Have you ever felt like there is just not enough time in your day?
Except try more like not enough time in my year!
It’s been over a year since you last heard from me and a lot has happened. One thing I’ve learned is that sometimes in order to take care of yourself you have to do one really important thing. Sometimes you just have to say…
No to the things that are draining you, to the demands of your day-to-day life, and to the ever pressing requests of others.
That’s what I did. I decided to take a year off and just focus a little bit more on myself and my girls, and let me tell you….what a rewarding year it has been! Now that doesn’t mean the whole year was fantastic, because believe me…there were some super rough patches this year. But one thing that will always hold true in my life…I am determined to create beauty from whatever is thrown my way!
So let’s start from the beginning….
It was January of last year when I found myself truly restless in my job. Ever since the girl’s dad walked out I have desperately tried to find a better work life balance. I had been a property manager of a storage facility for almost 3 years, which was amazing! But it was corporately owned and there wasn’t as much freedom as I wanted to be home with my girls. For that 3 years I had prayed that something would give. That is when I was offered a storage manager job a state away, in a small town I had never even heard of.
Upon visiting the facility it was clear, this was IT! This was exactly what I had prayed for! So we packed our house and moved to the most adorable little town right in the Columbia River Gorge! Not only was the town amazing, but it came with a properly ran facility with ZERO crime (my previous facility had lots) and a BIG beautiful house! The girls finally had their own rooms and a big back yard to play in. What was more is that there were no “rules” about working from home or having them join me in the office or on the property! We all were in heaven. We immediately got plugged into a church and the town. And with room to spare we had a slew of guest visiting us constantly. You could basically say that we had it made!
Then it happened…HE happened. Yes, as you can start to gather this is where it all falls apart. Because, well, all problems start with a man!
I’m totally kidding! Calm down, it’s about to get good.
Well, if you don’t know me, then I think it’s really important to note that I am incredibly picky about the men I date. I mean PICKY! First of all I NEVER let them meet my girls. And I promised myself that I wouldn’t bring men in and out of their lives.
I even once had a friend try to set me up with a guy by inviting him to church on Sunday so we could meet. Guess how that went? Um, it didn’t. Why you ask? Because Sunday’s are for me to worship God not be distracted by eye candy, duh! When we finally did meet, (not at church btw) the first time he got, uhmm…handsy, I told him later. Why? Because I had set the boundary hard in the sand before that point and he chose to ignore it. Was I completely innocent? Please! However, there is a difference between initiating, and being carried away in the moment. And I’m the one who stopped it. (For all you wandering minds out there, I am a complete and utter prude by normal standards so get ya mind outta the gutter!)
Now that you are up to speed on just some of my pickiness we’ll get back to the story…. back to THIS trouble making guy.
Sorry it’s just that he’s so dreamy it’s hard to remain focused.
So the company I ended up working for was a 3rd party management company. Meaning that they run the show for private owners. This means the owners may or may not be present, but I don’t work for them. They have a contract with my boss and my boss is the one who gives my orders. Now, they can come in and tell my boss to have me do something, but ultimately it’s up to my boss to tell me to do it if he agrees. When I first got there I met the owners, and they pretty much kept to themselves and were easy enough to get along with. However, at my particular property the owners were very active. They also had a son….
Have you guessed where this is going yet?
Never before have I looked in a man’s eyes and felt “safe.” I mean those blue eyes held such depth and kindness, that in my 32 years on this planet I have never felt safe from looking in a mans eyes. NEVER! He was tall, blond, strong, and he drove some pretty cool trucks. He definitely had my attention. It was only a matter of time before mom and dad constantly would have him come out to property to help me fix things. It was during these brief moments when we would talk. And talking to him was so much fun! As it turned out we had a lot in common. In fact we were both single, and had been for a few YEARS!
Can you say……attractive?
There is nothing more attractive than a man that doesn’t need to be with anyone to feel complete! They are a rare breed. As the months went on we started texting. I remember the first time he texted me I about jumped out of my skin from excitement! As things progressed, I put on the brakes.
After all, his folks owned the place!
We both agreed it was a bad idea to continue, and then….
….FOR 3 DAYS!!
