Thursday, December 29, 2011

Move your body, ladies

I can honestly say that I love to run.  Sometimes I dread the thought of it because I want to be lazy and play on Facebook or read books or do whatever, but once I take that first step the “runners high” sets in and I start to feel incredible!  I also like the way that I feel afterwards, how running makes my body look better, how much stronger my heart is, and the fact that I get to say, “I’m a runner.” (I always wanted to say that when I was the fat kid, but I’ll share that with you at another time.)  What do you do to make your body better?  You know, it’s not just for your body, it’s for your mind and Spirit too! 

Carving out a little time for yourself is very tough for single moms, so I am right there with you and understand your struggles!  I work full-time, take care of a house alone, and have two kids in middle school with homework and activities.  Regardless, I take the time to take care of my body.  Now, I am NOT a runway model by any stretch of the imagination, but I am fairly fit for 43 years old.  I do want to lose 15 pounds this year which will make my running a bit easier and (should) get rid of (most of) my pudgy belly.

Exercising will also restore some of your confidence which, if you are like me, may have suffered since your divorce.  When your body feels stronger, your mind feels stronger and your Spirit is stronger.  The whole time I run I talk to God.  It’s just me and Him.  When I start to get tired, I recite this verse:      

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

You can make a million excuses, but if you know what happened on Survivor or Dancing with the Stars, then you probably have 30 minutes 5 times a week to exercise.  Can you go to the local gym on your lunch break?  Can you get up 30 minutes earlier to do a DVD?  (Oh, I just started Insanity on my non-run days!  It’s a killer!)  Where else can you find time for YOU?  You deserve it!  You need it!   Exercise will give you more energy and will help you sleep better too.   We’re some stressed out women – and need an outlet! Sweat a little!  Get tough!  Feel strong again!  YOU deserve to be the BEST YOU that you can be!  God wants you to be the BEST YOU too! I love exclamation points! J

Talk to me – what’s your plan?  What are you going to do to move your body?  Do you have any fitness goals? 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Do you name your ex-boyfriends too?

Like “The Heart Breaker” or “Mr. Forgot His Wallet” (yes, that really happened), or how about “The Old Guy.”  Oh, and I cannot forget "The Psycho."  I have been single for 5.5 years, so have some funny dating stories to tell, but a few definitely require a nice glass of wine first.  You have to laugh, though!  I wonder if men do it too?  You think they name us?  If they do, I wonder what they call me?  On second thought, maybe I really don’t want to know!  What do you think they call you?

Talking on the phone 101

I love that clip from “He’s Just Not That Into You” when Drew Barrymore is telling her friend about getting rejected via email, snail mail, and texting.  Check this out:

There is actually a lot of truth to that scene. I have been rejected FIVE, count them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 times in the past year.  One actually had the decency to text first to see if he could call to “talk” – which I knew where that was going.  Another sent an email, another texted, another texted to “talk,” another did a no-show then texted that he forgot the date.  It’s a terrible feeling to invest a little bit of your heart into someone who does not respect you enough to be honest with you and confront you like an adult.  It makes you question your self worth.  That goes both ways, Sisters.  Break up with him respectfully, just as you would want to be broken-up with.  On the flipside, when he is doing something right that you want to acknowledge, he will really get your point if you take the time and make the effort to tell him face to face.   

Why do men fear the phone these days?  Is texting any easy shield to hide behind?  I miss the old-fashioned fluttery feeling in my tummy that I got when a guy called me.  I think men are super scared of rejection, so feel safer texting.  Less “putting yourself out there,” I guess.  Also, when you do a lot of texting, then the texts become less frequent for whatever reason (say, work or something like that), you go into freak-out mode.  Satan loves to take you to the worst place.   

Texts are easily misinterpreted, so try to avoid them as much as possible.  I say a man who does not have the cahoonies to call you is an indicator that the man has communication problems.  We’re adults here.  Not teenagers.  PLUS, after the break-up, you will be so conditioned to checking your phone for his texts that you will drive yourself crazy constantly checking your phone to see if he texted you to get back together.  Don’t ask me how I know.

So, here’s the deal ladies, if he is an obsessive texter - put the kibosh to it!  Just say NO! You want to know why?  Because I said so, that’s why! (I’m kidding.)  Really, raise your bar.  If your relationship starts out with a lot of texting, don’t be surprised if it ends that way too.  Expect a man to be able to tell you how he is feeling – good or bad – with his voice.  You will both have clarity.  You will both be better off for it in the end.  Maybe, just maybe, part of the reason that you are divorced is because of poor communication in your marriage??  So is texting really a solution to poor communication skills, or another portal for deficient skills that you need to develop?  We can’t do the same stuff over and over and expect different results.  We need clarity.  Answers.  That only comes from actually talking to each other.  Talking to each other?  Imagine that!      

Monday, December 26, 2011

Step 1: Let go of your past

This is your new life - love it or hate it. “It is what it is.”  We cannot change the situation regardless of how much we cry, hate, argue, complain to everyone we know, drink, party, stay busy, overeat, try to rationalize, go to counseling, etc.  The faster you stop the madness of trying to fill that empty spot, the sooner you will be on your road to recovery and wondering why you ever wasted so much time wallowing in your sorrow.  Your kids will be better adjusted for it as well and will able to heal quicker too.  Life will have disappointments, but you are not the only one who has gone through a divorce.  Your story, to you, is the worst of them all, but we all have our own stories every bit as painful.  I am not going easy on you here, ladies.  It's time to put on your big girl panties and get on with your life.

