Tuesday, July 30, 2019

I'll Sing His Praise

I'm tired today.  Going back to work is always so tiring.  There is no type of tired like the first week of school tired.  When the students come back for those two days, I'll be a little more dead on my feet.  It just so happens that next week is going to be just one of those long weeks.   That's how it goes sometimes, right?

There is a song that I need to share with you.  I don't know what you have going on with you but this song helped me so much during the hardest times that I have been through.  I'm going to post the lyrics below.  Don't be surprised when I'm singing it in a video.  I'm trying to sing it through without crying but God is so good that I never make it to the end without crying.

There is something so special about worship.  I Chronicles 16:23-27 says:
Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.
For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is also to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens,
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and gladness are in His place.

Why praise the Lord?  Because He is worthy to be praised.  If you have a great friend and they do wonderful things and are really special, don't you want to talk them up?  Imagine giving praise to God.  He created all of our systems to work together within us.  I mean, think about it.  Circulatory, nervous, musculature, skeletal, reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems: they all work together.  God made us, to have these incredible wonderful systems to work together.  So just for making each one of us, He is worthy to be praised.  You literally have to give credit to where credit is due.  We need to give God praise because it is His due.

Imagine going through a hard time. Giving praise to God should be exempt.  You don't even want to raise your head, can't even imagine lifting your heavy arms to God to praise Him when you're sad or discouraged.  I advocate for praising God first before anything you do first.  Try it.  Cry, shout out with heaviness and despair.  Whatever you are feeling at that moment, instead of saying what you think you want to say, consider the works of God, and give Him praise.  Then let me know how it goes.  I used this song.

Even When It Hurts (Praise Song)
Take this fainted heart
Take these tainted hands
Wash me in your love
Come like grace again
Even when my strength is lost
I'll praise you
Even when I have no song
I'll praise you
Even when it's hard to find the words
Louder then I'll sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
Take this mountain weight
Take these ocean tears
Hold me through the trial
Come like hope again
Even when the fight seems lost
I'll praise you
Even when it hurts like hell
I'll praise you
Even when it makes no sense to sing
Louder then I'll sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
And my heart burns only for you
You are all you are all I want
And my soul waits only for you
And I will sing till the morning has come
Lord my heart burns only for you
You are all you are all I want
And my soul waits only for you
And I will sing till the miracle comes
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
Even when the morning comes
I'll praise you
Even when the fight is won
I'll praise you
Even when my time on earth is done
Louder then I'll sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Joel Houston
Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group




I have joy on the mind today.  This is weird because it was the first day back to work today.  No students, only teachers.  I'll be honest and tell you that I spent most of the day missing my children.  I wondered what they were doing.  I found out that my daughter slept late.  Let them sleep! They are growing!  I remembered sleeping the mornings away in the summer as a teenager.  I used to watch soap operas when I woke up and there were days when I ate a ham and swiss with tomatoes and lettuce, mayo, oil and vinegar and salt and pepper from the corner deli.  I would get a bag of chips and Mystic flavored sparkling water.  It was really some sort of mango soda but it went with my sandwich perfectly. Is there nothing better than sleeping until noon and then filling up your belly with wonderfulness on a crusty, sesame seed, Italian bread?  Mmmmmm!!!  Yum!!!! That's joyful!

Nehemiah 8:10 says, "Then he said to them, 'Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord.  Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.'"  The important part of the this verse is that God's joy is my strength.  Alleluia!!!  In the Bible, they were talking about remembering God after the Babylonian exile.  They discovered a day to worship God in.  Doesn't it sound like a feast day?  Eat the fat?  Drink the sweet?  Definitely some sort of celebration is going on.  Having God in your life is good!  God is on my side.  This is a good thing!

Jesus helps us.  I keep on thinking about God in my life.  There is a lot of things that I don't have.  There are a lot of qualities that I don't possess.  This is apparent to me as I date and wonder what makes me so repulsive to date.  I think it's because I may be too young-looking for my age.  I may be too immature for a 'real guy.'  Am I too pretty?  LOL!!!  Yes!!!  I'm thick as a sirloin.  Guys don't like that.  Maybe I'm too educated or too smart.  Maybe my hair is too curly and too much like a mermaid.  No, I love myself.  I love how God loves me.  I don't despair.  I don't get too upset.  I have the Creator of the Universe in my life and in my corner.  He says He'll take care of everything.  He says that He has a place for me when I go home.  I belong with Him.  So... how can I not be joyful?  Praise the Lord!  I cried.  I don't think I could stop crying.  I cried, big wet tears of joy.  Now I am sitting here writing and getting ready for my next work day.  How do I feel?  Strengthened.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Last Man Standing

I'm on this dating app and I started chatting with this nice guy, not really my type, but nice.  We chatted about flour and floors.  We talked of nothingness.  He asked me what I did in my spare time.  I was thinking, "Spare time?  What's that?"  I told him that I liked to read but that I was in school.  He politely asked me what I was in school for.  When I told him that I was going for a graduate degree, HE GHOSTED ME!!!!! I wish I could tell you it was the first time too.   This other guy asked me what I was studying and after I told him he said, "Good luck with that."  Then he ghosted me.  What did I do?  I laughed.  I couldn't stop laughing.  I mean, what else is there to do?

I think I am in the middle of playing a game.  I call it Last Man Standing.  I meet guys.  They leave.  The guy who stays is the guy that I'm going to end up with.  When they leave, I just tell myself that he wasn't the one.  It isn't hurtful.  I know that I want everything.  If I never find it again, I'm okay knowing that I had it.  

I have some concerns though.  I hate to think of this but I think that my children would like to see me with someone.  They talk about me not being by myself when they leave the nest.  I hate the idea of borrowing fathers.  You know what I mean, have a friend or the husband of a friend step in to do what only a father could do.  It's sad writing about this right now.  I think that there is such a thing.  Then there is my son feeling the burden of being the man of the house.  I'm trying to raise a man, a husband and a father.  I want my son to be like the David in the Bible, a man after God's own heart (I Samuel 13:14).

