Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Praying for My Soul Mate

Once again, I’ve gone a long time since writing.  This was a difficult semester to survive through.  Hannah started having attachment problems again.  She was having nightmares and required me to go to bed “with” her in order for her to sleep.  We’ve gotten through that, thankfully.  Classes this semester were a challenge as it seemed everything was due at the same time.  Plus, my grandpa died right before midterms.  I went out of town twice in the month of November, which made it really hard to catch up.  I can finally breathe again now as my semester is over.  I have a 3 week break!!!  In fact, Hannah went with her dad to Disney for 5 days, so I’ve had that time all to myself!  I’ve spent the last 4 days working in my yard.  I only had 2 full days.  But I gave my garden a much needed make-over!  It feels really good to have gotten that done.  Now, I can enjoy the 2nd two weeks of my time off in my garden, my favorite place…when it looks nice.    One night after working hard all day, I was motivated by all the branches I chopped up.  So, I built a fire and roasted hot dogs and drank hot cocoa outside for dinner!  As one of my friends put it, “making lemonade out of lemons”.  That’s really the only way to survive my life sometimes.  It was really nice, although, it reminded me of how nice it would be to “have someone” to share times like that with.  Hannah won’t, and isn’t, always here.  She can never be my “other half”.  
On that note, I’ve decided to really start praying for my future husband.  I mean, I’ve been praying for him ever since my divorce, but I don’t know that I was ready to meet him.  Now, I feel ready to have someone.  The desire has come back into my heart.  For so long, I’ve been doubtful of the possibility of someone being out there just for me.  But I believe he’s there…somewhere.  He’s living his own life at this very moment.  Maybe he’s even praying for me right now, not even knowing who I am.  
I’ve prayed for him consistently.  I’ve prayed for God’s blessings to reach him in that very moment of my prayers…that maybe he might even feel it.  I pray for his career, his home, his family.  I pray for the things that I want in a husband like spiritual growth.  I pray that God will mold him for me and me for him.  I believe God is using this time to prepare us for each other.  Isn’t it amazing how God orchestrates things?  
I often try to envision what he might be doing right now or how we’ll meet.  Lately, my prayer is for God to bring him into my life quickly.  But I know that God has His own timing.  I know that when school is in session, I don’t have a lot of time to offer anyone.  And when things fall apart with Hannah with her attachment issues or something else, I don’t have anything emotional to give to a relationship.  I am so often on survival mode.  I can understand why God would wait for our eyes to meet.  Oh, but I can still envision the moment when I finally meet my soul mate.  Will I know right away, or will it take time?  Will it be love at first sight, or will love come softly?  
I guess Christmas is the time of year that single people often think about having someone special.  It’s understandable that I feel this way.  It’s quite possible that the feeling will fade when school starts again and I get busy.  
The other thing on my mind is internship.  It turns out, I will probably need to start my internship next summer 2012, which means I’ll be taking classes at the same time.  But I will graduate in May 2013!  Starting to work will be a huge transition for me and for Hannah.  I will have less time to get my chores done while Hannah’s in school, so a lot of that will have to happen when she’s home after school/camp.  That’s been a real struggle for me to accept.  I’ve always tried real hard to be there just for Hannah whenever she’s home.  And I guess that was important when she was young, but she is getting older now.  She’ll be almost 7 next summer.  I’ve always consumed myself with “what’s best for Hannah?”  Well, now it’s time to start thinking about me and my career.  I’ve been so hesitant, but I’ve also prayed a lot about it.  And gradually, I can see God giving me peace.  In fact, he’s showing me how rewarding it will be to have this opportunity to help people.  I would really enjoy that!  I guess God has more in store for me than just Hannah.  The fact is, I was put on this earth to not only show Hannah her way, but also to counsel others in need.  It is my ministry, and I think I will be really good at it.  Now I have to start applying to internship sites, so I’ve been praying about choosing the right one.  I feel like this is going to be a big year for me, a year of growing up, maybe.  I will finally be what I want to be when I grow up.  


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grandpa's Death

         So much has happened, and yet my blog has been silent.  Isn’t that how it always goes.  When life gets “interesting”, I don’t have TIME to write.  I feel the biggest thing weighing on my life right now is the loss of my grandpa.  It’s funny how the body goes on survival mode when big things happen in our lives.  He died on Oct 27, 2011 after struggling in and out of illness for about a year before.  He had grown very weak.  He was given 2 weeks to live about 2 months before his death, so it was a blessing to have him longer.  
I did get to visit him in July, which brought great joy on both sides.  He was so cute as he had a new burst of energy whenever we’d stop by to see him during that visit.  He would scoot out on his little walker as fast as he could just to greet us at the car.  He always kept a smile on his face and cracked his jokes to make us laugh.  I knew this would be the last time I’d see him, which was really tough.  I remember telling him, “Thank you for waiting for me.”  
Down to the last minute, Grandma was by his side.  They were married 70 years!  She turned 90 and he turned 95 this year.  He was able to see every family member this year before his passing.  I also managed to talk with him on the phone just 2 days before his death.  I am soooo thankful for this!  They had moved the week before, so I wasn’t able to talk to them for a couple of weeks prior.  I would have felt really bad if I didn’t get to talk to him before.  The last thing I said to him was, “I love you.”  
Of course, when I got the news, I was devastated; even know I had been waiting for this call.  For a couple of days, I wept a lot.  Then I got over it and went on.  I live a busy life as a single mom in grad school.  Then I spent a weekend in my play therapy class.  The first thing we did was draw a picture of whatever we wanted.  I drew a picture of Gpa in heaven with Jesus.  There were clouds all around.  There were little golden angels in the background and the golden gate.  I found myself getting emotional again.  All weekend, I saw a theme in my practice play…Gpa.  I realized then that I was ignoring my emotions in order to function.  I need to grieve, but I don’t have time for that.  So sad…
This weekend Hannah and I will fly to Kansas for Gpa’s memorial.  I’ve decided to allow myself to grieve there.  I was going to sing during the service, but once again, I would be forced to perform instead of taking that time to grieve.  I need to just…BE.  
I look forward to seeing family for the 6 days that we’ll be there.  I will have to miss one class, which I hope I can catch up on later.  When I return, I will have a final exam and 2 presentations due that weekend!  Back to reality!!!  

