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!


Burning Bridges

“Are we soulmates?” He asked late one night during one of our many deep conversations where we connected heart to heart. I felt my body flush with emotion. I was so happy to have met someone that seemed so much like me. I was filled with so much hope. He was sweet and kind, he read every blog I wrote and told me when he read Dear Future Lover that it was going to make him fall for me. I felt safe to be me. I felt we were kindred spirits.

Over the months of our connection, we progressed in our intimacy. We agreed at the beginning that we were just feeling things out. I was fresh out of a breakup, but that was nothing compared to him being fresh out of a marriage with a woman he’d been with for 17 years. We connected so easily and so quickly though, that even while guarded, I allowed it and had hope. I thought we were moving slowly. We went from having a drink together to sleepovers and coffee in the mornings on the weekends. We talked every day all day. We saw each other every single weekend for months. We spent the holidays together; he came to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner, I cooked Christmas dinner at his house, and we went out together on New Year’s Eve. We took dozens of photos together, went grocery shopping together, and appeared in public as if we were a couple. While I knew that we were not a couple, I believed heart and soul that we were on our way there.

Before I knew it, I was in love with him. I woke up the day after Thanksgiving knowing it and cried out of fear and just from overwhelming emotion. I’ve written over and over here about my tender heart, how I am lover, a nurturer by nature, and ruled by my emotions. My heart is never that much of a secret. I tried to hold it all in anyway though because I didn’t want to scare him away. I knew that he wasn’t where I was at, and I wanted to give him time. So much pointed to that happening, so I swallowed my love, over and over…until it began to choke the life out of me.

You see, we had a few times where he told me that we were just friends. I am guilty of ignoring that, but he made it so easy to ignore. His words on the subject were so few and far between, and no matter the few times that he told me that, all of his actions pointed to the opposite. There were times I asked for clarity, asked for him to tell me if there was no hope…he would say that we would talk, he would come over, I would cook dinner for him, we would have drinks, and then no talk would happen. We were caught up in feeling happy, in enjoying each other’s company, and the night would end with us in a loving embrace. I knew he was scared, I knew he was confused, and I assumed by reading his actions that it would all be okay. And it was…until it wasn’t.

I felt him pulling away and getting more distant. I ignored it. He was still seeing me every weekend and talking to me every day, so that meant we were okay, right? Wrong. I’ve said many times that I’m the kind of person that you have to just be bluntly honest and tell me what you are thinking because I won’t pick up on hints. This is not entirely true though. One huge problem I’ve realized while contemplating all of this over the last couple of days is that I don’t trust my intuition. I second guess and doubt myself. I lie to myself and tell my own heart that things are fine and I’m overthinking and overreacting. So, when I finally pressed for a real answer while face to face several weeks ago about what we were doing, a big part of me was not shocked to see his face fall when I asked. I knew the answer was not going to be what I wanted. I had spent months in love with a man that a part of me KNEW was using me as a stepping stone woman. His words confirmed my fears.

I couldn’t hold my love inside anymore though. It was eating my heart more and more by the day. I couldn’t handle seeing flirting on Facebook anymore. I couldn’t handle drama that was popping up in his life and where I was beginning to look foolish to others because while I was focused on him, he was very much still acting single in private and people began to assume that we were in a relationship and he was cheating. I had to set my fears aside and face reality. I needed to know where I stood. I couldn’t choke on my love for another day more.

He told me he wasn’t in a place to commit. He was vague. I asked him to just hurt me and tell me there was no hope if there wasn’t any, because we both knew I would just keep hoping without those words. He refused to say that too. I was left without much clarity. I was just as confused as ever, only this time with pain in my heart. We were back to just friends. Only…that didn’t last long either.

*The bigger heartbreak…*

The friendship I so desperately wanted to keep, the friendship I so much cherished appeared to be a farce. So quickly, the contact began to dissipate. The very first weekend after our talk, he was with another woman. It hurt like hell, but I had to be accepting. It was clear we weren’t meant to be lovers. What I was completely unprepared for though was the fallout that was yet to come.

Ignored messages… Read messages going without response… Being unfollowed on Facebook… I suddenly felt like I’d lost my best friend. I was stubborn though and refused to just accept it. As a boundary pusher, I continued to push. My heart was hurting, and there seemed to be more layers of hurt being added by the day. I was accepting of the fact there was no longer a romantic component to our relationship, but I truly thought the connection we had was genuine and worth keeping as just friends. I didn’t just love him in a romantic sense. I truly loved him as my friend. I continued to let the hurt feelings and emotion rule me though, and in true Moonshine Niki stubborn fashion, I continued to push.

When I’m caught up in emotion, when I feel like I have to feel out boundaries instead of being told truths in black and white, I get dramatic. I get intense. I get into a spot where it all feels world-ending. Then, sometimes, I burn bridges just to prevent myself from having to try to feel anything out anymore, to prevent myself from being able to go back to something that is not good. So you can imagine where I’m going here… I pushed about my hurt feelings. I pushed about how I felt we weren’t actually friends. I pushed about how much it hurt my heart to be unfollowed on social media, how I felt he’d completely removed me from his life. I pushed until he snapped at me and blocked me.

