Thursday, June 30, 2011

The picture in my heart......and how my friends might have saved it!

Day Sixteen: I am grateful for my friends and those that have willingly come along side me. I covet their prayers, encouraging words and special gifts. One of the scariest parts of getting divorce is the fear of what others might think and who might leave your life....and the loneliness that will certainly accompany that reality. The loneliness definitely happens, it's almost always present, but I'm so grateful that my friends have not left and even more so, have been such a source of comfort and support. I realize many of them might not even agree with my decision, but they have still remained by my side. It's still embarrassing, it's still painful and it's definitely hard, but the prayers and support I have received has been priceless.....and my survivial.
      An amazing example of this kind of encouragement happened last night from an unlikely source. One of my girls from Mercy sent me a scripture that hit home and made me tear up with gratitude. Psalms 71:20-21 "You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to greater honor than before and comfort me once again." Isn't that beautiful? It's difficult for me to believe right now, but just reading it out loud helps me feel hopeful.
     Recently, I have noticed that I'm grieving the picture in my heart. The one that was buried so deep I barely knew it as there. It's the picture of me smiling (looking super thin, tan and next to my handsome husband who is holding our daugther while surrounded by Christmas lights and holly. Pride makes me want to laugh at myself and deny that this image ever exists, but truth knows it does....and that makes me sad....and that makes me feel I really missed out. But I've realized lately that my friends have help me to come up with a new picture, a new dream.
     It's really, really difficult to even try to think past tomorrow, but leaning on my friends faith and belief has actually helped me to believe it too. I think there's something to being vulnerable with your true feelings and allow the people who love you to speak into that vulnerability. Many times it seems as though its their faith that interjects truth into the lies and unbelief I struggle with everyday. I hate that I have to release my picture, but I know there will be another one (someday) even if I have to lean on my friends' beliefs that it can happen.

Read my Bible - 2 Kings 15:1-16:20, Acts 19:13-41, Psalm 147:1-20, Proverbs 18:4-5

Psalm 147:2, "The LORD is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. "

Worship - not yet

Work out - nope, but my ears got a workout today.

Do something for someone else - sent a card to a friend

Do something special for myself - took myself to the doctor

Cook - cheese and broccoli rice

Emotional state: excited

High point: therapy

Low point: it's raining

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Safe People

Day Fourteen:

      There's a book called "Safe People" by Drs. Cloud and Townsend that I have many of my teens read, especially if they are dealing with boundary issues or a lack of awareness about what makes someone a safe friend. It's amazing how quickly we can turn our eyes from the red flags of unsafe people yet blink surprisingly when they end up hurting us. With that said....
     I recently assigned "Safe People" to one of my teens. Through a lot of exploration we discovered that she does not feel as though she can say no to anyone especially guys. This has been a hard and painful process for her, but through all the pain she has blossomed in a way I can not even describe. She surprised me with her insights on the assigned reading due today. It was actually one of those moments where I felt as though the tables were turned...I was the student and she was the teacher.
     The parable of the tax collector and the pharisee, used by Cloud and Townsend, as an example of someone willing to be submitted to rebuke, challenge and change, caught her attention. She said, "It's amazing how one person, the religious guy, only wanted to point out how he didn't mess up, but the tax guy totally said how he messed up and was rewarded by God for that." In her opinion it felt safer to pretend to be perfect, but never quite felt right when she hid behind the mask of perfection. Yet latelyn as she has become more and more vulnerable about her weaknesses, and felt unbelievably scared of others opinions of her, yet, in her words, "I feel more free to be me. I feel more like myself again."
      Being real, being vulnerable allows us to be free. I do understand the complexity of that reality, but in the end, it's the mask of perfection that hides the most secrets. Unveiling what is hidden, while scary, allows our shame and disgrace to air lose it's power over our emotions and thoughts. Don't get me wrong, I realize it's important to understand who is safe and who is unsafe (thus the book "Safe People" as an assignment), but truly there's nothing like the freedom to be oneself especially when dealing with heartache and disappointment.

Read my Bible - 2 Kings 13:1-14:29, Acts 18:23-19:12, Psalm 146:1-10, Proverbs 18:2-3

Psalm 146:2, "I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praise to my GOD with my dying breath."

