Beating the Storm

Beating the Storm

The sea roughly pushes the ship towards the angry rocks as they captain struggles to turn the unresponsive wheel, his gruff grunting filling the ears of his crew. The two couples cling to one another as they sit in the belly of the ship and struggle to keep upright as the waves push on either side of the ship while their hearts pound in their chests, eyes wide with fear. Waves crash up against the side of the ship, the gray clouds hovering low in the sky, and the wind screaming at them as it tires to intimidate the small crew of the ship. The sails stretch as far as they can in the wind, nearing their ripping point as they battle to keep together. The captain yells to his crew orders to try to win the fight to save his ship, The Whispering Mermaid. His golden aged brown eyes fill in fear as the rocks loom ahead of them and his heart pounds in his chest at the thought of hitting the rocks, losing his crew, the guests, and his ship.

The waves slam the ship again causing the crew to nearly fall and the couples down below cling to one another as they to try to keep their seats, sliding a bit down the bench seats they are perched on. The angry sky spits out lightning and stronger winds, while the clouds begins to throw heavy rain down on the ship, the sails now bending downward. As he had feared, the Captain watches the storm grows stronger outside the front window, looming over them like an angry god. He turns his solemn golden brown gaze to his crew and wonder if it would even be safe for them to try to escape in the lifeboats with the hungry waves outside. Flashes of light race across the sky as images of the lifeboats being over turned by the monstrous waves frightens the Captain’s mind. Fear and dread makes his heart sink as he stares off to the horizon not sure what he can to in order to save everyone on his doomed ship.

The ship rolls dangerously to the left side then flies back to the right, spilling cold ocean water onto the deck, making it dangerously slippery. The captain feels the wheel slip out of his hands and he crumbles to the ground surrounded by his crew who had also lost their footing after the last tumble in the waves.

And as quickly as the storm had hit them, it vanishes, leaving behind beautiful blue skies and fluffy white clouds with a bright happy yellow sun happily shining down on the battered ship. The crew slowly pick themselves up off of the ground and quickly begin to check one another for injuries before they spread out to check the ship for any damage. They grab tools as they head out in order to take care of the ship while the Captain stands, collecting himself and taking a hold of the wheel in shaking hands. The couples appear on the bridge beside the Captain, visibly shaken by the entire experience, still clinging to one another. He reassured them that everything is okay and that his crew is checking on the ship to make sure that it is fine to get them back to land. The crew returns to let the Captain know that there was a few dings here and there but they have patched up anything that they needed, the ship still floating.

The Captain sighs happily as he turns the wheel so that they can head back to land and to safety. The ship silently cuts through the calm waters, leaving the Bermuda Triangle behind them and the freaky out-of-no-where storm that had hit, the storm vanishing deep inside the Triangle where it will wait for the next ship of plane that carelessly crosses that way. The couples head out onto the deck at the front of the ship, and they each let out sighs of relief as they let the gentler wind brush past them, calming their nerves. The Captain steers the ship back towards the dock so that he can deliver everyone safely away from the thought of another storm that could possibly hit again without warning.

Staying Positive in Relationships

Staying Positive in Relationships

I had the honor to receive an email from a man who loves to write blogs on relationships and the more positive sides of these relationships. We always have those relationships we hear about that are negative and quite a lot of times our media is over taken by stories like this form the rich and the famous. But when we get a glimmer of a positive relationship between anyone, we cling to it and enjoy it for what it’s worth, doing our best to ditch the stereotypical negative relationships. We of course will fight our loved one in any relationship and those fights do make us stronger, but when we look at a negative situation and help turn it into a positive one, then maybe our relationships will grow even stronger than if we just concentrate on the negative parts. So I was pleased when he approached me through my email asking for a story of mine that is positive and will hopefully help others and in turn I asked him a couple of questions so that we can get a glimpse into his mind as to why he wants to have blogs based around positive stories on relationships and couples. Here are not only his answers but his website so that you may go and read is remarkable blogs on couples and their positive relationships and how they are growing together with one another’s help.

And to the blogger Inspireyourmarriage, thank you again for wanting me to be a part of your blogs and for being a part of mine. I truly appreciate it.

What gave you the idea of having stories that are more positive in relationships?

The idea of having stories that are more positive in relationships came from hearing so much negativity and complaining about relationships and marriage. We need positive ways to deal with how to overcome problems in our relationships and positive stories on how other have dealt with a problem in their relationship.

We hear a lot of people complaining about their partner. Then to solve the problem, they resort to negative action. They get mad at their partner, complain, make demands, try to guilt them into meeting a need and resenting certain things about their partner. This frustration is justified, but those actions by themselves rarely solve the problem.