I stood staring at my phone in shock. I was hurt, but more than hurt, I was suddenly angry, filled with rage. I thought about all I had invested into our friendship. I thought about all of the ways my feelings were hurt. I thought about how I felt wronged. I cried yet again, and then I took my emotionally drained and exhausted self to bed.

But then, I had an incredible realization the next morning. While I felt wronged in many ways (a list I will not go into here for many reasons, including that I still hold some respect for him), I realized that I played a role in my hurt as well. I chose to ignore the warning signs. I chose to ignore his words telling me that we weren’t more serious than friends. I chose to give my body, and consequently, my heart because the two are very much connected for me to a man that was never committed to me. I chose to believe in the good things, while completely and selfishly disregarding the negative. In my pain and anger, I allowed myself to play the role of the victim and completely take away from my own personal accountability. I realized this is a pattern for myself, and one that has to stop. I can’t always be the victim.

Burning bridges is sometimes empowering. Holding myself accountable though, that’s even more empowering. I am in charge of my choices. I am in charge of what I let in my heart, and I am in charge of what I allow to hurt my heart.

There are positives to all of this too. When this began, I was catapulted into sudden personal growth and life change. When I was busy crying over my broken heart, the heart I had completely given to him, I realized I was pursuing the wrong man and men in general. I need to be pursuing the Lord. All of this made me remember and realize that I need to be more focused on taking loving care of myself so that I can take better care of my family.

Life is tough right now, and I won’t lie, losing my person, losing the friend that was my rock in the middle of an ocean trying to drown me, losing the person I shared my heart and soul with every single day for almost 5 months will hurt for a long time. It’s going to take major time and self-reflection to heal. One thing I know already though is that I’m determined to take on more accountability and stop finger pointing from here on out. It’s time to be more of a grownup.

So while I’ve burned yet another bridge in my life, like the cleansing effect of a wildfire, on this fresh ground, I will now build a new stronger foundation for my future. I have only up to go from here.

27459997_1539849156123249_8636745616146410953_n*image from R.H. Sin*

PS If you read this, I will miss your friendship, my dear. Thank you for your part in this eye-opening wake-up call that is going to forever change my life. It hurts, but I know there will come a day where I’m so grateful for it all. Good luck in life, my old friend.




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!



Kindred Spirits

So many times, I have been hurt in major ways. So many times, I’ve given my heart to others, platonically and romantically, and been burned. So many times, I’ve felt like my tender heart was a major downfall and weakness. Somehow though, I always wake up still full of love, hope, and determination. I just cannot change.

What this crazy intense heart of mine craves the most in life is connection with others. I thrive on it. As a nurturer, my heart loves to love and care for others. Unfortunately, this has also caused so many hurts because others’ hearts usually are nowhere near like mine. But…one time in my entire life, I have met another person that seems to mirror my own heart so much. He is so much like the male version of me…tender, full of love, strong, soft, loyal, nurturing, trusting, a true giver, an incredibly pure heart despite so much pain endured.

I met this man at a time where in both of our lives, our hearts were hurting. One chance meeting turned into conversation that quickly grew into many conversations and emotional intimacy. The comfort of another that is so much like me is almost indescribable. To be able to spend time talking, bonding, laughing, and healing together is one of the biggest blessings I’ve had in so very long.

Through my own tender heart, I’ve realized how precious other tender hearts are. When I can recognize a sweet soul so much like my own, I realize that this is a person and friendship that I just can’t let go of. Over the last several months, as I’ve endured bumps in the road, he has been my person. He is the one I want to run to with everything exciting, and he is the one I want to run to when something hurts. Just as much as he’s been there for me, I’ve also been there for him. We’ve had each other’s backs and been a rock for each other where others are trying to build foundations of sand. We are kindred spirits, and he blesses my life more than I can ever express in just a few hundred words.

If you have someone in your life like this, if someone popped into your head reading these words here, then I’m asking you to tell that person. Tomorrow is never promised and the important people need to be told that they are cherished. Life is short, so embrace the comfort, embrace the friendship, embrace the loving soul that makes you happy. Embrace your kindred spirits.



Recognizing My Own BS

When writing from the heart with truths of one’s own life, that sometimes requires throwing one’s self under the bus. So, in true Moonshine Niki fashion, here goes…

I am selfish. Well, I mean, not all of the time, but in the ways that I am selfish, it’s more of an issue than I would care to admit to. I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while now. You see, at work, I spend a ton of time trudging all over what I affectionately call “the back 40.” Most of my time at work is spent out on the massive property alone, and of course, while alone, this allows for so much thinking time that sometimes I think I’ll make myself crazy. Lately, while doing all of this thinking, I’ve thought a lot about something my sister said when we argued. She had said that I was unable to see a situation beyond my own feelings. In the moment, I totally disregarded it because I’m about as empathetic as they come. Here’s the deal though, once I’m in an emotional state about a situation or a person, she’s totally right.  This was solidified by me when remembering an argument with my longest known friend a while back because she said pretty much the same thing too. I so very much see the situation from how ~I~ feel, and not the other person.