Here is the deal.  I already know the man who will be there last.  He is the one who will tickle me on a dock until I laugh so hard I can barely catch my breath.  He is the one who I fell in love with at first sight.  When I saw him, I thought, "This is real love."  He is the one whose opinion I consider.  He's the one.  And he will be with me till death parts us.  This I know is true.  The last man standing?  My son. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Red Lipstick

There is something about red lipstick.  When I look through my lipstick case, I go through all of the colors and there is a dominance in the color red.  I have four different types of red from the same lipstick company.  I have peachy red, bluish red, orangy red, red red.  I like taking the red and adding an additional red chrome on top.  I want to believe that I have the right kind of lips and skin tone to be able to wear the red lips that I love.

Here is the thing.  I don't really like red.  I don't have a lot of red clothing.  I have one or two red purses and maybe one or two pairs of red shoes.  I like my red mixed into some type of pattern.  There is something about wearing a red lipstick that empowers you though.  I think that my first red lipstick was L'Oreal Colour Riche in British Red Coat.  I loved the creamy formula and there was a slight fragrance that added to the allure of wearing my lips red.  Red lipstick doesn't do well in the Arizona summers.  I bought a beautiful Buxom red lipstick and it melted!!! I found that lining my lips red is the secret to keeping the lipstick just where I wanted it.  You need to go a deeper red than the color that you are wearing.  I like to make my lips ombre by putting a gold or orange in the inner center of my lips.

In the 90s, I wore my red flannel with blue plaid with my red lipstick.  I don't think that my father appreciated that red lipstick.  He never really said anything about it.  He didn't tell me not to wear it.  He definitely noticed when I didn't wear it.  I liked to wear my red with navy blue liquid eyeliner.  I also had a penchant for this shiny chrome purple eyeliner that I wore a little too religiously.  I had this purple and red striped cardigan with a zipper that I would wear all of the time.  It's funny the things you remember when you're reminiscing.

When my husband died, I don't think that I really knew how to mourn.  What does mourning mean?  I really didn't know.  Did I wear black all of the time?  Do I wear my ring?  Do I wear make up?  What kind of colors can I wear?  I didn't buy the guidebook on mourning.  I was told that I make up my own rules.  I started by wearing only black and not wearing make up.  I was on the bereavement diet.  Finally, I had lost my appetite!!!  My poor son lost his appetite too.  I gave all of my crazy eye shadows away.  I gave away all of my great lipsticks.  I left the nudes and the boring colors.  It lasted a week.  I talked about buying that Lime Crime Red Velvetine lipstick.

These days, I wear my red lips.  When men comment about about my lips first, I know for a fact that they are not the one.  Complimenting my lips first means that they are not the guy for me, if you know what I mean.  I'm tempted not to wear my lips so red.  I mean, what message am I sending?  But I will be nothing less than my most authentic self.  Anything less seems false.  It seems like me, purple hair and red lips.

I have been changing.  I have noticed it.  I'm not as concerned with my designer purse obsession.  I eat when I'm hungry instead of all of the time.  I have lost my will to shop.  I only shop when I need something.  I recognize myself when I wear my red lipstick.  I can trace myself when I look at myself in the mirror with my red lips.  I wear my red lipstick for me.  I don't always have to wear red lipstick but when I do, I think I feel better.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Where I Stand

Hello, Friends!!!

I have been on vacation.  My dear friend, Danielle was so kind and generous enough to invite me and my children on a road trip with her.  Can you imagine?  Special shout out to Danielle, Ryland and Hayden Witt who allowed us time with nature and with great friends. We went to Pine Top, Arizona.  There was the cutest place with miniature golf, an indoor pool and Jacuzzi and vistas to die for.  Danielle was even kind enough to do a mini photo session. 

I'm back now.  I'm getting ready to start work again.  I always get a little stressed out around this time.  So... I have gotten rid of two of the dating apps I was using.  Now with work, I'm going to have to focus on providing for my little family.  There are decisions ahead.  The children and I are contemplating what to do for the next year.  There are options.  I love that my children are so supportive of changes.  We are asking ourselves what we want and we are making plans to accomplish them.  It is so empowering!!!  Praise the Lord!  Is it scary?  Yes.  Change is scary.  I think it needs to happen. 

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried. I'm discovering that I love to travel.  I love driving at at night.  The things that I used to be afraid of, I'm embracing.  Things that I thought I could do, I'm finding difficult.  There are times when my heart feels burdened.  There are times when there is sorrow and pain in my heart.  I find myself praying for my children.  What is my life if my children are not without God?  However, you should know that I am trusting in God.  My other prayer is for the Lord to lead me in the paths that He wants me to go on.  Just thinking of this makes me happy.  God has blessed me with a vacation.  God has allowed opportunities for me and my family.  So no matter where I am, no matter where I stand, I am praying for the grace and will of God on my life. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Things I Miss From New York

I lived in New York City for 37 years.  I have been in Arizona for a decade and I went back to New York once.  There are so many things that I don't miss from NYC.  I don't miss having to take the subways.  I don't miss the rats.  I don't miss living in an apartment on Grand Concourse.  I don't miss the humid summers with the trash out on the sidewalk.  I definitely don't miss living in a four floor walk-up.  This whole post could be about what I don't miss about NYC.

But I miss my family.  I miss seeing so many of my cousins and having family gatherings.  There is no group of people quite like those you were born into.  We talk the same way.  We like the same music.  Man, when my family is around and we start dancing, there is nothing like it!!!  I miss them.  I miss just being around my clan.

