March 29, 2010

The Bridge To My Heart

This is a mini story I came across that I wrote many years ago.
I thought I would share it with you.

"The Bridge To My Heart"


    I never could have imagined that a
business venture to look at an enclosed
kitchen window would eventually lead
to the building of a bridge to my heart.

    Had I been aware of that possibility,
I would have acted in a more professional
manner.  I would have kept the distance
necessary to work in a more objective state
of mind.

    Feelings that had been dormant for
so long were about to be stirred.  They
came unannounced and even uninvited. 
And as with uninvited guests, they caught
me off guard.  What were supposed to be
simple questions to help understand the
client became complex answers to
understanding me.  Then my heart got in
the way.

    How could I know that building that bridge
would forever change my life?  Little did I
understand that there are some bridges we
might be better off not crossing. 


New Blog Look

I was notified that new blog templates just came out with new 'toys'.
I wanted to play.
But I do not know what I am doing exactly (apparently).
So some of my past posts do not have titles that can be read very easily.
If you put the arrow or the hand there (I don't even know if they are the same thing), it is like a secret decoding device and it will light up
in a bright yellow.
See? You can play too!
Sorry for any inconvenience.
To the both of us.
By the way, It was an unexpected surprise!

March 27, 2010

Preconceived Notion

"I did my best parenting before I had children."
I had this preconceived notion before I had children of what kind of parent I was going to be.
Also of how my children were going to behave.
Of how we as a family were NEVER going to do that-
Whatever that was. 
We were not going to do it!

For example:

I was NEVER going to yell at my children.  Get upset maybe, but NEVER get so upset that I felt a need to yell, let alone actually yell.

My children would NEVER act out in public.
Or any place for that matter.
Because of course all I would have to do would be to tell them once what kind of behavior was expected of them and they would behave that way.
All of the time.

I would NEVER have bratty children.
I would ALWAYS be so proud of their behavior.

And if my children had siblings, they would ALWAYS treat them kindly and with love.
They would ALWAYS protect their sibling and NEVER do anything to hurt them.

If I ever had boys, (so I got four) they would NEVER drive their little cars around someone else's coffee table scratching it up.

They would NEVER break a neighbors window or one of ours while playing baseball with rocks.

They would NEVER think of spraying hairspray (yes I use hairspray-something I would never do) on flies to stop them in flight.
Or put duct tape on their siblings leg to see 'what will happen'.

I would NEVER have children who talk back.
Or EVER showed any form of disrespect (including eye-rolling).
ESPECIALLY my teenagers!

I would ALWAYS be patient.
I would be glad to answer the 'why' questions no matter how many my children would ask.
And I would answer them all.
Patiently of course.
With the correct answers.
And if I did not know the answer, I would look it up and get back to them.
I would NEVER forget to do that.

My children would NEVER have to go to the principals office or get in trouble with the law in any way.

They would not be the ones who talk in class or who get their name on the board or who have to stay in from recess (do children even have recess anymore?).

I would be the room parent and love every minute of it hoping to organize more school carnival fundraisers.

My children would ALWAYS go right to bed when asked and NOT get up and ask for a drink or forget to tell me something really important.
And I would NEVER yell at them to get back in bed and make them cry because 'they were just trying to tell me they loved me'.

I would NEVER question why I became a mother.
I would ALWAYS be sure and confident that I was a blessing to them.
And of course I would ALWAYS remember what a blessing they were to me.

I would ALWAYS know why God entrusted me with His child.
Why He believed that of all the homes on Earth that ours was the best place to send this child.

I would NEVER feel inadequate or frustrated or scared.
I would ALWAYS know that I was doing the right thing.

I would NEVER cry because I felt like I was failing as a parent.
Or like I was not cut out for this job.
I would NEVER want to quit or question why I thought this was such a good idea.

And the one thing I know for SURE is that I would NEVER, EVER, EVER stop loving this child!

And that is the ONE thing that I was ABSOLUTELY, one-hundred percent right about!

