Love is Blind

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8  (NIV)

Live is also blind. Love tends to ignore when it sees something that is off. When things are just not right. The fear of losing love will cause humans to pretend that every thing is all right when it isn’t. We will have that ostrich syndrome where we stick out heads in the sand and ignore the obvious. Satan hates when people love each other. He wants to cause grief and discord between us. He will give you opportunity to screw up love. He will trick you into thinking that there is something better out there than what you have at home. He will play on your insecurities and whisper lies in your head. He will convince you that you are not good enough for love. That the one you love can always find someone better. He will even stoop to tempting you with something that is a poor replica to true love. He will show you things that make you think that this, see this shiny thing over here, it is better than the true love God gives you.

Don’t ignore things, but don’t let evil kill love. Do not fall for tricks and lies. Fight for what is right. Fight for love. It is always worth it.

 

It Works (Pt 2)

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Once I realized that God has answered so many prayers I was humbled. When I look back over the past year I can see where things that happened would not have been possible. It was God. I did nothing but followed what I knew to be the right thing or what I believed to be the best thing at the time.

Now I can hear you already. See it was you you made the decisions. Well, sure. I believe that God presented the opportunities and I had the choice to accept it or not.

The thing is that faith is trusting even when you feel you can’t. Trusting that God is in control.  Then being thankful.

The other side to this is sometimes we pray for things to happen or not happen that God does not intend for us. We have to accept that on faith too. Remember God knows our future. He knows where we are going. That thing, person, job or whatever that we really want may not be what God has in his plans for us. Sometimes the best things that happen to us are the unanswered prayers. Despite the felling of being let down we have to trust God. Look at the blessings and be thankful.

 

It Works (Pt 1)

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I know it is hard for some people to believe that God really listens to prayer. I mean if you think about it how does it happen that God can hear each and every prayer said, thought, breathed by every praying person every second of every day? Reminds me of that scene from Bruce Almighty when the main character hears all the prayers instantly, all at once. Is that what God hears? 

That part will remain a mystery for us.

All of the logistics aside, prayer works. I am living proof. I have people, love, and other things in my life that are all answers to prayer. I can sit here for hours and tell you all the things, it would take a long time. Each one just as miraculous as the other. Each one an answer to a precise prayer I uttered from my mouth to God and some unspoken ones in times of sadness when I did not have the words. You will say, sure sure. Maybe you believe me. Maybe you do not.

Until you experience a true answered prayer for yourself you will either believe me or think I am crazy. Either one is ok with me. I will still pray for you.

When Lemons Fly

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Just over a year ago my life was flipped on it’s head. As it turns out it was the best thing to happen to me in a long long time. Other people in my life would not agree. They like to point out, but this or that bad thing happened. Well, yes those things did happen. I chose to focus on the good things that happened and not the bad. There are at least as many good things as bad, maybe more. Besides, it’s my life not yours thank you very much. Maybe it is the whole if life hands you lemons thing or I should say, when lemons attack.

When life threw the first lemon in my direction, I ducked out of the way. I changed perspective. I did not think about what could happen in a week, a month, a year. I focused on the twenty four hours in front of me. I looked at each day as a brand new opportunity, a blank page. I got through that one and each morning I turned to the next page then the next and the next. Before long an entire year of pages had been written. Yes, there was a pretty big barrage of lemons at my feet. However, there was laughter, love, happiness and blessings written on the pages of my year. Pretty dang good year if you ask me.

It is up to you. You can live with the poor me, I had a terrible year attitude. You could focus on the all the bad things…Blah Blah Blah. Or you can do what I did, ignore the stupid lemons. Take a look back on the year and focus on the good stuff. Besides, you can always take those lemons and chunk them back. Take that life!

OK, enough with the cliches already. Go do the things and be happy.

Hey You

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Yes you, sitting there scrolling and scrolling down whatever social media is your time killer of choice. What are you doing with your time? Where is your life headed? Do you want to sit there day after day, hour after hour, looking at memes, reading whiny posts from your depressed friends who are sitting there doing the same thing you are doing?

Stop it.

Get up and find a life with living. Turn that computer off, toss that phone across the room or simply look up!

Look up. See that? Life is happening and you are missing it.

If you have a dream or desire to do something different with your life, something radical, do it. Even if it is a simple as trying a new hairstyle or hobby, try it.

Don’t let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are stupid or unimportant. Your dreams and wants are just as valid as any ideas that anyone on this earth may have. Take the chance. You might end up being the best at whatever it is. You may succeed in ways you had could not have imagined you could.

Look up, move yourself and live a life!

The one thing that is certain, if you don’t do it, if you keep doing the same old things you always do, you will miss out on unlimited possibilities. up

Life may just turn out amazing if you look up.

I dare you.

 

No ANTS

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In a few of my posts you have heard me talk about monkey chatter. That endless, not always helpful monologue in my brain. We all have monkey chatter and the monkeys have friends. I have struggled for the past year with ANTs, Automatic Negative Thoughts. (I wish I had thought of that acronym. Not sure where it started.) These ANTS are mean little buggers that corrupt happiness with great efficiency. They cause worry and strife where none exist. I had to realize that the ANTs caused problems to appear that were not really there. The more time I spent obsessing over the ANTs the worse I felt.

There had to be a deliberate and purposeful shift in my brain. I took time to examine the ANTs. I dissected them to see what they were made of and it was not pretty. They were made of self-doubt, fear and anxiety. They said things like, “I am not good enough”, “What if…” and “I just know this isn’t going to work out.”

Once I knew what they were and how they operated, I shifted my brain to actively combat the negative thoughts. I would like to say that I did this all on my own; however, I did not. Being loved and being shown that I am beautiful, I am enough, pushed my mind to shift away from the negative thoughts.  It is not easy. It is a constant battle between me and the army of ANTs. I must stop them as soon as I see the first wiggle of a feeler antenna on its head. I splat them dead right then and do not give it a chance to advance. It takes a conscience effort to squash the ANTs and keep them away.

I know that I am loved, wanted and cherished. I also know I am no fool. The ANTs can return any second. I am at peace and I am ready for them. I will not allow the ANTS to infest me again.

 

Photo Credit: BuzzFeed.com

It’s my Choice

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I choose truth.

I choose to care.

I choose to trust.

I choose to provide.

I choose to accept.

I choose to make our life, our future a priority.

I choose to protect.

I choose to cherish.

I choose your family as part of my family.

I choose to be happy.

I choose to love.

I choose you.

You Control the Moments

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Life is simple really. It is just a matter of moments and decisions that get you from one moment to the next. Simple. No mystery about it. Just one moment then another and another. You decide what to do in the next moment. You can get brave and plan future moments, most of us do. Then there are the moments that are planned for us one after another after another. Work, school, responsibilities and obligations are just preplanned moments.

Who or what is in control for your moments and thus your life is entirely up to you. Will you let the jerk who makes you lose you temper and feel angry control your moment? Will you passively let the someone else control what happens to you in your moments?

What about God? Will you let God control your next moment?

Each life is nothing but a series of moments that come and go. We live not day by day, one day or week or year at a time like we choose to believe. No, we live one moment at a time. How we choose to live the next moment is in our control.

What? You don’t believe that? What about obligations when you must do things you do not want to do? Yes, that is in your control too. You choose to participate in what is expected of you or not. You choose what happens. Don’t give me that, you are not in control, life makes you do certain things whether you want to or not.

Wrong!

Did you get up this morning? Yes? You could have stayed in bed. You control what you do, always.

So, stop with the he made you mad and the you have to do this or that. Don’t let me hear you say your boss, parent spouse friend made you do……..No, you are in control of every moment of everything in your life.

The only two things you are not in control of are other people’s actions and acts of God. Your reaction to those two things are still in your control.

Say it with me, “I control my reactions to the actions of others and I am in charge of moments in my life one moment at a time.”

Yes you will have to contend with the consequences of your actions; however you choose the action.

Do what you choose.

Live your life your way.

Rolling the D20 is optional.

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Best Advice I can Give

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Tonight I gave a thirteen-year-old girl the best advice I had ever received in my life. I did not know at the time when I got the advice that I would one day pass it along to someone else, but I did. She needed to hear it. It was perfect timing for what is going on in her life at the exact moment that she needed it. Just as it was perfect advice that I received at the very moment that I needed it. It is the kind of advice that once you hear it is seems so simple you wonder why you didn’t think of it for yourself. Once you hear it you can’t unhear it and it seeps in to you mind just when it is needed from the first moment you hear it to the next and the next and the next moment. It is advice that will never spoil and never leave you. It is tried and tested. It has proven itself to be true and worthy of use repeatedly. It is a universal truth. I want to believe that it is a biblical truth and that it is from God. He sent this truth to someone and that someone sent it to me. Now I have passed it on like a mantel of truth to the next generation.

