Monday, September 30, 2013

"Because You're Old Enough To Be My Dad": Older Men & Younger Women





              1998

             some names have been omitted from this post 



                      ************************



The bar was dark and the patrons mingled along the stained concrete floor amongst the stone pillars accented with lit bronzed lanterns giving off a warm glow that cast on everyone's faces. I stood beside my friend with her halo of blonde chin length curls and we leaned in toward one another in conversation to barely be heard over the music being emitted from the overhead speakers. Up ahead, an older gentleman nearing fifty began moving toward me, dressed in jeans, a crisp collared shirt and cowboy hat. He was handsome and although had certainly aged gracefully I wasn't interested as our ages were at distant extremes. 


He strode up to me and approached, his grasp holding a glass beer bottle and under his mustached mouth he conveyed a smile with a deep but velvety question...

"Can I buy you a drink?" 


"No, but thank you." I responded politely.


He looked at me with amused curiosity and with another smile he responded,


"And why not?" 


I took a deep breath inward. I could have told him because I don't accept drinks from any man in any bar because I believed if a woman let a man buy her a drink he'd expect something. I was also full of self pride and would be darned if some man was going to buy me a drink because I could buy myself one, thank you very much. But as he conferred with his male friend in low tones and his eyes glistened at me, I heard the words "...fine young thing..." utter from his lips and I recoiled inside. 


"Why?" I asked him, echoing what he'd asked me. 


He nodded waiting expectantly for an answer from me. 


"Because you're old enough to be my dad. That's why. It's inappropriate." 

I replied with a polite tone yet firm.

He stood there shocked at my honesty, tipped his hat, said "Okay" and walked away. 




                    ***********************


As women it can be understandably incredibly frustrating when our dating age bracket seems to be going higher with each passing year while men's plummet lower and lower as they grow older and older. When were twenty we have forty and fifty year old men looking aka leering at us. When were forty we have sixty year old men looking at us. I see it in the grocery store, the convenience store, the shopping mall and restaurants etc... their gaze lingering, hoping you will meet theirs. I see it in traffic at stop lights as they grin from their convertible BMW's eliciting an internal eye roll from me. 


We aren't flattered... 

but maybe creeped out. 


Why is it socially acceptable for a man to hit on, 

date and marry a much younger woman?


Why do some men believe they are entitled (holding an over inflated ego and an obscured view of themselves) to have a much younger woman on their arm? It's rampant on dating websites these days... men are searching for a woman at least one if not two age brackets younger than their own. 


Youth trumps, it seems by society's standards and so many men want a woman still in the throes of flawless outward beauty to flash as a trophy of sorts on their arm to the world that screams:


 "Look at me and what I have." 

= EGO

  Men are not God's gift to women



Men may believe that younger women say "Yes" more often than women in their own age group. Younger women could possibly do this (?) and who knows the reasons but consequently the man can then happily take the reins, guiding the relationship to be on HIS terms as he sees fit.... but for these men is this about leading or control? For men is it about "having it my way" because their ex-wife actually voiced opposition occasionally and they didn't like it? Knowing what the important driving force is for a man to date a much younger woman is telling in his own growth and if he's become stagnated. 


He may get a huge ego boost knowing he's "still got it" which doesn't really make any sense because if as an older male the agenda is to attract, date and possibly marry a much younger woman one would surmise that he always stands a higher risk of being used financially if she's barely standing on two feet in a tiny apartment, a hefty car payment and barely enough money to feed her cat... not always a reality of course but we also know people in general don't want to be conned but instead genuinely loved. A woman on equal ground will more likely see the value in him not his wallet. A woman on equal ground will see him as an asset of endearing masculinity, an equal and a blessing to her life not to her pocketbook. A woman on equal ground will have decades of experiences, stories and changing (growing) views that add depth and interest to conversation over wine and candlelight. It's the things of substance like these and more that men are ultimately missing out on when they choose to date a much younger woman. It's certainly something men should keep in mind when they choose who they wish to pursue in dating. 


Younger women may appear much easier to impress in a man's eyes than older women but that may also be in part that older women are in a different place of maturity... in that as a whole they aren't going to be swept away with moonbeams in their eyes by big shiny toys or expensive cars or fancy restaurants. Knowing that these shiny objects and experiences are just fleeting materialism and image that can definitely be enjoyed but at the end of the day offer no real joy but instead it's a warm, loving, genuine heart that does... 


and at the end of the day men need to remember that all external beauty fades over time no matter how young their date is, as their own looks do, but the beauty of someone's heart never fades...


and that's what matters most. 


© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 


BEAUTY IS 

FLEETING 

BUT A KIND 

AND LOVING 

HEART IS

TIMELESS 









                 To My Readers: 

                 Thank you for reading, 

               commenting and sharing! 



