Saturday, February 21, 2015

Allie's Rules - 8 thru 11

I've actually enjoyed reviewing Allie's list & seeing how it could have impacted my life. It saddens me that young Allison endured so much hurt. Yet I know that those events, while traumatic & hurtful, molded me into the woman I am today.

8. If your girls gets broken up with, go buy her a stuffed animal, a blanket, candy, and lots and lots of ice cream. (Other gifts are acceptable.)

When your heart gets broken you feel as if you are all alone. Remember, you thought that this person loved you. Chances are you thought it was going to be forever. Same goes for your girlfriend. Be there for her. Let her know that you are a shoulder to cry on. Someone she can count on.

Don't know what to say? Sometimes you don't have to say anything. Just know there is someone there to help pick her up when she's down is all that is needed. Knowing she isn't going through this hurt alone.

9. Pray, PRAY, PRAY! Don't ever forget how much you need God.

10. Have a quiet time. It may seem like a hassle, but it will help you stay close to God.

Again, I'm combining two. Prayer & quiet time also go hand in hand. God wants nothing more than to have a relationship with you. He loves you. He GAVE His Son for YOU!

Things are going good in your life - PRAY prayers of thanksgiving.
Things are rough in your life - PRAY prayers asking God's will be done.

No matter what you are going through in life, pray. Prayer is simply communication between you and God. Talk to Him the way you would talk to a friend. He wants to hear from you. That's where an established quiet time comes in.

Now if I'm honest - and I try to be - I struggle with quiet time. The thought of me sitting still makes my mind go numb. If I'm sitting still, I want to be sleeping. I need to find a place that instills a calming sense of peace so that I can focus. Heck - I've seriously considered my bedroom closet. But I know that quiet time will draw me close to Him. It's in those moments - moments of being still - that I feel closest to God.

Give your first moments of your day. Give your last moments of your day. Whenever it is, take those moments and give them to God. He deserves them - I'm reading that myself and will commit to you that I will make an effort too.

11. Be nice to your parents. They love you and want the best for you, so if you disagree with them, just realize they are a lot smarter than you... sorry about that.

As a mother, I can tell you that I want nothing but the best for my children. I don't want them to suffer or endure any of the heartache that I went through. As a parent, I sometimes have to make tough decisions. My parents had to make those tough decisions too. Looking back - it wasn't because they were trying to be mean or trying to make sure I didn't have any fun. They were looking out of me and guiding me so that I wouldn't get hurt.

How did mom & dad become smarter than you? Because they are older than you. They have lived a number of years longer than you. Which means they have experienced a lot of similar things that you have. They may not have made the same mistakes, but I can guarantee they know someone who did. They saw the pain that person endured. It's their way of protecting you. At some point, you will see that its all out of love.

I know. It's not easy. It's difficult to go against what your friends are doing. You will stand out. Guarding your heart is so important. Once it's broken, it is forever broken. It can be repaired, but those cracks will always be there.

Think of it this way:

Take a piece of paper. Completely smooth, right? That is your heart.
Now crumple up the paper into a ball. That is your heart once you've been hurt.
Now smooth the paper out again. Does it work? Nope - there are still wrinkles. That is your heart once it has been hurt. Sure- it's still a whole piece of paper, but you can see the damage that has been done.

Many blessings,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Four - Seven (what?)

Welcome back! I took a day off to really think about these next few rules. To me, they go hand in hand. Especially #4 & #6. I'm going to go a little out of order since I believe those 2 should be together when it comes to my story.

4. Stay vertical/no buttons and zippers (or Velcro). In other words, set your boundaries and stick to them.

6. Be so so so so so so so SO SO SO SO careful who you date.

Now don't get me wrong, I think all of these rules go hand in hand. Some more than others. Yet instead of telling the same story twice (I don't want to sound like a broken record) I wanted to combine the 2. This way you can see just how important both of these rules are.

