Missing my loved ones in Florida, and thankful for the beautiful memories.
Missing my loved ones in Florida, and thankful for the beautiful memories.
This was a joyous occasion to witness two hearts becoming one under God in matrimony. A dream coming into fruition.
I am reminded of Proverbs. 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”
To my strapping son, Daniel: I love you with all of my being; since the first day I laid eyes on you and held you against my breast never wanting to let go. You have found your good thing! May she always feel your love, your warmth and protection.
Sandy, our beautiful little ladybug: I thank God for you. You are a breath of fresh air, a ray of sunshine in our family! I am proud to call you my daughter-in-love. Always stand by your man. May he always feel your love, respect and encouragement.
Pray for one another, support each other, be quick to forgive and NEVER take the other for granted.
“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love. Never. Fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Hold on tight – the best is yet to come!
Photo Credit: Leo Laredo Photography https://www.facebook.com/leolaredophotography/
His laughter lit up my shadows. His eyes were trusting, his voice soothing. He took my hand and led the way. We danced on through the night.
On April 6, 1994—three years after meeting my soul mate and best friend—we joined hands and hearts, locked eyes and repeated our vows before God, family and friends, and announced, “I do.”
To my beloved husband:
If I never said that I was grateful to you, I say it now. Thank you for being my quiet strength, the voice of reason.
If I didn’t tell you that I loved you, I say it now. I love you with all my heart and can’t imagine my life without you.
Here’s to the rest of our lives.
Excerpt from Chapter 12 of
“Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace“
He pranced round the corner.
His arresting, mystifying air captivated me: suave, debonair, and oh, quite a looker. I thought, I’ll stroll on by and check him out. Quickly making mental notes: tall, dark, high cheekbones, broad shoulders–
He turned with a mischievous grin, showing dimples! I averted my eyes and sauntered on by. He whistled. A warm sense of elation swept over me as I thought: He seems older; more mature than the other boys I’ve dated. Surely, this one has already sown his wild oats. I didn’t grasp how much older until later. But at the time I didn’t care.
He was a native of West Indies, thirty-two years old and born on June 6, 1943. If he had claimed that a year after he was born they had named a memorable day on his behalf, calling it D-Day—the “D” standing for Don—I would have believed him. Starry-eyed, I hung on to his every word. He could have said he hung the moon, and I wouldn’t have doubted him.
That was me in another life.
Once upon a time, I envisioned men made decisions and had more power over women. So when he came along, I depended on him for my sanity, security and stability. He would make me whole. Do you know, this theory makes women choose to stay in dysfunctional relationships?
I’ve since read that some women fear independence. Say what? Yep. Oh, they may think they’ve got it all together and are brave and self-sufficient enough, but the bottom line is they have an unconscious desire to be taken care of by others. This was obviously me!
I thought I had found myself a knight in shining armor and allowed him to whisk me away, and soon became a teenage bride to a sweet-talking, hard-hitting man twice my age. He didn’t show much love, nurturing or tenderness, but was harsh and fed on my low self-esteem. His motto: “I’m the man, you’re the woman.” He had a twisted notion on submissiveness. Before I knew it, like a doormat, I was constantly being walked on while becoming subservient to his every whim. I did not respect him. I feared him. Yet, I remained in that relationship fifteen years.
My smile hid the pain in my heart, as well as makeup did the bruises on my face. It would be years of trials and four precious children later, before I found the courage to stand on my own two feet and the courage to walk away from an abusive marriage.
A few years ago, the best help book given to me on marriage was: “Love & Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. He refers back to Ephesians 5:33: “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” There are a lot of nuggets in this one book. Eggerichs suggested that love alone is not enough for marriage. In a nutshell: A wife has one driving need — to feel loved. When that need is met, she is happy. A husband has one driving need — to feel respected. When that need is met, he is happy.
I am happy to report that after being a single mom, I eventually re-married. For nearly 24 years, I’ve been married to a wonderful, caring and loving man. God does answer prayers! I am grateful that through all our struggles we are committed to one another, no matter what. I’m no expert, but I can say no marriage is so good that it can’t be made better. We constantly work on this love and respect thing, as well as forgiveness, because neither one of us is perfect.
So I ask you:
And while we’re on the subject of fairy tales … maybe I’ll touch on my thoughts on the Peter Pan syndrome at a later date.
© M.A. Pérez 2018, All Rights Reserved
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in..
They stand up to injustice.
They don’t take “no” for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.
Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.
HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN,
…THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.
Proverbs 14:1: Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down with her hands.
Note to my fans and followers
*** Running in Heels – A Memoir of Grit and Grace ***
*** LIMITED TIME OFFER *** .99cents *** Kindle Edition ***
“The moment I started it, I had echoes of ‘The Glass Castle’. This is recommended for anyone who loved Walls’ memoirs, as they have some strong parallels.” – Kath Cross (blogger).
To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring,
it means that I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off,
it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.
To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To let go as not to be protective,
it is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes, and cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to feel less and to love more.
~ Author Unknown
(credited in ‘The Grace Awakening’ by Charles R. Swindoll)
Well, here we are! It’s hard to fathom that we’ve reached our 23rd year. It’s been an amazing ride!
From the beginning, I knew I could rely on him. For the first time, I didn’t have to face my struggles alone. When he vowed in becoming my soul-mate, he stood up to the plate in becoming a loving daddy to my four children. Although the roads have been bumpy, the ride has been exhilarating.
The route may not always be smooth, but the pathway is attainable because of his steadfastness. With every twist and turn, I find strength while learning to lean on his shoulders. In his arms, there is shelter in the midst of the rainstorms and warmth from the frigid winds.