Friday, September 23, 2011


This fall, I’ve started back to Grad School.  The difference is that I was only offered night and weekend courses!!!  This is really hard on a single mom, who always wants to be available to her daughter!  I hate that I’m forced to depend on her dad to keep her, so I can be in class 2 weekends out of every month.  The other problem is that I don’t get weekends to myself anymore.  I either have Hannah or I’m in class.  However, her dad rarely kept her on weekends, anyway. 

The other transition is that his finace and her daughter moved down here from Orlando.  So, Hannah’s dad had been driving up to visit them every weekend.  Now, he brings Hannah along when he’s with them on his weekends.  After the traumatic experience Hannah had with this other child, I have been a nervous MESS, having difficulty even concentrating on being in class on his weekends! 

I feel so helpless, as I can’t determine how he spends his time with Hannah or who they spend time with.  I don’t know these people.  All I do know is BAD.  How can any mother relax and trust that she’ll be fine.  Well, I’ve been praying A LOT!  I started with praying for God to give me peace.  I prayed that He would take the burden of her care off of me and handle it himself.  That wasn’t working!!!!  I still wanted to protect her and be involved.  SO, I then started not only praying for peace, but for WISDOM!  See, I had been getting very angry with the X when he would go against my will with regards to Hannah.  I knew that I had to let go of the control.  I knew in my mind that God could handle caring for her in my stead, but I couldn’t let go and let GOD. 

But now, I need to not focus so much on reacting with my emotions, but with WISDOM.  My wise friend reminded me that it’s best to keep my friends close and my enemies closer.  How was I to accomplish this by lashing out in anger.  It also helped that my stress level was down in other areas of my life.  But I was able to find my peace.  I still miss her dearly when she’s away 3 nights in a row!  This is like an eternity to me!  But I have found that trust in God, that He is able….all by himself.  Really, He doesn’t need my help. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Girlfriend Moved Down to South FL

It’s been a while since I posted.  I was busy with Hannah and my summer course, and then we went on a month long road trip…much needed!  I was able to relax before being thrown back into the fire.  And so it begins!  The X’s fiance moved down here from Orlando, so everything has changed.  In fact, he hasn’t even told me, himself.  He said last night that he would take off work early to spend time with Hannah, only to take Hannah to their new HOUSE behind my back!  Can we say I’m FUMING!  I made it very clear that I am to know where my daughter is at all times!  I also made it clear that she is not to spend time with them before we see the counselor together.  I really didn’t think he’d stoop low enough to simply not tell me where he was taking her, knowing that she’d tell me where she had been.  She said they live in a nice house with a pool!!!!  A pool?  Imagine that?  I shouldn’t be surprised.  He’s been saving all of his money from his job, the money his dad gives him as a 2nd salary (you heard me right), and money from 2 rental properties.  He has NO expenses of his own!!!  So, why not buy the girlfriend a nice house?  OK, I know I’m angry right now and it shows.  This is all very fresh, which is why I don’t bother to call him just yet to chew him out.  I want to be in the right mind for such an encounter. 

I know the 2nd part of this year will only get worse.  I know many things will come up with Hannah when she starts to “see” things about her dad.  I just dread seeing her hurt.  I pray that she will be naïve to the time he spends with this other child. 

From what he told me, they decided to have them move down before getting married, smart on her part!  “Hey, buy me a house and then I’ll see if I still want to marry you.”  HAHA!  My sources say that he’s already been staying over there quite a bit, and he’s moved some of his clothes there.  Did we really think he could resist?  I also hear he is attending a Catholic church down here that she chose.  I guess it’s better than NO church.  I feel safe in knowing that Hannah will continue to go to church every Sunday with me.  She will refuse to go with them, anyway.  She’s very at home at our church.  Oh, the drama…

Monday, July 4, 2011

Alone on the 4th of July

            Here it is, July 4th, and I am sitting in my house…alone.  It is a strange feeling as I hear the booming of fireworks off in the distance.  I don’t remember ever being alone on the 4th of July.  Hannah and I had planned to burn sparklers in the yard together, but then she decided at the last minute to stay with her dad and watch the neighbors in their development shoot off fireworks over the lake.  How can I compete with that? 

            I really didn’t think it would bother me.  In fact, I embrace the chance to be alone…as it is rare in the summer.  I finished writing my last paper for school, called my mom and then watched a movie at home in my pjs.  What could be better, right?  But then the popping of fireworks began, which reminded me of all the families and friends enjoying time together, and I all of a sudden felt lonely.  It just didn’t feel right. 

            I know I’ll be fine.  This holiday is not as important to me as so many others.  I just have a sense of uneasiness.  It seems there should be more to this day, a celebration.  I am a woman of traditions…love them!  I believe traditions are what hold a family together.  Last year, we were at my parents’ house on this day.  We went to the local fireworks display with my parents.  The year before, we were in Colorado at the cabin.  Hannah and I were alone, and she didn’t want to watch fireworks.  She was still scared of loud noises at that point.  The other family members went to watch fireworks, while we stayed at the cabin.  It was OK, because we were together, and we couldn’t hear the sound of fireworks way up in the mountains.  So, this is a new experience for me. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grad School Update

           I’m thrilled to say that the grades are in for my 2nd semester in Grad School.  It took as many classes as they would allow, 4.  I got 3 A’s and 1 A-.  Not bad for a single mom with so much going on!!!  I now have a 3.89 GPA.  Who would have thought?  Grad school can be really tough at time, but I’ve learned so much.  I’m really enjoying it.  I’m taking one summer class now and Process Group.  Summer is at a slower pace, which is nice, since Hannah is with me all summer.  I hope to get another A in this summer class! 