I will pass it on again and again as it is needed, because you see, it will be needed again. That is how this advice of truth works. Here is the catch. Just because someone hears this truth does not mean that they will receive it and will use it. It must be followed exactly for it to work. Like an exact recipe. If you deviate from the truth it will not turn out right and true. It will fall like a cake with not enough flour in the mix. This truth will fix a multitude of problems. It isn’t a miracle cure. It isn’t an easy process to follow. It is a necessary step in to finding your path and finding your way in life. It is not easy to do sometimes, often not. Often it is where the rubber meets the road and the difficult decisions must be made. It is the difference between moving forward and standing still in your pain. It is healing or not. It sometimes requires you to break before you can bend. If you follow this advice and trust yourself it will work out right. Right always wins over wrong. Lessons will be learned and life is lived. It is the cross roads of survival. It is where things happen, good or bad. What is the truth?

What is this advice that will be there when you need it? If I tell you will you promise to use it correctly and share it when the moment presents itself again?

 
If you said yes, if you agree keep reading if you said no, that you do not want that kind of responsibility, stop reading now.

 
Here it is, here is the advice.
“Listen to your heart. Trust your heart. Your mind will lie to you but your heart will away tell you the truth. It will always tell you what you need. Your heart is always right.”

 
Easy yet not. Simple yet complicated. Predictable however unfathomable.
Listen to your heart, then follow it.

Always.

Kirk Was Wrong

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Captain James Tiberius Kirk was wrong. Space is not the final frontier. Time is the final frontier to explore. It is impossible to explore time without investigating space, but that is not what I am talking about here. Let’s look at time as a measurement of our existence.  We humans view time from our meager tiny perspectives as a line of beginning, ending and continuing. Time, like God has always been, with no beginning and no ending. The difference is that time as we perceive it and use it is an illusion.

We wake up, travel through the day with the clock at the ready. Time appears to tick on and on. It seems to be a unit of measure. Time is nothing more than a fabrication of our need to know when we are in the existence of the world. There is no time. There is only existence and being. We live on this planet and we move through our lives in one constant motion of life. Generations are born and generations die but the human race continues. Life continues with or without our knowing what time, year or month it is on the calendar or clock.

In my experience my fellow Christians are closed minded to this concept that time is an illusion. Other religions embrace the theory. According to the Hindu theory of creation, time (Sanskrit ‘kal’) is a manifestation of God. Creation begins when God makes his energies active and ends when he withdraws all his energies into a state of inactivity. God is timeless, for time is relative and ceases to exist in the Absolute. The Absolute is the spiritual realm. The past, the present and the future coexist in him simultaneously.  God creates the cycle of time, called Kalachakra, in order to create divisions and movements of life and sustain the worlds in periodic time frames. God also uses time to create the illusions of life and death for us the living immortals.

There is Biblical proof that time is an illusion. The Bible tells us God is everywhere and all at once. There is a vail the blocks our human sight from the spiritual. There are several verses that talk about the spirt world being hidden. The most notable is in Mathew 17 where Jesus speaks to Moses and Elijah. To do so Jesus has to transform from the physical and  take on his true spiritual self. He moved from the limited physical world to the world of absolute.

What if we could see past time? Past our continuation on this plane of existence? What if we could see time as how God sees it in the spiritual realm? We would see our place in the big picture of creation. The boundaries of the physical would be so unimportant that we would live fully knowing that this is not the end. Time would not control us. All it would take is for us to accept the fact that we do not see the whole picture. By accepting our limited perception, we would be free to be our true selves, not the fabricated versions that society has created us to be. Our daily lives would still be dictated by the clock, it is how we function in society, but the stress of loss and regret would be irrelevant. We would see that this life is a temporary state of being and not our true state. We would know that our love and loved ones are still out there existing. That life continues past what we can see.

If we begin to live in the spiritual mindset outside of time, conscience of the spiritual,  we would take away the control of stress and worry. We would live as free spirits only visiting the physical. The small things that disrupt our peace would disappear. Life would be amazingly peaceful and light.

What I will Never Have

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I am sitting here looking back on my life and thinking that I should have more regrets. I have missed out on a lot of things that should have happened. I have regrets, we all do, but not like what you think. We all say things happen for a reason. To an extent I believe they do, but I also believe we have free will to make decisions. As a result of my choosing to use my free will there are some things I will never have in this life and I am all right with that because what I do have is so much better.

I will never have a big, white dress church wedding. I do have a life partner, who is more committed to me than any husband. I will never be the mother of many children. I do have many children who I love and who love me. I will never be rich. I do have everything I need.

Life is all about risks, and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have had.  What matters is that you are living the life you choose. You alone have to answer for yourself. So my life did not turn out the way I planned. Sometimes you have to stop worrying have faith that things will work out not how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.

I thank God for the things I will never have, because of not having them I have room in my life for things that are better. God has blessed me and for that I am thankful.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

Power of Prayer

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Prayer is like an extension cord to God. I am not sure how it works but I know that praying with faith changes everything. I know that I feel closer to God when I pray. When I go through a time where I don’t pray regularly I feel disconnected from God.

Not that He went anywhere, I moved spiritually.  When I find it hard to focus on life or on what is important, I stop and pray. Right there, right where I stand. Stop, drop and Pray…OK I may not drop to my knees every time depending where I am standing but I pray.

I will trust Him and put those I love in His hands.Do I always get the answer I want? No. Often I do not get an answer at all. Sometimes all I get is the peace in knowing God has heard me and He is working on it, whatever it is.  For now, that will be enough.

1 Peter 4:7-8 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another. (NIV)

Fireproof (aka The Love Dare)

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I usually only review books and this isn’t a review technically it is an opinion. I watched the movie Fireproof. If you haven’t seen it I recommend you do, married or not. The movie is based on the book The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick. A firefighter, Caleb tells his father John about his impending divorce, and John challenges Caleb to commit to a 40-day test called, “The Love Dare.” Caleb reluctantly agrees to do the test, but more for the sake of his respect for his father than his marriage. He wife initially sees through Caleb’s half-hearted attempts to win back her heart, which deepens Caleb’s frustration. But with his father’s encouragement, Caleb continues with The Love Dare, and eventually makes a life-changing commitment to God and his wife. As a result he saves his marriage.

The love dare is an interesting concept that challenges you to do things that in reality you should already be doing for and with your spouse or partner.  Some of the dares are a simple as speaking nice and the others are more challenging. The end result is a refocus of your heart and actions on the choice you made to love the other person.

The book and movie shows that the Biblical love and marriage is a choice. If you make the choice a priority your marriage will be a strong partnership. There are no fool proof ways to guarantee that the person you choose to love will love you in return. All you can do is stay true to your promise and love them.

God chose to love us. We chose to love him and each other. Love is never the wrong choice if done for unselfish reasons. The Love Dare is that choice in unselfish action.

The Pain of Christmas

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We as Christians hold the crucifixion of Christ as paramount to our forgiveness by God, but what we miss is that the birth of Christ was just as tragic and painful. I am not talking about the obvious that He had to be born to die. Our Father God chose to impregnate a young girl to send His son here to suffer for us. The suffering began before he was born. We all know the warm fuzzy Nativity story with lowing cows, gifts and singing angels, but what about the other side of the story? The painful and terrified side?

Mary was probably 13 years old or so and unmarried. If she had not been protected by God she would have been stoned to death as other adulterous women had been stones in the village of Nazareth. She was engaged and in that culture that was the same as being married. Even without that for a young girl to be pregnant was a death sentence unless she had a husband to claim it. Which Joseph did not at first. Was Mary suffering for Christ even at that point of the story? Yes, she had to tell her mother, father and future husband that she was pregnant and God did it. No wonder the girl left town to visit her cousin Elizabeth. While she was gone, Joseph suffered agonizing ridicule and it kept him up at night. He tossed and turned at the fact his sweet young bride was knocked up. The angel Gabriel visited him in a dream and told him to relax Mary is telling the truth. Mary and Joseph were terrified at the prospect of Mary’s pregnacy and yet, they followed God’s will. Mary very well could have said No to God, but she didn’t. Joseph could have said no to Mary’s father. He could have told him to keep his daughter, but he didn’t. Then the suffering got worse.

