Finding Husband Material : an error of finding self worth

I got pretty darn lucky when I met my now husband eight short years ago. We have one of those marriages that people are always ooohhhing and ahhhhing over so in honor of his 32nd birthday tomorrow I wanted to write a piece for all of the women, no matter how old , marriages, history etc on how to finally find someone worth walking down the aisle to.

I grew up, and remain, conservative Christian…but you can be as liberal as possible or even athiest to abide by the following few principles. Now I will go ahead and say that I do believe that a truly strong marriage is not possible without God. Having that one core fundament serves as an anchor that even on your worst days you can reach out to and somehow find the air to breath….but mainly I want to talk about your self worth.

What price do you put on yourself? Yes, I am talking about the most intimate side of you…the side that throws all the love you have at someone and fully trusts them to respect and care for you at your most vulnerable.

The guys out there that are oh so handsome but they have a background of sleeping around….what makes you think that they are going to settle down? Did they tell you that on the first date then take you to bed? Don’t you think that that line was used before on other girls?

Guys like that are smart and know all the right words to say and the things to do. After all, Every girl dreams, to some extent, of being swept away by prince charming.  Why would a guy like this settle down with you if they realize that the sex is easy? Do men like this have your heart at the top of the list of concerns?

As women, especially in a world of social media and Photoshop, it is SO easy to fall for some smooth talking, good looking guy. He might even tell you things like “you won’t get anyone else” “if you don’t sleep with me I’ll be gone and I’ll tell everyone”.

Listen to me young girls, heck listen to me girls and women of ANY age….your body -your heart and your soul- are worth so much more than what some guys will make you believe.

I was married before but even then me and David waited until we were married. When we met I told him that I wanted a fresh start and that it was important to me to only sleep with someone after I was married….and girls…hear me out: HE SAID OK! HE WAS FINE WITH IT BECAUSE HE WANTED TO DATE ME. My husband dated me and got to know my heart, my hopes , my dreams and I learned his.

By the time we were married we were so in love and could genuinely say that we were marrying each other until death do us part. So many people get married now because of the physical attraction….they get married at 25 because they have been having sex since day 1 and it’s awesome and they are both super attractive people….but what happens when she is pregnant and vomiting for 9months and doesn’t want her husband to even breath in her direction? What is the man who married based on physical attraction going to do? Is he still going to”love her” or is it going to be the start of a downward spiral?

Now I know I am a minority when it comes to these beliefs, and you don’t have to take me at 100% of what I did, but all I’m asking is that you reevaluate your self worth. If a marriage is really what you want, sit back and look at the guys you are attracting. If you don’t believe in waiting until marriage try a timeline . Tell them that you want to wait six months-a guy interested in your heart will wait it out whereas a man interested in your body will leave.

I found my prince charming. I set my self worth high by watching how I dress and how I carry myself and how I speak. I like to dress modestly with things left for the imagination. I do not believe in speaking vulgarly or cussing. My husband never questioned my beliefs. He never pushed or asked for anything . He respected me which made me love him even more. He opens doors, holds umbrellas, rubs my feet when I get off work and does an amazing job being a daddy and setting models for our boys to grow towards. There are plenty like him you just have to change your value. After all, God made you perfect so why do you have to try to make yourself desirable?

Eat *Bray*Love

What’s so special about a horse?

For pretty much my entire life I have been easily described as “the horse girl”. I got the horse bug early in life and then started riding at the ripe age of 7. Lessons were the highlight of my week. For the next ten years my parents toted me to weekly lessons, 4H and weekend horse shows. I woke up and went to the barn before school, doodled horses on my notebooks during class, skipped lunch in order to do homework (so I had more time to ride, duh) then I went home and straight to the barn. It was my drug. My addiction. My escape. Everything bad about being the bottom of the totem pole at school, the ugly duckling, the introvert, the quiet, awkward teen, melted away when I was with my horse.

Now the thing I want you to realize is that horses are brilliant, sensitive, intuative, loving creatures. They feel our emotions and react to them. My first pony was a small 14 hand palomino pony named Sonny that Santa delivered with a bright red bow for Christmas 1997. He’s one that, as a parent you can’t put a price on. He was a baby sitter. He was far from a show horse…but he was awfully cute. I could climb on him, spin backwards, whoop and holler , jump rope, hula hoop , and he would just stand there. He would have died if it meant protecting his girl. I had him for 4 short years…but he taught me confidence ….I still didn’t know much about riding but he trained me for my next horse. He died in 2001.

