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Why I Got Divorced and Why God is Okay With It

Okay…controversial title; I know. Many will disagree with me on this and that is okay. Some may say I am trying to rationalize a bad decision I have made, and maybe I am. Feel free to weigh in on the issue by commenting. I’d love to discuss and see other people’s perspectives on the issue!

As with many sins committed, I feel like the intention behind it can sometimes be more telling than the sin itself.

For instance, if you go into a marriage with the safety net of “ah…well, it’s just a piece of paper. If something happens, we will just get divorced and go our separate ways,” then I think that is a sin. If you are truly giving your all into your marriage and despite your best efforts, it is still crumbling, or if your spouse is abusive or neglectful, then I feel that you have every right to leave.

 

I grew up in a divorced household. My mother has been married 3+ times, my father has been married 2+ times, my grandmother has been married 3+ times, and the list goes on. From a young age, I was determined to break that cycle. I did not want that for my life. Divorce was never an option in my mind. It was messy. It caused hurt. It was not for me.

When I was 15 years old, I went to work with my step-dad who owned his own company, like I did every Summer. While there, I met one of his new employees and developed a crush. That crush led to a flame. Then we began dating. Then before I knew it, we were engaged. Several months into the engagement, at the crazily young age of 17, I found out I was pregnant. With both of us coming from Southern Christian homes, this of course sped up our engagement. We got married 6 months before our daughter, Isabella was born and the marriage was flawed from the beginning. Despite the fact that my new husband was 22 years old, he still lived at home (looking back…that should have been a red flag, but when you are a teenager in love, hormones take over and you overlook things you shouldn’t). Once we were married and living on our own, he went a little wild. He began watching porn (lots of porn), chatting with women in online chat-rooms, joining weird websites seeking out companionship (even though I had not gone anywhere), etc. When confronted, he said he felt trapped and forced into the marriage because of the pregnancy (despite the fact that we were engaged before we got pregnant).

Several months into the marriage, he applied and got hired on to his dream job-law enforcement. He became a deputy sheriff. To say this job changed him was an understatement. The things he witnessed hardened him, took away his joy, and took him away from his family for huge chunks of time.

I want you to know I am not saying the whole marriage collapsing was his fault either. With the constant cheating on his part, I emotionally shut down. We both went through the motions of marriage and were “happy” in public, but at home, we were two strangers living under the same roof. We became roommates instead of spouses and I’m not sure you can come back from that.

Because I was young, did not want to be left alone, did not want to be another teenage pregnancy statistic, and was fighting desperately for a marriage that honestly was not worth fighting for, I talked my husband into having another baby. In my mind, I thought this would be the glue that held our marriage together. Well, as you can probably imagine, that did not work as planned. Our beautiful baby boy, Nolyn, was born in June 2010. And honestly, for a few months, we were happy. We were closer than ever. Then…I was blindsided.

One night, when Nolyn was 11 months old, he came home from work and I heard those dreaded words “we need to talk.” I could tell by his tone and the look on his face that it was something serious. I sat down on the couch and he stood beside me. He said that this was no longer working for him and that he has been seeing another woman and was in love with her. I sat there listening dumbfounded. He said he was sorry and that he would be packing up his things and leaving shortly. I did not cry. I did not ask why. Honestly, I felt a little numb to it all. It had been a long time coming, but in the heat of the moment, you still do not expect it to be happening. He left with all of his things 3 days later and moved in with the woman that I later found out he had been seeing for over a year.

After he moved out, the kids and I never saw him anymore. The new woman he was with decided that his children were “a tie to” me and she did not like that we would still have contact. This went on for nearly 4 years.

Four years go by and I finally meet this AMAZING man. I fall hard for him and his 2 girls. He is, without a doubt, the man God placed on this earth for me. He loves me SO much. He loves my children as if they were his own. We are now married. We are now having a child together. We are both TRULY happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. But without all of the things that happened in my past, I would have never gone down the path to meeting him.

