Friday, March 29, 2013

This kind of love....

This kind of love it's what I dreamed about
Yeah it fills me up
Well baby it leaves no doubt
This kind of love it's why I'm standing here
It's something we can share
I can't get enough of this kind of love

(Chorus from "This Kind of Love" by Sister Hazel)

This really is what I dreamed about. To grow up, get married, and have kids. I am beyond blessed to be where I am today. Ten years with this amazing, patient, loving person I call my husband; who at times can of course drive me crazy (sorry newlyweds, it's true). He loves me so much and inspires me to be a better person. This love is only the beginning. We are finally getting a hang of this marriage thing, but I also know we have a long way to go. A lot more lessons to learn. Much more love to give.

Through heartache, loss, and disagreements we didn't leave. We didn't give up. We have enjoyed all the beautiful moments and endured the messy ones. And we have come out stronger. At times we were broken, but we were healed. Other times we didn't like each other, but we never gave up on love. We didn't allow the struggles to destroy something sacred. This kind of love will keep going. And this kind of love is what I continue to dream about. I can't wait to see what the next 10 years hold. Happy 10 Year Anniversary Justin. I love you!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Grace to Give

I've been thinking about my mom a lot lately. Those thoughts and musings include reflecting on how different life might have been if she were still here, the things she would have taught me, the fights we would have had, the role she would have played as a grandma, and her killer...

In March of 1984 my mom was brutally murdered in our then city of Las Vegas. I was only two years old. I never struggled with anger or bitterness toward her killer or my situation and I'm not sure why. The details weren't presented to me and it may be because I wasn't fully aware of all that had happened. I was so young at the time of her death so life without a mom was just the way it had always been. It wasn't until recent years that I learned of the extremely gruesome details. When I did finally read the unimaginable story of the tragedy it was a little shocking to me how easy it was to forgive this man.

I lived many years hurting myself and other people. Doing some unthinkable things and continuing while knowing they were wrong. I ran from God and told Him I was better off without Him and what He had to offer. I was angry, full of guilt, and failing to enjoy life as I tried to change things on my own. I didn't truly understand grace so I didn't have any to give. I lived judging everyone, while in secret I was doing the very same things and worse. I ultimately came to a place where I realized what life was like without God. It was hell. And that's where I had to get before I realized what I needed; a lot of people do. I needed grace, or what the dictionary so beautifully describes as unmerited divine assistance given by God for sanctification. And I needed forgiveness. I was desperate for a fresh start. I got all of it. Not because I hadn't done certain things or because I'm special or different. I got it because I asked and I got it because it was available for me. God gave it all for people like me and you, and for people like my mother's killer. I can live today with no anger toward her killer because I know God does the same for me. Whether or not this man has accepted the forgiveness that God has for him I'm not sure. But I know it's available to him just as much as it is for me. And I am beyond grateful I truly understand grace and I have it to give.