Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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

The single mom. 

She needs encouragement, love and sweet patience. 

She needs slow paced, understanding and secure. 

She needs ears that listen, a tender approach and affirmation. 

She needs masculinity that is strong enough to catch her yet gentle enough to wipe her tears. 

She needs a good laugh, a little space yet still knowing he's there for her any time day or night.

She needs good intent, Godly character and honor. 

She needs passion in his eyes toward her for the long haul not merely overnight. 

She needs all this and more... 

Single mom and dating...

Sticking her toes in however cautiously and the truth is: 

She's terrified. 

It's not like when she was twenty something, wild and free... without kids and an entire book before her with blank pages still to be filled in with stories and pictures.

Now she has an entire history... saying "I do", buying her first home, getting pregnant, having babies... moving... decorating a house and making it a home, family recipes made year after year, traditions, pet names, growing children and finally heartbreak that brought the marriage to its final resting place of death and burial...  abuse, cheating, irreconcilable differences or what have you... that left her standing there with her long time "other half" however admittedly miserably toxic, missing like a gangrenous cut off arm. 

Yes, she is healing, yes, she will be okay, yes, she is strong, and yes, she will love again… yet it's no wonder she's a little hesitant to move forward dating again. 

Because the truth is... yes, it is her life and yet it's not just about her anymore... she has children to think of and can't risk bringing someone possibly as bad, worse than, or not much better than her ex into her children's lives... so she must proceed with caution. 

It takes a man with patience and understanding to pursue and date a now single mom. For she is a bundle of mixed emotions... fear, excitement, liberation and apprehension… 

Single moms may go through the mental battlefield of:

"No man will want me now... however many years later... an ex who I swear is mad-as-a-hatter nuts, however many kids later that have their own histories and a schedule that means one week I can see   him but the next I can't because I'm in full 'mommy mode'... what guy is going to sign up for this???" 

Trust me... you aren't alone. 

Then throw on that stacked pile of accumulated life some fear, apprehension and wondering how a man would meld into it all, this new life, without throwing his hands up in exasperation and driving away... 

And yet… this won't last forever. 

Fellow single mom, I don't know who you will date... who you will meet... I don't know his name... it might be someone you know or a man you've not yet met.... I don't know who that man may be... yes, he will see you as a glittering jewel in the sand of life no matter your past or present... no matter the insecurities you occasionally let get the best of you in those midnight hours you do too much thinking because you can't sleep and the crickets chirping outside your window deafen the sweet quiet of slumber... 

But this I do know... 

You may need all those qualities in a man first listed at the beginning of this post... 


Where you have those fears that threaten he also needs your faith in God.

Where you may have apprehension he also needs to know you're open to a second story.

Where you may have trepidation he also needs to know you will let him comfort you.

Where you may have developed distrust in the male species he wants to prove otherwise. 

Where you have been told: "There are no good faithful men who truly love their wives..." he wants to be the one who shows you otherwise despite his own admitted imperfections. 

When you question, agonize and doubt a Godly man exists… undoubtedly far from perfect yet striving to live in obedience to Him... in this he wants to know you will go to God and pray for him as he's praying for you every day.

Where once someone held you thinking of themselves, their own needs... there will be a man who considers himself blessed to know you, to hold you and loves you selflessly as you do him. 

Where once you had a "love" that represented anything but... you will be cherished by a man who values your sweetness, your kind heart and love for God… what a beautiful second chapter of life. 

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 

He replied, 
"You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" 
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

- Matthew 8:26 (NIV) 

For Men Dating The Single Mom: 

1. Go slow... her heart has been hurt, and if you're a single dad more than likely yours has too. 

2. Date her but don't smother her... be sensitive to the fact she has children and is still a mom. 

3. Plan couple time when she doesn't have the kids... she will appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

4. Don't be a daddy figure to her children. That's not your job and it creates more issues between her and her children and even her ex. Respect boundaries and be more of an encourager toward her kids not a disciplinary figure. 

5. Realize that once you are together… the trust she has given you, the new life you have formed with her, will be all the more special to her after what she's been through… she will feel liberated… and how beautiful for her to be able to come together with you, fully herself, uninhibited… her second love story in a lifetime… and last.

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Common Phrases Spoken By (and signs of) A Narcissistic Sociopath

"They said you was high-class… 

that was just a lie."

 - Elvis 

High-class…. respectable... honest… hardworking… some parents may be viewed in this sense by others but sometimes the percieved view is completely wrong… indeed, the narcissistic sociopathic parent is capable of appearing quite the opposite of what they truly are underneath the mask they wear.

