Relationship Series: Dear Husband

For the month of February, I am sprinkling a series of relationship/ dating blogs in honor of my five year wedding anniversary. I’m beginning with one I wrote a year or two ago and decided to update.

Dear Husband,

I wish a camera could briefly hone in on our real-life fairytale. Not for show, but for inspiration and proof that love can be pure, love can be fun, and love can be genuine.

Dear husband, I remember the very first email you sent me. It was simple, yet sweet; sweet enough for me to wonder immediately after if you would be my last first date.

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Dear husband, I love when we pray together.

Dear husband, you get on my nerves sometimes. At times, I want to punch you in the face, but more than anything, I just want to make up with you because I hate it when we fight.

Dear husband, I know I get on your nerves too and drive you crazy often. Thank you for loving me anyway.

Dear husband, I love how incredible of a father you are. I always knew you would be, but to see you interact with our son is the most priceless gift.

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Dear husband, thank you for filling our home with laughter and laughing at my corny jokes.

Dear husband, thank you for letting me be my goofy, awkward self which I’ve never been entirely comfortable showing anybody until now.

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Dear husband, thank you for breaking out in dance for no reason, especially when there’s no music.

Dear husband, I love seeing you fix things around the house and the joy you have with updating our home to a smart home. It is the sexiest thing in the world to see you exit the attic dirtied with sawdust, and particle board.

Dear husband, thank you for being positive and listening intently to my most vulnerable thoughts after the miscarriages and reminding me God has a perfect plan.

Dear husband, I love the times we play together and stay up late talking about any and everything.

Dear husband, I love our family and what we have together.

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Dear husband, I believe in your dreams and will do everything in my power to help make them a reality.

Dear husband, thank you for making me feel safe: spiritually, emotionally, and financially.

Dear husband, I look forward to growing old with you, living out our dreams, and checking off our bucket list together.

Dear husband, I love being YOUR wife

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Dear husband, I hope when you read this that it will make you smile again. : ) (You just did, didn’t you? haha!)

Dear husband, I love you more than I did yesterday and I hope to love you more tomorrow than I do today.

Happy Five year Anniversary!

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Your best friend and partner in crime,

Your wife

What God Taught Me Through My Miscarriage

I typed and deleted, typed and deleted again. Where do I begin with this word God placed in my heart? Before pinning, I’d already contemplated “the when” God wanted me to share it. Should I wait till I receive the promise as hoped? After all, that would be less vulnerable. God revealed I want them to know it is greater than anything they can do or receive.

Yes, faith without works. Yes, pray without ceasing. Yes, we have a role to play, but what about the times where our faith is nonexistent, and the pain is so deep that nothing in the world can alleviate it?

And, if it can, you have to endure the grueling process of healing: the bleeding, the scabbing, the peeling, the discoloration, and then the scar. It is essential to the purpose, and my purpose to talk about it now when I am somewhere in between the scabbing and the peeling.
So, here I am.

I have dealt with the “possibility” of infertility since I was a teen and the doctor told me my terrible cycles were due to endometriosis. In my early twenties, I discovered after seeing a specialist it was fibroids and lots of them. I had surgery to remove a few. It was my way of preparing my body for the babies God promised. The doctors explained it was paramount I had children soon because my window of fertility was smaller than women with no issues. I was okay with that. My only reservation was I had not met my husband yet, and there were no prospects in sight. A few years later, I did meet my husband, and by that time, I was having problems again. I had my second surgery early in our relationship. That only perpetuated my urge to have a baby now.

We married and immediately began planning for a baby. I expected it to be easy, but I could not have been more wrong.

