Saturday, January 28, 2012

Politics, the ghetto and beautiful, dramatic, things

"Be patient. I promise that beautiful things will come."

I wish someone would have so simply said this to me 4 years ago. Be patient. I promise that beautiful things will come. They have. Even through my impatience.

So much inside me. Today I volunteered to refurb a home. I have done this for years with my dad, since I was 14 or so. It's been years since I've done it. It was nice to give my time for something bigger than myself. Something that in no way benefited me monetarily. I missed 6 hours of work to do it. It was worth it. For this lesson if nothing else.

We were in the ghetto. Straight hood. Not even joking. You went to scaryland and turned left and it was right there. We were working on a house that was next to a vacant lot that was fenced in with 8' chain link fence. A friend and I climbed over the fence to clear out landscaping that had rotted on the other side. We were hauling tree limbs and such and the guys on the other side were loading it in the truck and would leave to go to the dumpster. At one point it was me and D, alone, inside this 8' fence, watching scary people walk past us. I'm trying not to judge or be dramatic but this is honestly somewhere we had no place being. I'm pretty sure I've seen it on COPS. I realized as 2 people walked back and started at us, we were inside this fence with no way out, how quickly things can change. Maybe it's the books I read, the shows I watch, or just an over active imagination, I was trying to figure out how best to climb a tree in case we were caught in a street fight or something. Life can change in an instant. Luckily for me it didn't.

Life as normal. I got back into my car, drove to the park and enjoyed the rest of the day with the kids, J and the dog. Then we met my parents for dinner, went for ice cream, went for a long walk, played and had a great night just being together. Enjoying my beautiful things.

My aunt wasn't feeling well and went to the ER and found out she had had a heart attack. The next day she had triple bypass. She's doing ok but lifed changed in an instant.

I watched someone run a red light today that could have very easily tboned the car that had the green light. Near misses all around us. Every day.

I'm being redundant but only because it's ridiculous. Life can change in an instant and people don't get it.

I'm so tired of the political commercials that have already started. The mudslinging. The politicking to bring people over to your side by bashing someone else. By grandstanding. By fake promises. By spreading lies. By manipulation. It's ugly and it's hateful. Unfortunately it's a reality in my life everyday.

People disappoint you. The older I get the more I see this. I'm judged. People don't like me because they don't know me. They have listened to mudslinging. Or judged me based on how I acted or reacted to life changes I had absolutely no idea how to handle. I'm far from perfect. I don't think I'm better than anyone else. I have apologized for things I was never meant to apologize for and where did it get me? Half past crazy is where it got me.

There are so many phone calls I want to make right now. So many texts, so many emails. The gist are all the same. Why? Why have you got so much resentment in your heart? Why have you so much anger that you can't see straight? What has so poisoned your heart that you are blind to what is most important in this world? Family doesn't work by ballot. You are born into the family God saw best to suit you. It's not always easy to make a family work but you never stop trying. You should certainly never politic a point to the point where sides are drawn.

Life can change in an instant. What's it take to bring people back together? A heart attack? A near death experience even if it was an imagined gun fight you were caught in? My heart is heavy. I don't know other people's hearts but I know mine.

On my soapbox I am grandstanding for forgiveness. Acceptance. Understanding. Healing and Reconciliation.

Sounds like a pipe dream. Sounds dramatic and all rainbows and butterflies. But as I have said before, I don't want just an ending. I'm waiting for a beautiful ending. To join my beautiful things that I have patiently waited for.

My life is changing. My heart is too. I'm blessed because I have allowed God to show me better Check Spellingfrom bad. To show me love from hurt and to show me acceptance from judgement.

Blessed everyday. More and more....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A new addition, healing phone calls and things we didn't know we needed.

I make quick decisions. As evidenced by the dog sitting on my lap. Yesterday Jason and I were both off and we were sitting at lunch and I said, let's get a dog. The kids, all 4 of them, have been wanting a dog for as long as I've known them. I've never been much of a dog person but being home in KY and seeing Coach reminded me of how much love they give. Coach saw me through my darkest days. Our new lil pup will be with me through the best.

