Shawn and I always attempt to take a trip over/around our anniversary. The past few years we’ve gone to Northern California and visited his youngest brother. We love Nor Cal and San Francisco, but we decided this year we needed to take a “just us” vacation. We decided on San Diego….I needed some ocean and beach.
As much as we had intended in the beginning to have a relaxing, just us time, we soon found our days filled with friends. And we wouldn’t have changed a moment.
We decided to head up to Riverside Sunday morning and visit some friends and their church. We had a wonderful time hanging all day with our friends and made new friends that literally had us laughing until we cried.
They’re currently meeting in the Life Arts Center in downtown Riverside. This September they’re moving locations to better serve their community.
Our hotel was on the border of Little Italy. We loved staying in that area and would do so again. The only time we drove anywhere to eat was Sunday on our way to Riverside and Monday evening when we met friends in Old Town. We walked a lot.
And my paparazzi picture.
Check in tomorrow for part two, including but not limited to ocean views.
(all pictures by Shawn)
How do you view grace? Do you view it as a tangible thing or merely a mental electrical output and decision of the heart?
I have the honor of guest blogging today for Elora Nicole. She is currently jetting across blue skies from the Texas Music City of Austin to the slums of Kibera, Kenya. Her theme for her blog while she is gone is “Story”. This post, a short story of sorts, was pretty much written within a half hour as I attempted to fall asleep the other night. Fear that I’d forget everything, I grabbed a journal, my glasses, and a pencil and wrote out the major themes about 11 pm in our master bath.
So I ask, what does grace look like to you? Experience it here through the eyes of a child.
Wednesday, I wrote about the battle I’ve been fighting with loneliness and the lies that it’s telling me. Lies that no one really likes me, that I’m not wanted, that I should just give in.
I did not have an easy childhood. I was the ridicule of not only my class in school but also the age groups around mine. Those words above that are lies now were the blatant truth from about the age of five to ten. I rarely had friends and when I did it was the result of a parent telling their child to just play with me or until a new kid at school learned from the more popular kids (the rest of the class for the most part) that I was an untouchable. My childhood was spent alone or being humored.
I am introverted by nature and the events of my childhood have helped spur that on. I am much more content to be by myself than with a group. But as much as I may like spending my time sitting on my couch alone & reading, loneliness likes to tag along and sit in my lap like one of my dogs.
Loneliness is an unfortunate byproduct of introvertedness. Despite it being your own choice to not engage you can feel desperately unwanted and alone. It can be a constant struggle.
I tend to judge others actions (or lack of) towards me. I second guess what people say. It’s a dangerous road that takes me to loneliness nearly every time. I am learning – in a hard way – to trust.
I’ve been battling loneliness for the past couple weeks. A loneliness that burrows deep into my heart and sends lies to my brain and back to my heart itself.
Yesterday, I tweeted that some days I feel like the crowd watching a monkey at the zoo, and most days I feel like the monkey in the tree watching the crowd. I feel like I’m just sitting there watching the world go by and every now and then the monkey gets a banana.
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt loneliness like this. And it was those many years ago that cause me to believe the lies that are whispered silently and effectively into my soul that just wants to be loved.
I’m not sure how to deal with these lies that were once truths. My heart is so quick to just accept them again, and I feel the tendrils of depression grabbing at me to drag me into its sticky and oily marshes.
So….I press on. Do my best not to believe. To trust in the One who only speaks truth into that longing soul. To seek Him. I remind myself over and over that they are but lies.
If there is one thing that God has consistently been teaching me is to not walk/operate in fear. The desire to fear keeps showing up in so many aspects of my life. Even when we were on vacation I feared what if something happens to the plane? We’d be out walking and I’d fear what if someone walks up and mugs us? What if we’re in a car accident? This is strange because I just don’t think this way. I don’t fret about being mugged or being in a car accident or being in a plane crash, but fear has been doing it’s best to worm its way into my mind.
God is doing some amazing things in Shawn’s and my life. He’s guiding us in ways we didn’t know He would or think He’d take us. In a conversation we had the other evening I said that I’m not fearful, I’ve got a kind of scared excited anxiousness going on but of all the things I could be fearful in I’m not fearful in this.
