A reckoning

In the moment
his affection will make you feel wanted,
his words will make you feel heard,
his eyes will make you feel seen,
his hand will make you feel held,
but until you are able to see yourself
as made whole by your Savior
and no one else, 
you will constantly go
from moment to moment
and person to person
in search of a Love
that is only ever felt
in the arms of the One
who knows you better than you know yourself,
and loves you more than anyone else.
                                               -Morgan Harper Nichols
Truth…I am a tiny bit jaded and freaked out.
I’ve had some people really hurt me in my dating (loosely used for sure) experiences.  It’s not all their fault, I have made some poor choices and there is  a consequence for everything we create…currently, it’s an emotional state of empty sadness.
I’m reflecting (read: ruminating) on the people I’ve been trying to impress by giving things that don’t belong to them…specifically man people.  Giving beyond depletion. Giving what I didn’t have to give and yearning for more than they were able to give in return. I have erased that fifty billion times and re-written it because I fear being judged or shamed.  So.  Treat with care.  It would be difficult for one  to judge me more harshly than I judge myself anyway.
I desperately want to feel cherished, not rejected.  I want to be understood, seen, accepted and appreciated for who I am.  I want to be held in the arms that embrace me with protection, respect and deep love.  I want to trust wholeheartedly and without fear of the future.
In the case that I never have those things, I accept the arms that are not equipped to keep me safe and the heart that isn’t healed to love me well.
I want to believe the truth…the stroke didn’t break me, the divorce didn’t break me, my childhood didn’t make me broken, my struggling finances and home in need of repair do not define me.  My mistakes are my fertilizer, my life is a miracle that I don’t need to ‘earn’….the list goes on…I want to believe that I am not broken, I am whole.
Because..you see…if I believe the truth that defines me as whole rather than the lie that I am deficient or broken;  perhaps I will stop accepting casual when casual is not what I want.  Perhaps I will seek out those who appreciate my quirkiness and my intelligence.  Perhaps I will seek out someone who thinks the things I consider broken in myself are the same things that make me beautiful.  Perhaps I will cease justifying when someone essentially dumps me on my ass without warning.  Perhaps I will cease my hateful self talk when I tell myself that this one dumped me because I wasn’t as pretty/thin/wealthy/fun/etc as his new focus and when he treats me less than, I will peacefully walk away.  Because…I will believe that I am worth.so.much.more.
Recently, I was awestruck by the picture I have here of Jesus holding the little girl…I looked at this in a moment of tearful frustration. I treasure this picture.  I have felt held like that before…but it seems like a lifetime ago since I felt that connected to God.  Even longer since I did a trust fall with God.
The deepest part of my heart was pinged.  “Sarah, if you want to be loved fully, you have to let me love you fully first.”  So reminiscent of something a dear friend said to me a few months ago but it wasn’t my friends voice I heard.
Why don’t I let God love me like only He can, preferring to keep him always at a slight distance?  I know the why’s…I’ve analyzed this forever but they aren’t nearly as important as what I’m going to choose now.
Going from moment to moment; person to person, in search of this Love I am intensely afraid of never experiencing…there is loneliness.  Not one moment nor one person is filling me up with this love I am longing for.  I get sad at the end of these ‘moments’, especially when I have earnestly cared for someone and honestly believed they were different.  Again, I can’t expect someone to give me something they don’t have.  I guess I can thank them for helping me see that my focus belongs elsewhere.
The embrace I long for is the same embrace I continue to push away.  I want to be fully known.  I want to know that I am fully loved, even though or maybe because I am fully and truly known. It’s maybe my deepest desire within myself.
So here we are, my God and I.  Together we face some unpleasant situations of my own making.  Together, we deal with those things.

Reckoning. Reconciling.  Learning to trust again.

 

 

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Hottest Date Ever

I have the hottest date ever planned this evening.

Me and Me, dinner that’s been in the crockpot, a glass of red wine, a warm bath and bed.

I’m beginning to believe I am my own best company and certainly more dependable.

Monogamous

In the past month, I have had two dear friends who have been married over 18 years each and then…their husbands decided they had fallen out of love and wanted a divorce. That’s it. No counseling or trying in anyway…just done.
 
Taking into consideration the recent rants I’ve had over being honest in dating relationships, I’m realizing the whole honesty and effort thing is a much broader issue.
 
Are we made to be monogamous? I know my own thoughts…I want yours. And…as my friend pointed out…life expectancy is so much longer so does that fit in or has infidelity and walking away from relationships like this always existed?
 