He, too, was married, experienced infidelity, and had the marriage crumble. He was hurt and lost and lonely. He felt the same emotions I did. His ex-spouse was moving along with their new love interest as if nothing had happened, while he went through the divorce alone. Although our stories are different, they are very much the same. We were meant to be together, but we had to go through what we went through to get to where we are now. Now we had something to bond over. Something that tied us together emotionally. I am BEYOND blessed to have this man in my, and my children’s, lives and to call him “mine.”

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

I truly have this kind of marriage. The kind of marriage where he puts my needs above his own. Where he works to support and provide for our blended family. And as messy as things can tend to get with blended families, we make it work well.

Not only did we bring God back into each other’s lives, we brought our children into the church, our two youngest girls got saved during Vacation Bible School earlier this month and were baptized last week, we have a new life joining our family in a little over 2 months, and we are all thriving, happy, and healthy.

Also, upon Louis’ infiltration into our family, the kids’ dad slowly crept back into their lives. I think seeing someone step into his role stepped on his toes and made him “man-up.” He still does not take as much interest in his childrens’ lives as I would like, but he’s making baby steps. The fact that he is in their lives at all now is a miracle and it is all thanks to God’s plan and the new man he placed in our lives.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “When God closes one door, He will open another door”?

door

Louis is my other door. He renewed my purposed. He helped me to not feel alone. He inspired me to do better. He has pushed me to do what I thought I could not do. We have pushed each other back into church. He has given my children the father-figure they had been longing for. He has given me the gift of another child (and thank goodness it is a boy for Nolyn’s sake-he has to fight off 3 girls at our house as it stands now).

For the first time in a long time, I have my joy back. I am immeasurably happy!

love

 

 

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I read an article earlier today and it really got me thinking.

12 Christian Messages that Drive Me Crazy

1. Leave people who do not benefit you

Negative people, complainers, bad influences, sinners. Question: If we extricate them from our lives, who will love them? Who will be light to their darkness? This message encourages weakness. Christ encourages maturity and becoming the greater influence. Wherever Jesus went, He had the floor. That’s why He could be fully Himself with the most religious and the most worldly. And that should be our goal too. Grow, don’t go.

2. “God is in control” or “God will take care of everything”

As almighty as He is, He doesn’t wield His power freely. He partners with His children. He’s empowering a growing family of sons and daughters to walk like Him in the earth. Leave your garden “to the Lord” and see what happens. Weeds and animals will overtake it to ruin. Care for it daily and you partner with His miraculous design of seed and soil. The kingdom is forcefully advancing and forceful men lay hold of it. Arise and join your Father in His work.

3. You were born sinful

No, you were born innocent. Adam, formed by the very hands of God, breathed into from His mouth, sinned. That’s because He created us fragile and vulnerable. Knowing this, salvation was finished before the foundation of the world. Sin entered the world, not man. You were fearfully and wonderfully made; skillfully wrought by the Lord’s hands. Never call depraved, evil and sinful what God personally crafted in purposeful love.

4. The ‘call of God’ is more important than the work you do

Too many Christians see their jobs as traps keeping them from really serving God. The most incredible people I know are deeply committed to family and work and are highly effective ministers. The former does not hinder the latter. Our work IS our ministry. Stop trying to stay “free” for spiritual things. Those who do rarely build anything, have little impact or lasting legacy. Put down roots and go all-in right where you are.

Stop trying to stay “free” for spiritual things. Those who do rarely build anything, have little impact or lasting legacy. Put down roots and go all-in right where you are.

5. I am leaving this church to lead another one

The Church is the Father’s family. Being a leader therein is not a job, it’s an identity. Pastors and leaders are fathers and mothers. Vacating a church where our seed has been sown for a better opportunity creates a fatherless house. The church is not a business with CEO’s and presidents. It’s a family. Fathers don’t leave, hirelings do. The true design is sons and daughters being sent out.

