The Chance to Love and Be Loved Exists No Matter Where You Are

Archive for June, 2014

Once Upon A Time…

When I was a young girl, I wanted a fairytale romance. I grew up believing I would get it. I deserved it! One day, my knight in shining armor would come sweep me off my feet and we would ride off to live in our posh castle somewhere. Ok, so I knew that wasn’t REALLY going to happen… But I at least wanted a cool, romantic story to tell our children about how we met! That would be easy enough, right?!

In my teens and early 20’s, I found no Prince Charming. But I did find a comedic lot of toad-like suitors! From one guy who took me to a strip club on our first date, to another who thought that taking me to a great, expensive dinner was enough for him to deserve dessert! I was with one guy for five years who was nowhere near a prince, much less his footman! When he ended up cheating on me, I decided I’d had enough. I was done! No more men…. EVER!!! I was going to be an old maid for the rest of my life, or a nun. Anything but men! I hung up my glass slippers, threw out my fairytale notions, and washed my hands of them. I quit believing in love or anything close to it. But, as they say, the moment you stop looking is the moment fate steps in!

My mom had been friends for about 10 years with a lady from her work. She’d been to our house several times, and I had been to hers once or twice. She had a son just a year and a half younger than me, but we were complete and total opposites! In high school, he had been the party hard jock type, I was the bookworm, artsy type. He was adventurous and had gone to the other side of the country for college, while I had stayed in town for mine. He lived in Florida and I still lived at home in Ohio. No way was there a match here!

He came to town to cook his mother and some of her friends dinner for Mother’s day. Did I mention he was also a very talented chef? Since our mothers were friends, mine was invited to the dinner, but she was unable to attend because she had out of town plans. So, I was invited instead. I had never eaten gourmet food before. In fact, I was the type of girl to go to a gourmet restaurant and order a hamburger… well done! I told his mother that I would go, but not to try and fix me up with him. I was done with men. I later found out he had said the same thing. No time for a girlfriend. I guess we were just asking for it!

I arrived at his mother’s house just a bit early. She walked me into the kitchen to meet her son, and I came face to face with the man who would revive my faith in love at first sight! He was wearing an old t-shirt, jeans that were frayed around his bare feet, and a pirate’s smile. I literally felt an electrical charge as I stood there and looked at him, shocked! I just had to touch him, so I reached out my hand and shook his, which was uncharacteristic of me. I’m more of a wave and say hello kind of girl. I felt the electricity pass between us. I was in total awe of this man. I hung out in the kitchen until dinner was served and asked him a million questions. “What’s this?” and “What are you going to do with that?” And, uncharacteristic of him, he politely answered all of my questions.

At dinner, he brought in the most beautiful food I’d ever seen! It looked like something straight out of a gourmet magazine, and had exotic names I’d never heard of… most of which I can’t remember today. But the food! Oh, I remember that well! We had ox tail and lobster bisque, and everything was piled up beautifully, towering above my plate. I looked at my pillar of cuisine and wondered how I was supposed to eat such gorgeous food. It looked like a work of art! His mother laughed at me and knocked over my tower with her unused fork. “Not so pretty now, huh?” she proclaimed.

He introduced the various dishes and asked how everyone was enjoying them, making eye contact with me as he asked about mine. Blushing, I told him it was wonderful! I’d never tasted anything like it! I looked at this man and thought, Good Lord, he is way too hot for me and way out of my league. There was no way he would be as attracted to me as I was to him.

After dinner was cleared, I was chatting with someone in the kitchen when he walked in and handed me the cordless phone. “Here’s the phone. If you have any plans tomorrow, give them a call and cancel them, because you are going out with me.”

“What?!” I asked indignantly. How dare this man, whom I had just met and barely knew, make such demands on me! I was miffed… but excited all at the same time. He actually liked me!

“Look,” he said, “I just called and changed my flight plans so that I could stay one more day to take you out. So, are you going to call?”

Inside, I was melting. He had changed his plans for me!!! How could this man who was so attractive be that interested in me? What had I done that had intrigued him so much? So, of course, I took the phone and canceled my plans.