Even BEFORE I ever really became a parent.

"I am a very patient, loving, understanding and calm mother... until my children get home from school."

"The greatest work you will ever do is within the walls of your own home."~Harold B. Lee

March 21, 2010

The Hope Seed

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible."~ Christopher Reeve
I was on my way to the women's jail to lead an Al-Anon meeting and I wondered what I was doing.

Not for going to the facility itself but for my purpose.
Did I really think there was anything I could say to inspire these women?
Anything that could give them the belief in themselves to change their lives?

Here I was a woman with every freedom trying to encourage women who had little or none at all to believe that there was a better life awaiting them.
For them, that probably translates into 
'yeah right sister', ' somewhere over the rainbow' or 'in your dreams'!

And it is in my dreams.

I do want them to believe there is something better than what they now have.
I do want them to have hope.

And then I thought, 'I can do that!'
'I can plant a seed of hope!'

Although I have never been physically incarcerated could I share the prison I had lived in for much of my life?

Could I  share how life has not always the best for me and I have not always made the best choices but I have chosen now to make different choices?

Could I  share how I too have fear and am still working on liking/loving myself and how there have been hopeless and dark places in my heart and life?
And could I share how I have overcome those and continue to grow?

Could I share how unlovable I have felt?
How I believed I deserved to be treated badly?
How I even allowed it?
But how that has all changed?

Could I share it without portraying 'better than' or 'unattainable'?

I remember the first time I went to a meeting.
Sitting with twenty women, I recognized that
there was not even enough self-esteem in that room to fill a teaspoon.
It was non existent.
These women did/do not understand who they truly were/are.
They did/do not know their true worth.

I had been in that prison.

That broke my heart to think they may be feeling the same way.

And it also explained a lot of things.

I could share.

With many of them being there only a short time, ( because they are awaiting notice of new residency) I may only interact with them a few times if that much.

How do you instill in a woman who does not believe it is possible, the idea that she can change her life?

How do you plant that seed when all you have is a few short exchanges?

How do you give them hope?
How do I tell them they are already loved?
That they have Gods unconditional love?
And convince them the seed will grow if they care for it?

I could tell them if they have faith and are diligent and patient and long-suffering in nurturing the seed, that that seed will eventually bring forth fruit.

Fruit in the form of a better life.

That there really is a promise if they do what they can: That someday they will pluck the fruit.
That it will be the most precious and sweet above all that is sweet.
That the fruit that will come forth is enough to fill them, that they no longer will hunger nor thirst.

Imagine if no one hungered and thirsted anymore for love and acceptance!
If everyone had it?
If everyone had IT?
If everyone knew who they really are?

What a different place this world would be!

We would find full hearts and lives
And empty jails!
(Both physically and spiritually.)

"Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark."~George Iles

March 18, 2010

Look What I Found!

In my first ever post, on January 29th, 2010, I blogged about how difficult it was for me to find help to teach me how to blog.

I quote,"I know, it's so easy that even a caveman can do it but I couldn't find one of those either."

Well, you won't believe what I found! (If you do, just act surprised like you do when you know what your present already is-because you are the who bought it.)


 Don't you just love it??
Well, I do , but then I don't really have a very hairy man with David Letterman teeth and fingernails longer than mine sitting at my computer in a t-shirt dress (throwing a beaver)!!
(P.S.  But I think the vine-cord is a nice touch.) 

March 14, 2010

SERIES - #1 I Didn't Expect: To Be Divorced

I have dragged my feet and my mouse on starting the 'I Didn't Expect to' series.  I am still 'a work in progress'  having a hard time letting go of my black and white, all-or-nothing thinking.   As a result of that thinking I wanted to capture everything that is pertinent to each topic before posting it.  I now know that is impossible.  I realize that all of my posts have part of at least one, of my 'unexpecteds' in them somewhere.  Because of that there may be repeated lessons.  Not so unlike life huh?  I am sure as long as I blog that is how it will be.   So I will write the series the best I can from where I am at right now.   I know you are probably saying, "Alright already.  Just start!"  Well here it goes! 

