31 January 2010

Plans for the future

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,"

We all have plans for our lives. Some of our plans can be put into fruition, and some cannot. The beautiful thing that I have learned in life is that I can only control ONE person, and that is me. I have talked about this before. There are times we try to control someone else, be it through ultimatums, reverse psychology, emotional withdrawal, or any other type of manipulation... but it will backfire. If not now, eventually. And the scars left behind sometimes are so deep, that we are unable to see that we are guilty of that which we strive to resist.  Rebellion and free will are magnificent things. Unbridled beasts. Be careful what you do and say. Even if you are clever, good always wins. It has been written and will not change. Not now, not ever. The ending is inevitable. Now and forevermore.

Having an idea of what the future holds is quite an amazing realization. Overwhelming at times, but only in the best sense of the word. Faith, believing in that which cannot be seen or held.  I know what my future looks like now, and maybe I do not know the minute detail and the exact timing of it all, but I do know that I know that I know for sure. And the impending events to follow over the course of 2010 - will reveal themselves all in due time. Had someone told me on New Years Eve of 2009 while i napped on my couch, watched the NYC countdown, and nursed the flu, that in first month of the year, I would fall madly in love with a man living in the Middle East, I would have shrugged my shoulders and blown it off. Yes I was communicating with him at the time, but I had yet to realize the amazing character and strength and pureness of heart. Why did my blog become all about love? Because that is all I know. And soon enough, I will be his... in every possible way.

30 January 2010

52 degrees of separation...

(At least someone is getting kisses around here)

If you are not living on the East Coast of the United states then you are probably fortunate enough to be living a weekend full of sunshine or at least above freezing weather. Unfortunately for me, the story has a different plot.  I don't think the temperatures today reached above 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Lucky for me, I had a lot of work to do inside. And the fortunate thing is that today is Saturday, my favorite day of the week. Saturdays are the days that I get to speak with the love of my life face to face for most of the day, between activities, which for him were directing a film and going to a movie. For me meant pouring myself over research articles, running my dogs in the snow which they absolutely love, sledding down the frozen street with my neighbors and their kids, standing on a sled and attempting to "snow board" which was quite fun since diving off into the snow doesn't hurt at all, I made Broccoli soup from scratch. 2 pots of coffee and 4 hours of conversation later, here I am. The high in Bahrain today was 77 Fahrenheit, just a tad warmer than here, but it won't be long now until I am there, enjoying the warm sun and arid climate. OH yes. I cannot wait. I just might never come home.

Rick is the most amazing man. We are absolutely convinced that we are perfect together, and our suspicions will be confirmed soon enough.  IN 11.5 days, I will be confronting him for the first time face to face. I want that moment to last forever. Since we have never really seen one another, I do believe that it will be, love at first sight. Since we already love one another deeply, I will go a step further and say, I will fall more deeply in love with him at that moment, and time will stand still. We will be completely unaware of anything around us, noises will cease to be, and the space between, will feel like miles, as we close the gap towards one another, step by step, walking briskly, trying not to run into one another's arms.... I am full of butterflies just imagining the moment, and no, i do not think that I have built it up so much that I am leading myself to disappointment. I do not think that at all. NO far from it. I don't think that I will be able to fathom the experience until I live it first hand. I am almost certain that my body will go lifeless as we embrace, that I will completely melt into his arms and no longer be able to support the weight of my own body. Today while we were talking, we discussed some very personal goals and plans for our immediate future. Now that he is alseep, I can hear his voice singing these words to me: "you are the one, oh, you are the one. You make it all worthwhile, you make it all worthwhile."

The joy that he brings me is far greater than even the happiest of moments that I have lived out in my life. I have never, in my entire life, been full of so much joy. The more we talk, the more i see his face, hear his voice, watch him smile and laugh.... the more certain i become that he is what I have been searching for my entire life. I am quite certain of that.  Its quite sappy, and even more ridiculous, but how great our love has grown over such a short period of time is a testimony in itself. We are certain to face hardships and struggles, but who doesn't? We will have each other, and because of that, we can weather the storm... be it snow or sand... we can get through any test of time. MY life has become quite surreal, Even my friends, people that know me well, even people that attended my first wedding... Even they can testify - they have NEVER seen my smile so big, nor occur this often. MY cheeks are quite sore from all the smiling and laughing, but i think this is in preparation for a lifetime of constant smiles and hearty laughter. It won't be long now, until any reservations I hold are completely stricken from my mind.  I'm more certain now than I was yesterday, and know that todays reassurance won't hold a candle to tomorrow.

28 January 2010

Sacrificing a Lifelong Love (so not what you think)

One of the joys in my life comes with playing sports... specifically soccer. I formed a womens soccer team last year, and while we only finished third in our first season, we finished first in our second season, won a tournament, and finished second in the state cup, which we easily could have won. Bluntly speaking, the games in our regular season, were mostly not that close. I feel as though I accomplished quite a feat in that aspect, by forming a competitive womens soccer team from scratch, and while it might be hard elsewhere in the US, this part of NC is known for its soccer. My team is the youngest in the league, and I have the honor to represent quite a bunch of talented ladies. Its a lot of work though. The first season I went out of pocket to get jerseys, and to front the money for the team fees. A lot of which was not recouped. But that was my choice. I knew that in order to get started, I would have to shell out some cash, and in all honesty, I can afford it. Though I do prefer the ladies to pay up.

It has been quite a joy to be the captain of this team. I have formed so many life long friendships through this team, and have been the facilitator of the same sort of friendships amongst the team. These girls are quite close to each other and I really am grateful that I was able to be a part of it all. My team fee for this upcoming season is due Monday. $800 for the team fee. And we owe another $600 in referee fees. This is quite a lot of money to some of the girls. More or less it works out to about $80 a girl because I was awarded $150 for my representation of the Womens Division on the league Board. This money was supposed to go to my personal team fees, but instead I used it to reduce the cost for my teammates since they are quite reluctant each season to shell out the cash. I am grateful to do it, and lets be honest. Being on the board just means that I had to grow up a bit, and now I have a voice. I am more mature on the field so all in all, it has been a great experience. I don't know what i will do with out soccer. It has really been a major part of my life for so long and I know i could still play for years to come, but as long as I have a ball to kick and a net to stop it from rolling away, I think that I will always be satisfied.

Over the last few days I have received a flood of mail from my teammates making their payments. I am so grateful that they are all becoming a bit more responsible in paying on time to lessen the burden on me. I think i will feel comfortable handing the team over, as it really has come together. The girls are great. I will really miss them... Today while I was opening the envelopes, I was touched as a lot of my friends added personal messages letting me know how grateful they were for all the work I have done, well wishes for my trip, prayers sent my way, and one girl who i love the most said "You better cash this before you leave to the Middle East" It made me smile because i can hold onto a check for quite some time. I think last time I had money from her, I went to Europe and didn't cash it until i came home two weeks later. Oops. I love my ladies. I love my team. I love that they put their money into the mail without griping, and I hope that this season is our most memorable yet. I know for me it will be.

GO RAGE!!!




 Coaches Talk
 A cold and wet second

NO SOLICITATION

Forgive me Father, For I have sinned....

The brown stuff hit the spinny thing today, and while i could not tell you about it, i will instead, let you know what God is doing. So that you can offer up your prayers for me and Lady.

It happened again. I explained to her everything and what a wonderful man my boyfriend is, but she would not hear it. She challenged me in every possible way, and i was able to refute each challenge that she presented. She came to me with bullet points and offered more and more reasons to run. The thing is, Ricky and I have been attacked a lot lately, and this was not Lady's normal attack, she was ON FIRE. This was much more of a spiritual attack than that. I told her that I wanted her to be happy for me, and that is the ONLY reason that i told her at all. I regret this more and more, but aside from that, i did not need her advice because i have my own mother and father. I really feel that this is the enemy using her to attack my spirit. Am i going to run away from the enemy? Absolutely NOT. When your back is the the enemy, you are the most vulnerable. The bible talks about wearing a suit of armor, but nowhere in the bible does it talk about protecting your backside. Why is this? Because God wants us to face our oppressors head on. He tells us that HE will be our strength. Let me quote Paul:
Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Am i being a bit dramatic here? Maybe. But is that what he wants us to believe? That we are imagining the evil and it doesn't exist???
Trust me. I am praying in the spirit. I can feel the attacks on me, and they are getting stronger. But I cannot be shaken because God promises to protect me as long as I live within his will for my life. I am so excited about the amazement of God and the wonderous things that He is doing in my life. My struggles are gone. My will is stronger. And my desire to Seek First and be the Godly woman that He has called me to be has increased ten-fold. I just knealt in my office and offered up my prayers to God to continue to put his blanket of protection over me and over rick, and to heal this woman that unfortunately was used to challenge me and my faith. I have prayed to God time and time again, and even asked Him to raise the flags if there were any.

I pray to God every day that if Rick and I are not meant to be, then we can humble ourselves before Him and admit that we were wrong and with our tails between our legs, carry on about our lives. God will make this apparent if it is not His will for us to be joined. But the amazing thing is this. When people are joined to do Gods work, the enemy wants nothing more than to destroy that. To break those people apart and keep them from being vessels for God to use. I am a vessel. God will use me as He so desires. I will admit fault if Ricky and i are not meant to be and i will gladly change my tune and profess to the world that we were wrong. But i have NEVER in my entire life faced so much oppression. This is real here. This resistance is not from God. These are not RED FLAGS that i am merely ignoring. There is no merit to any of these claims other than, FEAR, Lack of Understanding, perhaps Jealousy, and bitterness. This is not about whether or not in 20 years I will wake up and regret that my husband is now 61 years old. Who are you to claim that a 49 yr old woman won't love her husband just as much when he is 61, as when he is 41. Not a single one of you. That disgusts me. And you need to know it. Because God made our hearts, he made us. Intricately designed. Our minds are quite unique. All of us. And just because his hair is gone, his libido lost (heh heh) or his vision impaired (which btw i'm the farsighted one here, not him)... Who is to tell me that I am incapable of loving him just as much then as i do now??? Think about it. That is just ridiculous. But you know what? I won't love him the way i do now, I will love him MUCH MORE. Because God is the center of our love, and as long as we SEEK FIRST, we will not waiver. We are quite certain.