Related Posts: 

Standing On A Road She Didn't Plan: A Single Mom Dating

Women: Proverbs 31 or Sexy Hot? 

Desperation: Drop It Like It's Hot






Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Projection And Signs Of A Cheating Spouse

“Leaf On Road” by winnond via FreeDigitalPhotos.net 


     
       some names have been changed

              or omitted in this post 

              October 2012 

         ******************


I glanced at my Coach watch as I sat in my children's psychologist's waiting room noting it was nearly a quarter to ten... it was almost time, I thought to myself as my eyes surveyed the brightly lit sparse room with magazines, plastic backed chairs and an ocean mural on the opposite wall. 


My cell phone began ringing and I dug through my purse for it, finally extracting it from an inside pocket. Rising from my chair and seeing who the caller was displayed on the screen, I answered it and slipped outside into the breezeway... leaves scuttling along as my camel hued boots trekked through them... a slight breeze was stirring and caused my hair to whip around my shoulders... 

"Hello?" I answered

"Hey..." came the all too familiar voice over the line like that of warm baked bread but today, this morning, it sounded slightly off, like it was pinched and in pain. Two hours earlier I had told him goodbye unbekownst to him for the last time over breakfast and making two school lunches in our kitchen as he hurried out the door to work.


"I just got served... I wish you would have talked to me first." His words came slowly at first but then rapid as if they were like steam being released from a tea kettle in a quick spurt


My breath caught momentarily, reality had arrived, and the October wind carried my breath away....


"You wish I'd talked to you?" I repeated what he'd said because I couldn't believe anyone could disperse such an unnerving utterance like that. "Oh, I'm so sorry... Well, I wish you'd talked to me first... before you decided to go screw other women." I replied into the phone as my long hair whipped around my head. 


"You had indiscretions!" came the verbal assault back at me ninety to nothing and I clutched the phone so as not to drop it on the hard pavement in shock.


"What?!" I gasped. 


"Yeah! With Jeremy! You did!" He half yelled, half retorted back and I was now thoroughly convinced he'd fallen and hit his head, maybe suffering some sort of stroke or early dementia because his accusation was just plain crazy. 


"Are you crazy?!" I asked him in dumbfoundedness, my immediate world, my surroundings... the bench, the floor to ceiling glass windows revealing other doctor offices along the corridor of the breezeway suddenly began reeling around me in a dizzying kaleidoscope of colors... 

"Oh my God... have you lost your mind?" I asked him coldly yet not really expecting an answer from him. Shock and fury overwhelmed me that I was standing accused when I had not stepped out and yet he had multiple times. What was worse is he'd pushed for marital counseling through our church which I'd agreed to and yet not during a single session with our Pastor had he once mentioned any infidelities. 


"You fool!" I cried into the phone... "You were so insecure, so certain I must have done something you convinced yourself I did, you continually threw him in my face...  You're throwing everything away over nothing! I haven't done anything! I don't appreciate being accused of something I haven't done and I don't appreciate you accusing him of doing something with me!" I informed him... pity overwhelming me for him on the line... sudden pity that anyone could be so blind, so insecure, so damn stubborn and not see what had stood before him... faithfulness and two sweet children but instead... looking, fishing, for ludicrously "justifiable" excuses in his twisted paranoid mind for his failing concious choices he had made out of selfish sin. Likewise years ago when I'd been single Jeremy may have walked away out of mounting frustration and I had failed out of weakness to share my heart when we'd dated but the man who had vowed to honor, love and cherish me before God had not followed through and now had the nerve to justify his actions on baseless lies he'd created.


"I'll take the stand and a lie detector test! I have nothing to hide!" I told him... "You're the one who cheats and then you come back and accuse me. I am done." I hung up. 



                      ***************



When a spouse has been cheating they may come up with the false idea you have been too. This is called projection. The thief judges by his own condition. They are transferring all of their indiscretions, lies and the facade they've carefully orchestrated for however long as your behavior and the reason for the failure of the relationship. 


But this couldn't be further from the truth. They have lived in their alternative world of lust and lies for so long they have convinced themselves the person they know and love must have done the same as they have, that they too are swept up in a quagmire of extramarital sex and conniving deceit fueled by deeply rooted jealousy and insecurity within.


But they are wrong


Cheating spouses may twist and spin the truth to suit themselves, to help them feel better, to massage their fragile egos and to justify their meandering souls. 