We drove to GA to meet the dog breeder and on the way we talked about responsibility. Conversation was pretty much how it was going to be Jason's dog and his responsbility. I told him if we decided to get it Jason could ride back with the dog on his lap and I would drive. I sat on the sidewalk and the dog was in my lap and that's all she wrote. He rode home on my lap as Jason drove.

Jason and I have something to love together. That is our own. It's a special feeling and we are loving it. Jason wanted this dog. I didn't know I did and now I can't imagine his clumsy, holy terror self not being here to play with and love.

God anwers prayers every day. Today it was a much needed, over do phone call for someone I love. Took a scary moment for the phone call to happen and I'm believing it's a start to healing.

Jason wanted to get me an Iphone for my bday the first year we were together. I told him quite adamently that I was a blackberry girl and I didn't want or need an Iphone. I have been addicted ever since that shiny phone was placed in my hand. Much like how I've loved Jason since I met him. Much like this lil dog asleep on my lap.

God gives us what we need when we need it. Not necessarily what we want. Or what we think we need.

Sure I could have gotten along fine with my blackberry. But what a new world the Iphone has opened up to me. I could have still been out there dating the wrong guys blogging about heartache but God gave me Jason. And I could have kept saying I'm not a dog person and don't understand animal lovers but look at what I'd have missed out on.

Adding a puppy to the chaos of our lives is something I welcome with open arms. The accidents he has in the house we forgive. The shoes he ever chews of mine Jason will hopefully hide from me. The kids are so excited to meet him they can't stand it.

God gives us what we need. When we need it. Brand Spanking Neu is the latest example. I'm so excited to see what else God shows me. Excitedly waiting in His time.

Blessed because my God cares enough to give us the perfect pup for our family. How much more does He care about the bigger things in life? I'm seeing everyday because we are looking. Change your perspective, change your life. It's happening to us. I pray the same for you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My hope, sales and Nanas.

Nana had surgery today and came thru it really well. So thankful. That is one special lady. I talked to her yesterday and in the middle of nowhere she said, "Now Missy, you need to write a book. And I mean right now." I was like, where'd that come from? She said, well I've been reading your blog and you need to write a book so other people can read this. I love that woman. I told her there's a book inside me, one day she'll get to read it.

Wouldn't be half the woman I am today if it weren't for her. She has loved me and prayed me through more than you can imagine. Everytime I'd get down and frustrated she'd let me, then would remind me that I'd have all I need in God's timing. Nana was right. As she so often is. I love that special lady! I pray everyone has a Nana in their life.

Oh the joys and drama of social networking. I had over 500 friends on both my facebooks and I cleaned house and it felt good. Drama was deleted. People that didn't need direct insight into my life was deleted. Some just deleted because I didn't know who they were. Just like this blog, sometimes I consider deleting my facebook because people try to make it ugly. But the past few years, months, days, I've put prayer requests out there, put private requests for prayer out there and am always overwhelmed with how willing people are to take time out of their lives to pray for me and my family and circumstances. Things meant for good only become bad when people make them ugly. I have taken the ugly out.

Encouraged by the quality of the people I am seeing at work. I know that this year will be successful. I know I'm right where I am meant to be and I am selling the right homes to the right people. What a great gift that is to be able to help people into their dream. I love my job.
I continue to do what I need to do and I know the sales will come. I'm so much looking forward to this year.

My hope. My hope is for so much. But above all my hope is in God. I know that life will always be hard. Sometimes harder than others. But when hard things come up and you are covered in prayer, good can come out of it.

Aaron Shust sings it best, "My hope is, in you Lord, all the day long. I won't be shaken by drought or storm. A peace that passes understanding is my song and I sing, my hope is in you Lord."

A peace that passes understanding is my song. That's a pretty good song to have. Why am I blessed with all that I have? Despite my mistakes, my divorce, my choices, I have everything I have ever wanted. People criticize me. Tell me how I feel. Tell me I'm not a Christian. That I think I'm perfect. "I won't be shaken by drought or storm." My life has chaos I don't understand and sometimes seems more than I can deal with. But I always have what I need. "A peace that passes understanding is my song." When the world is against me, when Satan is laughing in my face, when the giants seem too big..."I sing, my hope is in you Lord."

