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Archive for November, 2007

An Unexpected Friendship

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These are the hands of an unexpected friendship……in many ways a friendship that should have never happened….but somehow it did and we are…..she is older than me…..college educated with two degrees (that impresses me….smile)…..holds a regional supervisors position in a very demanding job…..extremely loving….giving…..compassionate…..wants to solve all the wrongs in her world….deeply devoted and loyal to a fault…….co-dependent (working on that one)…..rather unlucky in love, I’m afraid…..but mostly she has a sadness that hangs over her that she just can’t seem to shake…..and I am the reason……here’s our story…..

Ten years ago, through a series of events and choices she made, our worlds collided. We found ourselves in love with the same man……he happened to be my husband of eleven years…..high school sweetheart…..father of my four sons…..love of my life. For her he was a co-worker…..and a friendship began…..leading to an illicit affair…..and eventually the life that I loved and knew……was over……but before you think I’m crazy to call her “my friend” let me just say…..

I never thought it was possible to hate….loathe….have such seething anger….or to be so utterly disgusted with another human being before I ever laid eyes on them…..I never knew my heart could hold such contempt for someone…..If I had not had the Lord…..who sustained me…..I would be serving out a life sentence for murder….and I am not joking…..I have never been so scared in all of my life over these emotions….over the realization that I could choose to act on them……they were truly foreign to me before she invaded my life….

If you back me into a corner……I come out swinging….and that’s exactly what I did…..not so much for me…..but for my four sons…..I knew early on that my struggle was not against her or him “or against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world”… (Ephesians 6:12)….I knew that my marriage could be destroyed….so I did what my parents spent their lives teaching me….I got on my knees and stayed there….Much happened in those two years…..and I would love to say that there was a happy ending to this part of the story…..but he eventually left, divorced me and married her…..by the time it was all said and done….I wasn’t swinging, let alone standing…. I had been replaced for a better model…..smile….but….let me just say…..

I was challenged early on in this mess to pray for her…. God tells us to pray for our enemies…and she was definitely “my enemy”……but are you like me?…..do you ever tell God “NO”…..do you ever argue your point….knowing if He just hears the validity of your argument or circumstance that somehow His requirement of obedience couldn’t possibly apply to you …smile…..I was waiting for a “feeling” to want to pray for her…..but it never came…..I knew I just had to pray…..so….. I prayed and told God that I hated her….smile…..eventually I choked out a “will you bless her”…..then I laid on the floor and sobbed…..thinking that God was so mean to ask this of me….he just didn’t understand what it was like to be betrayed….sigh….then He reminded me of me….and Judas….and Peter….and the countless other people in God’s word who betrayed His Son Jesus..…as I continued to pray for her….slowly…..gradually…..I understood that the forgiveness wasn’t just for her….but for me also….my peace…..my life….he couldn’t do anything with me if I was knee-deep in bitterness… anger… jealousy…..and that my sins against her…..the feelings I had…..the murder I committed in my own heart…..were just as bad as what she had done to me…..Then….I prayed for her salvation….that God would draw her to Him…..and save her from herself…..and you know what…..?

He did…..because eventually what was done to me…..was done to her…..and she found herself…..alone…..deeply hurting….embarrassed……a mess…..with a weight of guilt….and profound remorse over what she had done to me and my sons…..and it was almost too much for her to bear….so she called late one night….in the midst of her agony….and asked me to forgive her….and I told her…..I already had…..years before…..And that I was so sorry for her pain…..because I knew what it felt like to love somebody and be replaced for someone who was suppose to be “better”……

Gradually….we began to talk…..and I found out that she really was a nice person….AND…she was all the things I said in the beginning of this post…..only more…..so here’s what I want to say to my friend….

You’re trying to pay me back for a sin that I already forgave you for…..you needn’t bother…..It’s true….I did lose some things…..a relationship that I valued, but he obviously didn’t….thanks for taking him off my hands….smile…..a house that I loved and eventually lost….a truck repossesed…..some friends who I made uncomfortable so they stopped calling….maybe my pride a little…..my faith that was shaken just a tad…..I know that you know they were some of the toughest days of my life….but….

Here’s the amazing thing I learned and what I gained from what happened so long ago…..That I can do anything through Christ Jesus…..I am strong….in Him…..He enabled me to be a mom and dad to my sons….he brought people that helped me tremendously….gave of their time and finances…..I found out I can live just about anywhere…..equipped me to move myself and four boys more times than I care to count…..hold down just about any job from bailing people out of jail at 1:00am to babysitting numerous tenants by being an apartment manager….AND….what I gained…..

Profound relationships with four amazing young men who I love more than life itself.…..which I KNOW I would have never had….still married to their father…..they would also not be who they are today…..had we not lost everything…..we have seen God provide when we literally were down to our last dollar….we have tasted His goodness….and we have also cried…..grieved…..been angry….incredibly hurt….but together….it has made us stronger…..and amazingly…..here’s the happy ending….. God brought me this UPS driver who kept getting my packages on his truck and….I EVENTUALLY MARRIED HIM….who in turn blessed me with two more amazing small creatures that I will grow old raising…..smile….God is so good!!! My life is so amazingly full…..So…

I want to say “thank you” for being my friend….however weird it might seem to others….you never set out to hurt me……you just lost your way for a season…..turned a wrong corner that led you down a rather unfortunate path…..you bought into the “lie” that you can have whatever you want with no consequences…..like we’ve all done…..you’re not any different than me…..so here’s the thing…..You gave your life to Christ….and He willingly forgave you……we’ve forgiven you…..so now FORGIVE YOURSELF…..Completely…..I don’t see someone who wronged me……when I look at you…..you are beautiful….altogether lovely….just like God talks about in Song of Solomon…about His bride…..YOU are His bride……and He loves you deeply….with no reservation…..you have tremendous value & worth to Him…..and the most beautiful thing…..He doesn’t remember…..smile…..And we have made new memories, happy ones, laugh-out-loud crazy ones….right?