Early in my teen years, I made the decision to wait until marriage. Yep - I was to remain a virgin until my wedding night. That was a boundary I had decided up front and made sure that I let any guy who was interested in me. As much as I wanted a guy to 'love' me, I also knew that I did not want to waste my time with someone who didn't have the same values.

My first serious boyfriend was when I was 16. I had dated here & there, but not with anyone I thought I had a future with. Enter D.

D was older than me. Now that I think about it, I think he may have been a little older than he initially told me. D was the first guy to pursue me. Normally, I would pursue a guy I liked. D asked me out. I was on cloud 9.

Of course, I told him what my boundaries were. He wasn't too happy, but agreed. I now realize that I was a challenge for him. The perfect opportunity to lure a good girl.

Our relationship was rocky to say the least. He was very jealous. I wasn't allowed to talk to other guys. Eventually I stopped hanging out with friends because they were a 'bad influence'. He cheated. I took him back. I mean, he loved me. I must have done something wrong to make him stray. He made sure I knew that if only I would have $ex with him, he wouldn't need to cheat. This was the man I was going to marry.

After a particular useless fight, we broke up & stayed broken up. But the damage to my already fragile self-esteem was done. If someone who claimed to love me could treat me like that, then I must not be worth much. I mean, it was my fault he cheated. It was my fault he was always angry with me.

Enter D2 (different guy, same 1st initial).

D2 was slightly younger than me. He befriended me because he was attracted to one of my sisters and was hoping to use me to get a date. Yet, once again, I pursued a relationship with him. He told me time & time again that he didn't like me in that way, but I continued to stick it out. I could fix him. I could make him fall in love with me. I wouldn't repeat the same mistakes as I did with D. I decided that I would lose my virginity to D2.

For 3 years, I allowed D2 to treat me like a piece of meat. It wasn't romantic. Each time, my heart broke a little more. My self-esteem tanked. He wouldn't commit to me yet he didn't want me to be with anyone else. He never told me he loved me.... no, instead he would just say "DITTO" like from the movie "Ghost" with Patrick Swazy.

Ladies - NEVER EVER EVER accept "ditto" as a form of "I love you". Ditto is a cop-out! You are worth more than just that stupid phrase. You are worth loving!

As you can see, not sticking to my boundaries and choosing the wrong guy lead me down a path of self-destruction. Right now, think of what your relationship boundaries are going to be and write them down. When a guy starts showing interest in you, be upfront about your boundaries and stick with them. Do NOT compromise. If the guy really wants to be with you, he will respect those boundaries. Hopefully he will have the same or similar boundaries. But if he doesn't - RUN! You cannot change him sweetheart. Chances are he will be the one to change you.

This is one area of my life where I have the biggest regret. Something I will never get back. Something I wasn't able to give to my husband on our wedding day.

5. Have an accountability partner and be willing to tell HER everything.

Oh how I wish I had an accountability partner back then. I may have been able to avoid a lot of the mistakes I made.

Why HER? If you are a female, then your accountability partner should also be a female. If you are a guy, then they should be a guy. No gray lines. Besides, women understand women. This could be a friend, older sibling, leader from church, even your mom. But it is SO important to have one. Darkness hides in darkness but the light exposes it. Meaning, by telling someone you trust your 'secrets', the secrets won't be able to grab a hold of you.

7. If you're wondering if you should break up with him, break up with him.

So very true. Listen to your heart. I mean REALLY listen to your heart. In the beginning of my relationships with D & D2, I had that small voice telling me it wasn't a good idea. We date not to see how many guys we can collect, but in hopes that we will find a mate for life. Don't waste time with someone that isn't right for you.

So that's it... that's what I have to add to the rules today. Again, I share my story in hopes that you do not repeat my mistakes. Also, so that you can see how God has worked in my life. He took a broken young woman and healed her heart. He can do the same for you. He longs to heal your heart. All you need to do is ask Him.

