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

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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.

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 Virgin… Missy?


First a Disclaimer:

This Blog is probably rated R, so read at your own risk. It’s not intended to be filthy, but humorous, honest, and actually empowering.

Past and current “lovers” (for lack of better terms), there is no need to crawl under a rock and die yet. I’m not dropping any names or
“events”, “whispered sweet nothings”, or “sneezes”. (Yeah, I said sneeze.)

I was just telling my best friend yesterday that I wasn’t really inspired to post anything grande on this blog this week, so instead, I posted a short blurb about my latest writing project (“Releasing Kayleigh“) on my other blog, “I’m a Writer! When did that Happen?!”  I sincerely thought that by posting a vague update on my current inspiration for another book, I would complete that unwritten goal of mine to post every week. Nope. I woke up this morning dying to talk about sex!

Continue reading

Love’s Imitation


Does life imitate art?

Does art imitate life?

What about love?

I’m a true-blue movie buff. No question about it. You can ask any of my friends and family and they will tell you that more often than not I will quote some movie in a day-to-day dialogue before I will speak my own original thoughts. Usually, I’m just easing my way through a conversation with an actor’s line because I’m uncomfortable and need an “out”. Sometimes, I relate the conversation to a story-line I have seen and instantly have the line slipping off my tongue before I can stop myself. And it’s not just movies. It can be a song lyric. I regularly speak in Spongebob. Not much wisdom comes from that, but I always get a good chuckle and sometimes, that can be worth a thousand words.

But I enjoy almost all sorts of movie. To me, nothing beats a great horror flick. Action is awesome. Dramas… classic dramas. Comedies (not really the raunchy kind). I love the Marx Brothers.  Independent films… Seriously, I love almost all of them – I am not so much of a Romantic-comedy/chick flick kind of girl. But I do have my guilty pleasures…

Since I often relate to movies, I’ve spent the last year watching quite a few more chick flicks than I actually care to admit. I’m a divorced woman. What did you expect? Romance makes me somewhat uncomfortable, though. This may have possibly been the start to the unraveling in my previous marriage. It always felt unnatural to say sweet things or to touch lovingly… to cuddle. When all of this does catch me off-guard as being natural, then I usually panic and swear that it’s not at all happening. “No, I don’t enjoy cuddling!” Denying can only take you so far.

Dirty Dancing

Chick flicks and Romantic-comedies. Most of them consist of story-lines dealing with love, heartache, and friendship. This seems innocent enough. But as I focus more on what I expected my life to be like – based on chick clicks I have seen in the past – I realize that I’ve been viewing life through a veil of fantasy. Naturally, I put my own twist to these fantasies, because my life could never be an exact replica of art (that would just be silly). But in the end, no matter how much you change the circumstances and appearances of character, the whole concept is unrealistic.

For starters, let’s look at Dirty Dancing. My mom forbid me to watch it based on the title alone. Dirty Dancing. Seeing the style of dancing, she also felt it was inappropriate – it looked like sex with their clothes on. But finally, I watched it behind my parents’ back at my friend Cortney’s house during a slumber party in the 6th grade. I just knew that I would fall in love someday – probably at a camp – and meet a handsome guy that could dance and somehow we would win some talent contest as dancers.

-I couldn’t dance my way out of a paper bag, so it should go without saying that this could never happen. And in that case, I won’t even touch Girls Just Wanna Have Fun or Footloose. UNREALISTIC

So I look at something a bit more acceptable, like The Breakfast Club. I would be in detention and fall for the bad boy, possibly causing some chink in my popular girl armor. Yes, I had a thing for Judd Nelson.

-I was never that rich nor popular in high school. I was also too much of a goodie-goodie to even get detention. (And I wasn’t weird enough to be the “Ally Sheedy”). UNREALISTIC

Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles it was! Molly Ringwald’s character was more of a girl I could relate to anyway. The girl next door, she wasn’t popular. She was a bit angsty. Wasn’t a complete wall-flower and no one hated her. Yeah, I could be that girl, though never in a million years would my parents forget my birthday. But could the beautiful senior possibly fall for the sophomore girl? Well, he did – but he was a total douchebag that cheated on me and tried stringing me along for years afterward. Jake Ryan would have never treated Samantha Baker this way.

I did however have a geek or two that seemed to never take the hint. UNREALISTIC

College wasn’t much better. Of course, most college-based movies are raunchy comedies. I didn’t find that as an appealing alternative to real-life, but I imagined I would at least look and be built like the beautiful actresses that portrayed the college girls in these movies. Nope. Not a chance. By my senior year, I had finally topped out my college weight at 102 lbs and finally upgraded to a double A bra size. I looked more like Olive Oyl…and even then, I never met my “Popeye”.

UNREALISTIC

Which brings me to my young adult years. How would I fall in love? How would I get married? So many movies I had to choose from!

The Notebook

The Notebook? Not unless my Noah was the douchebag from high school or the  boy I first fell for that lived down the road from me.

Pretty Woman? Well I may have the red hair, but I was never a hooker.