I miss the food.  I miss the pizza and I'm glad that I'm gluten free out here in Arizona rather than being gluten free in NYC.  Santi used to go to this place around the corner from where we used to live and eat chicken pastelillos with hot cafe con leche for breakfast.  There is no place in the world that makes bacon, egg and cheese on a roll from this deli on 7th Avenue across the street from FIT.   Gray's Papaya in the village.  There used to be this bagel place where we used to eat everything bagels and cream cheese with Joanne.  I liked to eat in the morning from those little carts sesame seed bun with butter and tea light and sweet.  Oh My Goodness!!!  All of these places I used to visit with Santi.  He loved food.  I think this is why NYC is not the same to me.  Could be.

I was telling some friends how I miss leaving the house and just window shopping or people watching.  People watching is my favorite.  I was in Central Park looking at shoes and Santi was like, "Did you see that?"  I was like, "What?"  Apparently, I missed Judy Dench but she had a great pair of shoes on.  There is no place in the world to be broke in.  We buried my cat, Luigi by Turtle Pond in Central Park.  It was our favorite place in Central Park, right by Belvedere Castle.  Growing up in NYC was magical.  There is no place like it.  I am nostalgic for a place that no longer exists.  Going back I go into New Yorker mode.  My son was like, "Mom why are we running?"  LOL!!!

For those who live in NYC, post pics and tag me in them.  Please know that the next time I'm out there, I'm staying with my co-madre but get ready because I'm hanging out with all of you.  SFR, Spellman,  PS 109, Eta Omega Tau, Pace University, Lehman (There are so many schools in this list).  Hey, get ready I'm going to go back and I'm making a schedule.


When I walk I promise you there is some sort of theme music in my head
(Lately it has been Truth Hurts by Lizzo.).  I like to strut because it's a much better way to get around than walking.  I like to breathe in and remember that my Father is the Creator of the Universe and I harness whatever energy I can muster in that breath before I enter a room.  I remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I must always keep my ego in check because I definitely know what I'm worth... even older... even chunky... flaws and all.

So, a dear friend confirmed something that I had in my head.  I am intimidating.  When she said it, I was in my head like, "I knew it!!!"  So I'm intimidating.  I'm shrugging my shoulders.  There are some of you that are like, "I know you, Elle.  You are sweet and loving.  Intimidating?  I don't think so."  Ah.  I turn it on and off like a light switch.  A class of teenagers?  On.  Church Sunday morning?  Off.  Walking down the street?  On.  Walking anywhere really? On!!!  So, being intimidating sometimes doesn't make me approachable?  What if there is a guy that is too intimidated to talk to me?  Should I be more approachable?  NO!!!  If he doesn't have the guts to be a man and talk to me then he can stay where he is and I am much better off without him.  Does it look like I need an insecure man?  Wait.  Let me rephrase that.  Does it look like I NEED a man?  The only man I need is Jesus.

Now, I wouldn't call myself intimidating.  I would call myself secure.  I am beginning to understand that there are men out there that are insecure.  I am realizing that men are more insecure than I previously understood.  My husband wasn't very insecure so I'm surprised that there are more insecure men than less insecure.  I understand that I am in need of someone confidant and secure as well.  I hug everyone I come across.  I flirt even as I am just saying hello.  I can't be with anyone insecure. 

I'm trying to be sensitive but you know I'm not about to change any time soon.  I should dial down because you can't man up?  No, Elle!  This is not a Christian attitude.  So, I'm putting this sensitivity on my THINGS TO WORK ON list.  It's there.  It's the last thing on the list after getting to heaven but it's there.  So, here I am.  I'm good with my bad self.  I'm good  with just being me.  Writing this blog helps.  I don't know... I think you should try being a little intimidating too...

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

I Don't Share Everything

Oh Crap!!!  I don't even know if I should have started that way.  As you could probably guess, I don't always share everything that is going on in my hectic crazy life.  I don't always talk about how I miss my husband.  I don't always talk about school or work or the kids.  However, that doesn't mean that things don't happen in those areas.  It has been a crazy process and experience looking at a life that you built up with someone and then re-evaluating.  I have been restless and impatient wondering what are the things that are next in my life.  I'm being completely transparent when I see the next 20, 30, 50 years of my life extend forward like an lined highway with no destination.  It could feel like this.  It does feel like this some days.

People talk about Marie Kondo and eliminating clutter.  You can't do that until you are ready.  I'll give you an example.  Here I am and I look at the knick knacks that currently clutter my bookshelf.  On it are the little mementos that Santi has given me throughout the years.  I don't know if I find joy in that turtle but I remember when my husband gave it to me.  Do I throw it out?  What about the pictures that are so many that they fill up various storage tubs?  There are boxes that are in my garage that I need to go through and I know that they are painful but I need to see what is in there and get rid of what I don't need.

Here is the reality.  I have been afraid of movement.  I have been sabotaging myself.  Online dating?  You know that I'm better in person.  If I really wanted to meet someone I would have signed up for a meet-up.  I'm getting ready to finally finish this degree this year.  I've been dragging my feet and I am thanking the people that have called me on it.  My children need me more and less.  They are coming into their own and I need to make sure that they are understanding the twists and turns that life gives you.  My role at my job is changing.  I have been at my job for 8 years and with this company for 10.  How many more years am I planning to stay?  Will everything change once I accomplish my degree?

Even now I  am not telling of all of the things that are in store for this year.  I have plans.  I am working toward stuff.  Change is scary.  Please be praying for us as we try and navigate our new normal.  Pray that I can be a good parent for my children.  Pray that I can be a good and effective educator.  Pray that I finish what I started and take criticism well.  Pray for what I don't share.  And I, dear reader, will be praying for you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

What's In A Name?

