Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


WWW As My World Turns

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sometimes in the middle of an ordinary life

Close to the beginning of this year I wondered how to trust and love again after the shocking revelation that my now ex-husband had not only been having an affair, but had been living with her in another city, as well as admitting to drug use over the span of the last 2 1/2 years of our lives together. I posted, "God is the ONLY reason that I have the strength that I do. That I can look forward to my future. That I can look forward to loving again when the right person comes along." God's strength and His grace is sufficient for all times, all situations.

Well, the right person came along a heck of a lot sooner than expected. He is, and always has been, my very favorite ex-boyfriend and we dated back in 92-93. The only one I've dated that never had anything wrong with him in some way. It was my misguided youth that pushed him away. That turned my back and walked away. I thought he was "too good" for me. And I was terrified he would never leave the family farm up in Iowa. While I AM a country girl, I'm not exactly farmer's wife material.

We reconnected this year, shortly after I announced my divorce. Actually, we'd reconnected in January of last year, renewing our friendship and discovering a mutual love of many surprising things, but he made the first step to call this year after hearing about the divorce.

Things were different this time. Faster, stronger, better... I asked my mom if she was surprised at the speed of how things were going. She said, "not really". When I asked why, she said that it was because the love that we'd always had for each other had never really died. And she's right. He told me that he's never stopped loving me...in 19 years. He says that if he'd have been a little more bold, a little more brave, he would have asked me to marry him back then.

It wouldn't have lasted because back then. I know this and so does he. I was incapable of being able to TRULY appreciate the goodness, the tender heart and genuine sweet spirit of him, like I am able to now, after all I've been though in the past 15 or so years.

He's always been, "My Dave"...whenever I would speak of him. "My Dave". I've never thought of him as anything else but "mine".

I have to laugh at that a little because I'd asked him back in October how how I'd gotten so lucky to have his love not once but twice in a lifetime. "You're my Nicole"...that was his answer. Sweet, simple, to the point...and beautiful. It brought me to tears. It's really quite possibly the BEST response to a question I've had in pretty much ever. To have his love is...amazing...HE is amazing! ♥

So, I wrote this for him and every word rings true...

“I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.

I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.

I love you for the part of me that you bring out; I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart and passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help dimly seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life, not a tavern but a temple; out of the works of my every day, not a reproach but a song.

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself...”
~ Roy Croft

And that simply is the most wonderful man that I know.

I am the woman who has been blessed to have known incomparable love twice in a lifetime...by the same man. I am the woman who always dreamed of having a fairy tale love, who melts at the words from her favorite movie (The Princess Bride), “This is true love, you think this happens every day?” and who has always hoped to find a love like that in real life...a Storybook Love. I am the woman who has been through the extreme pain of disappointments, letdowns and tears in other relationships, not sure if I would ever find someone who loved me for ME. Who would love ONLY me. For whom I, by myself, would be enough.

I am the woman who put up walls, not to keep everyone out, but to see who cared enough to try and break them down. I am the woman who found the one man in the world who didn’t even have to try to break them down, because with him, there are not and have never been any walls, no barriers, no trying to see if he is worthy of my trust, because he’s always had my trust and with him, there has never been a reason for walls to exist in the first place. I am the woman who calls him my miracle. My Gift from God.

I am the woman foolish enough to have let him go 18 years ago, and the woman extremely thankful to have him back in my life 18 years later. I am the woman he never stopped loving, for whom I AM enough, more than enough, and for that, I am eternally grateful and thankful beyond words. I am the woman who has freely given him her heart. Without hesitation. Without reservation. Without strings or games. Because my heart is his. It belongs to him. And I know that it will always be safe and cherished and treasured with him, as his is with me. As he is, by me.

I couldn’t ask to be loved more completely, more honestly, more beautifully than I am by the love that he has for me. How lucky am I to be deeply, crazily, madly, head over heels in love with my best friend? I am truly blessed beyond measure and I am thankful to God every day and every night for the incredible gift of him and our love.

I can't wait for the start of our forever, for my life with him to begin...

