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.

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.