Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Finding Joy July 2017 "The Joy"

There is joy to be found even though life is in no way perfect.  
Here are some moments of joy from July 2017

I enjoy posting about adventures and fun times with the family.....
Cupcakes at Small Cakes  Peach Day at the State Farmers Market
Summer menu tasting with fellow bloggers. Sunday Funday with the Family
So much joy to be found in the month of July.
We went to afternoon tea at a local hotel.

Boating adventures with family

Caleb's 6th Birthday.
Reading a good book by the pool.
I would love to know what brought you joy in the month of July.  
Please comment or post a photo for me to share on my blog.  
Feeling Thankful

Monday, August 14, 2017

Morning Motivation Based on a Sermon by Rick Warren

You can listen to his sermon hereThe Amazing Power of Forgiveness

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28
(These are my thoughts based on Rick's Sermon)
At the beginning of his sermon, Rick asked five questions.  I am going to look at three of the questions and follow up with the others on my next post.  
#1 A person should not be forgiven until they ask for it.  True or False?  False.  Pastor Rick says that we need to grant forgiveness whether or not there has been a request.   He says real forgiveness is unconditional and should be given as soon as possible.  That is a tough one when you have been wronged.  Many times we need to go through the grieving process before this is possible.  If we continue to give the situation to God and trust Him I believe it can be done. 
#2 Forgiveness includes minimizing the offense and the pain caused.  True or False?  False.  Forgiveness is meant for the big offenses Rick tells us.  The intentional infliction of pain or hurt would fit in this category.   This type of affront is a big deal, and the seriousness of this offense should not be minimized but should be forgiven.
#3 Forgiveness includes restoring trust and reuniting a relationship.  True or False.  False.  There cannot be a restored relationship without true change.  Rick says that three things have to occur. 
Genuine repentance, How can you tell if it is genuine?  I have no idea.  
Rick also says there has to be restitution.  I would take that to mean all the folks hurt by the actions of one person had to be addressed.  I remember the many sermons spoken by my ex and his father  regarding the seriousness of restitution when someone had been wronged.  Words are worthless without actions is all I have to say about that.  But, we still have to forgive.  
You have to rebuild trust.  You can forgive in an instant, but rebuilding trust takes time, sometimes a long time.  That being said when you do forgive there is no requirement to trust again.  In my opinion, in many cases, you would be foolish to do so. 
"Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you." 
Rick Warren   -    

Thank you, God that you love us and that through your grace you have forgiven us.  Thank you too that you give us the strength to forgive even though forgiveness may not have been requested.  I know that through forgiveness we are free from bitterness and can move on to help others on the same path. 
(There are 2 more questions from Rick that I will cover on my next sermon post....stay tuned:-)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bills Bills and More Bills

Bills Bills and more Bills-2When you begin on your path through separation and divorce, everything seems overwhelming.  Just getting up in the morning can be an ordeal.  Suddenly you may find yourself in deep despair, and along with that, it seems,  you have a million more responsibilities that you may or may not know how to tackle.
I made many mistakes in the beginning.  One major one was allowing my soon to be ex to continue to pay the bills.  Oddly I still wanted to trust my X and thought he cared.  What was I thinking?  I wasn’t thinking at all, I was on auto pilot.  If you find yourself in this place in your life please put everything in your name that you possibly can and quickly as you can.  Don’t trust someone who is breaking your heart with anything in your life.
I found in the beginning, when I did finally take over my finances,  I was extremely disorganized.  I was often late on payments not because I did not have the money to pay but because I was treading water in an unknown land.
Just how bad can it be if you are late or miss a payment?  Well,  let’s just say it is not good.  If we are late we could incur late fees, money that could spend on something else, say a glass of wine out with a friend.  Sounds better than a late fee.  At times being late on payments can increase your interest fees.  Being late can damage our credit scores. These are all things we do not want.
One of my biggest mistakes was being late on a credit card payment.  I was not very late, just a couple of days.  Yes, I had a late fee but worse than that I temporally lost my home and car insurance.  Why?  Because the monthly payment to my insurance company was pulled out of my credit card.  Lesson learned.
What I am doing right now is not perfect but it is working.  I bought a planner on Amazon..
(if you buy this planner on Amazon I will get a % with no cost to you)
This organizer has blank monthly calendars and pages to list your bills and take notes.  If you click on the link you will be able to sample photos.   Like I said, there is a ton more organization to be done, on my part,  but this is a simple way to keep track of upcoming monthly due dates.  So in that regard it is working.
There are many ways to stay organized.
*Set aside times to pay bills and stick to it.  Write it on your daily planner so you won’t forget.
*In many cases you can set up automatic bill pay.
*Pay bills online.
*My daughter uses an excel spread sheet to keep track of her bills.
There are many options.  Let me know what works for you or if you have any advice.
(Disclaimer…I am not a professional bill payer…this is just what works for me:-)
Take care and stay organized.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My Thoughts "Have you Embraced Your Divorce" by Vikki Ziegler

I just read an article from Huff Post, "Have You embraced Your Divorce" by Vikki Ziegler.

Here is a quote from her writings...
"So you’ve accepted your divorce. Good for you. That’s a huge step, and you should feel proud. Now I have a question: Have you embraced your divorce? “Embrace my what?” you may be thinking. “Why would I ever want to do that?”." Vikki Ziegler
My thoughts....
It took me a while to accept my pending divorce.  My X had been seeing a divorce attorney and had filed for legal separation without a word to me.  After 37 years of marriage, how could I accept this?  I married a man that was a pastor for over 20 years and who swore to God to love and to cherish me till death do us part.  I ask again, "How could I accept this?".  It went against everything I believed; it went against my hopes and dreams, it went against my promise to God, it went against my heart and my very being.