Is monogamy an expectancy in marriage? For me, yes. However, even when it isn’t…there are expectancies of honesty and of doing everything humanly possible to save a marriage and family…just walking out feels like a horrible option unless addiction or abuse are at play. That’s just me…..
 
I won’t be offended at anyone’s input, I’m genuinely curious.

Dating but…

Just a little break from work and school stuff to share something I’ve been pondering the last week or so.

This pretty much applies to my single friends, but of course, anyone’s thoughts are welcome.

So…I’ve been dating for a couple of years now. If you know me, you know that the whole dating scene was pretty new to me after the divorce, right?

Let’s just say I’ve learned and continue to learn so much about myself and about my own patterns (good and bad) through this process. It’s easy to go where I am comfortable, even if comfort is not in my best interest.

If there is interest on both sides, I am learning the value in sticking with one person at least to explore each other for a time and not going on other dates during that time frame.

A dear friend and I had this conversation and I found so much significance in it. Online dating gives us the constant option to keep looking ‘for the next best thing’ and in doing so…we aren’t being present and exploring what’s right in front of us.

Why? For me, I think when I started dating, everyone just told me this is what we do…date lots of people…so I did with the exception of those two relationships. Honestly…not so fabulous.

All of that said…I have an observation. Out of the ‘sample population’ that I have dated…there have been a couple of relationships, many first dates, and a few several time dates. I think that sums it up.

Out of all of these, I can name only 3 people who have been totally honest with me. I mean honest in saying what their intentions are, whether they be a long term relationship, marriage, fun, or just sex. Three men. Not cool. (except one that was a little creepy honest and I could’ve done without that).

I get it if you aren’t sure what your intentions are…say it. I get it If you desire nothing but a sexual relationship, say it. To engage someone on this level and indicate that you want a relationship when that is not at all the truth…just a jerky thing to do. Give them an informed option.

I’m quickly losing my naivety but don’t want to become jaded in the process.

If you want to explore your relationship with someone and would like that to be something you are on the same page about, say it.

And for goodness gosh sake, if you are no longer interested, please, please, please be honest and kind and tender. Don’t just disappear. It is mean and it is cowardly.

We can all be grown up’s, right?

It just feels like dating increases the likelihood of disposability, like people are seen as objects rather than humans with a heart, emotions and a brain.

So…what’s your view? I am kinda not in the mood for jokes, I am truly seeking thoughtful feedback.

Oh life…

It is so strange how our life experiences serve to teach us…I think they do anyway.

I read a quote, “Instead of asking why is this happening to me, ask what is this teaching me?” Instant shift.

It really is an instant shift. I begin to ask myself what my accountability in the experience is, how it is familiar to choices I have made before, and I can explore what is at the root of my choice. Hopefully, even if I can’t clarify the lesson, I can find value in the journey.

Goodness sometimes life surprises me. People surprise me. Sometimes in ways that make my heart sting, other times in ways that make my heart soar…and everything in between. Trying to remember that in many cases, the hurt someone caused is so much more about them than me but my mind has a much easier time grasping this than my silly heart.

So, my questions of the day…what am I learning right in this moment and dear God, where do I go from here?

Happy Tuesday my loves. Enjoy your journey today (and every day)!

Just practice

I’m not much in the frame of mind for writing deep shareable content right now…my serious thoughts are probably better kept in my journal for the moment.  However, in the midst of chaos, there have been some funny little adventures.  Because I just NEED to write and share, I’ve opted to enhance your lives with one of those funny little adventures….

I’m a single Momma.  I date.  I have had a couple of serious relationships, lots of fun and here I am…still dating.  My life is amazingly beautiful and full…still I have a longing for something?  Someone?  I don’t know.  I mean, I really adore people.  Men are people.  I have great fondness for men…this is fairly new knowledge to me.  They smell good, they generally have deeper voices than I do, just like everyone else…they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  The vast differences in men and women intrigue me.  (That’s not meant to be a controversial statement, it’s just my perception and truth).  Anyway.,…I try to be open on each date unless someone is just a total creep…because at the very least, I usually make a new friend. 💑

I tell you this just so that my attitude toward dating is a little more comprehensive.  There’s a whole book to be written on all that is inside of my heart and mind on these adventures; for now…I just want to share the tale of one recent date.  I have told a few people about this date and truly, no harm toward the guy.  He was super sweet.  Just an awkward evening.😯

First, I really wanted to click with this guy…alot.  He had the sexiest phone voice ever, deep and soothing and he always called me Darlin’.  Man!  That country drawl.  Our conversations went on for over a month, they were easy and playful.  He seemed intelligent, sane, safe and creative.  What was not to like?🤷‍♀️