6. Give to support a ministry, a mission or a project

Biblical giving is to a person: the Lord Himself or an actual person. Giving to projects and organizations shifts the focus from people to things. That’s when giving loses life and becomes a burden. Generosity peaks when our hearts are connected in relationship. Give to people. DO things.

7. The Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God

No, Jesus is. The Bible is authoritative, miraculous and the highest written work concerning the Lord and His family. It is profitable for teaching and correction. But it never calls itself the word of God. It is a treasure chest where we discover He who is the Truth. Jesus was the word made flesh. Now, through relationship, we are too. Never allow a book to take the place of who He is or who you are.

8. “We are going to heaven” or “Heaven is our reward”

The overwhelming tenor of scripture is heaven and earth long to be one. We are not escaping the earth, we are inheriting it. The key to our inheritance is bringing heaven – the person of the Lord Jesus – to earth. HE is our reward and our inheritance. Heaven is the realm of the spirit and it was created as the original atmosphere of earth. It is the son of God’s privilege to rejoin the two. Creation is groaning for the reunion.

9. The will of God is something we do

Every “thing” in the Old Testament became a “who” in the New Testament. It is also true with God’s will. You cannot do God’s will until you first BECOME His will.Relationship with God first transforms us and the resulting identity does great things. There were guys who did all kinds of great things in the Lord’s name but were never known by Him. It didn’t work out well for them. Become His will in relationship then do His will in power.

10. Christianity = blessing, prosperity and a good life

Imagine Peter, Stephen, Paul and the rest of the disciples listening to modern-day sermons. After, the guys who suffered greatly and were martyred for their faith would feel they were not in God’s will. I’m not saying you have to be whipped and harassed to be a good Christian. But brokenness, loss and suffering are part of a genuine walk with Jesus. They are not signs of failure but of becoming. God wants to bless us but not at the expense of our maturity.

11. Everything is about the church service

Way too much of the church’s resource is directed at a once-a-week, well-rehearsed production. This event is to be an outgrowth of a deep and abiding internal work within a church family. After many days of seeking the Lord in an upper room, an amazing “service” took place.

Our public gatherings are to be a convergence of the committed core family with the curious, seeking and hungry of the world. This meeting is not church. It is the Father and His lost children connecting through found ones.

If the mass of our resource was focused on relationship – one to another and to the Lord – our services would be so full of Him that little preparation would be required.

12. You become a child of God when you get saved

Actually, you REALIZE you’re a child of God at salvation. Sin blinds us to our true identity. Jesus is the light that broke through the darkness of our orphan state to show us our Father who loves us. If God made us, then we are His. Jesus came to reconcile – brings together AGAIN – lost children to His Father. Salvation is a reunion through new birth – from an faulty identity sin convinced of into our original identity as children of God.

The above passage was taken from: http://whocenterpa.com/2014/05/19/12-christian-messages-drive-crazy/#.V2qSyfkrJD8

Okay now…back to Caran’s opinion on the article:
-How do you feel about this article?

-Do you think the author is correct in their statements?
-Do you have any objections?
-I would like to hear your opinions on these issues. A few of the things said kind of sparked a curiosity in me while I was reading through.

Tattoos and Christianity-What Do You Think?

Tattoos are such a controversial topic with many, not just within the Christian community. Many people feel that it is dumb to mark your bodies with a permanent branding, of sorts. Others feel that if they feel strongly enough about something, putting that object/idea/etc. on their skin forever shows the ultimate commitment. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

**Please note that the below is my opinion on the topic and is not stating that if you do or do not have tattoos that it makes you more or less of a Christian or anything of the sort.**

I, personally, know MANY faithful Christians who have tattoos. I do not feel that the mere fact that they have ink on their skin is going to keep them from heaven. In fact, I have seen Christians use their tattoos to bond with others who are inked and not Christian and it was a foot in the door to get these people into the church. Remember, God does work in mysterious ways.

