Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Week, in Numbers

22: Hours spent removing the lights from my “pre-lit” tree after half went out.

.5: Hours spent putting new lights on said tree.

1: Ornaments broken

152,456,710: Muscles currently hurting after my first body pump class Tuesday night

8: Pounds on the barbell in said class

39: Cuss words uttered under my breath during the body pump class

Pounds I will have on the bar in class tonight

828: Cuss words I expect to utter in class tonight

0: Christmas presents purchased in 2010

9,843: Times I have said “Leave your brother alone”

2: Times I have said “Give your brother a hug!”

3: Viewings of “Elf”

Times I have annoyed my kids by answering their phone calls with "Buddy the Elf, What's your favorite color?"

34: Number game entries I created yesterday for friends

4: Number game entries created about me

0: Percent chance I will go on a date

2: Days until I have all four kids with me

Percent sure I am that everything’s gonna be OK.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Face

I used to write this blog from a place of pain.

From the day that I found out I’d lost custody of my teenagers until the day I got one of them back, much of the time is a blur of pain, regret, angst, heartache... As people close to me know, I am very adept at burying all that negativity and putting on a happy face because life requires that. My other kids required that. But there were more nights than not that I cried myself to sleep. I was so filled with self-loathing over allowing things to happen the way that they did that I began to change who I was. Not in ways visible to strangers, or even good friends. But it was there. I blamed no one else for what happened. I took the responsibility entirely. In retrospect, I was perhaps a bit hard on myself, but as a mother, my most basic, primal need is to protect my children and I had failed.

During that time, I also found a determination that I didn’t know I possessed. My entire focus for exactly 18 months was one thing. Get my son back. Everything I did was for that purpose. Every corner I cut financially, the decision to move in with my best friend when I did to save money for an awesome attorney. Birthday presents that didn’t get purchased. And I documented everything. If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone in a similar situation, it is this – let NOTHING go undocumented.

For legal reasons, I can’t get into the case here. But because of many factors, I now have my son back, where he wants to be, where I want him to be.
And by way of showing how I feel about this, allow me to just say...

I need to thank many people who made that possible.

First, and forever first, my Mom. Not only has she helped me financially in ways she was in no way equipped to do, she is always a willing sounding board. She never judged or criticized. Made me believe that I was still a good mom in spite of what the opposing side was trying to beat into my head. She spent hours on her knees in prayer, every night. She went with me to lawyer appointments, court dates, and I will never, ever, ever have the words or the means to thank her enough for what she’s done for me.

Second, my grandparents, who also helped financially in spite of their health issues and other obstacles. They were wonderful. They made their opinions about my exes very clear and that too helped me to realize that maybe it wasn’t all my fault after all. I am so very grateful to them for their support.

I have to thank my son, too, for not giving up on me and believing that I was doing everything I could do to get him back. He never once questioned me. My little ones are also the reason I kept going forward – getting up, going to work, going to church, carrying on with life because it is still worth living as long as they are in it.

My friends – my best friends, especially Kris…they’ve listened to me cry, plotted, groused, screamed, and been almost as emotionally invested in the outcome as I have been. I don’t know what I did to get so lucky but my friends are absolutely amazing.

My family – those who prayed, cried, worried, and assured me over and over again that things would be ok. You know what? They were right.

My attorney – who is absolutely phenomenal and I would pit her against ANYONE in this state.

Last but never least, my God. My faith never wavered, in spite of the fact that all of the “bad stuff” happened after I became a Christian, as if it was happening to test my faith. Fortunately, I knew that, and I prayed it out. He is ever-faithful, and ever-present.

This chapter is not quite closed, but we’re almost there. I finally feel as if, after a year and a half under water, that I can breathe again. It’s the best feeling. I sleep like a rock every night. Things in my life right now, today, are maybe the best they’ve ever been, and getting exponentially better every day.

I am a happy, happy girl, and the face you see now, that’s the real thing. For the first time in a long time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Flame

This was originally posted earlier this year; I am re-posting some of my favorites old blogs before I start blogging again on a regular basis.

Mama’s got a brand new bag.

No, I don’t mean literally, although I seriously am needing a new Coach purse.

What I mean is, I’ve got a whole new philosophy on relationships and it took one ten minute video to turn it all around.

Last night, I went to the Singles Life Group. At the meeting, after some fried chicken and fellowship, we watched a video entitled “Flame” by Nooma. I think that’s right. In any case, the narrator discusses three different words for love as found in the Bible in it’s original Hebrew. I’ll try to break it down in the way that I understood it.

The first level of love, or flame, is referred to as “Raya,” which loosely translated means friend or companion. This is the beginnings of love but is really more about just liking someone, enjoying their company.

The second is “Ahava,” which means the “love of the will.” This is the commitment level, where you choose to join your life with someone else. This is the foundation of true love, deeper than friendship. The place where you put the needs of the one you love before your own.

The final level is “Dod,” which is the sexual part of love. The bow-chicka-bow-wow part.

See how it comes last? AFTER friendship and commitment?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

The three flames are all important, and you can have one without the other two, or two without the third. But that’s not the way it is intended. God wants us to love our mates fully, completely, and in every sense of the word. I think my problem is that I’ve been telling myself that one out of three isn’t bad. I can honestly say that I’ve never tried to be friends with any man BEFORE pursuing a relationship. It has happened accidentally once or twice, but truthfully, when it has, I find I am lacking the third element. But instead of saying that I want to hold out for all three, I desperately fan the one or two and pray that they will sustain the relationship.

It doesn’t work that way.

So my new take is this. I want to be friends first. Good friends. Best friends. If the other feelings follow, then I’ll know. There won’t be any second guessing, and I won’t be left wondering what happened, and where I went wrong. I’m not going to rush ANYTHING. EVER. AGAIN. If there is a lesson it’s taken me 37 years to learn, that is the one. TAKE YOUR TIME. If it is meant to be, truly, he won’t go anywhere. That’s probably my biggest issue. I love my father, but he wasn’t exactly there for me growing up. When my parents divorced, he just wasn’t there. I don’t want to blame him for my problems or decisions, I hate that cliché where women blame their fathers for not being able to trust men. But I think I understand it a bit better. I tend to rush, and I think it’s because if/when a man truly gets to know me, he won’t want to be with me anymore. I’m not saying that because I lack confidence. I’m saying I can be kind of a pain sometimes, and I’m aware of that. I can be high maintenance. I can be moody. I can be a WOMAN. And deep down, I think that they’ll figure that out. I know how crazy that sounds but there it is.

So again, I begin. Armed with a fresh set of eyes and a more realistic and, hopefully, pragmatic outlook on this whole love thing.

Don’t be sad for me. I’m not sad. I’m ecstatic. I’m going to finally have what I’ve waited my entire life to find, and God is going to deliver it to me in HIS time. I just have to be patient and let it happen. Naturally. NORMALLY.

I’m putting away the gas can and Zippo. Let lightning start the fire.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Where did you go???

So people have been wondering where the blog went...

The short answer is: away, for now.

The long answer I can't get into, but I miss the writing, so I'm back. It will just look a little different for a while.

Things have been going...ok. There are several things up in the air right now that I still can't talk about, but know that i have appreciated all the prayers, kind words, and support I have gotten over the past few months. And before anyone gets all morbid, no one died, nothing like that. Just some life stuff going on with kids.

But it's all going to be ok.

I'm going to re-publish some of my innocuous posts, just because I MISS MY BLOG, DANG IT. I'll try to keep them in order, but I make no promises.

I'm coming back. Not to worry...
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Love to you all!!!

Fawn Amber