            From what I understand, I will start my internship next fall.  I’m choosing to wait until after summer, so I have one more summer home with Hannah before having to put her in a camp of some kind.  This summer she is very adimate about not leaving my side for any extracurricular activity.  She wants to be in “Mommy Camp” only!  Well, that’s all right with me. 

            I know it’s premature, but I’m already dreading having to work.  Next fall, I’ll be working and going to school with my unpaid internship.  Just having classes is hard enough.  Then I’ll have to add 20 hrs of work to my week, too!  I try really hard to not worry about it yet, being a year away.  I want so much to give Hannah my all. 

            I also realize that working has its place, too.    I think of it as, “God has bigger plans for me, even beyond just Hannah’s life.”  Working as a counselor will allow me to help and influence many more people.  Although Hannah is the most important person in my life, there are many more out there the just may need someone like me.  Besides, it’ll be good for her to see me in a career helping people.  It may even be good for her to NOT be the only thing in my life.  She now has me almost all to herself.  That can be a wonderful thing!  But it can also be bad.  Hannah needs to know that my world will not always revolve around her alone. 

            But still, just writing this, I take a deep breath of regret.  I want to be that mom that is always there for her daughter.  I want her to come home to a peaceful home, not a stressed out mom.  I know that working is tiresome.  I want to have energy to give at the end of the day. 

            Change is hard sometimes.  This one will be a BIG transition in my life, which may be one of the hardest.  I foresee the valley approaching.  But I know, like always, God will walk hand in hand with me through that valley.  He will also walk with Hannah and bring her comfort when she feels distant from me.  He will take us both through that season, and eventually, it’ll be our new routine.  We will both have to adjust.  As usual, I can only do my very best….

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How the Book of Psalm Addresses the Issue of Grief

Psalm 31 states, “O' Lord have mercy on me in my anguish.  My eyes are red from weeping; my health is broken from sorrow.”   Another emotional verse is, "I am worn out from groaning;  all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears" (Psalms 6:5).  Tears are a gift.  Emotions are not of the flesh.  They were created by God and they are not evils.  Many verses like these in Psalms teach us to be emotionally mature, not inhibited.  God teaches us that using emotions appropriately, may actually promote healing.  Emotions run high in the midst of grief.  Often people are quick to discourage crying, expecting someone to just get over it and move on.  They’ve misunderstood the purpose of emotions and their therapeutic qualities.  
I believe Psalms speaks to different people at different times in different ways.  Depending on what you’re going through, the Psalms can portray a different message.  I call that, God speaking through scripture.  This is why the Bible is the LIVING Word of God.  God is alive and well in the Word.  He can use those verses to offer answers and encouragement to those who suffer.  
Christians also have the gift of hope that others don’t.  However, Christians do still grieve.  Psalm 147:3 states, “He heals the broken hearted, binding up their wounds.”  Often in the midst of our grief, we can’t see God working.  At times we may even feel that the scriptures are mocking us when it states one thing, and we feel the opposite is happening.  It is only later when we can see the hand of God in all that we suffered through.  I like to picture God holding my hand and walking by my side through every trial.  It is through scripture I have the faith to get me through some of the hardest times.  Even though I don’t feel God’s presence, that doesn’t mean He’s not there.  He’s always there.  That’s faith!  
God reminds us again that He is there in Psalms 22:24, “For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one.  He has not hidden His face from him, but has listened to his cry for help.”  God hears our prayers, and Psalms teaches us how to pray in the midst of grief and despair.  
Psalm 46 states, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.”  I am so thankful for this verse, which Christians can go to remind them that they are not alone, no matter what the circumstance.  It says to me that we can hide under God’s protection (refuge) and He will give us strength in the midst of our troubles, or grief.  Our God is our great protector.  
Psalms 30:5b is also a scripture that brings great comfort and encouragement in times of grief, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 23:4 is often used when talking about death, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”  I often experience my trials or grievances as walking through the valley even when not in a life or death situation.  Even there, in the valley of the shadow of death, God still holds my hand and walks me through.  Even there, I have the hope of not being alone.  Even there, He brings comfort.  "For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling" (Psalm 116:8).  
Grief is a normal, natural, and often deeply painful response to loss.  Often, people think of the death of a loved one when they think of loss, but many other significant changes in life can involve loss and therefore grief.  People grieve over things like the loss of a job, divorce, or losing a home.  Everyone experiences loss and grief at some point in life.  The severity of the grief depends on the significance of the loss. 
The book of Psalms in the Bible is full of richness to offer to those who are grieving.  Psalm 77 states, “I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.”  The Psalmist was obviously in deep despair.  He’s calling out to God for help, but doesn’t seem to get the answers he’s looking for, at least not right away.  
So, instead of giving up all hope, the Psalmist decides to meditate on the past.  The Psalmist remembers who God is and what God has done.  Psalm 77:11 states, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I 
will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.”  When God appears absent, his influence is there, even when he chooses to remain unseen.  The way the Psalmist puts it is, “in the middle of the churning waters, your footprints were unseen (Psalm 99:19)”.  God was there the whole time offering His healing, bringing redemption and hope, and yet, still unseen.  
This is a good reminder to those grieving, who seem to have lost all hope.  God is there, even in the midst of tragedy.  He does still have a plan.  He’s in control, and is still concerned about you.  In fact, He’s right there with you.  The pain will only last for a season.  God does heal the broken hearted.  Joy will come in the morning.  
The Psalms show the honesty of the people of God as they plea with him.  They pour out their heart in anguish and despair as they express their grief, fear and doubt with the Almighty God.  They get angry with God.  These verses show us that it’s ok to show our anger to God in times of grief.  God will not judge us when we doubt Him, for He knows we are only human and cannot see through the eyes of heaven, as He does.  
In moments of despair, it is easy to feel like all hope is gone.  But reading the Psalms, we can find a renewed hope as we remember all that God has done.  God is a god of miracles.  He can certainly deliver us from our pain.  He can fill that void caused by any loss, in His time.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When I Start to Trust, My World Crumbles

Hannah came home from her weekend with her dad with some concerning news.  She sat down on the sofa and said, “Mommy, I need to tell you something.”  What she told me was shocking.  I won’t go into great detail, but she was violated by her dad’s fiance’s 6 year old daughter.  I spoke with her dad about it first.  His reaction was, “She’s lying.”  So, I called the child psychologist we’d been seeing.  He advised that I call the abuse hotline to see if it’s reportable.  If so, report it and follow the proper steps.  He also said that if I didn’t report it, he would.  I knew I couldn’t trust Jady to solve this on his end, so investigators were necessary.  He had already shown that he was going to defend his finace and daughter at the cost of our daughter. 

