Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Intimacy’ Category

How Do You Love?

Last night Greg and I watched the movie “Three Men and a little Lady” – made some 20 years ago or so. In the last part of the movie – the leading man finally finds the courage to tell the leading woman how he feels about her. She wonders what took him so long (5 years later) in fact on her wedding day to another man – he finally confesses that he loves her, not just for her 5 year old daughter, but for himself alone. Complicated? Yes. Self serving? I’m not sure. Does he have the right to love for just how it makes him feel? With no regard to how anybody else does? Because it brings him happiness to love her?

This has always been a topic of conversation around our house. Greg has always claimed that love in its most stripped down mode – is selfish. I’m not sure I have always agreed. I’ve had my share of relationships (in the love department) gone sour and very bad. And though I agree with the premis – I have trouble coming to grips with loving someone just because it feels good or because they love me. Aren’t people worth loving even when they don’t love back? How about those who choose to walk away? Are we to stop loving them?

The Bible tells us that God loved us while we were still sinners – and far from Him – Christ died for us. That kind of love is far beyond our comprehension. We as human beings have trouble with it. Most people who hurt us, mistreat us, stop loving us, turn away, love someone else, stop speaking, etc. – we write off as being unlovable and unreachable. Even when we have had relationship with them that has been good at one time. How different we are from the heart of God. God loves even when it is not returned.

Marriage – especially a long-term one is a great example of unconditional love. You don’t always feel like loving all the time. There are disagreements and differences. There is not always romance. You don’t say: “I will love you as long as it feels good for me and as long as you love me back – otherwise all bets are OFF!” Love is so much more than that – it is a choice. 7 days a week, 12 months, 365 days a year. Every year. Through rain and shine – thick and thin – in sickness and in health. Even when the person does not love you back in the way you think they should. Even when they don’t always understand you. Even then.

How do you love? Does your love have conditions? Is your love a selfish love that says: I will love you only if you love me back? I will give of my time only if I get something back from it? Are people worth loving just simply because they are?

I think they are.

 

God Bless

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A Note From My Husband

On the occasion of my milestone birthday – I asked my wonderful husband and best friend to be a special ‘guest blogger’ today.  Hope you enjoy and will be encouraged as you read his note to me –  that even after almost 30 years together – he still is romantic and knows how to keep the love alive.

God Bless

To my lovely wife Cindy on her special 50th birthday;

Good morning my love!  I trust you had a wonderful sleep.  I was watching you this morning just before you opened your eyes and thinking about how thankful I was to have the love of such a beautiful woman in my life.  Funny how so many put an emphasis on youthful looks these days and fight frantically to somehow attempt “time travel” to spin the biological clock backwards.  I loved it when we saw the title of a new book recently, “fifty is the new fifty” – it garnered a laugh from both of us, but even without reading the book we understand the sentiment.  Being authentic to yourself and your life experiences, being comfortable in your own skin, is a large part of remaining beautiful; a glow that comes from within and radiates outward.

Cindy, you are beautiful, both inside and outside.  You not only are an extremely attractive woman physically (insert tiger growl here), but you are true and authentic to your core values, which is what makes you irresistible.  In this way you have become more gorgeous to me over time.  I love it how you are passionately interested in how others feel and think, and have an uncanny way of connecting to them, especially in their time of need.

This year we will celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary.  We have seen much of life and have weathered both good and challenging seasons together – more and more I see in you a beauty and strength that I both admire and envy; a depth that time has only served to reveal and prove.

There’s a section of 1 Peter chapter 3 that echo these very values that I love about you.  It describes a woman of uncompromising beauty, and where lasting attractiveness comes from;

3 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self,5 the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.6 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God7 used to make themselves beautiful.”

Cindy my love, this “milestone birthday” (at least that’s what we call the ones that end in a “0”) is simply another occasion that displays what those who really know you already have been celebrating; your authentic love for others, emotional balance, and spiritual centeredness.  This is what makes you attractive to others and to me.

And, you’re just plain hot looking!

Happy birthday my love!

Greg

I Belong

It’s so nice to know.