People in general often think "You married a Narcissist? What? How is that possible? They appear perfectly nice and normal to me." or they may think... "Your dad is a sociopath? Not possible! A sociopath is a cold blooded killer… not some everyday-looking-Joe."

But there is a wide spectrum when it comes to personality disorders… there are subtle traits and then the far extreme committing violent crimes… but typically most narcissistic sociopaths are your everyday working men… in jobs as businessmen… maybe they own their own business and make money under the table… maybe they are entrepreneurs, maybe they are attorneys or work on wall street… but all of them are looking out for one person and one person alone… themselves.

They are not caring people… they lack empathy. They do not love their children. Their children are possessions… and if divorced they use their children as pawns in a plan of vengeance. If married they still use their children… as their children are an extension of their ego… they need their children to satisfy their life goals and dreams in order to gain additional supply where the supply they gain leaves off from their spouse. There is always additional supply to pursue to feed their hungry egos and using people is how they do this. Sociopaths are comparable to emotional vampires… they suck you dry until you have nothing left. Then they move on to their next prey.

"Say Whaaaaat?"

There are certain phrases they use and it's good to familiarize yourself with them. They tend to be repetitive…. when they do talk it's usually much about nothing… think of a dog running in circles chasing it's tail… that's comparable to having a conversation with a narcissistic sociopath. You walk away not having an in depth conversation, as it's a whirlwind of mumbo jumbo that spews from their lips leaving you further confused as to what just transpired. 

Common phrases of a Narcissist Parent or Ex: 

1. "I am an enigma." When my ex told me this a few years ago I thought it was odd but now looking back it speaks volumes about him. 
2. "You think you are so smart! Let's see you figure it out!" Smug superiority. 
3. "I don't know what you're talking about." Actually, yes he does… he's gas lighting you. Sociopaths excel at this. And from personal experience… once you educate yourself on gas lighting… and turn the tables and do it to them when they need something from you (in a very calm tone) it will nearly send them over the edge with frustration and they will lash out. Be careful doing this and don't if their prone to violence.
4. "There is nobody that will love you as much as I do!" Keeps you down. 
5. "Maybe you need to check the bible… that part about honoring your parent!" What they fail to own up to is how incredibly abusive they are. 
6. "Children should be seen, not heard." Classic one. Controller. 
7. "I never said that." When in reality he's twisting and lying; he really did. More gas lighting; wants you to doubt yourself and reality. Classic sociopath behavior. 
8. "Watch me! I can do whatever I want! You tell me not to, I will all the more!" Immature and comparable to a three year old boy having a temper fit. 
9. "I thought we were going to have this big family! And it's fallen apart!" Behaving like the victim which they love to do to reel you back in and gain sympathy. When in reality they were the constructor of the destruction and reason for the fall out. Takes zero responsibility. 
10. "This is all your fault! You can't be good!" Blames. Scapegoats his child for all the issues in the family. 

Signs of a Narcissistic Parent: 

1. Belittles the child's needs, feelings or ignores them outright. "No, you're fine. Stop it."
2. Uses the child to propel forward in life… whether it be for their beauty, smarts or talent… they will use their child in some way to build themselves up. They project onto the child what they wish them to be… following in their footsteps as a doctor, a rancher, an attorney, etc.
3. Self-centered… everything is about them… what they want to do, where they want to go on vacation, what they want to eat, what they want to watch etc.
4. Either controls with an iron clad fist or neglects their children… or alternates between the two… creating even more confusion and chaos; their child is always wondering exactly where they stand.
5. Takes credit for anything their child does well; achievements, talent, education, job, etc.
6. Loves babies, preschool age and up to about kindergarten age children. Because at these ages they have a captive audience and adoration; supply. But once past this age (latest first grade) they no longer know what to do with them and pull away leaving the child feeling confused and wondering if they did something wrong.
7. They may go through the basic motions of caring for their children if and when needed (like when the other parent is out of town, sick or in the case of divorce during their possession time) but never have the emotional connection needed to have a healthy relationship with their child.
8. Asking them questions or voicing opposition is a big no… they don't answer to anyone and least of all explain themselves to a child. This brings condemnation, yelling, rage and lashing out.
9. The older the child the more at risk they are for being abused because the parent sees them as a threat; they are becoming their own person with ideas and thoughts.
10. As the child grows a bit older (teen years) they begin to see their parent as mean, grouchy, cold, manipulative, a liar, a cheat, dishonest, two faced, cunning, selfish, child-like, a bully, vindictive, crazy, etc.

