THE BAGGAGE OF YOUR PARENTS

There are many things I have received from my parents for which I am truly grateful. They took me to church almost every Sunday. They taught me how to manage my money so that I would not favor debt. They have even shared financial blessings with me on occasion.

However, when I left home, I left home with a lot of emotional baggage. My parents have a very dysfunctional relationship. Something had happened in their marriage which caused my mother to have a nervous breakdown. According to my aunt she spent a year so depressed she couldn’t get out of bed.

When she finally did get out of bed she grabbed the hand of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness to give her the energy to keep living.

I remember her crying a lot when I was a little girl. That always bothered me. One thing I noticed early on though. She was never bothered if she made me cry. She could be pretty mean at times and then turn around and ask for a hug the very next moment. (kind of crazy right?)

She seeded suspicion of men into my heart. She also complained relentlessly about my Dad. She would scream  and yell at the least little thing that went wrong.

My childhood was quite unsettling to say the least.

The relationship that I am in currently is with a wonderful man who initially turned me into a replica of my mother. I complained about him all of the time. We would get into arguments and break up quite frequently.

The weird thing about it is that when I complained to people about this man my voice would change and I sounded like my mother. I, of course, attributed that to him and how he treated me.

I kept breaking up with him because something just didn’t feel right. I thought it was all his problem.

Until we got back together again and I realized my mother’s bitterness was working through me to attack this man. I was carrying the generational curse of unforgiveness that my mother had exposed me to all of the years of my childhood.

While we were apart my boyfriend would pray for me. When I was so ugly to him the Holy Spirit would comfort him and tell him “that was not who I really was.” He would bring to the forefront of his mind some of the wonderful memories we had created together.

The whole thing about generational curses is that they are passed down through generations that “hate God.” https://www.gotquestions.org/generational-curses.html

Well, anyone that knows me knows that straight off I love God. I mean I really LOVE HIM! So why was I carrying a curse?

Because I chose to. I lugged around the baggage full of bitterness, unforgiveness and anger for the majority of our relationship.

Don’t be deceived, my boyfriend is not perfect. He has issues to work through also but he is working on them with the Holy Spirit. My complaining about him didn’t help him work out his issues one bit. It was all Jesus.

So now, if I feel anger or unforgiveness creeping into my heart and mind I take those feelings to Jesus and ask him to help me sort through it. I have decided to stop carrying the emotional baggage of my mother.

Frankly if I choose to keep carrying her baggage I will keep lumbering down the path of heart ache.

SAMSUNG

My boyfriend had bought me the Samsung 7 when it first came out. He was so excited for me to use it. I put it in my closet and told him I didn’t need it. I had a Samsung 6 that I was more than happy with.

He kept mentioning it to me off and on and I told him I still didn’t want to use it. I knew if I used it I would have to let him come over to show me all of the in’s and out’s and at that time I didn’t really care to see him.

So he waited and mentioned it on and off and we actually had quite a few laughs about this situation. In addition to having to see him, starting to use a new phone was going to take some time to learn. Any free time I had I wanted to use to blog or write in my novel.

I have never really cared that much about techy things but he is nuts over every new device that comes out. He is so outrageous in generosity that I happen to have quite a few tablets and techy things scattered through my house that rarely, if ever, get used.

I am saving them for when I retire and if I have any free time during that portion of my life I will start using them. (HELLO NETFLIX!)

Well I was dead set against using this Samsung 7 (I can be totally hard headed and stubborn over the silliest things sometimes.)

Then a tragedy occurred.

I LOST MY SAMSUNG 6!!!

This was during the time when I had secretly decided that seeing him wasn’t the worst idea in the world. We had so much fun together. We had been off and on for 9 years and the on was much better than the off in that department.

So I called him and he jumped on his white horse (actually drove his red Camry) to my house to whisk me away to the AT&T store so as to activate my Samsung 7. Just one problem, since I hadn’t backed up my contacts I lost all of my contacts.

Which meant that all of those names I no longer recognized in my contact list were now gone, along with all of the men I had dated that had not made the cut.

Hmmm, now I know why I waited so long.  I was waiting on Jesus to cause me to lose my phone so that I would no longer be distracted by losers because the winner that had pursued me for 9 years was the one who was now helping activate my Samsung 7.

Thank you Jesus! Love you!

MY COMFORTER

Recently I have been dealing with an issue with my house. The background of this story can be found in this blog post. http://www.spotublog.com/home-warranty/ This has been a ten year ordeal and after ten years I usually blow a gasket.