The couple went from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about a hundred miles on a donkey…. on a donkey. Not only was Mary in physical pain and Joseph’s feet raw from the walking, there where other dangers on the road, bandits to steal what they had, men who took women as slaves and other untold bad things. Yet, God protected them from that, but not the suffering of the journey. It was long and hard. Mary pregnant and riding on a donkey. Her back must have hurt, her feet must have swelled and she must have been sleep deprived.

Jesus was born in a manger the story says…a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes was laying in the manger. A manger is a wood box for feeding animals. A smelly box with animal slobber and bugs. Where did Mary get the swaddling cloth? Mary probably ripped her own clothing, wrapped Him up and layed Him in the manger on the cleanest hay she could find. Itchy scratchy bug filled hay. No bassinet with a musical mobile spinning about his head. How many of us would ride on a donkey for a hundred miles, give birth in a barn and put our newborn in a hay box? That is suffering.

Did the suffering for our sin start at the arrest of Jesus? No it started the moment that God put the plan in motion. The Nativity story is a story of a miraculous birth and the suffering of our Savior. From the moment of conception the suffering started. However, to suffer is to be human. He suffered the experienced of human life.

So as you think about Christmas and all the fun things that go with it, remember that it is a Holy day not a holiday. Without Jesus it is just another day, with Him it is the remembrance of His coming into suffrage for us sinners.

New Year & New life

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I have never been one to make resolutions that stick. I have the best of intentions that last until about the middle of February then they are gone from my mind like a bad dream. I decided that this is the year I will step out of my comfort zone and live. I mean really live. So this year I am making a few resolutions.

I want to get closer to God. I have been a Christian for a long time. Being a Christian isn’t about the motions of church. It is about relationship with God. I will cultivate that relationship.

I will be brave. I will not shy away from challenges. I will do the things that push me to get out of that comfort zone.

I will forgive myself and do things right this time. I’ve made some big mistakes in my life. I will ask for forgiveness and forgive others.

I will deal with things head on. I will choose to feel and not remain in blissful denial. I will forget my claim that I do not cry. If you ignore something you won’t feel it. I choose to feel. If that means tears, then let them come.

I will cultivate family relationships, new and existing. I will be there for them and love them. No matter what happens.

I will strive to be the best me I can be. I will continue to move forward in life. I will continue to work toward my goals. (Publish books, write books, get healthy, love often, be happy…yeah all of those goals.)

What about you? Are you making any resolutions this year? Let me know in the comments!

What is Marriage?

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What is marriage? Is it a wedding ceremony and a license? Is it a commitment to love honor and obey? Marriage is defined by Webster’s as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law or by the rite by which the married status is effected, an intimate or close union. No mention of love.

Marriage existed before any government was organized. For thousands of years, people were getting married without a marriage license. Even today, there are some countries that have no governmental recognition of marriage and no legal requirements for marriage. Government endorsement is usually necessary for certain benefits, however. In American history, up to around the 1920’s, there was no such thing as a marriage license. The states invented them as a way to dictate who could and could not get married. Primarily as a way to stop white people from marrying black people. Still no mention of love.

Some people believe that a man and a woman are married in God’s eyes when they have completed some kind of formal wedding ceremony. There is an event, action, covenant, vow, or proclamation that is recognized as declaring a man and woman to be married. Love may be present, maybe not.

But does the very act of getting married constitute a true partnership? Does connecting yourself to another in the bonds of marriage mean that you are equally respected, loved or wanted?

Though many of my characters that I write choose to get married, I for one do not like what marriage has become in today’s society. It is an institution that gives people carte blanche to dictate what another person can and can’t do. I consider myself an expert on how not to be a spouse and how not to preform life as a married person. I should know I have had three failed marriages. Just as it takes two to make a marriage work it takes two to destroy one as well. I know I have been there. Usually it plays out that one person gives up sooner in the marital timeline than the other. The vow is broken, hurt happens and loss is felt. Often a marriage dies long before the participants are willing to admit it. How many times have you known people who stayed married for the sake of the children or other reason that is not that they truly liked being together? Notice I said marriage not love.

As I have said many times on this blog and other places, love is a choice. Love is a promise to cherish the other person. You choose to love or not. There are couples who are more devoted to each other without a marriage license than others who have been married for years. It is society that has conditioned us to believe that those who are in committed relationships but are not legally married are somehow not valid partnerships. Somehow we are taught to believe that two people can’t be devoted if they do not get married or we think maybe they don’t love each other, trust each other, or care about each other enough to get married.

Marriage as ordained by God is a spiritual connection that is grounded in faith not government. Faith in God, faith in each other and faith in your choice to be together.  It is not based on the human’s faulty idea of marriage that is a contract and dictated by social norms. It is the choice and promise of commitment to that one other person is what is important. Love and devotion do not require a piece of paper or even a ceremony. Ultimately, that is between the couple and God. Only God knows our true heart (1 John 3:20).

A marriage license is just a piece of paper. If there is no love there is no point.

Where is Home?

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perdido-key-beachOne predominant theme in my first novel, We Will Get There, is the idea of Home. The idea that home is not just a place but a sense of being safe and loved. How you see home depends on what connects you to happiness and peace.

If home is a place in your life then no other place will do. Home is home, and everywhere else is not-home. Home can be where you keep your stuff, where you sleep or where you grew up. For some people, as they travel  through life, they find their home multiple times in multiple places. For others, home is that place that you leave when you become an adult. It is as unchanging fixed place in time and space.

I want you to think about another place home can be, well not a place but a person. For children home is often the security of their parents. For some adults home is a significant other, spouse or partner. Home is where your heart is happiest, where you feel safe and where you can be your true self. Often that is not a fixed place but the person who makes you feel safe when you are with them.

For Krystal Sabine, home was tied to a place that reminded her of a person. No matter how far she got from that place, she was pulled back.

What is home for you? Is it that place where you sleep at night? Is it the place where you grew up? Or is home that person who knows your heart better than any other?

If you discover that your true home is not a place but the connection you have with the person you love most, you will not be homesick for a place. Where that person is will be home for you. It will bring joy to you when you are with them and longing when you are not.

As we make our way through this life, it is comforting to know that a cozy bed, warm meal, and  loving arms are waiting for us at home. Life is sweetest when you are home no matter if that home is a person or a place or for the lucky ones, both.

 

 

Trust is a Choice

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Trust is a fragile thing. Trust is a choice. Once someone has broken trust is hard if not impossible to get it back. There are some of us who can’t trust even when there is no reason for the doubt. Trust does not come natural to those people. They will doubt you while loving you. They will keep you at a distance. Hurt and life have taught them that humans are fallible and hurt you. It is not like they always set out to hurt you, they just do. People are self preservationist. It is human nature to protect one’s self. Survival of the fittest and all that. Sometimes that means other people get hurt. We all do it. If you say you don’t hurt people you are dead or lying.

If you have read my blog before you know that I have a strong opinion that love is above all things the only reason for living. It is the reason we choose to be with other humans. What are we to do if we are to love, can’t trust a soul and are scared of getting hurt?

We must keep life in perspective. Remember people are not perfect. You are not perfect. The one you choose to love is not perfect. Your children are not perfect. Trust them anyway. Learn what the people in your life are capable of doing and not doing. If you can’t love and trust them where they are in life, then don’t have them in your life.

However, if you can love them despite their faults. If they can love you despite your faults. If the good in a person outshines the bad, love them.  If you can manage to trust each other even when it is difficult to do so, then do the best you can to make it work.

I am not saying that this is in anyway easy. Trust is one of the hardest things in life to do. Like love, trust is a choice. Trust and love are not emotions they are choices. We choose to love and trust. We can just as easily choose not to.

 

 

Love by the Numbers

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I have been in more relationships and marriages than the average person, so I thought. I recently read a couple of studies that say statistically the average person falls in love 3 or 4 times in a life time. Theses magical studies also say that you will have 7 to 10 serious relationships, with men having ten in their lifetime, compared to an average of seven for women. The average number of marriages is 3 to 4 for Americans. Thinking back through my life I have only been in love, true love, twice. I have had many more serious, or what I thought at the time were serious relationships. Marriages? Don’t get me started!

I am not so out of the ordinary after all.

What the studies do not explain is why will the average person have so many relationships,why will they fail and why we settle for less that perfect in some relationships. I can’t speak for the masses but I can tell you that there are several reasons why I had so many relationships, why they did not work out and why I stayed in the dying ones. Since I am about average according to the studies I bet my reasons are about the same as yours. The topic of why relationships fail is a big one and space here will not allow for a complete exploration, so we won’t go there.