I immediately called rick once this transpired. Yes it was 130 am or so, but here is the amazing remarkable thing. This man, that i have not yet met in the flesh. He woke up, seconds before i placed the call, looked at his phone, AND it rang. We are connected in a way that only God can explain. Let our lives be a testimony to that. We are certainly blessed to have each other. And the enemy cannot steal our joy.

26 January 2010

Worlds Coincide

This is especially for my skeptics........
I've already blogged today but i felt inspired to write another one
This story is quite compelling.... And amazing at the same time. Read on.

I just got off the phone with my mother because i vented again about lady. Clearly lady did get to me despite my failure to acknowledge it. We are facing a lot of skeptics, Rick and I. And while I was telling my mother the story, she had the same doubt (who up till now has been on my team).
What if this lady is right? What if this is a scam Jennifer?
Mom. Think about how ridiculous this sounds. What would he have to gain? I am not rich. I might have to leave my job, so there is 0% money there. I have absolutely nothing to offer other than my love (which btw, is quite abundant) So ok, he would gain one thing. My love and affections. Which might be enough, but come on. Really? Here is how the remainder of the conversation went.. First i vented. Then mom says her bit about the scam. Ok mom, so his parents that i've talked to, they are what? actors? yes, they could be. ok mom, so his sister, she too is an actress? maybe so. And what about his work website, his magazine article, his newspaper articles, and the websites and facebook friends... what about them? Did he scam 1000 people into being his friend in order to win over this no-name woman in North Carolina??? How does LOGIC ring into that? (and this is the best part) Oh mom, that reminds me. I don't know why i didn't think of this last week, but nonetheless, here it goes..... Hold your breath, Wait for it....

Robert is a guy i went to high school with, lived in B.Park. We did Young Life together. I was more friends with Jim his twin, but not the point. A man that is friends with Rick, his name is John. Well John requested to be my friend on FB. Well it turns out, John worked with Robert. So Robert can validate who John is, and John sent me this wonderful email telling me how happy he is for Rick and myself and that I have found quite a jewel (and that if he could, he would marry rick for himself... thank goodness he is just being funny) Mom, i get it. You are nervous about this and this is not how dating went when you were dating dad, 40+ years ago i might add. I realize you are all looking out for my best interest, and just worried about me, but i'm not a fool. Why would rick profess his love for the world to see? He sure is running quite the scam, don't you think? How did he ever get Robert to comply with this evil twisted scheme? He must be quite clever don't you think??? And if he is that clever, to run such a scam to get this simple girl that has nothing to offer but her love... Then he deserves to win because HE IS GOOD!!
Let me recap:
So john validated Rick. Robert validates John, and i validate Robert.

Just when you didn't think it would get any better... Our two worlds just collided.

I think this is where i say something like BAM!!!!!!!

One Bad Apple (spoils the bunch)

I love it when self proclaimed Christians ruin it for the rest of us. (PLEASE NOTE THE SARCASM)... I know a woman, who is quite the pessimist. She drives me nuts, and I know tht at times she means well, but there is no tact, and really I am not an idiot. Yes I was married to the most unmatched person I could have chosen... but he was the only one doing the asking. Looking back, everyone told me not to do it. Or held their tongues. Mom said i was like a freight train, there was no stopping me, and getting in my way would have been a disaster. I guess if i am honest, When i got married, I was getting married to an idea. I was perhaps subconciously racing my sister to the altar. I was hoping the man would change (strongly recommend against this one). I was not myself. I was delirious. i was not living in Gods will for my life, i was living out MY will for MY life. I had to get married. I had a plan. Married by 25, kids by 30. Now i have a new plan. God will decide, I'll follow. It works much better that way.

So this lady, she told me, i knew it woudn't work. So now since it didn't work, she thinks that she has the right to tell me her opinion on E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. seriously. She has spent the last year or more telling me that if i didn't get married soon i would end up alone and barren. Who says that? i mean really? who tells someone who has recently been divorced b/c of an abusive relationship, that they will end up alone and barren???? And then on top of that, considers themself a Christian. I'm on a soapbox now, look at me go. How do you call yourself a Christian in one breath and then view the world in such a dim light? I just don't know. It really doesn't make sense to me at all. You see, for me, I have a lot of non-Christian friends. And they are happy. I do not tell them what to think and feel. And we get along just fine. They are some of my closest friends. GASP - non-Christian friends! How dare I???? yes, how dare i!! I mean Jesus only hung out with the holy and pure and blameless right?

Jesus hung out with a hooker and a bookie and a bunch of other quite colorful people. At least I think tax collector back then would be like the modern equivalent of a bookie. that's my take on it. It makes my story more colorful anyways.

I love my non-Christian friends dearly. And i accept them for who they are. I love them for where they are in their lives. Do i want to see them know God as i do? Absolutely. But i am NOT here to judge. i am NOT here to preach, and I am NOT here to force my opinions upon anyone. I believe in Religious Freedom. Whether or not I think other beliefs are fallible, that is my choice and my opinion, and i will keep that to myself and show you what it means to be a Christian by my love and through my life (though don't look too closely - we all fall short). Sure, as a Christian I am charged to share the gospel, but i never read anywhere where that says, persecute others. No, in fact there are TWO commandments that Jesus said are the most important. Love the Lord your God with all your heart. Love thy neighbor as yourself. I love all of my friends, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Athiest, Agnostic, Nature lovers, Morman, Scientologist, etc.. I guess when it comes down to it, i love my enemies too. I pray for them anyways. Because i believe that if there is any hatred or strife in you, then you are separated from God. So to be safe, I love everyone. At least i try, though again, i will miss the mark. I am not perfect nor even close. Not yet anyways.

Back to my point. Some of the Christians I know are really annoying. Like this lady i'm talking about. First she tells me i'm going to be alone and barren (which i ignored). Now she is telling me that i need to give her my boyfriends full name so that she can call Interpol if need be and that he isn't who he says he is and that he is probably lying to me about his age. Well, i'm glad she is the worlds expert on everything. First i'll be alone. And now that i found someone that i actually connect with on more than one level, i must be making a mistake. Pick a tune lady and stick with it. Am I destined to be alone or am i about to get played by a wolf in sheeps clothing. I shared my story with her b/c I thought she would be happy to hear i found someone. How wrong i was. I wonder how many hours she has spent worrying about this and dwelling over it. And the fact that she has been talking to Woman #2 about this to get her advice, NOTE #2 has had multiple failed marriages.... So we should really take heed to what she has to say right? Ok i am going to stop now because i am being quite mean and i don't mean to be mean or angry or anything because i'm not. So i'll stop. I am SURE she means the best and is only concerned that i will get hurt again, and with my personal wellbeing (and probably a bit jealous that i have met a man that has and will continue to sweep me off my feet) but think people think..... Am I not capable of deciding whether or not my boyfriend is who he says he is? Am i not capable of making wise decisions because i made ONE wrong one?

But all this got me to thinking. How can someone claim to be a Christian and be so darn pessimistic? I, of course, shrugged her off as i always do, and paid no heed to her talk. I have done my homework, background work, and the like. How can he have 1000 FB friends and be such a deceiver. How can he have multiple magazine/newspaper articles, and be not who he says he is. I have talked to his parents on the phone on multiple occassions and i absolutely love them. Maybe they are not his parents? maybe they too are secretly wolves... Maybe everyone is a wolf and I should go inside, lock my door and hide for the rest of my life. I am not a fool, even if at one time i was taken for one. I must repeat I am not a fool. If you are truely a Christian, then you should have the joy of Christ in your life no matter your circumstances, and you should have absolutely nothing but JOY in your heart... And because of that joy, you should certainly be optimistic. I know i am.

24 January 2010

Preparing for the journey

I have so much to look forward to over these next two weeks (and three days). Much preparation is needed before I embark on my journey. This is a really big deal. Life as I know it is about to change, absolutely for the better. I mean there is going to be some slight hesitation in getting off the plane because I will be so nervous and excited to finally meet the love of my life face to face... I am so lucky to have him. No, that's not it. I am so blessed. Typically I feel gross after flying for 3 hours. How about 15 hours? I will have been awake for over 24 hours, aside from the little sleep I will get on the plane. I will be jet lagged, exhausted, anxious, nervous, and probably a little greasy... If he is still attracted to me after this long journey, then he will have seen me at my absolute worst.. At least in the looks department. And I will probably be feeling a bit needy and exhausted so I may be a little short with him, but somehow I doubt that. I think he is going to be absolutely wonderfully amazing and I am so excited, these next few weeks are going to FLY by! Here's a thought from Norma Jean Baker herself...

I'm selfish, impatient, and insecure.
I make mistakes. I am out of control and hard to handle.
But if you can't handle my worst,
then you don't deserve me at my best.
- Marilyn Monroe


I can't help but to project into the future. That is how i am. I am an analyst, so turning my mind off is much harder than turning it on, but i really am not that worried. I am more excited than anything, but still there is much to prepare for.

I have made a checklist of all the things that I will bring. Funny, last time i flew international, I was allowed to check 2 bags. I remember this because it was just September, and while I arrived in Europe with only one bag, I went shopping and had to purchase a second bag so that i would make it home with all my new possessions. Point being, rather than paying to check an extra bag, I am going to travel light if i can get away with it. What could i possibly need two bags for? I will be working for 8 or 9 days while in Bahrain, so i need some work clothes. I will be attending a ball, so i need to bring my fabulous dress and shoes. I guess everything else is up in the air. But this is not really the preparation that I am alluding to.

I need to prepare my heart for whatever God has in store. I need to be prepared for the countless possibilities. I need to be prepared to be strong, courageous, and enter a new land with an open mind. Culture is quite different in the Middle East as compared to the US or even most of Europe. Did you know that it is illegal to kiss in public in Bahrain? While Bahrain is not as rigid as other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, there are still some stringent laws that I will have to abide in. I am quite fortunate that I work and live near so many diverse people from all over the world: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the US of course. My boss, for instance, is from ALASKA. I have coworkers from Italy, Sri Lanka, China, Turkey, India, Kenya, Denmark, England, Australia, Canada, and let us not forget, the United States. Many other countries are represented in my workplace, but these are just a few from the top of my head. But when I enter the Middle East, I will not be in the comfort of my own environment. I will be a stranger in a new land. I will be the one that does not fit it. I will be the one that stands out as different. Maybe there are a lot of blondes in Bahrain, but common sense tells me that this is probably not the case.