Months turned into a year of trying with nothing. I visited the doctor to get help. Each time I was late, there was hope and excitement. I remember being a week late, vomiting and knowing this had to be it only to be devastated once again. Month after month no double pink lines.
Another year passed, I remember God telling me we would have a baby before my 30th birthday. When I turned 29, I figured He must be waiting until the last minute to make this happen. A month later, we received a call about a young lady wanting to give her baby up for adoption. I burst into tears and knew right away that was our miracle baby. Any family who has adopted can contest that you don’t just get a call like that. It is a grueling and expensive process that can take years. I had a feeling when I was younger that along with biological children, I would adopt. Also, my first child would be a boy. Our sweet baby boy was born in April, four months before my 30th birthday. I was thankful, grateful. To this day, I look at him in complete awe. When our son turned one, we contemplated more children. Despite our fertility issues, I could not shake how God promised I could carry at least one of my babies. Now 30, the clock seemed to be ticking alarmingly louder. We considered the option of I.V.F. By this time, it had been three years we were unable to do it on our own and with the help of meds. I went in for the consultation and was told I needed another surgery.

Another year passed. I had this feeling one attempt of I.V.F would work for us. So, we started the process. After the egg retrieval process, I had a sense I needed to wait a month before the transferred. Yet, I was stubborn and did not want to delay any longer. However, two days before the transfer, I went to the doctor sick. He immediately stopped the process. I knew it was God’s divine intervention because I was not going to listen. A month later, my body was ready to go. They implanted two embryos, and we waited a week for the results. I had a feeling it worked. I also had a vision of twins. Two days before my appointment, I became overwhelmed by our fertility journey. Against doctor’s wishes, I immediately took a pregnancy test, prepared to see the one line I was used to. My world shifted into a whole other arena when I saw the double pink lines. It was an unfamiliar place of happiness and joy I cannot even begin to explain. We waited five years to see those double pink lines. Every week my numbers were high and my labs were positive. This was it! Though one always fears miscarriage, I was certain God told me it would happen this way. I knew this baby would be okay, but it was not the case. I had a silent miscarriage. No warnings. Just a missing heartbeat at my sonogram. Are you serious, God?

There is no pain like a miscarriage, but to deal with infertility and miscarry is something different. You can’t just try again.

In addition, you are more in debt now.

On my 32nd birthday, I was at home losing my baby, losing what I thought God promised me. Not only was I devastated, I was confused. Had I not heard Him correctly? Was this me speaking and I put God’s name on it? Why would He take five years to give us another baby and then, take it away like this? I needed answers, but nothing anyone could say would justify how God took our second baby like this. It was weeks of confusion and no answers. I needed answers. I prayed each day for them. In the mist of ugly cries and the late night weeps, my only answer was God never left me. That wasn’t enough. I realized, despite my pleas, I wasn’t ready to know. I began to pray for peace beyond my own understanding, and God gradually revealed.

The first answer appeared in a quote, “God wouldn’t allow it, if it wasn’t going to move me toward purpose.”

I had not considered my purpose in a while. I knew becoming a teacher aligned with my purpose, but it is only a snippet of it.

The next reveal came through a conversation with a friend. This season of excruciating pain was to heal my marriage completely.

Neither of us grew up with an example of a healthy marriage. My husband has always been amazing man with amazing qualities. I knew he would be a great husband and incredibly father from the beginning. Though our marriage was okay, there was a hairline crack that concerned me. I worried another baby could strain us in ways we were not prepared. However, I remained confident it would be the opposite, and it was. Just not in the way I anticipated. We’d never experienced a loss that was ours together. Through our lost, I reached a new level of vulnerability with my husband. He has been my rock in this season. Right before my eyes, our marriage transformed into a love deeper than I could have fathomed. There is intimacy there that has sealed that hairline fracture. We hold hands and pray together like never before. Our bond is solid in Christ.

The final reveal was my relationship with Him. I had become stagnant and was reluctant to go deeper in Him.