Worship - not yet

Work out - 40 minutes

Do something for someone else - encouraged one of my teens to look outside of the negative statements others have spoken over him. "Decide who you will be." I'm not sure I've ever seen someone smile so big leaving my office. Tearful face. OH, and got my brother an amazing bday present. SUPER excited

Do something special for myself - nothing as of yet.

Cook - nope, unless Lean Cuisine counts.

Emotional state: peaceful

High point: feeling as though I truly helped someone today

Low point: came home to a dead plant.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Day Thirteen:

Lately, judgement has been ever present in my forethought. It seems everyone, everywhere has an opinion or thought about my "current situation." But hardest part of all is the realization of how much I have judged myself. For instance, my most recent thoughts include "how could you not see this coming," "what's wrong with you," "this has to be your fault." The funnier side of my judgement towards myself involves looking down at my ring finger, freaking for a second because I don't see my beautiful engagement ring, and then for a split second think, "Brooke, you dummy you forgot your ring." Then I quickly remember and think, "Brooke don't be so stupid, remember what's going on!" lol The judgement never ends.
       The other side of judging includes the number of times I have past judgement on my friends, family members and even the occasional perfect stranger without even realizing what I was doing. As though I'm God, as though I have an idea of the struggle they are going through or the reasoning for arriving to their decisions. Everyone has reasons and everyones' struggle is different. I, now, realize it's never my place to decide what they should have or shouldn't have done...what was the Godly choice and what wasn't. The craziest thing about even thinking that way, is 10 times out of 10 I don't even know all the details. I have no idea what's going on behind close doors, in the thoughts of others or the Oh that's the worse part, playing God.
Who am I to ever sit in the judgement seat. God speaks very strongly about what will happen to those that judge others. When I reflect back on my situation and think about all the reasons, and some just plain emotional, that lead me to my decision there's nothing but murky waters, hard struggles and gray areas. There is no black and white, right and wrong. I'm not saying that God doesn't have absolute, because He absolutely does, but to decide how He would look at me through my divorce is both unfair for me to decide and thus unfair for anyone else to decide.
I know that God hates divorce. I, also, know that He's near those that are going through heartbreak. He comforts those in need. So if He, the God of the universe and our lives, can comfort and be near those that have even willingly walked towards pain, who are we to ever decide what's best!
      I am incredibly regretful for those that I have ever judged or thought I knew best. My heart is softened towards those heartbroken and unlovely. But most of all, I'm no longer going to sit in the seat of judgement over my own life. I love that I don't have the responsibility for deciding what is ultimately seen right or wrong in the eyes of God.

PS...regardless of everything I've said above...I think Bentley is a horrible person! Cheers!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

No one ever told me....

sooooo.....i am attempting to write this blog from my new phone. although i have joined the ranks of modern technology, i can not for the life of me figure out how to captialize or puncuate anything. anywho....

no one ever told me this divorce stuff will hurt like hell. to be honest i might not understood or believe them, but now i know. even after a very brief convo with the ex i hung out with tears streaming down my face and what felt like the biggest hole in my heart. it was not him bascially making me out to be a monster or that he filled me in on his new updated life. but that he did not seem to miss me at all. it seemed in his mind i caused all the hurt and uproar. That I am the problem and need help, and while I can honestly say there are things that need to change in me, but how is one person responsible for a two person marriage.

No one told me that I would have conflicting emotions. My love for my ex still exists it's just clouded by everything else. And no one told me that when everyone says to release him there's a sting right in the middle of my heart. And no one told me that would still want the best for him even if that means at my own expense....and how crappy that feels.

Survival Plan:

Day Eleven:

Read my Bible: 2Kings 8:1-9:13, Acts 16:16-40, Psalm 143:1-12, Proverbs 17:26

Psalm 148:4-11, "I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Come quickly, LORD, and answer me for my depression deepens. Don't turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk for I give myself to you."

Worship: not yet

Exercise: LOTS of swimming and sunbathing

Something special for some yes: cooked dinner for my mom last night. Tomato sauce from scratch.

Something special for myself: took a nice, bubble bath

Highpoint: floating in the pool

Lowpoint: crying myself to sleep after a convo

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The longest day of the year

Day Nine:

Today was the longest day of the year, and not because...well it literally WAS the longest day of the year, but because I had so, so much going on. It wasn't until I was reminded by my mother that I am in control of what I say yes to, what I think can wait and what I can say no to that it occurred to me I can determine how my day turned out.