In March of 2002, my parents brought home the most beautiful liver Chestnut morgan- my Captain. He was a lot of horse. In horse lingo that means that he was fiesty and spirited. He had been a show horse coming from show lines. I was 12 and he was 14. It was time for me to grow and he was my teacher. I came off of him more times than I can count and I think the ground got harder each time. Each time I hit the ground though, he came back for me, I sucked it up, dusted my pants off and got back on. He taught me resilience . We showed Saddleseat and took a State Championship in 2016 and Reserve in 2017. Out of the Southern Region (15 states) we placed 8th overall in our division in 2016. People were charmed by his easy going and versitile personality. Old style Morgan’s are rarely seen and he was a perfect picture.

So with this- you may still wonder- why horses? Or it’s “just a horse,” right? Highschool was rough. I was a introverted, self conscious teen who avoided friends like the plaugue. I was bullied horribly and made fun of. Today, kids like me , far too often, commit suicide or get involved in drugs and crime. Horses don’t give you a chance to do that. On days where I felt like a nobody, I could go to the barn and just sit with Captain. He would lay his head on me and just be there. He let me know it was ok. As years went on , I went to college and got married. I married an abusive , horrible individual who , when I left him, tried to play on my emotions telling me that no one would never date me because I was ugly and useless….but Captain was there then too. I remember going to my parents and just getting on him bareback and riding to the end of the pasture and letting him run wide open…no bridle or saddle…just free.He knew what I needed and always grounded me. More years passed and now I am married again with two boys. Captain has been a HUGE part of their lives and has taught them love and confidence as well….

He was my secret keeper…and today…today he carried my love, my heart and my secrets on great big angel wings across the rainbow bridge.

Sonny taught me confidence and Captain taught me to ride.

Horses teach you things no human can. They teach love, passion, determination , patience, what it feels like to win and what it feels like to lose, and then they teach you to say goodbye….

So do you still wonder why I started my 4 year old in riding lessons? Do you still wonder why we have so many animals and why my kids are always outside working with them? The youngest generation is fragile and use to having things given to them. They are so concerned about their social media image that they make choices that should be reserved for adults. Their “friends” often are simply catalysts for disasterous behavior. I don’t know about you but I want my kids to be the horse kids. I want them to never have enough free time to get into disasterous places. No I can’t protect my kids from everything but I can build a good foundation. I guarantee you my 4 and 2 year old boys know more about life and death than most teenagers and gosh maybe more than some adults. Farms teach you things quick and horses will love you through it all.

Eat*Bray* Love

EMS Week in a Small Town

If you have at least one friend on Facebook that is involved in EMS, then you have been, most likely, bombarded with posts about “EMS Week”.  See, the thing is, there is a section of emergency services that remains invisible- Emergency Medicine….we aren’t cops and we definitely aren’t firemen….we are EMTs and Paramedics out on the streets day and night…waiting for the call. That call could be for someone having a heart attack, someone in labor, a car accident or a host of other unimaginable tragedies that most people run from…yet our job requires us to run in even on calls where we want to tuck tail and run…this is EMS.

Now, I work EMS in a relatively small city. We have a very dense population but we still have that sensation of “everyone knows everyone”. You want to know what’s worse than running into tragedies? …What about running a call and realizing that the patient is a family member, friend or coworker?

We have this amazing mechanism….at least anyone who has stayed in EMS a while…to dissociate and not see a person but rather see a training scenario. It sounds brutal but we dont work a job where we can be emotional. What happens when knowing the patient takes down that defense ?

One year ago today, our county suffered a tremendous and ground shattering loss. One of our charge nurses and her sister in law (a sheriff deputy in our county) was killed by her father in law. I personally did not work this day. I was suppose to but I was sick that morning and stayed home. They were killed in the same county they worked…we are a small town.

Word spread fast and sadness and anger whipped through the community but especially the EMS, PD , Fire and Hospital community. The effects are still felt within our EMS community and I find it ironic that the first day of EMS Week this year falls on the anniversary of such a horrible time.

If you don’t know about what EMS does, come talk to someone sitting in a ambulance one day. We may have had a really bad day and could use a friendly gesture. Let EMS Week be a way to educate everyone of not only the bad things we see and work through but also the amazing things that we do.

I am very thankful for the experience that EMS has given me. Everyday is a new challenge with new expectations. I am thankful for every partner that I have shared a truck with and I am thankful for the calls, laughter and tears that I have shared with them.

Happy EMS WEEK!

About those “card players”

Senator Walsh,

As the whole world knows, you made a very spur of the moment, foot in mouth, uneducated statement the other day. We all have things that come out unattended I get that…but when giving any kind of speech the general consensus (as any kid who took public speaking can tell you) is you have to be willing to back and argue your statements.

I can see how you might have the perception that nurses “play a game of cards” at work if your only interaction with nurses is go to the ER on a Saturday night for a cold.

I Have seen both sides. As a paramedic in a busy county I see how hard our ER nurses work and how they are constantly running trying to get all of our patients into rooms and stabilized so we can get back on the streets to bring more patients in. In our county, EMS runs approximately 100 calls a day with most being transported to our local hospital. I promise you that the nurses at our hospital don’t have time to play cards.

