03
Aug
09

letter to a prodigal husband

I feel like such a fool. All of these years I had tricked myself into believing that you loved me, that you were being faithful to me, and that I meant something to you. The truth was that you couldn’t even stand to be around me. Nothing that I did was ever good enough. You have said that I had nothing to do with this, and that I did nothing to push you away, but it still hurts. It hurts so deeply to know that everything that I thought to be true in our marriage has been a lie. I tried so hard all these years to make you happy, when you had really just given up on us being anything more than roommates and co-parents. Because you were feeding your own selfish needs, I was lessening as a woman and wife in your eyes…and you willingly let that happen.

How could you? How could you hurt our little family so much? I trusted you. I trusted you more than I have ever trusted any other person. Our precious little boys also trusted you… and that meant nothing to you. You left us. You lied to us and you left us vulnerable every day, every night, and so many weekends…for days at at time. You abandoned us for her bed. And for what? To feed your ever-growing selfish heart. Each time you left us, or chose yourself ahead of us, you pushed us further and further out of your heart…until you didn’t have room for anyone but yourself. How could you be so selfish to put your own wants ahead of your family’s needs – ahead of the needs of your children? You had what so many people long, search, and pray for- You had a family. We loved and adored you, but that wasn’t enough…was it?

Part of what kills me the most about your betrayal and affair is that all my life I worked so hard to stay pure for you. When I was 8 years old I committed to keeping not only my body pure for my future husband, but my heart pure as well. I was careful to not have crushes, to not concentrate on how cute a boy was, to not daydream what it would be like to date a certain guy…to not give any part of my heart away. When we married I never entered into conversations on who was hotter: Brad Pitt or George Clooney. I didn’t read explicit romance novels. I stayed away from movies, music, and friends that might compromise my heart and my commitment to you as my “one and only.” It saddens me to know that I may never know what it is like to be in a fully-committed, loving, trusting, and caring monogamous relationship. You were the one person that I gave my heart, love, body, soul and mind to…and you betrayed me. You gave yourself to another. I tried so hard – so very hard – to be the wife that you wanted me to be, and I tried to remain so pure for you. This truly broke my heart.

I watched you. I watched you closely after I told you about the first impending divorce. I gave you my reasons, and even though you acted sad, you seemed understanding of my decision. You said that you believed and had faith that one day God would bring us back together. You had faith that someday we would find healing, and that we would be a family again. You said that you were allowing God to change you. No longer did you put your own desires before others. You no longer acted proud, cocky, critical or selfish. You seemed to have true joy in your heart, even when faced with the destruction of your family unit. I watched all of these things very closely.

Quietly, oh so quietly, I heard the Lord’s prompting. He was showing me that it was possible that you really had changed. I felt Him nudging me in the direction of giving you and our relationship yet another chance. I heard the Lord asking me if I was willing to trust HIM enough to begin to trust you again. I came to realize that when we as Christians commit adultery against God, He doesn’t divorce us. If we repent and turn from our sinful ways, He enfolds us with His love and forgiveness. He reconciles with us, His beloved. Even though everyone around me was telling me to go through with the divorce, I did not have that “Peace that passes all understanding” about going ahead with it. I knew that I could do what everyone else was telling me to do, or I could do what God was gently asking me to do- work toward reconciling and restoring our marriage one more time. With all my heart, I meant those vows that I said to you on our wedding day. I had been completely committed to seeing our marriage through until death do us part. Those vows were things that I took SO seriously that even after all of the horrific things that you had put me through, I realized that I needed to try again.  It was then that I decided to trust and obey. Trust that He would take care of me and our boys, and obey His promptings to accept you back, my prodigal husband.

This was the most difficult thing that I have ever had to do. This was harder than giving birth, harder than taking my boys and walking out, harder than kicking you out of our home, harder than being a single parent, harder than filing for divorce. Trusting the person that hurt me the most was nearly impossible. It was impossible, except for the Lord’s grace…giving me the strength to decide to forgive every minute of every day.

After I let you back into our home – slowly, ever so slowly, the old you began to creep back into your life. It wasn’t long before you were putting your own desires ahead of the needs of your wife and children. I didn’t want to believe that my world was crumbling again all around me. I desperately wanted our little family to walk through this fire, and come out on the other side hand-in-hand and stronger than ever. I had hoped that our story could help other couples in a similar situation, giving them hope for a life and love after a time of marital crisis such as our own. I truly desired for my family to be whole, and I wanted to be able to experience for the first time a Christ-centered, exciting, nurturing, and loving marriage.

