I Am A Prize

I was having a discussion today with a friend about dating. While I was getting ready to talk about something I’m excited about in life right now, I said, “Guess what?!” He responded with, “You met someone?!” I laughed at this because it seemed like such an absurd concept to me right now. Then I realized what an accomplishment that feeling is!

I’ve talked about being a serial dater in blogs in my past, but it’s something I’ve strayed away from in the last several years. I’ve done better with taking longer breaks between relationships, and this is a good thing. What is new though is that I’m suddenly truly not focused on that desire to be with someone at all. There are things in my life that I want to accomplish first. So when my friend guessed that I had met someone, I realized that I’m not hoping for that to happen. I told him that I actually WANT some time this time. I’m truly focused on God, on myself, on my writing, and on my kids. I want to get more of my life in order, everything from growing in God, to finances being more straightened out, to increasingly better self-care (I’ve lost 35 pounds since August). I’m busy falling in love with myself all over again. I told my friend that I want to have things so together that when I do meet someone new, I want him to say to himself, “Gosh, this chick has her life so together and is on fire for God. I NEED to make her mine.” I need to be a catch. I don’t want there to be a single ounce of desperation about me. I want to be good all on my own, because eventually when I am dating again, it’s not just for fun. I am looking for and deserving of a husband. That desperation in my past has allowed me to be prey for men that are not good and don’t have the same values, and I’m finally done repeating my past. During conversations with two others recently, I had to admit that I’ve been so heartbroken and hurt for so long, that I have no choice but to to recognize that my own choices are allowing this. It’s time for a completely new game plan.

My self-esteem these days has already soared higher than it’s ever been. I’ve been doing things the “right” way; I’ve been going to church, diving into the Word, taking care of my body, being more present with my children, and more. I refuse to be an easy target again for the weak that hunt the wounded. Realizing today that I don’t just not have my hopes up, but that I actually desire time to heal and work on me is an incredible, monumental, and pivotal moment in my life. I recently said on Facebook that right now appears to be the first time I have ever been succeeding in my struggles instead of succumbing to them. Today was yet another reminder of this.

I feel true happiness right now. I have set new goals and a plan to obtain them. I am feeding my soul and not just my body. I am a prize, and someday in the future, there’s going to be a man so happy to “win” me.


Blessings In Redemption

I’ve recently started talking about coming back to God. After spending the last year in some pretty hardcore rebellion, it was a big deal to not just turn back to Him, but to do so with such earnest effort. I have given myself over to Him and my entire life is up in the air with change right now because of it.

One deciding factor in my decision was the need for His comfort. My entire adult life, I have carried around grief, shame, guilt, and heartache. I have been through domestic violence abuse, the death of a child, drug abuse, sexual assault, and so much more. I have carried layers of pain with me through it all. Going back to church, I’ve been like an onion. Each Sunday that I walk through those doors, layers of all of those bad things peel off. Each Sunday, I cry tears of relief and joy. I serve a mighty Savior that says I don’t need to carry any of that stuff anymore. By his blood, I am redeemed. Redemption! What a mighty concept!!

While I’ve been attending church every Sunday, I’ve also been going to a church class every Thursday night. This is a first for me. I’ve never before tried so hard to immerse myself in church and with other Christians. For the first time in my life, I’m finally adjusting my personal choices to follow Christ. I’m finally acutely aware of my choices in music, television, social interactions, and more. I want nothing more than to follow Him, fall in love with Him, get deep into His word, and become close with His people. My entire life depends on it.

Well, I recently told a couple friends that I felt like righting my walk with God is going to allow some major blessings to fall together in my life. I have some big goals, and I have a major sense of peace that He is going to allow those things to happen now. But…it gets better. Get this…

I was at my class on Thursday, which opens with first prayer and then we stand to sing a worship song together. Randomly, at the beginning of the song, I felt like God was telling me out of the blue, “Focus on me, and I will give you the deepest desires of your heart.” I was startled as I’m not one to frequently claim that I feel God talking to me, but I knew the word was from Him. You see, there are two big things that matter to me. These things matter so much that if you know me personally, you know them.

