Wonder Woman: Being a Warrior is a Good Thing

Perhaps you’re finished with all the Wonder Woman hype. As long as there are new thoughts popping up about this superhero, I’ll be writing about her on my blog.

After all, in the realm of “holding out for a hero,” Wonder Woman has been worth the wait.

Last week, I wrote about Wonder Woman’s pure motives and how that makes her a better kind of superhero than most of the Marvel and DC creations.

When my Social Media Jedi shared an article on my Facebook timeline, I realized there was another reason to give Diana Prince accolades. She isn’t the original female warrior, that would be Eve.

Yes, I do mean Eve, the mother of all living. The one who God made to be a helper for Adam and who Satan convinced wasn’t living up to her full potential without the Fruit.

Woman as Warrior

As Ms. Sanchez pointed out in the article mentioned above, the very word translated “helper” is the same word used to describe God as a help during battle.

God created women to fight alongside their man (or their friends or family or whoever).

In another famous passage about women, Proverbs 31, several of the words used are generally used to describe soldier or battle. Even the word translated “virtuous” in Proverbs 31:10 is translated at “valiant” everywhere else in the Old Testament. And refers to warriors, men of valor, strong and might men.

Apparently, that seemed a little unfeminine for the translators. Shame on them for not seeing women as the warriors they were created to be.

Other words in the Proverbs 31 description of this woman also refer to soldiers. Like bringing her food from afar which refers to hunting (31:14) and girding up her loins (31:17) which is military terminology for suiting up for battle.

Women were never created as weaker or less than man. God intended for them to fight alongside others, helping win the battle against sin and evil.

Warrior with a Cause

It only takes once to get between a mother bear and her cub for an ignorant soul to learn a lesson. If they survive.

Women have many causes worth fighting for. Not the least of these is their marriage and their children. The world will try to weaken a marriage with everything from career promotions that take a spouse away to office romances.

And children arrive in our world helpless. Their mothers step up to provide everything the child needs for survival: food, drink, clothing, shelter and love. (And yes, people do need love as much as they need the physical necessities.)

When the child is sick, she fights the fever. When the child is in danger, she jumps to protect and shield him.

Women look on others with compassion and it gives them a passion to fight for the rights of the downtrodden. I love that Sanchez points out that shedding tears is not a weakness, but is a sign of having a heart closer to Christ’s.

The best part about a woman warrior is that her weapon doesn’t generally shed blood (but she will pick up that kind and use it when necessary). It cuts a conscience to the quick or snips through the BS and to the heart of the matter.

What are some other causes women fight for? Do you feel like a warrior in your life?

Like reading this? You’re a click away from getting Hero Delivery, a bulletin with deals and new releases from Sharon Hughson.

Maybe you like romance or some of my other books. I’m sure there’s something worth reading on my page.

Already read one or more of my books? Please leave an honest review on your favorite site. A review is the same as the author discovering a gold nugget in the bottom of her washing machine.

Happy Birthday to The Man

Happy birthday to the man…

Born June 27, 1965
Born June 27, 1965
  • of the hour
  • I’m married to
  • of my dreams
  • who puts up with me day after day
  • who proposed to me 29 years ago and married me 28 years ago
  • who is the best father my boys could have
  • who I’m glad to grow old with
  • who spoils me
  • I love…still…after all this time
  • who looks at me with awestruck eyes
  • who loves me…still…after living with me for nearly three decades

Okay, the man’s a saint! I admit it. I’m the one who calls him “Mr. Wonderful” after all.

Back in 1982 when two cute seniors flirted with me the day before school started, I never would have imagined one of them would be my husband. And it wasn’t the one I dated first, either.

P4300107

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a man who stood beside me through the births of two sons (well, there were those few moments he was nearly passing out, but I hardly remember that).

After the birth of son #1
After the birth of son #1

This is the man who taught our sons to shoot hoops, ride a bike and drive a car.

tanner_0019

Yes, he’s an amazing father. My boys are blessed.