On the other side, I have been the patient….usually once a month or every two months due to me being autoimmune. I’ve went in “big sick” and I’ve went in “little sick working on becoming big sick” When I’m big sick, I have 2 nurses and a few doctors floating in and out and I’m rarely left more than 10 minutes but when I’m not quite that “big sick” then I might have an hour between nurses coming in….they aren’t neglecting me…they aren’t playing cards…they are simply doing something called triage where they take care of the worse ones first.

If you get constant attention in the hospital… I have news for you-you are pretty dang sick…

Senator, I have a project for you. Document how many times you go to the bathroom , eat, get a bottle of water, sit back and breath or just look at your phone or call a loved one in your typical work day. Then come shadow a nurse in our county hospital for a 12 hour shift and compare it. Tell me which one of you is more likely to have time to play a game of cards.

I realize you had no idea this would blow up like it does . I’m not going to bombard you with hate mail but I do think you need to shadow a nurse or even come hang out on an ambulance for 12 hours and see how the nurses have to keep up with our influx of patients.

I hope you have opened your eyes through your mistake and I pray something good comes out of it.

Sincerely,

A Paramedic

Mary did you know?

Mary,

As we come up on our Easter weekend I cant help but dwell on a question that is the title of a much loved song but a question we rarely think about…did you know?

You were around 14 and engaged to be married when you had a crazy dream involving an angel telling you that you were pregnant ! Gah I can’t imagine that. At 14, in your time, sex was not explained to the women other than “your husband will teach you” and any premarital sex or fooling around was very much a sin. I can imagine you “waking up” in a cold sweat-panting- clutching your belly because in that moment you knew that it wasnt a dream.

As far as teaching your story goes, we tend to think that you immediately went to Joseph but in reality he would have laughed at you or worse, he would have assumed you were making excuses for being unfaithful. Did you keep it to yourself for four weeks until your period failed to show? Did you get that tight unrelenting knot in your throat as you thought of how your family would shun you? How did you have the faith and strength to tell your family?

Flash forward to your most likely hurried and hushed marriage. I doubt it was the celebration you planned. I’m sure the small town rumors were flying about the promiscuous girl who was tricking her new husband, but you continued on.

On that ride into Bethlehelm, as the contractions shook your entire body, did you really know what was happening? I mean, you were only 14 after all. You we’re a child faced with giving birth as a virgin to God’s Son. Did you feel psychotic? Did you think that you perhaps repressed memories of a rape? Did you believe from the very beginning that you were carrying the Holy One?

That night had to have been long. Laboring in the cool desert surrounded by animals and candlelight. You did not have a midwife, only your husband who could legally abandon you at any time due to having another person’s child . He wrapped Jesus in cloth and laid him on your breast and as the suckling started and the amazing oxytocin feel good high began-did you know?

Dud God’s angels ever warn you of what was to come? Did you comprehend how many people would love him and yet how many more would hate him? Did you know that your son would perform miracles upon miracles ?Did you know that that tiny babe that No One had room for would one day preach to thousands and then feed them, that he would bring the dead back to life and help a blind man to see?

Oh Mary. My heart hurts for you . As a mother of boys I know the love and aggravation that boys can endow upon their mothers. I can imagine that Jesus was a mommas boy as you were just a child when he was born and you two grew up together. You see your son do so many great things for 30 years….then…in the blink of an eye, he is seen as a criminal…your son who was a miracle from conception, who has healed so many, is believed to be worse than the scum of the earth. Surely they would let him go but NO they release Barabas -a thief and murderer-and push to crucify and torture your son to death.

I can imagine the feeling of your heart being ripped from your chest. Did God warn you? Did you know? Did you know that God was sacrificing the most perfect Lamb? Were you angry at God-I’m sure you we’re- we like to think that you just sat back and trusted him but how could you ?? How could you trust him when he is letting your son be beaten and spit at? Your screams had to have filled up the harsh blood filled night air.

Mary did you know?

Did you know that you would feel every hit of the hammer as it drove nails into his hands and feet? Did you know that watching him on that cross as his weight dislocated his shoulders and compressed his lungs would make it hard for you to breath? Did you weep with Mary Magdaline or were you in such shock that you had cried all your tears long before?

“MY GOD MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME!”

He cried as a storm rolled over the hill. He breathed his last breath as God turned his back on the sins of the world and allowed the Lamb to take all of the blame.

“IT IS FINISHED”

Mary , did you know that those last three words preserved life for everyone from then to eternity ? Mary , did you believe those to be his final words?

Three days past and you went to bathe the body and wrap with new linens. His body wasn’t there! Did you really believe he was alive or did you doubt ? Did you believe? Did Joseph and Mary Magdaline and all of the disciples believe ?

