Under My Stilettos

© 2014 Mit Maras

Under My Stilettos

“It’s official. I’m in midlife crisis. Just went to DSW and bought some hooker heels. I’ve always wanted to learn how to walk in heels. For some reason decided today was the day.”

That was the text sent to my poor friend (who has to endure my daily texts of madness) which started this journey.

I am now convinced that something happens to a woman when she loses her ovaries. At least that’s the new excuse I have for everything. Forced by endometriosis to have a complete hysterectomy at the young age of 37 is not exactly what I had planned. Nonetheless, it’s the catalyst to my current season in life.

Female jock to the core all of my younger and high school years, I was always the tennis shoes and track pants kind of gal. I was well into my mid 20s before I ever went to a nail salon and had my nails done by a professional. Dresses? Pfffft. The only time those were worn was when someone died.

After 37 years of tom-boy-to-the-core attire that covered as much skin as possible due to extreme modesty, the recent loss of ovaries has sent me spiraling into uncharted waters…girly things. With the onslaught of hot flashes that lead to epic mood swings, blue jeans and t-shirts have been traded in for silk, thigh-high summer dresses. Boots and tennis shoes have been traded in for sandals and the ever so cute wedge sandals with heels. Heels…something this chick has never EVER braved conquering, until now.

Just yesterday, while getting my nails done, this intense desire to enter the feminine world and conquer wearing heels struck. We’ve all seen the ladies adorn the dance floor of Dancing with the Stars on heels as thin as toothpicks, and gracefully glide across the floor as if they were dancing on the clouds.  “Hooker heels” (as I have always called them) have become my new quest. Just to give you a little insight as to how little I knew, here is a little snip-it of the text conversation with my friend:

Me: “So are stilettos an actual shoe or is that the name for all shoes like that? Instead of hooker heels?”

Friend: “Stilettos are a type of shoe with a super high heel.”

Me: “Ahhhhhh so hooker heel is the swamp slang for stilettos!!!! Gotcha.”

Friend: “YEP!”

Me: “Awesome. I feel educated today.”

Boy am I relieved to learn stilettos and hooker heels are actually the same thing. Stilettos sound so much more lady like after all.

On the way home, I stopped off at the DSW shoe store. The bright letters designating the clearance section was my predetermined destination. I wasn’t about to spend over $100.00 on a pair of shoes I may or may not ever be able to wear. $24 and some odd change later and I was on my way. The shoes? Well let’s just say as soon as they are conquered, my reward to myself will be an actual pair that I can wear in public. The black shoes are covered in what’s basically heart, tear drop, and star jewels that are as fake as a young girls’ jewelry making kit. The heels themselves? A dark, silvery metal color with designs to make them look like dragon scales. The scales earned them a huge smile of approval from my 8 year old son. What can be cooler than being the mom with dragon shoes to an 8 year old? I may break my neck in them, but at least I’m the cool mom now.

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That is how this journey begins. With my dragon scale stilettos (no longer hooker heels), I am off on a journey to conquer the heels. If you’ve never conquered the heels, now’s the time…go and buy you a pair and join along. If you are one of those cloud gliding heel wearers…enjoy the laughs and remember the pain. LOL Either way, women of all walks can laugh and enjoy the journey.

 

© 2014 Mit Maras

Seasons

Seasons come. And seasons go. The old saying is very much true, and aren’t we glad of that fact when the seasons are rough ones? After a while away from writing, I am finding my way back. The creative juices have finally begun to flow again, and Niagra Falls has met its match. {laughs} We all face seasons in life, and I am glad the seasons taking me away from my exploration of writing are beginning to be fully behind me.

The children’s book is written and awaiting illustrations before being uploaded to Amazon for printing. After rave reviews from the beta readers, and minor changes from the editing friend, the story itself is complete and ready to go. The illustrations and cover design are now in the process of being worked up so they can be added to the story.

The story follows a six year old boy through a fun filled journey to learn the ten plagues of the Bible. Jeremy Jenkins learns one Sunday that he can earn his very first badge if he can learn and recite, IN ORDER, the ten plagues. With some help from his parents and other family members, Jeremy learns an “out of the box” way to remember the order of the plagues.