Then they go to their friends about the issue. First, it’s often just to complain or vent to get it off your chest. This is well-intentioned but not often helpful to the relationship and to solving the problem. When you complain about your partner to your friends, you go back to your partner with a sub-conscious negativity about them. Even if you’re just joking to your friends, you still have little negative thoughts about your partner when you see them again. This does not create closeness to them.

Second, if it’s an issue that they want help with, they will ask their friends’ advice on the situation. Their friends may be well-meaning, but can also often hurt the relationship more than help it. The reason is because their friends naturally want to take their side to show they support them. Simply taking their side doesn’t solve the problem. Also, friends don’t see a key ingredient to the marriage – your partner’s actions may simply be reactions to your actions. If your actions change, your spouse’s actions could change.

A classic example of this came from a recent story a wife sent to me. She made a negative assumption about her husband and didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt about something. This led to resentment on her part and negative behavior toward him from her, which only pushed him further away, both emotionally and physically. She tried to talk to her friends for help, which only made things worse. Her friends meant well, but they only received half of the story and vented their own relationship frustrations by taking her side without offering any way to solve the problem.

However, it all changed when she let go of the resentment and started acting more positively toward her husband. His reaction was quick and decisive – he started acting more positively toward her. They finally opened up and talked about what they each need from each other. They tried talking in the past, but because they had not been meeting each other’s needs, they both weren’t willing to budge.

Was it fair that one partner had to take the first step? Maybe not. But you can either be fair and possibly lead to divorce, or you can do what’s unfair and start the process of fixing the relationship.

So we need more stories like this of how couples have fixed problems in their relationship, rather than just venting about how bad their relationship is. Venting is ok once in a while, but don’t confuse venting with actually solving the issue in the relationship.

 

 

What made you want to inspire others through gathering stories of others and their relationships?

My motivation of inspiring relationships was for my own marriage. For years, my wife and I struggled to have a really happy and content marriage. There were a lot of ups and downs. We talked to friends, family, we read books, we went to counseling, and we tried to focus on religious teachings. We did everything and nothing worked. We didn’t have a terrible marriage, but there was just a layer of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in it.

Then I started reading a lot of various internet message boards of people asking for relationship advice. What slowly started to strike me was how people couldn’t see how their own actions were negatively affecting their relationship and likely negatively affecting their partner. We couldn’t see what their partner had to say about the situation, but it was clear their own actions often weren’t helpful to the situation.

It took a while, but I slowly started to see that my actions also weren’t helping my own marital situation. So to understand my own marriage better, I started to try to follow what people’s frustrations were in their relationship. I saw patterns of what their frustrations were. They had different scenarios and wording, but the problems started falling into distinct categories. This became the basis for the 10 Needs I developed.

The next thing that became clear was that people’s frustrations fell into 2 distinct areas. Either there was a lack of stability in the relationship, meaning they were still highly attracted to their partner, but their partner’s actions/behaviors were very frustrating to them and very unreliable. Or there was a lack of stimulation in the relationship, meaning they felt their life was steady with their partner, but the passionate desire wasn’t there any longer.

This revelation of the 10 Needs and 2 main types of needs led me to do a lot of thinking about my own marriage. The more I focused on fulfilling her needs that she wasn’t getting from me, the more she focused on my needs. Our marriage isn’t perfect now, but a lot of the frustrations we felt for years have mostly gone away.

Hearing all of this is what ultimately lead me to want to inspire other relationships. I felt the best way to do that was to post stories from people who had overcome issues in their relationship. I wanted to be a source of showing people how to overcome their own problems in their relationship.

The interesting thing is that it’s very easy to correlate how they overcome an issue with the 10 Need I developed on my website and my book at https://www.inspireyourmarriage.com/.

The Mysteries of the Afterlife

The Mysteries of the Afterlife

A country song has been playing quite a bit on the radio and it’s a great song. It’s called Heaven by Kane Brown and it this beautiful song talking about how people are in a rush to get to heaven because it’ll be amazing and all that but he has found himself a woman he calls his angel right here on Earth and he would rather stay with her. Like I said it’s a great song and it has me wondering about the future and the afterlife. This song and going to the thrift shops where you see old pictures of people who have lived years ago.

Ryan and I went to the thrift shops looking for a Halloween costume for myself and for our youngest daughter who will be 3 months old for her first Halloween. But as we looked around, we noticed a lot of items from the past including old photograph of people. I turned to look at Ryan and asked him if this is what will happen to all of our family photos and our other items in the future once we are gone, if all of our things will be in thrift shops like these items. He truthfully told me that it could be a huge possibility and that made me quite sad and wonder if we are wasting all our time and money on photos.