This reminder helped me choose to focus on my teens that need my help AND have dinner with a friend; wait on the papers that can are sitting in my mailbox, and say no to the extra errands that only added stress for no real good reason. Not only did I find a sense of peace, but also had a great (although exhausting) day. So grateful for a mother with tremendous wisdom.

Read my Bible - 2 Kings 3:1-4:17, Acts 14:8-28, Psalm 140:1-13, Proverbs 17:22

Proverbs 17:22, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength."

Worship - Yes

Work out - nope....climbed a lot of stairs...does that count?
Do something for someone else - ugh, guess I didn't do much for someone else outside of helping my teens day. That and I didn't flip off the guy that likes to play race cars on the highway.

Do something special for myself - had dinner with an old friend! Yum, yum!
Cook - nope, but had a home cooked meal curiousity of Jess.

Emotional state: grateful

High point: slept in

Low point: long, very long day

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How do I love correctly?

Day Eight:

How do I love correctly when my heart is breaking? Such conflicting emotions. Such hard decisions to make. Everyday seems to be rough waters and even though I haven't been drowning for to long... but it feels long enough. It feels almost impossible to be the Godly woman I know I am (and want to be) when I feel like I'm buried in anger and confusion.

How do I love correctly when it seems that friends find it hard to understand this process and want me to act like my old self. Or when I get conflicting opinions about my actions? I love my friends and I want them to be happy and fulfilled, to never go through this darkness. With that said, I'm also grateful for the friends and family that have been a strong support system to me. Am I loving them correctly though?

How do I love correctly when I just want to be so selfish? It's difficult to not be selfish right now, to not want to focus just on me even though I know how many hurt right now. Not to mention that I know my ex is just as vulnerable and broken as I am, so I phase in and out of guilt, anger, shame and peace when I think I could care less about his pain....but I know I do care, and will probably always hope the best for him. How do I love correctly through this?

Daily Survival Plan:

Read my Bible - 2 Kings 1:1-2:25, Acts 13:42-14:7, Psalm 139:1-24, Proverbs 17:19-21

Psalms 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."

Worship - prayed, prayed, prayed, and will listen to worship music tonight

Work out - nope, planning to go in the morning (we'll see how that goes)

Do something for someone else - well I'm hoping I helped one of my teens discover a root issue...she seemed to be get it! But you just never
Do something special for myself - downloaded a new book to my Kindle

Cook - nope, bought dinner from Whole Foods
Emotional state: frustrated

High point: texts of encouragement from a friend and packing for my trip to Tejas!

Low point: had a conversation with a love one that just left me confused and frustrated.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day Seven

Day Seven:

Basically I'm trying to create a plan for helping me to get through this time. I'm calling it my survival plan. It seems lately focus (where my attention is) is everything for me. Obviously, I realize it's important to process through all my emotions and heal, but where should the majority of my focus be...down in the dumps and sad all the time or trying to work on creating better habits that aid in confidence and healing? You be the judge!


Read my Bible - 1 King 22:1-53, Acts 13:16-41, Psalm 138:1-8, Proverbs 17:17-18

Psalms 138:7-8, "Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The LORD will work out His plans for my life - for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for You made me."

Worship - haven't yet

Work out - 50 minutes

Do something for someone else - sent encouragement and praise to a friend.

Do something special for myself - bought jelly beans

Cook - dinner, fish tacos

Emotional state: grateful and focused

High point: belly laughed a few times today.

Low point: I thought I might have given my brother a heart attack when I told him I was making a doctors appointment to refill my birth control. lol After explaining that I'm losing my insurance at the end of the month and I wanted to get everything in order. Who knows when I'll have insurance again.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thankful for all the great men in my life

First and foremost I am so grateful for the grandparents, dad, brother, cousins, men who love my friends, and special friends in my life. Today for some reason it hit me pretty hard how blessed I am. I might have them on a pedestal but I'm grateful for the way they have stood up to responsibility and calling God has asked of them. Maybe this is what has lead me to this prayer:


"I am so thankful to you for the legacy of men you have placed in my life. Firstly, my Pawpaw and Poppy. Thank you for grandfathers that have set such a Godly example. Men that loved their families and provided life and strength to their children.