The rest of the evening went by relatively quickly. At the end, he walked me to my car and we chatted for a bit, making plans for the next day. He also told me then that he had no plans to ever marry or have children. I was disappointed, but thought, what the heck, we’ll see where this goes! Then, as I turned to get into my car, he kissed my hand and we said goodbye.

The next day, he picked me up and we went to a very nice, local Italian restaurant called Vincenzo’s. We had great, non-stop conversation and he made me laugh often. He asked if I would cook for him some time, and I thought, Oh dear Lord, he wants me to cook?! But, of course, I said yes. By this time, I would have done just about anything this man had asked of me. He told me later that this was one thing that impressed him about me, since so many other women were too intimidated to cook for him.

We met up with his sister, some of their friends, and my best friend and went to a Reds baseball game. After the game, I jokingly said that he hadn’t bought me a souvenir to remember our date by, and he reached up into a tree and picked a leaf and gave it to me. I still have it today. 😉

I was sad for the date to be over, because I was sure that I would never see him again. He just lived too far away. But he said he would call and made me promise not to date anyone else. As soon as his flight landed and he was once again in Florida, he called me to tell me he had made it home safe. For the next month or so, we chatted by phone for hours on end, sometimes late into the night. Then, one night he called and said he had made a decision. He was moving back to Cincinnati. He wanted us to become more serious. He really thought we had something and wanted to give it a more honest shot.

I flew down to Florida to help him pack up his things and to drive with him as he moved his life back home. He wanted to show off the restaurant where he worked, so, on his last night there, I ate at a little corner table from a menu specifically created for me. I was treated like a princess, being doted on by the staff. Afterwards, he told me he had a surprise for me, something he knew I would love. It turned out he had some friends with a sailboat. They took us on a midnight cruise. We sat on the bow of the boat, our feet dangling over the side and drank wine and enjoyed each other’s company. As we sailed through the water, a pod of dolphins emerged and swam in our wake. I was utterly thrilled! I had never felt so special. It was definitely the best date of my life! I was sad to leave Florida, but home to Cincinnati we came.

I stayed the night with him that first night, intending to go back to my house the next day, but that didn’t happen. I stayed three nights before I would return to my house. After one night, neither of us could sleep and he asked me to come back. I had never moved in with a man before, but after that night, we never lived apart again.

We stayed in Ohio for a year. Then, he missed Florida so much, he wanted to go back. I moved with him, living in a beautiful condo right on the beach. Our daughter came along just over a year after that. As anyone who has ever lived in Florida knows, the perils of hurricane season took away our living space, as well as my car. But we had each other and our daughter, and we were safe, thanks to the uncanny luck and intelligence of my then boyfriend.

He was soon offered a position at a resort in the Bahamas, and off we went again. We were furnished with a house on the resort, rent free. The island was three miles long and half a mile wide. The locals were very friendly, often looking after our daughter if she was seen in the company of someone who was a stranger to them. When one of our friends or family came to visit and took our daughter for a walk without us, they were asked who they were, since all of the locals knew our daughter. It seemed to me the safest place to raise our child. I was in heaven. I was a stay at home mother and wife on a beautiful island with pink sands and clear blue waters. I missed my family tremendously, but I was on the adventure of a lifetime!

Shortly after arriving, he gave me one of the greatest shocks of my life. He had ventured alone to one of the near by islands for a business trip. I had stayed at home with our daughter. When he had returned, he gave me a cold Big Mac, something I had been pinning for! Cold or not, it tasted wonderful! We settled in on the floor on a homemade bed of couch pillows and blankets and watched a movie together. At the end, he said, non nonchalantly, “Oh yes, I forgot! I did get you something! But you will have to close your eyes and put out your hands.” Ever the eternal prankster, I was alarmed! What could this be? If he had actually gotten ME something, he would have said something about it as soon as he had gotten home. So, I was certain this was a joke.

I cringed as he came closer to me, thinking it was probably something slimy or something made to scare me. “Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me!” I repeated.