So all of this and watching those who are older passing and even those who are our age or younger passing away has e seriously wondering and questioning what is to come. I believe in God, Jesus, Heaven, and Hell but I also believe in an afterlife where there are spirits or ghosts who stay on Earth as I myself have experienced the paranormal side. And questions are now flowing through my mind where I have no answers. What will happen to us? I mean what really happens to us when we die? Do we stay on Earth as ghosts if we wish? Or do we pass through a white light and go to Heaven where we exist as we did on Earth where we can see one another and touch one another? Or will we just be a floating ball of energy while in Heaven or stuck on Earth in that form watching our loved ones as they grow up? Do we just simply not exist once we die and our souls go poof?

Yes I have heard that there are books about what some have seen once they had died and came back and no I have yet to read any but I doubt that will answer my questions fully. I might give some of those books a look at to ease my mind and these questions but I know that I will still be wondering and a part of me will still be curious as well as a bit afraid of what is to come when it’s my turn to die.

I don’t know what will happen or what to think will happen to us once we pass on but I have been thinking about it for quite some time now and would love to hear what others believe or think will happen to us once we are gone. Do you have any theories you’d like to share? If you do, please comment and let me know. I would love to read them and maybe it’ll help quiet my own wondering mind.

Don’t Give Up

Don’t Give Up

Hope: a four-letter word that means so much to some and so little to others. To my husband that word meant a lot as we stepped off onto a beaten path in order to begin to grow our little family. To me that word was important but then gradually rang empty promises as we began a march to a different beat because our path to become parents kept veering off course due to who knows what.

We had agreed at the end of 2011 that 2012 we wished to try for our own little bundle of joy but it seemed as if it wasn’t going to be as we struggled and my heart ached each month I began my period. I heard of others getting pregnant right away or after a couple of months and yet here I was unable to conceive. Then something had changed and to our despair, I miscarried. I wasn’t fully sad about the situation because to me it brought back hope since that meant that I could conceive it was just a matter as to why I couldn’t carry a child. I had so many questions as to why and what had gone wrong but I clung to that one word, hope, as did my husband since we saw that I had indeed gotten pregnant even though it had ended as quickly as it had started.

Then closer to the end of the year, we suffered from a second miscarriage and I began to let go of my life preserver- hope. Ryan wouldn’t let go and he clung to me, pulling me back, never giving up on our dream of having a family of our own and us becoming parents. He had seen me with children as I taught Preschool and he told me time and time again that I would make a wonderful mother to his children. But my heart ached and broke as we now had two angel babies.

A year ended in heart ache, an empty womb, and full of questions as to why it happened to us but we kept trudging forward, him working in the medical field in the Navy and myself working at one of the most wonderful preschools, Coast Kids in Carlsbad, CA. And though I kept a smile on my face and a kind word on my tongue, working with kids was also taking its toll on me, not because I was jealous but because I was sad at the thought of never being on the other side of the fence as a parent to a rambunctious ready to learn child or children. The teachers and directors of the preschool continued to pray for my husband and me and did their best to help my husband pull me back towards hope but it was a hard task. My family and friends also continued to fight to keep me afloat in the rocky waters of doubt but again it was a difficult task.

In 2013, we could finally see a military doctor about our problems of conceiving and carrying full term and a glimmer of hope once again poured into my heart. We were both tested and none of the results answered the questions as to why I couldn’t carry so they instantly marked me a mystery infertile woman, baffled themselves. They sent us to Infertility and the new doctor began to make a plan for us to follow to get me pregnant. I would have to take Clomid as well as give myself shots of another fertility drug into my stomach that would help my eggs develop quicker so that they can see if I can get pregnant by doing IUI (Intrauterine insemination) treatments along side the other method, sex. I did it even though the shots hurt and I felt like I was wasting my time as I kept thinking that I would never get pregnant with all of that. But once again Ryan, my rock, stepped up to push me forward and to help me with the shots when I felt like I couldn’t do it myself. He couldn’t always go to my appointments with me so my parents would sometimes go with me or one of my friends would go so that I was never alone when I entered that clinic because if I had gone alone, most likely I would have cancelled the appointments and had given up. Whenever he wasn’t able to go with me, I would always get calls or texts asking me how it went, asking what the doctor said, and just seeing if I was okay. That meant the most to me besides him always being by my side. He always thought of me first even though I knew he was hurting from this experience as well.

I ended up going through two IUI sessions and to our joy, the second session with the doctor and of course with us together ended in a pregnancy but before we could rejoice, it ended tragically in yet a third miscarriage. I cried then and I cried a lot because once again my womb had had a little baby in there but for some reason it refused to carry that baby. The doctor told us that we would have to wait for at least three months before we could begin with the shots, Clomid, and IUIs again. And once again, my heart dropped, and hope began to slip through my fingers like sand as my dreams of a family began to fade. I did start to talk about adopting but it still hurt because as every woman wishes to be able to do, I might not have been able to enjoy the strange wonders of carrying a baby full term and giving birth.