Some say that getting a tattoo is a sin and reference Leviticus 19:28: “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.”

If simply reading the verse, the topic seems pretty cut-and-dry, but there is more to it than what meets the eye. This ceremonial law was given to the Nation of Israel, not the entire body of Christ, and this law was listed under Levitical law which was overturned when Jesus came and gave us new laws as a body of Christ. Not all of the laws given to Israel apply to the rest of us. For instance, here are some more Levitical laws we no longer follow (and these don’t cause as much of a stir as this one for some reason):

-Eating Fat (Leviticus 3:17)
-Letting your hair become unkempt (Leviticus 10:6)
-Wearing clothes with rips and/or holes (Leviticus 10:6)
-Drinking alcohol in Holy Places (Leviticus 10:9) [This one is a bit of a problem for all of the Catholics out there, huh?]
-Eating an animal with a divided hoof, i.e. pig or rabbit (Leviticus 11:4-7)
-Eating or touching the carcass of any seafood without fins or scales, i.e. anything besides fish like crawfish, crabs, lobster, shrimp, etc. (Leviticus 11:10-12)
-Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (Leviticus 12:4)
-Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (Leviticus 12:5)

That being said, in my opinion and through my reading of the Word, and my beliefs on the topic, I believe it can be a sin to get a tattoo, but it depends on your motivation, the image you are getting, and what your tattoo may say about you to others. I believe it is a personal decision and it is up to that person’s discretion. Think of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” If the tattoo you are getting helps, edifies, and shows Christ, then why not? If it may take some explaining and may distract people from Christ, then it may be something you may want to reconsider. My dad (who is completely anti-tattoo by the way) says “if you feel that strongly about something, buy the t-shirt.”

What It Means to be a Godly Father

So I missed the boat on posting this by Father’s Day, and you’ve probably already read a ton of blog posts on this topic because last Sunday was Father’s Day, but guess what? It’s important to remember these guidelines year-round; not just on Father’s Day. Wouldn’t you agree?!

Anyway, bare with me and read along on a redundant topic, but one that is well-worth the attention.

What does it mean to be a Godly Father?

I’m sure when asked we would all say things like “going to church” and “praying for our families.” But it is so much more than that.

In a society full of darkness and a culture where it is deemed “the norm” to have single mother households, we need the men of this world to step up, take responsibility, and be the anchor their family so desperately needs.

Just to State Some Facts:

According to the 2014 U.S. Census, 23.6% of U.S. children (17.4 million) lived in father-absent homes. Of those children, the ones living in female-headed homes with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6%. This is over four times the rate for children living in the homes of married couple families. Families need fathers. Mothers need additional moral, financial, and physical support. Children need their fathers too. Did you know adolescents from father-absent homes were 3.5 times more likely to experience pregnancy by the age of nineteen than were adolescents from father-present homes. Moreover, the rate of pregnancy among adolescents from father-absent homes was 17.4% compared to only a 4% percent rate in the general adolescent population. There are plenty of additional statistics out there that are available to research further and the numbers do not lie. Fathers are SO important to a family.

What Does the Bible Say about being a Godly Father?

God has designed fathers to be the leader in their marriage and in their household. 1 Corinthians 11:3 says “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ; the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” This establishes the order of authority within the home and sets boundaries for your children to follow as well.

As a child growing up in the South, my house was riddled with old country sayings like “Waste not, want not” and “Do as I say; not as I do.” But children have to see a Godly example in their fathers (Matthew 23:3). Children learn by example so the only way to teach them is to show them through your words and actions.

Children view their fathers are leaders and follow their example. They need somewhere to root their identity (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). In this passage, the Lord tells fathers to pass down the word of God through the next generations so their family’s identity will be centered in the Lord.

Paul teaches in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 that men who are lazy and refuse to work should not be allowed to eat. You have to be able to provide for yourself and your family.