I also need to prepare myself for Rick. I need to make sure that I am spiritually fit, and that I will meet him with a pure heart, and a gracious spirit. Let me be honest for a minute about myself. I have lived alone for many years aside from the 17 months that I was married, and the brief roommate before that, so in all, 29 months I was not alone out of the last 84 months. Give or take a few in either direction. Living alone has its perks. You don't have to talk to anyone ever. You can shut off the world and hide... and i have done that before. I don't think that i will want to hide from Rick, but spending 16 days with someone non-stop will be the ultimate litmus test. WE really have little doubt, and arranged such a long visit so that we would be able to know for certain that we will in fact spend the rest of our lives together. We already know, but perhaps our skeptics will quiet. Maybe they won't. Maybe they won't quiet until we've hit our second, third, fourth, or fiftieth anniversary. Either way. We plan to live forever, because that is how great our love is. It is forever. Till the end of time. I believe we have it. I believe that those 16 days will be an absolute dream, but you never know. If i am not prepared, my live alone attitude may get the best of me. So i need to make sure that I am ready. Prayers are always appreciated. Then again, I can always quarantine myself to my room if it gets ugly. I can see it now:
Rick: Jenni, are you going to wake up and come out of your room this morning
Me: < no answer >
Rick: Jenni???
Me: Leave me alone!
Rick: Fine, why don't you just go home!
Me: I am home....

Ok readers, I am totally kidding here. This will not happen. I think i will be totally excited to wake up in the morning to see another day in Bahrain. I have to embrace the few short days we have together. I don't know when my next trip will be, or actually when his will be to come visit me next. Who is ready for a party at my house?? That will definitely be in store, but one step at a time. I mean come on. i haven't even met the guy. Sheesh. Quit rushing me. First things first. I am looking forward to the blog that i will be writing in 17 days.... I don't think I've ever anticipated anything in my entire life as much as this. Not writing the blog people, meeting my love in the flesh! Just had to be sure we are on the same page. I am living in this dream world that just keeps getting better and better. The more I see his face and the more I hear his voice, the more my love for him grows. I never thought I would find a love like this before... Now that I have... just try to take it from me. I dare you to...

23 January 2010

14 camels?!?!?!

An "anonymous" reader has asked how to email me. I have updated my profile with my email, but if that is too difficult, sloan.jenni@gmail.com is the word. Feel free to email away. Comments are always welcome, invited even. I would love to know that someone is reading this and what they feel they should say to me. I'm actually a bit eager to see who is trying to contact me and what they have to say... anything? I am open to it. All of my friends have unique opinions and feedback, and while it is hard for me to not just turn away from the ones that clearly have not read my blog on being skeptical of my situation or just simply don't care to believe that this could in fact, be exactly as Rick and I believe that it is... (ahhhemmmm), I am not easily swayed, and am armed and ready to answer any questions that are thrown at me. I had mentioned before in an earlier blog about speaking to my therapist about my situation. He is absolutely not trying to dissuade me about my relationship with Rick, nor does he seem to be leery or reluctant to believe that what i say is real. To be honest, Dr. Y. has never read a blog until mine. I am his first. I am glad that I had invited him to read along, because I feel as though he will get a much deeper understanding as to who I am than the person that I can convey in our weekly sessions, though I must note, he does know me better than most anyone, and has been instrumental in my emotional and spiritual recovery, a process that began a little over two years ago. I don't for one minute think that going to therapy makes you a defective person. Some of us just need someone that is absolutely neutral to bounce thought, word and deed off of. Someone that can look at your life without any involvement other than to listen, and to point out what he sees and hears. Often he will depict my language to him as I would never interpret, but he provokes deep thought and intuition. I like that I know myself and am able to say to him, This is what i did/thought/said and this is why I think it was so.... And he will neither agree nor disagree with my statement, but will simply point out patterns, behaviour, allegory, metaphor, and incite answers to the questions that I had yet to ask myself.

To some, seeing is believing. To some, there is an alloted amount of time to process information and to go about certain things. I don't agree with this. I know many people that never met their spouse before the wedding day, or merely met the spouse for a brief interview of sorts. These marriages work, and a lot of them are full of joy and love. Honor and Respect. Did you know that I am worth 14 camels? And not just any camel, but some pimped out camels with GPS, air conditioning and the works. Now clearly this is all in jest, but to think that I could be worth 14 camels, my daddy would be so proud. I had to fact check with some friends, because to be honest, I was a little disappointed that I was ONLY worth 14 camels, but I was reassured that this was quite a large dowry. Nonetheless, this is all in jest, Ricky surely won't be sending any Camels to the Carolinas. My father will rest easy knowing that. I mean, who raises a camel in the Carolinas anyways? I know we have a strong tobacco culture out here, farms and all,but I think that is Joe Camel, and he flies solo. At least from what i've observed. So instead of 14 camels, which perhaps equate to the price of a luxury car, especially if these camels are pimped out as stated, then we'll just take that and invest in some precious jewels.

I have totally digressed from the subject at hand. What i am trying to say is that, I am 29 years old. I have been married. I have a great career and plenty of education. I aspire to finish my degree in the near future (months people months) and have been working diligently on this said degree... My point is. I know what i want. And i have a restored faith in God, and in man. At least this one. He has opened up his heart and soul. We were both sort of searching aimlessly before we met. WE were both looking for exactly what we wanted, toying with other options, but often becoming disinterested, bored even. Not fully satisfied. The connection that he and I made was instant, and as my mother said tonight, Jennifer, you will know the minute you meet him - her exact words - she will support me in what I decide - my interpretation. No pressure here. Absolutely none. I talked to her about my skeptics and sought her opinion and she was absolutely wonderful. My mother never ceases to amaze me. You would think she would be such a critic, but she isn't. My mom is AWESOME!!!!!! I love her. Always have. Always will. Moms and daughters have a special bond like that. We can't explain it. We just are. But DAD, i am not discounting you at all because my father and I also have a special relationship, that none will replace, but dad is different. Dad is here to protect me, and I think there are times that he feels that perhaps he might should have protected me from some of the hurt earlier in my life, but wasn't able to. Most of that was my fault. When you distance yourself from your father because you, yourself, are trying to be independent, when you disregard his opinion, his advice, his command even (the rules the suggestions, the warnings etc) Then you are cutting off that line of communication that I really feel would have been crucial in protecting me from so much hurt and self-destruction. But i wanted what I wanted when i wanted it. I wanted so badly to grow up and become a woman and trust in my own judgement. Who was he to tell me how to live my life. I was quite adamant about becoming my own person and since he was full of so many rules and the word NO, I think there were a few years that I closed off my heart to him, I definitely closed my mind. I am sorry for it Dad if you are reading this. I am really sorry for shutting you out. HE could have protected me had I let him, but I was too stubborn (wow, i am just like my dad) and while i don't regret becoming the woman i am now, I think my life might have been a little easier if I just would have listened (Wow, this is chock full of allegory here and if you don't see it feel free to ask and i'll gladly explain) To my father, I think deep down, I will always be the little pigtailed girl that ran around to ball fields and shooting ranges and driving ranges and wherever else it was that Daddy wanted to take me, i was so there. Then i grew up, and daddy wasn't as cool anymore because I liked boys and daddy didn't like that. I rebelled and while i don't condone who i was or how i behaved, it was what it was. I am who i am because of my experiences. Back to the hotdog analogy.
But you know. I've been burned in love, but i am still here. I survived. I am alive. What's my point? I could very well crawl into a hole and die. I could very well settle for something short of what I deserve (again), but I won't. I believe that this man is my gift from God, and that although I have not been the best woman I can be, every day is a new day. I get a second chance at life, and I get to start over right now. You can too. Its quite simple really. Just because you made mistakes and did things you are not proud of, that doesn't mean that YOU are a bad person, you just simply gave in to your sinful nature. We all have that sinful nature. But we also have One that will enable us to overcome that nature, resist the temptation, and begin life made new. That's the chance I have, and while this is something that I have known for quite some time, something that I have exemplified in fits and spurts over the past 11 years, I have resigned myself from running any longer. And i embrace the change, I embrace the heart of God, and I embrace the opportunity to live my life, as I see fit. Because this is my life, AND YOU CANNOT STEAL MY JOY. I am certain of that. My joy comes from God.

21 January 2010

A LOVE LETTER...

I'm taking tips from Rick and am going to post his blog tonight. Its a special treat for you and I hope you like it. He wrote me a fabulous love letter today, because he loves me and for no other reason, and decided (with my permission) to use it as his blog posting tonight. He is quite the romantic, and quite pathetically in love with me in the most endearing and earnest way, and i reciprocate this deep seated emotion 100%. We are perfect for each other in every imaginable way, and even the ways I have yet to imagine because I do not want to let my mind wander there... even those ways I can imagine we would be perfectly compatible....

I have never felt so loved by another person in all of my life. Even from my parents, who have loved me dearly, this love is much deeper than that. This love is on such a different connection... We connect intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and from what we can tell, there is a great chance for much physical chemistry, but only time will tell. I am waiting for, what I will call, the most anticipated first kiss of my life. Every night i dream of Ricky and kissing him (yes, that is ALL we do in my dreams)... and it is the most amazing kiss i've never felt. Our relationship is built on a bunch of "I NEVERS" but at the same time, it is built upon solid communication, absolutely open honesty, the purest intentions, and a spiritual connection with God as we know him. That's the beauty of it.