A0064

 

 

 

He spoils me with great trips

Caribbean 2016
Caribbean 2016

And I let him spoil himself with Mustang convertibles

P6180269

He has a sense of adventure that parallels mine

Ziplining 2016
Ziplining 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not to mention a sense of humor

Thanksgiving 2012 -085

And didn’t he help me make handsome children?

Now we’re blessed with daughters, and our family is complete.

Thad & Kacy Wedding 2016 - 0627

Happy birthday, Mr. Wonderful. I’m glad you let me talk you into dating me and then trick you into marrying me. I hope I make you half as happy as you’ve made me.

Here’s to another 50-some years, right?

 

Why What other People Thinks Doesn’t Matter

People are happy to give us their opinions, aren’t they? Even when we don’t ask. But, why do we ask? Does what they think really matter in the long-term scope of life?

So, you’ve probably already been judging me for buying a diamond in the Caribbean. Or maybe for not bringing you back something nice, too.

Which means it’s time to finish telling on myself. When you left me on Monday, I was walking into the den of diamonds. Completely oblivious to what was about to happen.

A Diamond in any other Color

I mentioned how wedding rings traditionally have diamonds. And these are clear diamonds. The more colorless the better.

I have to say, I’ve swerved from the traditional path. (People have something to say about that, too, I’m sure.)

While we listened to the shopping expert give her spiel, Mr. Wonderful was jotting down notes on watches (THAT’S a whole different story). Me, I was gaping at the rainbow of colors.

Chocolate. Pink. Blue. Black. Diamonds – but with color. (Because we all know clear is not a color.)

And I’d become a little infatuated with blue diamonds. Not that the pink weren’t sparkly or the black wouldn’t go with any outfit. But there’s something about blue. *sighs*

Little did I suspect as I trod into the den of diamonds to pick up my free charm bracelet and charms that this store would host a gaggle of the brilliant blue babies.

The Hope Diamond is a blue diamond.

In fact, blue diamonds abound with this retailer. (I mean, level two distributor who can give you the BEST deal ever because you don’t have to pay any middle men. Yes, I’m repeating word-for-word what our shopping expert told us.)

Next thing I know, one of the managers is presenting me with a 1.62 carat blue diamond pendant. (”I don’t wear necklaces.”) And showing me how it would look set in a diamond wedding band and paired with the blue and white diamond band I had starting drooling over admiring.

OR there was this Crown of Light cut white diamond (.82 carats) that I could set between the blue diamonds. This is what I wanted. Or so I thought.

But when they displayed those diamonds side by side in the proposed settings, I had to admit the blue diamond called to me. It was unique. It was my color. And it was HONKING HUGE.

Not that I care about that. Or I didn’t think I did.

Until the man started giving us numbers. We could get the blue diamond – twice the size of the white – for the exact same price as the much smaller traditional diamond.

What about the Crown of Light cut? That’s what I really wanted, right?

Lucky for me (or perhaps the salesman), that gorgeous blue diamond that glittered and glistened like snow in the sun was also faceted in the Crown of Light manner.

What do you think?

Enter the moment when the title comes into play. You know, the issue of what other people think (and if it matters to me).

My jaw still sat on the floor at the exorbitant figure this man wanted us to spend on a new wedding set. I’m a starving artist. I LOST money in my career during 2015. Anything over $1000 seems out of reach.

This was WAY beyond that.

My husband asks, “What will you say when other people don’t really like this ring? That might happen.”

Because, you know, it isn’t a traditional white diamond. And it’s gigantic, so people will likely assume it’s zirconium (i.e. FAKE).

It took me a second to answer. But not because I was pondering the question. My brain was still frozen over the price tag. And the fact we were still talking about this ring instead of walking out of the store (we had the charm we came for).

So you don’t like my ring, huh?

“I’ll tell them it’s unique and showcases my individual style and personality.” (You know, the standby ‘it’s unique like me’ argument.)

He nods. The bartering begins. And just like that I’ve got a ring I never planned to want.