He drove about two hours for our date, which I sincerely appreciated.  We had decided to meet at a local coffee shop, he was about 20 minutes late because he had gotten lost.  Totally understandable and he was in touch the whole time.  So…he comes in and stands at the door.  I see that he is much smaller in stature than his description, still quite attractive and nicely put together.  Somewhere along the line, I have veered away from smaller guys (I’m not being icky or rude, it might be that I choose someone opposite of my ex) but I reminded myself to stay open. Also, his in person voice was absolutely NOTHING like his phone voice.  That’s okay…was just one of several ‘surprises’. ☕️

I waved at him and he came over.  We shared a brief hug and sat at the table.  For about 10 minutes, we talked and not once would he look up and make eye contact.  He expressed  being extremely nervous.  His being nervous was making me nervous..I totally get that anxiety and desperately wanted to put him at ease.  None of my tricks were working. 🧚‍♀️

Thus…I put on my ‘therapist hat’ and asked him gently to tell me what he was feeling most nervous about.  He replied, “I’m just worried that I won’t meet your expections.”  Ugh.  I already had the feeling in my tummy that this wasn’t a good fit and at the same time, he was so gentle and sincere…and still not making any eye contact.  I finally just asked if he would please look at me.  I expected a shy look, and again, I totally get that shyness! 👀

Instead, I was super surprised!  He looked right into my eyes and told me they were beautiful.  I thanked him.  Before I could blink, he put his hands firmly on either side of my face, pulled me toward him, got close enough to touch noses, and then put my hair behind my ears, one side a time.  I was a bit taken aback by his sudden courage and unexpected ‘gesture’.  I am not sure what my expression was…I’m sure it said it all!  My poker face stinks. I asked him if there was something in my hair.  He said ‘no’, he just remembered that I liked my hair put behind my ears. 😯

I wasn’t really sure where that thought of his originated from and pondered it for days after.  The only thing I could figure out is at one point, we had discussed favorite scenes from movies.  I had mentioned that in “The Notebook”, I think there was a time Noah brushed hair out of Allie’s face when they were young and again when they were old.  I love this because it reminded me of loving gestures I observed between my mom and dad during the process of Dad’s Alzheimer’s. 🤗

Beautiful gesture in context.  🙄

This was not in context.  Nope.  Nuh uh.  Nada. 😳

Anyway…right back to the nervous no eye contact soon after.  Movie and dinner followed.  Not a good idea to go to a movie on this first date.  I spent lots of time maintaining invisible physical barriers and squirming because he would literally cover my eyes at any adult humor or cursing.🤦‍♀️

Dinner was nice’ish, with more eye contact and far more relaxed.  He was so open with his story and amazingly good hearted, I really believe this.  He also gagged a few times during dinner because of his weak stomach.  I don’t mean gag on food, I mean gag while he was telling me stories that still caused him distress.  Puke 🤮

Then…he was quite focused on discussing the upcoming kiss we would share at the end of the evening.  I, on the other hand, was focused on how to politely fend that gesture off.  💋 🛑

As we drove back to my car, I thought through how I was going to quickly hug him, say thank you, and move out!  I was distracted from my thoughts by his constant sudden slamming on of his breaks…the traffic made him nervous.  Again…I get it BUT by now I’m feeling like I just wanna go home, safely. ✋ 🏡

We stopped at my car and I probably moved as far away as I could without trying to be ugly.  I thanked him for dinner and told him that my own stomach was feeling unwell.  A quick hug ensued with one arm and I had my other hand on the door handle.  I did ask him to text when he was home safely. 🤗 🥴

“Hey Sarah, I’m home.  You don’t have to worry, your body language said it all.  I still think you are a fantastic lady.”  Seriously, so sweet.  I thanked him again, and breathed a sigh of relief.  Just good to be home.  Still, I feel like a piece of 💩. A💩 who is working hard at keeping a strong sense of humor about this whole journey!

A good reminder for self…just because someone is good does not mean they are good for me.  It’s all good practice, right?  In the meantime, most of the practice is fun and there are really good players on the field.  ⚾️ 🏈 🏀 🎾 🏌️‍♀️ ⚽️ 🏉

The adventure continues….❤️

 

 

 

Just listen

Without judgement and from my heart….