With that book almost ready to be published, there are more just begging to be put to paper. The one currently being worked on is a book for Moms, written by Moms. After an incident with my own child, I needed a place to vent and express my hurts about how others treat certain children. As my words spilled out onto the paper at lightning speed, I realized there were tons of other Moms who have had the same experience, if not worse, and that they would appreciate a place to get their story out as well. Who better to write a book of struggle, learning, and healing for Moms than Moms themselves?

For the new book, I need stories. So watch in the next day or so for a way to get your story told in a compilation book. The amount of interest in just a short synopsis of this book to professional writers and editors has shown there is a need for this book to be written. So, for now, I must leave you and dive back into writing.

 

Enjoying the journey,

Mit Maras

© Mit Maras 2014

The Betas Have It …

The Betas Have It …

© 2013 Mit Maras

First off, I can’t believe I even have beta readers. Last week, I finished my final read through and slowly began sending the book out to a few for their opinions. The writing world gives them the title of beta readers. I give them the title of trusted souls. The people I chose are a widely diverse group of people. They range in age, gender, race, creed…just about anything you could think of. Some of them have children. Some of them do not. The one common denominator they all possess is the connection they each have with the Lord. They are all mighty women and men of God, whom I trust to give honest feedback. I trust they will look out for the protection of God’s character above and beyond the protection of my own.

I have had the privilege of being a beta reader several times before, but I never imagined I would have my own group of betas reading a book that I wrote. This is all a little surreal for me. Writing books was never a dream of mine. Now, here I am about to submit my first one to be professionally edited. From there it will be illustrated, with the final stop at publication!

Most writers I know get very nervous when the book is sent out to the beta readers. They await feedback from years of pouring their hearts out onto the pages and are seeking the approval they long for. This book has been in the works, quietly, for about a year now. Even those closest to me have just recently learned about its’ existence. As I sent out the manuscript to the betas, I tried to be nervous. I tried to figure out what each person would say when I was deciding on whom to ask for their opinions. No matter what I did, I simply couldn’t get nervous. There was another emotion overtaking me…excitement. I am excited for people to be reading the book. I am excited to include people along my journey whom I trust and value their opinions. They will only make the book better for everyone.

So with a very excited heart, I await the betas opinions as they trickle back in. This coming weekend, the printed manuscript will be sent to be edited. Thank you all for joining me on this journey. The goal….at the end of this process is to provide you and your children a fun way to remember the ten plagues. I pray it blesses you and your family as much as it has mine.

 

Excitedly,

Mit

© 2013 Mit Maras

 

It’s Only a Blanket

It’s Only a Blanket

© 2013 Mit Maras

Nearly every child has one at some time in their young lives. For some, it’s a favorite toy. For others, it may be a favorite pacifier. It’s that one item the child, without it, cannot function. It goes on every trip to the grocery store. It’s an active participant in every night’s bedtime routine. It’s that one comfort that could never get left behind, or the universe might actually quit spinning. For my son, it was a favorite blue blanket.

When he was a baby still learning to crawl, he made his way over to a bag of blankets I was donating to charity. And, like most kids do when they see a nice and neat folded pile of clothes, he proceeded to knock down the stack of blankets and pulled out this blue one. It became an extension of him from that moment on. Only once, when he was attending a daycare, did we ever forget it somewhere. It only took the meltdown from that one time for us to learn the lesson and never ever forget that blanket again. We could forget anything else we owned. But, that blanket was second on the list, only to the child himself.

One road trip to see my husband, out of state, took a serious detour when the cries from the backseat forced me to pull into a local store for thread and a needle. You see, the tags finally fell out of the seams into his hand. The meltdown that followed is impossible to fathom if you haven’t experienced it yourself. There just aren’t words that can describe the scene adequately.

Then, one fateful night in December 2012, the unthinkable happened.  The blanket was left at a local restaurant after dinner. It wasn’t until bedtime that we realized it was missing. My first call was to my Mom in complete disbelief and panic. The next call was immediately to the restaurant asking if it had been turned in to the lost and found. Had another family sat at our same table, the other mother would have certainly noticed the ragged state and immediately known the importance of the blanket and turned it in for safe keeping. The manager looked everywhere and came back with the devastating news that the blanket had not been found.