Let’s face it, it is an uncomfortable process. Besides, a few years prior, I experienced an extensive transformation in my walk with Christ. I left the ministry and found an authentic relationship with God that was not rooted in other people’s opinions and perceptions. Though leaving ministry was supposed to be temporary, I had grown comfortable being away. My thoughts, at least I wasn’t a “baby Christian.” I did not realize how amateur my walk with Christ had become. God was my provider and the genie of wishes. If I wanted something, I asked/prayed, and He supplied. He had never been the God who gives and takes away.

I had to stop looking at God as the God of only great things or at least my notion of great. He is a God that allows pain too. Sometimes, unspeakable pain as my recent experience.

Though it can feel that way, it does not make Him cruel or a bully. He is God who is higher than my limited thinking, God who is closer than any human relationship I will encounter on earth, God who is unequivocally real to me.
So here I am, somewhere in between the scabbing and peeling. Though it hurts and nothing will replace losing our baby, I have my answers. I no longer view my loss as punishment or how I failed God and my family.

The Scripture, “Write the vision and make it plain…” comes to mind. When I lost our baby, I lost the vision. (Habakkuk 2)

I no longer picture myself with a big belly or peered into the back of the car envisioning two additional car seats next to my son’s car seat. I no longer picture us on family vacations with all of our children. My pain blinded me from remembering God’s promise. Had I not written it down, I would have lost it. As I read it repeatedly, it returned. I ceased questioning if I heard God. I heard God. His promise still stands; I cannot be limited to how I think it is going to happen.

Just like He fulfilled His promise with my sweet boy, He will not delay.

All these years, I have known about the hem of His garment. I have reached for it. I have touched it, even held on for dear life. Now, I spread out on it, lying at the heel of His feet, getting to know Him in ways my little mind has never fathom. He comforts me. My hope lies in Him. I can rest in knowing, He hasn’t forgotten about me.

 

Ebby LeBlanc

KISS & TELL: Dear Husband

Dear Husband,

I am slightly hesitant to write this open letter because our marriage is sacred to me. Yet, at times, I wish a camera could briefly hone in on our real-life fairytale. Not for show, but for inspiration and proof that love can be pure, love can be fun, and love can be genuine.

Dear husband, I remember the very first email you sent me. It was simple, yet sweet; sweet enough for me to wonder immediately after if you would be my last first date

Dear husband, you get on my nerves sometimes and at times, I want to punch you in the face, but more than anything I just want to make up with you because I hate it deeply when we fight.

Dear husband, I’m aware I get on your nerves too and you probably want to say some pretty mean things to me in those moments. I’m so thankful that you never do.

Dear husband, I am sorry about how mean I was to you the other day and still, you brought me back my favorite candy when you went to the store. Now, that’s love. : )

Dear husband, I love how incredible of a father you are. I always knew you would be, but to see you interact with our son is the most priceless gift.

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Dear husband, thank you for filling our home with laughter and laughing at my corny jokes.

Dear husband, thank you for letting me be my goofy, awkward self which I’ve never been quite comfortable showing anybody else.

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Dear husband, thank you for breaking out in dance for no reason, especially when there’s no music.

Dear husband, I love to see you fixing things around the house. It is the sexiest thing in the world to see you exit the attic dirtied with sawdust, and particle board.

Dear husband, thank you for making me feel safe: spiritually, emotionally, and financially.

Dear husband, I look forward to growing old with you, watching you live out your dreams, and checking off our bucket list together.

Dear husband, I am proud and I absolutely enjoy being YOUR wife

Dear husband, I hope when you read this that it will make you smile. : )

Dear husband, I love you more than I did yesterday and I hope to love you more tomorrow than I do today.

Happy Five year Anniversary!

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Your best friend and partner in crime,

Your wife

 

 

Stop Asking When I’m Getting Married!

The topic of dating seems appropriate for this time of year, the holidays, a.k.a “cuffing season.” If you are in your late twenties or older, seeing someone or single, I’m certain you were queried about your current status over the Thanksgiving holiday. And Lawd help, if one of your cousins happened to get engaged, married or had a baby this year.