“Ok, fine, then open your eyes” he said, sighing.

I opened my eyes and he sat there before me with an open ring box in his hands. “Will you marry me?’

I looked at him, confused. He HAD said he would never get married, right? “Are you serious?!” I asked.

“Uh, yeah, pretty serious.”

“OH…. MY…. God!!!! Oh my God, oh me God, oh my God…”

I don’t know how long I babbled on like a fool, until he finally said, “You haven’t really answered me. Is that a yes?”

I leapt at him and screamed, “YES! YES! YES!!!!”

We talked about doing a wedding in Scotland, since his heritage was there and since I had always dreamed of getting married in a castle. But then settled on a wedding back home in Ohio so that our friends and family could afford to be there. Besides, there was a small castle near where we grew up, which would be perfect! These dreams were dashed when I returned to our Bahamian home after meeting my mother in Florida to go dress shopping. The officials told me that I was not a resident and that I would have to leave within two weeks unless one of three things happened. I would either have to get a work permit, and therefore work, marry a Bahamian, or marry someone who had a work permit. I had all of two weeks to accomplish this, or move back to Ohio without the father of my child.

One day before the two weeks was up, I walked barefoot on pink sands, laughing and giggling uncontrollably as rain sprinkled lightly down on us, and said I do to the love of my life. Reverend Flowers (yes, I swear that was his real name) asked him to “Repeat after me. I Joshua, take you, Angela…” Silence. He forgot to repeat, he was so nervous. More laughter, and I thought, thank God he messed up first! But I have to remember to repeat, too.

Then it was my turn. “Repeat after me. I, Angela, take you, Joshua…” Again, silence. Had I really just done the same thing?! And so, our wedding was a tell-tale sign of the laughter and love that we would often share during our marriage.

As is the Bahamian custom, the locals crafted an arch made of palm fronds and beautiful orange native flowers. Our reception was held at our house and our first dance was on the rug in our living room, while a two man band played in our bedroom doorway, beating a goombay drum and singing the rhythmic tunes like only the Bahamians can. It was a perfect night filled with love, laughter, and friends.

Kisses

That was nine years ago, this June. It seems like only yesterday. I am still as in love with him and just as crazy about him now as I was then. We are so blessed to be able to still care for each other so much. I often wonder what it is about us that has carried us this long, when I see so many other relationships fail. Looking back, I realize that my childhood dreams really have come true. I did find my prince, although I would be more likely to label him as King Midas because he has an uncanny golden touch. Everything he does works out, even when it looks like there is no possible way. I may not have lived in a castle, but I have lived in some pretty nice places. I may not have had the two or three children that I wanted, but I do have one beautiful daughter who I absolutely adore, and can’t see how I could love another as much as her. My life may not be perfect by other’s standards, but I couldn’t see living it any other way! This, my friends, is the fairytale I wanted to be able to tell my child about one day, and I think it’s a pretty fantastic story, if I do say so myself! I pray that you all find your own fairytale happiness!

 

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Aside

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day is quickly approaching, and as it is, all of us, sons and daughters both, are running around trying to think of the perfect gift for that one man who has done so much in our lives. I had a friend ask me the other day if I thought dads really did enjoy getting ties for Father’s Day. I said that maybe some do, maybe if they are professional business men. Other than that, I don’t suppose they do. But yet, we give them these ties every year. So, we went through a list of gift ideas and tried to think of something that our dads didn’t already have.

You know what the problem is with getting a grown man a gift? Like most adults with jobs, if they want something, they go out and get it. They usually have everything they need! Sure, you can buy them another car wash gift certificate packet. They could always use more of those. But, is it going to mean anything?! Are they going to look back at that car wash years from now and think, “Wow, my kid really loves me?” Probably not. So, the question still stands, what is the best gift to give your father?