I  do believe that God sends love to your life. You choose if you accept that person or not. Choice means that you choose to stay with him or her, to fight for love even though they are not perfect. One promise to them that you will be their forever person no matter what life throws at you. Never taking them for granted even on the days when you are the only one in the fight for love. Love is not a 50/50 thing. It is a 100% by both people in the relationship. Like any good fighter you also have to know when it is time to throw in the towel. That is a difficult choice, still a choice. Love is your choice to make.

Let me reassure you, dear reader, that you are not alone. No matter how devastated you are at the death of a relationship, all of us have been there at least once in a life time if the studies are to be believed. To me what is worse than the out right end of a relationship is the staying in a dead one.

I stayed in  dying relationships for several reasons, the number 1 reason was fear. I was afraid to be alone. I had been told and believed that no one else would want me. No one would ever love me again. What is worse I had more than one ex tell me such lies and I believed it more than once. I was so wrong.

No matter how broken by love and number of relationships you are now, you can be fixed. You will love again. You will never be so broken that some one will not want to love you.  Forget what the numbers say. Forget the lies the sorry relationship killers tell you. Be brave and take the leap off in to the abyss that is love. Do not fear the future. Love is all that matters in this life. We are not meant to be unloved and alone. We are meant for great love. That love will look different for each one of us.

The common denominator is the same. It only takes 1 person to show you 1 time that love is worth all the sacrifice. 1 person to care enough to love you in all your crazy weirdness. 1 person + 1 love + you = happiness

 

Accept Life As Is

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My life looks nothing like it did six months ago. Everything is different. I find myself looking at how things are and some things are wonderful. Other things are not bad just different. I am past grieving the things I lost. My normal is so very different from before and I am learning to adjust to it one day at the time.

I am working on just accepting life as it presents itself to me now. I deal with what life throws at me one preciouses day at a time.  I am not looking to far in to the future by making plans. It is not that I do not have dreams for the future. I have big dreams, strong desires and hope. It is just that I am doing my best to shield myself from hurt and disappointment. Safest way is not to get my hope set on things that may or may not happen. Dreams are sometimes unattainable. If the stars align perfectly and circumstances flow in the correct sequence some of my dreams just might come true. I can’t let myself hope to much or I will get hurt.

Life comes with no guarantee. I have to accept it as is and deal with things as the come at me. Not all things are bad or good, they just are and I have to accept them as they are. Some things I can change, some things I can not change at all. This is my daily struggle, my daily progress.

I long for the peace that comes from stability that is just right there on the edge of my life. I have peace, it isn’t that I am in chaos everyday. It is security that still eludes me. Maybe I wish for something that is just not meant to be. Maybe the security I long for is an illusion that was never mine and will never be mine again.

One thing I know for sure. I am not alone. I have God. I have prayer. I have strong arms to comfort me and a heart to love me. That my dear reader is what gets me through each day and that is enough for now.

 

 

 

 

The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner

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Spanning nearly a century this novel follows the lives of the Esposito family who live on Castellamare, an island off the coast of Italy. At the center of the island’s life is a bar covered with Bougainvillea flowers called the House at the Edge of Night.

This story takes you into the lives of an eccentric group of villagers that are in many ways isolated from the outside world yet still affected by what happens through wars, economic downfalls, threat of fascism  and illnesses. Not to mention the intertwined relationships if the residents that fuel the fires of love and hate across generations.

This story meanders like one would suspect life on Castellamare would do. Yet the slow pace keeps you engaged as the people of this island come alive in the twists and turns of the story. I loved everything about this book from the first to the last page. The story revolves around Amedeo, an orphan, a foundling. He comes to the island in 1914 when he is 40 years old to take the position of island Doctor. The plot pivots is Amedeo’s love of stories – stories of saints and miracles, of fantasy and curses and real stories of the past. Amadeo carries a journal where he records all the stories that he hears through his life. This collection becomes an heirloom for his grand children.

Catherine Banner has written an epic story that has the potential to be a classic.

 

 

 

The Art of Story Telling

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Story telling is not just limited to books and movies. Stories infiltrate our life is thousands of ways. Often we are either the story teller or the story receiver and we do not realize that we are engaged in the act of storytelling.  Kids are expert story tellers when the play pretend games. Grandparents tell stories when they share family history. Gamers tell stories as they play. Even a simple television commercial can be a story in thirty seconds.

We don’t think of ourselves as story tellers, but guess what we are. Have you ever gone to work on a Monday and a coworker asks, “How was your weekend?” Then you tell them about the shopping trip with all the sales you lucked up on or ball game you went too. You are telling a story.

Not all stories are good ones and not all stories are worth telling. This is true. The skill of storytelling is like anything else. Some of us are good and it, some of us are not and some of us can tell average stories. It is the interesting, heart felt, tragic and scary stories that we tend to remember the most. The key is engaging the story receiver’s emotion. It is the listener, viewer, reader who determines if the story is good or not. The story teller may think the story is good and be completely wrong.

As a writer the exchange of story from the teller to the story receiver fascinates me. I want to know what makes the receiver remember the story, why was the story worth the time of telling and why would you want to repeat the story? It is the psychology of the story that is the game changer for me.

I challenge you to be aware of the stories in your life. Notice when you are on the telling end and the receiving end of a good story. What makes you remember a story? What makes you repeat a story? Most importantly what makes you really like story or fall in love with a story?

If you are interested in sharing your story experiences drop me an email at compulsive_writer@outlook.com or a comment here. I will respond to every one of you.

 

 

 

I’m Thinking about Ending Things by Iain Ried

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There are three types of people in the world. Those who have read the book and love it, those who have read this book and hate it or those who have not yet read this book.

I loved it. When you read it you are certain that you have fallen in to an episode of the twilight zone. Nothing is as it appears. The story revolves around a girl on a day trip with her boyfriend to meet his parents. She is thinking about ending things. It is the things that you have no idea what she means. Is she breaking up with him? Is she considering suicide? It is a mystery. Even at the end of the book it may still be a mystery if you don’t pick up on all the subtle hints. I actually read this book through twice be fore I had the ah ha moment and figured out most of the plot. Though very intense, it is an easy read. I read it through the two times over one weekend.

A word of caution! Danger Will Robinson!

There are web sites that discuss the book and the theories around it. Please read the book first before you read any of the theories. It will be a better ride to just go in to the book blind. Please do not cheat yourself of the experience of this roller coaster adventure of this book. Reading fan sites before reading a book is right up there with my aversion of seeing a movie before reading the book.

DON’T DO IT!

I am afraid that if I keep talking I will spoil this for you so I will just leave you with this thought.  This book is deeply haunting and irresistibly unnerving. It will stay with you long after the last page is turned and you put the book down.

 

 

 

A Strong Word

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One of the strongest words in the English language is forever. Merriam Webster defines forever as a limitless time (as in He wants to live forever) or at all times, continually. Forever is one of those words that stands in front of you defiantly and dares you to prove it wrong. It is bossy and intrusive. The word forever and I have always agreed to disagree. It says to me, let go trust that I am true. I say no, no you are not. There is no such thing as forever.  I am good with the continually definition. It is the limitless time that gives me anxiety. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing. Seasons change, people die, good things always come to an end and bad times pass. There is no such thing as forever. The difficult lessons in life have taught me that forever is a fantasy, a fairy tale. We all know that fairy tales are not true.

Just recently I have had this needling thought in my head. It is a particularly chatty monkey that says, “You are wrong. Love lasts forever. Real love is never-ending.” I have resisted the urge to toss that monkey out on his head. I try to get my head around the thought that someone could love me so much that it lasts not just my lifetime but forever into eternity. I have even said to that thought monkey and the person who put it in my head, “No, I do not say forever. I can’t trust that to be true.”

Then the monkey chatter says in rebellion, “What if you are wrong? What do you have to lose? What is love?” That definition of love is stronger than that nasty little monkey called forever.  The same dictionary defines love as a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person, attraction that includes sexual desire, the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship, a person you love in a romantic way, God or personification of love.

I have said on this blog that God is love. I have also said that love is worth the risk.  I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t at least give this forever consideration. I have love in my life that is strong that has the potential to last a long long time. I don’t know if it will indeed last forever. All I can do is hope and have faith that it is enough. That the love I have in my life will last a long time and that it is worth the risk.

At that thought another nicer calmer monkey spoke up in the chatter, “Love is worth everything. Stop listening to your mind and listen to your heart.”

I sighed, conceded and said out loud, “I love you…forever.”