Satan doesn't often bring out the big guns for the weak. For the ones who won't fight back. If Satan is attacking this hard, I can promise you this. God has some mighty blessings headed towards the Neu's in 2012. And Satan won't win. His minions won't bring me down. My feet are planted firmly in HIS word, in HIS promises, and Satan can't fight that. Neither can the haters. And that makes me smile.

A peace that passes understanding is my song. Can't be mad with that in my head. What song is playing in yours?

Blessed because my God is bigger than all this. And I am so excited about where we're going!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Welcome to the crazy

I've gotten an update that my blog viewership has drastically increased over the past few days. I'd like to welcome everyone, new and old. This blog over the past few years has been an outlet for me. And I'm thankful for it. If nothing else it serves as a great read for what God can do in someone's life. I encourage you to read back through the years. It's a story of sorrow, pain, loss, triumph, determination and grace.

I don't understand people. So many people hurting so many people. There are people in my life fighting real problems. Cancer, surgery, unemployment, infertility, divorce, broken relationships. So the minutia kills me. The older I get the less patient I get for disrespect, ugliness, arrogance, entitlement.

Spiritual warfare is a very real thing. In this very ugly world. Whenever you cleanse or detox yourself you fight some sort of reaction. Shakes, headaches, mood changes. When you live you life to glorify God, to take care of those around you, to live your life for a purpose beyond yourself, Satan goes on the attack. I'd welcome headaches and shakes over this. Lies, betrayal, hurt. It's not fun. But God never said life would be easy, He only said we'd never have to go alone.

My Christianity has been called into question. Gotta love the judgers huh? I make mistakes. Everyday. I react negatively. Everyday. I also have something called grace. I pray. Everyday. A lot. To be a good steward with what I've been given. To be whatever I can to whoever I meet that day. I pray for forgiveness for when I act out of line. For when I have bad thoughts. Its human nature. Thankfully I have a God I answer to, not humans. People let you down. Luckily my God is a lot more forgiving than people I don't even know who judge me.

I've never in my life been so hated. Had my character and my reasoning and the things I do called into question. It doesn't and won't make me stop though. If there's one underlying message from this blog it's that all this does is fuel me to love harder, give more, try to understand deeper.

Jason and I are fighting battles. As does everyone. We are fortunate enough to have a solid belief that God will guide us in His way for the best for our life. That sounds nice. In reality the road is paved with so many boulders and potholes and craters being blasted that it's hard. So hard. Some days harder than others.

"When you come to the edge of all the light you see and you are about to step off into the darkness, faith is believing one of 2 things will happen. There will be something solid to stand on, or you'll find your wings to fly."

We are stepping off into darkness. Dodging bullets as they come. But this battle isn't ours. The battle isn't yours. David and Goliath...what you make your giant becomes bigger. David was facing a real giant and God gave him 5 pebbles. Ha. Can you imagine? It'd be like Tim Tebow in overtime against the Steelers. Oh wait. Nice reference huh? David prayed over the pebbles and God took care of the rest.

Mustard seeds, pebbles, faith like a child. I have that. I'm praying Jason stands in that as well. Because God has made something beautiful out of our ugly pasts. And He's going to make something beautiful out of this.

In the end, God will be glorified for the blessings, for the joys, for the abundance of gifts He has for us. I don't want an ending to this. I'm praying, faithfully, for a beautiful ending to this.

I'm blessed because I know who has my back. Who has yours?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chin hairs, high heels and heartache

I am blonde and don't have a lot of unwanted hair. Thankfully. I have the threader spring thing to make sure I dont look like Chewbacca. I have a thing with plucking. Ask Jason. It's one of the reasons he married me. Ha, kidding. He hates it. But I make sure that I don't have a blonde uni brow, mustache, yada yada. Never been an issue. Last night I found a dark chin hair. I'm pretty sure it's all downhill from here.