I recently dated someone who ended up in a relationship with a married woman. …because you know, her husband is a total ‘ass’ so she is seeking her solace outside of her marriage. Not in counseling, or in a divorce, or in honesty but in an affair. The man I dated, I don’t know wtf he is thinking and it’s not my concern but it is so heavy on my heart. There are countless unmarried people…so help me understand the why. (Don’t really help me, I know the general why’s and none of them are good)

Then, recently,someone who was very dear to me flirted endlessly and felt justified doing so because they are in a horrible, sexless, loveless marriage. This is sad, I totally get it. Again, get to a counselor, talk to God, talk to your friends, divorce…just stop the cheating because I promise, nothing good will come of it and I certainly am not going to play that game.

BTW, hitting on me and offering sex to me is not generally the way to my heart and if you are in a relationship, I feel like you are a predator and I am the prey. This is especially not the way to my heart. It makes me feel dirty and I hate feeling that way.

This stuff just makes me sick to my stomach and if I could encourage one person to make a better choice, I will. If you are already in the middle of infidelity, it happens. It’s also a great opportunity to seek help and get honest…especially with yourself.

Also, I’m not speaking to those who choose open relationships, I’m speaking to those where it’s a super secret.

Lots of love, I promise. Just not a pretty topic.

If I were to die today…

If I were to die today, I have walked among beauty. I have lived.

I woke up in a warm cozy bed surrounded by three fur babies that believe I am the best thing to have ever walked this earth.

I heard my tummy growl. I could taste and smell the warmth of the unmade coffee as I brought my cup to my lips.

My first thoughts were about my precious children and how deeply grateful I am for them in every way as we journey together through life.

The first human voice I heard was my precious momma telling me she was going to church. I know full well that getting to talk to her each day is a gift I treasure.

I walked outside to feel the glorious sun on my skin, the cool breeze surrounding me, the wet grass beneath my bare feet.

I looked into the bright side, surrounded by a clear,effervescent sky.

I shouted thank you God for breath and this beauty. I believe He heard my gratitude.

I picked the first two strawberries and saw the abundant growth in all the other plants.

I heard the plane flying overhead while the birds sing their songs…Seemingly oblivious to the plane.

As I walked back toward the house, I watched a big bunny rabbit hop across the entirety of the yard and a squirrel walk the fence.

Somehow my dogs did not notice and interrupt their mission.

I breathed it all in. Soak in the moment.

I wish that somebody could see and feel the picture inside my mind right now so vividly.

Because then…If either of us died in this moment, we would both know we had truly lived.

Dear Mr. Man

Dear Mr. Man,

I was super excited to go out with you because you seemed a little bit different. Smart, funny but serious too, and kind. I enjoyed hearing all about your health journey (initially).

Your muscles are amazing, I love them! Your smile is great, you smell nice (I would like your cologne to be less sweet). You are lovely to look at, good for a kiss, and very tall.

However…the fact that you are consistently referring to how awesome you look, how sexy you are (especially in comparison to other guys in your age bracket), what an exceptional lover you are, how intelligent you are and what a great catch you are ON THE FIRST DATE is really super unappealing.

Suggestion…maybe ask how I am, what I do, how’s the weather….anything that’s not about you. Obviously you are a busy man, as demonstrated by your strong connection with your phone. Although, I’m thinking you might have an even stronger bond with your mirror.

So…a bit of Wednesday Wisdom…It does not matter how beautifully the cake is frosted when the inside isn’t baked.

Just saying!

Soulful Saturday

Prepping to make Easter bread.

I haven’t made it the last two years…too many hurtful memories around the season.

This year, I’m making a choice to do different, even if it’s hard. It’s absolutely perfect outside and I’ve just made my billionth visit to my little planted garden today.

It’s as if I expect to see visible changes immediately. But just like my dear friend said, so much is going on below the surface, even when we can’t see it.

My “below the surface” has been working hard for so long and I feel like I’m starting to feel a smidgen of the new life that process brings. This means I’m still pruning what doesn’t belong to make room for new growth. (Aka letting go). That part kinda stinks. I’m physically energized and emotionally drained. Holding on for too long has taken ALL the effort.

Anyway…as I wandered around my yard, breathing in the fresh air, dancing around to Van Morrison, I thought to myself, “maybe some of my closest friends are right, maybe I shoulda been born in the flower child years.”

Ah well. Thankful for the hear and now, the new and the old.

I need to have lots of cookouts here this summer and fall…part of me believes/hopes/wonders if this is our last year in this home that has served us so well.

Tomorrow would be our Daddy’s 85th birthday. Of course, I would’ve made him his very own loaf of Easter bread. Maybe that’s why I keep coming outside, it’s so easy to feel connected with him here.

Anyway….breathing it all in.