Pretty Woman

Empire Records? I did work in a happenin’ music store at one point in my life with some pretty cool chicks, but we lacked the hott, artistic guys on the staff.

While You Were Sleeping. Though this whole debacle is something stupid I would find myself caught up in, I would have never carried out that facade as long as she did. I would have dumped the guy while he was in a coma and go after his brother. The brother would reject me because I was heartless for dumping my supposed comatose fiance and in the end, I would be alone just the same.

Titanic? I would have let go, Jack, long before our fingers froze together.

Titanic

A quick rundown of what my life has never been: Sleepless In Seattle, Runaway Bride, You’ve Got Mail, Can’t Hardly Wait, No Strings Attached, 28 Dresses, Leap Year, Valentine’s Day, A Walk to Remember (Lord, I hope not. I don’t wanna die of cancer!), Ghost, An Affair to Remember, Dear John, Hitch, 10 Things I Hate About You, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Lake House, Clueless, She’s All That, Return to Me, Wall*E (Yes, this would have been a nice change of pace in life in terms of love), Notting Hill, The Holiday, Music & Lyrics, and last but CERTAINLY not least – Twilight.

I am certain I forgot about a million in between. Stick those in there for me as well, would you?

UNREALISTIC!!!

My life has never imitated art. So I wasn’t surprised in the least when my divorce didn’t dovetail with the likes of Hope Floats or Something to Talk About. My shattered marriage wasn’t viewed on a talk show, but like Sandra Bullock, I did secretively slip back into my hometown without even a word. Some of my friends still don’t know that I’m back and living with my parents. And though she finally got a job that she wasn’t overly proud of, at least she got a job. I’m still unemployed.

Hope Floats

Harry Connick Jr. is not waiting in the wings for me. No one is. And even if he was, whose to say that in a few months he wouldn’t freak out because he realized the final step in our relationship would require him to be a step-dad. Sure he loves you and thinks your kids are great, but the end result still remains: He doesn’t want to be a father to them. They never showed that part of the movie.

Julia Roberts was from a well-to-do prestigious family in Something to Talk About and she shocked the other southern ladies of prestige by asking during a public meeting if any of the other ladies had slept with her husband? Though it is very much in my personality to do this, I don’t belong to a prestigious family or a ladies group where I’d even have to ask this question. I will not end up back with my ex-husband either. And I’m terrified of horses.

My divorce has been neither glamorous nor humorous. My marriage didn’t go out with a bang, but a whimper. It’s been a struggle for me and my boys. I’m broke all the time, but fortunate to have friends and family that continue to help me back on my feet. And never in any of the above mentioned movies did the woman decided that what she was missing all along was not a man or her independence and dignity,  but instead the Son of God.

And I haven’t even had as rough of a divorce as the majority of other women I’ve spoken to. Maybe it’s time Art imitates Life? I’d pay money to see it, even if it didn’t promote a “happily-ever-after” ending. It should simply end with the woman being happy that she made her decision, because it was the right one to make. It should end as an inspiring cliff-hanger, because that’s what life is on a day-to-day basis. A cliff-hanger. We get to choose our own adventure and we decide if we’re happy or not where we tread or where we land. Hollywood doesn’t choose for us.

When Harry Met Sally

Watching a movie and expecting it to be your reality is like watching a cooking show and knowing that your first meal is going to be a huge success. I’ve been attempting to cook for over a decade now and I swear that not only can I still burn toast, but I could also set fire to my house by simply boiling water. Even in reality-based movies, moms are sexy! I’m currently covering my grey roots and battling my weight. Not sexy. Real.

My Best Friend's Wedding

But I  can still dream! Maybe my life will someday become a When Harry Met Sally as opposed to a My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Just a random thought.

Next week, maybe I should put myself in a horror movie or western, just for grins and giggles.

Chess Peace


Yes, I am aware that in the game of Chess the word piece is spelled with the whole “i” before “e”. And I truly know nothing about the game of Chess. I’m more of a Checkers kind of girl.

But this is a different game of Chess. And this is a difference peace I am speaking of.

This morning I woke up with a revelation that both scared and excited me. To be honest these two emotions have been pretty constant in the last few weeks. Heavily! Recently, I have been asked to take part in Worship. Simple  right? Well… yes and no.  I have been raised old fashioned Baptist, so anything that isn’t out of a hymnal is completely foreign to me. But God didn’t call me to do Hymns or Gospel… he called me specifically to Praise & Worship music! I am completely humbled and honored to do God’s work. In fact, more and more this is becoming my passion. Do I feel worthy of this calling? Heck no! Not even a year ago I was in a dark, dark place – unsure if I’d ever see light again. I’ve taken part in things I am not fully regretful of, but not proud of either. My heart has been broken and made heavy – and for what?

To bring me here!

But this is only the beginning of the journey he has put ahead of me. There is a bigger picture.

Like a game of chess, God is strategically placing His children in places that will eventually move a whole region. The region I am speaking of is the Middle Tennessee area.