Most fathers want what is best for their children, but in many cases, your children will take a different path than the one you would have chosen for them. They may not have the profession you would like for them to have, they may not think college is their next step post-high school, they may not ever have children, or whatever else you think they may need to do, but they are living their life and you must love your child unconditionally as Christ has loved you. Do you think you have always stayed on the path your Heavenly Father wanted you to be on (or your earthly father for that matter)? We all stray and we all have different ways of doing things, but a father’s love is SO very important. Think back to the story of the prodigal son. When the son returned, the father did not judge the son or force him to earn back his favor, love, and approval. He simply embraced him and threw a celebratory party for him (Luke 15:20-24). Why? Because he was his son and he loved him despite all that had happened.

You must love the mother of your children as much as you love yourself (Ephesians 5:25-29). Showing your children you love their mother, whether it be through grand gestures, or simple nuances, you are teaching your sons how they should treat their wives and teaching your daughters how their future husbands should treat them. You are setting the bar for the kind of person your child will end up with later in life. Do not take this responsibility lightly.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Ephesians 6:4 echoes the Proverbs passage, saying, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” It is not good enough just to make children go to church, say their prayers, and learn Bible verses. Those things ought to be part of the training process; however, we don’t come to know Jesus or grow in Him simply by going through the motions of “church” or “religion” or whatever you want to call it. The issue as a father is teaching a child to love the Lord as they model their own love for Him.

In order to show your children Christ through your words and actions, you first have to spend time with them. Be involved in their lives. Take time out of your day to read with them, play with them, ask them questions, etc. Giving your child your time demonstrates your love for them. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Another important one that is very controversial among parents everywhere is disciplining your children. Even our heavenly father disciplines those sons whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and the fact that a father is willing to discipline his children demonstrates love. Young children need to know their boundaries as it makes them feel secure. As kids grow older, they must see that they don’t run the home and that Biblical principles will be followed in the home. Discipline reinforces these realities through imposing consequences. But it must be evident to the children when they are being disciplined that the father’s love for them has not changed. Discipline is never aligned with wrath because it is kindness that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). Discipline is simply another expression of love (Deuteronomy 8:1-6, Hebrews 12:6).

So to sum it up, a Godly Father should love God, love others, teach their children the right ways in Christ, work hard in everything he does, discipline his children when they do wrong, and love them always-despite their wrongdoings. In doing so, you will be a great example of a Godly Father to your kids. Know that no one is perfect. You will stumble. You will lose your temper. You will say a cuss word when you drop something on your toe. You will do wrong, but through the wrong, know how to show your kids how to correct the wrong (i.e. ask them for forgiveness when you lose your temper or ask them to pray with you when you are having a rough day, etc.). Use everything as a teaching moment to bring your kids closer in their walk with Christ.

A Super Special Father’s Day at Our House

Our two youngest daughters got saved during Vacation Bible School this year at our church. We were ecstatic. We were even more excited about what followed-their baptism. Because we have a blended family, it took a little shuffling to make sure everyone’s schedules could accommodate this joyous occasion, but finally, we were able to get them dunked! 🙂

I was thinking about how special baptism is, what it symbolizes in our lives, and then I started thinking about how God has a time and a plan for everything. How cool is it that our girls were baptized on Father’s Day?! A day that is meant to celebrate how important our father is to us and all he does in our lives…our girls got to give themselves to their Holy Father and made an outward confession of faith before the entire congregation to their “Capital F” Father.

How am I feeling about the whole thing? BLESSED!