a short word about 
The Court System/Divorce/Child Custody:

The family court systems quite frankly for lack of a better word suck as they have no idea the extent of the damage sociopathic parents can do to their children. Judges, attorneys and yes, even the Ad Litem's are not typically schooled enough in psychology regarding narcissists, sociopaths, personality disordered individuals, which needs to change. They are typically so snowed by the cunning facade of the sociopathic parent they merely see a respectable good natured man standing before them in the courtroom… and the parent who is accusing them of being a sociopath will inevitably be viewed as the nut job… which in turn makes for an even more frustrating case for the caring, loving, emotionally healthy parent. It tends to make them more defensive, more attacking and ultimately everything that they truly aren't. A sociopath has the capability of bringing out the ugliest, darkest side of a normal healthy person… driving them to insanity, as they know exactly where to poke and pull the strings like on a puppet. If and when someone tells their attorney that their ex is a sociopath more than likely they will be met with an "Uh huh…", a dismissive nod, an appreciative laugh or even outright ignoring you… because so many people run into their attorney's office during their divorce proclaiming "My ex is absolutely crazy!!!" that many attorney's honestly don't believe them when in reality it may very well be true. 

A sociopath does not co-parent… 

they do the opposite of what you do on purpose. 


People tend to tell the victim: 
"And yet you stayed… so what's wrong with you?" 
They fail to understand that when married to a sociopath 
you are under their insidious hypnotic manipulation. 
You no longer know what's real 
and what's not because the sociopath twists reality. 
One minute you have an adoring
 husband and the next he is discarding you.

Shame on people for blaming the victim. 

It can feel isolating to have had a parent who is a narcissistic sociopath or to have been married to one, because so few people see it or even understand it. But once you realize what you've been through is zero reflection of you but instead that the sociopath is the unhealthy one… you can find affirmation, healing, peace…. and victory! 

There is a new chapter, a new life waiting for you filled with people are genuine, compassionate and kind. 

Have faith that you will prosper! 

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 

  1.  To My Readers: 

       Thank you for reading, 

       commenting and sharing! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 ~ Merry Christmas


What is Christmas to you and your family?

For mine…  it's about prayer, fewer gifts and more thankfulness… more quality time spent together…  it's photo books ordered from Snapfish to give to family to commemorate the past year of special moments… it's mugs of hot cocoa steeped with extra marshmallows after building a snowman…  it's cries of glee at Christmas lights lining rooftops…  it's about paper chains strung across the ceiling and hand cut snowflakes on windows… it's about the American Flyer train chugging around the base of the Christmas tree in the background as "Christ whose birth the angels sing…" plays from the stereo in the kitchen… it's about gingerbread houses decorated with small hands and laced with a whole tub of frosting and m&m's… it's about reading the bible together and my children singing "Happy Birthday, Jesus!"… 

Perhaps for your family it's those things too…. maybe it's a time of much loved family traditions passed down through the generations… maybe it's honey baked ham, potatoes and asparagus followed with great grandmother's homemade pecan pie… maybe it's charades, silly antics and a bottle of wine with plenty of laughs to go around… maybe it's a pancake breakfast, fleece pajamas, karaoke and silly Santa hats…  maybe it's about making new traditions as your life changes, as your family changes…

Perhaps it's a time of closeness, of slowing down a bit, wishing you could freeze time…. but instead taking the alternative… a mental snapshot of the sweet scenery around you… of your tiny nephew giggling with anticipation at his first bite of a Christmas sugar cookie, or your grandmother's quiet thankfulness that you thought of her as she sits in the passenger seat beside you and "Home for the holidays…" plays softly from the car radio while out enjoying Christmas lights… maybe it's the glow of the candle warming your daughter's pink hued cheeks as she sings "Hark the Herald Angel's Sing…" in church during the Christmas Eve service…

Or maybe it's about presents and making sure little Johnny has just the right gift under the tree after an endless string of stores, frustrations and navigating congested traffic… maybe it's about popping an Advil because your head is throbbing from too much noise, too much stimulation and one too many drinks just to get through the dreaded family dinner… maybe it's tears coming to your eyes that your loved one is not there to spend Christmas with who has passed on and leaning on God for comfort and strength… maybe it's thankfulness you have a job, thankfulness you just got promoted or just got an interview… maybe it's being grateful for having food on the table despite your circumstances… maybe it's being thankful for good health, beating cancer and good friends…maybe it's about difficulty and growth… maybe it's about change and resilience… maybe it's about cherishing these last few days of 2013 and pressing forward to the new year because yes, better things are ahead…

No matter what Christmas is to you and your family we know who this day is really about:

Jesus Christ

He wasn't born in a mansion, a palace, or a two story home laced in finery and crystal… he was born in humble surroundings… a manger…  a feeding trough was his bed… he was wrapped in worn cloth to keep warm…

He was sent forth by God…  His one and only Son.