For weeks I struggled with the realization that things were not improving, and that things were most certainly not going to get better. Once again, it was like existing in a hurricane – being tossed about by all of the hurts, emotions, stresses, and fears that come from a situation like this. I wanted so much more for my children. I wanted them to grow up in a strong, loving, peaceful, and Christ-filled home. I didn’t ever want them to know what it is like to be picked up and dropped off by divorced parents. I didn’t want them to know the pain of having to spend each holiday away from one of the parents that they love so much. I desperately wanted them to thrive in a stable home with two loving parents raising them side-by-side. Eventually I had my “burning bush” moment where I saw that “neon sign” that told me exactly what I needed to do. My boys are so much better off without you in our home. At this very moment, it is my only goal in life to make sure that they develop into strong, kind, caring, selfless, responsible young men – who are completely enveloped in Christ’s never-ending love. I want so much more for them than you can possibly give them right now. I hope and pray that one day you will be able to help nurture them in the same direction.

I cannot begin to express the relief and peace that has continually flooded over me ever since that day in June that I filed for divorce. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am doing the right thing, and this new-found confidence has done so much for me as a woman and mother. I am happier, healthier, and stronger than I have been in a very long time. No longer will I  strive to find my self-worth as your doormat, but as the woman that God created me to be.

I am done – and this letter does not come from a place of anger or hate. This letter truly comes from a place of forgiveness and closure. I have released all of the hurt and pain that you have caused, and I really do forgive you…for everything. The Lord has held my hand through each and every moment of this terrifying ordeal, and I know that He will continue to help me on this new journey to healing. I hope that you will come to find true happiness, and that we can make the best out of this situation…for Camden, Aiden, and Quinn.

Sincerely,

Ginger

24
Jun
09

“Leaving on a jet plane”…So many shoes, so little suitcase space

Wednesday afternoon I’m headed for a much-needed vay-cay! I’m flying to Austin, Texas to be in my friend Amy’s wedding! She has been a close friend since we met in Russia. I’ll be gone until late Sunday night, so I’ll be back next week with (hopefully) tons of pictures and stories to share! This is my first time being away from the boys, and I’m going to be away for 4 nights! Yikes! I just hope that they remember me when I get home!  ;)  Seriously, I am going to miss them oodles and oodles, but I really REALLY need this trip. The friends that I am going to be with always make me feel like a stronger woman after seeing/talking to them. I hope to come home refreshed, rested, rejuvenated, and happier than when I left.

This is the last time that we were all together – our last night in Moscow. *sniff*

L-R: Curt (works for an airline in Ft.Wayne, IN), Amy (the Bride and a vet tech in Austin), moi (about 35 pounds heavier! All that good Russian food!), Amber (a dental hygienist living in Detroit), Amy (a grad student at Harvard), Joanne (my Tribalwoman), and John (a 911 dispatcher in Durham, NC). We will be missing 3 of our friends at the wedding, but I’m still so happy that the 4 of us can be together!

This is the first time that I will have seen my friend Amber in 1o years! I visited Amy (the lovely bride) in Texas a couple of times probably 8-9 years ago, and she was one of my bridesmaids in my own wedding. My favorite Tribalwoman Joanne will also be there photographing the wedding, and I can’t wait to see how gorgeous those photos will turn out! We have a full week/weekend planned with Russian chai (tea) parties, country dancing, spa treatments, boating, and getting Amy and Francis married! I can’t wait!

Only 16 hours until I’m in the air, and I haven’t even packed yet! Here’s the big dilemma – How many pairs of shoes can I fit into my suitcase?!?!

Have an amazingly wonderful week… I know I will!

19
Jun
09

With this ring…saying goodbye

Seven years ago I was crazy in love, stars in my eyes, and I had so many hopes and dreams for the future. But now seven years seems like an entirely different lifetime ago. Last Monday, on my seventh wedding anniversary, I wore my engagement and wedding rings for the last time. Before falling asleep that night I finally took the rings off – and this time it was for good. Those rings held so much promise, so much love, so much hope, and so much meaning for me. I loved what I thought that those rings symbolized. In our wedding ceremony the minister said that our wedding rings were a symbol of the unbroken circle of love, an outward and visible sign of an inward spiritual bond. A little over six years later I discovered that the love and bond that those rings represented had been shattered by the one person that I trusted more than anyone.