Reflecting back to memories shared with my own father sometimes helps me to come up with the perfect gift idea! I think my favorite memory is of the day that I was playing in my room with my dolls. He called me to come into the living room quickly! So, I ran into the room and he was sitting on one of the chairs with the radio on. He said, “Do you hear this song? They made up a song about you!” It was the Rolling Stones playing “Angie”. He patted his knee and I crawled up into his lap. He sang the whole song to me while I looked up into his eyes with awe. I don’t remember if he sang it well, or if he said all the right words. But I do remember feeling loved. My daddy was singing a song that was written about me and was playing on the radio! I was thrilled! Best memory ever!

I also remember a vacation where we stayed at a hotel on the beach. Early one morning, before the sun even came up, my dad woke my brother and me up, whispering to tell us to hurry up and get dressed, but be quiet so we didn’t wake anyone else up. I slipped out of my pj’s and put on my shirt and shorts and we quietly tip toed out the door. We walked on the peaceful beach until we found a good spot and sat down and watched the sun come up. It was the first sunrise I think I’d ever seen. It was beautiful, and I shared it with my brother and my dad!

Thinking back on these beloved memories, I wonder what I could do to show my father that I love him and am thankful for the memories that he has created for our family. And the answer comes to me! Create more memories! Father’s Day isn’t about buying your father something. It’s about celebrating the memories and the love he has shared with you! It’s about thanking him for being a great dad to you. Thanking him for everything he has taught you, for every time he has worried about you, or been proud of you. Thanking him for a lifetime of love. So, the only real way to honor that is by sharing with him the one thing money can’t buy, your time!

So, whatever that means to you, be it taking your father on a picnic, or going to a ball game, your valuable time is the most precious gift you can give to your father! One that I am sure you both will cherish for years to come.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there. I hope you have a wonderful, fun filled day packed with beautiful memories!

I Think I Swallowed My Mother!!!

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When I was younger, my mother would dole out advice as easily as the wind blows through an open window. And, of course, like any other good daughter, I’d roll my eyes, and say, “Sure, whatever, Mom.” And then absolutely ignore her! I didn’t want to hear it, because she didn’t know what she was talking about! In one ear and out the other. It didn’t even have time to make a mark on my brain. Didn’t even register… Or so I thought!

I sometimes think that we all have an old Bata computer locked away somewhere in the back of our brains. It picks up all that useless advice and information that we think we leave behind and forget about. Then, it spits it out just when we need it. I know, because this happens to me all the time! Sometimes without me even realizing it until much later.

My mother’s words fly out of my mouth so fast, sometimes I wonder if I could have possibly swallowed her and now she is yelling to people for help from the pit of my stomach, all the while giving out much needed advice to help better everyone’s life! Now, this may sound like I am complaining. Let me assure you that I am not! My mother is and always has been an amazingly intelligent woman! She knows things that you can only find on Google! She’s like my own personal Google, MapQuest, and Nature Guide all rolled into one. So, if anyone is more intelligent, it’s her, not me! I try to be just like her, all the while hating myself for turning into my mother… Believe me, it’s a very strange place to be in! But this amazing woman is one of my very best and closest friends. So, having her words fly out of my mouth is an honor. But, it’s funny how many times we, as teenagers, and maybe even still today, think that we know better than our mothers and then get upset when our children threat us the same way. I try to remind myself every now and then how intelligent my mother is, and I try, when I feel like I am not listening again and maybe thinking that I am smarter or that I know better, to take a deep breath and listen, just listen. I try to remember that no matter who is right, she or I, that she gives me the advice with love and for the purpose of helping me out, and that she usually knows something that I don’t… well, Google almost ALWAYS knows something we don’t, right?!

I look at my daughter and wonder if she will ever feel the same about me. I hope that she does. I realize that some day, all too soon, she will be a teenager and she will be the one thinking that I know nothing. That I am the one who is clueless. I relish the fact that right now, I am the smartest woman she knows (her words, not mine). I wish that she would feel that way forever, but we all know that nothing stays the same, especially when hormones get involved! But I know that we will make it through, just as my mother and I did.