Like full on broken heart, eat a pint of ice cream, watch the notebook sobbing type of cry! We weren’t even in a relationship or had hung out exclusively yet, and I felt like I had just made the biggest mistake of my life! Now, before you get all judgy on me, know this. I don’t cry. In fact it took me months to cry after my husband left.
After a week both of us couldn’t stop talking to each other and so things progressed again. We decided that as long as we could keep work and personal separate, why not give it go. Not to mention for the past 4 years I had put my wants and needs on hold. Why wasn’t I able to have what I wanted just this once.
So he came over.
Here is the best part. As we were cuddling on the couch that first night, he had his arm around me and I did one of the most courageous things of my life. In the moment of truth, of who would I choose… God and his values or my own wants and desires, I looked him in the eyes, took a deep breath and told him, “Here is the part where you walk away. I won’t sleep with you. I won’t sleep with anyone again until I am married.” He then looked at me terrified and responded that he had the same commitment too!
You can’t make this stuff up folks!
It was in that moment that I herd myself and the prayers I had been praying over my future husband for years prior, “And let him be saving himself for me, as I am saving myself for him.” I cried again. I mean UGLY cried as he tenderly held me.
Umm… stage five clinger, run bro!!
The next few months were beautiful as we slowly took our time getting to know each other. Since the girls already knew him it was easy to have him in our territory. And watching him carefully navigate interacting with them was beautiful. From the beginning he recognized that there were 3 potential hearts to break in this household and he has patiently and purposefully set his own boundaries to care for each one. And best of all, he has shown my girls just how a woman should be treated. He consistently opens all my doors and he is never too tired to offer to help me around the house.
Fast forward to now and these girls have him wrapped around their little fingers and he couldn’t be more excited about it. They all took their time opening up to each other and they have such a neat bond.
Sadly, not everything has been beautiful about our relationship. In fact some pretty ugly things have stemmed from it as well. One of the major drawbacks of living in a small town where your parents live, is the fact that you can’t so much as fart without the WHOLE town talking about it.
Maybe a slight exaggeration, but not entirely.
So in order to not upset anyone, we kept our spending time together a secret. We decided that it made no sense to ruffle feathers until we figured out what we wanted out of our relationship. (Was this just some summer romance or was this thing sustainable.) The other side of the coin is that since he is younger than me and his parents are a bit more “involved” than they should be, he was afraid they wouldn’t react well to the news.
In normal relationships, you don’t bring your boyfriend or girlfriend home to meet the family, until after you’ve been dating for a few months. Our circumstances were anything but normal.
We had finally decided that it was time to introduce our relationship and tell everyone, when lightning struck! An unfortunate circumstance led us to either lie or tell the truth, 4 weeks sooner than planned. Since we both have integrity, lying wasn’t an option. So we faced the music and shared what had been going on. Sadly, my boyfriend was right, his parents did not take the news well. We tried to sit down and talk with them about it, but they didn’t care. They stated that it didn’t matter, I wasn’t allowed to work there and date their son. So they threatened my boss until I was fired.
It was a very dark and trying time not only in my personal life, but in our relationship as well. I even tried writing them a heartfelt letter letting them know just how much I adored their son. However, they refused to hear my heart and labeled me a gold digger, insane, and a cougar. I lost a job that I not only adored and was great at, but I also lost our house. Our big beautiful house where my girls had their own rooms and a big back yard. I’m sad to report that they also “disowned” their own son….all for love.
It’s the oldest tale in the book. We are your modern day Romeo and Juliet!
Except in this story we go on to live.
It’s been a few months since this happend and I’m happy to state that we are all okay. Our relationship is still strong and I may just love him a whole lot more, having gone through this with him. He has been there to remind me not of all we’ve lost, but all that we’ve gained. In reflecting on my circumstance it’s hard not to feel like, “What did I do wrong?” In fact I take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in these feelings. The entire book of Job was about a man that wasn’t being punished, but tested. And in the end God blessed his socks off!
And there was the man who was born blind in John 9:1-4
“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
My boyfriend has held me as I cried countless times and told me, “I know you thought that this house and job was your blessing. But I just can’t shake this feeling that God has something better in store for us.”
Do you have an amazing man in you life? Brag on him a little in the comments below.
“Baby if loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” – Luther Ingram