But it doesn't work


You may feel rightly incensed by the false accusations when you've done nothing, like a piece of your heart has been ripped out and in that you may feel bewildered that the one you're with doesn't appear to know you any better than that. Because even in the worst days of your marriage, the days of frustration and irritation, those dark days together when it would have been so much easier to throw in the towel and walk off, but instead you clung to those orginal vows you made, took a deep breath, dusted yourself off and walked in the next room to begin again... you have remained faithful to the marriage no matter what your emotions of the heart have been, no matter what past regrets you may hold and yet now you stand on the pavement among dry brittle detached leaves of October being told all those many many times you dusted yourself off and vowed to begin again, to not give up and tucked yourself under his chin with your hand clasping his in quiet resolve were essentially all for nothing... to now be told it was essentially a waste of your time. 


It's one of the most tragically tear jerking experiences 
to realize this and the sadness that goes with it. 


You know who you are to your core and eventually you just have to move on and live your life no matter how many times the person continues to falsely accuse you. 


There are always signs of a cheating spouse however subtle... the signs are there...  waiting to be noticed or discovered in the busy day to day activity we call life. Some signs may not be realized until much later, after the fact, in hindsight and you will have moments that cause you to take pause and say to yourself "Now I see why he did this or that... " 


That knowledge certainly doesn't make it any easier to swallow and you may beat yourself up (unnecessarily) but don't.... because it's not a reflection of you... it's a reflection of their character. The truth is... you are brave. You gave your heart... you trusted, you believed, you tried. There will always be things you see later with more clarity that you could have done better in a relationship and in that there is grace too... there are always second chances in life and an opportunity to grow. 


© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 



Signs Of A (Possibly) Cheating Spouse: 


1. Any changes physically; working out suddenly, new hair style, tanning, teeth whitening, Rogaine, new wardrobe, etc.

2. New products; new deodorant brand, new music preferences, new cologne, new shampoo, etc. 

3. Shady-ness; won't put his/her cell phone down and seems to be worried you might look at it, now goes to the movies "alone", his work hours change, he/she begins traveling for work more often, hides his history on web browsing, hides calls, deletes texts and photos, makes calls in private or outside, suddenly spends more time with a co-worker, etc. 

4. Cleanliness; suddenly he/she is keeping their car cleaner and their clothes go to the dry cleaners with promptness. 

5. It's all about them; suddenly he/she needs more "me time" and less couple time... he's off to "play golf" or "see a movie" etc when in reality he's meeting "her" or one of many he's seeing.

6. Sex; he's either withdrawn from you and is never in the mood or he's like a raging horn dog all the time... well, more than usual. 

7. You're wrong; and he/she is always right, you can never seem to please them anymore and he/she always seems irritated with you.

8. Turns the tables; he/she used to be a self professed conservative... now their a liberal and wants to make pot legal... you sit there staring at him/her thoroughly convinced they've had a batch of brownies from Portland Oregon over-nighted because clearly he/she's high as a kite. 

9. You're "delusional"; you tell him your concerns that he is going on a work trip and will be riding in a vehicle for several hours alone with someone of the opposite sex. You voice how you don't believe this is appropriate considering he's a married man. He/she dismisses your concern and says you're dreaming up a scenario that will never happen and does what he chooses. 

10. He/she turns on you; he tells you that you look horrible. He says you need to lose/gain weight, he tells you that he's not happy, he accuses you of being unfaithful when you haven't and he has zero evidence of such. 










                    To My Readers: 

                Thank you for reading, 

              commenting and sharing! 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our Clothes Always Mean No To Rape


As women we slowly glide from our youth to more invested years of wisdom and we realize all the more the importance of our unfading internal beauty over whatever we choose to adorn ourselves in on the outside. 


We know we may each have worn things "back in the day" that give us pause, that make us think "Oh, what was I thinking?!..." yet that also can give us the perspective of: 


"I may have made some rather questionable wardrobe choices but I am not those choices. I can give grace to myself as in all things, not sweat over the too-short shorts, the past barely-there breast baring tube top, the summer I wore the too short sheer skirt.... I can move on and give that same grace to other women... to not view them with scorn, with judgment or a wrinkled nose but instead with a smile and love." 


We can be mindful and remember that the clothes a woman wears don't tell the whole story nor is she a walking advertisement in a desire for sex.


At the end of the day we know as women we are all susceptible to the grave danger of being viewed by a man out there with wrong thoughts, being viewed by a man with lecherous intentions, being viewed by a man as someone to be used, abused and discarded. As women we are all susceptible to being viewed like this on the street, in a parking lot, at a game, at a party, in a bar. And for a man with those thoughts, those intentions, a predatory-like agenda, there is a risk to us all called... 


RAPE 


As women we know it doesn't matter what we wear...  it's not an invitation for a man to rape. There may be men who are cocky and flagrantly believe that a woman's questionable clothing translates to her "asking for it" yet this couldn't be further from the truth. 