I believe in names.  I go by Elle.  It isn't a name that I gave myself.  I was named for my aunt, Elvia.  I looked up the name.  It means, "The color yellow" and "Elfin" or "Friend of Elves."  This is not the name my mother planned for me.  She wanted to name me Melissa.  It became my middle name.  Melissa means "Honey Bee."  I'm a yellow, Elvish, Honey Bee.  My husband started calling me Elle.  He even came up with the spelling.  He thought it was fancier to have it spelled like the French pronoun and the magazine.  In high school and in a few of my jobs, I was called Ellie.  Ms. Kelly, my 9th grade homeroom teacher couldn't say my given name and asked me if I had a nickname.  My cousin, Brenda would call me Ellie so I told Ms. Kelly to call me Ellie.  When I graduated from high school and they announced my full name, David Diaz, who was sitting next to me asked, "Who is she?

My husband's name was James and he didn't have a middle name.  His father called him, Jimmy.  His best friends called him James.  He always thought that he was Latino, even though he wasn't.  I started calling him Santiago which he didn't mind.  I shortened it to Santi.  He hated that name.  I didn't care.  I called him and introduced him as Santi everywhere I go.  I remember that he bought me a couple's necklace and it had Santi and Elle in the middle.  So romantic!!!

When it came to naming the children, we had trouble.  We were going to name him Harry.  Then Harry Potter came out and we had to change it.  It was going to be Harry James.  We had to come up with another name.  It was a struggle.  At the time we were listening to Fred Hammond.  He had this worship album with a song about David.  I asked Santi if he wanted to name our baby boy, David.  David Lorenzo.  You see, back in New York when my father was alive, his favorite movie was Lorenzo's Oil.  It was based on a true story.  When my best friend, Joanne had Justin, I would watch him.  My father would just change his name to Lorenzo.  I knew that I would have to incorporate this name into a son's name.  It just so happens that Santi's dad's name was Larry.  Lorenzo in Italian.  So my boy became David Lorenzo.  David means "beloved."  He was a King after God's own heart.

Janet's name was worst.  Janet Monin is named after both of our mothers.  Janet was Santi's mother's name and Monin was my mother's nick name.  Her name was Ramonita.  No one called her that.  They called her Monin with the accent over the i.  It is pronounced MO-neen.  We were going to call her Sophia Jane, Amelie Virginia or Viola.  I wanted to name her Kehlani or Kaya.  We argued more about Janet's name than David's.  I agreed for our baby girl to be named after her grandmothers.  I remember filling out the paperwork right away when she was born and I cried a few days over because I hated the name.  I liked Janelle but Santi didn't like that name.  The nurses in NICU thought that Janet Miller sounded like a movie star name.  We went with Janet because Monin can easily be pronounced wrong.  Go on ahead and take a minute to see if you can mispronounce my daughter's middle name like a verb.  It's awful.  So she stayed Janet, a form of John.  It means, God's grace.  I think it explains why she is so nice.

My kids have no nicknames but I love to give nicknames and change names.  I think it is because I named them that I don't have any need to change them to a nickname.  I do change my boyfriends' name's  The weirdest one was Monkey.  His name was Mauricio.  I have a friend that is insisting on calling me a name I don't like.  I'm marinating on an awful name to call her.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, July 15, 2019

A Note on Bad Boys

Growing up as a teenager in the Bronx.  My favorite type of boys were Preppy Boys.  I don't know what it was about them.  I liked the fact that they wore jackets like my dad and I had it in my head that if my dad wore a jacket then guys who wore them weren't all bad.  I didn't attract Preppy Boys.  I think I dated one or two of them.  If I'm being honest, I didn't like nice guys.  I ate them up for lunch and saved the rest for dinner.  Ah... my misspent youth!!!  I didn't attract the elusive preppy guys so I went out for the guys I thought I could attract, the Nerds and the Bad Boys.

First the Nerd, I love a smart guy, even now.  Funny smart is my favorite.  Not overly intelligent, just intelligent with stuff to talk about.  I remember that there was this beautiful boy that I met in college and he was so dreamy but he wasn't very smart. I know that I'm not being kind.  I'm sorry. I'm just trying to be honest here.  This is why I'm not mentioning his name. I think I would tell him, "You're so pretty."  He didn't know why I would tell him that.  I wanted a nerd, but, I couldn't really get a Nerd to go out with me.  There was this guy that I kind of liked and I pursued him but he would have nothing to do with me.  Man, the struggle was real.  Nerds scare easy. 

I think that the thing that I need to acknowledge to myself here and now is this: the last time I was single, maybe... just maybe... I was a little bit of a heart breaker.  Okay, I put that out there.  I talk about why guys didn't like me.  I talk about how I don't think that guys like smart women.  I talk about how guys don't like confident women.  I may even talk about how guys don't like chunky women.  I may be unfair to these guys.  Guys don't like heartbreakers and back then.  I was indecisive and pretty.  I was a heartbreaker. So let's face it. A Nerdy guy knew better than to get involved with the likes of me.  Now... if I'm really honest with myself (this is something that I am working on people, pray for me), I'm still a heart breaker or there are parts of me inside of who I am that have heart breaker tendencies.

No, the only guys that would rise to the challenge of dating me were the bad boys.  In fact, you should know that my dear sweet man was a reformed bad boy.  Those are my favorite types!!!  Bad boys are those that laugh at the status quo.  They can be defensive and aggressive.  They can be angry sometimes.  Bad boys are irreverent and can be honest sometimes.  They like to tell it like they see it. They can be confident.  I think Bad Boys just may be my kryptonite.  We all have the visions in our heads of the Bad Boys.  Now, I have in my forays with dating, come across some beautiful men.  I "accidentally" swipe right instead of left.  In my head, I tell myself that they won't say hi to me, a chunky, older woman. Maybe they are a beautiful good guy.  They're not.  The beautiful ones, much like the Prince song will get you every time.  I'm lying to myself.  You should know that I'M STILL ATTRACTING THE SAME TYPE OF GUY!!!  I may have to take the purple out of my hair and take out my piercings and change the way that I dress but the guys that talk to me?  Yes, Bad Boys.  I don't know if they get confused by the 'Jesus Lover' that I put on my profile.  I found out later that all the women claim to be Christian.