God Bless

He’s Got Bette Davis Eyes

So (album)

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This morning I woke up and looked over at my sweet sleepy husband.  He looked like an angel – and I was just watching him – wondering when he would wake up – when he suddenly and slowly opened up his eyes.  They were so cute and puffy from lack of sleep after a very late (or early) work night.  As he looked at me trying to focus – I thought they looked very much like pictures I had seen of the sultry and sexy Bette Davis – (just the eyes) – and before I could retract it, I said “You’ve got Bette Davis Eyes

I’m sure he does not appreciate my humor at that time in the morning – but I really did mean it as a complement 🙂  He’s a pretty good sport – most of the time and usually laughs right out loud at my poking fun at him –  and it is easy and comfortable being with him – I love to hear him laugh like that.  And his eyes crinkle with humor and fun – much mischief and ‘little boy’ innocence – it is really nice.

Eyes are the ‘window to the soul‘ and many things can be revealed about a person when you look into them.  Fear, confidence, pain, hurt, frustration, peace, fun, mischief – yes it all revealed in a moment – through the eyes.

I LOVE brown eyes.  they are deep and expressive, mysterious and soft.

I also LOVE green eyes.  Whimsical and sparkling with fun.  Captivating and full of mischief.

But my favorite are Blue eyes.  My husband has blue eyes.  They are sweet and kind.  They hold me with just a glance and touch something deep within me.

My eyes are also blue – and they are my husband’s favorite thing about me.  He can read them very well – and understands what lies beneath the surface after all these years.  They are my ‘window’ to what is inside of me.  Sometimes shining with fun – sometimes brimming with tears and emotion – they are all a part of me – and he loves to drown in them.  I am very lucky.

Below is a song by Peter GabrielIn Your Eyes”  the lyrics perfectly express how I feel – and how my husband feels about me and my eyes.  Enjoy!

God Bless

Being The Right Person

Love for Arts

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When we’re young we think we’re going to find the ‘perfect’ person to fall in love with – and eventually (hopefully) they will love us back – and then want to get married.

This is on a woman’s mind from very early on.

Love is the great ‘romantic’ idea.  She wants someone who will adore and love her – move heaven and earth to be with her – and be her ‘hero’.

Men have something very different on their minds when they start thinking about the opposite sex.  It is not usually about ‘love’ or romantic thoughts – and they can compartmentalize feelings (or lack of them) in lieu of physical attraction and sex.

When love finally hits a man – goes straight to his heart and he cannot get that girl out of his head – then he knows he is in trouble.  For good.  And he tries to be everything he can be – to say and do what he must for ‘win’ her.

She is looking for someone to save her – complete her and love her.

He is looking for someone to love him – respect and adore him.

There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s normal and natural.  But what I’ve learned through life is this:  Finding the right person is not nearly as important as being the right person.

We can enter into a love relationship expecting someone to make up for our lack.  To ‘fill in’ where we are not strong.  To be able to save us from our past.  No one can.  There is no perfect person – at least I’ve never met one yet.  And if you enter in to love or marriage thinking this – you will be very disappointed.

I’ve even heard of women (and men) saying, “when they marry me – I’ll be able to change them”.  You can’t.

Change in behavior can seem to be happening when the relationship is new and exciting – but long-lasting change is impossible.  No one changes anyone else – permanently.

Oh we see it on TV and in the movies – some of the best literature has it in there too – the ‘wild – untamed’ man – who falls helplessly in love with a woman and is willing to change for her.  And while I put great faith in love and the power of it – ultimately you are setting yourself up for a fall if that’s what you believe.

Develop a friendship with your partner.  Friendship is an easy give and take.  Ask  yourself, “would I still be their friend if I wasn’t involved with them – didn’t love them – wasn’t married to them? – Do they make me laugh?  Do I want to know them deeper and spend more time with them? – Am I the kind of person that they would want as a friend?”

Be the right person.  Fix things that are going on inside of yourself – insecurities, bad habits and negative patterns.  Expecting someone else to swoop in and ‘fix’ your troubled mind and heart is not realistic.  And you cannot ‘fix’ theirs either.  The longer that you are married – the more you realize this truth – and accept it.

There are people in whom we have chemistry with and are very compatible. There’s no denying this fact.  Those that have a better chance of making it in love and marriage are those from a similar background with many things in common.  But this does not guarantee – it just makes it easier.  Choose someone who is easy to be with – and that you can picture yourself growing old with. Someone who doesn’t require so much work.

Say to yourself, “Can I be happy with this person for many years to come?  Can I accept them – flaws and all?  Without them changing?  Is there anything I cannot live with?”

These are important questions.  They are simple – yet revealing.  If we take the emphasis off of them – and any expectations we may feel – then we can concentrate on the really important thing: ourselves.