A man who rapes is not strong but weak, wishes to dominate something or someone because of his ignorantly selfish, addictive, narcissistic flesh, a man who is perverse and not walking in light but instead walking in darkness and taking what is not his. 


As women our clothes aren't an invitation for our bodies to be taken, to be used, to be abused, nor to be cat called at, to be intimidated, to be provoked, to be seen as less than. 


We shouldn't have to wear t-shirts that say "NO". Unfortunately, society has had a history of placing blame on the woman for being "too this", "too that", "too drunk", "too loose" and "allowing" it to occur... which couldn't be further from what occurs. In this world we as women need more men to be vocal against rape. The sole responsibility to voice concern should not rest on women's shoulders. We need men's support, their spreading of awareness... we need them to be the one guy who when others are cat calling a woman on the sidewalk or grabbing a woman's arm... to say "Hey! Cut it out! Leave her alone!" 

We need more men like that. 


As women we can all lift each other up, to inspire, to comfort and to take a stand together... 


There is no 

"dressing up RAPE" 

to be acceptable...



 It's wrong no matter what she wore.  


© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013




                  To My Readers: 

             Thank you for reading, 

           commenting and sharing! 





Thursday, September 19, 2013

When "Love" = Death: What I Wanted To Tell Her



I sat from afar... watching them. 


The remnants from my lunch along with a crumpled paper napkin sat on the counter, my boots perched on the stool rungs as I sat wearing jeans and a softly faded white and grey striped pullover, my earrings dangling like glistening mini amber chandeliers as I reached in my handbag to dig around for a Chapstick and lipgloss. As I did, I glanced back over as they finished at the register and began striding toward my direction. 


She was tiny, no more than four feet something and slender... with beautiful long dark glossy hair that she had taken the time to curl. She wore cerulean blue pants with heels and a quarter length sleeve blouse in a silky cream. I had seen them enter the store twenty minutes earlier... him in baggy jeans and a dress shirt, his hair immaculately styled, walking a good eight feet ahead of her, ignoring her as she struggled to navigate the uneven pavement in her precarious heels... heels she had worn in an effort to look nice. He swaggered ahead, cocky in demeanor and one would hope honestly oblivious to her struggle yet obviously questioning how on earth he could be... 


Now she pushed the cart, struggling with the weight of it as it was filled to the top with groceries and essentials and yet he strode ahead once again seemingly oblivious to her existence. Then he stopped abruptly and waltzed past her. I watched as the scenario painfully unfolded... her coming to a halt with the shopping cart, turning back to call out to him... 

"What?" 

He ignored her. 

She called again "What is it?" 

He threw a "I forgot something" back at her over his shoulder with visible irritation and kept walking. 

She stood there for a split second like she was contemplating what to do... she looked like she wanted to cry then she let out an audible sigh and with frustration turned the heavy cart around to go back after him. 



No, stop... I wanted to tell her. 



I wanted to take her by the arm, sit her down and spell out all the ways he was no good for her... how he was treating her like she didn't exist, how he had been checking out another woman when they were at the register, how he was blantantly dismissive of her. 


I wanted to tell her that no, she should not chase after him. That no, she didn't have to accept his behavior, that she had every right to put her foot down and say "no more." 


I wanted to tell her she could do much better based upon his callous treatment of her, that she didn't have to settle to be loved with a love that was draining and never fulfilling because that's not love... that's death in a cup. 


I wanted to tell her that somewhere there was a man who would love her, keep her on his arm, show the world how proud he was to have her yet not out of narcissistic egotism but out of gracious appreciation for her heart and soul. I wanted to tell her that yes, somewhere there was a man worthy of her love and that although she hasn't met him yet she can pray for him to walk into her life not with a boyish swagger but with a manly stride along with Godly character. 


I wanted to tell her all these things... 


Things she might know or not... things she may deny but later come to know as truth... things too painful to want to hear... things we often want to push away and sweep under the rug because listening to them means possibly facing them and watching the clock tick by as we lose more time in our youth, our life, to begin again as we wish to... not quite realizing how much we really are losing by investing ourselves in a love that doesn't really meet the definition of love. 


Yet no matter what our age... whether we are five, twenty, or forty, we can pray for our future husband, our future love and ask God to keep him safe, keep him in His word, to give him wisdom and to guide him toward us. We can pray for a man of Godly character who will love us with sincerity... that calls us by name in genuine love and holds our hand to walk the narrow path together... 


beyond blessed to have us by his side.


 © gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 







                 To My Readers: 

             Thank you for reading, 

           commenting and sharing!