There are a bunch of NOT YETS waiting for us. Things that everyone else takes for granted, including me... Our first "real" date. Our first embrace. Our first kiss. Our first wrestling match (YOU ARE SOOOOO GOING DOWN!). Our first thumb war. Our first high five. Our first walk hand in hand, or maybe it will be arm in arm, or even better, maybe he will wrap his strong arm around my shoulders and pull me close and I'll walk along with my hand around his waste. Our first PS3 competition. Our first staring match. Our first bout of hilarity where neither one of us will stop laughing and only laugh harder every time we try to stop until we are doubled over in stitches from the joy of our tears... Our first home cooked meal that I will undoubtedly prepare. Our first trip to a land in which neither one of us live (Dubai!), Our first knowing glance into one another's eyes. Our first inside joke. Our first day of riding to work together (which will happen to be on VALENTINES DAY) Sigh, how romantic! The first time I can go watch him do his thing... i.e. produce Bahrain's Funniest Person. I am already his biggest fan, and i look forward to encouraging him to pursue his dreams in whatever they may be. I will be by his side. Urging him to go for it. Chase his dreams. Take chances.... Because i believe in him enough for the both of us, and him in me. There are countless other firsts, and undoubtedly, not all of them will be full of joy and laughter, but I can take solace in knowing that I will be there for him, and he for me, and we will see each other through anything, be it a bad day, the loss of a loved one, or the heartbreak of being estranged from ones children (even more so than the distance at present)... I support him because I love him. I will respect him. I will honor him.

We have already determined our future will be spent together. Logistics will have to play out, degrees will have to be completed, and so on, but for two people that have never met in the flesh, we are undoubtedly the COUPLE OF THE CENTURY!! You will see us together and be drawn to our joy. We are certain that this relationship has been ordained, and we know that we will most certainly serve a higher purpose than even we can fathom, because the God that Rick and I serve is exciting like that. We have no idea what is in store, but we will serve, and we will follow, and we will obey, and because of that, we will be blessed beyond all measure. And even if we are not blessed, we will always have each other and we will always have our faith, and to us, this is more than enough. His Grace is enough. I have never been so excited to love God, and to love another, in my entire life. I know i didn't get it right the first time, but I believe it was all in preparation for being able to handle a life bigger than myself, because had I not gone through such a dark and desolate time, I would not have been open to embarking upon such an adventure, into a foreign land, with only my faith, my hope, and most importantly, my joy. And none of these things can you take away. No matter what. I am transformed. I am made new. And I am ready to leave this life behind, because I know the minute I sacrifice all that I hold dear, my real life will begin. And what an adventure I have in store! I can't imagine spending it with anyone else..... Here is what Rick had to say tonight:

Dear Blog readers, friends, and others,

Its been a wonderful journey that I’ve (we’ve) been on this past year. I know a lot of you read this to live vicariously through me. Not sure if this ride for you has been an upper or a downer. But even through the rough patches, I’ve had a continuous joy. I hope that has been an inspiration to you. I think that is my calling in life to be an inspiration to others to help them maximize their God-given abilities. So as you have traveled through my heartbreak and frustrations, now we are on the emotional good side. God’s faithfulness is really shining through my life right now and Im ecstatic. Since I share so much with you already, I thought you might want to read a love letter I just wrote to Jenni. (I asked her permission.) Be forewarned…its pretty sickeningly sweet. If you are not romantic it may cause you to throw up in your mouth a little bit.


Jenni,

I am sitting in Fuddrucker's right now eating lunch and watching the Oscar nominated short films from 2007. It's hard for me to describe the high that I am on right now. I can just describe it as bliss. Its all because of you Jenni my darling. I am so in love with you. I feel a little bit foolish with writing that Annulment paper and how it made me feel, longing for the family of yesterday. I have realized a great many thing about myself and my relationships over the past few years you see. God knows my heart and he knows the heart of my former spouse. I know God knew that the divorce was coming even though it blind-sided me. God could see into my future and he was protecting me. My year in Saudi was preparation to live life alone for a few years while I redefined myself in Him. I was to get my esteem from God and no one else. I learned to live alone and be completely reliant upon God’s grace. Because I had a year to prepare by being alone I learned to adapt. If she just would have left or filed while we still lived together it would have been absolutely devastating, I probably would have needed depression meds or something. While it was still incredibly painful, I endured as you endured. But because I was so spiritually ready for it, it knocked me over but didn't split me in two. We talked about what kind of tree we would be. I think God has designed me to be a Palm tree. The Palm can withstand any Hurricane. It will bend in torrential winds that would snap normal trees in half, but the Palm rarely breaks because they are designed to withstand any storm. So I withstood the storm, by the grace of God. While Im not perfect and I've made mistakes through the divorce process, I think I went through it exactly as God would have wanted me to. God is honoring my faithfulness Jenni by bringing you into my life. I honestly think, there just is no one in the world more perfect for me than you. God knew this. We met at the exact right time in the exact right place. You are being used of God in my life. That is a wonderful feeling to be used of God. You should get used to it. It is like you are the great reward for my faithfulness. If everyone knew they would get a “jenni” at the end of their personal “Hell” I think we’d get a lot more people signing up for it. But I think that’s the thing. We all go through our personal “hells” and our reward is just as satisfying as getting a “jenni” I think God custom makes our rewards to suit our tastes. Im just glad God knew that I had exquisite taste in you. I think many will see you as evidence as God's faithfulness. I stayed faithful through the storm and look at what I got as a reward, the most beautiful, intelligent, funny, sassy, and sexy girl in all the world. Its still hard for me to fathom how a guy like me could I merit a girl like you but only by grace of God. In fact, you are living proof that God exists. Its just such a strange sensation to be in love with someone I have never even met in the flesh before. I know I am romantic and a poet at heart. But how is it possible that each of us could fall in love before we even saw each other on the web camera. Then as soon as we did, the sparks flew. I knew at that moment you’d be my wife someday. Its really romantic if you ponder it. In the future, I think we are both going to have ministries to the divorced and broken hearted. We will use each other as examples to other's to keep the faith and to not give up. Because we found each other, they will receive hope through us. Jenni you and I are the modern love story. Broken hearted people finding each other through the new medium of cyberspace and discovering love that once seemed so improbably if not impossible. I have a bottle full of tears that God has saved and so do you. He counted all of our tears and stored them. Each tear will equate to a thousand moments of joy. I have about 10,000 tears I figure, and you must have about 8,000 (Im older) so I figure that will equate to a lifetime of joy for us. Get ready...for a fabulous life.

I love you sweetheart,

Rick

20 January 2010

Hitting a Wall

It finally happened. I hit a wall. I have not been taking good care of myself, though its not entirely my fault. I haven't been tired. Not at all. I have been going going going going going going going going going going going going (GET IT?) for a little over 2 weeks now. Work, School, Friends, on top of the other things in my life like cooking, cleaning (well sort of i do have a housekeeper but I still have to put my laundry away and do my dishes), blogging, oh, and talking to my boyfriend. We talk so much. Especially between 11:10pm and 2am. I am done. Spent. Its over. I can no longer keep this up. I was so energized. Hyper even. BUT i am finally spent. I AM SPENT. I will keep saying that. Its done. I'm done. Put a fork in me. I AM DONE. today i noticed my attitude was starting to wane, I am feeling depressed and sad, but i have no reason to feel this way and suddenly it hit me. I haven't slept well in weeks! I am nearly done with my work day but decided to BLOG from here because one i leave, I am going straight home, I am going to maybe eat food if i so desire to make the effort, I am going to hang up this dress, I am going to feed my dogs, and I am going to take a nice hot shower, and crawl into bed. I will not pass GO, i will not collect $200. I will go straight to BED.
When my phone rings at 11PM,I will not be able to talk unless for some reason I get enough sleep, but i doubt it. I have been sleeping for 4-6 hours a night, but very unrest. I wake up in the middle of my sleep and then go back to sleep. That resets the clock and my REM must reboot and begin again. I don't even know what that means. I'm a statistician.... Numbers people numbers. I need a good 8 hours a night. I do. I always have. I can do less for a little while, but now 16 or so days into this. I'm done. 4+4+5+4= EXHAUSTED. its simple math. Last Friday i stayed up all night ebcause after my date, it wasn't bed time, and then Ricky woke up again and i was still awake, and then we finally said goodbye and then my soon to be big sis Kristen called me from California and we talked for 1.5 hours... See the numbers? 530am on saturday i was going to bed.... 4 hours is not enough. Adrenaline has peaked and fizzled. I need sleep.

I leave for Bahrain in 3 weeks. I will be en route this time 3 weeks from now. And I'm thrilled. I'm going to a BALL! My very first date with Ricky Beeman will be a ball, and how wonderful is that! I have a new dress that I would love to share with you all, but I won't because it is a surprise. And it is totally elegant and gorgeous, and in my sister Lori's words beauteeeeeeeeeeeeful. Big smiles to you WO-WI. (that is my name to her among others...) I am not going to share it because Ricky will not see it until I have gotten ready for the ball and put it on. I will have my own room when I go out there, so that will not be a problem! Everything has fallen into place. I am allowed to work from Bahrain, so i do not have to take all of my vacation time. I am extrememly blessed beyond measure in every aspect of life except one, and now i must resign to this one area... SLEEP.

So goodnight. I pray this night bodes me well, and I am filled with uninterrupted ZZZZzz's...........

18 January 2010

Ridiculously ridiculous

I have decided that I am being ridiculously ridiculous. What do i mean by that?
Well, it is ridiculous to think the way i think and to act the way I act some times. Am i in love right now? Absolutely! Is it ridiculous? absolutely!

I had a pretty poor attitude today about some things that I am not comfortable sharing with anyone else aside from the one that I have already shared with. I was not comfortable with my attitude either. I was being ungrateful, selfish, and pretty much throwing myself a huge pity party, feeling sorry for poor little me. What the heck? I am not pathetic. I am not lacking in anything, and I am certainly not alone, but I sure felt that way. I tend to get ahead of myself... and sometimes when things don't go exactly the way I want them to go, I want to pitch a fit, throw a tantrum, pout, and fight to have my way. Of course, I am no longer a three year old, so i don't do this in reality, but i felt like it... and that feeling had to count for something awful. I want what i want, when i want it. But life doesn't work that way. The thing about being Jennifer is this. I can control ONE person, and one person only. And that is me. You are in charge of you, i am in charge of me. Thats it. You cannot control me any more likely that I am to control you. Sure there are manipulative people in this world. The world is full of that. I know this all too well. But here's the thing, walk away. You can't control me, so don't even try.