The Truth of It

Ring Number Three (which looks a LOT like ring #2 only marquis-cut stones)
Ring Number Three (which looks a LOT like ring #2 only marquis-cut stones)

The truth is, I received tons of compliments on ring number two in the five or ten years I wore it. The same can be said of ring number three.

“Your ring is gorgeous.”

“Are those rubies? What a cool idea!”

“Where did you get that ring? It’s amazing.”

“I’ve never seen a wedding ring like that before.”

And the list could go on for the rest of the page, but you get the gist.

Welcome to the present. Now I have a truly amazing ring. One that is unique in every way. But very few people have said anything about it.

Granted, I’m not the person who shoves my hand into someone’s face and says, “Look what The Man bought me.” Mainly because I don’t want to answer what will be the next question, “How much did it cost?”

Because it cost more than my husband should have spent. Anytime he buys me something I perceive as expensive (and only a millionaire wouldn’t classify this ring that way), I immediately shy away from it.

I don’t deserve that. The money could be better spent elsewhere.

What is that about? (Whatever it is, it will have to wait for a different blog post – or better yet, a therapy session.)

Do any of us deserve a gift?

And why does your opinion of a gift I received matter?

It doesn’t.

Sorry. That’s the truth. The gift was for me. Personalized according to my specifications.

Here is the Caribbean Blue - Hope Diamond's baby sister
Here is the Caribbean Blue – Hope Diamond’s baby sister

I adore it. I’m amazed by it. I stare at it, twisting it this way and that in different lights (while hubbs laughs at me).

The giver wanted to demonstrate his love. He thinks nothing about the price being “too much.” Is anything too expensive for the one you love?

In the end, what other people think about my ring (and I guarantee you, they all have opinions, even if they haven’t spouted them to me) doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t.

I might need to say that a few thousand more times. Because when I love something, I want everyone else to love it, too.

But if they don’t? That should never affect my feelings or thoughts.

Do you let what other people think affect your own attitudes? Why is this such an epidemic in our society?

Old Men’s Softball: A League of their Own

You know how you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Yeah, it’s pretty much the same with the old guys of the world. They think they can do all the same things in their 50-year-old body as they did as a teenager. Like play softball.

This is the third year my husband has played softball. Don’t think I’m being cruel with my title. He’s the one who told me their team plays in “the old men’s league.” In his defense, he’s the oldest guy on his team this year.

Or maybe that didn’t really help my case *shrugs*

Every Tuesday night in August and September, teams of men gather on the recreational fields around the Hillsboro Stadium. They bring their gloves. They laugh and joke, tossing the ball around to warm up.

Some of them are still trying to fit into the baseball pants they wore in high school. You know the ones that are fitted like leggings? Not a pretty sight. Don’t they know those have gone out of style anyway? (Billy Joel would.)

Each week, the teams play two games. There are early games: 6:30 and 7:30 pm. Late games at 8:30 and 9:30 pm let them play under the lights. I’m a supportive wife (or I just want to get out of the house), so I go to the early games. This generally means dinner at a restaurant – another vote in favor of attending the games.

This Totes brand seat has seen a few games

It certainly has nothing to do with the comfortable seating. Those aluminum bleachers have ridges on them that I can still feel beneath my portable (and stylish) stadium seat. It makes a 55 minute game seem to last twice as long.

My youngest son attended with me the first week. His commentary delighted and entertained. We both agreed that matching shirts were a thing. If you didn’t have them, you would lose.

Some teams have a crowd of spectators to rival the Giants. These ladies bring their own camp chairs and snacks for their army of children. I admire them. I would never have brought my toddlers to these games; I would spend all my time watching them – and that’s much easier at home.

My husband plays third base. “We’ve noticed the worst player gets to be catcher,” my son says. In little league days, that honor went to the second baseman. We watch him miss a line drive and overthrow first base. Maybe he’s the second-worst player in Old Man Softball.