I can’t fully explain it, and therefore feel like this blog entry is almost a moot point, but truth be told, I feel something big is brewing in Middle Tennessee. It’s going to be the center for something Gloriously massive that God has planned and as I look around, I see how He is stirring hearts and minds and drawing many of us to this area in the next couple of years.

Yes! I am one of them. He’s already started by calling me to work in something I’m not overly familiar with, but in a year or two I will have grown into a strong and more assured soldier… and my heart tells me that in time I will be pulled to Nashville. This is the prep work, allowing me to grow and be the woman He intends for me to be – the woman I am meant to be! It’s such a beautiful feeling!

I have a lot of work on my hands. My focus needs to be on God and His work without any hidden agenda. This will require faith, and diligent prayer time. Constantly seeking Him! And I don’t care how small or grand my part is, because no matter what, it’s vital!

The hard part? Waiting. Being patient.

But I am finally willing. I had been hiding form His calling for years – far too long – I shamefully will admit. But as I have told others:

Jesus kept finding my hiding places.

So, the game of Chess ensues. Ask yourself, where is He placing you and what vital role will you be playing?

Reflection


I haven’t been taking care of this blog like I promised. I’m not going to give you the typical excuse that I haven’t had the time or couldn’t find anything worthy of blogging about. Though it may be true for some people, I would be lying. I was able to blog on my other blog that is more trivial based. And there’s always plenty to blog about. This is my Mid-Life Do Over… anything and everything is on the blogging table. And I swore to be honest in this blog… By not blogging, this has made me a liar.

I haven’t blogged because I don’t want to be honest about what runs through my mind on any given day. I would love to simply blog on the positive approach to my new life, the lessons I’ve learned, or even a bit of the trials of a divorce – but giving it a happy ending. Truth is, sometimes I’m not positive – I’m very negative. My new trials as a single mom have been heart breaking and frustrating – in a more layman term, I’ve been pissed off at times. And sometimes, the lesson isn’t learned until you reflect – long after the event has unfolded. Even in reflection, we sometimes seem to miss the big picture, focusing only on one single moment. Probably the root of the event or the effect of the event.

Fourteen years ago today, someone very close to me died. My grandmother. She wasn’t a typical grandmother. She didn’t nurture the grand-kids or baby us. She was feisty and brutally honest at times. Hilarious. She is everything I imagine I will be someday when I become a grandmother. Heck, I’m already like her as a mother. She died of cancer or from the cancer treatments. Take a pick. At Christmas of 1996, after smoking her entire life, she finally quit. This was a wonderful announcement to hear at Christmas time. We didn’t even know she had been trying to quit, so she must have done it cold turkey. Two weeks later we found out why she quit smoking. She had found two lumps: near her collar-bone and by her rib cage. She chose to fight it. Why not, right? She was only 66 at the time.

Chemotherapy, Radiation, surgeries…

She never even made it to Thanksgiving that year. She slipped into a coma on November 2nd and died November 3rd 1997.

I was a college sophomore. My life centered around music and theater at the time. I was also a working actress/singer on stage. Things were always looking up for me. She was proud beyond belief of my small accomplishments so far and just knew I was meant for greatness.

And so I reflect… and wonder… would she be proud of me now? And if not, where would I have disappointed her the most? When I announced that I was done with school my senior year – 18 hours shy of graduating? Or would it be when I announced a few weeks after that, that i was also done with theater? Maybe it would be when I found out that I suffered  from depression and that was why I let go of everything I once held dear to me.

Would her disappointment in me be during the time I dated a guy who thought he was better than the rest of the world and yet left his education and career to become an actor? – and he wasn’t even good at it. Or would it be when I turned down the first or second marriage proposal before the age of 22…. nah, that would have made her proud. She would have coined both of those guys as “boobs”.

No, she would have been disappointed elsewhere perhaps… like when I finally threw up my white flag to the pressure and agreed to get married at 24 to someone who wasn’t compatible with me – someone I didn’t really love. I wanted to love him, because the other normal girls were finding men they loved and were getting married.  Yes, that would be her first major disappointment in me, in my decision.

But I wonder if my decision to divorce him would have pleased her at all – or would the circumstances surround that disappoint her.

Thoughts like these are enough to make a girl go crazy. I’d like to believe that if she were with me right now, she would put aside her brutal honesty and dry sense of humor and instead put her arms around me to let me know that it’s okay to make mistakes and that even in my biggest mistakes, she still loves me and is proud of me even though I never became famous or rich. That I’m doing right by my boys and myself again and that next time, I will choose someone carefully – and that there is no shame in not wanting to be alone for the rest of your life. That I am stronger for admitting that fear of not finding someone who will love me and my boys unconditionally, wanting to spend our days together, from here to eternity.  That no one expects me to do or handle it all and that it’s quite alright to break down and cry every now and again… and that I shouldn’t be ashamed of my tears, hiding myself from those I have grown to love and love me in return. THat when my heart breaks for whatever reason, I should let it completely break before piecing it all together for the next battle.

But she would have never said these things aloud to me. It wasn’t in her character. So, I would instead settle for her to surrender to me that wonderfully awesome sugar cookie recipe she had.