Next to me the one who loves me smiled and said, ” I love you too.”

 

Becoming Me

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What makes you say that is me? Is it what you do? How you look?  How you feel? What is it in your life that make you who you are? Ever felt that you became a different person? Ever discovered that you became weaker than before? Do you feel that you are not being yourself anymore?  From a young age, we are conditioned to act in certain ways in order to feel loved. This is the beginning of our loss of personal authenticity. We are taught to function in society we must conform. Your authentic self is the real you that is beyond all of those conditioned beliefs and thinking patterns that you have accumulated throughout your life.

I have spent the last thirty years becoming someone I did not recognize. I was so concerned about not offending anyone and not looking crazy to the outside world that I become some version of me that I did not know. I didn’t see this happening. It was a gradual process. One sacrifice here. One compromise there. One held word here. One concession to do something that I didn’t really want to do but did it to keep the peace there. Before long these things become who I was. I evolved in to this person that did not want to upset the status quo. I chalked it up to this is what a good mom and a good wife does. I ignored my intuition for the longest time because I felt so obligated to others. Their happiness was more important than my own. I had been a mom for twenty some odd years and a wife for thirty some odd. Somewhere along the way I lost me. Please do not misunderstand. It wasn’t all bad. My baby girl was the best thing that came out of that time of my life. She is amazing. I am not sure how she turned out to be so wonderful, but she is. I did find love and happiness along the way. I had good times during all this but the core of who I was ended up not being who I really was. I used to have my own way of speaking, behaving and thinking, and I felt like it was hiding somewhere. Every time I let out a small bit of who I was, someone or something would make fun of it, insult it or say it was stupid. I would tuck it back in. I became a stranger to myself.

One day I woke up. I looked myself in the mirror and said, that is it. No more being someone else. No more putting everyone else’s idea of who I should be above who I really am. I will be me. If the rest of the world doesn’t like it, that is too damn bad.

I am beginning to understand the intention behind every action I take and I am making a conscious decision to do only what is right for me as a true version of myself. I am gathering the courage each moment and to sometimes say no to anything or anyone that doesn’t allow me to be myself. I focus on what is in alignment with my personality. As a result I am better to others. I can be more honest to them. I am not hiding and lying to protect them or me. I am a better listener. I am fully present in my life. I am more authentic. I am more empathetic.

Being myself is risky. Something could go wrong, and then whose fault would it be? Mine. I have come to accept responsibility for my actions. This I found out is a gradual process too. It is painful, exciting, and freeing to become who you really are on the inside and outside. I have lost friends. I have lost family. They could not accept the real me. They liked the me who was compliant. The me that was their comfortable person. The let’s not rock the boat person. They preferred the watered down version of me. Did that hurt to lose them? Yes, extremely painful in some cases. What I gained is priceless. I have gained a life. I have gained a sense of purpose. I have gained my sanity.

I am becoming me and I like me.

 

 

 

 

We left a Hole

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We worked on the wall till the break was almost closed up. We could see over the wall where the break opened up. Resilient stood back and was pleased with the work we did. Soon a friend approached. Her shirt said loneliness. This friend was crying.

“What is wrong?” I asked her.

“This wall makes me sad.” she said.

Resilient was mad. “I am not talking the wall down. We must be protected.”

Loneliness asks, ” Can we at least leave a hole to look through in case they come?”

I was concerned then that Resilient would not allow it. She sighed and said ok.

So there in the wall above the new bricks she left a hole. Not one big enough for anyone to get through. Just big enough for us to see if anyone was coming. This made loneliness a little happier.

We took turns looking to see if we could see any more friends.

“This may take a while.” I said. “Let’s not give up”

“ok, Courage” the others replied.

She Builds the Wall

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Here is a bit of fiction…or is it?

She Builds the Wall

I found her standing in front of a wall. The wall was made of bricks the same color red as the bricks that build the american dream home but about half the size and perfect cube in shape. She was mixing a bucket of concrete and slathering it on the bricks. Then she placed them ever so deliberately on the wall where it looks like a strong force crashed in the bricks flinging them all over the ground. I walked up behind her and she does not turn around. She continues to work one brick at the time.

I look to my left and see the wall goes on past my line of sight. I look to my right and see the same. On it goes. I look up and it disappears in to the fog. “What are you doing?” I ask her. She sighs, “What does it look like? I am repairing the break.” Her voice is soft and not unlike my own.

It is a slow process since she is very particular in how she chooses the bricks. She lovingly picks them up and dusts off each side. She then sizes it up for the next location on the wall carefully placing it on the vacant spot. Once she is satisfied it is the correct block, she then coats it and places it on the wall. She continues to pick up bricks, coat them with mud and place them on the wall.

“What broke your wall?” I asked

Again she sighed, “It was my fault. I let my guard down and when I wasn’t paying attention someone got in, wreaked havoc and I forced them back on the other side. Now I am fixing it so they can’t come back on my side.”

She never broke her stride as she explained the break and what happened. She continued to work. Carefully picking up bricks, tenderly stroking them and placing them on the wall.

“When it is fixed, what will you do then?” I asked

Again she sighed, “I will wait for the one who is worthy of coming to my side. I think that they are never coming though. I will just watch and maintain the wall.”

With that she turned and looked at me. She smiled with my smile. Printed on her shirt was the word “Resilient”

She said, “Your shirt says ‘courage’, will you stay with me?”

I sighed, picked up a brick and dusted it off. I measured the place where it would go, slopped on the concrete and placed the brick on the wall.

Newest Novel in Progress…

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Would you read this book?

Charlotte Barlow suspected something was a little off when her quiet reserved cousin kissed her when she was just sixteen years old. The kiss unnerved her. Nevertheless, she lived a relatively normal life among the humans. Charlotte a practicing witch from the ancient order of Time Walkers, hid her talents and powers from everyone she knew. When Charlotte is injured in a drunk driving accident, she realizes that her life had been a lie from the very beginning. It wasn’t until she bumped into the devilishly wild fallen being, who called himself by his human name, Scott Petrois, that her life and family history finally began to make sense. 

Scott proved to be a force that Charlotte was not capable of resisting. Charlotte soon learned that Scott had taken an oath and that oath could destroy her. Despite Scott’s creepy ways and murderous tendencies, Charlotte finds herself falling for the dishonored creature. Only fate will decided whether she kills or protects him.

One night, a powerful warlock appears before Charlotte and warns her of a darkness within Scott. The enchanter gives Charlotte the pure silver sword – the only weapon that can defeat against a wild spiritual creature. Will Charlotte find it in herself to kill the only soul who has ever made her feel truly complete? 

You have just read a synopsis of my current work in progress. What do you think?

Don’t get to attached to the cover. It is just a mock up.

coverImage

 

The Nothing Box

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I have recently been introduced to the concept of the Nothing Box. This concept is not a new one. Apparently it has been out there for years. This wise man I know explained to me that all men have compartments in their brains that they separate thoughts and memories. When they want to think about something the pull out a box from the memory shelf and open it. They think about that thing they have in front of them. All the memories and thoughts go into a box.One of the boxes is called the Nothing Box. Men are experts on thinking about nothing. Girlfriends and wives can attest that they ask men what they are thinking about often get the nothing reply. The women often don’t believe the men when they say they are thinking nothing because women can’t think of nothing. Women have brains that do not stop, so it is hard for them to grasp the concept of thinking nothing. I disagree that it is impossible for women to think about nothing. While I do agree that it is harder for women to shut down their brains, it is not impossible.

I have tried to access my nothing box. Let me tell you, it takes practice to shut down and focus on nothing. Quieting what my friend calls the monkey chatter in your head is not an easy task. It takes concentration, but it can be done. Men find this easy. I find it frustrating.

I kept practicing and one day my brain cooperated, I realized that I was indeed not thinking about a thing. It was a very freeing experience. Emptying my mind relaxed my body and brought peace to my soul. I realized that it actually allows for God to speak to me in the nothingness. It is almost like silent prayer that allows my soul just to be in he presence of nothing but God. I imagine this is like the Zen experience in some meditation practices.

The next time you are feeling stressed and your brain is chattering in multiple voices, try finding your nothing box. Pull it out and climb inside. If it will not work the first few times, do not give up, keep trying. I bet you will discover like me that this nothing box thing is great.

 

Storms

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Here where I live storms are a fact of life. If we have a week or so without rain we swear it’s a drought. We are ending the summer and headed into Fall. I love warm weather. I hate wearing shoes. Someone should make flip flops acceptable business footwear. I am a die hard ocean breeze, sunshine and summer rain kind of girl.  I am not looking forward to Fall and cool temperatures, not really.  Don’t get me started on pumpkin everything everywhere….