It seems the odds at winning the lottery are more favorable than finding someone who is worth taking the plunge with. It doesn’t help that society has made a mockery of marriage lately.

Divorce rates have skyrocketed, citing “irreconcilable differences,” when often times the real culprit is living in an era of spoiled, selfish people who quit too easily when things get tough.

Add to that, the false perception of what real love looks like, tainted with Nickolas Spark’s novels and romance movies that are dumbly used as a point of reference.

Maybe you have this idea in your head of who your spouse should be and anyone who doesn’t fit the mold doesn’t stand a chance with you; or you’re in a serious relationship and waiting for him to pop the question. Either way, it is challenging enough to desire marriage with no prospects or be with someone who is yet to ask.

Yet, having to explain/defend your situation or lack thereof is the equivalency of kicking someone while they’re already down.

And honestly, you just wished people would mind their own _______ business. You can insert an extra word, if deem necessary.

Nevertheless, the issue is not entirely people inquiring about your relationship status, per se. No, the real issue is if you had it your way, you would have been married two or three holiday seasons ago. Therefore, the questions are just plain salting an old wound. And honestly, you wish people would just understand that,

  1. Its not easy finding someone you are compatible with these days
  2. Hell, you wish you knew when you were getting married too.
  3. You are enjoying your single life right now and wish they’d stop projecting their own wishes on you.
  4. Marriage is not for everybody
  5. Their asking doesn’t change your situation
  6. You are truly waiting for the right one
  7. You don’t need a relationship to be happy
  8. Again, it really is none of their business

Reality is the questions are not going to stop. So, you can decide to shrug it off or take it personal, clapback, go left, go crazy or whatever. Here’s another thought, I only loathed the questions because I had a problem with being single. When I finally stopped worrying, and I mean, finally because it took a long time to get there, I could politely respond with simply, “when I meet the right one.”

When you get to a place where you view singleness as just another season of life, and not some burden you can’t seem to shake, I guarantee you won’t be offended when people ask. Besides, I wish, I would have listened when married women told me that marriage has enough issues to steal your worries.

It won’t be easy, but there is freedom in enjoying where you are today, that subliminally gives permission for the joys of tomorrow.

So, what are some things you wish people understood when it comes to asking about your relationship status? Comment below.

For advice on how to spot a good man in the mist of the duds, check out Dating: The Issue, The Message, The Solution.

 

Your moment is now,

Ebby Lane

P.S. Don’t forget to rate this post & to Subscribe for future post, plus some giveaways coming up.  : )

 

Dating: The Issue, The Message, The Solution

James Brown’s hit song was titled, “It’s a Man’s Man’s World.” After hearing dating stories from single women, it seems to be an accepted declaration. Issues women deal with nowadays is mind-boggling. But, I get it. Why? I have been there. I’ve been “her” afraid to be herself because he may not like it. I’ve been “her” who dumb downed my spirituality to make him more comfortable (Thank you, Alex, for reminding me of this). I have been “her,” who despite how inferior he makes me feel (in fact, constantly question myself now), I keep him around because, at least, I’m not alone.

I interviewed single and married women of diverse backgrounds, ages, etc to craft the top 10 Common struggles of dating in 2015 and the top 10 qualities of husbands during the dating process. I wanted that single woman waiting for her husband to know she is not alone. Also, to provide a list of habits as a guide in recognizing the “real” thing.

Top Ten Struggles of Dating in 2015

1. Not Feeling Attractive Enough: You feel overweight, too dark, too skinny, too pale or to this, not enough that, and the list goes on. When you see women with a certain look getting the most attention from men, it is easy to believe you aren’t attractive enough.
2. Giving too much of yourself too soon: When you like him, you want to give him your all.

