Archive | January, 2011

Love… Forgives

26 Jan

Day 3- Love Forgives

What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ. I Corinthians 2:10

This is probably the hardest one yet… Forgiving! Of course it is something that we all want when we are on the receiving end, but giving it is a whole different ball game. I recently read that counselors and pastors who deal with broken relationships on a regular basis will tell you that this is the most complex problem of all, a rupture that is often the last to be repaired. It cannot just be considered and contemplated but must be deliberately be put into action. Forgiveness has to happen, or a successful marriage won’t.

Ouch… that is always hard to read because at the end of the day, it is the God honest truth. Forgiveness is the walls, if the building is love. And, it is much easier to sit here and write about it than to actually put it in action; however, I again turn to the best example of forgiveness… Jesus!

There is a great parable about an ungrateful servant who owed his master  a large amount money. He went to he master begging for mercy and to his amazement the master canceled the debt. As the servant was leaving his masters home, he went to another man who owed him a much smaller amount of money than the debt that was just canceled for him, and demanded immediate payment. When the master heard about this he was moved by anger and rage and he handed him over to the torturer’s until he should repay all that he owed.

How many times in our lives have we done this? We beg for mercy, grace and forgiveness from one person but then when we need to give the same  to another… we refuse to do it. GUILTY! I am so guilty of this and as I get ready to make a lifelong commitment to the man I love, if I don’t have a heart that is that of forgiveness, well the lifetime is going to feel more like prison time. Un-forgiveness is just that… prison. Inside each “cell”  is a different pain, hurt or time of rejection. There are many people there who have hurt us and every time we add a new “cell to the “block” we are digging a deeper hole for ourselves. Forgiving may be hard and sometimes the person might not deserve it, but Jesus assured us that when we forgive it is for us, not them.

So in 2 days when I stand there and say my vows that I wrote I can assure the word forgiveness is in there. It is a MUST HAVE for any relationship that will last! Jesus did it on the cross… and I will have to do it in my marriage.

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Love … believes the best

24 Jan

Day 2- Love is… believing the best!

Love believes all things, hopes all things. – I Corinthians 13:7

I will never forget the day I read about the “Appreciation Room.” The “appreciation room” you ask? Yes, it is a room where your thoughts go when you encounter positive and encouraging things about another person. On these walls are written kind words and phrases that describe or remind you of this person. Some may read; thoughtful, helpful, caring, did the laundry without me asking, filled up my gas tank just because… others might say, forgiving, good cook, beautiful eyes… the list can go on and on but when you start to meditate on the things written on the walls of this room, you become more grateful for the people in your life.

However, there is also another room just down from the hall from the Appreciation Room… “The Depreciation Room and unfortunately we seem to spend more time in this room than the other. The walls of this room are lined with the weakness and failures of other people. It is this room where the next fight begins and many marriages end. Although the things in this room may be true… so are the things in the Appreciation Room.

The truth of the matter is this… Love knows about the Depreciation Room, but chooses not to live there. Love, real love, believes the best about people. It is reminded of the positive and good qualities and attributes more than it remembers the negative and the hurt.

As I walk into my marriage I want to make the Appreciation Room my home. I want to believe the best in Erik even if he makes mistakes. I want to once again go back to the perfect example of Love, Jesus, and use his way of loving me as the blueprint for my love. He has always believed the best in me, even at my worst. What amazing relationships people would have if they simply… Believed the best in others and spent more time Appreciating than Depreciating. At the end of the day and when all is said and done; Love believes the best.

Love is…Unconditional

24 Jan

So, I am only 5 days from saying… “I-Do,” and so I decided for the next 5 days I would post what Love is to me… Each day, will be a different VERB describing how I see it…

Day One… LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL

Romans 5:8:”God demonstrated his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ dies for us.”