I have made it no secret that I am an emotional person. I get so caught up in how I feel that I can’t see outside of that viewpoint. I am mislead by how I feel and am unable to realize that another isn’t seeing the situation from my view, my emotions, and my heart. I get hurt or angry because I’m only seeing my own point of view. Not only that, but then I selfishly expect others to feel the way that I do, because their hearts should automatically be like mine, right?! *sarcasm*

The worst part of all of this is that I get so caught up in my feelings that I then get upset. I take it as a personal insult. My emotions get carried away and run off with dramatic flair that can only be rivaled by things like a teenage girl finding out the boy she likes has been passing notes with the popular girl in Spanish class. You get the idea. My feelings sometimes make me a little dramatic.

Here’s my big realization though; no one owes me anything. So much of what I set myself up for with being upset is thinking that others owe me something just because of how I feel about them. They don’t though. This realization hit me like a ton bricks this morning when I woke up. It’s been a recent lesson in my life with more than one person, especially my family. The good thing about realizing it though is that I can change myself.

By knowing that there’s nothing owed to me from anyone, I am not setting myself up for letdowns by expectations. I also know that when I do get into those emotional situations, instead of being selfish about what I feel I deserve, I need to take a step back and check myself. I need to remember that others don’t have my exact same heart and feelings, and just because I don’t get the response I feel I deserve does not mean that the other person doesn’t care.

Sometimes the first step to happiness and change is recognizing one’s own faults. The key to a happy life is inside of myself. I absolutely cannot change others, but I can change my own reaction to others. There is power in this realization. Like anyone else, I am constantly learning, constantly growing, and constantly striving to become a better woman than I was the day before. I can choose not to be selfish. I can choose to be more empathetic even when I feel intensely. And mostly, I can choose to recognize my own BS.



Even In Hard Times, Life Is Good

As I’m sitting here on Christmas Eve watching the snow dumping from the sky through the window, while some things in life are really coming together, I feel some pangs of sadness. This last week has been a doozy…

I decided that it would be better to have less money than to continue working 7 days a week, so I quit my second job. It means that money will be tight, but I will have more of a life again. I couldn’t continue on without being completely burnt out. The problem though…within two days of my last shift there, I got a call from the agency that runs the rental I live in. The man told me that the owner is “getting up there in age” and wants to sell some of his rentals, including my home. Not only that, but they wanted to do a walk through with a potential buyer in a couple days. The manager explained that the house was not going on the general market and that they were seeking a private buyer to continue the house being a rental, but when I saw a young family get out of the car for the walk through, I knew it wasn’t good. It was awkward to allow them in to walk through what I feel is MY home, and while I just stayed in the kitchen preparing dinner, I could hear them making comments about different features of the home. I’m fairly certain I need to start looking for a new house now. This crushes me. To explain, I’ve lived in my house almost 8 years. Most of my children’s childhoods have been in this house. Most of our stability as a family has been in this home. And even more importantly, because I’ve been here so long with only one small rent increase, losing this house would mean a HUGE increase in what I will have to pay in rent somewhere else. This is all devastating.

To make this last week even harder, there was another fight with my sister. Just when I was hoping our relationship was on the mend again, it all crumbled in ugliness. This, among many other things, made me decide that I want to do my own Christmas dinner with just my children and I and not go to my family’s dinner. I talked with my kids and asked their opinions, and they were all on board with doing our own thing. Without going all into my family history, it’s impossible to explain how the dynamic is or why this is the best choice for us. Not only do I not feel like writing a book about all of it, but I want to keep some semblance of privacy with it all, so I’m not going to lay it all out here. What I will say is that the decision caused another fallout. During this second fight, my sister pushed the exact buttons she knew would hurt me the most, and so I lost sleep crying over the hurtful words. Every day since this argument, I have had to work hard and not allowing her words to eat at my heart. I have had to remind myself that while I have not made the best choices in life, I’ve come such a long way in the last 10 years and I have every right to be proud of who I am today.

With all of this chaos, with it being Christmas and feeling so alone, I am naturally feeling a little blue. But while there is some sadness, I also have things going on to be happy about. I am reminded again that I have a 100% track record of getting through hard times in life. Things might be a little crazy, there might be some hurts going on, and there might be some tears, but I’m strong. I’m proud. I have so much to be grateful for. The current speed bumps are just that–only speed bumps, and I am still filled with so much fight to keep growing and going up in life. So even though I started typing this blog out with tears in my eyes, I’m ending it feeling empowered, strengthened, and filled with hope and optimism for our new life journeys. I’m going to be all right. In this faith, there is peace. Even in the hard times, life is so good.


And, I mean, snow on Christmas Eve, does life get any more perfect than that?