During my 1-year separation from my ex-husband and well into the year or two that followed, I adopted a “fake it until you make it” attitude.  I did everything I could to control my emotions in public and around my children.  Please don’t be the woman who emotionally throws-up all of the yucky details of your ex-husband and your divorce to a stranger, or more importantly around your children.  Women (and men, for that matter) who share personal things with strangers are kind-of sad.  Don’t you think? We usually avoid those people the next time we are around them because they wreak of negativity.  Furthermore, throwing-up on a non-Christian will yield responses like the ever-so-popular, “You need to go get yourself a boy toy.”  A boy toy?  That could be what got you into your divorce to begin with!  Was your ex-husband someone you shared too much too soon with (physically or emotionally)?  Did you have sex with him before marriage?  Have you ever thought that this non-Biblical behavior set your relationship up for disaster before it ever really started?  Let’s get real here, ladies, and take some ownership for our failed marriage and/or relationships.  Maybe he had an affair, but can you see where maybe, just maybe, you compromised your values that set the stage for some of this in the first place?  When relationships don’t start with God at the center, we cannot expect them to end with God in the center.  Some couples come to God together during marital struggles, but those are exceptions.  Let’s make a commitment to have Christ-centered relationships from here on out?  Shall we?  And the advice we take should ONLY come from Believers.  There is not a shortage of advice out there, but if it is not Biblical advice – run from it like you butt’s on fire!
So, how do you let go of your past?  Let’s start with what the Bible says in Philippians 3:13. “… but I focus on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”  Of course, that is easier said than done, and the enemy looooves to remind us of our miserable, painful past.  God doesn’t want us to hold on to our past.  The following verse (v.14) in Philippians states, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”  That ultimate prize is Heaven, but there is so much beauty while we are still on Earth to enjoy in the meantime.  Talk to God in prayer more than you talk to others.  He will bring you comfort and peace.  You must first find that peace in Him; otherwise you will go through friends who want to hear your story over and over and therapy like nobody’s business!
I have an ex-boyfriend that gave me this advice that I want to share with you.  Think about your problems, your troubles, your worries, your regrets, your mistakes… and mentally put them in a suitcase(s).  Now, pick up those suitcases (I needed a trailer for all of my suitcases) and haul them to the cross.  Imagine a cross like the one Jesus died on at Calvary.  Now, dump those suitcases at the foot of the cross and walk away.  Don’t look back.  Just give them to Christ and walk away.  He wants your worries and your troubles.  I go through this mental exercise daily with anger, worries, regrets, etc. 
One of my very dearest friends taught me this really cool mental technique that she called “Think Stop.”  When you feel yourself going down that ugly path of your past, picture a great big stop sign blocking that path.  Don’t let yourself take one more step.  Have another positive thought that is your go-to happy thought to switch your thinking to.  I know that old pitiful path is familiar, but it not bringing you one step closer to moving on.  So many people like that old familiar path as dark as it is. I did too.  Give yourself a breather to experience a fresh new path. 
I hope of few of my words, thoughts, ideas, touched you in some way.  Dear Sisters, don’t let your past hold you in bondage to the future that God has planned for you.  It takes time.  I know.  Remember – I’ve been there too.
Please feel free to share your thoughts!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Big news. BIG. BIG. News.

I'm single. There.  It's out.  For some reason, that is a label that I chose to ignore.  I guess it's because I don't want anyone to think, "What's wrong with her?"  I'll admit, I see plenty of wrong with myself - like my hair has damaged ends, my belly is pudgy, my skin is showing signs of aging, etc. - but in reality I am actually a very well-adjusted Christian woman with a pretty good grip on my emotions.  I am a great mom.  I am well-educated and have a successful career.  I am responsible with my money and own my own home. So what's wrong with me?  Why does it bother me so much to wear the single label?  God loves us singles. He does, and 1 Corinthians 7:34-35 in the Bible tells us so!  In many regards, I don't feel single because I am at a place where I feel indwelled with the Holy Spirit.  Satisfied. Whole.  The Lord satisfies me, and if He wants to keep me all to himself for the rest of my life on Earth, I am OK with that.  Really. I am.  However, I still desire someone to share my life and love with, so am open to meeting a handsome Christian manfriend too.

I guess I assume that when I tell someone that I am single, they start sizing me up and try to figure out my flaws and wonder why I am divorced in the first place. All of my insecurities (did I mention my pudgy belly) start to surface and I feel like I am completely exposed.  Sometimes I even feel this need to start defending myself.  I have been single for 5.5 years, and have gotten a lot better at this.  I usually don't mention that I am single unless I am asked.  I just blah, blah, blah like any ordinary woman about work, kids, and recipes but do not offer up the "s" word.  I am not proud that I am divorced, but not ashamed either.  I just want to been seen and treated as normal - without the single label.  I don't want to be judged or mistreated because I do not have a husband. Yes. Been there. It's a terrible feeling. 

All that being said, it's time to embrace my life without a mate and offer solutions and advice to women facing my same challenges.  I want to share with you how I fit Jesus into my life, exercise, hobbies, recipes, and other sorts of things like that.  A few years ago I even managed to squeeze in graduate school and earned my MBA with two kids and a full-time (100% commission sales) job.  I'm telling you - where there is a will, there is a way.

As single moms, we do have challenges that are unique.  I'm not perfect, but have learned some life lessons these past several years and would like to share my ideas and thoughts with you.  Want to join me?  I promise it will be fun!  I am nice.  Really. I am!  And fun too!