Our gift?

It's not under our Christmas trees adorned in ornaments and lights…

It's not brought by Santa dressed in a red suit and pack thrown on his back…

It's not bought at a store filled to the brim with overrated frivolous merchandise…

It's the greatest gift of all…

It's the gift of eternal life. 

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 

To my readers: 

I pray you and your family have
 a very Merry Christmas… 
one of special moments that bring you
 together in prayer and gratitude… 
in closeness and love… 
and that the upcoming year 2014 
brings abundant blessings to you and yours. 

Bless you! 

              To My Readers: 

               Thank you for reading, 

              commenting & sharing! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Desperation: Drop It like It's Hot

It's that time of year…

when all over the world under bright multi-colored lit Christmas trees in town squares a man will get down on one knee and propose to the woman he loves… asking her out of billions of other fish in the sea to be his one and only. This is a time of magic, of horse-drawn carriage rides for two under blankets, a time of hot cocoa shared at Serendipity's in New York and blushing glances, a time of frozen fingers warmed by holding hands at hockey games and kisses shared between cheers for a favorite team in Dallas… a time of Italian dinners shared over candlelight in Palo Alto and stars in his eyes as she exclaims "yes!" to his lovely words of how much he adores her, how much he values her and hopes she will be his bride for now and forever.

Yes, it's a time of beauty and love and what better time than the magical sweet season of Christmas when the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ is celebrated to profess our love for the one we cherish most?

And yet in that this can be an incredibly lonely time for people, when dinner parties are seated by couples, when photographs are taken of him and her and cards are mailed with Mr. & Mrs. emblazoned across the front… watching others from a table of one as you nurse a coffee in a corner at Starbucks as those couples nearby chat with heads leaned in close, muffled laughs emitted from their giddy bright white smiles… can threaten the feeling of looking conspicuous. And yet…

Conspicuous or Lonely shouldn't lead us to feeling the need for a relationship. 

Here's the truth: 

You Are Not Defined By Being Single.

And your happiness shouldn't be based on whether you have someone or not. If we can't be happy when were single then how on earth can we expect to be satisfied when were a couple?

"Uh, huh!"… you may think grouchily as you cross your arms and snort "humph!" as the song lyrics "…it's the hap-happiest season of allllll…" plays in the background of your mind.

The absolute worst thing we can do is let the whisperings of "I need to find someone… quick" run continuously like a worn out loop in our mind… because this leads us to a very very bad place… a place called…


And that line of thinking does not come from a good place but a very bad, a very dark place filled with men who likely compare to smelly rats that will ironically sniff you out like the next good meal to pounce on because they can smell your desperation a mile away… undeniably not a good thing.

Because desperation leads to ill choices… to one night stands, unhealthy relationships formed that should have never ever taken place to begin with. Desperation begins with the idealizing of love, the clouded idealism of infatuation of what other couples have that is not grounded in reality… desperation begins with timelines and timeframes, alarm clocks and planners, biological clocks and our gynecologist clicking her tongue saying "you're on borrowed time my dear…" and desperation begins with our mother pressuring us to "get out there" however well meaning because she won't be here forever and there are grand babies to be had and for her to enjoy…. desperation begins with all your friends getting married, your baby sister announcing "I'm engaged!" and everyone cheering then giving you the look of pity and walking on eggshells in your midst.

Desperation doesn't find love. 

Desperation finds something that will initially be like an innocuous pot sitting on a stove that once you get close and touch the handle you jump back in alarm because the handle you've come to find out is hot… and you drop it like it's hot just like that guy you will drop once you realize desperation led you to him… an unGodly man… because hot is comparable to hell…. to fire and fury…. and hot has the ability to burn the heck out of your hand… leaving you with scalding burns and the unfortunate remaining scar to prove it.

We have to change our mindset. 

We have to change our internal thought process of "I need someone" to these questions:

How can I become a better person while I am waiting patiently for a Godly man?