Thank you for my dad, who is one of kind. Thank you for the example of someone so virtuous, compassionate, loving and strong that set before me a path of independence and confidence. A father that always believed in me even if he doesn't always understand me. lol

Thank you God for the brother you gave me. When I see him with his sons I just feel so blessed to have someone who puts You first in his life. Who loves his wife and sons more than himself, and lives with such integrity and purpose. Someone who has willingly walked me through fun and dark times. Who is my best friend!

And thank you Lord for the men that love my friends so completely. That have risen to the occasion of loving, providing and protecting their families. Men whom I trust my friends hearts with because they are determined to live for you.

Lastly, thank you for my cousins and dear friends that have not only loved me through many things, but have been such encouragement to me. Men that have sent such special words and verses to help me through the pain and loneliness. Men that might not be fathers yet, but will one day be given the opportunity to love their own wives and children..and whom I know will rise to the responsibility and calling. Thank you for the friends that have become so important to me because they have shown me hope and the possibility of a new life."

I'm just so grateful!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My new job

Day Five:

I have found a new job...well not actually a new job, but I've decided that I am now the poster child for premartial counseling. After thinking back and trying to figure out where everything went wrong I realize I should have stuck to my guns about premartial counseling. My husband, for whatever reason, was adamantly opposed to it. ADAMANTLY! How, oh how did I let that go? How did I ever justify that to myself?

Believe me I understand that premartial counseling doesn't guarantee a happy marriage, but it sure would have helped to see the signs. Guess it would have been good to pay attention to the lack of willingness and accountability. Ugh, I'm not blameless by any stretch of the imagination, but why would you not want to establish a strong foundation? Then why, when things are going bad, would you not want to fight for peace and health?

Anywho....point made. I'm the new face of premartial counseling.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chinese chicken soup

Day Four:

      When I was in China, years back, I was invited over for dinner at the friend's house of my host home. The most amazing aroma welcomed me as I entered their living room. Chinese chicken soup was served! This was not just any chicken soup, it was THE chicken soup recipe that my new friend's family had passed down from her grandmother who got it from her mother, and so on. Not sure what your experience has been with the Chinese culture and their belief in holistic medicine and living, but I have a deep appreciate for a culture that utilizes the same methods, recipes and herbs for generations.

    Once I was served I was told to eat as much as I could because it would "make you beautiful and happy." My new friend touched her face and then heart as she spoke these words. She said them with such conviction and understanding I wanted to eat the entire bowl and beg for seconds. And then, you know what happened?  Not sure about the beauty results, but I enjoyed my evening immensely, even after partaking in the consummation of a 1 year old rotten goose's egg (apparently a rare treat).

    Recently I remembered this experience and thought, "well lets make some soup." You know what? It has made me smile many times over today. I can definitely blame it on a psychosomatic reaction, BUT at the end of the day...I believe Chinese Chicken soup is good for the soul. There's such a comfort in things that are familiar yet different. A soothing effect in soups that bring back good memories and experiences. And if Chinese Chicken soup can make me smile in some of darkest days I've experienced yet...well...let's eat soup! And in the end this reminded me to allow little things back into my life that promote life and healing even if it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to my westernized mind. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day Three:

Good girl gone bad!

       So tell me, why is it when a good girl behaves badly she must be cracking or going mental or even possessed? I actually envy people these days that can have "moments" and it's excused away as a bad day or simply "stress." When I have a bad day or moment it feels like I'm letting the world down! Where did this pressure come from? Did I put it on myself? Has it always been there? Is it even true? And then I is struggle bad? How is pain wrong? How does this mean I'm one step away from jumping down the rabbit hole?

      I think I'm beginning to realize how much of a pedestel I actually put myself on. It's not that I thought I was beyond failure, disappointment or struggle, but I guess I did somehow think I didn't have to feel them. Somehow I could figure away around the problems.That there are ways to circumvent the whole process. Reality is: there is no way to short circuit heart break. It sucks, and with it comes all the brokenness and anger that can make even this level headed girl go crazy. Normally I would want to hide that, I would want to fade away in the background so it's not seen, but honestly, at this point, I don't think I can hide anymore. I have felt buried alive for the last 2 years. Almost as though I let parts of myself start to die in order to survive, in order to keep a smile on my face. That's a pathetic realization. I don't point the finger at anyone else but me for that one.