To help explain the seriousness of the importance of this blanket to you all, my Mom called back up there and offered a $100 reward for anyone who found the blanket. I was even tempted to go dumpster diving for that. LOL. The next day, however, we had to finally accept the reality that the blanket was forever gone.

Breaking the news to my son was very hard for me to do. After just a few tears, he quickly went to sleep with no notice of the absence. He took it much better than I would have ever thought possible. What I didn’t expect was how hard I would take the loss. No one took it harder than I did. The first thing I did after he fell asleep was stalk eBay until I found another exactly like it and immediately ordered it. Then, after bawling my eyes out until 2:30 in the morning, I finally drifted to sleep. Only to wake in the same depressed condition I had fallen asleep in.

I had plans for that blanket. There was a hole in one corner that still needed to be sewn back together. There had been quilting material carefully picked out for a day in the near future when he no longer needed it. It was going to be the centerpiece in the quilt to make and preserve for him until he one day had a child of his own. I literally mourned the blanket like it was a beloved family pet. I felt guilty over not fixing that hole sooner. I felt cheated out of the quilt and heritage I had planned for my child. And I had anger towards the heartless person who tossed something so precious into the garbage along with our left over scraps.

This went on for about two days when the good Lord stepped in. I had complained to God. I had begged God to let someone find it and call. There was plenty of bargaining, groveling, anger, and hurt cast in His direction over our loss. Yet, when He came to me, He came as the gentle-loving, protective Father that He is. He wasn’t angry that I was moping around over a blanket. He was understanding. He cared that it was important to me. He counts the hairs on my head, so of course He is concerned with the things that break my heart.

The gentleness that He spoke to my soul is still overwhelming for me. He knew exactly what to say, in one sentence, to snap me out of my selfish downward spiral. No one else could coax me out of my sadness. He simply reminded me this, “There are parents tonight in Newtown, Connecticut and all they have to hold tonight are the blankets. It’s only a blanket.”

You see, four days earlier, the gunman had entered Sandy Hook school in Newtown and killed all those children in their classrooms. Two days after that is when we lost the blanket. While I was crying and angry about missing out on the opportunity to pass a beloved item on to my son and future grandchild, those parents were mourning the loss of their children. I could picture mothers curled up in empty toddler beds, soaking blankets with their tears. And now, every night, all they would have to hold would be those blankets. I…still had my child to hold. The choice was easy. I couldn’t run down the hall fast enough to crawl in bed with my son and just hold him in my arms. I held him knowing some other mother was only getting to hold a blanket now.

Not once more did I mourn the missed opportunity with the blanket. Sure, I wish we still had it. But there was an immediate release of the anger and hurt. God reminded me, ever so gently, of the real importance. He knew I didn’t need a chewing out. He knew I wasn’t intending on being ungrateful to Him at all. He knew that He…and He alone…could speak to me in one sweet and heartfelt sentence and make me see. After all, “It’s only a blanket.”

© 2013 Mit Maras

Gentle Giants

Gentle Giants

© 2013 Mit Maras

Any lover of Great Dane dogs will tell you their breed nickname of gentle giants is an accurate description. All you have to do is Google information for the dogs, and you will quickly read of their gentle and loving nature despite size. Pictures of the enormous dogs standing protective beside toddlers, half their size, are favorites of mine.

A somewhat secret wish of my husband was always to own one of these magnificent animals. I have gladly admired them from afar…living in someone else’s home. Not mine. Not until now.

Recently, my husband lead a fellow worker to Christ. Somewhere along that man’s search for God, the topic of Great Danes arose. He owned a pair of Great Danes that had just given birth to a dozen puppies. My husband shared with him his lifelong wish of owning one of the magnificent creatures, and that is where this new chapter of our lives began.

Oil field men are a special breed of men themselves. My husband’s biceps and shoulders are larger than some women’s thighs. He doesn’t tower others by any means, but his nickname Moose lends some insight into his size. The other guy, my Moose-of-a-husband, calls…massive! The joy it brings me to picture two rough and tough oil men sitting around talking about Jesus and puppies is simply immeasurable! They, themselves are gentle giants!

