The journey finally begins. I've spent a lot of time and energy thinking about creating this blog site. As usual, I procrastinated a while. For some reason I tend to do this with many things in my life. I really don't know what I am waiting for, unless it is that elusive dream of perfection. Perhaps it is the fear of failure, which I suppose is simply the convoluted truth of the former. But I digress...
Okay, so I woke this morning with the determination to end this agony. I decided to become a doer instead of one of those "someday I'm going to (you fill in the blank)" kind of people. I suppose that sounds a little snobbish of me, but hey, since I sit here actually writing, I am no longer included in "that" group, right? (Oh how soon we forget from whence we came.)
So you may ask, why Cinderella's Corner? Well, I officially became Cinderella whenever I met my husband, Charlie. I will never forget the first time I heard him call me by this name. We had known each other for a couple of years but had never really talked to each other. We had mutual friends that he came to visit on a regular basis, so we quite frequently ended up at the same place at the same time and enjoyed many of the same activities. We watched each other for a couple of years before realizing we were soul mates.
It was one of those same place, same time events that Cupid struck me right between the eyes with his little arrow. I had descended the staircase at his apartment where my friends and I had been visiting. I looked up to see him smiling down on me from the balcony. It was at this exact moment he softly uttered "goodbye Cinderella". Music flowed down from the heavens... doves flew in pairs carrying satin ribbons in their little beaks...and I swear I saw a couple of fat little cupids draw back their bows simultaneously striking us both with the realization of true love.
Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that dramatic, but it may as well have been. How else can you explain the fact that a few well spoken words drew two families together? Two families from different cities, different backgrounds, even different ages (did I happen to mention the fact that I am 6 years older than Charlie?). You're right, God had to have had a hand in this plan.
So here we are ten years later, overcomers. Survivors of deep struggles, immeasurable joys, rivers of tears, hours of prayer and still growing stronger each day that passes by. It hasn't been easy...nothing worthwhile ever is. As a result of these experiences, however, my colors are more vibrant, my senses more acute, my emotions deepened. I realize this is what it means to be alive. One cannot live a full life by taking the easy, comfortable route. The abundant life takes risk, determination and tons of hope and faith.
In these blogs you will learn that, before Charlie spoke the name Cinderella, I had spent many years locked in my own prison scrubbing soot and ashes in rags on my knees. Thankfully I had the love and companionship of three wonderful children. Unfortunately, like Cinderella's companions, they too were locked in with me. One day, however, God sent a few fairy godmothers who helped me to see I belonged in the ball gown instead of in the ashes. They granted me the confidence and courage to find my self-worth and to regain my self-respect. Over time they provided the things I needed to get out and attend the ball, to dance with the prince, to risk despite the consequences.
I am in the process of writing a book about this journey, so some of my blogs may become future excerpts from the book. Others will be tales of humor and adventure from my hodgepodge of experience...from my small-town roots growing up as the middle child of an Aggie Baptist preacher, to moving back to that small town to assume the role of a single Mom to two soon-to-be teenage boys and one teenage daughter. I also have extensive experience as step-mom to two extraordinary yet very normal children who had to learn to share their Dad not only with me, but with my three children as well. Add to that the role of step-wife to one ex-wife and also to the wife of my children's father.
Like Cinderella I am living happily ever after, but not ever happily during (this is the part they conveniently leave out of the fairy tale). I have been blessed beyond measure. Blessed during the toughest of times and during the best of times. As Job declares in Job 14:1 "Man that is born of a woman is of a few days and full of trouble." Or as it is written in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
I am learning that troubles and challenges are a part of life in this world, that the other shoe will drop, and often in the most humbling and humorous ways. I am learning that a sense of humor is one of the most valuable coping skills God imparted to His children. I am learning there is no perfect parent, step-parent, child, friend, co-worker, husband, etc. I am learning we are all in this boat together, and that is much easier to row if we let our walls down long enough to be real with one another. Real enough to share our struggles and our laughter...to admit our humanity...to express the truth no matter how horrible it sounds coming out of our mouths...to offer the gift of compassion and understanding when appropriate, and of tough love when necessary (I still find myself seeking the wisdom to know the difference).
Yes, this Cinderella still finds herself somedays in tattered rags scrubbing soot and ashes. The difference in the old Cinderella and the new is choice and respect. Like Cinderella, I've learned what it means to be loved by a man of dignity and integrity. I've learned this dignity and integrity is reciprocal. I've learned that in order to be loved I must choose to place value on myself. I must open mindedly hold fast to those things in which I believe. I've learned that it is okay to have an opinion, and that it is okay to agree to disagree. I've also learned it is okay to change my mind and to grow in the way in which I believe. I've learned it is okay to admit and own my mistakes - to forgive, to ask forgiveness when appropriate and, most important, to forgive myself and move on.
Like Cinderella, although my Father is not physically present, He is with me in Spirit, and He watches over me in this world. He loved me in tattered rags, and He loves me in beautiful gowns and glass slippers. He saw the princess in me when all I could see was a girl in tattered rags meant to serve other's selfish needs...a peasant unfit for a prince.
So my journey of writing this Cinderella's story begins. I urge you to come along for the ride. I do not claim to be an expert, as I am still learning. This ride may be bumpy at times, but what an adventure you have in store. My hope is that through my experiences, triumphs and failures you find a little hope for your circumstances, peace for your sorrows and laughter that is soothing to your soul.
"A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams
and somedayYour rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true"
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