Monday, September 16, 2013

5 Acts Of Love: When A Woman Loves A Man



As women we go into marriage wondering what is expected of us... what is it that our husbands want, need and desire. As brides it's sometimes difficult to know what (often undefinable) acts of love make up a wonderful wife... especially today when we wear so many hats, as some of us work outside the home in addition to caring for children and managing a household. Likewise women who work from home have their own challenges as finding a balance is still needed. No matter how many hats we juggle in our role as a wife (and mother) it can be taxing and the pressure we may put upon ourselves infinite. 


There is no such thing as a perfect wife…

 anymore than there is a perfect husband.


Yet... there are some things we can keep in mind 
and do to be the best wife we can be for our one love.... 



1. Don't nag

Seriously. It's a killer in a relationship. Like nail biting, once you start it's a difficult habit to break. But yet it can be done. Husbands don't want to be nagged. When we nag our children (like doing homework) it pushes them away creating the opposite effect we desire. It's not any different than for our husbands. We married to be his wife not his mother. Ignore his dirty clothes on the floor by the bed. When I was first married that was one of my pet peeves... his dirty clothes on the floor by his side of the bed. Yes, it's not attractive, I hear you. (It's truly not and it's not exactly a turn on) ... yet I found a solution... his "side of the bed" became the one by the wall so when I entered the bedroom I never caught a glimpse of his mess. Problem solved! No more (visible) mess. No more nagging. We can find a creative solution to make the situation manageable, bite our tongue or we can wear ourselves out nagging and drive him nuts in the process too. 

When we choose instead to give life with our words and be an encourager whether it's what he's done to help around the house, what he's done to provide, etc... when we are his number one cheerleader, it lifts him up and then he will do the same for us (unless he's a narcissist, let's be real... then we are kidding ourselves and need to say "so long"). 


2. Have sex

Men want to feel wanted and desired by their wife. Sex tells him he's loved, he's accepted by you and it fuels his masculinity to go out and conquer the world. It lifts him up knowing he rocked your world (hopefully he is rocking your world... and not being a selfish lover) and you lit up his. 


3. Men need a soft spot to land too 

He needs to know you have his back, that you are loyal, that you are there for him at the end of a long day. He wants to see your smile at the end of each day, feel your embrace and hold you as his burdens melt away. Men feel enormous pressure (even if as a woman you contribute financially) to provide for his family and often they keep silent about this stress so as not to put any additional burden on you. As endearing as that might be it's important he knows he can come to you about anything... letting him know how much you appreciate the hard work he does, the hours he puts in and observing the latest strides he's made on a project or new client he's attained... he will appreciate your thoughtfulness and encouragement.


4. Pray together and for him

 When we set aside time together to pray, read our bible, watch a program like Joyce Meyer as a couple... it draws us closer, uniting our focus to God and makes us evaluate where we are, how were doing and where we wish to go. If he doesn't make time with you a priority on a spiritual level don't let that hold you back... spend time with God, live authentically and let your faith shine... don't let anyone turn off your light! 


5. Let him be the man

 Let his masculinity shine. It seems today men are becoming more feminine and women are taking on more masculine qualities. In a society that is unfortunately becoming reversed it only takes watching one episode of the Bachelorette to see the manly ruggedness of beards, goatees and rolled shirt sleeves being replaced today by shiny waxed bodies, hair slicked with gel and skinny jeans... leaving some men spending more time in front of the mirror than the typical woman. As women we bring feminity to the relationship and to the home... we bring a soft touch, a caress, a whisper, a playful laugh... we bring curtains, flowers and scented candles... we bring the opposite of the man... the rough, the hard edge, the strength... and yet in that is the absolute sexiness of their ability to be gentle. Every woman needs to be able to hold her own, to stand on her own two feet as dependency is never attractive nor healthy... yet choosing to let his masculinity shine... letting him help you when you need it, lifting this, carrying that, letting him feel needed... he loves it. 



As women wouldn't it be wonderful to have a guide on being the best wife we can be for our husbands... if there was such a guide (as well as one for husbands) just imagine how fewer divorces there might be. There isn't a magic solution out there but learning through trial and error, learning from others and following God's word to walk in purposeful love each and every day with our spouse and making them a priority will go a long way in living the best version of our love story! 


© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013





              To My Readers: 

              Thank you for reading, 

            commenting and sharing! 







Friday, September 13, 2013

Sex & Honoring One Another


“Dishonor Honor Computer Shows Integrity And Morals” by Stuart Miles via
FreeDigitalPhotos.net 



Honor

As soon as he laid eyes on her he knew he was attracted to her... the way her chocolate brown eyes flecked with specks of emerald green met his across the room... the way her long side swept bangs graced her brows and she half smiled half smirked at him with genuine warmth and yet possible mischief giving a glimpse of a spirited personality. She was someone of sweetness, a kind soft heart that made him draw even closer to her. He felt an electric chemistry between them when they talked and he would catch himself smiling to himself when he thought of her... he wasn't just physically attracted to her beauty but mentally as well.