These days, I'm living a Bad Boy free lifestyle.  I don't really want to change.  I like my semi-alt midlife look.  What I like about being older and dating now is that the rules have changed.  You could be the former bad boy and still love Jesus with all of your heart.  Dating the Preppy guy is no guarantee that you would live the life you wanted.  That's the thing.  I married my reformed bad boy and had the time of my life.  I'm wondering if lightening strikes twice or if I need to be picky.  Why do I have Puff Daddy songs on the brain?  In any case, God is in control and there is a good plan for me.  In the meantime, I'm staying away from my kryptonite.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Marvelous Mrs. Miller

I was watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  This is a show about a young woman with two children and after four years, her husband leaves her.  It is set in the 1950s New York City.  She loses it and goes on stage and inadvertently becomes a comedienne.  It's good stuff, crazy and realistic.  There is a scene where her husband says that she is too much.  Right away I understood this sentiment.  He said she was too funny, too smart and too pretty and he realized that the reason that he left was that he couldn't measure up to that.  Not what I was expecting. 

My husband always said that I was too pretty.  Poor guy, blind as a bat.  He said I would always have trouble finding guys because I was too smart.  My husband also would tell you that I was incidentally funny.  I would be telling him about my day and he would think that I was cute or that it would come out funny.  He had this loud braying laugh and he would laugh till the tears came out when I would tell him about my day.  Maybe I'm like Mrs. Maisel.  Maybe I'm too much... scratch that maybe.  I'm too much too.

I asked someone what they wanted in a woman.  He told me four things: loyal, funny, spontaneous and cute.  I was scared to death he would ask me the same question.  What do I want in a man?  The only thing that I can think about is everything.  LOL!!!  Other than that one word, I can not articulate what I would like.  So, I definitely need a blog post to try and process some of it.  I put it out there and asked, "If you were to build the perfect guy for me, what qualities would you choose?"  Let's see what happens...

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Processing time

I am an emotive person.  I usually don't mean to be.  I understand that I have the right to react to information and sentiment.  This is when I show a lot of emotion but then I process the information logically and I can usually keep on with my life.  I'll give you an example.  I drink addictively, Kroger's Cranberry Lime Seltzer.  If someone were to tell me that they are not making it any more, then my reaction would be something like, "What?  No!!!  How could they do this to me?  I don't even drink soda!  Don't they understand my need for this delicious and sparkling soda substitute!!!  Why!!"  Through tears and screams I would yell this probably at the top of my lungs. Then I would process it and move on to Black Cherry. 

Then there are times that you are processing stuff and more stuff happens so you end up like a slow computer with too many tabs open.  You all know what I'm talking about.  Stop playing!  Well, the children and I have been living and subsisting.  I have gotten out there to see what it is that is out there.  We are looking at who we are right now and more than anything, we are processing information.  I think we are trying to decide who we are and what we want.  This is what I have surmised thus far.  The Millers are... figuring out who we are.  But no matter what, I think we can say for certain that we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15 says, "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.

We are a family.  We are a family that loves eggs and milk but don't eat a lot of bread.  We are a family that supports one another.  We are a family that goes to church and worships God together.  We are a family that likes road trips and listening to songs on the radio.  We are a family that likes to give hugs and stay up late watching television and fooling around.  We are a family that sleeps in and has pets.  We hold ourselves accountable and we are honest and a little messy.  I watch my babies as they grow up.  I imagine sitting in my living room with my grandchildren wishing for a little peace and quiet already.  Just kidding!!!  I imagine laughter and hugs that are so tight there is no doubt that we have love.  I imagine days of being grateful for what the Lord has done for us.  I imagine days remembering but not worshiping our sweet James who has gone home ahead of us and who we know will be waiting when we get there.  We are processing and becoming.  My prayer is that we be who God wants us to be. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Pray For The Fight

I have a confession to make.  I dream of a comfortable life.  I dream of blue sky days filled with laughter every single day.  Shall I go on?  This girl, right here, she's a dreamer.  I think I can fill a thousand journals and write for days about things that I want, for myself, for my children, for the future.  I think I'm developing a bucket list: Disney World fireworks, the glacier at Yellow stone, Mt. Zion in Utah.  Santorini in Greece...  There is just so much to see, isn't there?  I'm gluten intolerant but there is still so much to eat.  There is so much I would like to do.  I was talking with my son and we talked about the possibility of writing a book.  He asked me what I would write about.  I wouldn't know.  I would just let a story write itself.  

Is this world for comfort though?  I don't think that this world is a world of wants.  I think we are called in this world to fight.  Fighting... I think I have talked about fighting before.  I have to constantly remind myself to fight.  I could.  I think I could try for the life of comfort but I think for this girl right here, I need a good fight.   I Timonty 6:12 (You know that a Bible verse was coming) "Fight the good fight of the faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."  Man, I could think of creature comforts for days but I have all of eternity to be in comfort.  Right now I'm all about the fight.  My biggest fight is myself.  I have to fight myself out of trying to live a comfortable life.  When they say that the struggle is real, they weren't kidding!  I think I could stay in bed all day if you let me.  Pray for the fight.  We are only here for a minute on this earth.  I think that the fight is worth it. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Nearly Done

Today I cancelled one of the dating subscriptions, Coffee Meets Bagel.  I found it to be a terrible app that doesn't verify the subscriber either by face or by telephone.  You have to purchase coffee beans or beans and they suggest people for you.  At first, they suggested several people to you.  Now I'm getting one suggestion per day.  You can see if there are more guys that you would like, but it's going to cost you some beans.  It's almost 400 beans to like a guy and you can't even send him a message.  I'm so done with this app!!!