12 Truths Of Having Your Child Diagnosed With Cancer

  1. At some point or another, the thought will cross your mind that your child may die. Whether it’s only in the initial second you hear a doctor say “cancer” or throughout the course of treatment, it will happen. This thought will break your heart in a way that can never truly be repaired. How you cope with this thought is entirely up to you.
  2. As confusing as all of the terminology, medications & procedures seem on your first trip to clinic, you will eventually learn it all. Many parents feel like they are not “set up” for all this and feel like they’re going to fail their child, but within weeks, not only do you understand the phrases you once thought were gibberish, you can now shoot off numbers from their last CBC from the top of your head and know what ANCs and WBCs all mean and why the number is important.
  3. Some things will get better as time progresses, but it never gets any easier. You learn the schedule and the routine of things. You learn which medicines are going to make your child get sick, which nurses make your time there a little easier, which stalling tactics your kid uses when getting their port accessed; but watching them throwing up uncontrollably, seeing them scared, watching them scream in pain as a 1 ½ inch needle buries its way into their chest will never be any easier. Instead of having to hold her down with all of your strength during port accesses, now it’s only a matter of holding her hand and comforting her, counting to three, and encouraging lots of breathing. There will be tears (probably from both of you) and it will be better than before, but still not easy.
  4. You will find joy in the small things during this journey. I know cancer seems like such a horrible thing, and it is, but a lot of good has come out of our experience with cancer. People rally around your family in times like this. We have had so much love and support from our community. Tragedy and heartbreak bring out the good in people. We have met people we never would have met otherwise who are amazing people and life-long friends. We have had experiences we would have never been able to experience. Our family was chosen to go to Disney World with Bert’s Big Adventure (a non-profit that takes chronic and terminally ill children to Disney for 5 days). I’m not saying it’s all fun and Disney, but there are so many wonderful organizations that do so many wonderful things for the kids to help them forget their troubles (if only for a moment). There’s also something to be said for seeing your child in a different light. Your child will become an inspiration to others and to you. Your family will become stronger. And in many cases, you will become a better parent for it because you learn to appreciate the little things and love your child through it all.
  5. People will associate hair growth and flushed cheeks with good health and this will piss you off. This one really gets me. Just because my daughter’s hair is growing back doesn’t mean her battle is over. She is still fighting for her life. Her immune system is still shot. She is still at-risk for infections, relapse, etc. And the flushed cheeks, that is from her antibiotics, her steroids, or a combination of the two. It’s not a healthy glow; it’s a reaction to medications.
  6. Even the best case scenarios and progressions suck. We are lucky. Bella’s Leukemia responded well to chemotherapy so one month into treatment she reached remission. But that doesn’t make it okay. It doesn’t change the fact that she still had to go through the pain and suffering and the emotional rollercoaster that chemotherapy treatment and steroids cause. It doesn’t change the fact that her immune system is now shot and she is constantly at risk for sicknesses. It doesn’t change the fact that she caught the common cold and it put her in a coma and in the hospital for 71 days last year. It doesn’t change the fact that she will have long-term side effects, potentially, for the rest of her life, because the treatment she takes is literally poison.
  7. You will be surprised by who sticks by you. Some people will surprise you in the best way! You will make life-long friends out of complete strangers or other moms/dads going through this same journey with you. But there will be others you assumed would be there who aren’t. I can’t tell you not to let this upset you, because it undoubtedly will, but know that it is their loss. Your child will remember who is there for them and you will remember who is there for you. Focus on the people in your lives who are there. They are the ones you can truly lean on.
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all do it. We all have those moments. Even when everything is falling apart, you won’t take your neighbor up on the offer to cook your family dinner. But you should. People genuinely want to help and you need things done so why not let them?!
  9. This is an emotional experience. Be prepared. You will find yourself hysterically crying one minute, and angry, hurt, and livid at another. You will be overwhelmed and joyous. You will be scared to death. This is literally the craziest emotional roller coaster you will ever take. So buckle up!
  10. You will feel like you’re failing your other child(ren). This one is a big one for me. I feel like Nolyn has really been “pushed to the back burner” since Bella’s diagnosis. When he so much as sneezes, we call the grandparents to pick him up for fear of contamination. Bella just doesn’t have the immune system to kick whatever it is he may be harboring. He doesn’t get to go to the playground as much. My house is no longer “the fun house.” He would much rather go to Nana and Papa’s house so he can be a “normal” kid. My advice would be if you have family living nearby like I do, allow the sibling(s) to stay over there more often if possible. It gives them the chance to be “normal” kids, but it also will make you miss them and may make your sick child feel more ostracized. I still have problems with this balance and we are now cancer-kid veterans.
  11. The end of treatment is not the end. In the beginning, you look at that end of treatment date as the magic number, and you should-it’s good to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s not necessarily the day life “goes back to normal.” The blood tests, the scans and the check-ups will occur indefinitely every so many months. The worry you feel every time your child has a stomach ache or a bruise will never go away. Everything centers around the possibility of cancer coming back.
  12. This will change you. Forever. You will not be the same person after diagnosis. IN some ways, it will make you better. In some ways, it will suck. Everyone changes in different ways, but I know for me personally-it made me a much better mother. I cherish the time I get to spend with my kids. It also made me a hypochondriac. I worry about anything and everything all the time. Most of my “free” time is spent reading up on the newest cancer research in case she relapses. It has become an obsession.