After being a part of an emotionally abusive relationship that was rife with manipulation. Most of the time emotional abuse is just that... Abusers abuse so that they can control. And that is what it is all about. Control, which IS the ultimate goal of manipulation. Now i know - there is someone reading this that knows what I am talking about. Either because you have been the victim of this sort of abuse and manipulation, or because you yourself are the abuser. When someone puts you down and makes your sense of wellbeing and love dependent upon the way in which you respond to this sort of treatment, that is abuse. Period. When someone tells me what a horrible person I am for what I did long ago in my past, and lets me know how lucky I am that they would even consider loving me, and how nobody in the entire world could possibly love me like they are able to, only because they can forgive me, but will hold this knowledge over my head any time they want to squeeze the life out of me and get me to act and do and say and think and feel the way they want me to... Well that's just messed up. You cannot, i repeat, cannot forgive someone AND hold the past hostage. Its an either/or process. You either choose to forgive and accept, OR you choose to remember and begrudge. The latter is the most unhealthy choice you can make for either yourself, or a "loved" one. And I use quotes because I know, without a doubt, that this is not love. LOVE my friend, is unconditional. LOVE cannot be held ransom. LOVE knows no contingencies. LOVE is. That is it. LOVE IS. And if you find yourself in a situation where your thoughts and feelings are being provoked based upon how another chooses to let you live, then RUN. Because I did not know this and I had to discover the hard way what love really was, what it meant to be loved, and how small i really was until I was able to stand tall. And for 5'4", I AM TALL.
My sense of well being and purpose comes from within. My emotions cannot be controlled by any other human in the entire world, not even Rick whom i love dearly. Sure i will become sad, sure i will become hurt, and sure i will be filled with joy, hope, fear, and so on... BUT these are choices that I will make.

Manipulation is an evil tool. Somewhere early on, as a child, some learn it. They learn from watching a parent, or perhaps a friend. I'm not sure where some of us pick up this nasty habit, but think about it. When you are three, and you don't get your way, you will probably melt down. You will scream, cry, yell, hit, do whatever it takes to see if you can get your way. And those of you that got your way, you just mastered Manipulation 101. Welcome. You receive some sort of joy and high from this newfound ability. You learn quickly that anytime you don't get your way, you can repeat these processes until you break the person down, and you learn it well. Suddenly, before long, you are an adult. Your parents still fear telling you NO because they are afraid you will stop loving them. This is real. I cannot make this stuff up. I have observed this first hand and fallen victim. Because at one time, I was not good enough to be loved, and i was so lucky to receive this conditional love. Who was I kidding? I was so desperate for love, that I thought this was how it was meant to be. That love was conditional and only through proper action would i receive. This is absolutely SICK. I cannot fathom why anyone would act this way, but I see it. I observe it. And i know it exists, because we learn from our parents. They train us, condition us if you will...

So for about an hour tonight, i felt ridiculously ridiculous. And then a wonderful thing happened. A friend called me and we talked. It was a great phone conversation (i'm not one for talking on the phone) but this one was a good call. And well timed. I was still in a rut though, and then another even more beautiful thing happened. My sister called. She is absolutely the best friend i have in the entire world. I love her. LORI - you are a wonderful mother, wife and sister, and i am grateful for the example you have set before me. There. I had to say it. MY older sister is constantly being asked if she is my twin. We are a year apart, but i'm flattered to be compared to her. I love her. And she called me with such perfect timing, that I feel as though God Himself placed these calls at just the right time. And the calls ended and suddenly i was free. The attitude that I had that was absolutely ridiculous was lifted, and it won't come back. Because I am aware of what I was doing, how i was behaving, and who it was affecting. And i fired off an email, apologizing for the previous one, and asked for forgiveness. I know I am forgiven and that this was a bigger deal to me than it was to the recipient, but that is the beauty of it. I call it Self Awareness, and it is one of my strongest attributes. I am self aware. I know myself. I know why i do what i do, and i know why I feel what i feel. It is the best feeling in the world - to know thyself and to thine own self be true.

17 January 2010

Getting into a Groove

Things are going well, and I'm super motivated to finish my dissertation. Its nice to have someone so supportive (and so far away as to distract very little). I have a lot of fans cheering me on to finish, and while i'm often finding many reasons to quit, give up, and just move on, I am re-energized, and ready to face this ugly monster head on. Trust me, I can think of countless reasons why I should just give up. I have a great job and career already, and the advancements made by finishing the degree would be very little if at all, at least not immediately, but I cannot give up the race. This is indeed a marathon, not a sprint. Seeing as how i have been a doctorate student since the Fall of 2004, I know this all too well. Lets see, that means that I am coming upon the completion of my sixth year, and I have only four more years left until my clock runs out, but I have bigger aspirations. I aspire to finish my degree by May of this year. Enough is enough. I am done. The research is complete. The results, while not what I desired, are there. And the paper is halfway written. If only I had as much energy writing a dissertation as I do writing a blog. But the problem is not in writing. The problem I have is in reading the literature and summarizing what has already been done. This proves difficult for me. I have a learning "hangup", and if you would have told me or my high school teachers that I would be working towards a PhD, i think they would have laughed. Well, I would like the last laugh in all of this. Now that I have found love, I can think of nothing better than to run into his arms, and leave this world behind, but that is not what I will do, and that is not what Ricky would encourage me to do. He is, in fact, my biggest cheerleader right now. He is disciplined, and he is not accepting anything less from me. He is encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring. My trouble with learning is in reading. I have a horrible time reading and comprehending. I have to read the same sentence/paragraph about 20 times before it can process, and even then i struggle. I have discovered ways to overcome this. I have to write what i read, so i find myself getting tired of reading with pen in hand, but once the words flow from the pen onto the paper, they are stored in my memory, and I can continue reading. The stack of papers that I have to read right now is quite tall, but I must press on. This is not over yet. My goal is to finish before I am 30. This is a fair goal, but the clock is ticking and time is drawing near.. tick tock tick tock... Dr. Sloan. I like the sound of that. I always have. I always will. It is who I have determined myself to be. Right now that is being quite lofty and ambitious, but today I rediscovered my love for this paper that I am writing... it is a bittersweet love, not without much pain and suffering. But I have had enough. I will press on. I will cross that line. I will finish. For i know that if i do not, i will live the rest of my life with what might have been. I am ready to commit 3 hours a day. I am ready to spend my nights and weekends pouring myself into this. It won't write itself, and I'm not getting any younger.

Chasing Ducks...

Ducks can fly. They can swim. They do both well, though some may argue that a duck is horrible at flying. Watching a duck try to take off into flight is like watching an old, unbalanced prop plane take off... The duck flaps and flaps its wings and then eventually becomes airborne. I guess we could compare a duck to one of those sea-planes then. Since I'm not an airplane specialist or even willing to google right now. I will stick with my term of sea-plane. We all know what i'm talking about.

Nonetheless, a duck should have a sheer advantage over a dog, whether by land or by sea... Right? Well I'm not so sure. I have two not so small dogs... they are not small by any means. I love my dogs. Am quite attached to them actually. The town I live in, like most towns, has a leash law. I am constantly reminded of this law every time I take E&M on a walk because by walk what I actually mean is, lets go run around the back yard as fast as we can. And they are soooo fast. I can't even keep up on my bicycle - THATS how fast they are.

Here is what my back yard is like.. I live on this wonderful plot of land that backs up to a field and behind my home about 50 yards back is a creek. If you walk along the embankment that follows the path of the creek you will eventually hit an even larger field, and then continuing on, a field larger than the previous two. This creek eventually joins another creek, and when I follow the latter creek upstream, we hit the first pond. Oh the wonderful duck filled pond. Canadian Geese are frequent occupants of this pond too, but they are much smarter than the duck and once the dogs hit the water, the geese take off, not to return.

Ducks are not that smart. I am stating this from pure observation, and it is by no means my scientific point of view. Swimming is great exercise for the dogs and tires them out, so once we hit the pond we stop, I stand around and watch as my dogs swim after the ducks, knowing that a duck can fly, so hardly worried about the repercussions of what might happen. The pond is quite nasty and there are cans floating around as well as other stuff, but the girls don't seem to mind. Marley will spend all day swimming after the ducks. She will chase them one way, they will flap and fly, then she will catch up and they will flap and fly the other way. El tends to want to run around the pond knowing which way the duck is being chased, she is prepared on the other side to catch. They are quite the team. Only once has Marley caught a duck and it was in a situation where the duck was trying to get into its little duckie den underneath a lot of brush in the woods beyond the pond. Ellie let me know that there was trouble, and i was able to catch her in the act, and like a child with its hand in the cookie jar, she released just long enough for the duck to get to safety.

Today that didn't happen quite like that.
I let them chase and swim for about 20 minutes or so and i took my eye off of the pond for a minute to let the sun catch my face and enjoy the 60+ degree weather we are receiving this weekend. Suddenly i opened my eyes and realized, i can't see Marley anywhere. E. is easy to spot because of her black and white color. M. on the other hand is a brindle which translates into camouflage. She really blends quite nicely into the woods as well as the ponds. Well the stupid ducks must have tired of playing this swimming game of chase, and had waddled to "safety" into nearby bushes that were bordered on the other side by a brick home. Dumb move duck. Dumb move. The ducks were cornered. Seconds later, as i'm still trying to figure out where M had gone, I see ducks flying out of the bushes, quacking in what I can only imagine to be a frantic cry for help. Marley was quick on their tail... and then. I couldn't look but i had to act.. Marley had a duck in her mouth, and I could see where this was going. I don't think she means to hurt the duck. She just wants to catch it. This is a game to her. She doesn't play fetch often, but chase the duck [insert squirrel, rabbit, bird]. Now that is fun. A sick feeling came over me as well as an overbearing sense of pride in my baby girl! I scream MARLEY NOOOOOOOOOOOO! And she dropped it, let it go, it swam off, and them Marley continued into the water in her pursuit. This is where I tell you about the lady that yells from across the way. "YOu know there's a leash law" Me: "I know. Thanks".. Ready to go home as to not cause more trouble I urge M to come out of the pond and after several attempts of getting her attention, i break her trance, and we run back down the path, back to my field, back to the creek and back to the house.