Tune in for the next few rules

Many blessings,

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The first 3 rules......

Earlier I shared Allie's 20 Rules for High School.

Today, I want to go through some of the rules and share how knowing these rules when I was in high school could have impacted my life and what my teens years were really like.

1. Surround yourself with people who build you up, not people who tear you down.

You know the people we're talking about. The ones who say their your friend (maybe even your "best" friend) yet they continuously tell you your fat/ugly/stupid. They act embarrassed to be seen with you when you're at your worst.
Your friends should build you up - especially when you're down.
Looking back - I think I did have some good friends. I can think of one in particular who risked losing my friendship, but still chose to tell me that my boyfriend was cheating on me. That took a lot of love and courage. She took a chance by telling me something that would break my heart, but did it because she truly loved me.

2. Treat your kisses like you have a limited supply.

I've kissed a lot of frogs in my lifetime. I probably would have saved myself from a lot of pain if I was choosy with my kisses. Not every boy in your life is going to be special enough for your kisses. Always keep that in the back of your mind. You aren't going to want kissing to be just another 'thing' - like breathing.
Kisses are the start of intimacy. Intimacy is beautiful in the right relationship. Instead of worrying about kissing, focus on the person. Get to know them.

3. Guard your heart. Seriously... your heart is precious.

This rule screams at me. Your heart is a precious gemstone, not something you can get back once you give it away. Had I guarded my heart, I would have been spared so much hurt.
Because I didn't have a positive relationship with my father, I wanted desperately to be loved by any guy in my life. That means that any guy that remotely showed me attention, I 'fell in love'.
My childhood diary and poetry journal is riddled with my confessions of love. Love that wasn't real. I gave my heart away only to have it broken time & time again.
That broken heart shaped the early years of my marriage. It wasn't until after being married for several years that I truly gave my heart to my husband - the man who God made my heart for.
God healed my heart after years of my abuse of it so that I could gift it to my husband. And THAT has strengthened my married.
We don't realize that the decisions we make in our middle & high school years can/will have a profound impact on our adult lives.

I'm not sharing these to tell you what to do. I am simply sharing my life in hopes that you can learn from my mistakes.

And if you've already made similar mistakes, know that it isn't too late. God loves us no matter what! It doesn't matter what our past looks like, God sees us as His beautiful creation that He longs to have a relationship with.

To be continued........

Many blessings,

Allie's Rules for High School

I have been blessed with the opportunity to walk through middle school with an amazing group of young women. Ladies whom I love spending time with. While right now I am on a sabbatical, I try to keep up with what's going on in their lives.

I serve in Transit (my church's middle school ministry) because I remember how tough life was. Having someone - other than a parent - walk through life, speaking truth is KEY. If I can help just 1 of these precious gifts have a better middle school experience then its worth it.

One of the things that is so important for me to show these girls is that they are SO WORTH LOVING! It doesn't matter where they are in their life, they are worth being loved.

In August, my pastor's wife, Sandra, shared on her blog about a conversation she had with her teenage daughter. This young lady (she's 18), she felt compelled to share her 'rules' for high school with her small group.

While she created this list for her soon-to-be high school freshman girls, I truly believe this list is beneficial for ALL women - especially young girls. My middle school girls were given a bookmark with these 'rules' (thanks to one of the moms) and I just had to share them with you!

I won't even pretend to take credit for these rules.... but I do wish I had them in my life when I was in middle & high school. Over the next few days, I'll tackle a few of these rules & share how they could have helped me.

