she’s forgotten, there are quite a few  skinny vocalists who could sing circles around this girl. Being skinny doesn’t make you talented or smarter. Neither does being fat. I refuse to wave a flag for either side in that respect.

I’m downright frustrated with myself that I have let my weight get this far out of hand. Am I being shallow about it? Maybe, but who cares? It’s not because I see what Hollywood or my peers expect from me, it’s what I expect of me. I’m better than this.

And I couldn’t have picked a worse time in my life to be overweight and out of shape. I’m single again; this would be the time to try to stay thin. My face looks super chubby in pictures, so I rarely update my profile picture on Facebook from a “good one”. I am asked (almost on a daily basis) if I’m pregnant. I usually walk into work double-fisted with large mochas from the local coffee shop… and boy they are good! My clothes are dumpy looking. I wear ruffles, scarves, and layers to make me look thin, when in fact the whole get up just makes me appear as a fat girl trying to cover her fat. I’m not fooling anyone. I suck my stomach in as much as I can without passing out, and even then I still “look pregnant”. And we all know you can’t suck in your butt and thighs. Again, not fooling anyone. Oh! And my thighs rub together, giving me raw welts. It hurts.

I secretly get jealous of perfect strangers (women), even my middle sister, that are able to wear fashionable clothes or can wear shorts without worrying that their butt is hanging down to the backs of their knees.

But goes beyond just physical beauty. It’s my health at risk too! I’m aging because of it! I broke my foot 2 months ago and probably because I was so out of shape while I was hiking. I stomp through the house because the weigh is so heavy on my legs. Not to mention the spider veins & cellulite I promote on my chubby legs. More recently, my hip has been out of joint and all because I was wriggling into a pair of jeans I should have retired long before now. (So no, it had nothing to do with sex, but go ahead and continue thinking that it did if it’ll make you laugh.) My feet are sore every morning when I step out of bed because of the weight they bear, still tired from the battle of weight the day before.

My weight makes me extremely insecure about myself. No matter how much effort I put into a look–whether I’m trying to look cute, sexy, sporty, or professional–all I see and feel like is a fat, dumpy girl. I expect my boys and my boyfriend to be ashamed of how I look all the time, because I am ashamed of how I look all the time.

I don’t share this stuff lightly and I’m not fishing for sympathy, for I did this on my own. My hope is that others will read this and say, “Hey! That’s like me!” And if you are saying that, I say to you, “Today, is the start to a change in my life and I want you to join me in that change.”

No more enabling yourself. No more insecurity. No more shame. No more Caramel Popcorn or Ruffel’s Sweet & Smokin’ BBQ Chips!

The skinny girl has spoken.

I’m dieting. No fad diet. Not the 17 Day diet that my sister Jess has found success in. Not the low-carb diet that would absolutely kill me because all my favorite foods are completely forbidden in it. If you are anything like me, to have something totally off-limits to you, only spells failure. If I can’t have it or can’t do it… by God, I’ll have it AND do it. I’ll want it just that much more for the mad challenge. So, instead, I’m just cutting back proportions and guilty pleasures such as chips, mochas, margaritas, caramel popcorn,…. etc. I want to be thin and I’ll work for it, but I refuse to be downright miserable in the process. That’s no way to live.

I also started a 30 Day exercise class… which apparently is more of a 30 Day Shred.

All of this started today. So if you want to join me in this brutal journey, please do! I will be updating my progress as I go along. And just to be real (as horrific and ballsy as it is) today we measured ourselves and  these were my results:

Height: 5’3″

Weight: 150 lbs. (I weight THIS MUCH at the end of BOTH of my full-term pregnancies!!)

Chest: 37 1/2 inches

Waist: 37 inches (I knew a boob job would make me appear skinnier! Now I know why!)

Hips: 42 inches

Thigh: 24 inches

Bicep: 11 1/2 inches (and no, none of that is muscle.)

In one month, I don’t expect to look like I did in college or even before I had children… but I will feel fantastic and look fantabulous! And those around me will feel the same. They will love me no more nor less, but they will be happy for me.