One thing that I deeply desire is a life partner. I don’t just desire someone to share affection or dates with, but I desire a husband. I desire a deep love and an entire life together of partnership, love, affection, adoration, support, humor, and so much more. I was born a lover, and I believe this is from Him. It is a desire deeply ingrained in me, and I believe it is that way for a reason. I also believe there is a reason that nothing before has panned out, because I was not walking with God, and I was not conducting my life in a manner to attract someone I truly deserve–a loving, God fearing, Christ worshiping, manly man. I deserve so much more than I have EVER settled for in the past. I believe that God has the perfect man in store for me, and I just need to be living the life that He wants and focused on God for me to find him.

The second and probably equal thing that I desire so deeply is to start writing books. I truly believe that I have a natural gift and talent for writing, and even when I have strayed from God, I have felt that my gift has always been meant to bring glory to Him. I have always felt that I am meant to reach out and speak hope and love into the lives of women that feel broken in life by the ways I have felt broken, and what better way to speak hope than to have my own personal testimony of brokenness healed by Him?! I have tried to start my first book so many times over the years and have always hit a wall. A few years ago, I finally accepted that this was because of the reasons I just stated, but I selfishly stayed where I was anyway. This is about to change–I declare it in the Lord’s name!

So with this newfound encouragement, with this new peace from Him and my church, I intend to press forward. I am going to keep cleaning up my life, I am going to keep focusing on the Lord, and I am going to dig deeper into the relationships that I should have with God and others and have faith that I am well on my way to life changing events in His time. I know I am going to have these things like my lungs know how to breathe. I don’t have to worry anymore. I am redeemed, and in that, I am blessed.  Praise God!


I’m Done Breaking My Own Heart

I have opened this blog and tried to get my words out several times over the last 3 weeks, and I have struggled. I finally got to a point where I realized I just needed to start over. I had much more selfish motives when it began, and I knew that I needed to begin again from a place of a more open heart. So, in true soul baring, truth telling, heart bleeding Moonshine Niki fashion, here goes…

Sometimes we break our own hearts, and I know this well because I am the queen of it. We tend to have this picture in our heads of what situations, people, and life in general should look like, and when life doesn’t turn out the way we expect it to, we get hurt. We are stubborn. We are short-sighted. We get in our own way.



So while I had a jumbled mix of thoughts and feelings that I was trying to get out in this blog when I started it, I couldn’t seem to articulate my thoughts. I couldn’t get my words out in a way that flowed and made sense because of some extreme stress and emotion going on. I have had all of the puzzle pieces in my mind, fragmented thoughts and feelings, but the chaos was not allowing me to fit it all together into words. Then, something amazing happened. I had several back to back realizations two weekends ago.


My life has had a foundation of faith and having a relationship with Christ since I was young. This was something that was previously incredibly important to me, but I’ve spent the last year or so in varying stages of rebellion and even disbelief. I wrote about all of this in Losing My Religion?. Despite having decided that I needed to stop running from God, I didn’t really do much to change it and run back. A large part of this was because I was caught up in my own rebellion, and my behavior has been anything but Christlike.

I’m a pretty transparent person, the kind of person the phrase “what you see is what you get,” was made for. I am the first to admit my own flaws and faults, so believe me when I say that I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong and point out the error of my own ways. I do not feel I’m better than anyone else. In fact, I would be the first to point out that I’m in dire need of a savior…but I’ve been running from him.

I have had some big heartaches in my lifetime, and I’ve experienced yet another recently, and it was suddenly in this heartache that it hit me like a ton of bricks–I need to run back to God! I have been breaking my own heart by running from Him, by living an increasingly worldly life, and by choosing to give my body and heart to men that do not deserve it, do not respect me, and will never be a part of my future. I have broken my own heart by being selfish, choosing to ignore what God wants for me, and making poor choices.