“Couple Near Fireplace” by marin via FreeDigitalPhotos.net 



As the weeks, then months went by and each encounter was better than the next, as more depth was found in their late night conversations over coffee and tables for two... as the seasons changed from chilly to warm over iced tea on patios under twinkling lights.... as time moved along they found themselves in an increasing temptation to go beyond stolen kisses between sips of wine and passion filled embraces.... 


They both knew already despite unspoken words their relationship could and likely would progress to marriage. They had every reason to believe their love and affection for one another would continue to grow and yet with that love comes responsibility.... 


Responsibility to honor one another. 


We need to guard against allowing any future patterns of sin taking root in our relationship with the one we love. If we have intentions or hopes however small as a seed to make someone our wife or husband one of our responsibilities is to love, care and honor them far before we ever reach the altar. If there is an absence of honor can there be love? We need to guard not just ourselves and each other but the future of our relationship. 


We can remember to look at the future, not just the here and now


We want to ensure that when we marry our relationship is free from regret, free from impure acts and selfish actions that drain our relationship, that take away and are not fruitful. Where there is fleshly desire there is the risk of sin and Satan will do everything he can to tempt us before we ever say "I do" to ensure our future union is one riddled with specks of sinful behavior and the grief that goes with it. 


We know that we are weak. As humans we are far weaker than we could ever imagine and far more susceptible to succumbing to the temptations of lust than we think.



We can stand firm in self discipline and flee from temptation in our relationship.


We can make it a priority to set boundaries not just for ourselves but out of love for one another. Saying "I won't let this go any further, let's hold off because I deeply care for you" tells and shows the other person they not only have your love but respect and they take it seriously. In one fire-hot impulsive "gotta have you now" moment that is fleeting comes possibly permanent consequences.... 


Possible regret afterward.

An emotional tie to one another.

A possible pregnancy. 


A man who has not honored a woman during their courtship and instead pressured or allowed pre-marital sex to occur has not led in love but instead erroneously in the flesh, in lust and in sin. If she becomes pregnant with his child and he advises her to have an abortion he is not leading in love but darkness. If he consults his friends for advice of "what to do" he is not leading in deep rooted faith, standing firm in what God's desire is but instead uncertainty, shaky ground, fleshly fickle advice. His friend listens and immediately tells him to "get rid of the problem." 


And so he listens and tells her they must get "rid of the problem." 


She follows his misguided advice and though despite her own uncertainty of what to do, her looming fears, her belief that women should be allowed to choose, her sense of trappedness... immediately afterward she feels deep regret and conviction. She realizes that she didn't guard her heart. She knows God gave her the tool of self discipline, of choosing light over darkness, fruit over death, during those late night moments... yet she seemingly left her tools it in her back pocket. Her relationship of "love" is now splotched with sin, regret and possibly growing resentment. 


He didn't protect their child. 

He didn't protect them. 

And yet she didn't either. 



They can't seem to get back to where they once stood. The relationship may feel scarred. They may subconsciously feel some sort of draw or soul tie to one another after being linked together in their sin... now feeling tied to one another in some inexplicable fashion however indescribable. 


We can vow to do things right the next time, to step away from choices that God doesn't deem fruitful and that our sin doesn't have to have shame attached to it but that by the grace of God we can move on and live so incredibly blessed that He loves us no matter what.... that He loves us each and every day despite being undeserving and us vowing to honor Him every day here forward.


Ladies, guard your heart and your bodies. 

Men, guard and honor her.... 

your future.


© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~2013 







             To My Readers: 

              Thank you for reading,

             commenting and sharing! 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Open Letter To Husbands: Love, Your Wife

“Period Letters” by Simon Howden via FreeDigitalPhotos.net 



We all do it don't we? 

We look back and see things in life we coulda shoulda done differently. 

And some might say that's a waste of time. And in length, yes, yes it is. 


Lingering too long on the possible regrets of the past is not productive and a fruitless endeavor as it keeps us stagnant and our feet immobile. But clear snap shots of clarity, of those moments where you have the lightbulb moment and take mental notes to purposely do differently from here out without the invisible bat in hand beating yourself up but instead giving yourself grace to move on with compassion and PURPOSEful action.... 


     That's progress



Men today may wonder what they can do to be the best possible husband and yet misguidedly believe that their earning power is the be all end all of being a good husband. Yet.... that's such a misconception today. 


Men certainly don't want to get married and then years down the road find themselves in a quagmire of regret... realizing that their marriage is suffering and yet wondering what exactly brought it to this disappointing place in time. But what really leads a marriage to a place of despair or darkness is priorities being placed in the wrong order. Perhaps if things aren't going as well as one had dreamed it might be a good time to evaluate and see what is being placed first and foremost as most important. In so many marriages today men are understandably incredibly stressed out trying to provide, working long hours and not really enjoying free time with their wives and their families. One question we can ask ourselves is: 


Are we living beyond our means? 