All this leading to my current journey….the backseat of a minivan. One very excited six year old sitting beside me, separated by a sleeping 9 week old Great Dane…on my favorite blanket. The two day trip that split up a 19 hour drive is one most normal people would have never made. And that was just to get there. Thank goodness we are not normal. With our trusty GPS guiding our way, back roads of the beautiful New Mexico frontier have become our playground. A new blanket of snow, highlighting an already perfect sculpture of God’s beauty poured out onto Earth, makes a backdrop of heavenly inspiration.

One of the highlights of my journey came at 5:30 this morning, when two gentle giants bonded on the floor of a hotel room. My son, exhausted from all of the excitement, slept through it all. I dozed in and out for about three hours. The times I was awake, I saw one of the gentlest giants of a man lost in pure bonding and love with a baby of a gentle giant breed. As they played in the predawn hours, a soft glow from the bathroom illuminated their playful silhouettes. There was something magical witnessing the eternal bonds of these two gentle giants.

There were no burdens of the world weighing heavy on his mind or his chest. There were no whines and cries from a puppy missing her canine family. There was a bonding of two spirits that’s as pure as the crisp white snow blanketing the ground around us. The simple question their playful banter at 5:30 in the morning left me with was….who….saved who?

 

© 2013 Mit Maras

 

My Word for 2013

My Word for 2013

© Mit Maras 2013

My family doesn’t participate in making any New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, we each pick one word that is going to be our theme word for the entire year. That word represents a goal we each want to work towards obtaining. My husband got the idea from listening to the KLOVE radio station several years ago.

Compassion was my word for 2012. Anyone who knows me personally can tell you that I am the type that has always had more compassion for animals than for people. Two different times in my life I had taken one of those personality tests. Both times my lowest score was in compassion. I don’t think it was possible to score a zero on any section, but I came close both times.

Reflecting back on last year as a whole, I believe a fair report card most likely would result in a C in the compassion department. I grew in leaps and bounds in the area of having compassion for the less fortunate. Weak and lazy were how I had honestly always viewed this group of people. After all, we all have problems to deal with. If I had to deal with mine with no help, then they should suck it up and deal with theirs. That was always my mentality…until this past year. Purposefully taking on several roles shined new light on my negative and unfair views. I was able to help out the less fortunate in our area weekly. The more I got involved and helped, the less judgmental I found myself.

I don’t think I did quite so well with those that are the closest to me. I still hold them to the higher standard that they should just suck it up and do what needs to be done. I pray that knowing what I need to continue to work on will aid to make improvements in this area for years to come.

Choosing a word for 2013 has been, by far, my hardest. There were no less than 5 words that I battled back and forth with for the last several months of 2012. It was several weeks into 2013 that I finally settled on the one thing I wanted to work on more than anything this year. My word for 2013 is…Positive. I tend to side with the pessimists of the world on most topics. Again, anyone who has known me long can testify.

I want to be a more positive and supportive person. I want to look for the positive in all situations life throws at me this coming year. Equally as important, I want to allow nothing but positive to surround myself and my family. There are too many negative attacks on families and relationships in our time, and we do have control over what is allowed into our lives.

Every decision people make in our country is guaranteed two things. The first, is to make one group of people happy. The second, is to have people who disagree and they don’t mind at all voicing their displeasure…to everyone. There is only so much negativity we each can stand, and I had my fill last year. I have accepted the fact that I can’t change people. Nor can I force them to change. But I can and I am changing what I allow into my life, as well as into my family’s life. Of course,  bad things will happen this year. Bad things happen weekly around here these days. It is in the middle of the bad things that I will search for the positive. People who can not bring positive thoughts and actions this year, simply will not be allowed in our lives.

