Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Divorce Recovery

It has been over seven years since my divorce. In that seven years, I have had the privilege of guiding and counseling (to a small degree) friends and acquaintances through difficult marriages, divorces and dating. There were many times during my marriage and through the divorce that I often asked the questions, “Why am I going through this?” and “What did I do that was so bad that I don’t deserve to be happy?” It wasn’t long before I realized that there was certainly a purpose for all the pain I was experiencing. God was using me, in a very small way, to help others who were experiencing the same thing.

This meant that He was going to see me through. He had not left me alone to figure everything out. He was right there by my side to give comfort to my heart that was constantly breaking. I would never claim to have all the answers or that I had not done anything wrong. I certainly had done a lot wrong, but my God is forgiving and loving. That is one thing I know for sure. Anything I said to these people was definitely coming out of experiences and knowledge of where I had been and where I was at the time I was approached. God was giving me the words to say to my friend – words of comfort and hope that, while the situation looks horrible right now, it will get better.

I realize that there are people out there, many of whom I am friends with on Facebook, who probably still judge me to a point because they know more details around my divorce that they should. Live and learn on that, I guess. But I will not apologize to anyone for my actions. I have been forgiven by the only person that matters to me. My God. It has certainly changed my view of religion and the church. It has changed my view of relationships and marriage. It has softened my heart to those people who are hurting and hardened my heart to those people who want to judge and make their own calls on situations that are none of their business. Basically, I will not be pushed around anymore but yet, I have compassion for the lost and hurting in a way that not everyone can understand.

There is an opportunity for me to help start a Divorce Recovery group at my church. This is so exciting to me and yet I am very nervous. I have been judged and hurt by my “church friends” in the past. Those were different churches and different friends than I have now. I have to trust that God will bring this to fruition as it has been a passion of mine for a very long time. I want to give others hope that life after divorce can be wonderful. God hates divorce. He doesn’t hate the people in the divorce. He is a just and forgiving God and He IS love for everyone.

This is the book we are looking at using for the class.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Books, Reading and Emotions


When I have a chance, I love to read. I love to find an author that I can get into, read the whole serious and long for more. It's been a while since that's happened. But, there are woman at work who are passing around all the Jodi Picoult books. I've read one so far (Mercy) and am on my second one (House Rules). For some reason, this book has caused me all kinds of emotional mix up. Basically, it's about a boy, Jacob, who has Asperger's Syndrome. His single mother and younger brother are all he has and their whole world is wrapped up in taking care of him. There is a murder in their small town where they already don't fit in and now he's the suspect because the victim is his social interaction therapist.

It took about three chapters into the book for me to go, "Oh, this is getting really good." I spend my lunch hours reading and then last night, I sat on the couch for over two hours reading. Poor Jeff. He thought, for a little bit, that he had to sit with me with the TV off. I finally said,"You can watch TV. It doesn't bother me." It's that good. I am really just overcome with emotion for what it would be like to be them. Why does this happen to me?  There was also a little Facebook drama that happened yesterday that probably didn't help. And I've been going through some major changes personally, so maybe it's just a culmination of everything put together and it's just coming out this way.

Either way, I do like the way Jodi P writes. I would definitely read her stuff. It's a pretty easy read. The books are thick so I can't get through them in a night like I would like, but it's all worth it. It's just nice to take time to sit and read. I think it's good for the soul. I hope to spend time sitting poolside this weekend reading....if I don't die of heat stroke because it's day 19 or over 100 degree weather here in the wonderful state of Texas. Love you all!
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Monday, July 11, 2011

A little more about Park City, Utah


(Some of this is repeat info) Not very often do I get to travel. This year has been the biggest year of travel for me, not that it's been great, exciting places, but I have gotten on a plane more this year than any other year. I should definitely take more advantage of my friend who works for American....or just plan travel time. The main trip this year was for work. We have a team meeting once a year. Our team is spread from Singapore, to Virginia, to Memphis, to Dallas, the UK and other remote offices. This is our one opportunity to see each other face to face. The organizers seem to try to give up great opportunities to stay at amazing places and see things we may not otherwise see. This year we stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Park City, Utah. The hotel is breathtakingly beautiful.


This was the view from my room. I became very facinated with the mountains. The weather was perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. Like last year when we went to Colorado Springs, if the weather was like that most of the time this is definitley some place I would consider living one day. There isn't much around where the hotel is but the town is growing....and there's a shopping center not that far away - WITH a Wal-Mart.