I am the woman who loves him above all others and who is his, and his alone. ♥


And the biggest news of all...though he lives in the Kansas City area...he is moving here in less than 3 weeks for me and the kids. He is getting his own apartment...has his own apartment. He's never lived with anyone because that's just not him. Not once have we ever crossed the line, back then or now. He's worth doing this right. He asked me back in September if I believed that God had brought us back together, to which I replied, "yes, absolutely". And then he said that he wants to honor what it is that God has given us and do this right between us. I love him for that. Crazy chemistry between us? Absolutely! But we both believe that God's blessings are better and brighter if we follow what He says is right. What a man! What a miracle... What a love! And BOY! What a story!

Enjoy the pictures!

Us in 92:

(Last time we saw each other in 94)

Present day (2011)

(First time we'd seen each other in 17 years)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

It's all about Irish Stew today1

Hmmmmm, what to do today on this drizzly day. I know! I think I'll make my Irish stew! It's quite delicious and will be ready for the next two very chilly, rainy days here! And it's perfect for all my friends in the frigid Midwest/Northeast. If y'all are of a mind for an easy and tasty meal that will fill you up, keep you warm and make your tastebuds sing, well, here you go. Happy Saturday!

Nic's Unbelievably Tasty Irish Stew

¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces (I prefer buffalo stew meat)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
2 cups of Guinness beer (I tend to just put in one can)
1 ½ cup of good red wine (I typically go for a Cab or Cab-Merlot blend)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon herbes de provence (basically a bunch of dried herbs pre-mixed - found in the spice aisle)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (¼ stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½ -inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped (if someone has onion allergies onion powder can be used instead)
2 cups ½-inch pieces peeled carrots
1 ½ containers quartered fresh white mushrooms
2 cups sliced celery
Salt and Pepper (after simmering through add approx 1 ½ teaspoons of salt - I use sea salt b/c it's helathier for blood pressure issues than regular salt)

1. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, herbes de provence, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. While the meat and stock are simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.

3. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender (minimum 1 hour). Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat.

Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving. Transfer stew to serving bowl (or individual bread bowls) and serve.

Hint: To thicken a little add some plain instant potato flakes or you can bake and mash some fresh and add to the stew.

Hint: A sourdough bread bowl is the perfect container to serve this delicious stew in!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Walking Down Those Streets Made of Gold

♪♪Showing off her brand spanking new wings and her barbed wire halo♪♪

Amberlyn and I first met at an Aaron Watson concert at John T. Floore's in Helotes, TX...just outside of San Antionio. We'd been online friends for a while, but that was the first time we'd met in person. It was around the end of November, beginning of December a few years ago. From that moment on a fast friendship was forged.

In the Spring of the next year I invited her to go on a tubing trip with my group of friends and she was so worried about if everyone would like her or think her the “strange girl” for having a feeding tube in her stomach that showed in her two piece. She needn’t have worried. She was an angel then as she is now. Everyone loved her and she quickly became a central part of our group of friends. We rallied around her and worked at benefits for her and donated time and money to her charity, Amber’s Angels.

It was so very hard in the fall of 2009 when she was put into a coma and the prognosis was grim for her receiving a pair of lungs due to her condition, even though she was at the top of the national transplant list. It was a razor’s edge that she balanced on, separating the viable from the unviable. Miraculously, no less or more than 24 hours before she would have been taken off the transplant list, and deemed no longer a candidate, the call came in. Amberlyn had a set of lungs.

Sometimes God’s answer is “yes”.

We rejoiced with her. We prayed for her. We loved her. We supported and encouraged her. Amberlyn had a new lease on life. There were several things that she would no longer be able to do, such as go out to the rodeo to listen to her favorite musicians. Horses apparently carry something that can be fatal to lung transplant patients. She could no longer go to concerts where anyone smoked indoors, such as in San Antonio, where there isn’t an indoor smoking ban. But she was happy to be alive and determined to make the best of it. She did so much for her little angels in the hospitals. She made sure to get the awareness about Cystic Fibrosis out there.

She was a champion and a fighter.

I remember the last time we were out together, at Salt Lick for BBQ and then out to dance after. She was laughing, full of life and joy and the world was open to her. This was in July. In August she started having problems again with her lungs and was in and out of the hospitals from then on out.