Am I prepared to be a wife? Am I prepared for such a huge responsibility?

Am I well versed in what a proverbs 31 wife looks like?

Do I know what makes up a Godly man? Will I recognize him?

Am I engaging in a relationship with God and have I asked Christ to help me remove all barriers to anything I have between me and the Godly man for me?

Have I dealt with my past and am I not defined by it but instead realize it's just a conglomeration of short stories that has led me to where I am standing right now in this moment…

in my kitchen stirring my soup while waiting for my sourdough bread to warm in the oven and for now… right now… perfectly content with a glass of wine for one….

These are the questions to ask… to contemplate while you enjoy that chick flick The Holiday for one… or savoring that devotional in the late hours of the night when all is quiet and you can reflect…

and remembering that the last thing we want to do is get burned but the best thing we can do is be patient, waiting… enjoying our single time between now and when we are warmed….

 on a winter December night by just the right man.

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

sharing and commenting! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jesus Break My Heart For What Breaks Yours


What comes to mind when you think of love?

Oftentimes we tend to think in terms of couples, dating, romance, marriage, and as parents the love we have for our children. Rarely do we perhaps think of Jesus Christ. And yet the truth is, Jesus Christ is the epitome of love and all it's glorious wonder and sacrifice.

Love is bearing nails. 

Love is in his hands. 

Love is Jesus. 

Love is what Jesus did for each and every one of us.

'Cause living He loved me, dying He saved me

And buried He carried my sins far away

Rising He justified freely forever

One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day...

Casting Crowns 

 Glorious Day Lyrics

What is so incredibly beautiful about the love Jesus has for us is that it isn't restrictive. His love doesn't pick and choose. His love covers all people… everyone is included despite our world's often limited views as humans… the poor to the middle class to the rich… all races… both sexes… all walks of life receive Christ's love. He has chosen you because "in Christ" there is neither Jew nor Gentile (refer to Galatians 3:28) and no one is left out.

"When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly"

 -1 Peter 2:23

When Jesus was suffering, was being treated like a criminal… turn the tables and imagine yourself on the cross… any one of us would be incredibly tempted to lash out, to scream, to curse, to yell, to spit back, to fight… and yet Jesus did not go there… to refrain in absolute firm, secure will. 

 "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us" 

-1 John 3:16

Because if he hadn't laid down his life where would we be today? The scripture would not have been fulfilled and Jesus would not have been whom he said to be. There has never been nor will there ever be a greater love than Christ's.

When we love others, when we walk in light, when we forgive other's for their transgressions against us, when we try to understand and feel someone's pain that they are enduring (empathy) versus just eliciting a dismissive "Oh, bummer for you!", (sympathy)  when we share our smile with a stranger… because that one smile just might make the difference between someone who is in the pit of depression, feeling invisible and becoming despondently suicidal instead becoming gloriously hopeful and renewed in spirit…. when we let the person cut in front of us in traffic instead of cutting them off… when we open our hearts, doors and home to someone who maybe doesn't have anyone to spend Christmas with… when we teach our children they do not need the latest and greatest gadget because someone in their same town is going without food and we are called to help those in need… when we choose to not dabble in materialism, idolatry or become "afflicted with affluenza" because the very word "flu" is in it which can lead to death… when we choose to pray for those who have committed the unthinkable, the most detestable things in society because we believe through God, with love, hard hearts can be softened.. when we pray for all humanity… when we act upon all these things and more… we are walking in LOVE.

Today if you could go back in time and stand before Jesus on the cross…

what would you say to him?

What would you feel?

Merely sympathy?

Or empathy?

Would you simply say "Bummer for you!" as you walked by knowing what He did for us? Today do you try to put yourself in his place, imagine what He must have felt? Do you feel moved to tears when you realize the enormity of His suffering and love for us? Would you have knelt before Him and cried for Him as He suffered? Would you have spoken words of love to Him? Would you have sat there all hours into the darkness with him as He cried out to the Lord…

"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" 

Empathy is to step out of ourselves and into someone else's experience. 

Jesus was God on earth…  living, experiencing life as we humans do. 

Jesus walked earth touching our humanity in such a way that he empathized with our hurts, our struggles, our mortal-ness if you will, yet living a sinless life. 