Imagine what a great world this would be – and what healthy growing marriages there would be if everyone accepted this fact – and stepped up – saying, “I’m going to take personal responsibility for me”.  And leave it there.

I challenge you today:  God is the only one who can change hearts.  He is in the business of deep healing – from the inside out.  Allow Him to do His job with you and others.  Don’t depend on others (even your spouse) to complete you and fill you up.  That’s God’s job.  And His alone.  He will not fail or disappoint you.  He is the one who will help you to be all you can be in a relationship – and to be the right person. You can count on it.

I am praying for you

God Bless

Living On The Edge

I recently ran across this article from my new blogging buddy  Elizabeth Esther.  She explains how her daughter wanted to jump into their pool with her dance recital outfit on – to know what it would feel like to ‘fly’ with it on.  It’s a sweet story complete with a picture of her ‘in flight’ after Elizabeth finally relented to letting her daughter ruin her outfit for that ‘thrill’ of flying through the air.

Absurd?  Impracticable?   Foolishly frivolous?   Yes.  All of these – and more.

A chance to ‘let go’ – to ‘run with reckless abandon’ and do something spontaneous – just because.

We lose this ability as we mature.  We become responsible and (gasp!) practical.  We think in terms of conserving and ‘pulling in’ – often times squelching any creativity or spontaneity.   Because we are grown up and have to act responsibly – I mean if we don’t – WHO WILL?  Right?

Do you remember a time when you ran through the sprinklers in your yard (or someone else’s) and got soaking wet?  Even your hair?  And it felt SO GOOD, didn’t it?  Just kicked off your shoes and ran through!

How about the time you risked your life swinging on a rope swing?  The kind that was on its last few precious strands of rope weeks before and everyone that was swinging on it – you just knew they were on borrowed time?

When was the last time you had a popsicle?  The kind you used to get when you heard the ice cream man coming?  My favorites were banana and root beer.  How about a slurpee?  When was the last time?  They’re not just for kids you know 🙂

We grow up and get ‘careful’.  And not just ‘careful’ – but ‘cautious’.  Life becomes so serious to us – and granted – there is much to be serious about.  There are bills to be paid – and family situations – but there is also a mind-set that creeps in – if we’re not careful.  The mind-set that fun is for the young – and life becomes very mundane and predictable.

Well – that may be okay for you – but NOT FOR ME!  I love excitement – I even have to have something exciting for breakfast!  No dull and dry cereal for me – NO SIR!  I need something – ANYTHING with a little pizzaz! A yummy bagel with flavored cream cheese – or a wonderful mouth-watering scone – or a Danish with a little something extra – you know. Greg likes the same thing for breakfast everyday. (Boring) He really likes it like that!  Amazing!

I like to ‘live on the edge’ – LOVE adventure, romance and just plain living! Greg likes consistency and routine.  That’s where he is comfortable and safe.

Greg knows that I just can’t ‘exist’ – but that I love to express myself – share love and friendship with those in my world and – love to explore new places and get to know new people – and love to encourage others to LIVE and LOVE life!!   And in this ‘new season’ that we find ourselves in – it is nice that we are both now self-employed and can do some of the things we’ve always wanted to do – it doesn’t always take money to do them – (we don’t have any – so that’s good!) and I’m thrilled for that!

We do something fun everyday. Each day is an adventure.  We had been married far too long – raised a couple of children before we realized that the ‘fun’ and ‘spontaneity’ had been robbed from us.  I blame so many things on that – the families we were both raised in (duty, work and responsibility) and the church we found ourselves in for years (appearances and being an example) – and yet I know that these only served as a guide – and did not mean to suck the joy out of our marriage – but somehow – they did.  Add to that the stresses of life, family situations and burdens from those in crisis close to us – and even some dysfunctional behavior from others and mix it all together and you can get a very dry and tired marriage. With no joy.  Safe, predictable, practical and boring. A slow death sentence for me.

Bringing ‘fun’ back into our marriage was a choice – but also a necessity. Without it – we would not have made it.  We took a step toward excitement – and I’m happy to report that keeping things ‘fresh’ and ‘new’ has become our theme song after 29 years of marriage.  We were both Christians since we were children – so our faith was never in question – just our ‘duty’ and commitment’ became old and stale and we needed a better reason than that to keep doing the same old things over and over and over again.  Like a worn out song that never ends – is how our marriage was becoming.  We were becoming that couple with an ‘arrangement’ but that really wasn’t very happy anymore.  And it scared us.  We refused to be that couple and live that way – with separate lives and interests – pulling further and further apart.