For so long love has been an emotion or a feeling for me. If I felt a certain way, or someone made me feel a certain way,  I attributed that to being love. How far from the truth this is. It also explains why I have had countless failed relationships. Marriages begin and end based on a feeling or emotions. Well as woman, I know that emotions can change every other minute. There are so many qualities about Erik that I love… He is smart, good looking, caring, exciting, athletic, hard-working, compassionate, giving, funny, devoted… my list goes on and on, but what if one day Erik is not as giving, or compassionate. What if something changes… if my reasons for loving him are all based on something to do with his qualities, and these qualities change or fade, so does the basis for my love.

When I decided to really love I decided that I would do things a little different. I wanted to know how to love and not just feel a feeling. I wanted  a love that would last a lifetime and there is only one example to turn to for this and that is Jesus. His love for me is my blue print for how to love Erik. I have a past and there are parts of my past I am not proud of, but even in that Jesus has always remained the same and so has his love for me and that love is UNCONDITIONAL. Unconditional love is not swayed by situations or emotions, instead this love presses forward and never gives up.

In a society where it is harder to get married then it is divorced, it is no wonder 55% of marriages fail. We are surrounded by a belief that if you “fall out of love” you have a right to get divorced. Something tells me if you fall out of love, you were never really in it to begin with. The truth is simple: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather but the one choosing to love.

I choose to love Erik the same way my heavenly father loves me… without conditions. It is definitely not always going to be easy. Jesus sets the bar pretty darn high, but having been through a divorce once… I learned my lesson. Failure is not an option now. Giving up because things change is not a way out for me. I will love unconditional even when it is the hardest thing to do, because I know that is the only way love can last a lifetime.

Then…

12 Jan

I was driving home from getting the girls from school when this song came on …THEN. I know I have heard it once or twice before but for some reason it made me stop and think about where I was when I met Erik and where we are today!

It seems like yesterday Erik and I were simply e-mailing back and forth waiting for the time we would actually have a date. I knew from the beginning he was different then the guys I had dated in the recent past but was not really sure what gave him the “Different” stamp. I would soon found out. Our fist date was to watch a Laker game, (please let me go on record stating that I am by NO means a Laker fan,) but pizza, beer and sports are magical words to this girl! So I agreed to meet at one of my favorite places… Pizza Port in Calsbad, for some beer and what I was sure to be great conversation.

I walked into Pizza Port a bit of a mess. I had baby sat my sister’s 4 kids, along with my own, over night and as anyone can imagine, this is a tall task for one to take on but I did it, and really need a t-shirt that said “I Survived babysitting 6 kids ALONE.” Within a minutes I knew… he was my type. He was happy, energetic, enthusiastic , confident, funny, intelligent, good looking and genuinely caught my attention. We talked a lot about our families and sports, pretty much everything we already covered in the time leading up our first date. I left that evening wanting more… I liked this Erik Elliott and needed to see if there was real substance to what I just got a glimpse of on the surface.

Well as many of you know that night led to what is today… almost our wedding. At first I was cautious. I had been in a relationship pre-Erik where I cared more than the other person  and in the end I was heart broken; however I would not for a minute go back and change that hurt or pain… here is why… I learned to appreciate Love. I learned to not only give but to receive. For 9 months I gave love and my heart to a person who could not do the same, so for me, giving was the easy part, it was receiving without reservation that was hard… but only at first.

Before I met Erik I read a book that changed my outlook on relationships and dating. If you are in  place similar to where I was the book is called, “Lady in Waiting.” and I highly recommend it even if you are not where I was. One thing I learned is that no person can ever complete you. People are always going to fall short and hurt  us. We are not perfect therefore expecting that one, single person alone, can give us all we need  is like giving a thirsty dog water and expecting him not to drink… It’s just NOT possible. We have all have  expectations and needs and to think that one day this wonderful knight and shining amour will sweep us off our feet…. and like magic, all those expectations and needs will be fulfilled… Well It Is Not Going To Happen… However,here is what can and will happen if you let it… God can complete you and in return bring someone in your life who COMPLIMENTS you… for me, that is Erik. He brings out the best in me but had I met him any earlier we might not have worked out because I would have expected him to be so much more than God designed him to be and I would have let one of the best gifts ever given to me, walk out the door because in my mind, he would not have been enough. Well… that was THEN!