There is another app that I came across by the name of Zoosk.  I have had some conversations and they do verify both your number and your face which is always relieving.  I do get a lot of attention on Zoosk...  from men who are well over a decade over than me.  I mean I'm like, "You're 67!!!  I know my profile says 47 but I'm functioning at about 37 and my maturity level is like 27.  This app is the next to go.

I'm on an app called Bumble.  I have the most success with this app.  I think it's fun and easy.  Okay, I have had some conversations with some really really good-looking men.  You should know that the good looking ones are the ones to stay away from!!!!  Well, in my case the really good looking ones are the ones to stay away from.  They are just like Doritos.  I need to just stay away from them.  I'm laughing about it but I'm staying away.  I think Doritos are safer.

I have also made one or two friends.  There are some sweet guys out there.  There is one guy who has given me full permission to talk about him (not that I was asking permission).  I won't mention his name but he is just the sweetest.  We already met and there was no clicking but we have kept on chatting as friends and I think... there just might be a date redo.  We are redoing a date.  So does this count as a second date?  I don't know.

I'm also on eharmony and not even close to answering all of the questions that they have on there.  It's a lot to take.  I have a subscription that ends in September and one that ends in January.  Regardless if I find someone, I am done.  As it is I am looking at what I need for the upcoming school year.  I am working on my academic stuff.  I am raising my children and I am looking at upcoming plans.  I have been talking with God.  It's easy to get discouraged and feel rejected when trying to date.  What does it matter if I'm not liked?  I am LOVED by the Creator of the Universe.  If someone doesn't see my worth, well, HE does.  I feel like I had to try it to see what it was like.  Thankfully, I'm nearly done with this experiment.  I'm working on other things.  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


I have a healthy self-esteem.  You can't convince me otherwise.  My father had a hand in this.  He was 44 years old when I was born.  He traveled from Cali, Colombia to Canada on motorcycle.  He traveled with a Swiss friend.  My dear sweet father knew how to take a risk.  He had seen a little bit of life and he had ideas for raising his only daughter.

He would never say I was overweight.  He called me healthy.  He would tell me and show me to be happy with the way that I was.  It took a lot of reminders on his part.  He loved me so well.  As a tween, he taught me how to walk.  He made me make my own decisions.  He would always remind me of my worth.  When I talk to people, it's his words that come out of my mouth.  I am so happy to continue his lessons in my children's and student's lives.  My Dad taught me how to have perspective.

Because of this, I am secure in who I am.  I like being secure.  I love who I am.  I am loved by a wonderful and powerful God.  I have wonderful children and I have amazing friends who will speak truth into my life.  I like my face.  I think I'm pretty and I act like I know I'm pretty.  Is that bad?  I like my curly hair and I like it long.  It took me forever to love my hair.  I don't like my legs but then I feel bad for them.  Here they are, these chunky legs and they try so hard.  They get me around, they hardly complain.  My kids think they are soft to sit on.  How can I be mad at them for being chunky!!!  So, despite the fact that they are not my favorite... I love my legs.  They are so good to me.

I always feel the need to apologize for my personality.  I know that my personality is big. If it had a color it would be chrome plated pink.  I love to laugh.  In movies, my children have to shush me.  I am thankful to God for how He made me.  Psalm 139:14 says, "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows well."  Did you hear that?  Fearfully and wonderfully made and what God makes is MARVELOUS.  That's me!!!  My soul knows that God does wonderful work and I am one of them.  Isn't that amazing!!!  I have a healthy dose of self-esteem.

I'm going to tell you about my next thought.  I was going to write another post but I think I have to just go for it.  Because of my self-esteem, I want everything.  I want to be seen the way that I see myself.  Maybe I want to be pursued and sought after.  You should know that my dear husband had trouble finding fault with me even though I wasn't perfect.  I loved the way that he loved me.  He wouldn't want me to settle for anything less than everything.  Should I even think that I can get that again?  Maybe.  I'm okay with holding out for everything.  If I never get it again, I'm okay just having had it the one time.  God is super good to me.  Hey!!!  God made you great too!!!  Don't forget it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

My Love of Stories

As a girl I loved stories.  I loved stories of all kinds.  My father would buy me books to add to my small bookcase.  My father, with his heavy accent would read to me from these Disney picture books.  I would make him read to me until he was almost asleep with me on the bed.  It was the most comforting thing.  Later when I was older and in the 3rd grade, I struggled with reading.  I liked reading picture books cause I had trouble with the words.  It was the only time I really struggled with reading. I remember learning how to read and then I couldn't stop.  I would read anything I could get my hands on.  Reading allowed me to escape.

My first favorite series was the Laura Ingalls Wilder series.  It put things into perspective.  Here I was upset about my life and they were facing things like starvation and frostbite.  I couldn't get enough of books.  I wasn't one to subscribe to fairy tales.  That is unless, we talked about Hans Christian Anderson and Grimm Fairy Tales.  I know what happened to the real Little Mermaid.  I would cry every time I would read The Little Match Girl.  I liked my stories with an edge, just like me.  I liked my stories with realism.

So, I am confused with myself.  I have been asked, "How do I lie to myself?"  Well, you should know my first response is that I don't lie to myself but the real truth of the matter is that I most certainly do.  I lie about a lot of things.  I tell myself stories and sometimes, there is this want of selling myself a fairy tale.  I imagine a handsome wonderful guy coming from out of the blue to love me the way that I want to be loved.  In my fairy tale, he has a wonderful job that allows him to travel... with me.  Is this really what I want?  That's the question.  I want to be happy and feel peace.  I want to laugh and not worry about what anybody else thinks.  I love and cherish this idea that I don't have to date.  I don't have to get married.  What a blessing!!!  This isn't the dark ages where a woman who had no man to speak for her was doomed to a hard unrepresented life.  I'm appreciating my singleness.  I love spending time with my children who are growing so big so fast.  Right now, I think I like having options.  I can choose.  May God be with all of my choices.