After reporting, I called his fiance myself, purposely leaving him out of the loop.  He’s no help anyway.  Frankly, I was concerned for her daughter.  What she did was not typical behavior for a girl her age.  Could someone be hurting her?  Calling the fiance was the hardest thing I’ve had to do.  Here we are on fairly good terms for the moment, but have only met once.  This is not an easy thing to tell someone one you do know well.  I feared the worst!  But I felt I had to tell her that she may be contacted by someone, so she wouldn’t be surprised. 

She was receptive, but shocked.  Later, the authorities were asking me for her address, which I didn’t have.  My X and she refused to give me the address.  So, now, they are showing a lack of cooperation and making this harder for me.  Does he care at all for his daughter?!?!?!  Or is he so blinded by love that she no longer matters? 

I did eventually find out that the authorities were able to contact her via her cell phone number that I gave them.  They already came to take Hannah’s statement and said someone would do the same with her little girl.  I hope they get her help.  In the mean time, when just a week ago, I was feeling so much peace about Hannah being with them, I am now scared to death! 

After a few days, my X called yelling unable to understand why I needed to call the authorities.  Of course, I explained that the counselor said I must, but he wouldn’t listen.  He thought I should have dealt directly with them.  Well, how could I after the way he first responded?  How rediculous!  I would DIE for my daughter!  The last think I would do is trust HIM to handle this!!! 

Why do these things happen to me?  It’s one thing after another.  I’m thankful that it was just a child and fairly mild….but still wrong.  I can only pray that this or something worse does not ever happen again.  I have no control over my daughter’s safety and it makes me SICK!  I know that God had a plan in all this.  I find myself wondering what He’s concocting.  I can only speculate.  But if this behavior continues, I may get full custody of Hannah.  If that’s God’s will, then maybe that’s the purpose.  At the same time, I don’t want Hannah to be hurt.  I pray that this incodent will be forgotten.  She is very aware of how wrong it was.  I’m thankful that she was brave enough to tell me.  Lord help us!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Letting Go

What can I say?  I’m thankful on this Memorial Day weekend.  Hannah went with her dad to Orlando for 3 nights…away from Mommy, and survived.  In fact, she thrived!  The two of them stayed in a hotel, which was the agreement.  But they were there to spend time with the fiance and her daughter.  They went to Blizzard Beach and Universal Studios. 

I’m just so happy that he’s doing something fun with Hannah, even if it is just to be with his “other half”.  Hannah looked forward to this trip for a week!  She had a great time, from what I’ve heard.  She didn’t seem to miss me too much, as she didn’t call often. 

Believe it or not, I’m in a different place.  I am not bitter.  I am not angry.  I’m not lonely.  I’ve had 3 days to myself, which is welcome.  Of course, I miss Hannah, but I need a break, too.  I’ve had her 24/7 for so long.  I’m just thankful that she feels secure enough now to leave me for so long.  In fact, I just found out they’re staying another night, because there’s too much traffic driving home.  That will make it 4 nights away from me!  That’s NEVER happened!  The best part is, Hannah is FINE with it. 

I know that God worked this all out.  God has built up her security, as so many have prayed for her.  She’s another person from just a few months ago!  There is no other explaination.  All I want is for my little girl to be OK from all of this divorce stuff.  God has taught me faith once again through this.  He is still watching out for Hannah.  He does care for her, and will not let evil get her down.  I believe he has angels stationed all around her to protect her from things she hears and sees when she’s away from me.  I may not be there with her all the time, but God is.  He is sufficient.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Insecurity Improvement

Thankfully, I have seen improvement with the insecurity Hannah has had.  Thanks to the play therapist her dad and I have been seeing, her dad has not been yelling at her so much.  It has made a HUGE difference.  I have seen her wanting to spend the night with him a lot more now.  She is able to handle 2 nights away from me now.  She still may ask me to come pick her up or may call often, but I’m able to talk her down. 
            This past weekend, I started my summer class.  Hannah’s aunt picked her up from class on Friday.  Hannah spent the night and all day Saturday with her.  I picked her up in the afternoon.  Then Hannah went to her other aunt’s house, by choice, to spend the night.  She came home for church Sunday.  Then she opted to spend Sunday night with her dad, and may spend Monday night, too.  I guess the important thing is that she has seen me everyday.  But I’m glad she’s feeling more comfortable spending nights away from me.  I see that as a big step! 
            Here’s the frustrating part for me:  Even though Hannah spent Friday and Saturday at her dad’s house with her aunt, HE wasn’t ever there!  Apparently, he was in a hotel somewhere locally.  I can depend on his sister more than I can on him to care for HIS daughter!  He chooses which of HIS weekends he wants to spend with Hannah.  I just prepare to keep her every weekend, just in case.  Then he complains that he wants to see her more.  HA!  Prove it!  Anyway, that was me venting… 
            He’s planning to take Hannah to Orlando for Memorial Day weekend to visit his fiance and her daughter.  He’s going to take them to a couple theme parks, from what I hear.  She’ll be away for 3 nights!!!  I’m anxious to see how it goes.  She really seems to like being with them…more so than just with her dad.  She says he’s boring.  He has promised to get a hotel for him and Hannah while there.  That’s part of the deal! 