January was a huge adjustment in many ways for our family this year. Our family is struggling to redefine itself in the midst of a new job opportunity for my husband. There were many challenges. There were many victories. I spent my birthday this year trying to keep our house from flooding. Yet, in the middle of knee deep water, I was able to see the significance of all the rain. We live at the bottom of a slowly sloped neighborhood. When it rains heavily, our side yards become small rivers flowing from the back towards the front. Not only do we get our water, but the entire neighborhood’s water drains through our yard. This year’s downpour on my birthday, for me, represented a cleansing. It was a good hard rain that washed all the leaves clean from the backyard. Even when the hard rains ceased, the water continued to flow from the rest of the neighborhood. My lesson in all of this? If we don’t open up the floodgates and let it all out, we will drown in it. It doesn’t matter if it is our own mess. It doesn’t matter if the mess originates from others. What matters is if we choose to do nothing or if we choose to open the gates and let it float right past. Just because landscape dictates that our property gets dumped on by the entire neighborhood, doesn’t mean we have to accept that and let our house flood. We take action. We open up the gates and let their water rush right by our house.

We get rain all the time. I have gotten soaking wet many times trying to keep my house from flooding during downpours. Yet, I have never been able to see the positive lesson…until this year. I was prepared days ahead of time for the storm. I made preemptive strikes preventing my house from flooding. I did not wait to react to the storm. I met it head on with a game plan in place and came out with a positive life lesson. That is how I will live my 2013. I’d say I was off to a great start.

© Mit Maras 2013

Letters to my Son: A Mother’s Promises Regarding Your Future Wife

Letters to my Son: A Mother’s Promises Regarding Your Future Wife

© 2013 Mit Maras

 

Tonight we had a lengthy discussion about last names and why girls change their last names when they get married. Your sweet little six year old mind tries so hard to understand grown up concepts. We then had our first discussion about your future wife. When you have children of your own, you will understand why this is such a bittersweet subject for me. Your Daddy and I have not had full conversations yet about the “dating” topics, like at what age you will be “allowed” to start dating. But I know we both believe with all our souls that God has one extremely remarkable woman for you.

 

You should know that true love does exist. And it is not like anything you will see on television when you are older. It is real. It is not about having multiple girlfriends just ‘test driving’ them like society will try to teach you is the best way to go. God has a woman for you and no other will do. I pray that your Daddy and I raise you to search for her and her alone. She will be worth the wait son. She could be a stranger that walks into the room you are in when you are grown, and God whispers to you “there she is”. Or she could be a lifelong friend that God has decided you are both ready and mature enough to begin His work together as one. Whenever God points her out to you, it will be the greatest love story of all times because it will be your very own.

 

One day you will choose to buy a ring, get down on one knee (or however you decide to do it), and you will ask a woman to be your wife. You will not only change the lives of the two of you that day, but also the lives of many surrounding you. In the midst of all the excitement surrounding your engagement and marriage, there are a few things I’d like for you to realize.

 

I began praying for this woman from the day you were born. It was not an obsessive every single day prayer. But it was a constant and often prayer. I do not think there will be anything harder in my life than to let go and trust you into the hands of God as an adult and to another woman as the leading lady in your life. So since the day you were born and until the day that I die, I will pray strongly for this woman that will one day grace our lives.

 

My biggest prayer is that she and her family know and love God like we do. This world is such a hard place to live in. I pray that she be rooted and grounded in the teachings of Jesus to better help you make the decisions you will one day make as the head of your household. Her outward appearance is of no concern to me, but rather the beauty that her heart will hold and one day share with us all. She will one day bring a smile to your face like no one will have brought before. And when God shows her to us all, there are some truths and promises I want you to rest assured in.

 

Just as a father walks his daughter down the aisle and physically places his daughter’s hand into the hand of the man she will marry, a mother quietly stands by and watches as her son asks for and receives the hand of the woman he has chosen for his wife. What the father does in the physical, the mother quietly stands by and does in the spiritual and emotional. I cannot imagine it an easy task for any woman, and the thoughts, while you are six, are more bitter than sweet. But on your wedding day, you will know without a doubt how long we have all prepared for this journey.

 

From the day God brings her into your life, I promise to embrace her with a warm, heartfelt welcome into our family. I promise to listen for hours as you rave on and on about her. But I will not stop there. I promise to talk with her and get to know who she is as an individual. I will invite her shopping, or for lunches just the two of us to build a relationship with her, getting to know in depth the woman you have chosen.