"Divorce: The past tense of marriage."~Author Unknown

#1.   I Didn't Expect To Be Divorced 

As I stood at the counter and waited numbingly, all I could hear was the sound of the stamp being brought down hard, paper after paper.
I was in the court house filing for divorce.
I hated the sound of that stamp.
I wanted it to stop.
It sounded like the cell doors in a prison being slammed shut.
Door after door after door.
Oh, how I wanted it to stop!
And right then I knew that there was some symbolism to what I was hearing and feeling.
I was about to start my life sentence.

I felt a devastating heart ache overcome me.
I had now become a statistic.
I was now going to be divorced.

How did this happen? 

I never expected to get divorced.
Who does?
Although some plan for it, most of us do not get married just to get divorced.

I was not prepared for what was to come my way.
I had no idea of the pain and the fear and the frustration and the emptiness that would follow.

I did not want to divorce.
I did not want to secede.
But I had run out of options.

Denial was not a vacation spot for me, it had become my home.
My home of many years.
But I could no longer stay there.
I could no longer pretend.
The pain of not looking at what was and staying married had become greater than the pain of looking and getting a divorce.
I would have to be willing to let go of what I knew and step into the unknown.
So I roboted forward going through the procedures needed to make it final.

You can not be prepared for divorce anymore than you can for death or for having a baby.
Sure millions of people have done it before but no one has your unique situation, therefore no one can tell you exactly how it will be for you.
You can never brace yourself for what lies ahead.

Sometimes I was absolutely sure that I was crazy.
One minute I would be watching a movie,
wishing he was there beside me,
and five minutes later, had he been walking behind my car,
I would have wanted to put it in reverse and push the gas.
How insane is that?

The emotions went up and down like a skateboarder on a half-pipe.
And then sometimes when I thought I was starting to get my footing,  just like a skater, I would crash.
What was happening to me?
Is this what divorce was like?

Finalizing was a slow process for me.
Not because of contesting or litigation but because I kept hoping my knight in shining armor would come to my rescue. 
That is how it is in my favorite movies.
So I postponed, waiting.
But he never showed up.
He never stopped it.
He never protested.
He never came to save me.
What happened to the, 'And they lived happily ever after?'

My Visa had finally expired.
I got kicked off of Denial and was forced to come home.
Back to the U.S.
Back to the court house again.
This time to hear the words, "Your divorce is final."

My life felt final.
I hated the nights, going to bed alone.
But I hated the mornings even more.
I hated waking up to the truth that it was not just a bad dream.
It was my life.
My life I had not signed up for.
It was happening without my permission and I had no choice but to go along.
Getting dragged along.

I hated that I had no control.
I would hear a song, smell his cologne, see a car similar to his, hear his name, taste his favorite food and I would bawl.
I could not stop the tears no matter how hard I tried.
No matter where I was.
No matter who was around.

Although I still did my motherly duties to the least of my ability,
I often spent most of the day in bed.
From day to day.

My poor children.
I do not know all the effects that time of my oblivion had on them.
I was not a mother, I was a hollow shell functioning as a zombie.
It was all I could do at the time.

I could not even say the 'D' word.
I could not write it in my journal.
I would go around my house practicing, "I am not married."  " I am single."  " I do not have a husband."
I was afraid I would fall apart if anyone were to ask my marital status so I practiced.
And I fell apart anyway.

I felt like I should be saying,"I am a failure."
Because that is how I saw myself.

I cried so hard and so much.
At the bank, over the phone with the utility company, at my children's school- anywhere I had to make changes because of the 'D', I cried.

The touching, sad thing is that so many people understood.
Because they had been there themselves or knew of someone who had.
They were so patient with my blubbering self. 