If a household is doing just that then the husband is working far more than he should just to still be behind. Evaluating our lifestyles and what we are placing in the important column is crucial to making changes. 


Priority # 1: 

When a husband places God and
 family first everything else falls into place. 



Dear Men Of The World,   


As women we don't care if your paycheck is six figures, we don't care if your car is the newest model and fully loaded. We don't care if your truck or home is equipped with the latest sound system. We don't care how thick your wallet is. We don't care how great you are at mastering the grill and how much you paid for those steaks you picked up at the market. We don't care if you burnt the dinner you were trying to prepare for us and grabbed take out instead from a steakhouse. We don't care if you've had your picture taken with celebrities or won the lotto. We don't care that you drive a BMW or belong to the Admirals Club. We don't care if you make every green light down the thoroughfare because of your speedster. We don't care if you win all the pool games, dunk every basketball and never lose a game of Dice Buddies. We don't care if you have rubbed shoulders with higher ups, with royalty or movie stars. We don't care you that you're an entrepreneur and invented some gizmo or gadget. We don't care what your degree is in and where you went to college. We don't care about your "most awesome trip ever" 4-wheeling or your stunts during an all guys ski trip. We don't care that your testosterone outshined some other guys on the freeway, on the soccer field or in a bar. 


We don't care. 


What DO we care about? 



Honesty... one lie will make us question everything you say from that point on.


Character... treating others how you would want to be treated including us. 


Compassion... showing you care we had a bad day, had a flat tire, got a horrendous haircut. 


Listening without fixing... sometimes we may need a solution but most of the time (90%) we are venting. Hang tight, listen, nod, hug us and hold us. 


Purposeful Loving Action(s)... your words may be as beautiful as a sonnet but if they don't carry any weight with action to back them up they are as cheap as a Louis Vuitton knock-off. 


Hugs... they show affection and comfort. 


Cuddling... pretty self explanatory. 


An "I get it." .... this means you hear us, you are listening. 


Occasionally an "You make me smile." ... that it's not always about what were wearing, how we look, etc. But that you also appreciate our inner beauty. 


Doing without keeping score... the one who keeps score always loses in the long run. Guaranteed. 


Kisses... yes!


Eye contact... Shows you are in the "here and now." 


Quality time spent together... doesn't have to be pricey just thoughtful. 


Romance... bits here and there in the daily hustle & bustle of life are lovely.


Leadership without control... leading in love not dictatorship. 


Asking our opinion.... we love it when you ask us "What do you think?" It's a turn on and makes us feel acknowledged. 


Equality... woman came from the man's rib, not his feet. 


God.... placing Him first and reading the bible together, praying together, attending church etc., sets a stable foundation for your marriage.


No one wants to live in regret and wonder what they coulda shoulda done differently. There is not a perfect marriage but when we set our priorities straight in life we will undoubtedly live our life as a beautiful example to others with the one we chose to love each and every day. 


And that's certainly something God cares about.


© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013





                   To My Readers: 

              Thank you for reading, 

            commenting and sharing! 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Standing In Victory With ADHD: 6 Tips



"I can't find a hair elastic! I've searched everywhere!" I exclaimed. 

Standing in the middle of my living room exasperated, I had already searched my bathroom drawer, my vanity, the dresser top, the kitchen counter, my purse... all the places I could think of where I might have misplaced a hair elastic. 

My mother stood there looking at me with a smile starting to form at her lips... 

"It's right there... you have one... on your wrist!" 

I looked down and sheepishly replied "Oh... yeah, you're right." and we both laughed. 


                    *************** 


For girls ADHD is commonly missed and not diagnosed until adulthood... the effects of their struggles in school being long lasting and the ramifications being potentially even dangerous to their emotional and physical health. 


Girls are commonly not being diagnosed for ADHD because educators, doctors and parents often erroneously believe it only (or mostly) affects boys. But the truth is boys and girls are both at risk of having ADHD... they just exhibit their symptoms differently. 


Girls may tend to exhibit more in-attention, forgetfulness and are often perhaps the quiet ones, the shy ones who blend into the background and don't create any waves in the classroom so they may never reach a teachers radar that there is indeed an issue. These girls slip through the cracks in school and through the system, possibly just barely scraping by with grades in the seventies... not because they can't achieve nineties... as they are capable... but because they can't stay focused long enough to do their work. 


The biggest problem is these girls go through school thinking their low or failing grades is a reflection of some deficit in their educational abilities or intelligence when in fact it's just an issue with keeping their attention on task and not on the bird flying by the window, the traffic outside, the sound of the air conditioning turning on, etc. 