In these last 3 weeks, I have made some big changes. I have started attending church again, to start. Not only that, but I have joined a church group on Thursday nights that is focused on growing faith. I have been a baby christian my entire life, and I know that it’s time to change that. I have also been changing what I’m allowing into my heart and mind. I have begun cleaning up my personal Facebook account and leaving groups I shouldn’t be in and unfollowing pages that aren’t healthy for me. I have been more aware of what I’m watching on television and more aware of what music I’m listening to. Beyond that, I’ve made the decision to put Christ first in my life and begin living the way that I am supposed to.

One big recent change is that I’ve made the decision to be celibate. My biggest heartbreaks have come from being attached to men I don’t belong with. It is in my nature to be a lover, so I fall easily. I’m tired of those hurts. It’s time to be focused on my walk with God, being a better mom, and being a better friend. I am not meant to be anyone’s temporary lover. I am meant to be one Godly man’s wife. I am not focused on finding that right now, but when the time comes, I will know that it is the right thing for me.

I have to take better care of me. I have to nurture my relationship with the Lord. I also can say that I have an extreme faith that righting my walk with God is going to allow some major blessings to fall into place that I’ve been desperately wanting. I feel that true love will eventually come. I feel that once I can use my talent of writing to glorify God, the book I’ve been wanting to write so badly will come to me. My biggest goal in life is to help bring hope to people, specifically women, that have felt broken by life in the ways that I’ve felt broken. What better way to bring hope with my writing than for it to be a personal testimony that encourages people to reach out to God?! I have this unexplained faith that while life is never going to be a simple cakewalk, this path that I am currently on is going to be absolutely life changing in the best ways and is going to have a lifelong impact.

So now, I can honestly say that I’m grateful for this most recent heartbreak because through that hurt and pain, it has set me straight and gotten me back in the direction I need to be headed. I’m done breaking my own heart. Thank God!



An Open Book

I saw a meme on Facebook that said something like, “I’m an open book in a world full of people that don’t read.” This speaks loudly to me as I can relate so well. I’m so much different from most of those around me. I’m a deep feeler surrounded by those that are numb. I’m a master communicator surrounded by those that just remain silent when I so badly just need to hear their words. So what do I do? I hold so much inside. I hold it inside until it feels like it’s all going to make me crazy. I hold it in while it eats my soul. I quietly cry tears of loneliness and frustration in the dark. I privately meltdown feeling I’m just too much for others. Then, I do the only thing I know how to do to cope, and I write.

The biggest problem in all of this is that there is just no changing it. I can’t water myself down. I have no idea how to be any different than the intensely feeling, fiercely loving, caring with my entire heart woman I am. Sometimes I feel like that is empowering, and other times, I feel like it is a lifelong punishment. I can’t help but wonder if this is every really going to pay off, or if I’m just going to spend my life with this complex heart that no one truly understands…

I don’t have much choice in anything though, other than choosing to try to be positive, choosing to keep my hope and faith intact, choosing not to allow the world to make me bitter, and choosing to continue writing. The rest of life is left up to powers bigger than mine. One thing is certain, I’m just always going to be that open book, and maybe someday, that open book can become a real written book and will make an impact on others for the better. This is my biggest life goal.

So, here’s to the open books…

*Photo from J. Warren Welch*


Strong in Faith and Weak in Love

Oh how many times will my fingers make love to these keys and speak of the same tender soul…? My guess is that it will happen for as long as I have the strength to type. I am the strongest and yet, most weak person I know, and as far as I can tell, it’s never going to change.

I have to fight hard to not be ruled by my emotions in life. I feel big and it can take over at times. My mind says one thing, but it’s like a whisper. Then my heart says another, and it’s a full on roaring scream. My heart is always louder than my mind, and this gets me into some trouble sometimes.