The divorce brought new awareness's to me.
Things I either had never wanted to see before or was not aware of.
With this new awareness came suitcases full of my past.
There seemed to be baggage show up on my doorstep daily.
It was as if a new roommate was moving in every single day.
For months.
People who were not welcome.
Memories I had sent away but that had returned.
I was running out of room, both in my heart and in my head for all the visitors.
The desperation for reprieve from the overwhelming weight of it all caused me to search for answers that would free me.
Thus another unexpected in my life.(#18)

I was asked, "Is it a good thing or a bad thing?"
I replied, "It is a sad thing but a healthy thing."
It felt as if part of me was dying, and it was.
It was the part that had kept me from growing.
It needed to die.
Only I did not know it.
I did not want it.
I did not want to grow right then.
I wanted to die too.
So many unexpecteds. (#10)

I believe I survived because of prayer and a loving Father.
Others prayed for me when there was nothing left within me to plea.
Not even silently.
Thank God for loving, compassionate friends and family.
Unexpected friends and loved ones.(#13)

It was during this time that I learned of a love greater than any other.
It was a time that would forever change my life.
It was a testimony I could not have gained any other way.

It was the beginning of climbing, crawling, dragging myself out of the darkest abyss I had ever been in.
It was the beginning of allowing others to help me.
Something I was not so good at.
It was the beginning of change.
Healthy, much needed change.
Unexpected change.(#16)

It was the beginning of the most unexpected life I had had thus far.
It was the beginning of really living.
It was the beginning of me....
Someone I had never expected to meet.(#20)

"If every husband and every wife would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any divorce.  Argument would never be heard.  Accusations would never be leveled.  Angry explosions would not occur.  Rather, love and concern would replace abuse and meanness."~Gordon B. Hinckley




More confessions.
I am not swimming in money
or oil

or filth

or the ocean

or anything else for that matter.

(Although I have been known to swim in self pity.)

So the real part of the confession that I was trying to distract you from is that I do not own a camera.
Well, I do, but it is the kind that I have to explain to a 3 year old ,"No, you can not see the picture right now, it has to go to the camera man and he will make the picture."  
Also, as has been announced more times than needed, I am not very computer savvy.
Add camera savvy to that too.
So really this is a disclaimer for my lack of original pictures and the poor quality of some I may have made an attempt at.
I was hoping to add a beautiful painting by a friend to my upcoming blog about divorce but have not been able to get access to it.
I do not want to delay anymore- so I will post without, at least for now.
This has been an unpaid announcement.

March 9, 2010

PROJECT #1 Dining Room Table

I like to work on projects-most often furniture that is a cast off.  Many times they are items that have been left by the curbside.  This table was given to me.  I do not know anything about it, except that it needs some work.  I do not usually restore pieces because most of them are in such bad shape.  I Reyna-ize them. Which means that I put my own touch to them.  I call it transforming.  So come along as with me as I show you my step by step process! 

March 7, 2010

Who is This Teenager in My House and What Did You Do With My Child?

"Mother Nature is providential.  She gives us twelve years to develop a love for our children before turning them into teenagers."~William Galvin

 It seems to happen overnight.
The child who was sweet and loving and becoming responsible and capable and who was proud to call you his parent( because he thought you were the best and smartest parent ever) has transformed into someone else.

They are called teenagers.
These are some of their characteristics:

They do not hear as well as they used to. 
At least it seems that way when they are repeating back to you what you previously said.

Usually they are not able or willing to communicate in more than a few short sentences or sounds.
And if for some reason you did not quite hear what they had to say, you will miss out because it will not be repeated.
They become impatient with your inability to hear.

They no longer want you to show affection to them, especially in public places.
Things like hugs and a peck on the cheek-taboo.
Do not think of just blowing a kiss either.
Sweet is an inaccurate word to describe them on most days.

It is as if they have taken on some symptoms of old age.
They forget.
They no longer remember the house rules.
They forget they do not and never have had a live-in maid.
They forget where the kitchen sink and laundry room are.
They forget your phone number- so they are not able to keep you updated with their schedule.
They forget when to come home.
They forget how to get home.
They forget they have parents.
(Unless they need something from you.  Like money.)