He may not be perfect, but he’s the perfect one for me …
Babe, thank you for choosing me. You believed in me before I believed in myself. I want to thank you, for all the years by my side. Your laughter is music to my ears. When I look at you, I see the love in your eyes still twinkling … for me.
You are my safe place. I am not afraid to be me when I am with you.
Thank you for your sincere compliments, and for making me laugh (yes, I still laugh at his jokes). Thank you for putting a spring in my step, even when I throw my back out on occasion. Thank you for caring deeply whenever I’m sad, discouraged, or unsure.
I still want to curl up with you, with your hairy legs wrapped around my legs. I enjoy your gentle hugs, warm embraces and sweet kisses — even the ones on my head.
I thank God for making us one, knowing that together we will weather the storms.
I pray that God will grant us many more years in making more memories. I appreciate you, admire you, and love you more today than I did yesterday.
May I have this dance for the rest of our lives?
So, in reading “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, he describes in great detail how the word love can be very confusing. We love activities, objects, animals, nature and people. We even fall in love with love. He points out that we use love to explain behavior. “‘I did it because I love her’ says a man who is involved in an adulterous relationship. God calls it sin, but he calls it love. The wife of an alcoholic picks up the pieces after her husband’s latest episode. The psychologist calls it co-dependency, but she calls it love. The parent indulges all the child’s wishes. The family therapist calls it irresponsible parenthood, but the parent calls it love.”
Now I’m not by any means of the imagination a psychologist, a professor, a clergywomen, or a counselor. I am just an ordinary woman. I’m a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, and a girlfriend. But like many, I think all too often we speak the wrong love language. I definitely have.
In my youth, I did some stupid things out of “love” for a guy. And because I loved him I thought, surely he will come to my way of thinking. He would love me in return, enough to change his behavior and better himself. After all, hadn’t I bent over backwards for him? Worshiped the ground he walked on? Became his doormat? In order to gain his undivided attention, I forgot who I was.
In my teens, I covered my husband’s transgressions. I hid his secret, sin and shame. My way of thinking was: This is why I exist, right? That’s my job, isn’t it? His wish was my command. Barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen – if only I knew how to cook then. My smile hid the pain in my heart, as well as makeup did the bruises on my face. I hid the grocery money, emptied the liquor bottles, refilling half with water hoping he’d never noticed. I’d called his boss to say he was sick in bed after another blackout episode. I told myself: I protect my interest. I do it all in the name of “love.”
I was tired. But because I loved my children, I eventually allowed my kids the freedom of choice. They started listening to the “hip” music their friends were listening to, and watched certain movies because I knew they were old enough and smart enough not to repeat negative behaviors. Yes, I was inconsistent, worn-out, and haggard. I practiced tough-love, church activities, rules and schedules, but then lost the victory in my own personal life that I toss responsibility to the wind. I got lazy. It became every person for themselves. I started doing my own thing. I felt defeated. Cold-hearted. Bitter. Since I had lost the battle as a wife, for a moment, I had also forgotten that there was still a war to fight for called Motherhood.
That was many moons ago. And I’m happy to say, although far from perfect, I continue to strive to communicate this language in a healthy way.
Just some rambling thoughts today, as I reflect over Gary Chapman’s point of view about the language of love.
What are your thoughts?
© M.A. Pérez, 2016, All Rights Reserved
It’s hard to fathom that we’ve reached a milestone. Come April 6th, we have been married for twenty-two amazing years.
From the beginning, I knew I could rely on you. For the first time, I didn’t have to face my struggles alone. When you vowed in becoming my soul-mate, you stood up to the plate in becoming a loving daddy to my children. Although the roads have been bumpy, the ride has been exhilarating.
The route may not always be smooth, but the pathway is attainable because of your steadfastness. With every twist and turn, I find strength while learning to lean on your shoulders. In your arms, there is shelter in the midst of the rainstorms and warmth from the frigid winds.
You believed in me before I believed in myself. I am not afraid to be me when I am with you. Your laughter is music to my ears. When I look at you, I see the love in your eyes still twinkling … for me.
I want to thank you, babe, for all the years by my side. I pray that God grants us many more to come. I appreciate you, admire you, and love you more today than I did yesterday. I thank God for making us one, knowing that together we will weather the storms.
Your soothing voice calms my fears; your gentle touch chases away my tears.
Your strength is my abiding force; your soothing words, my guiding source.
© M.A. Perez 2016, All Rights Reserved
He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.
~ Bob Marley
“I always did love you, just had too many problems.”
Ten words on ink and paper.
Handwritten by her.
Pierces my heart.
Does she know I exist? Or care? Or want me?
I love her, look up to her; want to be her.
Isn’t love also a verb?
Grandparents notice. Embrace me. Love me.
They say I am worthy and special.
I am not allowed to stay.
Said I might become spoil.
I leave home. Searching for Mr. Right.
Run to him at sixteen. Happily ever after.
Young. Naïve. Taken for granted.
Thinks to mold me into his image.
His way or the highway.
Motherhood. Baby having babies.
Crawl before walk. Stumble. Fall.
Clinging unto a strand, unraveling.
Years overlap. Encumbering.
Emotions are numb.
Hubby seeks greener pastures.
Two-timer. Tosses me to the wolves.
Water not missed until the well is dry.
Alone. They’ve aged. Reaching out.
Across the miles, calling my name.
Vowing eternal devotion.
Grown children look back.
Open arms. Nostalgic.
Rebuild the fences.
Dying to live.
In times of happiness, embrace your beloved.
In times of calamity, hold them closer.
Love isn’t love until you give it away.
God grants life.
And second chances.
~ Poem written by Mary A. Pérez ~
© M.A. Pérez 2016, All Rights Reserved