I don't know what will come of my dogs in the next few months. Do they move to the desert? Do we find a new home and I have to let them go? I just really can't say for sure. I just wanted to share what I observed today, how stupid these ducks are, and how wonderfully awesome my dogs can be.

15 January 2010

New Dresses and Cyber Dates...

Today was a wonderful day. My past few days at work have gone incredibly well. i have been able to stay focused and have been quite productive. I am thanking God constantly for enabling me this success in my day to day life at work. Tonight I had a meeting to attend, and spent some time talking with some of my girlfriends and arranging coffee dates in the days to come. And then I had a date with Rick. I was very excited about this date as I had a new dress to wear that I wanted to show off... Only 26 more days until i depart, and 27 more days until I see him for the first time. I have stated to more than one person that he is the greatest man i never met.... Tonight I put on the new dress in an effort to make the relationship feel as "normal" as it can. Our relationship is anything but normal. I even ordered my favorite dinner for takeout. I just got home from the date actually. Ok, so the date was in the living room of my house. We talked for hours. Rick invited me on the date earlier this week, but told me that I had to wake him up to initiate, and that he would get as must rest as he could beforehand. I did as much as i could before the date to allow him as much sleep as I could stand. I made it to 430am BAH time, which is 830pm here. We have so much to talk about. It requires great discipline to end our dates. We just want to be together. We want to share everything, and we both know that there is not enough time in the world and that we will never tire of one another. There are times in our conversations that we just stare at each other, drinking in one another's essence. Not because we have run out of things to say, but because we are both amazed at the deep emotional, intellectual and spiritual bond we share. He always stops me mid-sentence to tell me that at that moment, he is falling in love with me... more so that the minute before. It makes me melt.

My boyfriend is this amazing man that has kept a blog for over year, which has proven to be useful because I can follow his past history, some of which includes his meeting women and falling for them. I can follow the drama in his life which is less than desirable, and I can see patterns and consistency. For me to become deterred by his life or past would be silly. I would be pointing at a speck of dust in his eye whilst dealing with the plank in mine. I'm quite the optimist, and know that I too have thought I was falling for a man once or twice since I got divorced. The first one was built upon a stack of lies. Not my lies, but his. I fell for a man that was not who he claimed to be. I think they call this a scam artist. I don't even think he realizes he does it. I think this is called living in denial... I'm glad it didn't work out. There were too many things that i needed to change about him. I had even sent him a list of what i needed in a relationship and told him that if he could not live up to that list, we might as well end it. Guess what? it ended. I even tried to fight to keep it alive despite the inability to reciprocate, but this was just because i was so afraid that i had failed again...
A lot of my guilt in getting divorced was due to my fear of failure. I've not met failure many times in my life, and when I have, it was not without great effort and fight on my part, meaning, if i have failed, I know that I did the best i could. It takes a lot to knock me down. I am quite a remarkable woman, and i'm not saying this to be self centered, but I am strong willed and determined.

I know my blog is quite sappy and heartfelt, but if you knew me well, you would know that I too am quite sappy. I would even go as far as to say that I am a hopeless romantic, except I'm not. I'm quite the opposite. I am HOPEFULLY romantic....

13 January 2010

A Case of the BLAHS

I feel blah.... I think it has to do with my loneliness. I am quite lonely, especially now. I am flying to Bahrain in four weeks, which means I will be on an airplane this time next month headed to see Rick in person. He has filled the void, but in a way, meeting him has made it worse. Now that I have found him, I can't imagine life without him, so it only deepens my longing to no longer be without him. I literally cannot imagine spending another day without him, but i must press on..... I think I am utterly exhausted, and that is why i feel so Blah! It has been quite a challenge to keep up with my work and develop this amazing relationship over vast time and space. When I go to bed at night, Rick is just waking up, so we get to see each other face to face. When I am waking up, he is midday/end of day so we get to see each other again. I can honestly say, i am worn out. We are slowly developing a routine, and practising better discipline, but we are so smitten, we just want to be together. That is all we want. I am hoping that my trip to Bahrain will get him out of my system, but I only fear the worst... I can't help but to project myself to the day I have to leave Bahrain. I can't imagine kissing him goodbye one last time and getting on the plane. I cant' imagine letting him go. I'm actually crying right now because this is my harsh reality. Even though i am so excited about seeing him for the first time and spending so much time together, I can only imagine, how much harder that time together will make our time apart. I have never even kissed this man, but I am already imagining kissing him goodbye, and boarding the plane. I am going to be such a wreck I can already tell. The tears that are flowing from my face tell me that. I have to stop thinking about that and start projecting to the day i step off the plane and see him face to face for the first time. These tears keep coming because I am so overwhelmed with emotion. How wonderful it will be to see him, but knowing I will have to let him go again..... I have pulled myself together. I have to be optimistic. I have to be joyful. I have to delight in what I have to look forward to. I have experienced more ups and downs in the past two weeks that I have in a long time. There are so many thoughts that I cannot escape. Leaving my home to be with the one I love. While being with him will be so great, being away from this life that I have built for myself, That will prove to be a challenge. I have so many friends that love me dearly, and I never realized it.. But there are so many here. I was explaining to rick, I have so many fathers, uncles, and big brothers at my workplace. Since the field of statistics and the world of sports are both dominated by men, I have many men in my life. They are all so protective of me. They all want the best for me, and they all want to see me happy. My coworker ML has even offered to fly to our India office at the same time that I'm in Bahrain so that I can call him at any time to come rescue me. While I appreciate the thought, I think it would be more appropriate for me to call him on the 27th of Feb and say, You need to drag me out of here because I cannot bear to pull myself away.

who knows. Maybe I will hate it. Maybe rick won't live up the his legend... Maybe he will be less that I deserve. Maybe he will walk with a gimp and it will be more than I can stand. Maybe he will work the entire time and pay such little attention to me that I get so angry that I immediately head back to the airport and send myself home. Maybe he will lock me in a cellar and feed me nothing but rice cakes and..... who am i kidding. All of these "maybes" are quite ridiculous. This is the man i fell in love with so suddenly. And he wants nothing more than to adore me and take care of me..... Couple warm weather with a man who wants to adore me, and you've got a recipe for my favorite dish. Anyone that knows me well knows, that is pretty much all I ever wanted.

When i joined eharmony, i did not expect to meet anyone so sudden, and I especially did not expect this. This. This is quite amazing and wonderful, but really here was my thought process. I will join this website and give it a try. I will meet a few people and see what is out there. People kept telling me that there are so many great men out there that are still single, so i had to see for myself. And since I kept meeting a different version of the same guy here at home, I really wanted to see what else was out there. Who else was out there. Did another type of guy really exist? I only wanted to test the waters, maybe meet a few people, go on a few dates, and possibly find "the one" by the time I was done with school so that I could be ready to get married again once I finish my dissertation. Start a family. etc etc...

Life is surprising to say the least. My parents are wonderfully on board with all of this. And I have pulled myself together, ready to work a few more hours, and remember to live the life I have now, not the one I am hoping for. With one foot out the door, I have to drag my leg back in and be who i am right now. I need to live in the present. The here and now... My friends will be grateful for that. I am sure they miss having me around. I've been quite distracted to say the least. Here's to keeping myself grounded.... at least until i soar again.

11 January 2010

The quick sentences usually drag on into short novels...

i started this blog not too long ago, just for myself. Just as a place to put my thoughts and ideas. I'm glad there are some people that are enjoying reading it, but the purpose is for me. If you don't enjoy it, then you can just close your browser. I have no problem with that. In fact, I wonder if anyone enjoys reading this? I'm quite loquacious, and it has been apparent in my last few postings. I learned that word in my high school SAT English Prep class I took. I remember because the teacher looked at me as she introduced the new word and said "Jennifer, tell us what loquacious means." That should tell you a little about me, but anyone that knows me knows... I'm a talker. Rick is a talker too. Its funny because we are literally fighting for airtime... We have so much to say. We have so much lost time to catch up on. I know it has all happened so sudden. I'm not a fool. He knows that too, but we cannot deny that what we feel is just right. Time shall tell. Oh, and I have a flight. Rick sent me my itinerary this weekend i think. The 10th of Feb to the 28th. Please pray that my boss will allow me to work remotely from Bahrain. If not, i've burned up most of my paid vacation for the year in record time. Last year it was by mid-september. Prior years I carried over at least a half day... Last year was tough to survive the fourth quarter without vacation time. If this is the case now, I would have three quarters and a month to ration 4 vacation days. Please boss man. Please let me. I promise I will work so hard. I am quite motivated actually, but this is due to my ulterior motives that will be unveiled in due time.

I have kept a journal for most of my life. Starting in first grade on my sixth birthday when i received a diary with a lock. I used to sneak into my sisters room and steal her diary, pick the lock, and read it. Especially once I got my own room in the new house in 1988. We moved into the new house on the 26/27 Aug 1988. I remember because it was just before my birthday and I thought for sure, the house was for me. I'm sort of selfish like that. My sister was always more popular than me. Probably because she has my mothers personality. She is kind and sweet. She smiles a lot and is just so loving... She really is an exceptional woman. I was always jealous of her, and once she got a little too cool for me because I was the bratty little sister, well that's when i had to read her diary. I had to know what was going on. I liked the way she wrote in it too. She would write on the right hand side of the book, and then continue on the backside of the previous page. I would try to emulate her when I wrote in my diary. I really loved reading it though. It was like crack to me. I couldn't get enough. The thrill of being able to sneak and find it (she learned to hide it but i was clever)... Those cheap locks were meant to be picked and it was so easy... Looking back, i think my mother always read my diary too. I probably got my sleuthing skills from her. Genetics. I blame genetics for all of my wonderful flaws. Mom always knew everything.. She claims everything was by mistake, but I don't buy it. She never found the beer I hid in the top of my closet that one time, but probably because I guarded it with my life. She did however find my cigarettes when i was 15/16 years old. I remember because I grabbed them one day only to find a post it note. It said "Please Don't. :( Love, Mom" Looking back that sort of makes me tear up. She is such a smart compassionate loving woman. She really is amazing. I'll have to blog more about mom later. I have the most respect for her and am so grateful that we are so close. I really wish I would have listened to my parents better when I was younger. But then again, had I listened, I would have never been who I am now. I am a firm believer that we are a by-product of our experiences. If that is the case, then i'm like a hotdog. A lot of crap, all processed and put together, but oooh so yummy. I'll take that. I can be a hotdog. I mean think about it just for a second. Not too long or you'll swear off hotdogs forever. But hotdogs are quite tasty despite their inner makings. Did you know that the average american eats 60 hotdogs a year? I think that is way too many, but then again, I think i had one at work last week, so my count is officially at one. The hotdogs at work, I was told, are actually soy, so i was being healthy. I need to do some fact checking there. Maybe i'm a soy dog... No. I'm pure pork and beef.