My desire in life is to be like Peter and step out of the boat onto the lake, but instead of fearing that I’ll drown once uncertainty shows up I want to trust. I need to always remember what God has done previously. To trust that steps we’re taking that He’s still there beside us.
About a month and a half ago fear completely grabbed my heart. Steps that we thought God might be calling us to take literally sent me into a tailspin. After emails back and forth with a friend and an examination of my heart there was an adjustment of my attitude. Did that make the idea of what God could be calling us to any easier to swallow? No, but my focus was taken off of what I could try and do, and put on what He’s done in the past and what He is faithful to do in the future.
So not only am I learning to not walk in fear, I’m learning to trust. To lean so heavily on Him. If I’m fearful that He’s not going to hold me us I am going to fall. So here’s to taking steps and trusting that the next one will appear over that raging chasm.
Nine years of struggles.
Nine years of fighting for future years.
Nine years making a home.
Nine years of love.
On May 26th Shawn and I celebrated nine years of marriage. The good times, and the bad ones. God has blessed our marriage more than I could have dreamed. I love this man more than I did that day when I walked down the aisle. The things I’ve seen God do in His life & heart makes me fall for him all over again.
I used to write poetry. It is something I miss doing, but the creative words that would pour from heart & mind to pen to paper don’t seem to come anymore. It is something that I’ve asked God to put back into my life.
Here is one I wrote nearly ten years ago.
Only by You am I sustained.
By Your right hand you uphold me.
In disappointments and shattered dreams,
You are the shoulder on when I lean.
You wipe away my tears!
Your peace overwhelms me!
In sorrow I am filled with joy!
By your grace you have kept me!
(August 03, 2000)
All rights reserved. Please be kind, do not take or use without permission.
I made a bad choice on Monday.
I chose to live in an attitude of frustration, anger, and selfishness.
A situation that had repeatedly turned out the way it did on Monday finally broke me. A situation that I was frustrated and tired of not going the way I wanted or needed to happen.
My anger and selfishness ate away at me like termites. I couldn’t fall asleep that night because as my brain shifted into drive in the silence of the sleeping world, I stewed again. I became defensive for MY right. My night was filled with dream filled tossing and I awoke tired and still selfish. Still frustrated.
I asked the Lord to take it from me because I was in no position to get rid of it. I relished in MY will.
I knew that being the first step, the next was that I needed to call my friend and apologize. My will tried to rationalize that she didn’t know I’d spent the last 24 hours sitting in a kiddie pool filled with the injured aspects of me, myself, and I. But nevertheless I knew I had to make that phone call.
So, with my stomach in knots I called. I apologized for being frustrated and angry and selfish.
And I asked for forgiveness.
After I hung up with her I felt instant relief. I was no longer angry at her. I wasn’t concerned with what I wanted. I was glad for a forgiving and understanding friend.
I’m not sure if I’d ever experienced such freedom. The binding shackles fell off like a sinking anchor.
If you’re the one sitting in the kiddie pool with your own injured aspects of me, myself, and I it’s time to get out of the pool. Ask for God’s provision of grace and apologize. Experience the freedom!
Saturday night, I was lying in bed waiting for the pleasant presence of sleep to overwhelm me. I was thinking about blog posts I needed to get up. I realized it was Sunday, May 09th, in Nagpur, India.
In the quiet of my dark bedroom, with Chihuahuas nestled in their crates I mentally began to sing:
It was officially her birthday, though it was still May 08th in my bedroom.
I wish I’d gotten a cupcake to split with Shawn for her. Maybe next year.
Painting I did for Nikita for her birthday.
(watercolors on watercolor paper. her favorite color is blue.)
I’ve really struggled with writing this post. When Jenny asked if I’d be willing to write a guest blog one day while she was in Africa, I jumped with both feet into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I just love (relearning to love) writing.
But I’ve struggled with what to write. Jenny selected the topic of newness and I figured sure I can do that. But over the last week as I’ve thought and prayed about what to write about my mind has been blank. I don’t seem to have a definite newness story. I didn’t have an affair and can now rejoice & celebrate reconciliation with my husband, who proposed to me after we divorced our previous marriage. I haven’t traveled extensively and seeming each new day a new place, a new adventure. My husband didn’t have an affair and leave me. Trusting God as I relearn this newness of single life.
Continue reading here…
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.