This blog has a broader audience than I realized. I have always lived my life with my heart on my sleeve. I can't change that about myself. This blog started out as something for me to get my feelings outside of myself because it's the only way I can process my thoughts. Through my posts I get emails and comments that it's encouraged someone. Or touched someone. Or made someone else think about things differently. That makes me keep blogging.

I'm not ashamed of what I've gone through. On the other side of miserable, lonely and sad now I can look back through the blogs and see the steps I've gone through towards healing. And who it brought me too. That anyone would use this blog as anything other than what it's intended for makes me sad. Because I live my life to make other's feel special. To help other's through their journeys. To share in the stories these blogs bring to my life. If I made someone feel less lonely then it's worth the transparency I bring.

Life has gotten really complicated over the past few days. Marrying a man who had kids was something I shy'd away from for a long time because of what I went through. I prayed that God would lead me to the right man for me. And He did. And he had 3 kids.

The story starts there. My mom tonight told me that she has been praying for the circumstances in her life to not have an ending but a beautiful ending. How do you get there other than having a starting point..

Anytime you come into anyone else's life you bring baggage. And I have always said that I have baggage. But my baggage is the expensive, pretty kind. Totally being literal here because my Ralph Lauren baggage is pretty. My emotional baggge is not. The man I married had baggage. And the more in the baggage I get the more I see what it is. It's 3 beautiful kids who are confused. They live 2 separate lives. With us and without us. We pray for them every night. That we can be the right example, that they are loved and protected. That they know we love them and have their best interest at heart. Always.

Sometimes the right answer isn't the easiest answer. Sometimes the decision we make through tears have to be made. And we are able to make those decisions because they are covered in prayer. Kids don't always understand. And that's a hard line to toe. Even harder in high heels. But we as the parents have an obligation to make the best decision for the kids. Even when it hurts.

There's a lot I would like to say but I have to not right now. When you make your life about someone else it's a recipe for disaster. I've said this before and in the wise words of Max Lucado, what you dwell on becomes your giant. I can't control how others look at me. I can't control how other's live their lives. What I can control is what I dwell on and what I choose to make larger in my life.

2012 is a pruning year. It's the 6th day in the year and it's been a tough 6 days. It's been hard choices, a lot of prayer and even more heartache. I didn't always understand the reasoning behind my parents decisions when I was growing up. With kids now that fall under our influence I have a greater appreciation.

People will judge. It's human nature. People will envy. It's human nature. What isn't human nature is hurting other's out of spite and resentment. Or maybe that is a human nature for some. That makes me sad. It's time we all take a hard look in the mirror and make sure we are living a life that is honest, real and sincere. That the decisions we make for ourselves that affect others aren't done on a whim.

My life is transparent. I have a husband I adore. I have 3 stepkids I love. I have parents and inlaws who are so supportive it makes me stand in awe. If they have so much love for us, if they have our best at heart, how much more does our Father God have for us?

I've had 4 amazing male examples in my life. My dad, my Papaw, my Popsy and my husband. They have protected me. They have adored me. They have disciplined me. They have scolded me when I was wrong and they have directed me. They have guided me and they have loved me. They have never judged me. I love them all. I respect them all. Not because they always told me what I wanted to hear. Not because they always gave in to everything I asked for. Because they have all loved me enough to tell me No when it was needed. To listen to me. To trust in me. And I respect them all for that. I feel so safe in my husband's arms. How much more does our Heavenly Father want to comfort me?

One of my favorite songs right now is "Always" by Kristian Stanfill "My foes are many, they rise against me But I will hold my ground I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm My help is on the way, my help is on the way."

My foes are many. But this battle is not mine to fight. Jason and I are united in loving our 3 kids, we are united in growing our relationship and we are united in supporting each other.

Through chin hairs, heartache and tears, we will stand together. Him 6'3 and handsome. Me in my high heels, we'll carry on through life with our beautiful baggage we will never give up on, replace or let go of.

Blessed because God is guiding us. I pray the same for you.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Skiing, family and drama...