Another Surgery?

          Trials continue in the life of Jessica.  As seen in previous blogs, in Dec 2010 I had spinal surgery in my neck, which was terribly difficult for me.  Well, I’ve had pain again for the last few months.  I went back to the surgeon, and he’s basically saying that I will probably need to have surgery AGAIN!  What’s happening is the space between my vertebrate are not healing properly.  They should have been fused completely 3 months after surgery.  I’m now on month 5 and both show lack of fusion.  Why do these things happen to me?

                He wants to go in through the back of my neck this time.  He would fuse the vertebrate together and fuse the vertebrate to the spine.  He says this surgery would be less risky than the 1st.  The problem is that he is not 100% sure this will stop my pain.  This kind of pain can be caused by many different things.  He says it could be a symptom of arthritis forming in my neck from the surgery.  But arthritis is not showing up yet on the scan. 

                If God can really heal, now is the time for Him to do it.  I need a lot of prayer to make this decision.  This is summer, when my load is lighter.  If I’m going to do surgery, summer would be the time to do it.  I have so many things to plan around.  I have a big 1 month road trip planned for July.  I’ve worked SOOO hard to plan my vacation this year, only to have it derailed by this surgery?  I don’t want to wait until Christmas again.  Christmas is a very special time of year where you don’t want to be stuck unable to move.  It seems I live in constant crisis.  Thank you for your prayers!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Met His Fiance and Lived

Oh, last week I was in panic mode. My X and I have been seeing a counselor, who suggested that I get to know the fiance before they get married and before Hannah spends time with her any more. Well, she was to go to see Wicked with her dad, fiance and her daughter over the weekend. We started by the fiance calling me, which didn’t go well.

First off, I was a nervous WRECK, to say the least! The plan was to stick to Hannah and stay off the subject of her relationship with my X. It was going fine, when she asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” My question was, “When and where did you meet my X?” She stubled all over not wanting to answer. I took this as she was witholding simple information, which meant, she must have known him before we were married. I had suspected that she may have been one of the women he was involved with before.

I was out of my mind at this point vowing to keep my daughter from her at all costs! How could I allow some prostitute to help raise my child?!?!?! But we still had the problem of this show Hannah’s been looking forward to for months. I couldn’t tell her she wasn’t going. So, I agreed to let her go ONLY to the show. My X wanted to have her longer. I refused….ONLY the show! He was NOT happy. Then I told him what I was upset about. He, of course denied that she was one of them. I told him I couldn’t trust EITHER of them!

The day of the show, the fiance drove down from Orlando and I met with her for 2 hours at Starbucks, which my X took the girls to Chick Filet. I was on the verge of a panic attack, although I was trying my hardest to stay calm. She was waiting for me inside alone. She came out to greet me. I decided to focus on her, to find out who she is. I discovered that she was born here in Miami, but has lived in Orlando for 11 years. She really likes it there, and it was apparent she will miss everything about living there when she moves here to get married. Her family is from Argentina. She lived there for a while.

Currently, she’s working on her Bachelor’s, has 1 ½ yrs left, studying business/marketing. She has been a realtor. She lives with her mom. She has family in South FL. She was never married, but lived as a family with her daughters father, until he cheated on her. So, she claimed that she would NEVER have broken up a marriage and absolutely was not one of the women my X was with when we were married. At least she does know he was with a lot of women. Poor naïve girl… She did share with me that they met on July 4, 2010 at the beach. She was there with her mom and cousin visiting. I decided it’s in my best interest to assume she’s telling the truth. I’ll never really know what the real truth is, anyway. And it doesn’t matter. What matters is, she’s going to marry him anyway. I need to be “friendly” with this woman.

She seemed very calm and confident. From what she said, I believe that she hopes to change her new husband, knowing that he gets “frusterated” often, which she called it. Oh, little does she know…. But her calm demeaner can only help him to relax, which I’ve decided could just be an asset to me. In fact, after talking to her, I’d rather talk to her than him!

She also told me that her parents divorced when she was 18. So, she has experience in a step-family that worked well. She actually brought up God and that she’s Catholic. We talked about how it looked like God gave her the experience with a step-family knowing that she would be placed in the middle of this now. This brough GREAT peace over me! I realized at that moment that God is still in control, even in this. He has orchestrated it all. He does still have a plan! Who knows, maybe she’ll be able to get through to my X, or at least be a buffer between me and him. I decided to see her as a blessing, not a curse.

The fiance is the kind of person that if I would have met her under different circumstances, we might be friends. We’ve already made plans for the next time she comes to do something, just the 4 girls. My X is NOT invited, of course! She said that she hopes to have a really good relationship with me for Hannah. She also hopes that Jady and I will also improve our relationship. I can picture her behind the scenes encouraging my X to behave well with me. It’s like I’ve got a cheer leader on the inside…just maybe.

I’d rather try to look on the bright side than focus on the negatives. I’d rather see her as an asset, and not an enemy. I am determined to form a healthy relationship with my X’s fiance for Hannah’s sake. This is an example of a mother’s sacrifice. I didn’t want to do any of this. This was VERY scary! I did it for HER, and only for HER! I would do anything for Hannah. This could be SOOO much worse! I am thankful…

Friday, April 8, 2011

1 Year Divorcary

One year has come and gone since my divorce was final. It has been a VERY long year! Looking back, I remember many stressful events in addition to the simple adjustment to being single. I entertained the idea of dating, only to find that I wasn’t ready. I was in a car accident, where the body shop held my van hostage for 3 months. I had to sue them to get it back. I also found out that my ex was engaged and had introduced my daughter to the other woman without my knowledge. Then I had spinal surgery, before even getting my van back. It was a lot harder than I expected. A couple weeks later, I took a week long class, where I was still in pain from surgery and a single mom. I took 4 graduate classes in total this spring, which is a HUGE load! Then Hannah started with her feelings of insecurity and didn’t want to leave my side. It was a battle just to get her to go to school, let alone going with her dad. She never wanted to be away from me, so I’ve had her now for a month with NO break!