Anyway, where was I ? Oh storms, we are waiting for one now. The air is thick and humid. The wind is picking up a bit and the clouds are rolling in. It is the prelude to the rain. I love this feeling of anticipation and then the release of summer rain that smells of clean air. It brings peace to my soul.

In life we get so wrapped up in the drama and why of things that we need to just let the summer rain wash the worry out of our minds. Ignore the chatter and let what you need to happen happen. All else, all the unneeded words and feelings, let them wash away like the peaceful summer rain.

Updated web address

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As of today you will see a new web address for my blog. When you click the old link it should bounce, but please update your saved link or bookmark. The new address is breathepraywrite.com

If you have any questions or issues accessing the blog please contact me and let me know.

 

…but I like my cheese where it is

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How many of you read that little book Who Moved My Cheese? I read it years ago and then again recently. (If you don’t have time to read it watch this short video.) The premise is easy, change is going to happen and you have to control how you react to it. If you stand firm and refuse to accept it you will get left in the wake of change. If you flow with it and adapt you will be better after the change levels off and status quo sets in again.

Most people do not want their cheesy goodness to move and do not want change. Change is scary and challenging. In the end I believe most people accept change and move along to the better cheese. Then there is me….

I have been a solid do not move, touch or even look at my cheese kind of person. I like my daily routines thank you very much. As long as I am in charge of the change and I am the creator of the change it is fine, but let someone else change something that affects me look out. I think it is the helpless feeling of not having control. What’s crazy is I haven’t had control in years until just recently. I have let life push me along. I did grab hold of control, went to school and changed my stressful job. Slowly I have taken control back. It is my cheese and I will do the moving..not you…me.

There’s old wisdom that advises that we can only lean against that which resists. This suggests that there might just be something good, or at least useful, about resisting change. Discovering what this resistance is and learning to work with it is key to understanding reluctance to change. That is all fine and dandy as long as I am in charge of the cheese…I mean change.

What throws me for a loop is when I am not in control of the change. That sends me in to flight mode. You know, fight or flight? I am a classic flight risk when I loose control. Either I fly or I bury my head in the sand and ignore the change. If I don’t see it, don’t acknowledge it, then it is not real…..there you go…denial.

Learning that change, even wanted change is stressful will make dealing with the cheese realignment easier. Taking the cheese knife in hand and carving the life you want is hard too. I have no answers here. You have to decide how you will deal with the fact of life that someone will move your cheese. It is just a matter of time.

 

It’s My Life

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For those who know me personally you know I am going through some pretty interesting things. I am as transparent as they come. What you read on this blog may have very well at one point in my life come out of my mouth. In the vain of being real, I have decided to give you an update.

My divorce will be final soon and as a result my name will change. A lot of things in my life have changed. I have lost my dogs since the Ex kept them. That broke my heart.  I have moved in to a small apartment. I have a new man in my life. Well he’s not new really since I have known him since I was 12. I have changed my life style, sort of. I went from sitting home most nights to meeting new friends, reconnecting with old friends and living. I got not one, but two tattoos. I have been to the theater, seen cool art, met and played with Gamers, had delicious food, watched sunsets, walked on the beach, heard spectacular music, and I have had several wonderful life changing experiences.  I have written more words in the past few months than I have in years. What’s more those words are some of the best words of my career. I finished the draft of my novel and started two more.

So many changes in a short amount of time has my head spinning. Then there is this, my beloved blog site you are reading.

Due to the divorce and my impending name change,  I will most likely change the domain for this site. That is a big deal to me. I have had this site since November 2008. I am very nervous about it. I plan to keep the shift as painless as possible for you and me. I will keep you posted.

Thank you for reading my words and being my virtual support system. I can’t express enough how much that means to me and how special you are to me.

On a side note, if you ever hear me say I am getting married again….please for the love of God slap the sh*t out of me! Thanks.

Gamer- New Species -Pt 2

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A few weeks ago I informed you of the new of me species of humans called Gamers. I have since observed them a couple more times. I have learned that they are a loyal bunch. They stick to the schedules set and the progress set forth by the GM (Game Master).They seem to function of sustenance of whatever food the motivated person of the group decided to cook, some junk food, tea, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, various types of adult beverages and Mountain Dew.

This week I was accepted in to the clan. I was asked to create a character and participate in the game. This is an unprecedented occurrence. From what I understand they rarely let insiders in and haven’t allowed a female player (except for a special actress) in a long time, maybe ever. They helped me decided on a couple of characters. One is a fierce Royal Frills dragon. A brutal creature with super magical powers. The second character is a transformer robot who is a super intelligent rouge scholar with an organic presence. When he/she (sex is undetermined at this point) transforms it is a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500 K. Picture the car below a crisp aqua blue…yeah, nice I know.

1920x1200_1935-mercedes-3500-k-roadsterThe GM eased me in to the game. I think he took it easy on me this first time. I was thankful. The last thing I want to do is look like the armature player I am and embarrass myself. So there they were and away crew investigating an abandoned spaceship and they come across this transformer who they can’t communicate with. It was a challenge to say the least.

On a side note, studies show that keeping your brain active is the key to avoiding memory loss and dementia when you age. Gaming takes an active mind, a strong sense of logic and a passion for adventure. It is a creative orgy of storytelling that is good for your brain. In my exploration of the species I have discovered that this gaming culture is strange to some adults. They see gaming as something that should be left to the young, the geeks, or the nerds. I say screw that. Some of the best people I know are nerds, geeks and gamers, but besides that gaming is fun. If you haven’t tried a role-playing game, I highly recommend it. Plus it could just keep you out of the Alzheimer’s home when you are old.

I will keep you posted with dispatches from the field as I infiltrate the realm of the gamer further in future interactions.

 

 

Responsible Loneliness

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I just realized that for the first time in years I am not responsible for anyone else but me. Since I was seventeen I have been responsible for someone else. I got married the first time early. I had a child when I was eighteen. I have been married most of my life. There has always been someone I was responsible for pleasing, feeding, taking care of or consulting. To wake up and find that I am no longer responsible for anyone but me was a bit unnerving. I have people in my life whom I care about. I have a significant other, however, I am not responsible for them. On the flip side, I am solely responsible for myself. If I do or do not do something it is on me. I have no one to blame if the thing doesn’t happen. This realization is just as heavy as the obligation of taking care of someone else.

I had a feeling of unexplained loneliness come over me when this hit me. I am not alone, yet I felt isolated. It is like I am no longer a part of a whole, but a piece for a separate. I am sharing life with others but I am also disconnected.  Then I had an epiphany. The difference in my life now is that I choose to be there for someone rather than have the requirement of being there given to me by being responsible. Now it is a choice when before it was not. It was an obligation. This is new uncharted territory for me. I have never been in this position as an adult.  I choose to be connected to someone. I choose to care if they are safe, fed, happy and taken care of. I choose to be responsible. I choose to be connected. I choose not to be lonely. I choose to be happily irresponsible.

 

 

 

 

Live Unapologetically

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This life thing is difficult. We strive for happiness and we work toward goals. Sometimes when we do we have to be careful not to hurt other people’s feelings. Often we get so sensitive that we forget that we have feelings too. We go to the other extreme and we neglect our own self peace and hurt ourselves.

Here’s the thing, you can’t please everyone all the time. No matter how good, loving or generous you are it is impossible to make everyone in your life happy. The best you can do is try to be happy and do your best no to cause undo harm to others. At the same time when others do things that you do not like that makes you unhappy remember they too are trying to live this life. They too deserve to live the life that makes them happy even if it makes you not happy.

Even Jesus lived his life to serve other with our neglecting his true self. The key is finding the balance. You wont get it right all the time. Don’t beat yourself up when you get it wrong. Just keep trying.

Live your life the best you can. Be happy. Do not hurt others on purpose. Do not negligent yourself. The only person you have to answer to in this life is yourself and God.

Live unapologetically.

 

 

Our Red String Part 2

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By now you all know about the Red String of fate. (If you don’t read my post here) It is that once in a life time person that you find that you share a heart and soul with. Now a lot of people say that they have found their soul mate. Some truly have. I think when you do you know it. For example, My aunt Carol and her husband Larry are soulmates for sure. They are the most loyal married people I know. They are Red Strings.  My grandparents, both sets found their Red Strings too.

I have tried for years to find that certain someone. I have dated, slept with and married those whom I thought were my soul’s other half just to discover weeks, months or years down the road I was wrong. I feel now that my search is over. I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but hear me out.