A couple of months ago we had a conversation about how she wanted to go to Floore’s again to see Aaron on November 26. A group of us were going to go and she was excited about the possibility of going...if her lungs would cooperate. It was going to be a fun time and a good remembrance of how our friendship started out. And she was really looking forward to meeting someone very special to me who was going to be there.

Sometimes God’s answer is “no”.

Amberlyn left us this morning at 8 AM. My heart is broken. She was more like a little sister to me than just a friend. But she is free to fly and soar now as she never was able to here on earth.

November 26 is going to be very hard for me. We are still going to the concert. The person she wanted to meet will still be there. I will have Amberlyn there with me in my heart and will be wishing that she were able to be there as we had planned and hoped she would be able to be. I’ve asked Aaron to play a song for her at the concert. It will be a bittersweet memory to be made this year. I’m not sure how we women, who were very close to her, will handle a couple of songs that Aaron sings that will undoubtedly remind us of Amberlyn and have us wish more than ever that she were with us. I must remember to bring tissues along. It's not going to be a pretty sight, I'm sure.

Amberlyn fought long and hard...now she is at rest. She is loved and missed terribly already and it will be a day of rejoicing and celebration when we meet again, for we know...death is not the end.

Godspeed, my lovely friend...until the next time we meet. I love you, my dear friend.


Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet

Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light

~ Celine Dion

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hearts Are Breaking Across Texas Tonight

My very dear friend, Amberlyn Fett, has been facing an uphill battle, but we know Who holds the future. She is my beautiful friend, young and old at the age of 22. Full of life, but also has gone through so much in her short life. You see, Amberlyn has Cystic Fibrosis and saw far too many others with the same disease lose their battle with it at far younger ages. She is the recipient of a double lung transfer two years ago. Things were going great for her. New lease on life and all that.

Three months ago her lungs started showing signs of rejection. Just little spots here and there of infection. Intensive antibiotic therapy and meds and all sorts of stuff couldn’t take it away. But at least it didn’t get worse...then. Spending most of her time in the hospital the last three months was not where she wanted to be.

Last Thursday they let her out of the hospital and she was able to come home. Things were looking up, but then on Sunday she was rushed back into the hospital and put in ICU...unconscious. Her new, precious lungs had had enough and full rejection set in. Sadly she is not a candidate for another transplant due to the infection in her lungs that come from nowhere and didn’t respond to the meds and antibiotic therapies that they put her through.

They were going to take her off the ventilator this morning. We’ve not heard any word since then. A large group of us stopped and prayed wherever we were at 9 this morning for her, for her family and for her doctors. Patience is not my virtue. The waiting and not knowing is the hardest part. We're not sure if no news is good news and God has blessed her with a miracle or if no news means that our worst fears have come true and that they're just trying to cope with everything right now. I’ve been battling tears off and on this gorgeous day.

What really hurts is that she was hoping to go to the same concert I am going to next week Saturday. The concert of a mutual friend, same place where we met a few years ago and our friendship was born. Now, knowing that, unless God bestows a miracle to her, she will never have that chance again, it breaks my heart and each time I think about it, I start to tear up.

She has been such a fighter. So strong. So giving to the kids in her charity, Amber’s Angels.

We KNOW that God’s will is always done. We’ve been praying for a miracle for Amberlyn. We’ve also been praying that whatever God’s answer is for our prayers, that we are given the grace and the wisdom to accept the answer if it is “no” or “not yet”. Being only human we can’t help but be selfish and want her to stay with us, but the knowledge that the opposite means that she is finally at peace, out of pain, with no more struggles to breathe and in the full Glory of God helps to temper that pain that we feel and the possibility of her loss. The knowledge that death is not the end and we WILL see her again also gives a measure of comfort and peace. But we still can’t help but plead for that miracle.

You can learn more about what she’s been through by watching this video on her benefit site, My Breath of Life.

With all that is going on, it really brings home how fragile and fleeting life is. How we should never take the time we have with others for granted and how we should let those that we love know how much they matter to us. You never know when the last kiss, the last hug, the last "I love you" or the last laugh together will be. Never let the last words you say to someone you love be in anger. Those may be the last words you ever get to say to them. Always let those who are in your heart know that you love them. The most regrettable words are those that are left unspoken and never get a chance to be said.