When I was a teenager, we rarely got into fights. She would usually step back and let me have my fit. Then, once I saw how silly I was being, she would help me to see the truth, to see where I was wrong… And then, she would tell me my punishment for misbehaving! lol Her favorite story to tell all my friends is of the day that we (mostly me) got into a screaming match and she asked me to go to my room to cool off. I did, but slammed my bedroom door as hard as I could! My punishment for that? She confiscated my door until I could learn how to shut it properly! That made changing my clothes hard! 😉 But once I earned it back, I didn’t slam it again. Well, once, but I promptly opened it again and apologized. Lesson learned!

While in basic training for the Army, many of the girls were having a hard time. Their parents or boyfriends weren’t writing to them or weren’t writing often enough. They were struggling with the Army’s difficult routines and lifestyle. Somewhere from my Bata computer came the words they needed to comfort them. They were amazed  and impressed. They said I was so smart, and asked how I knew just what to say. I told them it just came naturally, but really, it was my mother speaking from the pit of my stomach. It was all those years of her repeated advice, the words I thought that I had ignored. During one of our very rare phone calls from basic, I told her how amazed I was. That I thought that I had been ignoring her, but somehow had captured all those invaluable words she had so easily doled out on my brother and me. I had brought her with me to basic, one of the most difficult times of my life, when I had needed my mother so much. I also told her about the struggles my friends were going through. And do you know what my amazing mother did?! She sent THEM letters and notes and mail, but most importantly, she sent them a mother’s love. And they felt it. They told me what I already knew, that I was one of the luckiest daughters in the world. I had a mother whose love was so big, she shared it even with complete strangers that she had never met. She made a rough time in our lives a little more bearable. I will never forget that.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, if I do turn out like my mother, I couldn’t imagine a better person to be. If I did swallow her words, her advice, I couldn’t imagine a sweeter flavor to consume. My mother truly is a one of a kind person, and I should be so lucky to turn out just like her… even if I do fight it sometimes. 😉

Oh, and Mom, I forbid you to use this knowledge against me in any future disagreements! Ha! Love you, Mom! You’re the best!!!!

 

Babies on the Loose!

Yesterday, as I was driving home with our dinner, I came upon a young boy, maybe 2 years old? He was old enough to walk and say a few words, but  not really old enough to put together sentences. He was at the edge of the curb, about to step into the street to cross the road, I presume. The beginning of my road not only twists left and right, but is also a bit hilly, so you can never see what is around the bend until you are right up on it. Alarmed, I slammed on my breaks, put the hazard lights on, switched the car into park, and got out. Just a moment later, a few more cars came around the bend, almost hitting my car, proving my concern. They leaned out of the window asking me what was going on, if I knew the child or who he belonged to. I told them no, and they shook their heads and drove on.

I asked the child where his mommy and daddy were. He just looked at me. I thought of maybe picking him up. I was worried he’d still run into the street. I looked across the street, thinking that he knew someone over there or that he may have had a purpose for going over there, but I saw no one in the parking lot. It was in front of some apartment buildings, and as I looked around, I still saw no one. I continued to ask him where he had come from, where his adults were at. I was with him long enough that I could have snatched him and been gone without anyone being the wiser. This worried me… a lot!

After about 2 or 3 minutes, someone in a back apartment came out, just looking around, only slightly concerned. I yelled to him and asked if he knew who this child belonged to. He walked (WALKED?!!!!) out and picked him up. As he came out, I asked him again if this was his child and told him that he had nearly walked out into the street and that I was worried for him. Without a word, he simply picked up the boy, turned around and walked away. No thank you, no nothing!

There was a woman waiting for him half way between their apartment and where we were. She did not seem concern either. Once she saw that the man had the boy, she just turned around and walked back. No big deal.

Once I got home and told the Hubbs, he said I should call the police and tell them. There began the inner battle!

So many times you read about these children that are found walking down the street alone, and we think, where were their parents?! How did this kid get away without anyone noticing?! I, personally, am a hover mother… I feel this makes me terrible, like I’m suffocating my child, now 9 years old. But, she never got away from me. She may have gotten out of the house, but never past the front doorstep before I was running after her. This doesn’t make me a better mother than the next. It just makes me one of those crazy, psycho moms! I am for sure a mama bear… Mess with my child, and you are for sure to get messed up yourself!