So, a lot has happened this past year. I’ve had to adjust to a lot. And even though, we still have trials, like Hannah’s insecurity, we are in a better place than we were a year ago. I am content where I am. I don’t feel the “need” to remarry. I am just fine doing this on my own. I’m not lonely. In fact, sometimes I crave time alone.

I’m thankful for Hannah. She is my world. And though I know it can’t always be like that. I will enjoy her for now. Everything I do, I do it for her. I know I sacrifice of myself for her. I know I need some “me” time. And that will come. Right now, she needs me. I’m thankful for our close relationship.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hannah's Insecurities

Hannah has gotten to the point where anytime she has to leave my side, there’s a fight. She is having major separation anxiety at age 5! I feel so bad, because it’s hard to tell what I should do. She won’t go with her dad or often even talk to him on the phone. She hangs up on him, or refuses to verbalize to him at all. So, she’s been with me all the time for the past 2 weeks.

She is also too “scared”, as she says, to go to school. It is a fight every morning, some more than others. One morning, she cried all the way to school, then screamed at the top of her lungs when we arrived. I actually had to turn around and take her home with me that day because she was going to vomit. I couldn’t drag her in school like that. She’s just holds so much fear now.

Hannah gets this look of fear in her face as tears roll down her cheeks when I mention that she needs to go to her dad for a couple of nights. She is SCARED! Her dad and I saw a counselor yesterday, a play therapist. He said that she is more aware of what’s going around around her at this age, vs when we got divorced a year ago. She feels out of control of her surroundings, which makes her feel insecure. She says she’s afraid that I won’t come back. She’s afraid of losing her mommy. No matter what I do to build her security, that fear persists.

I am emotionally exhausted listening to the verbal abuse that comes from Hannah’s dad. I just want to take Hannah away and not have to ever hear from him again. I dread every encounter. He is an angry, hateful person. And yet, I still encourage her to speak with him. It doesn’t usually help, anyway. She “wants” to talk with him maybe twice per week, if that.

So, I have Hannah all the time. She always wants to be right by my side, and she isn’t napping much anymore. When am I supposed to get school work done???? After she goes to bed, I have no brain power left to study. I’m a morning person. When she’s in school, I still have all the house work to do, indoors and out, groceries, laundry, etc. I’m spent! I just want to be available when my baby needs me. She is my first priority! I’ll give up anything for her, but that leaves me very stressed when exams and papers are due. How much longer must I run this race??? Will it ever end?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

She Made Her Choice....Mommy!

It finally happened. I knew this day would come, but I didn’t think it would be so soon. Hannah told her daddy that she didn’t want to stay with him anymore. She’s been complaining about missing her mommy when she spends nights there. Now, she won’t even GO! I’ve had her with me for a whole week 24/7, which I love, but I have midterms to study for next week. YIKES. My little girl comes first!

Monday and Tuesday she told her dad she didn’t want to go with him. He was fine and allowed her to stay. Thursday, she was all geared up for him to pick her up after work at 7:30 to spend the night with him. When he called on his way, she told him she didn’t want to go…yet again! This time, he got angry. He hadn’t seen her all week! He asked her why. She said, “I miss Mommy.” Apparently, she cries for me every night when she’s there. Of course, he doesn’t tell me that.

He went as far as asking her, “You don’t love me?” Her only response was, “I love Mommy.” Of course, this set him in a rage. He was crying on the phone. He finally hung up, because she wouldn’t budge. Then he came to my door to talk to her in person. She didn’t want to answer it. She made me stay close, afraid he would take her from me. They talked outside the front door. She wouldn’t let me shut the door, keeping me close. Every now and then, he’d start to get loud, and she’d look at me with fear in her eyes. I just nodded. I had explained to her that this has to be between her and her dad. I can’t get involved. I encouraged her to go with him assuring her I would never leave her, that I would be in this house until I went to pick her up from school the next day. She was just to spend the night with him….nothing more. She still refused.

He told her that she broke his heart and hurt his feelings. He was balling by this time. I told her to go give her daddy a hug to make him feel better. He didn’t even hug her back. He begged her to come with him. She held to her decision. I felt aweful! I even felt bad for him, if you can imagine that.

He finally gave up and left. She felt so bad about hurting her dad like that. I could tell she held a lot of guilt, even cried a little and eventually said, “I should have gone with him.” I kept telling her that his feelings getting hurt was NOT her fault. Of course she asked, “Then who’s fault is it, if not mine?” I wanted to tell her that it was his fault, but I knew she’d ask why. I didn’t want to make him look worse to her by telling her that he chose to leave us for another life. I refrained for HER sake! I told her that it was no one’s fault. I explained that she is a 5-yr-old girl who needs her mommy, and there is nothing wrong with that. I told her to follow her heart, and that she made the right choice. I told her that her daddy was a big boy, and that he’ll be OK.

I asked her if she misses him. She said she does, but doesn’t want to see him. I asked, “Well, then what will you do when you miss him?” She said, “I”ll just look at pictures of Daddy, and that’ll be enough.” WOW! I couldn’t believe that! She just totally rejected her dad. I knew this day would come. I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

I asked her why she doesn’t like going to her dad’s house. Keep in mind, he lives in his parent’s vacation home near by with his sister and younger brother. His parents often come and stay for months at a time. She said our house is peaceful, and his is not. She also said that he yells at her and everyone else all the time. She get’s tired of all the yelling. She said, “I need to be in a peaceful house like yours.” WOW! How old is this girl? Yep, only 5.