I tried so hard over the last six months to mend those broken bonds, to let the Lord heal and join us back together. I worked tirelessly to restore the marriage that I thought that I once had, and hoped against hope that my little family could eventually live happily ever after. Over time I came to the realization that reconciliation is a two-way street. Both individuals must be completely devoted to doing anything and everything to heal what someone destroyed. This would be an extremely difficult thing to go through, even under the best of circumstances, but after the long and painful process of weighing all of the different options and scenarios, I decided that it is time for me to let go. I can’t make him WANT this any more than I can make pigs fly. I can’t make him choose his wife and family over his desires. I could wish on every shooting star, every white fuzzy-headed dandelion, and with every good-night prayer…but I couldn’t make him change. I will never have the power to make him change.

This realization was so painful and very freeing at the same time. It hurt so much because it is like experiencing all of the pain, betrayal, and agony all over again. To relive those things every single moment of every single day was more than any faithful spouse should ever have to endure. Yet, it was so freeing because I also knew that I could release myself from this mess. I didn’t choose the situation where I have found myself – he chose it for me. I didn’t have a say in his betrayal, but I can make the decision to allow myself to heal.

I am so heartbroken as I write this, but amazingly at peace at the same time. This week I visited an attorney’s office where I filed for divorce. I signed all of the paperwork needed to forever protect myself from him hurting me in this way again. In this situation, I don’t know that there was any one “right” thing to do, but I feel very strongly that I have done the best thing for me and my boys. The main thing that is keeping me strong through all of this, even in all of the sadness, is that I continually feel the Lord’s peace that passes all understanding.  I am closing the book on the this part of my life, my journey through marriage and entering motherhood. By signing the mountain of paperwork that it takes to file for divorce, I began an entirely new book in my life’s story – a sequel, if you will – that starts as I enter life as a 28 year old single mother. As scary and uncertain as the future is for me, I know that the Lord is gently cradling my little family in the palm of His hand… and that is all the reassurance that I need.

***We have not told our boys yet about what is going to happen. We will tell them together when it gets closer to the day that Chris will be moving out of our house. Until then, I would ask that everyone please not mention any of this around my little guys. Thank you to everyone for all of the love, support, thoughts and prayers for us over the last 6 months. I cannot even begin to vocalize how much they have meant to me. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. I am beyond blessed to have such wonderful, caring friends and family. ***

19
Jun
09

Bring the rain

Mercy Me – Bring the Rain

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I’ve gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It’s never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there’ll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what’s a little rain

So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there’ll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Is the Lord God Almighty

09
Jun
09

May the force be with you…

Here is a video of Camden’s lightsaber fight with his Uncle Ryan. I couldn’t get it to load the other day when I posted some pictures of the same thing. Enjoy!

09
Jun
09

Happy birthday, Quinn!

My littlest munchkin celebrated his first birthday over the weekend! I cannot believe that my little guy is one year old! His always ready smile, his little giggles, his sloppy wet baby kisses, and his sweet little spirit have helped to get me through this rough year. Quinn was the easiest of my babies. He smiled very early on, he was easy to put on a schedule and fit right in with my other boys, he started sleeping through the night at only 7 weeks, and he was happy ALL THE TIME! I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect baby for this past year…He has been such a blessing! I love my littlest ray of sunshine so much!

Saturday evening we had my best friend and “Tribalwoman” Joanne Funk take some pictures of our family and our birthday boy! She is working on those, but when she is finished editing and I’ve picked out a few I’ll share them here with everyone. I peeked at a few on the back of her camera, and I have to say they looked amazing! Thanks so much, Joanne! Nobody can snap great shots of my tazmanian devils like you can, you Miracle Worker!

After the photo shoot we came home for cake, ice cream and presents. Time for baby’s first sugar rush! ;)

Here are a few pictures and videos from his birthday:

By the end of the night he looked like he was an honorary member of the Blue Man Group!

Party Pooper! (It was past his bedtime…and he’d had enough!)

Happy Birthday, Quinny-Pooh! Mommy loves you! *smooch*

04
Jun
09

What I’m wearing today…6-4-09

I don’t know how you guys feel about it, but I always enjoy it when blogs that I follow post things like what they are wearing that day. Maybe it’s because I’m a lover of all things fashion (y’all already know about my shoe *cough* addiction *cough*), but I really enjoy getting to know the writers of those blogs just a little bit better through those blog posts.

So here goes…Here is what I am wearing today. I just discovered how to put together my own collage with Polyvore! This is a grown woman’s way of playing with paper dolls…so much fun! Polyvore didn’t have the exact jewelry or my zebra bag that I am wearing today, but I picked out things similar to what I am currently sporting.

What I'm Wearing today...6-4-09
For me, this is an easy, breezy, comfy, and WASHABLE (very important) mommy-on-the-go outfit. What do you think? Would it pass the Tim Gunn “make it work” test?  :)



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