Thinking about everything she is going through right now and what she has gone through, I got an idea for a song and in about 5 minutes, I had the lyrics to this song, not just for my Amberlyn, but for all of us who are going through the toughest times of their lives. Maybe some day I'll have the music to go with it...but in the meantime, here is Amberlyn's song from me to her and you.

We're praying for you, sweet girl, and we love you!

Hold Me Together

When the road of life
Becomes too much to bear
And I can’t seem to take my next step
When doubts come crashing down
And despair is all around
How I long to know You’re there
So even when I can’t feel You
When the only thing left to do is crumble


Lift me up
Hold me together
Wipe my tears away
Cradle me in Your embrace
Cause I don’t know how to go down this road
I face
So fill me with Your strength
Fill me with Your peace
Be with me always
Hold on to my hand
I’m Your child
Please hold me together

When all round me there is fear
And all I can feel is scared
When the pain is crushing me
When the future is unclear
And I don’t know here to turn
That’s when I need You to help me see

Lift me up
Hold me together
Wipe my tears away
Cradle me in Your embrace
Cause I don’t know how to go down this road
I face
So fill me with Your strength
Fill me with Your peace
Be with me always
Hold on to my hand
I’m Your child
Please hold me together

Though these changes in life are not what I had planned
I can know You are there
And I hold out my hand
To steady myself
In Your gentle embrace
To trust You once more
With the test of all I face

Lift me up
Hold me together
Wipe my tears away
Cradle me in Your embrace
Cause I don’t know how to go down this road
I face
So fill me with Your strength
Fill me with Your peace
Be with me always
Hold on to my hand
I’m Your child
Please hold me together

Just hold me together

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WFW for October 26: Unless you have the faith of a child...

Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Mark 10:15 "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

There are several passages in the Bible where it is mentioned that Heaven belongs to those who are like children. What does that mean? Does that mean we are to behave like children? Children often are extremely selfish, "MINE!", or throw temper tantrums when we tell them, "No!". Obviously those are not Godly qualities, or qualities at all, that we are to mirror.

So what then is God saying? Children have the greatest ability to completely trust and have unwavering faith and belief in something. Have you ever seen the face of a child on Christmas morning, convinced that Santa has been there the night before? Nothing you could say at that point could ever get them to believe otherwise. Have you ever seen a child pray with all their heart and put everything they have into that prayer? Eyes squinched up, hands folded tightly and the fervent requests that they send to God with the full and utmost belief that God is going to answer their prayer?

Ah, now you have an idea of what it means to be "like a little child". Unwavering belief and faith that the impossible is real, that God answers prayers, the uncompromising love that they have for their mommy and daddy and all things wonderful in their eyes.

If we can’t fully believe that God is going to do what He says He will, if we don’t have faith that He is really, truly real and that we are saved, by Grace, through Faith, then we are as lost as one who has let go of the innocence of their youth. When we lose the purity of our hearts to worldly pursuits and see things through the world's eyes instead of God's eyes, we no longer have the faith of a child. Faith the size of the mustard seed can move mountains. Do you know the size of a mustard seed? It’s about ●<= that big...if even that big. Yet, how many of us truly have even that tiny amount of true faith?

Children are marvelous and miraculous in their faith. My mom still tells the story of when I was about 5 and we were driving home in a horrible rainstorm. It was raining so hard that you couldn’t really hear each other speak for the din of the rain pounding the small car and forget even trying to see more than 10 feet in front of you. To top it off, it was rush hour traffic on a very busy major thoroughfare. My mom says that I suddenly closed my eyes and (yell) prayed (to be heard over the noise, I guess), "Dear God, please make the rain stop. In Jesus' Name, Amen". No sooner had I said "Amen", then the rain immediately stopped. Not a single drop more fell from the sky and we made it home safely.

Oh, to have that pure faith again! To trust absolutely that God will take care of us, no matter how big or how small. That’s why I have prayed over and for my two precious children since before they were even born, that they would accept Christ at an early age and stay firmly on that path that He has set before them. My daughter accepted Christ just 3 days shy of her 5th birthday. My son, 23 months, is not old enough to truly understand, but sometimes when we go outside, he will point up to the sky and say, "God".