The next morning, he called and talked to Hannah. I asked how he was doing? She said he was fine. I haven’t heard much about him since. She did mention this morning that she wants a step dad to live in our house. WHAT????? She said, “But he’d better be a good man!” Where is this coming from? I told her, “Well, that’ll be a while, because I don’t know any men.” HAHA! I asked her what he should be like. She said, “He’ll enjoy playing games with me and playing with my toys. He’ll be kind and won’t yell. He’ll be peaceful.” She even added that she’ll have to move back into her own room when he moves in, since he’ll be sleeping with me. I guess I’ve got her blessing to move on!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wait On God

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively……
But God says to His children,

"No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled, and content with being loved by Me alone, with giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me, with having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone, discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, will you be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you.

You will never be united with another until you are united with Me, exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desire or longings.

I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing – one that you cannot imagine.

I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you. You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am. Keep listening and learning the things I tell you.

You just wait. That's all. Don't be anxious. Don't worry. Don't look around at the things others have gotten or that I have given them. Don't look at all the things you want. You just keep looking off and away up to Me, or you'll miss what I want to show you.

And then when you are ready and until that one I have for you is ready (I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time), until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I prepared for you, you won't be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me, and this is the perfect love.

And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love.

I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection, and love, that I offer you with Myself.

Know that I love you utterly.

I am God.

Believe it and be satisfied."

Author - unknown

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day is Approaching

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. I am not dreading it. One good thing will come of my X having a lady friend. I get to have Hannah on Valentine’s Day! She’s the best Valentine I could possibly have. She is the LOVE of my life! We have special plans. Sunday afternoon, I’m taking Hannah to the Beauty and the Beast show. That night, we’ll have a candle lit bubble bath, Hannah’s favorite thing! I also plan to make dark chocolate covered strawberries and blueberries. It will be so special, just the two of us.
It may be questioned why I don’t feel bad about not having a man to share it with after being married all these years. Well, to tell you the truth, holidays were always a disappointment with my X. He usually didn’t do anything to make the day special. He never cared to go out of his way for me. So, what’s to miss.

Being single means no expectations! I’m responsible for making a joyful Valentine’s Day. I have no problem with that. Once again, I’m so thankful to have my precious little girl to share my life with. Maybe one day there will be someone special other than Hannah in my life. Who knows what God has for me? But honestly, my life is not lacking. I am content right where I am. I am busy being a mom and being a grad school student. I really don’t have time for much else. I already have friends to share free time with. What do I need a man for???

Maybe I have a negative perspective of men still. I know I am scarred by my poisoned marriage. I still joke about not allowing a man in my house unless he’s fixing something. HEHE! All of my pets are female….no testosterone here. Yes, that comes from a pain that still brews deep down inside. But that’s OK. I believe that God has that pain there for a reason, because He doesn’t want me yearning for a man in my life right now. My attention is meant to be elsewhere for now. When the time is right, that pain will fade. Maybe that will happen when Mr. Right crosses my path at last.

I believe he’s out there. I pray for him even now. I pray that God is preparing him for me and me for him. I pray for the traits I’m looking for. I pray for his family. I pray that God will bring him into my life, in His perfect timing. But even though my future husband is in my prayers, I don’t feel a void for him. I’m OK not having him in my life for now. It’s not time yet….and I’m OK with that.

Maybe I fill that void with pets! Some of you may laugh. Yes, we adopted another little kitten named Cloe. She’s so adorable and has really dug her way into my heart. Maybe when I start feeling that something is missing, that’s when I feel the need to adopt another pet. Look out….CAT LADY in the making!!!! I guess my add would say, “Must Love Cats”. HAHA!

All this to say, I don’t feel any urgency to meet that special someone right away. I am using this time to work on ME! I have grown enormously since my separation over a year ago. I have not allowed bitterness to brew. I have not allowed to pain to overcome me. I have been able to see the good that has come from the bad. I can see how God is working this all out for me. I can see how He saved me in every way from a poisonous marriage. Now, I can live my life. Now, I can be myself. Now, I can be happy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Life is Good

It’s hard to believe after everything that’s been happening in my life lately, but life is good. I have my neck brace off and my neck is feeling pretty good. I’m able to resume normal activity. My van is finally FIXED after going to 3 different shops! That’s a load off! School is going well. I’m not necessarily caught up on my reading, but I’ve realized I never will be, and that’s OK. I’ve gotten straight A’s and didn’t come CLOSE to reading everything. So, I’ve learned to let that go and do what I can.

I’ve learned so much in my classes. Some classes have actually changed me! I can’t wait to see the woman I will be on graduation day. God is really working in my life. I’m so blessed. I thought I already knew a lot about how people think and why they do the things they do. HA!

I was able to watch my daughter sing a solo in school on Friday and a duet this Sunday in church (NTBC). I praised her on using her gift of song to glorify Jesus! My little girl is such a blessing.

We adopted a new kitten, Cloe, which has been wonderful! Hannah learns responsibility as she has to clean the litter more often now. I have also started her on washing dishes. She get’s to put the recycling in the garage, as well. She’s a very good helper….even though I catch her making up songs about how she’s Cinderella with all the work I give her. HAHA! Usually, she does her chores without complaint, often before I ask.

My life feels blessed….for a change. I’m hopeful that the worst is over and things will start looking up from here. I’m still waiting on the lawsuit to see if I will get some money back from the body shop that tried to steal my van. I’m also waiting to see if my X’s family will forclose on my house, which is already in foreclosure. But either way, I have faith that God is working. He will bless me and Hannah with this house or a better one.

I’m so thankful that God walked along side me through the valley.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Desire is Back

I'm feeling better everyday, just accepting the whole engagement thing. Thank God it isn't a situation of wanting him back. I feel sorry for this other woman!!! She has NO idea what's coming! It makes me laugh to think about it. But Hannah is no laughing matter. I love her more than life itself!!! I would die for her in a hearbeat! And she knows it.