We had activities that we had signed up for during registration. I chose the ATV tour - which I L.O.V.E.D. and decided immediately I needed my own ATV WITH a mountain. It was the most fun I had had in a very long time. The next afternoon, I was supposed to do the Olympic Gold Package that included a bobsled ride, two ziplines and an Alpine slide. It rained, however, and all we were able to do was the bobsled. That took forever because of the lightening. Every time it hit anywhere near us we had to wait 20 minutes. The ride went about 65 miles per hour in about 60 seconds. Yeah. I will never be doing anything like that again. I rode with two coworkers who are probably half my size and being the mom that I am, chose the back seat because I didn't want them getting thrown around. Yeah.....

Getting ready, lookin' tough!

This is us. I'm in the back, Andrea in the middle and Melissa up front.

All in all, it was an amazing trip and a great experience that I will never forget. It's so wonderful to work for a company that takes us to places like this. These are things I wouldn't do otherwise. I just don't know how to spend that kind of money. Maybe one day I'll learn.


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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

June into July

The end of June, 2011 was amazingly crazy with travel and stuff. Michale and  his band Mouth of the South went on a journey to Illinois to play at the Cornerstone Festival for the second year in a row. He is more distant right now than he has ever been, but he knew I was praying for safe travels so that's all that matters. Alyssa was taking a road trip with her friend, Marissa, to Pennsylvania. Marissa's dad and stepmother live there and I guess she normally flies but since they are 18 and out of high school a road trip sounded better. They are coming home today and Alyssa sounds tired but I know they had a wonderful time. What a great adventure! I would have never thought about going out of state at that age. It was all I could do to go to Galveston at 18.

Benjamin had surgery for his deviated septum on June 27th. All went well and his text to everyone was "This is life changing." Who knew being able to breathe through your nose wasn't something everyone could do! Jonathan spent several days with Grandy and Grampa (my stepmom and dad) while I went to Utah for a company team meeting. They went to Legoland and made raisins, among a lot of other things. Jonathan was definitely kept very busy and had a wonderful time being special. Then I went to Utah and Iowa all in the span of seven days. I think I saw more of the US in those seven days than I had my whole life. Not really, but it sure felt like it.


So Utah - this was for our Annual Global Customer Marketing team. We are spread all over the world, literally, so it's our one time a year to come together and see each other face to face. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Park City hotel and spent a lot of time at the Utah Olympic Park for various activities. Hilton is a big USOC sponsor so we tend to focus on that during these trips. The first night there we saw the Flying Ace All-Star show. The skiers mingled with our group before performing and then afterwards took pictures with us. That was one definite must see if you are ever in the area.



The next day we had meetings in the morning and then did the ATV tour that afternoon. That has to be the most fun I've had in a long time. I decided I need an ATV that comes with a mountain because I'm sure it's just not as fun without the mountain. The view was beautiful and incredibly dirty but SO fun! Wednesday was a rainy day so it put a damper on our plans to do all of the Olympic Gold package which was the bobsled, two ziplines and an alpine slide. We did end up doing the bobsled and, while I'm really glad I did it, I would never do it again. It was just way too rough. I think we got up to close to 70 mph in about 60 seconds. Yeah....
















So there is a new man in my life. He's not new to me at all but he's new to everyone around me. His name is Jeff McKim. We met in February of 2004. Without going into great detail, we had a connection that just never took off. We remainded friends all this time. In May of 2009, Jeff had a stroke that left him in a coma for six weeks. The doctors didn't think he would live but he did. I tell him all the time, God saved his life so that we could finally be together. I didn't know about the stroke until about a year or more later. He found me on Facebook when he was in rehab. I went to see him once and it honestly just broke my heart. To see this 6'2" man who used to be so strong and alive having a hard time walking and talking was apparently something I wasn't able to handle right then. I hate admitting that, but it's true. Then, this past February my friend asked me if I had heard from him. I decided to see what he was doing. When I looked at his Facebook it said he lived in Grinnell, Iowa. I knew that was where he was from so I immediately emailed him. He said he had moved there in January to be closer to his parents. He was still in rehab but his stepdad wasn't doing well so he wanted to be close to help his mom and dad out.

Over the last four months, there have been endless hours spent on Skype and the phone, a couple of visits to Iowa and one back to Texas, but it wasn't long at all before we both just came clean about our feelings for each other. I can't tell you in words how wonderfully peaceful it feels to have someone love you unconditionally and to be able to love him back the exact same way. I have never felt this love. I knew it existed and I knew I wanted it but I didn't think it was for me. I didn't believe that I deserved it. But I do. I know that now. I can say, for the first time in my life, I feel like things are pretty perfect. I have my kids, my parents and now a man that truly loves me in spite of myself.

Beryl, Jeff and Deena - my family addition

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