Monday, July 8, 2019


Someone asked me what my fears are.  What a crazy question!  Hi.  My name is So and So.  What are your biggest fears?  I was like, "What is my biggest fear?"  I had to think about it.  Fear of speaking?  Nope.  Fear of death?  Not really.  Fear of losing someone?  Yes but it isn't an effective fear.  Everyone hates losing people.  That's part of the human existence. I really didn't know at that point what I would be afraid of.  Then I had a conversation that led me to figure it all out.

Talking with a friend, I started talking about the restlessness.  Restlessness...  Sometimes, late at night, when the house is quiet, too quiet, there is a sense of waiting.  What am I waiting for?  There are days when I have ennui.  I'm so glad that the French have a word for it.  It is not an extreme emotion.  It's more like a pebble in your shoe that refuses to come out.  Is it restlessness?  Is it impatience?  Is it fear? Yes! I had not traced down to the root, the source, my restlessness.  This is what emotionally healthy people do.  Don't they?

Why have I been restless?  What am I waiting for?  And what is the fear behind the restlessness?  I felt it, the fear.  Was it fear of the unknown?  Fear of being alone?   Maybe a little bit.  And then I understood what I was afraid of.  I was afraid, AFRAID, of not being seen; of never being seen.  Is this why I started this blog?  Is this all because of a need for attention?  Is needing attention the same as being seen?  I don't know.

I have so many wonderful brilliant friends.  They are so good to me.  They hold my hand when I'm crumbling.  They say nice things about me.  I'm not a fan of compliments.  Who cares about the good?  I want to be loved even with my bad.  I want to be seen for my flaws.

II Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind."  The fear is not coming from God.  I wonder who whispers to me when I am trying to find peace.  Hagar was Moses' concubine.  She was given to him by Sarai.  Sarai thought she would rush God's promise.  Hagar bore Moses a son, Ishmael.  Sarai said that Hagar was giving her haughty looks and complained to Moses.  Moses was like, "Your maid, your problem."  Sarai was mean to her.  So, Hagar ran off into the desert.  She was ready to let Ishmael die, exposed to the elements but God had his eye on this Egyptian servant.  Genesis 16:13 says that  He is the God Who sees me.  He is El-Roi.  How could I have forgotten?  I may have to get it tattooed where I can see it.  I am not invisible.  I am not forgotten.  I am not overlooked.  If no one sees me, God sees me.

I may have to come up with some other fears to deal with like: fear of success or fear of commitment.  Whatever it is I will remember how merciful and good God has been to us.  As always, even with fear, Praise the Lord!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2019


I need to be careful of the words that I use because these days, they are coming back to haunt me.  I have been making fun of hobbies.  I have.  If you didn't know, "hobby" is a word that really upsets me.  I have also been making jokes about my future.  I have told my children and my friends that if dating doesn't work, I will take up crocheting or another such hobby and leave men to deal with themselves without little old me.

I am a mentor to Francine (shout out).  She is currently dating (Was I not supposed to say?).  This past week, she gave me a boatload of yarn with accompanying crochet needle.  It made me laugh as I brought the yarn into the house.  Are you giving me a sign, God? Today my son comes into the living room as I'm watching television and he says, "This will be you, Mom.  This will be you in a few years." As he glanced at me covered in a granny square camouflage afghan that will cause me carpal tunnel in a few years with two cats hovering about.  I am the me that I predicted that I would be.

I started the blanket and immediately I had no idea what I would do with it.  I went to visit some friends and it just so happens that I brought my blanket with me.  One of their sons who loves camouflage became fascinated with the blanket.  I knew then that the blanket was for him.  Irony?  Providence?  Serendipity?  God's Sovereignty? 

I find it ironic that I love words but when it comes to using them, sometimes, I lack them.  How could this be?  Is this God's work?  I mean, the Bible is full of irony.  If you want to gain your life, you must lose it.  The first will be last and the last with be first.  Right now, right this moment, I am quiet.  I don't have a lot of words to write but I find that I have a lot to say.  More irony?  Maybe. This is all for now. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Happy July 4th!!!

Today is Independence Day.  I wish you all a very happy and safe Fourth of July, as we refer to it here in the States.

I have been thinking of this concept of freedom.  When people ask me about being single, I usually bring up some concept of freedom to defend why I'm not too stressed about it.  I remember being asked about being single and I would tell people the following story:

My husband and I would discuss what we would buy for each month and the bills that needed to be paid.  Some months there was room for extra and some months there weren't.  If you know me, I love make up.  I do!!!  I see make up as paint for my canvas.  Sometimes I like really expensive paint.  Well, after my dear sweet guy passed away.  I figured out the budget and like most normal adults, I paid my bills.  Well, I remember being victim to the most seductive lipstick ad.  It was for Lime Crime's Velvetine in Red Velvet.  I love lipstick but red lipstick just may be my Kryptonite (that and Doritos).  I could not stop looking at that ad.  I wanted that lipstick so bad.  In my head I could almost hear my husband fighting with me.  "You don't need another red lipstick. It's expensive, wait till next month."  I put the lipstick in my digital cart.  I kept on hearing him.  "What if it isn't the color that you really wanted?  Are you going to return it?"  Returning things is not something I am known for.  I hate returning things and will make sure that it is something that I really want just so I don't have to return it.  I remember paying for it and just smiling.  It was the first time I was able to see through the miles of grief that was in front of me.  I could buy lipstick and there was no one to stop me!!!