When we live our lives trying to understand others and how they feel versus fixing, pointing or judging as they cry out in despair and grief and hurt… when we instead listen, cry with them, hold their hand and feel their pain in our hearts… 

When we pray "Jesus, break my heart for what breaks yours… "

Then we not only empathize…

But we LOVE

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting & sharing! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Divorce = Losing Friends & Maybe Even Your Bestie

We were best friends. 

However brief in the overall scheme of life.

A few years that were undoubtedly fun filled but at the eleventh hour completely unthreaded like a snagged wool cardigan. It was a friendship of laughs… of shopping for outfits and oh's and ah's at The Limited…. wine on patio's with cute waiter's and pizza pulled from wood fired ovens… it was decorating her apartment and gorging on tacos followed by Ben & Jerry's watching Water For Elephants… it was sharing devotionals and handbags…it was giggling like two school girls in Walgreens over who knows what in Naples on vacation…  it was running in the rain and shrieking with laughter from a night out listening to a mariachi band… 

When I filed for divorce life threw a curve ball I wasn't expecting…

A curve ball that no one tells you could potentially hit you during a divorce. 

Losing your bestie. 

Reality Changes… 

Everything you've known in the past may no longer stand as it did and reality begins nagging at you in the back of your mind like a rough comb… causing you to begin to take a second look… scrutinizing all your relationships a little more intently. 

Words were hurled at me that were more judging and less than compassionate. Words of how I basically needed to hurry up and heal because the dark ugly nastiness that I was holding in during the months following filing were raining on her parade of newly wedded bliss. I began noticing that more casual friends, (aside from my other two closet friends I'd known since forever and my mother) even acquaintances, even the Facebook friend who rarely reached out, were all more supportive than her…. sending me a red flag that something surely was not right. Conversations became distant… with her new life much too busy for me and eventually me just withholding information and emotions when there was contact however minimal because I didn't want to intrude on her buoyant nest of two… so I sucked it all in and pasted thick buttercream happy on my face and in my tone. 

Being Single During Healing… 

It was like suddenly being seen as this dark rain cloud walking around that no one wanted getting near them for fear they'd get wet with the dirty black rain of divorce… others veered off to the opposite side of the street avoiding eye contact… it was this new strange world where you're single and that equates to most in their minds images of beers cheerily shared on patios under twinkling lights and moonlit dates… instead the new reality of singleness brings Saturday nights at home, mismatched socks, a bulky sweater, gaining twenty pounds from stuffing muffins in your face as fast as you can while watching Joey Fatone on t.v. make some dish of whatever and then falling asleep with your deceased sister's stuffed lion clutched under your arm like a five year old because that's all you've got to hug at bedtime. It's that and so much more… the tears, the anger and the heart wrenching disappointment that yes, life turned out like this… the complete opposite of what you wanted. 

You wonder why someone that was your so called best friend would not be there… that found the ugliest time of your life just too ugly for them… you find out she's been communicating with "the other side" and his posse and it hurts. This. is. not. acceptable. Loyalty, as we know is valuable and you've now understandably put an incredibly extra high value on it due to your ex's infidelities and certainly can't handle disloyalty from her… someone you trusted, someone you love, someone you had faith in that was praying for both sides yet cheering for you as a bestie would. Your words of how you're hurt fall on deaf ears. She doesn't care. Just like that. Poof! She's gone. And now she's at his home… your old home. with your children. part of his world now and out of yours. 

You will always cherish the memories you shared. You still care for her, hoping things are going well… and pray that God is blessing her in every way. 

You also know this... 

You would have held her and let her sob until her mascara ruined her face. 

You would have let her ruin the shoulder of your silk blouse in a cloud of tears as she wept. 

You would have clasped her hand while reading God's word to her. 

You would have bought her the pint of ice cream and an extra to tuck in her fridge for a rainy day. 

You would have not tried to fix or reprimand but just listened to all the ugliness leaving her sweet hurt heart in a heaving mess of choked tears. 

You would have taken her shopping and told her "Daniel Craig would make you the next Bond girl for sure! Buy that dress." 

You would have sent her funny cards to cheer her up and agreed that yes, some men behave like swine. 

You would have told her that even in her anger, her hurt, her disappointment, her fury, her despair… that she is amazing, that she is valuable, that she will be victorious, that yes, she is LOVED by God and will go on to live a beautiful life, that He has a sweet plan for her and that you love her. 

Today I'm telling all these things to you: 

That divorce doesn't define you.

The pain and heartache doesn't define you. 

You are loved and are not some subspecies or flawed person incapable of being loved. 