Many blessings,

So I present to you --- Allie's Rules for High School (shared with permission by Sandra Stanley)

  • Surround yourself with people who build you up, not people who tear you down.
  • Treat your kisses like you have a limited supply.
  • Guard your heart. Seriously… your heart is precious.
  • Stay vertical/no buttons and zippers (or Velcro). In other words, set your boundaries and stick to them.
  • Have an accountability partner and be willing to tell HER everything.
  • Be so so so so so so so SO SO SO SO careful who you date.
  • If you’re wondering if you should break up with him, break up with him.
  • If your girl gets broken up with, go buy her a stuffed animal, a blanket, candy, and lots and lots of ice cream. (Other gifts are acceptable.)
  • Pray, PRAY, PRAY! Don’t ever forget how much you need God.
  • Have a quiet time. It may seem like a hassle, but it will help you stay close to God.
  • Be nice to your parents. They love you and want the best for you, so if you disagree with them, just realize that they are a lot smarter than you…sorry about it.
  • If you find yourself lying to your parents/other adults in your life, backtrack and get out of that situation IMMEDIATELY. You are somewhere you do not want to be.
  • Never be afraid to say no. It’s better to be a wimp than dead.
  • When you fall on your face, get back up and keep moving (literally and figuratively).
  • Journal so you can look back and see what God has done in your life.
  • Even when you don’t want to, GO TO CHURCH!
  • If it’s not classy, don’t do it.
  • Don’t judge. Even when people are doing things you don’t agree with, show them love.
  • Pause before you speak… this will prevent a lot of problems.
  • Selfies are for faces.
  • Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    This & that

    I want to try to blog more frequently. I've got a lot going on in this crazy brain of mine. I may as well give it an escape.

    Sometimes I'll right on the fly - whatever comes to mind. I have a friend who wants to share some writing prompts with me, so you'll be privy to that adventure as well.

    Where to start?

    I'm trying really hard to "Be Still". I want to hear God. Reconnect with God in such a way that I allow Him to guide my life. To do that, I need to become more disciplined. I am hoping that an upcoming study at church on the book of James will give me the kick-start I need.


    I've been doing a lot of thinking about my father. I miss him. Yet as I see my husband & daughter interact, I get jealous. Jealous of the relationship that they have that I always wanted. The beam of pride on The Mayor's face as he sees his Songbird in her prom dress for the first time. That is something that I missed out on growing up. 

    I'm not saying my father wasn't proud of me. I am sure, in his own way, he was very proud of me. Yet I longed to have him tell me - just once.

    Don't feel sorry for me. My father did tell me how proud I made him. Proud of the woman I had become. Proud of the mother I was; the wife; the daughter. There isn't any doubt in my mind that my father was proud of me. I just didn't realize it when I was younger - during those formative years. 

    I don't begrudge my husband or my daughter for the positive relationship that they have. HARDLY!! I feel so blessed that my children have a wonderful father. Just one less hurt & disappointment they have to deal with as they grow up. The Mayor is a great example of what a father should be. Yes, he's flawed (we all are). He has tried his very best to be there for them. 


    There you have it. My craziness for today. My mind is all over the grid (as usual).

    Many blessings,

    Monday, February 2, 2015

    Being still

    This year, I decided to not make any real resolutions. Not that I don't think I need to change, but those changes shouldn't be relegated to just the beginning of the year.

    Instead, I chose to focus on Psalm 46:10 -- BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

    It's hard for me to "be still". Yet the one thing I have learned these past 2 years, is that my life is chaotic when I don't focus on Him.

    This doesn't mean I just sit back, kick my feet up & relax. Hardly!! I have to pursue Him to hear Him. He's always there, talking. I just need to settle down and listen. Really listen.

    What He is trying to tell me?

    God is always there. A part of my life. He's always in control. It's up to me to relinquish MY control.

    And so that's where I am.... relinquishing my control.

    That's tough for me. But I know that God has my best interest in mind. I am a part of His plan.

    While I pursue a new job, I will also be working on getting Mending Hearts off the ground. It's at a stage where it is time to do something about it. There is too much hurt in this world.

    I'm letting God guide me; my marriage, my parenting, my friendships, my career. I'm just along for the ride. I look forward to what God has planned.

    Many blessings,