     I feel like I should say that I'm lost and confused. Isn't that what people say when they had the rug pulled out from underneath them? I don't feel lost though or confused for that matter. I feel scared. I feel like I'm struggling to keep my head above water, but at least I know I want my head ABOVE I don't feel lost because I know I want to move forward. I don't feel confused, because I'd rather be broken then feel as though I'm dying. The future isn't clear and I don't know that I have an understanding of what that all means, but I know God is bigger and I am stronger.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day two

Day Two:
                Today, I didn’t think I could get out of bed. This is definitely a day I wish I could actually sleep and stay asleep upon command. I guess that’s why sleep meds can be addicting.  Amazing how good dream land can feel when reality bites. Remember that movie???  Well here’s my reality on day two of my journey to becoming a statistic….my “divorcity”:
                My brother told me last night that my healing process will take 6 months to a year! Do you know how infuriating that made me? So not only did my ex get two and half years of my life, but now I need the better part of a year to get over it?  Don’t get me wrong. I do not EVER want to repeat this situation again; therefore, I realize healing and working on ME is important, but it was just something about the idea of my ex still controlling my time somehow. Having a say in when I am healthy again.
                My ex actually told me that he was looking forward to us being divorced and friends. When I think back on that moment, I remember being so shocked I couldn’t speak. He legitimately thought we would go through all of this, and then what… kick it and laugh about everything over a beer? Talk for hours on the phone at night just to see how our days went? Use each other as a sounding board or, even WORSE, for advice on future relationships? I have no idea if he has gotten the hint as of late, but the reality that he felt we’d remain in each other’s lives as friends when he would not fight for me as his wife is just insulting. Sigh…deep breath…I’m starting to feel myself get more and more tense thinking back on that conversation.
                Lastly, I miss him. Not in a, let’s get back together and try to make this work kind of way, but an I can’t believe you are still, even now, my closest friend...sort of way. Despite everything.  Despite his unwillingness to know me completely, he is the one person I leaned on after a hard day at work. The one person that understood my obsession with “The Bachelor” or “Destination Truth” (tv shows for those of you that aren’t familiar with those titles). Even though, he didn’t share my love for traveling, reading, cooking or wine, he did get my need for the occasional lazy day and scary movie. He did understand my love of magazines and E! TV. He did give me my Christmas Eve kitty after our cat, Faith, disappeared one fall night, and he knew how much it devastated me. And despite my intense disappointment over his mind numbing passiveness towards everything but golf, I miss him.
Ugh...that's my reality today. It's a "I will move on, but I miss what we were" day!

Day one

Day one:
It’s been almost 2 months since my husband kicked me out of “his” house. After a major meltdown (on my part) last night I finally convinced him to stop dragging his feet with signing the divorce papers. Thankfully (sarcasm implied) he invited his aunt and uncle over to witness our 1,000,000th argument, and thus they have promised to walk him through the entire paperwork process.
To this day I do not understand his reasons for not wanting to sign the papers when he had stated repeatedly that he does not want to reconcile or work on our relationship.  Well, let me restate that, he had said he would go to one counseling appointment to “see if there’s anything left” , but other than that he had repeatedly said that he does not want to reconcile or work on the marriage.
My meltdown was of epic proportions. I still look back and cringe when I think of the four letter words and insults I slug around as though I had been a sailor my whole life. I get a little nauseated when I think about the shredded engagement journal (a journal that depicted all my hopes and wishes for our marriage) I neatly threw all over on his closet floor. But I’d have to say the most infuriating thing were those puppy dog eyes he had the entire time. It was almost like he was saying, “Don’t hurt me, I’m just a puppy. I’m just a victim.” Not because the idea of all 5’4” of me somehow hurting all 6’4” of him was ridiculous, but because he acted like HE was the victim. As if he hadn’t kicked me. As if he hadn’t emotionally disengaged months before. As if he had not taken everything away from me without as much as a sideways glance.  As if he hadn’t been the husband I begged for yet was resented for needing. And even now, the worse part of everything, is that I'm sure he still would claim to "not know what happened!"