My Online Dating Story

Being a single mother is a difficult task-ask anyone. Having a child with cancer is an even more difficult task-as I’m sure you can imagine. Now combine the two, add in many sleepless nights, stupid mistakes, arguments, and temper tantrums (thrown by both my kids and myself) and you’ll get a glimpse of what my life has been like the past 2+ years. I’m not telling you this to complain or gain sympathy. I’m telling you to preface how awesome our God is!

If you’ve read my very first blog post sharing my testimony, you know that I went a little “crazy” after my divorce. I got married young (at 17) and after 6 years in a tumultuous marriage, my husband came home from work and said “I don’t think I love you anymore-I want a divorce.” He left our two children and I almost immediately and moved in with a coworker whom he was having an affair with (whom he later married). Because I was young, and hurt, and dealing with emotions I didn’t want to process, I became sexually promiscuous. I did a lot of stupid things I now regret.

Because I had allowed myself to be used by men and I settled with the fact that I was unhappy and unfulfilled, but that was just “the way it was,” my self-esteem plummeted. I felt like I didn’t deserve any better so I didn’t even want to bother with dating. But those nights alone, in my bed, were unbearable.  I was lonely. I needed companionship. Even through those dark times, I would write in my journal and pray to God for a good, honest, Christian man who loved Him and would love me and my children. I made lists of “what I want in a man” and wrote down verses about what makes good husband material according to the Bible to compare.

I finally stepped away from the men who were using me and tried to focus on myself. At first, the loneliness consumed me, but I slowly began finding my way and realizing that being alone is not the prison I thought it was. Because I always have my kids and couldn’t go out and “date” in the traditional sense, I decided to join some online dating websites just to cast my net and see what was out there for me.

After a few weeks on the site, and after talking to several men quite extensively, I wanted to meet one of the people I was chatting with and texting, which I didn’t take lightly. Before meeting, we talked on the phone for a week and I felt I had a good sense of who he was as a person. We scheduled to meet and before the meeting, I was so incredibly anxious and nervous and excited. I honestly wasn’t getting my hopes up because this whole experience was supposed to be a trial and error and testing the waters of dating. When my eyes first met his though, I instantly became a nervous wreck. There was something about him that gave me butterflies and made me fumble over my words. I couldn’t even make eye contact with him. I was a mess.

After several hours of talking and eating, it was amazing how comfortable I felt with him. During our conversation, I was reassured that he was the same person I had been speaking to online (not putting on a front or being fake). We hit it off and from that moment on, we’ve been nearly inseparable.

He has made me the happiest woman in the world. Because of him I am a better mother and an all-around better person. He brings out the parts of me that were buried under years of mistrust and hurt that I thought were gone forever. He makes me feel like myself again. Even though we have only known each other a short time (since April), I can’t imagine spending my life without this man and his two, beautiful daughters in it.