The first entry in my first diary was something cute like
(remember i was 6 and spelling was in development)
"This is my dairy I got for my brithday. I am six years old.
I have a boyfriend. HIs name is Kerry and Greg. Thay are lifeguards at the pool.
I want to marry kerry or greg. They are cute too."

I was cleaning out my house and threw it out i think... drat. It was fun to read though. Just wanted to share Inside the Mind of six year old me. I've been writing ever since. You should see the stacks of journals I have in my home office. You can't read them though. Rememeber, I'm a hotdog. You're better off not knowing whats inside.

I was going to keep this short, but perhaps i've passed that marker. Tonight I must read at least three articles for my Background on my dissertation. I also need to summarize them. I am tired after working all day and my lower back has been killing me. I went to the doctor and hopefully the medications will provide relief without hindering my ability to read and write. I have had some crap luck in the health department in the last... well for my entire life really. When I was born, probably a week after I came home from the hospital, I got very sick and they had to take me back. Now that I think about it, they were probably trying to return me for a better model. I think its my own fault. A product of my environment again. All those nasty things inside of me are bound to make me sick. This is something I can change. My habits are quite improved upon now, and I think, no i believe, that I will see much better health in the years to come. I am excited about that. I think my life is beginning to pan out quite nicely. I'm excited for what adventures are in store. But I digress.

I am off to cook myself a nice dinner (time to practice since i sort of sold myself as someone who likes to cook), and then I will read. I had better hurry. Rick will probably want to Skype when he wakes up, which will be in about three hours. This eight hour time gap is proving to be a challenge, but after week 1, we are slowly learning to manage. I must learn to prioritize and discipline myself now more than ever. Being a hotdog sure isn't easy.

10 January 2010

skeptics unite - divide - and fall...

I'm not surprised that there are skeptics in my life, especially right now.
I think the biggest test will come on Tuesday, when I tell my therapist of the news. He has been in my life for over two years now, and while I'm sure to shock him with all of this, I need him to ask me the difficult questions that i have probably already asked myself, and also the questions that i have yet to ask.

I AM quite surprised that my sister has informed me that she is my cheerleader in all of this, and that I must ignore the skeptics and go for it. My parents are sounding relatively happy amidst all of this, asking good questions about who Rick is and wanting to know more about his life and family. For the first time in my life, I am with a man (i use the word "with" quite loosely here - haha), that I would gladly let my father call, meet, interview, ettc etc. Never before have I dated a man that I would throw into the presence of my fathers interrogation w/o being there to mediate what he was allowed to ask, or worry how my boyfriend was going to answer. Again, i use the word "date" quite loosely. Its hysterical when i think about it. All of it. But I'm certain. My closest friends are being quite supportive, telling me to follow my heart. That brings me comfort.

My dear friend AWS is a big supporter and fan, and since he has been by my side for the 15 months as I began my dating journey... I am quite reassured by his vote of confidence. He did however inform me that he will chain me up if i attempt to skip town before i finish my degree. While this is quite nice of him to say, i'm a bit unmotivated right now, but Rick has let me know that he is going to motivate me, and I'm quite excited about that. He better. Rick do you read this? You better motivate me because there are a lot of people that will throw tomatoes at your face, slander your name, and threaten your manhood if you get in the way of my degree. Ha Ha. I'm not kidding though.

To the skeptics I must say: Life is short and uncertain. Follow your heart, and live out your dreams. Couples in courtship spend countless hours together, watching each other eat, going to view movies, and exploring their physical chemistry. Couples do things together that are active and require little communication.

I have not had the luxury to explore the physical chemistry that Rick and I share. I have not had the chance to go on a walk, hand in hand, and listen to the sound of the ocean waves hitting the sand. We have had a few meals together, but only across space and time. We have embarked upon a journey and I know this man greater than any other man I've ever met. I know his heart. I know his passions, his desires, and I know, without a doubt, that he is going to surprise me, captivate me, and sweep me off my feet more and more, every day. And I also know that there is so much more to learn about him, and I can't wait to find out. I even look forward to his annoying habits. Yes, he is sure to annoy me. And I will annoy him, but here is the beauty of all of this.... with Christ in our hearts, our minds, and our souls, we will overcome anything. Absolutely anything. We have already shared our deepest and darkest secrets, and despite these, in spite of these evil doings I should say, We love each other more. I have never felt so in love with a man in my entire life, and I am reassured by the promise that...

We will choose to love each other every day. When the butterflies fade (as if!), when the hair falls out (not mine of course), when the bellies bulge, when the dinner gets burnt, when temper flares (this will be me), and when the selfish acts that come with human nature forget to put the other first and cause hurt and pain, we will look each other in the eye, and we will CHOOSE TO LOVE. The choice has already been made, the committment to love, honor and obey that shall one day be sealed by the Hand of God... That will conquer all. I honestly feel as though I am floating on air. As though God himself has laid his hand upon me, and is protecting me with His Spirit. And perhaps he is. Perhaps ricks blog, which receives far greater hits than mine, is motivating people to pray for me, and perhaps that is why the presence of God feels as though it is upon me right now.(since i've yet to share mine with hardly anyone, though that shall change)

And when the skeptics laugh, when they balk, and when they doubt, we shall hold our heads up high and know, in our heart of hearts, that no man shall tear asunder. Jesus said this... I had to google the reference. I had only heard the quote, I did not recall the source. It was Christ our Lord. Matthew 19:6.

The magic of it all is this...
Everyone dreams of falling in love. Of finding that perfect person. The one they want to spend the rest of their lives with. Don't they?
But does everyone dream of a long term courtship? countless dates? waiting to know for sure? Does anyone dream that it will be a long, gruelling process of dating mishaps, and waiting the appropriate amount of time to be sure, and then and only then can they take the leap?
No. They don't. They skip right to the part of the fantasy, where they are in love, have found that person, and are embarking upon the journey of a lifetime.

Well guess what? I'm going to skip that part. Because I know. And unlike the critics, I don't have to endure months of interviewing Rick to get at the essence of his core being. I don't have to doubt. I choose to believe. I choose to love.

And i know that I have always wanted it to be just like this. I have not even seen my love face to face, i have not even held his hand, felt his embrace, touched his skin... BUT I know, he is in fact, the man that I choose, as long as he chooses me first... And something has told me, that he already has...

08 January 2010

Meeting THE ONE?

After about a year of dating losers, guys that were just not good enough, men that would never stand up to me, absolute doormats, I decided to take a different approach.

No offense to the men i've dated in the past year, but come on...
Weak Christians (if Christian at all)
Bad Drunks
Lazy
Uneducated
Poor socioeconomic status

the list goes on

I was settling for anything that moved and gave me attention.
Men that would get my number and never call.
Men that would get my number and hide behind text messages.

Now the thing is, i'm not an ugly girl. I know this. I'm not.
I'm quite attractive by the worlds standards. I am pretty sure of that.
But... what? what was I missing?

The last man I met and consequentially married, I met at church, so I was a bit apprehensive to meet a man at church, let alone GO to church.
I just wasn't ready. Because to be honest. I was burned by the leaders of the church. I felt that way anyways.

So.... frustrated with meeting men that just didn't add up. Disappointed that the men I did meet either shyed away, OR worse, had such horrible flaws and lack of faith in God as i know Him, I decided to take a different approach.
I applied a filter, and because I knew so much about Dr. Neil Clark Warren and his Christian viewpoint, I choice to join eharmony. Mostly because I knew that eharmony based itself on basic principles and values. And because I was ready to quit settling for whatever I could get, hoping to maybe inspire change or God in a man. I raised the bar. What could it hurt?
At first i was hesistant to post my picture and actually pay, but then an amazing thing happened. I received an email that said basically I could join eharmony for three months for 19.99 a month. So I thought why not. My fear in posting my picture stemmed from pride. I was embarassed that I had to stoop so low as to join a dating website, but if you think about it, I basically cut out the first three or more dates of getting to know someone and their core tenents. I cut out the difficult conversations of asking a man what he believed in, and what his walk with God looked like. Tired of hiding my religion and faith deep inside my heart, I took a leap.

I joined eharmony on Nov 17, 2009, but i only had my settings set to my local area. A few days later after a slew of disappointing matches, I read the website on how to maximize my search potential and took heed in enhancing my search to the entire world. The entire world? Yes! All of planet earth.
My basic must haves did not change, so it would limit the chances of being matched to a total atheist, but now rather than searching my county and surrounding areas, something like a 50 mile radius, I was searching all over the world, and my max age was 41. I was matched to younger men and men my age, but let me be honest. I'm not interested in a man my age. Why not? Well for starters, most men my age, are still figuring out what they want, and most of the time, its about their needs. Not to say that there are not men out there in my immediate age bracket that would want nothing more than to make me happy, but i've met these... and frankly, i'm not interested. I want to be adored, attended to, loved, cherished, appreciated, and most importantly, i want to feel safe. I want to be able to trust my future husband with not only my heart and soul, but my life. I want the man that I can trust to make sound decisions that are best for the entire family and not question his choices for one single minute. Sure I will challenge him, and certainly I will be vocal in what I think in feel, but ultimately, I want to submit to my husband the way God calls me to. I will love, honor, and most importantly respect him. I will do whatever it takes to make him happy, just as he will do anything to make me happy. AS long as i'm happy, he will be surely happy, because I will see to that.