In 1982 I was in the seventh grade. I was living on Perdido Key with my mom and step dad. I got on the school bus and there was this boy, Brendan. He was sitting in the middle over the wheel. I sat in the front. What I didn’t know is he was watching me.  He liked my long straight hair and said I was the most beautiful girl he had seen.  I was the new girl and he was the local boy.

A few weeks went by and when getting on the bus to go home I stopped at his seat and smiled down at him. He patted the seat next to him and said, “Sit down” I didn’t second guess, I just sat and he scooted over by the window. I was tucked down in the seat with my knees high on the back of the seat in front of me. Brendan noticed and sat the same way. I flipped my long brunette hair over my shoulder, looked at him and smiled.  “so, you’re Brendan right?” He was surprised that I knew his name. We talked about everything and anything on the hour long ride home. We discussed music, movies and people we knew. He told me about his family and I explained how I had moved to the Key. He jumped off at my bus stop and we were inseparable after that.

Fast forward to high school we dated and went to the beach. It was a classic summer romance. When we were sixteen we got serious. I wanted to have sex but he was being the smart one. He said he didn’t want us to risk our future and do something we would regret. This blue eyed remarkable boy broke my heart. He walked away from me, left me crying. We both went on to have full lives with marriages and children. These lives made us who we are today and are vital to who we are now.

A few months ago Brendan knocked on my mom’s front door. When I opened the door and took one look in those blue eyes, my heart leaped. I knew I loved him and he loved me in that instant. We were us again. He held me, loved me and we talked again. The years between us melted away and disappeared.  I feel like I have come home. As it turned out he never forgot me. We still like the same things, say the same things and have several connections that are the same. Everyday is a new adventure, a new something that makes perfect sense to us. I have not been this happy in years, if ever.

I know it is crazy and I know that people don’t understand. I have spent 35 years in relationships trying to find that missing piece of my heart. I have found it. I am not apologizing to any one for it.

Brendan and I do not make any promises other than to live, love and be happy. If you missed Our Red String Part 1 read it here.

Tonight we decided to get red string tattoos. It is written in Elvin script from Lord of the Rings. It is us, all other things aside. Regardless of what the future holds he and I will always be connected in some way and we wanted to honor that.

Two Bodies. One Heart. Two Minds. One Soul

Two Bodies. One Heart. Two Minds. One Soul


script2

Top (Me left him right)


letters

Other side.

 

Our Red String Part 1

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“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place, or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle,
but it will never break.”
– an ancient Chinese belief

 We are forever connected, by this red string tied around your right wrist and my left binding our hearts together.

This red string of fate connects us. We once were too blinded by heartbreak to see it.

We lived our lives separate, always feeling incomplete, to ignorant to notice this invisible red thread at our feet.

No matter the distance we traveled apart or the tangles our red string endured, it was never broken. It led me to you, you to me, now we have found our way.

It was from the moment we met providence had spoken.

If we dare to tempt fate and stretch this red string again, it will always lead me back to you  and you to me.

So let’s live, love and be happy.

You my Guardian; me your calming peace.

Together we are home.

Indomitable (The Push Chronicles Book 1) By J B Garner

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“Reality is subjective if you only have enough belief to change it!”

~ Indomitable by J B Garner

 

The first book in a series, Indomitable introduces the reader to Irene Roman, an unlikely super hero. She was forced in to survival which in turn forced her to become a hero. This story reminds me of The Rook by Daniel O’Malley in that the female lead is an unlikely hero. She is intuitive, strong and brave. All the best qualities for a female hero.

What I liked about this book is Garner’s use of words in ways that force us to rethink language. For example, in the story the world is now inhabited by people with super powers. These people are called the Pushed. The concept was a little hard to grasp at first but they were pushed in to these powers by a force that caused this altered state. The reader is “pushed” to accept this new use of the term. This concept of manipulating words and their meanings to fit the story is a cleaver talent that Garner uses well.

One thing that was difficult for me was some of the passages that reflect Irene’s thought and some of the lines she speaks do not sound authentically female. I found myself thinking, no woman would say that. It is my biased female point of view. As a writer I get how difficult it is to write in a voice that is not your norm. It is not easy.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes sci-fi, fantasy and super hero genres. It is a climactic combination of all of those and more. Though it took me a bit to get my head around the concepts, it was well worth the time and energy it took to devour it. It caused me to consider that life is not always what you presume it to be.  I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Keep writing interesting thought-provoking books Mr. Garner.  I am a fan.

Red String Fairytale

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“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place, or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle,
but it will never break.”
– an ancient Chinese belief





Once upon a time, there was a boy who saw an old man. The old man was the wisdom keeper of his village. The old man said that there was a red string that connected people who were meant to be. Tied from wrist or ankle of the destined souls. It is invisible unless the two people are standing close together. The thread will tangle and stretch across the world but will not break. The naive boy said that he was never getting married and would never fall in love. The old man took the boy to a small village close by and pointed towards a girl whom the boy was destined to be with. The old man then pointed to the boy’s wrist and to the girl’s. In the glimmer of the sun a small thin red string sparkled like rare rubies tied to his right wrist and her left. The boy became angry and threw a rock at the poor girl. She ran away.

A few years later, the boy was going to be arranged in marriage as was the custom of his village. The night before the marriage, he asked to see the face of the woman who was to be his bride. She lifted a veil that was covering her face. He saw that she was beautiful and fell instantly in love with her. She smiled and turned away. She was hiding something. He reached for her face and gently caressed her cheek. She then revealed that she had a scar on her face because a rock hit her when she was a girl.

He was distraught and sorry. She looked  at him and said, “I forgive you for the hurt you gave me. I forgive you for the scar. You are my fate, my history and my future. I love you”

and the lived happily ever after.

Just Walk Away

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We have all heard the old saying , Not my circus not my monkeys. It is true that when we try to wrangle monkeys that are not ours that we risk the chance of getting hurt or used.

When you find yourself in a situation that is not yours some times our first instinct it to help. If we can and it is the right thing to do we should help. Other times it is just our desire to feel needed or useful and helping is not the right thing to do. Maybe there is someone who has better skills or resources to help. Let them. It isn’t always your place to calm the storms that other create. Often getting sucked in the storm will cause you pain or unnecessary heartache.  Listen to your gut and follow what is right. If it is right to act then act. If your gut tells you to stop, don’t get involved, pay attention.

Reserve your right to literately walk away from the chaos that is not yours. Leave the situation that you can not or should not try to calm.

What Do You Want for Yourself?

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A dear friend asked me tonight, “What do you want for yourself?” My first response was I want to be happy, but I am happy. I have given this question some thought and here is what I came up with…..What do you want for yourself?

I want of a simple life with sweet moments of love and respect with friends and family.

I want to sleep soundly and wake up slowly with no pressure of a place to go.

I want to be free of man-made constraints of time and space.

I want to live fully and experience all that I can one adventure after another.

I want joy and wonder in the little things.

I want to be loved and to love.

I want moments in time that stand still. You know that moment that you say, life is good and want it to stay that way.

I want to help everyone I can and pray for those who I can’t help.

I want to surround myself with happy and successful  people.

I want to be a problem solver. When something goes wrong I want to figure out a solution instead of wallowing in self pity.

I want to be successful.

I want to be limitless in thought.

I want a balanced life.

 I want passion.

I want to write.

I want to be happy.

I want to be free to be me.

I want to be committed to all of the above.

 

 

Worth the Risk

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Love is handing another person  the weapon that will destroy you and trusting them not to use it. Love and trust go hand in hand. I have learned that even if you know that you will get hurt or suspect that you may get hurt, it is always worth the risk to love.

If you are wrong and the result of allowing yourself to be vulnerable, raw and exposed leaves you content, happy, cherished by another human, you will find that life is good. It is the good in life that makes it worth living.If we don’t love and allow ourselves to be loved, why are we here?

We, humans, were originally created to for the pleasure of God. We were created to love. We are here to love and be loved. It is evil who came in filled the human heart with corrupt thinking that drove out the pure simple desire of love. Left in its place was the desire of greed, selfishness, dishonesty and envy. Love can not survive where evil resides.

True, you may love and not be loved in return. You may love and expose your heart just to have it pulverized by any of those hateful things. I challenge you to look past the evil to the good, even if it was for a very short time. There are lessons to be learned in the experience of pain. Don’t try to anticipate pain. If you do, you run the risk of a self fulfilling prophecy. This is tempting fate to lash out and hurt you.