I don’t know how to be any different. I tell my heart to cool it, but she is stubborn and fierce and a force to be reckoned with all on her own. When I care for someone, I feel it with all of my soul. I feel for their hurts and pain, I feel for their big life moments, I feel for their fears, and I always desire seeing and loving the dark parts they keep hidden from the world. I’m a nurturer and a lover to my core and always just want to love other’s hurts whole. It is somehow intensely in my DNA to love others even though I’m so very much cut from a different cloth emotionally from my biological parents.

When I get close to someone, my emotions take on a snowball effect. I start off small and just have a piqued interest. But as a connection grows stronger, my emotions grow with it. The more emotional intimacy there is, the stronger it is. The more physical intimacy is added to that, then the emotion is even stronger. The snowball grows and I lose control over being able to keep my heart in check. My head whispers for me to stop it, but my heart is screaming about my poets soul and being a hopeless romantic and just imagine  all of the wonderful possibilities…. The heart wins. And sometimes–that means the heart hurts.

Do you want to know the craziest part of this all? I never give up. I’ve been hurt deeply so many times, and I just never give up. I’m made to love and so that is what I do. I have a deep-seated faith that it will pay off one day, and maybe even soon. And when it does, it will make every hurt up to that point worth it. Strong in faith and weak in love…that is me.



Life Lessons In Death Dreams

Years ago, after my daughter passed away, I was diagnosed with PTSD. Sadly, my worst symptom is nightmares. Over the years, it has gotten better, and I don’t suffer from the nightmares nearly as much as I used to, but when they happen, they have a big impact.

I had one last night that was so intense, I thought I was going to throw up from the intensity of the feelings that I woke up with. I had a very detailed dream that I was going to die. In the dream, I knew I had a date coming up that I was going to be killed. I didn’t want to die, but somehow it was going to happen, and I didn’t have a choice. I scrambled trying to get my affairs in order. I dreamt of taking my middle son shopping for all of his favorite clothes. I remember thinking that it didn’t matter how much money I spent because there was nothing I needed money for once I was gone. It brought me joy to see the happiness in his face, and I was trying to memorize every second of our time together hoping I could take it with me in my afterlife. I dreamt of holding my daughter and bawling my eyes out, trying to tell her what was happening and teach her every life lesson I could think of that she would need living without her mama. In the dream, I stayed off of my Facebook until it was time to do my final status to say goodbye to the world, wanting to leave words of wisdom behind. I remember desperately not wanting to leave and not wanting to be without my children, and hoping that in Heaven, the time would pass quickly until they were with me too. I was terrified and full of sadness. In all of this, I was suddenly faced with the fact that I had wasted so much time in my life. My focus hadn’t been where it should be, I hadn’t cherished my children enough, my life was wasted, and it was too late to change anything.

I woke up in tears and breathless this morning, praising Jesus that it was just an awful dream. Even as I write this, there are tears streaming at the memory of how it all felt. I got out of bed and just wanted to hold my kids tightly. As I was driving them to the bus stop this morning, I was thinking about the lessons here. I’m NOT dying right now. While I have wasted time in my life, I can change that now. I can refocus and make the time I have count. I can’t go back and change any of my yesterdays, but I can change today and keep that change up for my tomorrows. Life is not guaranteed, and this nightmare was a lesson in being present here in the present.

A friend of mine posted a status on Facebook this morning talking about similar points as this post, and she said, “You’re sitting there banking at the hope of your tomorrow; an uncertain future. Live your life, now, while there’s time. Stop putting your happiness into a savings account. Spend it, daily, while you still can. Love, now, enthusiastically. It’s the investment with the largest return.”

I can make my time count now. I can watch less television, spend less time on social media, spend more quality time with my kids, spend less time waiting for the weekend and more time finding happiness in each day, and spend less time wallowing in misery and more time working towards goals. We’ve all heard that saying that life is short, and this is true. The older I get, the more quickly the time passes, and I want to make the most of it.

So, okay, Universe, duly noted. Thank you for this necessary reminder. In this death dream, I’m reminded that I need to live life.