This Christmas was one for the books. We surprised the kids with a trip to KY and skiing. And a game at Rupp arena, my favorite place on earth. Sold out game and dad was able to get 15 seats so a whole group of our family got to sit together and had a blast. And made so many memories. It was wonderful.

And now back to reality.

Today on the way to work I prayed, as I always do. That my heart would be right. That I would be able to be whatever I was needed to be to whoever I met or talked to. That I would have a servant's heart no matter the situation or whatever was thrown at me. I felt good.

That lasted until about 2pm. When I found out that the bain of my existence had again reared it's (her) ugly head.

My life is so great. It's more than I could have ever asked for. On the trip back from KY I had 12 hours to do nothing so I read back through this blog. It's amazing to me how far God has brought me. The amazing man I have in Jason. Seeing him in KY with all my family warmed my heart. So many people hugged me and told me how great it was to see me so happy. To see me so me compared to the last time they had seen me. It's hard not to compare when you find yourself in situations you've been in before. When my ex husband went to KY with me it was terrible. It was me constantly making sure he was ok. That his feelings weren't hurt. That he wasn't feeling left out. I lost him at one point during the trip and I found him outside crying. Because he was upset about something. Did I mention it was for my Papaw's funeral that he was there? I spent my time making sure he was taken care of. This trip I lost Jason a few times. I found him playing basketball with the kids outside. Or helping my aunt fold clothes. Or talking to Nana. The differences will never be lost on me.

I will never get tired of saying how much I love that man and how thankful I am that he is in my life. He jokes and says he saved me. He didn't. I was in a really good place when I met him. But everyday he shows me what unconditional love is. What it means to love someone else more than yourself. I'm so blessed.

The trip had some lows. As life always does. Things with my family are still disappointing. Some people will always judge and hurt others. That's their issue. It's not mine. My parents are so giving. They give and give and give. And when it hurts to give sometimes, they give more. Is a good lesson in loving unconditionally. I'm still learning that.

There are a few people in my life that try their best to make it miserable. Daily. Trying to one up our parenting and steal the joy we share with the kids. It won't work. One day the kids will realize what it is we have given them. We may try to one up. Actually we do try. Everyday. To love them more, encourage them more and spend quality time with them that matters. It will matter to them one day when the thrill of trips, and clothes and tv's and electronics wears off. We give them that. And so much more. You can't buy love. Or memories. I'm holding on to that.

There are a few people in my family who hurt me. There are a few friends who have deleted me. They were there for me when I was miserable, they can't stand to be around me now that I'm happy. I don't rub what I have in anyone's face. But you can't hide what's real. You can say all day over facebook how much you love your life. Doesn't make it true.

I was annoyed today with the posers. I was angry with the people who copy me. I was ready to punch a few people for hurting those I love. But I prayed about it. Then I went to dinner with my handsome husband and had a nice dinner. I fell more in love with my husband tonight. If there's anything I could wish for others it would be that. That you find and know what falling MORE in love with someone feels like. It's pretty incredible.

You can't fake what's real. You can try. And what you end up with is a cheap substitution of what you'll never have. Keeping up with the Neu's can't happen. We're on the fast track to continuing the wonderful life we have together. If you're desperate to find that happiness, you have to find it for yourself. Copying what we have wont bring anything except wearing the wrong jewelry with the wrong shirt, looking goofy and going broke trying.

2011 brought me a husband, success at a job I love, a stronger relationship with 3 special kids and a great year with my parents, in laws and family.

2012 will bring much of the same. I'm praying for new friends, a church that we can call home, renewed friendships, more success at work, a great year with our kids, parents and family. And hopefully a neu baby (or 2)

God has blessed me with so much. And when much is given much is expected. I still stumble, I still fall. But as I told the kids on the ski slopes as they were crying out of frustration because they had fallen hard...the only way to get down is to get back up again. And the complete joy on their faces as they were flying down the slopes once they got back up, brushed the snow from their suits, is a great reminder that life isn't always easy but the journey is more than worth the frustration of the fall!

Blessed and excited to see what this year holds for the Neu's!