Unless we believe in God like and have the faith of a child, we can never enter into Heaven because then we rely on outside forces, people, actions, etc. to get us there instead of the one thing that can actually get us there. The one thing that seems improbable and impossible, but is very real and did happen...Christ’s death on the cross for the sins of the world. Your sins. My sins. All sins past, present and future. Unless we absolutely and completely believe and have faith that His death and resurrection alone is enough for the payment of our sins, then we are lost indeed.

The faith of a child is a beautiful...and necessary thing for everyone to have. Even grown ups.

For other Word Filled Wednesdays please visit the Internet Café Devotions or drop by “The WFW portion of the Internet Cafe” to find out more about how to participate in Word Filled Wednesdays.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Where I'm From

I found this from another blog that I frequent and found it to be wonderful and I was so intrigued that I had to do one of my own. Wendell Berry said, "If you don't know where you're from, you'll have a hard time saying where you're going."

If you do this too, or have done this, please let me know so I can see where YOU'RE from!

For the rules on how to do this, please visit HERE. It LOOKS easy, but when you get down to it, it's pretty in depth. You can see how I took the template and expanded on it.

This has been my favorite exercise to do, probably EVER. It involved so much thought and it's the amount of effort that goes into this and what you get out of it that makes it so awesome. God Bless...♥♥♥

Where I'm From

I am from salt of the earth, from God ordained and inspired birth and loving family holding my hands from first step to birth of my children. I am from an unknown mother to a farmer's daughter's loving arms and I am royalty because my Father is the King.

I am from the large, muti-treed, green-grassed back yard, my host to play dates with a metal swing set and blanket laying, listening to the summer cicadas while watching the stars through the hole in the green canopy above. From wooden fences, jasmine, honeysuckle and rose-scented air surrounding a modest white brick house with those familiar yellow garage doors.

I am from the cerulean blue of the bluebonnet, the brick red of the Indian paintbrush, the arrays of oranges in the Mexican hat and the deep yellows of the black-eyed Susan, the wide expanse of robin's egg blue sky and bright, hot, lazy summer days.

I am from opening presents on Christmas Eve after reading Luke 2 and laying out in the living room at my mom's under the lights of the Christmas tree while finishing a Disney movie and from big, warm, enfolding, never-let-you-go hugs, from mom and daughter.

I am from the messy kitchens filled with the remnants of food love and cluttered rooms filled with mementos that are impossible to throw out.

From "because I said so", "I love you, twinkletoes", "remember WHOSE you are" and before bedtime Bible stories with loving prayers for my future. From "God Bless America, land that I love", "salute the flag and support the military" and "hand over your heart, hat OFF of your head during the National Anthem".

I am from Bible believing of the inerrant Word of God, knowing that God listens to every prayer, every word, every thought and hears you no matter where you are, from understanding that sometimes the answer is "no" or "not yet" and that the best things are still yet to come if we just wait and have patience, from knowing that THE KING IS COMING! and is coming back for His own soon, from hymns sung in the car, as lullaby's, as any time songs whenever we felt like it, from forgiveness after wild-child antics and "welcome home's" from a prodigal journey.

I'm from the great state of Texas and from farmland in the Upper Midwest with meal time prayers and family devotions before pot roast, carrots and mashed potatoes or chicken, corn and salads.

From the riding on the lap of my grandpa on his riding mower and smelling the sweet scent of the grass as we cut the green, green, tickly-between-my-toes acres of the yard on the family farm, the perfect Tang mixture and frozen chocolate chip cookies of a loving grandma, the hikes up Enchanted Rock with my dad, the always beside me "thereness" of a devoted mother and the jumping into the cold lake water with beloved cousins at park-side massive family reunions.

I am from the blessings that are the giggles of my children, the small arms thrown around my neck and slobbery kisses of my babies, from the smooth timber of my true love's voice and his warm, large hands holding mine, his strong arms wrapping around me and his chin resting on the top of my head as I listen to the rhythm of his heartbeat under my ear.