The second week, my older son and his girlfriend sit at the game with me. Why not? We bought them dinner at P.F. Chang’s beforehand.

Not as many announcer-worthy asides at this game, but still plenty of conversation. Speculation about the ages of some of the players. Trying to match the spectators with the men in the dugout. Amazingly, there are a handful of people (aside from us) cheering for our team.

With scores like 33-3 and 16-4, it’s plain to see this isn’t the big leagues. It’s not even the medium-large league – unless you’re talking player size.

My husband has his moments. Catching a line drive, hitting in two runs and even forgetting where he put his mitt. While all these moments are memorable, not all of them are happy. Who wants to strike out or overthrow first base? Not my guy.

I’m thankful my husband can join in the fun. It gets him outside and gives me the opportunity to eavesdrop on a new crowd (always the writer).

Do you have a hobby or sport you’ve given up because it seems to belong to younger people? What sort of league would you form?

Does your ideal date include a test drive?

A sunny Friday night spent dining with my husband in one of our family’s favorite restaurants. A prefect date night. Then comes the suggestion: how about test driving a Durango?

Yep. I want the red one.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when date and drive are used in the same sentence, this is what I think:

  • “Let’s do a date at the drive-in” (I know, I’m old.)
  • “How about a drive up to that scenic viewpoint to end our date?” (And then we park and, you know the rest.)

Test driving a car wasn’t on my radar. Until Friday night. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been married for 26 years. All the other exciting date options have been done to death (*rolls eyes*) so you resort to consorting with car salesmen.

It sounds exponentially more horrifying when you phrase it like that.

Fortunately, our salesman didn’t feel the need to press us forward. Of course, hubby didn’t drive either of the vehicles we might trade in for the new car either. He knows himself very well.

The model in the color I wanted with the options I like was still in transit to the dealership. Darn. I guess there’s no chance of a sale tonight.

Hubby drives the car off the lot. He takes it on the highway and punches it. Pretty fair response for a V-6. I’m enjoying the view from the passenger seat – above all the minions in their sporty or economical cars.

Eventually, I get to drive sedately down the road back to the dealership. The only reason there’s a blind spot is because of the window sticker. I could be a back-up pro with the reverse camera. Acceleration – check. Braking – ditto.

I’m still not sure I want such a big vehicle. I’m happy to whip in and out of tight places with my little RDX. Really, I just wanted to move up in the world to a stellar luxury brand.

Do I really want to be that girl? I’m thinking about it. Still. Okay, no, I don’t want to be all about the brand. “I drive an Audi.” “Oh, well my BMW cost more.” “Ha! My Mercedes trumps you all.” You know the type of person I’m talking about.

No, I don’t want to be that girl. Of course, the major selling point for the Durango is that it will whittle us down to one vehicle per person in the house. Yes, hubby agrees to let the truck go if we get something that can haul a utility trailer.

It’s not every girl that can separate a man from his truck.

What’s the strangest “date” you’ve ever been on? For the record, I have been on stranger ones.

Inspiration Abounds all Around

Image courtesy of Running Rachel

Today’s assignment is to write about who inspires me. What? I’m supposed to choose only one person? If not, this post will be longer than anyone cares to read.

In life, inspiration lives all around us. We just have to open our eyes and see. After seeing, we must ponder the message and take it to heart.

Only then will we be inspired. Like everything else in life, it’s our choice.

What’s Inspired Me Recently?

Olympic Athletes: Hours, months and years of hard work and determination is clearly marked for these heroes. Are they disappointed if they don’t win a medal? Is getting there enough of a payoff? I don’t know, but their dedication to a course of action inspires me to stay the course toward my own dreams.

My Sister: We may have come from the same background, but life has dealt her a brutal hand when compared with mine. Yet she continues on. And not begrudgingly. She maintains a positive spirit. When she got another degree on her black belt, I wasn’t surprised. Solid stuff – that’s what she’s made of and it compels me to “suck it up, Buttercup!”