I struggled for a long time to reinvent my new life, A life I did not choose.  Amazingly though after four years of taking one baby step at a time, I have embraced my divorce.  The divorce was final in Feb 2017.  I am still reinventing my life, and I am happy.  I like who I am, and I like who I am becoming.

Vikki says that we should re-evaluate our past and learn from it.  She suggests that going though this process is hard and that we should seek guidance from a therapist, clergyman, or a close friend.  (Sure won't be a clergyman for me considering my X was one.....would you say I now have trust issues?  Go figure:-). My greatest help came from God and from my trusted friends.

After working on ourselves, she mentions dating.  Do I want to date?  That is a tough one.   I now realize I don't need a man to be happy.  I would not mind developing male friendships. I am not actively searching.  I don't want to make the same mistake again. All that I put in God's hands, he knows best.

So I keep putting one foot in front to the other.  Not so much baby steps anymore but regular steps.  I am enjoying my life, my family, and my friends.  And yes, I am embracing my divorce.  Thanks for the article Vikki!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Morning Motivation Inspired by Matthew West "Mended"

I love love love this song by Matthew West.  I can listen to it over and over and feel like God is speaking to me.  Matthew is telling us that even when we see ourselves as damaged and we see no possibility of repair that God sees us differently.  God knows that if we just hold onto Him and to our faith, we can be "mended" even though we may feel irrevocably broken.

"You see the scars from where you fell. I see the stories they will tell" 
Matthew West

We all have scars.  It could be due to death, illness, divorce, and the list goes on and is so individual.  I have been in total despair. When my husband left me,  with no warning, it changed my way of thinking.  Where I was hopeful and optimistic, I became hopeless.  Where I was brave, I became engulfed in fear and uncertainty.

I did hold onto God, although it was a struggle and I nearly let go.  God was faithful and kept me going.  I am happy now.  My hope is centered in God and not dependent on people.  This, I believe, is where the "stories they will tell" comes in.  While in the throes of a crisis or making it out safely on the other side this is when we can tell our story.  This is where God can use our pain and produce a purpose.  We now have our ministry,  to help others on the same path.

I remember a song that contained the phrase "bring it on" meaning "bring on" any adversity I can take it.  You won't see me asking for hardships of any kind. I like peace and calm, and security and air conditioning and my happiness list goes on and on.  No, I won't ask for difficulty but if and most certainly when it does come I am thankful that our pain and subsequent spiritual healing can be used to help others.  And for that opportunity, I say "thank you, God."

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  
Therefore we will not fear when the earth gives way.." 
Psalm 46:1-2a
Hold on to your faith and remember God's Promise..
"I will never leave you or forsake you".
Thank You God!
Kathiey V

Friday, August 4, 2017

Beware the Narcissist Quotes from Pinterest

I never really understood the meaning of Narcissism.  There was no mention in primary or secondary school.  I don’t remember mention of it in my psych classes in nursing school.  How can we protect ourselves from something we don’t know or understand?  With that in mind, I will be doing a series of quotes from Pinterest to help us all better understand and protect ourselves from the narcissist.
(Sue Fitzmaurice found on Pinterest)

(Narcissist Abuse

Hugs and Prayers...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Blast From the Past..The Spy Phone..The Beginning

This is an old post from 2014.  Remembering "The Spy Phone"

My Story Page 11….The Spy Phone….

     I remember the day like it was yesterday.  The day I traveled to Raleigh to hire a Private Investigator.    I could not seem to wrap my mind around the fact that I was turning to a PI for help.  All I knew of PI's were Thomas Magnum, Columbo, Rockford Files, and Barnaby Jones.  Never in my wildest dreams could I imagined ever needing one myself.  But never in my wildest dreams would I have thought my husband of 37 years would turn his back on our marriage.  I had put all my faith and trust in him, I had put my future in his hands. A strange place to find yourself.  This can't be happening!  But it was happening….
     My attorney had suggested a well known PI in Raleigh.  I was scared of this entire process.  Scared of meeting the PI, scared of the amount of money it would cost, and scared of this new road I found myself on.  I set my GPS and headed out having no idea what I would encounter.  I remember thinking "I must close to their location" but I seemed to be driving in circles.  I called the office for directions.  I think the person I spoke with could hear the fear and confusion in my voice.  She said sternly but kindly, "Stop! Listen to me!"  Which I did, without question, because I was entering a world that was completely foreign to me. With her help I found my way to the office.
     The PI was on vacation so I met with his associate.  What a wonderful person she was.  She put me at ease right away.  She is the one I would correspond with throughout this process.  Right away we got down to business.  Many questions came my way.  Based on my answers she was pretty certain he was seeing someone.   She told me they would be on this case right away and they would keep me updated.
     I was also given assignments.  Being overwhelmed already it was hard to process all I would need to do.  She said I needed to get my own phone, change my locks, and change my passwords on everything.
     After leaving the PI office I went to Target.  I picked up one of those throwaway phones.  The nice man at the desk spent at least 20 minutes helping me get it setup.  I was told by my attorney that I should not tell anyone with connections to X that I hired her or the PI.  Because of that my little throw away phone became lovingly know as "The Spy Phone".  Only the attorney, the PI folks, and my friends Joanie and Melissa had the number.  Many friends knew about it, Amber, everyone at work, Dave, my neighbors, Cindy and a few others.

“The Lord says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  
I will advise you and watch over you”
Psalm 32:8 NLT