They become unreasonably irritable.

They become unreasonable period.
They have short tempers.
And they can be demanding.
Especially when you are so slow or so deaf or have the most embarrassing wardrobe.

They have become amazingly intelligent almost overnight!
You no longer have any sense or wisdom about you.
You do not know anything.
And you for sure 'you just don't understand' or 'get it'.

How could you?
Being as old as you are and all?
You are sometimes even so stupid.
They wonder how this happened to you overnight.

And they question your love. 
How could you love them and do the things you do?
And you wonder the same thing back.

And you feel unloved and unappreciated and unheard and misunderstood.
And you do not understand how they cannot see and feel the deep love you have for them.
Why can't they understand that it is because you love them and are concerned for them that you have become these' overnight crazy people'?

And then you remember when you brought this child into your life.
And you remember the love you felt when you first saw them.
And how you made a promise that you would love them and keep them safe from harm.
And as you remember, you are reminded how you got here.

And you realize you could never have known the depth of the feelings and emotions that would come with being a parent of a child.
And you are beside yourselves.
And you shed many tears and spend a lot more time on your knees asking for guidance.

And although you are often confused,
and you often feel lost and inadequate,
you hold on and continue to try your best not knowing sometimes what that even is.
And you often feel like it is anything but your best.

But the love that you never could have imagined,
is the very love that keeps you loving and trying, despite the questionable evidence that you are not making much progress.

And recalling that love is what sustains and encourages you to nurture those untamable teens into becoming wonderful adults.

And you can see past the anger and the tears and the uncertainty and see that child, your child, looking back at you from within their teenage body.
And you are reminded of what you are doing and why.
And at that moment your love and heart stretches beyond your human capacity and you begin the journey into sainthood.

And it is that hope and that love that pulls you through this phase of life.

"Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity."~Neal A. Maxwell

"Adolescence is a period of rapid changes.  Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years."~Author Unknown


March 2, 2010

It's a Sunburn

Well, life has not changed that drastically since the last entry, but things are on the upswing.
There is not so much sun as to cause burn damage, but the sun is now shining through the clouds.

You know, when you spill your guts in a public place, people are concerned about the poisoning and what made you and your heart sick.
And when you wear your broken heart on your sleeve, it may leave boogers that aren't so easy to hide.

I knew that might happen when I was so open about where I was at.
But that is what I said I would do-invite you along on my life-lessons-learning- journey.
So I will say, that I had an interaction with someone I once knew and it did not go so well for me.

I may write about it some other time.
I am not at all surprised that it was unsettling for me,  just at how easy it is for some people to hurt others. 

The good news is that the sun is up and I am feeling better.

My health and energy are coming back too.
Boy, sometimes it is easy to forget all that you take for granted until you have to wait for its return.

I am grateful for blessings and healing!
Thanks Alan for being such a gifted photographer!

"May we be strengthened with the understanding that being blessed does not mean that we shall always be spared all the disappointments and difficulties of life."~Heber J Grant

March 1, 2010

The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow

I have had some draggy days.
I do not know if that is a 'real' word but it so describes how I have been feeling this past week.

I have been sick with some sort of bug that has made me tired and achy.
For that I can say I am dragging.
Thank goodness I am at a point in my life where I can take some time to be 'real sick'.
I honestly do not know how I did it all those years when I had no choice but to plow forward.
I must acknowledge that God knew of my responsibilities and had to have had His hand in my well-being.

My heart has also been sad this week.
I do not know if I will ever fully understand the cruelty of others.
Or what motivates some people to be so insensitive and mean.
What posses a person to treat someone like that?
That is a rhetorical question.

So with a heavy heart and not much energy to carry the weight, I have had some emotionally, draggy days.

But the sun always comes up tomorrow or sometime there after.
Of this I have no doubt!

 "It's not so much what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us."~James E. Faust

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