You are already chosen by one man…. Jesus. He died to know you and without a doubt loves you even if you don't have it all together… even with mascara running down your face, even if your hair is a hot mess and you swear you just gained five pounds downing that divine chocolate cake…

 He doesn't care. 

You are His best friend. 

Always and forever. 

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

An Open Letter To Judge Jean Boyd: Ethan Couch, Drunk Driving & Words Of Love To The Families

 this post is not the typical one I write and yet so many people have affirmed it was one that needed to be written. I believe in life as Christians we are called to forgive as we've been forgiven ourselves and just because we do this in the aftermath of great destruction and healing does not mean we also roll over as people pleasers and hold our tongue on things that matter only much to our dismay then later stand frozen as history repeats itself… hence our entire society paying the price including innocent lives lost at the wheels of drunk drivers. We can each make a difference by speaking up for what is right along with large doses of prayer that hearts will be changed, that God will be sought over money and self and good will triumph. 


Dear Judge Jean Boyd,

Texas is being pointed at.




For good reason.

Don’t believe for a second that Texans agree with your ruling in Ethan Couch’s case in which at sixteen he made the conscious choice to get in a vehicle and drive drunk when he knew the outcome held a strong possibility like that of Russian Roulette that he would kill someone.

Yet he didn’t kill just one. That surely would have been bad enough.

But he killed four.  A man has lost his wife. A man has lost his daughter.

Many were injured and suffered.

Texans are embarrassed.

Texans are angry.

Texans are not okay with this.

This cycle must stop.

Because we know what’s winning.

Money. Self. Ego. Evil. And that’s not acceptable.

We want GOOD to win.

We want JUSTICE to win.

We want RIGHT to win.

No matter what or who you believe in no one in their right mind can sit there and say that the ruling on Ethan Couch’s case brought good. People can sit and scream “Separation of church and state” all they want but at the end of the day no matter what or whom you believe in to be a higher power that ruling was not in support of mankind.

I had never heard of this term “Affluenza” until reading about this case. From what I’ve read it means this:

A NARCISSTIC individual who believes they can do whatever they want because money always saves their hiney.

Just because someone is affluent does not mean they should automatically obtain a “get out of jail free card” and not face responsibility for their actions.

"And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in; it chokes the Word, which becomes unfruitful" - Mark 4:19.

We are becoming an UNFRUITFUL society, an UNFRUITFUL nation when drunk drivers continue to wreak havoc on our roads, when these types of soft rulings continue, allowing teenagers and adults to continually commit heinous acts on the road that are highly preventable. Why should Ethan Couch be allowed to be let off the hook?

All rulings need to be set according to the weight of the crime… not according to wallets or race. 

If a poor kid stood before you and said: 

“I came from a poor background. I didn’t know any better.”

That would be insane. And yet your ruling supports that it’s acceptable for Ethan Couch to use “Affluenza” as his defense… that his “poor me” victim mentality cry is perfectly fine and sane is in reality ridiculous, harmful and immoral. It sets the standard for the future, for teens, that this behavior is acceptable.

We want judges who are going to dole out stiffer consequences. Jail time. Additionally, perhaps Ethan Couch would benefit from doing some mandatory court ordered work with Mother's Against Drunk Driving. The truest victory of this horrible loss would be him becoming an advocate against drunk driving. Sending him to a spa-like rehab facility doesn't cut it for consequences. We want judges who are going to stand for something good. Because today, as this stands, we are not impressed. We are angry. And we are sick of seeing men and women crying on our televisions night after night, crying out that someone has been ripped from them and the perpetrator has walked off scotch free.

"I think once you're behind the wheel it doesn't matter where you're from, who you are, how famous you are, how poor, how rich, how anything ... I think when we're given a driver's license, that's a privilege and a part of that privilege has a responsibility," 

- Jeff Miracle, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, told NBC 5

As a nation we are taking a stand.

We want justice for these families.

We want good to win over evil.

And if we can’t get that… we want you removed from the bench.

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 

To the victims families: 

My sister was killed by a drunk driver in 2008 and without a doubt I personally know the loss, the pain, the tears, the magnitude of this… it is heart wrenching and I have zero doubt God is with you in this very moment, the coming days, weeks, months and yes, even years. He is there. Comforting, consoling and giving you strength. May He continue to uplift you, wipe your tears and give you the words needed even if your voice wavers to speak up, to reach out, to do good… to leave a legacy of beauty, hope and resilience that yes, your loss, your loved ones loss will bring GOOD. 