God has truly shown me His favor and given me the man I needed (even when I didn’t know I needed him). He loves my kids like they are his own. He loves me more than I’ve ever been loved by anyone else. He believes in Christ and has similar beliefs to me. He is a great father to his girls. He is kind. He has a good heart. And when he kisses me, I still get butterflies in my stomach.

I always thought the “love” we see in films and read in books that portrays the craving to be with one another and the butterflies was all a fairy tale, but it isn’t. I want to spend every waking moment with him. When we are apart, my body physically aches and yearns for him. I crave his presence, his touch, his smell. He is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the man God put on this earth for me. I just hate it that we went this long without each other, but then again, if we would have met each other any earlier, we both may not have been ready. God’s timing isn’t always what we want, but He has a reason for it.

If I had to go through my husband cheating on me and all of the betrayals and hurts all over again just to one day be with him, I would do it over again in a heartbeat.

Song of Solomon 3:4 “I have found the one whom my soul loves.”

I know it’s not Monday, but I’m going to do a “Music Monday” post anyway because this is on my heart today

If you listen to the radio, you’ve probably heard the wildly catchy “Take Me To Church” song. If you happen to run across it while scanning the stations, just a millisecond of the tune will get stuck in your head, but have you read and understood the lyrics? I heard Bella singing the chorus and thought…what is she singing…I never took the time to read over the lyrics and always try to be aware of what I am letting my children, and myself listen to…here are the lyrics and you can decide for yourself if you deem them appropriate. Please discuss. I’d love to hear your point of view.

“Take Me To Church”

My lover’s got humor
She’s the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody’s disapproval
I should’ve worshipped her sooner

If the heavens ever did speak
She’s the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week

‘We were born sick, ‘ you heard them say it

My Church offers no absolutes
She tells me, ‘Worship in the bedroom.’
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you—

I was born sick,
But I love it
Command me to be well
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.

[Chorus 2x:]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice

Drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course
That’s a fine looking high horse
What you got in the stable?
We’ve a lot of starving faithful

That looks tasty
That looks plenty
This is hungry work

[Chorus 2x:]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me my deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

No Masters or Kings
When the Ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin

In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am Human
Only then I am Clean
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.

[Chorus 2x:]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life”

This song has been on the “Billboard” Top 100 songs for 11 weeks and counting. We hear it on the radio incessantly. There are people making covers of it (mostly the chorus) on Vine, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc., but do they know what they are singing? REALLY? I’ve even heard Christians (myself, included) humming it.

I know this may sound extremist to some of you, but this is how sin slips into our daily lives. It has a nice melody, it is pretty, it even mentions church, but what people don’t realize, or maybe don’t care to realize, is that it is mocking Christianity. It is stereotyping Christians saying our faith is full of lies and that we are there to judge and backstab with lyrics like “I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies. I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife. Offer me my deathless death” and then has the audacity to mock God saying “Good God, let me give you my life” (you can feel the sarcasm dripping from this last lyric. The song also says “Every Sunday’s getting more bleak; A fresh poison each week” and “She tells me, ‘Worship in the bedroom.’ The only heaven I’ll be sent to is when I’m alone with you—” The writer/singer approves of things such as worshiping a lover (“You shall have no other gods before me” -Exodus 20:3); mocking God (“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”-Galatians 6:7); not having a God to be accountable to and the acceptance of sin in the lyric “No Masters or Kings when the Ritual begins, there is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin” (“So then each of us shall give account of himself to God”-Romans 14:12).

I’m sorry I seem to be on a rant, but I feel guilty for not looking at these lyrics sooner and letting this song play in my car without fully understanding what the singer/writer is saying and even more guilty for letting my children sing along and me not catching the significance of these lyrics. It’s important to know what we are putting in our bodies. When you want to be healthy, you only eat healthy foods. Why would your mind be any different? If you want to have a healthy spiritual life and a healthy mind, pay attention to what you are letting come in-through music, t.v., the internet, etc. We all need to pay closer attention to the little things in our lives because little things can quickly snowball into big things.