This time I made a conscious decision to take a different path. I took my problem to my comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Then I did what I could. I asked my boyfriend to document all of the issues with my home. My boyfriend came over and took pictures of each crack and wrote down the location of each and every one.

As my former post revealed, the construction company analyzed my property several times and they didn’t think it was foundation related. They came to the conclusion that it had to do with either the irrigation system or my plumbing.

My boyfriend remembered that we had found an irrigation spout about a foot under the ground, when planting a tree, so this was a very strong possibility.

He felt so bad that he couldn’t do anything more for me. I told him not to worry. At that point I was considering a lawsuit. I told him the only way he could help me was if he was a lawyer and for the record I would never consider dating a lawyer.

Thank God I couldn’t find a lawyer who handle these kind of cases. I backed away from that idea.

Then in the still of the night, I heard the counsel of the Holy Spirit. He drew close to me and explained to me that the issues with my house were plumbing related. This confirmed the suspicion of my construction company.

So what was the purpose of God telling me what I already knew?

It eliminated my suspicion of deceit on the part of the construction company. If God said it was plumbing then I do believe that to be the truth. It also brought peace to my heart knowing that God was involved in this mess.

I am not by nature a patient person but I have been patient and kind to everyone involved so far. This is due to the fact that I have faith in God that He is more than interested in my plight.

In 1 Peter it talks about us going through various trials  in order to test our faith. If I start blowing my gasket now I would indeed be saying that I had no faith in the construction company but more importantly I would be doubting God.

To be a single mother for as long as I have been and to have a God who has protected me and provided for me is the most amazing life I could ask for. To hear his counsel in the still of the night is a comfort to my Spirit. To know that I am going through trials to test my faith makes me want to stand my feet on the rock of Jesus.

In John 14:16-17 the Word of God says:
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”

I am thankful for God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son but I am truly loving on the Holy Spirit right now.

Him

I can’t say why I pushed him away for so long. He kept trying to get me to talk to him or to go out with him. I kept telling him no. I was really very, very ugly and mean. You think he would have given up right?

NO! He didn’t. He kept loving me. I refused to go out on dates with him. He would send me cards with gift cards in them. I didn’t always read the cards but I never threw one away. I stuffed them in a drawer and figured if I ever got to the point where I could stand this man I would read them.

He wanted an exclusive relationship. I told him I had been in exclusive relationships most of my life and it didn’t really suit my personality. I wanted to date around. (That doesn’t mean sleep around, just date other men) I begged him to date other women when we first started dating. He dated a few and during the date he said he kept wishing it was me. (rolling my eyes)

Then he lost a lot of weight and got so totally hot I fell head over heels in lust with him. His abs made me swoon. He was a pure total hunk of hotness back then.

We both had hot tempers though and we were miserable at resolving conflict. We dated for close to five years with a lot of flip flops between not speaking to each other and telling each other we loved one another.

I never told him how much his anger scared me. I have been taught at a young age how to become invisible when someone is in a rage. I know that rage only knows how to rant and not how to listen so I would clam up.

Although he had a problem with anger, never once did he lay a hand on me. He never cussed me out either. He did call me the B word once but considering how I treated him I don’t blame him one bit. If he got angry he would stomp out my door. Sometimes that is the only way to deal with a situation and we had plenty of situations.

I am not saying that all of the times were my fault but I definitely need to take responsibility for what was my fault. There were many times I was insensitive and did not communicate well.

However after close to five years of dating we broke up and I had no lust left to resort to. I can honestly say I was finished and ready to move on. I didn’t miss him one bit.

I moved on to other men and went on several platonic dates. I mean I couldn’t just sit at home and waste away now could I?

He had a lot of hurt and bitterness and was starting to ruminate in it, when one night the Holy Spirit spoke into him and said, “You need to forgive her, deep down in your heart.” He said he could just feel the burden being lifted from him in that moment.

That dear sweet man then started pursuing God. He started a habit where he wakes up early, reads the Bible and prays every morning. You know who he mostly prays for? Yep that’s right… ME!

I still couldn’t stand the guy though. He started to text me these mushy text messages. He would tell me that God loved me. Yeah like I already knew that okay? I mean He did sacrifice His only Son, Jesus, for all the shit I have done in my life.

He would also keep saying that I was the love of his life. I figured that was his problem not mine.

I kept dating guys.

He kept bringing me gifts. My front porch would be loaded with gift bags some mornings. I appreciated the gifts but I really wanted him to just kind of disappear.

He kept praying for me and I kept hating on him. I mean he had lied to me a few times and there were other memories that kept knocking on the door of my mind that fed my bitterness.