My Husband: If you know me, the man is already a saint for enduring me for 25 years. More than that though, he is the model of love. He has the heart of a servant. When my mom died, he stepped up to hold me up, but then he stepped in and helped my step-dad deal with all the financial red-tape. If you need a helping hand – you can count on my husband.

Friends: When you’re down, the people who reach out to you are the ones you can truly call friend. In the midst of all the loss and craziness, I had friends who gave me permission to skip a day of writing and just relax. I was ready to return to creativity after that, but I didn’t want to cut myself any slack. These people inspire me to reach out to others and be a better friend.

Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150Could my list go on and on? Certainly. I think I’ll cut my readers a mid-week break.

Who inspires you? What do they inspire you to do?
Linking to the HOST

Musings on Marriage

Happily ever after?
Happily ever after?

Marriage is meant to be the joining of two individuals into “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Unfortunately, there’s a lot of severing of body parts in the realm of marital bliss because many people don’t see it as a binding, lifetime contract.

Or maybe our society’s idea of being faithful to your word is so diminished that every contract can be negotiated or terminated at a later date. Why does it have to be binding? A lawyer somewhere should be able to get me out of it if I decide I want out later.

People are flesh and blood. Businesses might be made of brick, mortar, wood or stone. Flesh cannot be patched in the same way a building can.

When business contracts are broken, people lose jobs, money and security. On the other hand, when marriages fail, people bleed.

Contemplating causes for different outcomes keeps my mind occupied. Rather than analyzing data like a scientist, I consider people and their actions and attempt to determine motivation. In my warped way, I think this helps me create more realistic characters in the stories I write.

Two important people in my world have suffered through the agony of amputating a spouse in recent months. Sounds painful, right? Yep. If you think divorce is the easy way out, it’s time to rethink your options.

Two hearts become one. Two lives become one. Two people become one. Oh, those are just romantic words on Hallmark greeting cards which accompany wedding gifts. Those poetic souls understand marriage.

Some people don’t give their hearts fully to marriage, causing the marriage to fail. Many individuals want to keep the single life they love and that dooms a marriage. Even if you keep your heart and life, the two people are joined into one flesh. Cut your flesh. It bleeds. Cut your marriage, you bleed.

I see a few broad reasons why marriages fail. I’m musing here, not accusing. My list isn’t meant to be all encompassing or judgmental. I’m just doing my people analysis thing.

Marriage ends because:

  • People have the wrong expectations. If you think the other person will be your “everything,” you’re condemning them to fail. They will never be perfect. Newsflash: neither will you. Expect success, not perfection. Success is something you can work toward, while perfection is unattainable.
  • People lack commitment. They say the average person will change jobs every three years. Those people retiring now after spending 30 or more years with the same company are no longer the pattern for younger generations. If you’re unhappy, move along. Unfortunately, having this attitude about marriage relegates it to failure.
  • People hold onto secrets. Secrets aren’t just about infidelity or impulsive spending or gambling. Sometimes one spouse needs support, but rather than seeking it from their mate, they pretend it doesn’t exist or search for it elsewhere. The best relationships are built on the foundation of truth.
  • No one wants to be accountable. The “it’s her fault” finger of blame is as old as Adam and Eve (see Genesis 3:12-13). Unfortunately, society seems to be promoting this sort of excuse-making. If a child is substandard, look to the parents and find fault. If a marriage is unhappy, it must be the other person’s fault.
  • Everyone feels entitled to happiness. After all, the “Declaration of Independence” makes the “pursuit of happiness” a basic human right. Well, someday when people are perfect, happiness will reign. Until then, problems happen and bomb our happy lives. Rather than run away from the problem, we need to face it down. Happiness is fleeting, but the joy that comes from keeping your word can sustain you in the dark times.

Marriage binds two people. When two people commit to the contract of marriage, “they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6).

Can you end your marriage contract? Sure. But if you think it’s going to be painless, cut off the end of your index finger. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Why do you think so many people avoid marriage? Why isn’t marriage considered a lifetime commitment anymore?