Love and live in the moment. Enjoy every second as if it is the only one. Move from one moment to the other, absorbing the love and happiness. That is where your soul will find peace. Where there is peace you will find God.

Love is worth the risk. Choose love.

 

 

 

Walls

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We all have walls in our hearts. They can be tall and thick. Sometimes there is a person who comes along and hurts you by adding a brick or two to the wall. Other times someone hurts you to the point that you become a one person construction crew and erect a monument to the pain. Your masonry skills improve with each brick and each hurtful event.

The thing is the walls don’t stop the hurt. They delay it. They hide it.The hurt is still there and when you look at the wall you still hurt.

The trick is to deal with the pain. Confront it and show it who’s boss. You control your reaction to what others do to you. You control how you deal with your feelings. It still hurts but you have to decide how to deal with the hurt.

Now excuse me while I go lay some bricks and mortar. I have a wall to repair.

Early Morning Moments

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I think my favorite time of day is sunrise. No one is awake but me. The stillness is all around. As the world wakes up bit by bit. At first it is just me and my coffee listening to the sound of sleeping and birds.

There is something about that first few moments when sleep is still hanging on to you like a mist. Is that thought you just had a dream or a real thought that you should act on in a moment? That moment is even sweeter when your lover who is also in the sleep mist and reaches over to wrap his or her arms around you in a sleepy haze. That comfortable moment when they hold you close and snuggle. Its pure uninhibited feelings. When someone is in that fuzzy asleep and awake space they don’t have it in consciences to lie, deflect or hide feelings. Its is raw. It is true.

That moment, that dozy moment when the mind is sleeping and the heart is awake, you learn a lot  about your lover and yourself. You can ignore what they have been saying and listen to their heart. See their motivations in the actions of their unconscious mind. Do they touch you? Do they smile?

Then when they wake up more fully and they wrap you in passion, it gets no better than that. Two hearts connected before two bodies. It can be a spiritual experience and a closeness that comes from not overthinking the feelings. This heart connection goes beyond the physical connection. It is the meeting of two hearts in that dreamy space between heaven and reality. That is the place where heart connections are forged.

This moment also works when connecting with your kids. The best snuggle time comes at this moment right before your kids wake up and beg for cereal. If there are teenagers, this is the best time to ask if they really didn’t sneak out at midnight. Ask about their grades and other important stuff. They tend to tell the truth in that moment.

Next time you find yourself dozing in the early hours of the morning consider who you are with and what they do. Let yourself get lost in the moment. Life is built moment by moment.

New Species

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I have discovered a new species of human. Well, not new you some of you but new to me. This species is skillful in creating it’s own environments due to its unlimited imaginations. This life form is social in the environments it has created with rules and guidelines. Others join the creator in this world and add their own elements to the creativity. A social creation of life, as it were. This being is also very talented at bantering within the social group. They use various dice, books, and other tools to create the world they operate in with cunning and problem solving. This creature is called a Gamer.

I am like Jane Goodall observing her primates to learn their habits and way of life as I sit and observe my new friends as they play a role playing game that has some thing to do with Star Wars. They create within rules of the game designer, characters that are as well thought out as any character in a novel or movie script. They roll dice to decide different actions. The dice are not normal with dots on each side. They are triangles, diamonds and squares with numbers, symbols and dots.

These gamers are a different breed of storyteller. They spin tales as they maneuver in the environment that they designed. They are in a sense writers. I am amazed at all the aspects of the games that they have to remember. I see some note taking and consulting of manuals, but for the most part they have to keep in their head what is happening on many levels.

I plan to learn more about the strange species of human since I have befriended them and they have accepted me into the group as an observer. I see that this relationship could be a mutual beneficial one. For me, I can collect plenty of writing fodder. For them, I am a willing creator of yummy sustenance and the go getter of beer.

This could be a fun adventure. I will keep you posted with dispatches from the field.

 

Life is a Series of moments

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We think of life as a cumulative of our experiences rather than the series of moments. We look back and see that we did certain things good and bad. We assume,that our life is the sum of all that we have done or had done too us. In reality life is nothing but a series of moments that we live though. Good and bad, sad and happy we live through each one and learn for each experience. What collects are our responses to the moments and our expectation over what will happen when a similar moment comes again.

We start life as babies, a blank slate that is drawn upon by the life that we lead. What we learn writes itself on our slate. We see life and we learn. We experience things and we grow. We live each moment and build on them one by one. Some moments we can control others we can’t but the result is the same. We learn moment by moment. We adjust our response by what we know happened in the past.

One thing we need to remember is that through each of these moments when we respond we either give control of our feelings to others or we control our feelings. We alone are responsible for our happiness.

We can either stay in the driver’s seat and become who we want to be or we can let other people control who we become. The trick is finding the balance between letting some one you love in to your secret place where your slate is and keeping true to yourself.  Sometimes if you risk letting that person in to write on your slate the result is happiness beyond measure. Other times the outcome is heartbreak.

Chose to risk the hurt sometimes. Choose to live. Happiness and peace that comes with sharing life with another person is so very much worth the risk.

 

One Night

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In one night your life can change.

In one night a love story will be completed from once upon a time to the end. 

In one night hate can demand attention. 

In one night love can answer.

In one night a miracle can happen. 

In one night death can end it all. 

In one night the rest of your life can be reveled. 

In one night forever can come crashing down. 

In one night you can discover what you will fight for and live for.

In one night everything will make sense. 

In one night, hours and hours go by and leave you breathless and wholly healed. 

In one night peace can take hold. 

Why can’t I say goodnight this once, this one night? 

Now or Never

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I have become an impulsive person over the past few weeks. I am usually the one to look at all the options, make a pro and con list and analyze the problem to death. Not any more. I have embraced some very primal and basic principles for living. I am not jumping out into oblivion but I am not being critical of myself and my decisions. I have changed the way I look at life. I have had some anxiety over this major change in my core system of living, but I have also found freedom. This freedom is incredible and unlike anything I have ever experienced.  Here is my new list of life mottos…I reserve the right to add to it as my journey progresses. Maybe one or two of these will speak to you.

  1. Enjoy the ride. No matter what life throws at you good or bad, find a way to enjoy it, enjoy something attached to it or enjoy the outcome.
  2. If it feels good, do that. If something makes your feel good in your spirit, mind or body. Do that. Eat the desert, listen to the song, kiss the boy (girl) or look at the sunset.
  3. Focus on one thing at the time. I have a bouncy brain that has trouble focusing on anything. Make a point to pin down the one important thing at that moment and focus on that before you move on to the next thing. This one is difficult but not impossible. No more multitasking in your head.
  4. Do not over think. If something is right it is right no amount of over thinking will make it better. If something is wrong it will still be wrong if you think it over for a couple of hours or days. Just stop the over thinking.
  5. Do not look back except for pleasurable and happy memories. You are not going backwards, don’t spend too much time looking that way.
  6. Now or Never. Why wait for happiness? Why wait for the answer? If it brings you peace do not wait. If you have to wait for a reason, make it a valid one.
  7. Let love be your lens. Love everyone you come in contact with, treat all humans with respect. Ok, this one is not new, but it is important to remember that the entire reason to exist in the first place is to love and be loved.

Life is nothing but a chain of moments that connect us with each other and with God. Living in the moment is as simple a life as a person can have. That is the point of this list. Stay in the moment. Love in the moment. Live in the moment.

If you have one to add to my list, drop it in the comments or email me lorileighriddles@outlook.com.

 

 

Blog update. 

Due to the constraints of life I will not be updating this blog for a long time, if ever. Just too much going on launching my writing career, being a super librarian and taking care of my family. 

I will be regularly blogging at loriogara.com

The content will be similar and fresh. All the stuff you’ve liked about Breath Pray Write and more. 

Please follow me there! 

Thank you for understanding. 

Lori 

Would you read it?

What do you think?

Lori O'Gara

Publishers and readers alike have difficulty placing Lori O’Gara’s novels in one genre  She is a Christian writer who writes about subjects that other Christian writers often avoid. She has no problem tackling drug addiction, sex or other subjects that are often thought of as taboo for Christian writers. “The thing is sex and addiction are real life things that even Christians have to deal with.” she says “Why should we Christian writers be scared to write about it?”

Lori continues by explaining that even though the subjects are often avoided by Christians she will continue to write about real life issues. “We shouldn’t go through life with blinders on. We should face life and deal with it.”

In her first novel, We Will Get There, she writes about alcoholism and pre-marital sex. She does so in such a way that is tasteful, but realistic. She offers two sides of both…

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