Befriend me on at . We’ll do this together!!

Ever Faithful

Okay. So I squelched in my New Year’s resolution to blog at least once a week. I’m only human. And for once, it had nothing to do with the lack of material or the desire to remain private over lame or negative life situations to post. Truth be told, I have been so abundantly blessed in the last two weeks that my head can’t even keep it all straight. The provisions of my needs and wants are practically immeasurable and yet to do service to what I stand for, I must share with all of you.

My last blog post was an explanation as to why my birthday and Valentine’s Day is typically ignored on my end. It wasn’t to sound negative, but to give a background as to why I have been so negative toward them for so long. In my defense, I admitted that despite all of my so-called failures and unhappiness in the past year, I was vigilantly faithful that God was about to turn it all around for me… naturally after a few small moments of “why me?!” every now and again. Like I said, I’m only human. I was “coming out of my desert”, nearing a final breakthrough. Almost immediately upon posting that blog, my breakthrough began and I haven’t really had time to stop and catch my breath, or process the extraordinary turn of events in my life. Continue reading

The 6th Anniversary of my 29th Birthday

It happens every year, whether I like it or not. I can ignore it like a coward or take it like a champ–that trip around the sun we all refer to as a birthday.

“Here ’em singing Happy Birthday. Better think about the wish I make. This year gone by ain’t been a piece of cake.”

This is the post where people who have known me for most of my life might actually gasp at what I have to say. I have never fully enjoyed my birthday since the year I turned 12. Before then, I was in Murfreesboro, TN. I attended school there from Kindergarten through fifth grade. These are easy years when you are friends with everybody minus a rare few creeps in class and those people are usually bullies that we all know will probably wind up in a boys’ home in the future.

Happy Birthday! Love, Freddy

So from Kindergarten till the fifth grade, anytime I threw a birthday party (usually a slumber party), everyone attended. I was even pressed to invite girls I didn’t want there because apparently my slumber parties were always awesome. Horror movies, popcorn, candy, giggling, scaring one another. At my ten-year-old slumber party my best friend, Cari, wrote a birthday message to me on the chalk board in my bedroom and signed it “Freddy Krueger”. Upon seeing it, we all went ballistic and ran to the den–away from the haunting message. I tripped down the steps and twisted my ankle horribly. Didn’t phase me. I limped throughout the night, but that party rocked! My nine-year-old slumber party, my baby sister, Jessie, puked taffy all over another girl’s sleeping bag. Best night ever. Continue reading

And I Approve this Message

Time for my “angry post”. Let’s admit it, it’s really long overdue anyway. But it’s not about my divorce or  lack of child support or the injustices of this world…

It’s about politics.

*And….  cringe*

Alice Cooper proves his intelligence!

Wait, wait! Let me finish. I’m not going to spew my personal political convictions (garbage to some) on here. Everyone is doing enough of that on their own blogs and Facebook posts. Why join the ignorant? Besides, I’m not a political analyst and didn’t get a degree in Political Science like some people who I know. I watch the news (not just one outlet) and I read. I do enjoy politics and feel it’s my God-given right and American duty to research candidates, laws, and controversies on my own terms without someone’s biased opinion being crammed down my throat. In reality, I’m just a mom. I’m just a writer. I’m just a musician. What the heck do I know anyway? I became a huge fan of Alice Cooper after this statement alone : “If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are.”

‘Nough said.

But since this is my blog and already, 9 months away from election day, people are becoming increasingly annoying with their continuous rants over misinformation, I bite my tongue no longer.

Politics. There is Right; there is Left. There’s Center; there’s around. And there are those who are completely Lost. The lost are a bigger group than we even realize, growing in numbers regularly. Some choose this because politics either bores them or they would just rather stay out of it. Our version of Switzerland. You guys, I actually respect more than the other lost ones because you made your honest decision. Good for you. However, if you read this and get offended, then you are probably of the other lost. The kind that chooses a side without sincerely looking at the other on a regular basis. That is what separates the informed from the “Lost”.

Continue reading