Mary, did you know-

Did you know that the world would celebrate His death and resurection for eternity ?

Did you know that he would truly save us all?

Mary, was 14 year old you scared? Did 14 year old you know?

Mary, how could you have known….but yet you believed.

Mary, I pray to have your faith.

Mary…did you know?

 

I hope everyone reflects on what Easter is really about this year ❤

Eat*Bray*Love ❤

A Instagram Easter

Growing up a Southern Girl, Easter was the biggest shopping event of the year. Finding that perfect pastel dress with just the right amount of lace, some dainty lace gloves and Lord forbid you forget a hat….you MUST have a hat that matches your dress. This level of shopping is even more fun when you have kids. My husband, bless his heart just doesn’t understand. My boys lack enthusiasm as I make them try on their fourth pair of searsucker pants because it HAS to be the *right* shade of blue after all.

By Sunday morning the entire family is looking spiffy and clean and of course all matching each other. You just cannot claim to be a proper Southern wife and mother if you let your family show up to church mismatch on EASTER SUNDAY! The horror!!

Now, things are a lot different now then when I was younger- we now have social media and I am as guilty as the next. We set our alarms a whole ten minutes early just so we can have time to pose for the *perfect* family picture. You know, the one where everyone is smiling in their Sunday best and the caption on social media is “my kids are the best! The are SO sweet” while behind the camera you had a hand strategically placed on the oldest ones thigh threatening to whoop their behind if they act out and Lord help them if they get that searsucker suit dirty before church….

So here’s my question for you….what is behind that instagram photo of your perfect family going to church on Easter. You are presenting this picture that your family is the perfect Southern family who loves their God and Family. Is that a picture , an Instagram lie, or is it real? What is going on behind that camera? Do you pray with your children and for them? Do you go to church because you have to or because you are so thirsty for God that you WANT and LONG to go ?

After the sermon is over, you are sure to go home or to the families home for the big Easter get together and of course the Easter egg hunt. You’ve most likely spent time on Pinterest looking for the coolest Easter egg dying trends …..you know, the ones you can post and get the most likes from. Are you really enjoying this time with your kids or are you fussing the whole time because they dont do it exactly like you told them or they are getting too messy? When you fix that Easter basket do you include in a book or something about the REAL meaning of Easter?

There’s nothing wrong with doing all these things for Easter. But I challenge you to look beyond the “perfect picture”. Look at what Easter really means to you. Do you REALLY believe in God and the fact that he sent his son to die for your sins? Do you want to get your family dressed up for that instagram picture or because it is a symbol of how Jesus came to make us all new?

This Easter, as you are doing all these things…ask yourself-Why?

Have a Amazing Easter

Eat*Bray*Love

Finding Solace

Solace…as I was milking our goat late last night the moon babarely flickering through the clouds, the rain pinging lightly on the tin roof of the barn- I was covered in immense calm-solace. In that moment I was grounded…rooted to something stronger than any amount of depression or desperate inhibition. It was just me , God and the animals.

Everyday we hear of someone committing suicide. This week was the two Parkland survivors and the father of one of the Sandy Hook victims.  I cried reading the stories about them. It was devastating. I cannot imagine the amount of desperation that they felt…the emptiness…of knowing that their loved ones were gone. I really cant imagine being the father whose daughter was gunned down. He tried to find his Solace by researching violent behaviors on a neuroscience level….he did amazing things for everyone else but he couldn’t help himself.

Oftentimes we are like him, especially those of us that are first responders, we help everyone but we can’t dig ourselves out. We dont give ourselves time to find solace and then we lose ourselves.

On my end, I never wanted to come out and ask for help. After my chikdren were born …like 24 hours after…I was not myself. No one tells you how much you will cry and how much you will HATE your husband for sleeping (love you dear) but gosh do you ever. I remember carrying Wesley around attached to my breast walking laps while hearing David snore…talk about wanting to plot someone’s death (j/k) . What I’m getting to is depression comes in all forms and sometimes can be hormone fueled BUT it is still depression. For me I got the double dose-anxiety from being a medic and having been a magnet for bad pediatric calls and then having post partum depression. I knew I had to find solace.

All of these people want to say “you aren’t alone” “why didn’t they talk to someone” the thing is they probably tried but they were too busy appearing bubbly and happy. Depression happens in all forms with many faces and we ALL go through a rough patch at least once in our lives.

So…find your solace. Step away. Put your phone down and walk. Get away. For me, it’s my animals, everyday after the boys are a rep I switch their camera on so I can watch them and go to the barn. I brush my horse and donkey. I milk my goat. I talk to God. I find God in those moments and He is my Solace…what is yours?

I’m always here to help or listen if you are having a rough day. My animals are here for anyone to brush. They are better than therapists . Find your solace before you can’t ❤

Eat*Bray*Love