 

I promise to treat her as her own person and not just an extension of you. Although you and your family will automatically one day become a “packaged deal”, you are all unique individuals with different likes and dislikes and I promise to take the time to get to know them all.

 

I promise to dote over her not only in front of family and friends but in private to God. Nothing is more damaging than for a Mother to talk negative about the woman her son chose to marry. I promise never to speak negatively into or about your lives. I will offer my advice when asked and give any Godly advice during the difficult times. I will also keep my distance and allow the two of you to figure out what God is leading you to do. Sometimes God cannot do what He is trying to do or teach because earthly parents rush in to fix the problems for our children. I promise to pray diligently for God to help me with the balance of speaking wisdom into your lives and stepping back for Him to create His greater works within the two of you.

 

I promise that family traditions that have run smoothly for years and years will be adjusted and compromised to accommodate our growing family. When you two marry, you will have twice the family to share your lives with. Holidays can be stressful and hurtful if families fight to keep “age old traditions” as the most important factor, instead of working together. You and your wife are our most immediate family. The rest of the family will have to understand that our nuclear family comes first. There will be no compromising that.

 

I promise to extend a hand of friendship to her mother and never to make her feel that I am trying to replace the role of mother in your wife’s life, but rather to enhance the role of Godly women praying for and watching over her daughter’s life. I pray fervently that her mother will love you and do the same for you. I welcome you feeling comfortable enough and loving this other mother enough to share the title of “Mom” with her. And I promise to offer the same to her and to your wife.

 

Your wife will one day be the gatekeeper to how much time I get to spend with you and my grandchildren. That is just the way most families work. The women keep the calendars of birthdays and parties and all the happenings that families fiddle through. I promise to be respectful of your family time. I will not place unfair expectations on you regarding your time. I will work with her and give her plenty of notice whenever I possibly can. And though I may be disappointed at times when there are interferences, I promise not to lash out and be angry.

I pray to be one of her most trusted friends. Naturally, there will be bits and pieces of your marriage that I will want to stay out of and have details spared for my account. But in order for her to feel welcomed into our family and to feel like she will be one of my closest friends, I have to treat her that way. I will not get to keep you as my best friend if I treat her any less. I promise to go above and beyond sharing our past lives, your baby photos and as many warm family moments that have always been “ours” so that she feels like she was here all along.

 

The role as the Matriarch of our immediate family will be the most important role of my life. Should you have any siblings, I promise to promote harmony and peace between you all. I will plan, schedule, and rearrange schedules to constantly include you all in our lives. No one can bring families together like Mothers can and yours will break her back keeping you all informed and together. I promise not to sit idly by and watch you and your siblings (again, should you have any) live completely detached lives. When you all have children, I will take pride in my role making sure all of my grandchildren are aware of the local happenings. Mother’s either actively sow peace into their families, or they sit by and passively sow discord. I promise that you, your wife and your children will never feel that you are not wanted, welcomed, or invited to any function I am ever a part of.

 

Our family will not ever experience a change like the one we will all face when you decide to get married. So I want you to know that I have been praying and preparing for  your entire life. I have prayed for God to give me the courage, strength, wisdom, and humility to be the Mother and the Mother in Law that the two of you need me to be. I will make mistakes along the way. We all will. But I promise you now not to be so prideful and unwilling to humble myself and admit when I have made a mistake. But more importantly, I promise to correct my actions and never hold grudges.

 

I promise you all of these things and all I ask in return is that you help me to be this Mother to you and my daughter in law. Families are sick and splitting apart at an alarming rate these days and will no doubt be even worse when you are older. This is the picture I have of our family in those days, and I will not stop praying for God to guide us all. The bloodline you share with your Daddy and me make us relatives, but the love and respect for each other will always make us family. This woman may not share in our bloodline, but she will most certainly be a part of our family, surrounded by our love and respect. She will be as valuable to me as she is to you.

 

The most important promise I make to you is to be the kind of mother as you grow that will make all of these “promises” seem a mute point. I promise to be the kind of mother that walks this out daily, so that promises like these would be every day normal for me. I will not need to make these promises to you later in life. I will be showing you every day.

 

© 2013 Mit Maras