Then some time ago I agreed to give us one last chance. It was  a make it or break it chance.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a blog about how great I was at beating bitterness. That was a downright blatant lie.

I realized what a hypocrite I am. I could forgive others who had verbally and physically abused me.

I had almost forgiven my ex for all of the total crap he put me through over the course of knowing him.

Yet this man who had loved me more than anyone else ever has, throughout my whole life, I held in contempt.

He took every bit of hate I threw him and laid it down at the feet of Jesus and Jesus told Him to keep loving me.

I accused him of stalking me. Except the legal definition of stalking includes threats. He never once threatened me.

Somehow in my twisted reality I felt that unconditional love was a threat. Try telling that to a police officer. “Could you please get this guy to stop loving me?”

He kept praying and praying and would read the Bible every time I threw him a curve ball. Like when I scheduled a date with a guy friend right after spending an afternoon with him. That hurt him so deeply I almost lost him in that stupid move but he read the Bible and was comforted.

I think if I asked him to forgive me for all of the wrong I have done him I could  go on and on for years and years but he has such a sweet heart he doesn’t hold any of it against me.

The very coolest thing about his transformation is that he is so close to Jesus it is kind of like I am dating Jesus now. I am praying that I don’t fall into lust again because I still think he is the hottest man ever. It is just that this time around I want to fall in love, not lust. Because to fall in love with a man who is so close to God that he just emanates the love of Christ is the closest to heaven I have ever been.

A CHANGE OF HEART

For those of you who have followed my blog for any amount of time you may be aware that I have struggled to gain clarity regarding a relationship I have had on and off for nine years. I must say this journey has been one in which I have had a change of heart.

This relationship was with a man who said I was the love of his life.

Yet I didn’t know if he was the love of my life.

He kept drawing close and I kept pushing him away.

When we first dated I had confusion as to the importance of sexual purity in a relationship so we fell into sin. There were some wonderful times of intimacy but I knew they were not blessed by God because they were not covered by His covenant of marriage.

I wanted more. I wanted a relationship which put God first. So I kept running… thinking I would find someone who would straighten out the twisted and tortured path to my heart.

He kept running after me; stumbling over the hateful words I threw at him.

I am sure that I hurt him many times in trying to push him away. Yet every time I talked with him he was full of forgiveness. He kept telling me that he loved me.

There was more though. He told me that he read the Bible and prayed every morning for me. He used to turn to alcohol when I pushed him away. Now he was turning to God?

He had lied to me. I can forgive quite a bit but lying is a difficult sin for me to forgive.

I had asked him to stop talking to one woman that he had been friends with. Just one woman and he could not stop talking with her. He told me he would stop talking with her but several years later I found out he hadn’t.

I had a choice. To turn away and hide in my unforgiveness or to seek understanding.

After one of the blog posts I  penned on bitterness, I realized what a hypocrite I had become. I had become cold with bitterness towards this man. I asked God to change my heart.

As the veil of bitterness was lifted from my heart I realized that she was the one woman who kept telling him to go after me. She gave me much more validity in his sight than I ever deserved.

She is now getting ready to marry one of his best friends and the Lord has sown a seed of deep love for her in my heart. I am now praying for her and the wounds that I know need healing in her heart.

Yet, I still pushed him away. I accused him of stalking me. I had looked up the definition of stalking and it includes threatening someone. Well, he had never, ever threatened me. I guess in some strange way I felt unconditional love was threatening. I hadn’t experienced anything like it in the past.

So this year he asked me for one last chance. He promised me if it didn’t work he would leave me alone. I agreed, but in my heart, I was just thinking this was a way to get rid of him for good. So I started dating him again.

He helped me bake and decorate Christmas cookies. He not only helped me put up my Christmas tree but also helped me take down all of my decorations and lugged the boxes upstairs even though his knee was hurting so bad he couldn’t bend it. How many boyfriends do that?

Not only did he help me with all of those activities but we had a blast doing them together. He is so much fun!

He has bought me thousands of dollars in gift cards to make sure I have enough to eat. He has never said,”NO” to anything I ask him to buy. He does without so that I can have.

I don’t ever want for anything but many times I beg him not to spend money on me because I don’t want him carrying the burden of debt. He assures me that due to my influence he has learned to budget wisely. I don’t think it has anything to do with me teaching him how to budget. He just does without to spend money on me.

There was one morning when I hadn’t talked with him for a few hours and I started getting scared. Did he really mean it when he said he would walk away this time?

I was terrified. I couldn’t imagine life without him. We had been together for so long. He was my knight in shining armor. Anytime I had difficulties he was the one I would run to.I called him quickly, crying on the phone. I needed to know he was still there for me. Thank God he was.

