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.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.