But I am also a Libra, which means that my heart and head are always concerned with both sides of the story, how others are feeling. So, here I am concerned with the child’s well being, but then, what about the mom? Too many times, we, as mothers, feel less than. I don’t know one single mom who can look in the mirror and say, “Yes, I have done everything right! I have never failed my child! I feel like a great mom!” Yes, we may have our moments, but it’s not a constant thing. And we feel that the world beats us up in newspapers and movies for every little mistake. So, had I called the police, I could see them coming and giving her a lecture about keeping a better watch on her little guy. And, while she didn’t seem concerned (not sure why, because I would have been kissing him all over and been thanking God that he was alive and ok, and that it was a good Samaritan that had found him and not some perv), maybe she did go into her home, making a promise to make a conscious effort to keep a better eye on him. Maybe God had put me there at that moment to be part of her lesson, to keep her from a worse lesson…

But, as the time has gone on, I wonder, did I make the right decision in not calling the police? As I have driven by there since, I look in their direction very closely. I don’t want it to happen again, especially without me being there. So, my mama bear instincts have kicked in for that sweet little guy, too, and I don’t even know him! But I want to go to their door and talk to them, ask them what happened. Of course, I wouldn’t. That would be too psycho of me… But I can still think about it! 😉

What would have happened, had I called the police? Did I change anything just by being the one to catch him? Was that the wake-up call that they needed? Part of me thinks not, but part of me really hopes so, for the boy’s sake. And I pray that I did not make the wrong decision, that nothing bad like that happens again. But if it does, and mama bear is there to see it again… Smokey the Bear will definitely be hearing about it!

For the Love of God….

Since today is Sunday, I thought I should talk about God. I mean, it is His day, after all. I did have another blog that I really wanted to post, but maybe I will get to that later today.

Anyway, if you have read any of my other blogs, you would know that I am a religious person. No, I’m not what some call a Bible Beater, not that I think there is anything wrong with that. But I am on a journey to find God. Please, if you know me, do not be offended. This is my opinion and my feelings about my own journey. I never share names and I usually don’t even share how I know a person in my posts. So if you feel that it is you, only you and I know who you are. That being said….

I was raised in a Nazarene church and had gone to a Catholic elementary school, so God has always been in my life. I didn’t much appreciate Him when I was younger. He was like an extra father telling me what to do, and as everyone knows, when you are a kid, the less parenting, the better! So, I wanted to be closer, but I didn’t want the extra rules. My parents had gotten a divorce when I was about 5 years old or so. My father remarried and my mom did as well, but not until I was about to graduate from high school. My step mother was the one who “made” us go to church every other Sunday, when we were with our father. My mother was the one who had put us into Catholic elementary for 2nd grade through the middle of 4th grade. Man, that was a strict school! We had to wear uniforms and were made to make beautiful cursive lines and were called out to the front of the class if we didn’t! But, I digress…

So, God has always been with me, watching over me. My new step mother came with two step sisters, and no, this is not a Cinderella story! I actually liked my new family! I wanted to be just like my new sisters. They were both older than me and way cooler in my younger eyes! But, at church, they were always the darlings. They got invited to all of the parties and everyone fawned over them. Yes, I did go to some of the parties, but there were so many that I missed. And, now, with my big girl, grown up eyes, I see that maybe those other parties were on the opposite weeks from when our father had us. But, as a kid, I felt shunned. I felt left out at church.

When I got older, I missed a Sunday after prom, and when I came back again, I was asked how my prom went. I smiled and said it had been a great time. But then, someone, and I don’t recall who it was exactly, said something along the lines that I needed to pray for forgiveness for committing the sins that I had after prom, implying that I did what everyone always assumes a teenage girl does the night of her prom! I hadn’t! I was still completely pure at that time! So, I was furious! At that time, I turned from God. After all, those were HIS people! And I hated how they made me feel. No, not all of them did that, but when you are a teen, even just one or two means all! So, I ran. I still went back for visits when my step mother “forced” me to. But it wouldn’t be until years later that I would even begin my search for my “Church Home” again. And yet, He was still there.