God Bless You

Pray for the victims, their families and for Ethan Couch, pray that he sees that God is much more valuable than anything in his or his parents wallet. 

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Haters Of The World

"Some people are like pox," she told me and I paused staring at her quizzically.

"Like…  chicken pox?" I asked.

"Yeah, like they are a pox on other people's lives. They spew hate and it spreads like an STD, a disease, a plague and ends up affecting everyone… just by how they treat others."

I thought her description was amusing and interesting although I hadn't likened hate to chicken pox or some other disease that's contagious.

Yet there are indeed haters in the world. 

And haters have the ability to spread their message like wildfire, like dominoes, like a bad cases of untreated herpes overnight… infecting others and creating such huge hate that it threatens to overshadow love like an ugly unclean blanket.

Haters Of Jesus & Christians…

There are the haters of Jesus Christ, the haters of Christians. A vocal outcry of hate towards Christians... ----> who speak of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins has unfortunately led many Christians to hide their faith, to minimize it, to smash it down and keep it tucked away for fear that they will be singled out with hate. As Christians Jesus doesn't want us to condemn others for having different faiths… instead, He would be one who would encourage open dialogue among people, encouraging us to extend love and care anyway. We shouldn't squash our faith but let it shine brightly as we each have a story that led us to Jesus. Luckily in the United States we have freedom of speech and hold the right to speak of our love for the Lord and yet it seems to be an unspoken social rule to not speak of Him or even utter "Merry Christmas". Unfortunately in other parts of the world someone could be openly persecuted or even killed for professing their love for Jesus Christ which is heartbreakingly sad. And yet even with freedom of speech how incredibly dismaying to know we love Jesus so much, that each time we ponder the enormity of what He did for us it brings tears to our eyes and yet to not ever speak of it…. that is unfortunate.

Women Hating Women…

There are women hating other women just because they are fit, thin, wealthy, just because of who their married to, what they drive, what they have…  the list goes on. A woman hating another woman based on her looks, her address, etc is not really hating her but envying her. Jealousy is what is at the core here and yet hate like this is based on ignorance. Why would we believe a woman has it all based on what she drives? This is such misinformed thinking and we must be mindful that the woman driving the relatively new Lexus could be counting dollars in her purse, slices of bread in her pantry and wondering how she's going to feed her children that week… because her newly divorced ex hasn't paid child support and she's still job searching. We need to look past what we see. Looking past the exterior and remembering there is a person with a whole life we know nothing about, that is maybe breaking inside and just getting by… instead of spewing hate based on skewed and wrong assumptions we can all choose to extend kindness instead.

Hate Toward Certain Individuals…

There are the haters of homosexual individuals in communities all over the world. As Christian's we know the bible states that God made man; Adam and then Eve. We know the Lord designed man and woman like He did for a reason, to compliment each other, for companionship and reproduction. We don't have to agree with the views of someone who states they are homosexual. As Christians we don't have to agree with a lot of things in life. There are Christians who break away from the traditional views of marriage and certainly not all Christians spew hate toward individuals who are gay yet it does still unfortunately occur today. Being a Christian we are called to love, not hate and not bully. That's the foundation of being a Christian… knowing Jesus Christ died for us, for our sins and being thankful we have His grace, His mercy although far from perfect… having a heart of giving, one of thankfulness and kindness toward others. When we spew hate at a certain group of people we fail as Christians and misrepresent our Lord.

Hating Someone Based On Color…

There are the haters of people of different colors, haters of interracial marriage, haters of someone being viewed as different based purely on color of skin versus being viewed as a person with feelings, a past, present and future. It doesn't make sense to hate someone based on color. It doesn't make sense to hate an entire race of people merely because you've been wronged by someone white, hispanic, black etc. It would be ludicrous to say: "I hate all Vietnamese people because I was raped by a Vietnamese man." That's complete insanity. And yet people may subscribe to this screwed up mentality when they've been wronged by one person or their ancestors have been many moons ago. Instead we must remember that each time we hate someone based on color we are actually engaging in great harm to all people. God hates sin but not the sinner…. let's agree that we wholeheartedly hate the sins of people (of all colors) but love people. That is such a victory and one we can set an example of each and everyday.

When we are messengers of God's word, when we value what Jesus did for us, when we look past the superficial exterior of someone and instead view them as someone who has had triumphs, struggles, losses, and joys… when we acknowledge they have experienced the lows, highs and in betweens of life…. when we see them as people, people very similar to ourselves, then we can do what God called us to do…


© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing!