I Said Yes… Twice

20 Feb

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Three years ago, I wrote about the panic that settled in my heart whenever I would think about weddings. The bitterness that used to overwhelm me when I would see my friends get engaged and thinking, “when is it my turn?” was revealed then. It was the disappointment that somehow I was not good enough to get married back when, but I was definitely not ready for that commitment. So, looking back on it now,  I am incredibly glad that God spoke me and told me, “Don’t you dare.”

Andrew and I had been dating already about two years and I was starting to get a little antsy. I started glorifying the whole engagement because I started seeing people who got together after us, get engaged and even get married. It started to bother me that he was dragging his feet on marrying me and keeping all of my amazing-ness to himself for the rest of his life.

So, I looked into pre-engagement counseling. Yes, that’s a real thing, okay? Through counseling I learned I was rushing God’s timing, but Andrew also did not have a real reason for him to not propose. The main purpose of the counseling was to see where we were in maturity about our expectation of why we wanted to get engaged in the first place. I wanted status. He wanted to just wait. He is incredibly patient and sometimes that means he walks very slowly towards some goals. This is where he evens me out.

So after a few months of pre-engagement counseling, we were going through the checklist together and realized everything we needed to be on the same level with was met… so we got engaged the next day.


The Proposal

May 22, 2015: So let me be transparent about this. Although we did have the proposal at the place where we had our first date, there was a “pre-proposal” just before then.

As romantic and planned out as I wanted my proposal to be (you know, you see how every other guy plans out some deliberate plan to sweep a woman off her feet) I got something very low-key but very beautiful in itself.

I went to get my nails done, since we had a long weekend ahead of us with his family in town. I figured it had been a while since I pampered myself and wanted to really look pretty. I went home, took a shower and got dressed in some sweatpants, an old ratty t-shirt, and a towel on my head drying my hair. As I come out of the bathroom, Andrew is sitting on the bed, and he calls me over. He grabs my hand and tells me,

These last two years have been some of the best years of my life. We have had our ups and downs and I know there were times when we didn’t know if we were going to make it, but I know God made it all possible and here we are. Better than ever and stronger than ever.

And as he is saying this I’m thinking, “Oh my God. Is he really doing this while I’m in sweatpants?”

I love you and I love the kids. I want to be here for you and for them for the rest of my life. Will you marry me?

Of course, I smile and I start tearing up a little bit and I say yes.

Sure, it was not the huge extravagant event I imagined I wanted, but it was still perfect. Low-key, simple, to the point, and completely emotional. Andrew reflected on the goodness of our love and he let me know that he wanted to experience that for the rest of his life.

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Although his proposal was perfectly us I did ask for one thing… that we reenact the proposal at where we had our first date, surrounded by family and he complied. I said yes, TWICE. And both times were perfect, but I will always cherish the moment where I was in my realest form; sweat pants and my hair in a towel, because it is what defines our relationship: casual and honest. Sometimes reality can be so much better than the dream because it’s authentic and not scripted. I know that nothing needs to be done extravagantly, just excellently. And I have got an excellent man of God. Everything he does to show me his love is done with excellence. What more could I ask for? Nothing. And even if I asked for it he is always sure to try his best to give it to me.

What was your proposal like (if you are married)? What is your dream proposal? How did the two differ?

Until next time, be blessed.

~ ♥ Athena

Introduction

19 Feb

IMG_20160210_105543Hello. My name is Athena. I am a 32-year-old Honduran-American woman, living in Florida. I am a mom to three children, ages 7 to 13. I was raised by both my parents, who remain married today. I graduated high school, and only went to college for a short time not gaining my degree. I love music, writing, dancing, singing, running, and food. I enjoy spending time with friends, laughing and watching movies. I am a great cuddler. I’m a business owner and entrepreneur (or trying to be!) and am working on the vision God gave me a long time ago. 

It is a pleasure to meet you!


This may sound like I’m trying to fill out my profile intro for some cheesy online dating site, but this is my reintroduction to you here on the blogosphere. I have been on a long hiatus, sporadically throwing a few things your way here and there, but inconsistently teasing you with my presence. I apologize for that.

I have been busy. Finding myself. Working on my relationships. Working full-time. Mothering full-time. I have invested a lot of time to just being away from my writing because for a while I was mentally constipated when it came to subject matter that would appeal to you all. Frankly, I see now, that whatever I may write, be it interesting or gibberish, writing something would be better than depriving myself the creative flow God has created me to master.

I believe I already told you all I became a Christian recently, right? Yup. You read that correctly: Athena got all sold out for Jesus Christ.

You can find more info on that here.

Since coming to Jesus and getting saved, I have found more joy in my life. Yes, there is still struggle with the same things that everyone else does being saved and all, but I find more peace in those struggles. Problems do not just go away, but I deal with them a little better now that I did before. I am still working on some things within myself to be a better blessing to others. 

My life is good. I trust it will only get better. 

What about you? Who are you now? Who am I writing to? I’d love to meet you. Leave an introduction in the comments so that we can get to know each other because I’d love to hear your story, as well. 

To God be all the glory, in the matchless name of Jesus, God bless you all. 

Good day. 

Before & After

21 Apr

There was a person that I used to be. That person was a cheater, liar, mean and hateful, spiteful and vengeful, and all kinds of other things. I was not a good anything. I was going through life selfishly worrying about what I needed.

Enter Christ, stage left.

I came to Christ at a very low point in my life. And since getting a new start by becoming a Christian and putting all my faith into Jesus, I have been able to walk a new path.

Yet, some still doubt my change. They believe that who I am is still who I was. I was made new in Christ. I am not that girl who hurt people. I am not that girl who intentionally is bad. I still make mistakes. I still trip up and falter on the path I’m on. I’m human. I’m allowed to. By God’s good grace and mercy I am able to repent and truly try to walk faithfully again.

There are times when the devil will approach me in human form, trying to bring my past back up. Trying to say, God remembers all your mistakes, all your dirt, and all you’ve ever done.

Devil, you may try to use people to remind me of who I was, but God will let them see who I am now. The devil is a liar and will try to confuse your thoughts to make you think you’re not worthy. He will use people to make you think that the dark spots in your life are there permanently, or hidden underneath a certain false facade. But you better know, like I know, we are made clean in the blood of Christ. He didn’t die for us that we may be depressed about our circumstances. We are not to dwell on who we were. Sure, we don’t forget where we came from, but rejoice in the new person you are in Christ.

When the world wants to remind you of a past that isn’t perfect, remember this:

God made you perfect. Perfect for your purpose. He is still molding you. He is the potter. You are the clay. Remember that you don’t live for the world. You live for God. You don’t live for the people who want to trip you up on what you once were. Be reminded and comforted that the Lord has cast your sins as far from the east is from the west. Your sins are forgotten and you are forgiven by God. People may not forgive you, but are they the ones who are blessing you abundantly? Are they pouring out blessings from the Windows of heaven for all you do for God’s kingdom? No, right?

So pick your head up, child. You are loved by an awesome, merciful God. He’s the one you need to please. You can talk to people about how you’ve changed but nothing speaks louder than actions. Don’t waste your breath trying to convince unbelievers of who you are in Christ. Just live right, live for God and glorify Him in all you do.

I’m glad you knew the person I was back then and all that I was. You can and will see the difference in who I am now. And even if you don’t, I know who I am in Christ who strengthens me, and I don’t need your approval. I am a kings daughter. His approval is all I need ever again… the rest will follow accordingly.

So if you think it hurts to tell me who I was, well, it just reminds how far I’ve come in my walk… and I laugh and smile because I’m truly filled with joy.

Don’t let anyone steal your joy. You are blessed and fearfully and wonderfully made by God. That’s enough to know that the opinion of men is the least of your worries.

God bless you all, and be encouraged that God is amazing and can do great things with even the least of us.

Athena ❤

I Have Enough.

17 Apr

This morning, I woke up and picked up my phone. Scrolled through emails and opened up a daily devotional I have that comes in every morning.

It was about having enough. Knowing what you already have is enough. Sometimes we sit in our house and it’s not so new anymore. She focused on her carpet in this instance… my carpet could desperately use a cleaning and I do think about how nice it would be to have new carpet or a bigger house or better furniture… but that’s not the point of writing this.

I can look on Instagram and Facebook and see my friends getting flowers from their boyfriends or their boyfriends posting #womancrushwednesday photos of them and think, “Hmm, my boyfriend hasn’t done that in a really long time.”

My boyfriend hasn’t bought me flowers in a long time. I think the last time was Mother’s Day. But then I start to feel sad, and not enough because some other girl is getting flowers and I haven’t. Or he doesn’t plaster me all over his social media praising my name all over to shout to the world his adoration of me (second to God, of course) and I get discouraged… maybe I’m not pretty enough. Maybe he doesn’t look at me like that anymore.

Honestly, my boyfriend has never been the one to be over-the-top on expressions of love outwardly on a public platform. He’s a private guy, so I know this and I don’t get why I sometimes feel like “woe is me” over stuff I’m used to.

I have enough.

God provided me with a man who focuses on our priorities, not plastering things all over social media. He gets business taken care of. I don’t ever have to worry if he’s coming home after work or if he’s out involved in some nonsense.

He loves me. Some days, our relationship gets tested, but we I communicate and get him to open up about stuff if something seems off in the home. We don’t hide anything.

So what if that guy gives her flowers every day, I have a man who takes care of my children as his own especially when I have to work late. So what if they went on a fancy vacation, I have a great home and we do other events and fun stuff. Vacations will come eventually. So what if they look happy, we don’t know what they can be struggling with. We don’t know if that girl trusts that man completely and effortlessly.

We see exes and get sad, like that should have been me. No. If it was supposed to be you, it would have worked out. Maybe God had to take that out of your way to get you on the right path. Maybe it wasn’t for you. We get so caught up on someone else’s happiness that we forget why we got out of it in the first place. He didn’t want to be a step-dad, or she wouldn’t give up her drinking and club-going lifestyle.

We see our enemies living successful lives, but we don’t know how they got there. We don’t know who they walked all over, who they cut off to get where they are.

What I do know is, I have enough. I have exactly what God has provided me and I am happy in my life. Sure, flowers would be nice once in a while, but I’m really not a flower person. My boyfriend knows me. And I’m sure if he knows how to surprise me it would be a stationary related-gift (hint hint). Or jewelry… I’ll take jewelry. Or a new bible. But he knows how to get to me.

My house may not be a mansion, but its my home with my kids and my future fiancee. It is what we built together as a team. For me to think that this is not enough is to diminish all that he does for us. To say that he isn’t enough and that’s just not true. Some days, we go through the motions. Busy days, kids homework, dinner, laundry, bible study, bedtime routines. But when I lay my head down at night, I know I am in great hands with the man I’m choosing to spend the rest of my life with.

Don’t let the shoulda-coulda-woulda’s make you feel like your life isn’t enough. It is. So long as you change your perspective.

Maybe it’s just time to rent a carpet cleaner and get that carpet back in shape. Maybe it’s time to congratulate the ex on his new relationship (in your heart, not in person… that’s a whole other blog) or maybe be thankful you don’t have that job the other successful person has because you know that it truly is work you’re not even cut out for.

Be thankful for your life. God gave you this life.

You didn’t marry the wrong guy. You didn’t buy the wrong house. You didn’t choose the wrong career. Look at all your experience as a positive tool to help you through your next step in God’s process.

I have enough. You have enough. Don’t look at someone else’s circumstances and think you have less. The devil is a liar and he will make you think it’s all nice and shiny, but it isn’t. Don’t give up on your enough because of a difficult circumstance. Fight harder to make it all that you thought it would be when you chose it. Clean the carpet. Rekindle the romance. Take pride in your dead end job. Do it for the glory of God. It’ll change your attitude dramatically.

You are enough. God made you enough. Trust it.

God bless you all until next time and always,

Athena ❤

Sometimes, No is a Good Thing

16 Apr

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you could cry when you didn’t get it?

Like, when you are a little one and you want a piece of cake, but mommy says no? You know, you don’t care that it will ruin your appetite for dinner, or you already had a piece earlier. It’s not important that mommy doesn’t want you to be unhealthy and allow you to eat whatever is not good for you, but you want cake! And you must have it NOW.

We don’t appreciate what our parents do for us when we are that young. I am constantly saying no to my children to things that they do not need. Or what can hurt them. I say yes when it is merited, but when I say no it’s because there is a very good and sane reason for why they shouldn’t have it.

God is the same way.

I have wanted things in my life that could have led me down terrible paths. But God said, “No, my dear child. That is not for you.” Did I want to listen? Of course not. And when I would stray from his direction I’d find out why it wasn’t for me. I spent a long time not listening to God and it led me down some crooked paths that took me longer to get here to where I am now.

God saying no is not Him telling you that you don’t deserve it. It’s not God telling you that you are not worthy of that thing you desire. It is God telling you, it just is not for you because He has something destined for you. Most of the time, what He has is so much better for you. Like, you getting a hamburger when there was a steak waiting for you instead.

Maybe, just maybe, if I would have listened to my instinct (Holy Spirit’s deep desire in me to lead me in the right direction) I might have avoided the mountain I walked around. I would have avoided that dry desert filled with vipers, thirst, and hunger. I would have avoided many years of trying to make something that wasn’t meant for me work. I could have spared myself and many others so much trouble, had I just followed the instinct that things would be better elsewhere.

God told me no to certain things, certain relationships. God told me no long before I knew He was, but I was lost and didn’t listen. I was lost and didn’t hear Him.

Have you ever felt like something inside you was telling you NOT to do something? Have you thought about maybe, just maybe, this instinct tugging at my heart is a NO I just don’t want to accept? I have spent my whole life ignoring the no’s in my heart and making mistake after mistake.

Sometimes, NO is a good thing. Sometimes, NO is the right answer. I’ve applied to jobs that didn’t work out. God knew I wanted this job, but was it in line with the purpose he set for me? Probably not… but I thanked God anyway. Turns out, the hours were unforgiving and did not leave flexibility for me to be with my children. That friendship I thought I couldn’t live without, was dragging me down and holding me back.

Have some patience to know that God is working behind the scenes on the NO to make it time for a YES to something even greater in your life. That NO can save your life. Save you time, Save your energy. Save you from heartache. Just save you from what isn’t meant for you.

Take the no’s of life in stride. Shrug your shoulders, raise your hands, say thanks to God and then just wait. It’s not your time. Sometimes, sitting back and watching as what your NO reveals that it really wasn’t what you thought it was makes you even more grateful.

Thanks God for saying no to me when I thought I needed something. Turns out it looked better than it really was and you saved me from walking through another desert, and around a mountain for a long time for not listening. You are an awesome God.

Let no be an answer you can accept, ladies and gentlemen. Sometimes, it’s the best answer… you just may not know it yet.

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