How did we turn it around?  We brought FUN back into our relationship.  We looked closely at us.  Not the ‘us’ as parents of our two wonderful children – not the ‘us’ as a ministry couple (as most people had known us) – not the ‘us’ as wonderful obedient children of our own parents – but we just stepped back and looked at us. And we had to go back and remember just what it was that sparked that interest and kept us – way back then.  The ‘little’ things that meant so much back then.  We started doing that again.  We started thinking of ways to be creative without much money – going and doing something interesting everyday together – being spontaneous and FUN!  Not holding back or squelching each others creativity – but allowing each other to be exactly who we are. And that included allowing each other to grow individually without feeling threatened by it.  I have a lot of friends and love each of them in their own special way.  Greg now understands how important that is to me and does not limit me – nor is he threatened by it.  I understand Greg’s need to feel ‘safe’ by routine and his work – and encourage him to do the things that make him most happy and fulfill him as a man.  It is a win/win – born out of necessity – and has grown into something secure and trusted – a mutual respect and understanding for each other – two completely different people who decided to grow old together and two people who chose each other.

Here’s wishing you and yours some fun and spontaneity – as you endeavor to ‘live on the edge’ in your marriage and in your own personal life.

God Bless

Finding Our Level

So today, Greg and I were driving home from a grocery run at our nearby “Winco Foods” – and I was deep into conversation – something I most always do.  I was happily chatting about the deep meaning of the universe – or some such thing and Greg was quietly sitting there – somewhat preoccupied – but not any more than usual – when suddenly he interrupted (I was making a good point too) and said, “I don’t think my door is closed”.  Wow.  Just like that.  From the “mysteries of the universe” to the mundane and ordinary in about a nano second.

This event is what I would call “typical” in our relationship.  And I would not be surprised by it in the least – and just chalk it up to “that’s the way that it is” – if another similar event hadn’t jogged my memory and I knew that I just HAD to write about this – as I’m sure most every relationship faces similar challenges with being “on the same page”.

The other event happened a few weeks ago.  We were having a “dilly bar” at Dairy Queen and sitting in the lobby.  Greg was facing right toward the counter and behind the counter, the kitchen.  I was looking at him and facing in the direction of the lobby and beyond that – the window looking outside.  I was again talking about something meaningful and deep.  Greg seemed engaged in our discussion – even interjecting things once in a while to show that he was receiving the information – processing it – and very quickly proving to me that he was with me by asking probing and thoughtful questions.  He doesn’t fool me.  All guys do this – and I know what’s really going on in there.  They have “tuned out” – and gone to their “nothing box”  The signs are usually all there – the glazed over eyes – the mouth twitch – the sudden jerky movements and darting eyes.  Yup.  We know. It was at this particular moment in time – after saying something that required a response from him – that he suddenly focused his eyes on something directly over my left shoulder and exclaimed in a loud voice, “Something’s on fire in there – I see FLAMES!!”  Of course he did.

This is the dance we do.  And ours is even more interesting because we are both self-employed.  So that means I have twice as much husband (this is not always good) and half as much money (this is NEVER good).  And we have had to adjust to being with each other in the same house 24/7.  And we’re not even retirement age yet – so it’s like a practice run for us.  It works pretty well most of the time – his office is upstairs and mine is down – he works a lot at night-time leaving me with the house to myself many nights to “do my own thing” – which I love – so it’s not all bad.

But we are learning.  After 28 years of being married it is a new season to begin learning things all over again and to find our “level”.  Greg likes closeness and “time” from me – I enjoy my “space” and friends – like to write and communicate with others in my world – and don’t need the closeness as much as he does.  He works really hard at not “smothering” me and I work really hard at giving him my full attention and closeness.  It is a dance.  We are very different people – and we’ve become different over the years with our likes and dislikes.  I was very young when we got married and I think I have changed over the years – as he has too.  It is like getting to know someone all over again when there are no children anymore to raise and be focused on.  I have found my friendships VERY important to me and need many different people in my life.  It’s like adding seasoning to my world – each a different spice – some more peppery than others – some mild and sweet – each one is special and has their place.  Greg would be fine without anyone else but me in his world.  So we’ve had to make adjustments along the way – and be fine with that.  It is a dance.

Hope you all are finding your “level” with the relationships in your life.

God Bless

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