I give GOD, MY FATHER, all the GLORY and HONOR!!!!

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DAEDEN ROBERT CASTRO

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He is the spit’n image of his father….life for him will always be about laughing…..dreaming…..crazy adventures……loud music…..and having the most fun possible without getting into too much trouble…..AS IT SHOULD BE…..like I said…..he’s just like his daddy…..smile

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Jessica Lynn Grady

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We started the long & tedious process of taking our family pictures…..which sometimes takes several tries with all of us in one pic….but we love this one Daley took of Jess….he was just working out lighting issues and snapped this one real quick of her….it is one of my favorites…..thanks Dylan for editing….one down…..several more to go…..

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Rob & I were able to get away to Santa Barbara for 24 hours a couple of days ago….and I was reminded, again, why I fell in love with him in the first place…..thanks boyz for holding down the fort…..and thanks mom and dad for watching the younger two…..we had a blast….

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“Bella” The Movie…..

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I have been bombarded by different Christian organizations who asked people to go and watch this movie this weekend….if they had enough people who would go…..then the movie would be able to stay in theaters longer……I went with my mom and a great friend…….This is such a WONDERFUL movie….a story of redemption, integrity of a man….who owned up to a tragic event he caused, a young woman who finds herself single and pregnant, a supportive family unit…..it was sooooooo good. It was great to see a movie that was clean, had meaning….I walked away feeling like I hadn’t wasted my money or time. I hope you all go and see it! It was a winner at the Torranto Film Festival…..Amazing film!!

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I DID IT…..

Let me just say that I LOVE the invention of hair color…..especially highlights and lowlights….it’s simply magical what it can do to a rather dull looking head of hair……I cannot even imagine what I have spent over the years to have it done……but I have enjoyed every single minute of it immensely……I have been coloring my hair since my mid-20s….not because I had to…but because I love how evey season I can be whatever color I want…..blonde….red…..burgandy…..it is simply the best indulgence….and a great pick-me-up when I am feeling ever so frumpy…..which happens often…..sadly….SO….here’s the thing…..it becomes rather a drag when one MUST color their hair…..to maintain …..sigh…..I noticed this after my last son was born about exactly 19 months ago…..after barfing for the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and positive this had to be my girl…..NOT….i wasn’t able to go and get my hair done….and what grew out was rather a dark or should I say grey surprise…..now….don’t get me wrong……. I knew I had grey hair….just not that much…..ugh….so to MAINTAIN….the LIE….of what was underneath…..I had to get my hair done every four weeks….yikes……quite expensive……SO…..i started thinking….praying….wondering…..picturing…..what if I let my hair go to it’s natural state……WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL…..right? So I told a few friends and they were HORRIFIED…..why would I ever do something like that…..AND it made me think of how stupid and shallow our society is…..if I am grey does that make me less attractive…..less me……SO…..I told the most important people in my life……my husband and boyz…..that I was going to whack off all my hair and start the process of letting my natural color present itself…..and they said COOL…..whatever you want mom…..SO…..with their support I have done just that…..AND….its crazy…..at first I had to do double-takes in the mirror…..but I am eventually getting to like my new look…..proud of who I am at this point….wanting to be comfortable in my skin…..knowing the color of my hair is just a small part of what makes me…..me……that’s the beauty of being over 40….don’t ya think?……smile…..

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Our Jess….

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Any of you who have had the pleasure of being in Jessica Grady’s presence know what a silly, wonderful, innocent, thoughtful, oblivious (from Davis), pirate loving, crazy-beautiful girl she is…..a permanent fixture in our chaotic household…..in the beginning, we wondered if she would ever survive the boyz relentless teasing….bantering….and sometimes rather insulting comments….ALL IN THE NAME OF LOVE….of course…..sigh…..but she’s a trooper….and now she and I are allies against the ever present, testosterone raging men…..Oh…..and two little boyz…..that surround us…..

Jess…..I just wanted you to know……that you ARE BEAUTIFUL….and i know you did not enter our lives randomly……it was definitley a “God thing”……..”thank you” for being a part of our family….you are such a blessing…..you bring a whole other dimension to our lives……..I love when you drive up in your little jeep….usually at dinner (smile)…….and you walk in…..always with a smile…..plop your stuff down….and make yourself at home…..I love your gentleness…..someday you will make the most WONDERFUL wife….and mom……be patient with yourself…..and where God has you right now…..enjoy the ride…..it’s so worth it…..i love you like my own……

P.S. thanks for ALL your help….with the kids….blogging issues (smile)…..flickr issues (sigh)…..pictures that you take of us….being a taxi sometimes…..grocery store runs…..OH…..and for being MY friend…..

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