Combined with difficulties in time management and misplacing all the needed materials... (how many times will a teacher believe that someone truly forgot their homework?) it all comes down to an impeding of their potential. In turn these girls suffer from low self esteem and not really understanding why they feel different and can't seem to "get it together" unlike their peers. This leads to difficulties socially.... because they feel differently... despite the fact they have zero reason to feel bad about themselves yet often they unfortunately do. As girls grow older and enter high school estrogen rises... kick-starting a surge in ADHD symptoms. Because her ADHD worsens in the teen years she may have less impulse control, more restlessness and more anxiety or depression. 



Girls with ADHD are at a higher risk
 for suicide than girls without it. 



Girls with ADHD are also at a higher risk for eating disorders and self harm. It's incredibly important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of ADHD in girls so they don't fall through the cracks and become entwined with the harmful consequences... cutting class, leaving home, dropping out of school, self-mutilation, depression, drinking, drugs, promiscuity, suicide, etc. 


It's incredibly important for girls to get the help they need so they can not only have a sucessful life but have a healthy perspective of ADHD... knowing that they are not less than because of their diagnosis. In fact, with a diagnosis girls can find freedom and relief in finally discovering exactly what has been so undefinable thus far that has plagued them. That they are not defined by ADHD. Yes, it can be frustrating at times to live with but also just knowing it's genetic, that nothing you did caused this is incredibly affirming. 


Coping with ADHD it's imperative having a sense of humor. In the midst of your iPhone chronically dinging to remind you of yet another reminder it ensures that you sail through your day with as few glitches as possible... there are reminders of appointments, bills to pay, picking up the kids from school and the grocery list kept in the phone because it would be gone like the wind the second you blinked. You begin to think you need a necklace around your neck that holds your keys, phone and debit card because the second you set them down in some random locale... like the fridge as you reach in for a yogurt on the go... you can kiss them goodbye as they will be MIA the next time you need them. 


Luckily there are medications to help manage ADHD if that's the route someone chooses. If not or along with medication there are ways to help manage symptoms to help make life a bit easier. 



6 Tips For Managing ADHD Symptoms: 


1. Find a place to keep your purse and keys. It needs to be the same place every time you come and go. Otherwise you may find yourself on an erratic scavenger hunt for necessary items each morning. 


2. Have a back up alarm. Set your alarm on your iPhone for multiple times to get up... 6 am, 6:15, 6:25, etc. Being on time for anything is often like pulling nails for those with ADHD and time management may escape you. Being on time is a challenge but worth it rather than attempting death defying feats on the freeway to buy time and arrive in one piece... only to be a rattled mess of walking chaos once you arrive. I lived this way for years and eventually you have to say "This is craziness. Enough." and make necessary adjustments to have peace and calm. 


3. Make lists... lots of lists. You may lose the list so it might be wise to keep one in the notes section of your phone. (if you are good about keeping your phone with you). Another trick is keeping a spiral notebook in the car that you jot down things on as you think of them... errands, gifts to buy, grocery essentials, etc... it can stay in the car and you can take a photo of it with your phone before you enter the store or if you're daring enough take the notebook in with you. It's up to each person in what works best for them. 


4. Set your alarm specifically to take your ADHD medication. Back when I was taking Vyvanse I couldn't ever remember if I'd taken it or not. Over-taking a stimulant is not something anyone wants to risk so by about noon as I'd sift  through piles of papers trying to locate a specific one, or searching for my sunglasses or sports water bottle in a frenzied pace to get out the door, I'd stop and think with a laugh "Well, I obviously did not take it today!" 


5. Don't beat yourself up. There will be successful days where you did really well and there will be days when everything falls apart.... but you don't have to! Remember that each day is a chance to start fresh and beating yourself up does zero good. Reward yourself when you do a great job and on the bad days just shrug and tell yourself "tomorrow is another day." 


6. When one medication won't work there are others. Some people don't want to take stimulants or can't. Some do perfectly fine with them and don't consider it an issue. Some individuals prefer no medication, taking something natural or taking a non-stimulant. Non-stimulants such as Strattera are another option. Your doctor can talk with you regarding the pros and cons of any medication you choose to take. 



God sees our struggles in life and that includes those with ADHD. He knows our story just like the palm of our hand. He knows the frustration, the hurry, the distraction. But when we are having a tough day and feel we have stumbled backward... who are we leaning on to get back up? God is right there to listen to our cries and guide us. 


When we lean on Him, get up and stand tall we are standing in victory! 


Unlike our keys that's something we won't forget! 


© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013



                  To My Readers: 

              Thank you for reading, 

              commenting & sharing!