Less than 48 hours after expanding my search to the whole planet, i received a match from a very attractive and articulate man, from Bahrain. Bahrain? Where is that? Its an island east of Saudi Arabia. The MIDDLE EAST!?!?! And the match, lets call him Rick, he requested communication right away. And me? I read his profile and was a bit hesistant, so i paused a moment. A part of me wanted to close the match, but i didn't. I just waited. He had children, and he lived in the middle east. Was this something that i would be able to manage? Is this something that i could see myself living with? These are difficult questions that I had to ask myself if I was going to be honest, because if i did not see any possible way that I could accept him for who he was and where he was just then and there, then the fair and right thing to do would be to close the match. So i paused, perused the rest of my matches for a few days, and then responded to his first questions. It couldn't hurt to see where this led... I was just getting the hang of how this whole thing worked anyways, and at this point, they were just harmless questions. I reciprocated with my own first round of questions and that was that... 10 days later, on December 5th, i was getting the swing of things and realized it was my turn to initiate the contact by sending him my "must haves and can't stands". He responded with his almost immediately. I'm talking minutes here... 4 minutes to be exact. Looking back, Rick is 8 hours ahead of me. It was 6:23 pm my time, which meant he was sending these to me at 2:27am his time??? Granted, this was a saturday night for him, which now that i'm aware, is like a sunday night here (weekends there are Friday and Saturday - weird right?)
And that is where i stopped. The next step was to send my second questions. Since he initiated the first round, I had to initiate the second round. I guess that is just how it works. It was 19 days later and Christmas eve. I was sitting in bed at my parents house watching my nephew sleep.
I hesistated, and looked at his profile...
I re-read what he had to say. He had kids, so i assumed he waas divorced. Ok, well anyone that knows me knows how much i love kids, so I figured I would be ok with that, depending on the situation. I really think my major hesistation was that he lived so far away. I wasn't sure how this was going to work, but i was intrigued, especially when i read this last statement he made about himself
"I'm pretty sure I could sweep you off your feet....especially if I get a running start. Im pretty confident, so if you give me a sliver of a chance and I think I can stand head and shoulders above the rest (i always bring a ladder). I'm a writer-director, so if you give me a chance with a return email, I think you won't regret it. I lived and worked in Hollywood for several years but I've been globe-hopping ever since with year long stints in Taiwan and Saudi Arabia."
i was intrigued to say the least and while i hesistated and almost closed the match i decided that I really needed to go the second round and see where it led.
I submitted my questions and waited. The next day was Christmas, and I was extremely busy the next few days with my parents and my nephews, and then I fell ill. I mean I was extremely ill from the evening of December 25th well into the new year. I drove back to my house on Monday the 28th so that I could see the doctor and get some medication. I think i was at my grandfathers house eating dinner when i read his answers and I was tickled. Here was his response to my third question

What are you looking for in a relationship partner:"
Im looking for someone to believe in me. To help provide inspiration and motivation to be the best person that I can possibly be. I also long to shower that person with adoration, love and affection. As an artist I long for a muse. Ah yes...and sex...Sex would be good too. Can a Christian say that?"

First of all, he wants to shower his partner with adoration love and affection? are you kidding? He was speaking my language loud and clear... And the sex? Well that was just funny, and to be honest, a breath of fresh air to hear another Christian state that he loved sex without being crude. ITs true. Sex is great, Married sex that is.... I couldn't help but to smile and feel warm inside... And then he sent his own set of questions. I think this is where I reeled him in.


I don't mean to make this blog so long, but i haven't posted since september first, and my life has been a bit chaotic... and now exciting. And i really just want to report the truth, the facts, and well... my story.

I received his questions on that Monday that i was sooo sick and headed home, so I didn't respond right away. I actually went home, got my prescriptions, and slept for six days... But I coudn't help but be a total smart ass to his first question:

How do you feel about Long Term relationships and are you open to living overseas

I knew what he meant. He meant to say Long Distance, but he didnt'. He said long term. Um, i'm on an internet matching service, and I wasn't looking for a date. I was looking for a mate. Pure and simple, so it was instant for me to respond as such:

I can tell you are trouble. :) Long Term relationships eh? Well, i'm only in it for the quick ones so i guess I can't answer. Oh wait, i think you meant Long Distance... Right now i see it as doable because I am stuck in this area until I finish writing my PhD dissertation. Once I finish, i will have much more flexibility to do what I want within certain boundaries, until i redefine those. how vague is that? I love "overseas" depending on where "overseas" would be... I love to travel and I love European culture from what I've observed. Then again, I love the pacific coast of Costa Rica and its simplicity. I love older European cities and the marvelous travel infrastructure... I adapt well to most climates, esp the warmer ones

Question 2: What are your dreams?

i dream every night... I love when I can remember them. Personal dreams? I want to be a loving wife and mother. That's something I see myself being in the next 10 years I hope. I dream of a better world. I dream of environmental responsibility. I dream in Techni-Color. I dream for a simple life in a simple time where less is everything and more is just a weight that holds you down. I'm presently in the process of distributing my share of "more" to those that have "none" or "much less"... I like to use quotes (a new realization) The more i make my situation less, the more freedom I gain. Less is so much more. As one of my favorite mentors tells me (as he quotes some musician) "small House, Big Life" I see that in my life so much. I have a much too big for me home that would be much to small for most everyone I know, BUT i have a big life. The only things holding me back are these pets I own and sort of love... they really are the best dogs ever :)

Question 3: (this is my favorite one)
If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be?Wait...I don't want to waste my last question/wish with that one.Can I ask for three more questions or is that against the rules?Wait I don't want that to be my questio either.iranoutofspace

Ok. The first question he asked me was hilariously accidental and allowed me to show my sense of humor. The second question was just completely open. And this one? I laughed as soon as I read it. I seriously thought to myself, is this man drunk? I mean really? Was he??? Because, WHAT???? I smiled ear to ear and sent my response:

I would be a mighty oak tree, or a Sycamore tree. why? well, I do like to climb trees and sycamores tend to be the easiest and they grow so fast, they have HUGE leaves that fall off and the bark peels like paper which I find to be super cool... you really made me laugh. You can ask me whatever you want. and yes its ok to talk about sex. YOu are allowed to want and enjoy sex in the right context. I understand this all too well. And I understand that there are married women that fall short in that category a lot and men grow frustrated. Do you know it happens to women to? I.e. husbands dont want to have sex as often as the wife. its true, and that would realy suck. I think that is important to think about in the event of a long term relationship - which inevitably leads to sex. married sex of course ;)

These are very personal things that Rick and I shared together, but i feel like it is important to express my point of view in the matter. And that being... This man has made me laugh several times. I'm really excited now. NOne of my other matches could hold a candle to this man. They were boring, and stiff, and to be honest, they were like cookie cutters. And the ones that initiated the open communication, which is essentially, email. The messages were short and dry and lacking personality. I was bored with them all, and to be honest, I was ready for my three month membership to end, with the exception of this man that i slowly drew in.

He sent me a very sincere message, let me know that I made him laugh with my responses, and sent me a link to his blog. I replied, it was like 3am and I had to return to work the next day after my 10 days off, but I had slept for most of those days due to being sick, and I was pretty excited about his email and checking out his blog... He wrote me back again, so two emails in one night, and i started to respond, but it was so late, and I just had to go to bed, so i saved my text to review and send the next day, and i went to bed smiling and hopeful.

It is now the 9th of January early morning... The last few days have been an absolute whirlwind.... Rick and I have probably talked via instant messenger and SKYPE for over 20 hours and sent countless LONG emails to one another

I love that he is a writer because i love to write and am quite prolific (clearly).
Rather than receiving short, undetailed and boring messages, I'm receiving a sensory overload. I'm processing so much information right now, and i'm anxiously awaiting the 12th of February, the date I fly out to Bahrain to meet the man of my dreams face to face.

Would i plug eharmony to anyone? It depends.
I joined looking for one specific thing. A husband/partner/perhaps a soulmate. My intentions and desires were clear to me, and i wasn't looking for dates. I know exactly what i want, and i'm pretty certain that I've found it.

I was led to this site by God. Because a Godly man that I've listened to and read, founded the site, and i believe in being equally yoked. Searching a website that really began for just that reason... to bring like-minded people together... It just felt right.

I paid for the service on Nov 17th, expanded my search 2 days later, and was matched to Rick in 2 more days. I was told, when God moves, He moves quickly. If this is not a testimony of just that, then I'm not sure what is. My faith in God has been restored tenfold, and my desire to seek, honor and obey Him is stronger than it has been in a very long time.

I'm excited of the possibilities, and realize that my life and the adventure is about to begin. I am ready to go wherever God wants to lead me, and I am ready to follow this incredible man to the Middle East, and to all the ends of the earth. I cling to the promises that God has blessed into my life, and embrace the possibilities that He is in control, He is larger than I ever imagined, and I have never felt such love, joy, hope, faith, and peace about... well... about everything.

I found the love of my life in four days, and even though I didn't recognize it for over a month, the seed was planted. I am grateful that Rick was patient with my hesistance, that he pursued our match, and that we took the leap.

Life has become ever more difficult because now that I know this man, I cannot imagine another day living without him. I feel an emptiness when he is gone, and long for the next phone call, or instant message that comes my way.
I'm supposed to be sleeping right now so that when Rick calls me tonight (when he wakes up in the morning ) I will have had some rest, but i'm way too excited to sleep. I've been this way all week, and while i believe that all of this energy and excitement will eventually quell (thanks rick for the vocab lesson), i don't believe it will dissipate, not now, not ever.

We have a mutual attraction to one another, and we are commited to making this work. I'm wondering when I will ever sleep again, but I don't care to dwell upon that.
I just know that I'm about to embark on the biggest adventure of my life with my best friend in the entire world. God is absolutely amazing, and I wouldn't have it any other way. God knew the desire of my heart and I look forward to seeing what he has in store. I look forward to meeting Rick, so that all of that which i feel to be true, will be confirmed...

I am so in love, I am absolutely glowing. My friends are all recognizing the instant change in me. And I have never been so excited in my entire life.

I love you ricky rick.