I had an older friend who was dead set on saving my soul. God lover ‘er, because she put her best effort into it. She dragged me from church to church to church trying to help me figure out what religion I felt comfortable with. She said it didn’t matter to her. She just wanted me to know God. But there was always something unsettling about each. I guess I just wasn’t ready. They were all nice people, but it was the rules or the ceremony, or the church was too big or too small, or… something! I worked with her, and once I was laid off there, we lost contact.

Fast forward, and I was now married and living in the Bahamas with a babe in my arms. Looking at her, I knew I had to do something. She could NOT be a Godless child! She was the most precious gift I had been given, so I had to find God, for her sake. So, I began to search on my own. The problem for me then, was that in the Bahamas, you are either a Bible Beater or a heathen, and I didn’t feel like I was either one. But still, I searched. I finally found a church that wowed me! They played live rock music every Sunday. It was like being at a live concert! And if you know anything about me, it’s that music is my doorway into ANYTHING! I have such a passion for music. It oozes from my very being! So, this church, with it’s live rock music that captured me, was my very first Church Home! They accepted me just as I was, with blue jeans or dresses, shorts and a tank top, whatever. They were just happy that I was there.

One Sunday, I had a feeling that I just NEEDED to be at church. I got up early, got our daughter ready and was getting ready to leave, when the Hubbs asked me what I was doing. He needed our single car to get to work that day. Usually, he stayed at home and didn’t leave for work until after I returned from church. I was steaming mad! Mad enough that I plopped our beautiful daughter into a stroller and decided to walk all the way to church…. even though there really wasn’t enough time to walk there and be able to make service. I got to the busy road that lead there and I started to pray my tail off. I said, “Alright, God, here’s your chance! If You wanna prove that you really are there for me, if YOU want me at church today, then YOU are going to have to make a way! I’m doing my part, now it’s your turn!” And believe it or not, I swear it’s the truth, a public transportation bus pulled up next to me, stopped and asked me if he could offer me a ride. I told him I had no money on me, and he smiled and said God already paid for me. I lost it. The craziest part about this is that in the Bahamas, public transportation doesn’t run on Sundays! He should not have been there! It could only have been God’s plan! That was way too big of a coincidence. So, I made it to church about 5 minutes late, but in time for the music that I loved so much.

And there have been so many times since that I have done my part and asked God to please do His, and most of the time, He has come through. Now, I can’t say that I am the perfect Christian. I totally am not! And I still have my selfish needs that I tend to first… a lot, but at least I wasn’t walking away anymore.

When we moved back to the States, I asked Him to please help me find a Church Home, since I had failed so miserably on my own. I went to a few, but one Sunday, I walked into a church and the band started playing…. There I was, Home again! Tingles and all! I have since moved to their sister church, a smaller version of the original. And I find that with a smaller crowd, I feel less alone. It’s a non-denominational church, and again, they accept me just as I am, blue jeans and all! I felt so alive there and so welcomed, that I actually became a youth leader for kindergarteners and first graders! I love it! And when I’m not there, my kids miss me! I feel so loved and appreciated!

Looking back, I know that God has always been there, whether I noticed or not. Every job I ever had, there was someone mentioning Him to me, as if it was Him asking if I was ready to make up or not. And there were things that happened in my life that I just know would have turned out differently without Him. And girlfriends that would come to me, telling me something amazing that had happened and gave him the credit. At the time, I would just roll my eyes and think in my head, “Yeah, right! Guess He loves you more than me, too!”

Anyway, I’m going to get off my religious high horse now. I just wanted to share with you where I am on my walk, since I mention Him a lot. I don’t look down on ANYONE from any other walk of life. I don’t feel that is how God wants us to be. I love everyone! It doesn’t matter to me if you are Christian, Muslim, Catholic, or any other religion! It doesn’t matter to me your background, or if you are gay or straight. In my belief, God loves us all, every color, every shape, every everything! And that is my opinion!