Ryan talked to me about adoption I believe to humor me but he still was holding on to hope that we would get pregnant and I would carry full term. And him keeping that hope alive even though I was losing mine had paid off in the end because two months after our last miscarriage, in April, we found out that I was again pregnant. Of course, I didn’t hold my breath since the last three had ended before they even had a chance to really live inside of me so I didn’t have much faith that this one would survive either. I waited week after week for the shoe to drop as they say and I miscarried for a fourth time but then a month went by and I went to the Infertility doctor who confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. I was then transferred over to OBGYN and had another ultrasound done to see that this baby was a fighter; we could even hear a strong heartbeat.

I finally allowed myself to feel hope in my heart again as the months began to slip by and my stomach began to grow larger as the baby inside grew. We did a 2D/3D ultrasound at A Baby Visit in Mira Mesa and found out that our little fighter was going to be a girl. I held Ryan’s hand as we saw our daughter’s face come up on the screen and my heart swelled with joy and happiness. Ryan had a grin on his face and I think went into shock because afterwards we went out to celebrate with my parents, godparents, and a friend that I worked with at Coast Kids and had became good friends with, he barely talked at first. But I knew that if it hadn’t been for my husband, I would have given up after the first two miscarriages and then we wouldn’t have been sitting there in the dark room, staring up at a huge screen that showed a small human wiggling around inside of me. We had our rainbow baby early as well. She decided to grace us with her presence on December 28, 2013 when her due date had been January 2, 2014. We were ecstatic when she decided to join our family and made us a family of three earlier than she was intended to come.

Then two and a half years after our first daughter, we decided that we were ready to try again for another child and so we began to try again, hoping that this time we wouldn’t have to deal with a lot of issues and heartaches. We found out in 2016 that I was pregnant again and we were super excited, not wanting to wait to tell everyone. But we should have waited because it wasn’t meant to be. I went to the ER for bleeding and was told that I was miscarrying another child. I hadn’t gone to the ER the first three times because it had happened so fast and so early on in the pregnancy where as this one I was at least a month or so. So once again we had another angel baby.

We were directed to an Infertility doctor who set up a plan for me to do the IUIs and Clomid but had decided against the shots this time around. I wasn’t looking forward to taking Clomid or giving myself shots in the stomach, and was a bit pleased when he told me that we wouldn’t be doing the shots, but I was willing to do anything to have another baby and this time I clung to hope right alongside Ryan. But we had found out too late because it was time for Ryan to pick out new orders, our three years out in Virginia having come to an end, so we decided that we would wait until we were settled at our new duty station before we once again talked to the infertility doctors and come up with a plan of action.

Our daughter is now 4 1/2 years old, we are settled back in California for Ryan’s new duty station, and we have been blessed in getting pregnant only a few months after getting back to California. We have welcomed another beautiful little girl into our family and she decided to out due her older sister by coming even earlier. She was due August 4, 2018 but decided that was too far away and joined us on July 23, 2018. And we didn’t have to talk to an infertility doctor nor did I have to take Clomid or give myself shots this time around and we couldn’t be any happier than we are now.

It had been Ryan who had kept me going forward in our long difficult journey to becoming parents to two beautiful rainbow babies and I am very grateful. If we had both given up, then we would not be parents today. I just have to remember that even though a situation seems hopeless, I cannot give up and I have to do my best to hold onto even the tiniest bit of hope and keep moving forward.

Now I am a mother to two rainbow babies and four angel babies and though my heart still hurts for the four babies I will never hold in my arms here on Earth, I am still grateful for having gone on this journey with my husband in order to see just how strong we can be together. I may not have been completely strong and Ryan may have had to be the one to pick me up to keep me going but it has opened my eyes to see that we can weather any obstacles this life throws at us. I dealt with being alone whenever Ryan had to be deployed, then I had dealt with the heartache of miscarriages and the birth of two amazing daughters, and now I have to face the challenges of raising these two girls to be independent, loving, caring, thoughtful and to make the right choices in their lives but thankfully I have such an amazing man by my side to help me raise these two as well as amazing family and friends since as the saying goes it takes a village to raise children.

I guess the moral to this story is to not give up hope and if you feel yourself letting go of that hope, make sure you lean on your significant other, your family, and your friends. Even sometimes a complete stranger can help instill that hope in your heart once again. So don’t give up on your dreams of becoming parents and I truly hope that one-day whether you decide to carry or to foster, or to adopt or to foster then adopt or even if you decide to have a surrogate mother, that you too can enjoy the wonderful mysteries of becoming a parent and raising your child/children. And don’t give up hope on any aspect in your life. Go for it! Make your dreams come true whatever they are and I hope you make your life worth living and are truly happy in the end.