I am from old photo albums of faded family pictures, slides of vacations on a projector screen taken by my dad, cedar chest memories of my childhood, costume jewelry sparkles of my grandma, dusty faded powder smells of warm grandparent skin, twinkles in the eyes of those who love me and replayed scenes in my mind's eye; all of which have more worth to me than any jewel or monetary denomination, or priceless work of art.

I am from a place not of this earth, where there is no more sorrow, no more tears or hurts or disappointments, no more anger or betrayals. Where there is no death or separation of loved ones who are in Christ.

I am from streets of gold beside living water and the Tree of Life, where the light always shines and darkness is no more.

I am a name in the Book of Life and I shall live forever. Death has no victory over me.

I am from abundant, precious, selfless, pure Love.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

When the vows break...

So, how does one go on with being betrayed in the worst way by their spouse? Blissfully going on in life with the belief that my marriage was strong, that I’d finally found someone who was trustworthy...after all, hadn’t he proved it many times? Sure, we’d had a couple bumps in the road since he moved to Midland for work, but we were good.

Or so I thought.

Imagine my shock when I got a call from my husband the Wednesday before Easter letting me know that he’d been in the hospital the previous night because he’d broken his hand.

Imagine my total and complete surprise when I found out that the reason for the broken hand was because he’d not only been having an affair, but living with her and she finally found out he was married and broke up with him, resulting in his broken hand.

On top of that, he admitted to drug use for over two years that he was able to successfully hide from me and a growing disposition toward alcoholism.

It’s easy to hide those things when one acts no differently at home on the weekend visits. It’s easy when one’s spouse hasn’t had experience being around people on drugs and therefore has no idea what to look for and chalks it up to the stress of not having a job for a long time, injuries, having to move to find work, etc. It’s easy to lie when one has successfully lied to everyone most of their life and covered it up more than convincingly.

How could the man who had been such a great father to my daughter and our son, who had been the man I doted on and loved with all my heart, decide that he was done? Decide that he was going to be selfish and do what he wanted and just throw everything away?

There was nothing that I could say or do that would change his mind from the course of divorce. Even though I was willing to work on it. Wanted to work on it because he was my husband and I loved him. I was told that either I would file for divorce or he would because his heart wasn't in it, he had zero desire to even try to work things out. In order to keep the case here in Austin so I didn't have to travel and leave the kids here I got the papers prepared to file here.

Imagine the biggest shock of all when I found out one week later that I was pregnant! He was very unhappy about that because in the state of Texas there is no divorce when there is a pregnancy between the divorcing partners and this was thwarting HIS wants. I went to the perinatal doctor for an ultrasound and there was the teeny tiny baby and a very low heartbeat. Only 72 beats per minute. I still had hope that I would carry this baby to a safe, healthy birth, unlike the miscarriage I had on Mother’s Day the previous year.

Sadly, that was not to be. The weekend before Memorial Day Weekend I started the process of miscarrying and that Monday I did...the day before I started a new job after having been laid off for about 4 months. A couple weeks later I finally filed for divorce. At that point I’d heard next to nothing from my husband other than his problems and needs from trying to commit suicide and then wanting me to talk him down at 1:30 one morning and around 3 in the morning the next time around.

So, the question goes back to how does one deal with these compounding stresses?

Romans 8:28...For we know that ALL things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose.

It is ONLY because of God that I can get through everything that life has thrown at me. He has been my Deliverer, my Protector, my Fortress, my Strength and my Guide. He has been the one who kept me blessedly numb emotionally when all of this was hitting me, so that I could go on with my new job and continue to take care of my children. God is the ONLY reason that I have the strength that I do. That I can look forward to my future. That I can look forward to loving again when the right person comes along.

God has provided for me so far and I know He will continue to provide all of the needs that I and the kids have.

With God ALL things are possible, including a beautiful, bright future that is uncharted and lies ahead of me. Praise God for His tender mercies toward His children. Thank Him in ALL things because everything He does is for our benefit and growth and for His glory.

Hardest thing in the world to do is praise Him for the bad in your life, but you have to remember that nothing happens to you that hasn’t first been approved and ordained by God. Remember, it’s for our growth and maturity. The hard times show us if we will turn TOWARD God or turn FROM Him. It shows us and others the content of our character.

What do you want your character to say about you?