On a different note, in church on Sunday I held my friend's baby girl, while she took her son to the bathroom. She's just over 1 yr old. I sang and rocked her back and fourth. Do you know how long it's been since I've been able to hold a baby?!?!?!?! Before my spinal surgery, I was in too much pain. And I'm known to be a baby stealer. Anyway, she fell asleep in my arms. I was in HEAVEN! Made my day!!!!! That was the morning I found out about the engagement. I so needed that! I started to cry. Holding her made me think of when I did the same every Sunday morning with Hannah when she was a baby. Could this be God's way of telling me that He has a whole other life for me....that I will still find a good husband and even have another baby? I also didn't have Hannah with me that Sunday, knowing she was with the fiance. I was hurting. I missed her and worried about her.
Let me tell you, I was tempted to keep that baby! After all, she is my God-daughter anyway!!! She is beautiful. I've been trying to hide my desire for another baby with pets. I've adopted 2 pets in the last year, and am looking for another kitten! I guess nothing can EVER replace a baby. Who knows what God has in store. The Lord knows, there’s still time.

This photo is of Hannah around that age. 

Engaged Already???

Yep, that’s right! The X is engaged! Everyone who has seen them together claimed it didn’t seem like it would last. Then what happened? This is the rebound. They started dating in June, supposedly, and we were divorced the April before. He claims they met on the beach down here, when she was visiting family. She lives in Orlando and plans to move down here with her 5 yr old daughter. She’s from Argentina, lives with her mom, has never been married, doesn’t work, and is a student. That’s about all I know.

Hannah never talks about this woman, which tells me she doesn’t interact with her much…NOT a good sign! When Hannah likes someone, she talks about them non-stop! She does seem to like her daughter.

The X has already told Hannah all about the upcoming wedding and how she and the other little girl gets to be the flower girls. OMGsh! Is this real??? The first thing Hannah said when she came in the door was, “Mommy, guess what!!! Daddy’s getting married!” Then she went on and on about it all evening. She seemed excited, which I guess is good. She told me that the woman and her daughter will move down here. I asked, “Where will they live?” She said, “With Daddy at Ya-Ya’s house (his mom)”. Oh, boy! That won’t go over well!

What is he thinking. The X doesn’t have a job, can’t keep one. He’s living in his mother’s house with his whole family. He’s muching off his dad for his expences, and now he’s going to get married?!?!?!?! This guy lives in la-la land! Does he really think his dad is just going to support his NEW family? WOW! This guy knows NOTHING of responsibility!!!
Really, I don’t care what he does. If he wants to remarry, it’s none of my business. Personally, I’m very glad to be rid of him. But HANNAH is my business!!! Obviously, this marriage won’t last. What will multiple wives down the road do to Hannah? Who is this other woman who will help to raise MY daughter?!?!?! And I have NO say-so in this . That just isn’t right! I gave birth to this child and raised her, basically ALONE up until the divorce, for GOD’S sake!!!!!

This is just one more trial for me to overcome. I’m still thankful for my faith. I am in shock right now. But over all, I have the assurance that God is in control of even this. God loves Hannah even more than I do! That is hard to imagine. He will NOT let this harm her. If anything, just like me, she will grow stronger because of her own trials. I just have to be the BEST mom I can be! She’ll figure out what her father’s priorities are on her own. I don’t say a negative word about him. I do often have to explain his bad behavior, like when she complains about his yelling. I only tell her that this is just how he communicates. I tell her that if she doesn’t want him to yell, then she shouldn’t do anything to upset him.

The other dilemma is that he doesn’t take Hannah to church on his weekends anymore. That goes against everything we agreed on when she was BORN! However, every Sunday right now is MY TIME. I have her Sunday nights, so that means I get her all day on Sunday. Previously, I compromised with him allowing him to take her to church on his Sundays, then bringing her to me later. Well, if he’s not going to take her to church then he can’t have her on my day anymore. I can then take her to church every Sunday. Well, now he wants to have Sunday’s too, on his weekend. But he also has Mondays, becauase I’m in school late that day this semester. So, Hannah would be with him 4 nights in a row!!! That’s WAY too much time away from her mommy!!!! So, what to do?

My intention is not to be mean or punish him….or even to keep Hannah away from this woman (fiance, I guess). I just want her in church on Sundays. SO, what to do? I lost a lot of sleep last night over this. I don’t want to be stressed about it. I want to leave it to God. I’ve prayed for wisdom. I need so much wisdom to live through my life!!! It seems it’s always something.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I survived my one week intensive course last week in Grad School. Above is a photo of the whole class.  I was in class for 48 hrs in 6 days. I picked up Hannah after class around 5:30 pm everyday, and did homework after she went to bed. I had papers due everyday. The class was Multi-Cultural Counseling, which I loved. I could not believe how much I learned in such a short time. I really believe the class changed me.

I also found out that I made A’s in all 3 of my classes from my first semester, which was a very stressful semester! I am SOOOO relieved! I needed some good news. I start 3 more classes next week, and still have to write my 12 page research paper for last week’s class. So, it’ll be another busy week, but what’s new. All I know is I don’t have Hannah next weekend, so I will have that time if needed…..it will be needed!

As far as recovering from surgery, it’s been a long one. It’s been a month since the surgery, and I still have 2 more weeks in the neck brace. I have grown tired of it. I have also found that I am self-concious about the scar across the front of my neck. I just didn’t expect it to be so obvious. Here I am, single, and look like I tried to commit suicide! I’m afraid to even think about dating. I’ve never seen myself as perfect looking, but I’ve been self-confident. That’s all changed. I know the scar will fade, and probably not even be noticable….eventually. But what about NOW?!?!?! *sigh* I know wors things can happen. On the bright side, I have noticed that I get better service in stores when I come in with my neck brace. I mean, really! It is obvious! For example, at Target they let me return stuff that I would have NEVER gotten away with returning normally. I didn’t even have a reciept for a couple items. They didn’t even carry one of them anymore, so she used a bar code from a totally different item. HA! I probably made money from that return. So, I guess there are benefits.

Sorry...I had to put my cat in there, because she is my stress reliever.  This is her favorite spot.  I have to walk by this sofa all day long.  And she is just irresistible!  I then have to put my face in her soft belly and listen to her purrrr...  It's heaven, hence her name, Angel.