I am free to buy lipstick.  Not really because I have my son asking me now if I really need another red lipstick but it isn't the same thing.  I think about the things that I have adapted that allow me freedom.  I'm working on my degree and there are days when housework is the last thing on my mind as I try to occupy the children and submit work.  You should also know that when the kids and I are home the house is somehow more messy then when we are in school and work.  I can put off fixing things for a few days without having an argument.  I mean I try to get the kids to clean up after themselves but the heavy, mom cleaning that usually gets done can wait until I get around to it.  There is no one to consult when I am planning a trip.  I don't have anyone but myself and my children to consider when I'm making choices.  There is also no one but myself to blame when I mess up, and I mess up!!!

I find that I pray more.  The conversations that I would have had with my husband, I talk with God about.  The silly thoughts that occur in my head.  The crazy rantings, I tell Glenda but I also tell God.  I am always so surprised at the peace that I feel. In Christ I am free.  II Corinthians says 3:17 says, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."  Praise the Lord!

My friends, good friends, tell me that I will meet someone.  They assure me as if I were a catch too good to be left on the market.  I am so blessed to be so loved!!!  I think about who I am:  Christian, Latina, Academic, Mom, Mess.  I understand that there may be no one out there to vibe with me.  I'm okay with this.  When I get lonely or upset that it is just me, I think of my freedom.  I think about God's graciousness in my life and all I can be after all of that is grateful.

Special thanks for our Veterans, Active Soldiers, Those Deployed and those Fallen  Your service has allowed me a portion of my freedom.  Thank you for your service to our country!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


Online dating is both tiring and funny. I laugh a lot.  I laugh even when I'm not supposed to.  I accidentally insulted this guy who is into aliens (how was I supposed to know?) and he blocked me.  I couldn't stop laughing.  It was so funny. I feel bad being mean but it's funny.

Sometimes I feel like I have an internal checklist going on.

Okay-Looking- check
Seems nice-check

I don't know.  It seems like the men all have a check list too.  I read all of the profiles and they all sound similar.  It makes me wonder if all men are after just one woman: Linda Carter as Wonder Woman.

This is what a lot of the profiles want:

Hiker- (I hike!  It takes me hours and I may pass out but I'm willing to try!)
Travel- (I can travel.  I need a passport but I can travel.  Who's paying?)
Fit- (By fit I assume skinny.  I'm not skinny but is that really a problem?  Maybe?)
Funny- (Every now and again I can be funny.)
Compassionate- (I DO NOT have a reputation for being uncompassionate.  Mean? Yes.)
Kind- (That's a stretch...)
Partner in Crime- (Crime?  I won't do any time for anyone.)
Smart- (I can hold my own.  I'm not a Mensa candidate but I'm okay.)
Likes to laugh- Check (FINALLY!!!  Oh but I'm not supposed to be laughing AT you.)

So you would think that I'm taking a crash course in what men want.  Nope.  Not even a little bit.  Why?  Because no matter what, each man still has their own taste.  Everyone wants to drive a car but not everyone wants to drive the same one.  Some people want to drive sedans.  Others like to drive trucks.  Some are only happy in jeeps.  Then you get to the brands.  I mean, a Subaru may not have the same feel as a RAV-4.  It just so happens that I'm a Maybach.  Only a small subset of men will be interested in me.  I'm okay with that.  I know my worth.

The other thing is that I'm learning about myself.  I think I have said this before.  Maybe this is the lesson that God has for me in this season.  No matter what, I am a Child of God.  So, I'm not stressed about dating.  I keep telling people that this is my summer project.  I'm all set to cancel my subscriptions in about a month or so and focus on finishing up this final degree.  I'm working on that when I'm not writing.  At the end of the day, I am at peace and I'm walking this journey.  I am not alone.  I have these two wonderful humans that just so happen to be my children walking with me.  I get to teach them and watch them and help them along their way and it is such an amazing blessing.  My cup runneth over.  Praise the Lord!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


I don't like being shaken.  Recently, this summer, I was taken to a little amusement park that we have in Phoenix, Arizona.  There in the middle, there is a pirate ship.  This boat rocks from side to side until it is almost vertical.  The ride starts off slow.  You think, "Oh, this isn't so bad."  Then it gets higher and faster.  You are like, "Wait a minute!"  Taking deep breaths, you remind yourself that the ride  is bound to end soon.  It doesn't.  It keeps going until finally you give up and give in to what you want to do.  You find yourself doing something that you promised you wouldn't do.  You scream in panic and discomfort.  Just when you think you can't anymore.  It slows.  It's too late.  You have lost your dignity.  You have been shaken.  As the ride comes to its inevitable stop, you feel it.  It has affected your head and your stomach.  You take your first wobbly steps off of the ride and the ground feels different.  Sitting down and taking a break is a must.  You watch as you see others excited and exhilarated at the thrill.  You are forced to take a moment and rest.

Psalm 23:1-3
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me besides the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.

In thinking about being shaken, I think about snow globes.  I was fascinated with them growing up.  Shake it up and turn the music toggle around.  This is something that is shaken so that the glitter and bits of snow can be moved about.  The thing about snow globes is watching the particles drift slowly back down to the ground.  We like to see things settled.  I like to see things settled  I would wait until every single piece of glitter or snow was still, on the floor, before I would take joy in shaking it up and letting it all float down again.  But before I can shake it up again, I wait.  I watch.  I pause.  I rest.

I'm not one who likes to slow down.  I like to be up and about and I am usually doing just that.  I don't like to wait.  I don't like to be still.  And yet, when after that ride, I can do nothing but rest.  I am made to rest.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures.  Where? He leads me besides the still waters. Why? He restores my soul.  For what reason? He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sack.  God has a good plan.  I have been shaken.  You know it and I know it.  Let me not pretend that I haven't been through a hard time.  Let me not play it off that it hasn't been difficult.  I have been shaken and now I am resting. I'm pausing.  I know what my next steps are.  I will be lead down a path of righteousness for His name's sake.  Not because I deserve anything because I don't.  Just because of Who God is.  Praise the Lord!!!