Then last night we celebrated Valentine’s day. I gave him a gift card to help pay for some of his pet supplies for some of the kitties I have gifted him over the years. I also gave him a gift card to Mardel’s so that he could buy a new Bible. That was one of the few things he had said he wanted. To have a man who values the Word of God is to have a treasure worth more than gold. He is so valuable!

He gave me two boxes of chocolates, a load of gift cards, then he took me out to eat at a very classy french restaurant in Dallas, called St Marten’s. While we were eating I told him that I thought he was the very best. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a box.

It wasn’t an engagement ring but a promise ring. It was the most beautiful ring in the world. He had given me one before but that was before he had devoted his life to serving and worshiping God. This ring symbolized so much more than the first had. This ring symbolizes our need for God first and each other second.

I feel blessed beyond measure to have this man in my life and despite all of my shenanigans and rejection of him I believe he may just be the love of my life also.

It was truly the most remarkable Valentine’s celebration of my life. Thank you so much, Dan, for this one last chance. I don’t deserve it but I hope that someday you will consider it the best decision you ever made. I love you!

HOME WARRANTY

I bought a new home in 2007. The design of my new home was perfect for my family. The upstairs held the game room, media room, bedrooms and a couple of bathrooms.

My children were 11,13 and 15 years old and they needed more space than my three bedroom 1700 square foot house could give them. My new house had twice the square footage as my old house. In addition to this, the neighborhood had a pool complex and I love to swim. To swim in a Olympic size lap pool daily was a dream come true. I felt as if I had moved into paradise.

However, with any new house there are always surprises and in Texas the surprises come quite frequently. The most frequent surprise is cracks in the structure. This is not due to the builder as much as it is due to the soil consistency. I called my construction company within the first two years to complain about the cracks and they said there was no foundation issues after a survey had been completed.

The next few years I had my nightmare in family courts with my ex-husband and his third wife. During that time in my life I did good to keep my sanity. I couldn’t worry about my house. That didn’t stop the problem though.  The cracks slyly kept sneaking into my walls and then the ceiling on top of my stairs started to peel away.

Last year I filed another complaint and they sent a structural engineering firm out. They once again said there was no problem but the cracks kept propagating so this year I filed another complaint. They once again sent out the same firm to check my cracks. Same conclusion – no problem.

So I hired my own firm. Yep, you guessed it, they found a problem and proposed a solution.

Since the two structural engineering reports differed,the construction company asked me use another firm which they had chosen. This firm said there was no need for a repair.

I had a melt down. I had 20-30 cracks in my walls and there wasn’t a need for repair?

I felt helpless because I have never built a house and do not know much about construction but a friend of mine came by to look at the house and he is a general contractor. He said he hadn’t seen a house with as many cracks as mine had.

There are still deep wounds in my heart from the debacle I went through in the family court system. I had hired lawyers who weren’t worth a penny, experienced injustice from judges and had lost most of my financial worth due to the court battle. So when I suspect someone isn’t being honest with me it goes deep into a world of hurt and I suspected my construction company was being a bit shady.

I thought all kinds of evil thoughts when I was in this place of darkness. I started calling lawyers, thinking I may have to sue. I thought about using this blog to write a post to slander the company and impede their business. Someone suggested I call a TV station and report them.

As I stepped away from the situation in prayer I realized a very important fact.

This suspicion regarding my construction company was not based on reality. Over the years they had fixed a multitude of issues for me and although there were definitely some structural issues, I believe it was due to the original developer more than the construction company. To seek to harm them in any way would just be downright evil.

I had been praying about this situation because I didn’t want to go all out crazy and be a bitch to them when they came over on Friday afternoon. I had a peace and a calm about the meeting even though I suspected they would wash their hands of the problem.

When they came into my house they said that they thought the issue may not be foundation but rather a plumbing issue because they thought my house was actually rising, not sinking. The more I listened, the more they made sense. They were not washing their hands of the issue. They were trying to follow the clues my house was giving them to find a solution to the problem. The more they talked, the greater my respect was for these men and their company. They mapped out a plan to solve the problem and it sounded like a very well thought out plan.

When they left I thanked God for the company and praised God for His tempering of my spirit.

The next morning I had devotions with my boyfriend and happened to pick Psalms 34 as the passage of scripture:

Psalm 34:12-19English Standard Version (ESV)

12 What man is there who desires life
    and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

These verses were an affirmation to me that God will see me through this. I have to maintain my composure and honesty and seek to bless these men and this company.  If I do my part, God will do His.