NOW... I am just 2 weeks and a few days from walking down an aisle and saying I-DO to sharing forever with my very best friend and one who compliments me in ways in never thought possible. Once I feel better Erik and I are going to have date night and go back to the Pizza Port and sit in the same booth where we had our first date many moons ago… And think about THEN.

Erik if you ever read this… you are my Boaz. You cannot know how thankful I am to have met you when I did and not a moment sooner. Thanks for loving me in-spite of me and seeing the ME, many have over looked. You were worth every night I cried myself to sleep… every unanswered prayer…. every night home alone reading Lady In Waiting. You were worth the hurt and heartache I went through leading to meeting you. I love you more today, than Then! ~S

Bless this heart

7 Jan

It has been almost 4 days since my cardiac ablation procedure and I am still feeling the ramifications of it. I love how Dr’s tell you that there are minimal pain and side effects. I have to wonder if any of these Dr’s have actually had one themselves. I also have to wonder what they consider “minimal pain?” I am one tough chick and I am not just saying that… I am. Pain, to me, is a mind over matter issue. I have experienced pain and many times can psyche myself out it; however, this time, not so much!

As I was laying on the hospital gurney in the operating room the anxiety stared to creep in. I looked around and saw 4 other physicians busy with different tasks, at least 5 nurses and techs hurrying in and out, machines and computers surrounding me on both sides. I felt like a scared kid who was wishing her mom was there to hold her hand and assure her that everything would be alright. Funny thing is that my mom was in-fact there, just in the waiting room. Everyone in the operating room was very kind and compassionate. They asked me if I had children and what they were like. They asked about Erik and our up-coming wedding. Basically, they made small talk to calm my nerves. Of course for me, none of the busy chatter really helped much but I appreciated their efforts. The anesthesiologist came to my side and asked me the standard questions… “Have you had anesthesia in the past?” “Did you have any reactions or side effects?” “Are you allergic to any medications?” You know, the normal questions. After answering all his questions, he stepped away for a few minutes… I am guessing to get the medication for my IV. It was in those few minutes that I closed my eyes and simply talked to the Lord. I thanked him for my life and everything that I have. I thanked him for my amazing family and my wonderful friends… then I thought about my precious twin daughters. I thanked him for allowing ME to be THEIR mom. I knew I was not going to die, but when you are having someone tinker with your heart, you can never be so sure. It was in my moments with the Lord that I found peace and comfort. I knew I was not alone in that room, as I am never alone with him.

The anesthesiologist came back to the room and let me know what he was giving me and that within a few minutes I would be asleep and before I could blink my eyes, I would be waking up and the surgery would be over… he was right. I woke up to telling the Doctor I was about to puke. Only me… stay classy Summer. Funny how all the stress and anxiety lasted only a moment. It has made me see that events in life are built up to be bigger and more stressful than they turn out to be. I am by no means saying that I should not have been nervous or cautious about having surgery, I am saying that at the end of the day… I made it much bigger in my mind then it really was. I found peace and assurance knowing I was never alone.

It has been a few days now and I will admit, it was not as easy of a recovery as the Doctors led me to believe. The area where the catheter was is still very swollen and bruised, but I definitely feel better today than I did yesterday! For that alone I am thankful. I am very ready to get back to exercising and being able to run faster and longer. Having a strong and healthy heart is not something to take for granted. I know after all this, I will remember that! The biggest lesson in all of this is that sometimes we cannot control a situation, but we can control how we act in that situation! I found my peace in being silent before the Lord, even in a loud and busy operating room.

Writing… “I Do!”

5 Jan

Well I only have 3 weeks before I marry my best friend. I am excited beyond words but I have officially hit a wall with writing my vows. As someone who loves to write, I cannot believe that I have no idea how to write my vows. For 3 weeks now, I have been desperately trying to figure out what I will say when I stand there and say I-do.

People have told me to “write from my heart” and that is not the problem. My problem is how do I start?What do I say, and how do I make it my “vows?” I have searched on-line trying to get ideas but even that has been unsuccessful. I think I need to pray, turn on my song to Erik and allow my heart to lead the words onto the paper.

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