“It is difficult to find a balance between how much is too much, or how soon is too soon.” – C. Banks Fort Worth

3. Men don’t want to bring anything to the table nowadays: Women are constantly approached by men who have no car, no job, living with their mama, have multiple kids, multiple baby mamas, just plain baggage.
4. Men don’t want to work for you anymore (take you on a date, etc.): The famous line, “Netflix and Chill” comes to mind. There is a new dating rule. You go on a pre-date (Coffeehouse, park, somewhere that doesn’t allude to an actual date). I don’t know if it is a way of saying without saying, “I do not want to spend my money on you unless I think you’re attractive enough.” However, shouldn’t the pre-date be the conversation you had on the phone beforehand?
5. Men want to act like your boyfriend, without the title/commitment: He takes you out, is intimate with you, and perhaps, you even met his mama. However, he makes a point to remind you when you get too comfortable you’re just friends. And, he keep you from walking away by affirming the possibility of a relationship when HE believes you are both ready.
6. Men aren’t being honest about what they want (morals, values, or just flat out lying): You’re talking for weeks now. Things are great and the amazing conversation. However, the relationship begins to get serious and suddenly,  he flips. “What happened to the man I’ve been dating for the last few weeks/months?”
7. Feeling the pressure to have sex:  He claims he has to test it out to see if you two are physically compatible first. *insert side eye*

8. Once they get what they want, they change:  He was so sweet; he told you, he could see this being long-term. You have sex. Immediately, his pattern changes. He used to call you every morning before work and now he barely picks up. And when you do hang out or talk, he is standoffish. You are probably thinking it’s just you right about now.
9. The only men interested are the ones you don’t like, and the ones you do like are not interested in you: He posses the qualities you want in a man. He’d make a great husband and father, but no matter how hard you try, you just don’t see him like that. Conversely, you love everything about him, you seem to be compatible in every way, but he hasn’t made a move and/or doesn’t seem interested in a relationship WITH YOU.
10. Just tired of being single: When will it be my turn?

“I see my peers getting married and having a family or they may just be dating or it’s the simply the fact I want those things and can’t have them because the time is not appointed yet.” – E. Green, Texas

Top 10 Behaviors and Qualities your Husband will Exhibit While Dating.

I asked married women who are in HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS (that’s important) what made their husband different and created a list of behaviors your husband will exhibit while dating. There were numerous qualities I had to leave out. Perhaps, a future blog post in the making.

1. You won’t have to guess how he feels about you: He will make his intentions known. You won’t doubt or question his desire for you.

“He pursued me and made it known that he wanted more than just a friendship with me.” – A. Willoughby, Maryland

2.When you argue, you will never feel it is the end: This was big for me. I remember every time I argued with a man, it was over soon after. With my husband, it never felt like that.

3. You won’t have to change who you are or feel you must work for his love: He will love you for you. There is nothing you can do (gain weight, get sick) that will change how he feels.

“He showed me what real love truly is, means and how it truly feels. Not what the world calls love, but the love God adds to a union truly ordained by Him.” –  R. Doucet, Fort Worth, TX

4. You won’t feel ashamed of who you are and what you like (hobbies, quirks, family, friends, that extra toe on your right foot):  He will appreciate and encourage ALL of you. He will tolerate what he doesn’t like. Most of all, you won’t have to dumb down your spirituality, your intelligence, and your accomplishments to make him comfortable. He will celebrate them.
5. He will boost your self-worth: Have you heard women contest, when they are around their man, they feel like the most beautiful woman in the world? You will feel beautiful on your worse day.

6. He will genuinely care about all of you (well-being, emotions, goals): He will be concerned about the internal parts of you too. You can share your deepest feelings and he will care even if it seems futile.

“When we would talk he would always ask, how I was. He would always ask how I was feeling, what’s on my mind… how this situation makes me feel?” – K. Feaster Maryland

7. He will respect your wishes to wait till marriage: No elaborations need on this one.

8. He will desire to take care of you in every way: Spiritually, financially, physically, and emotionally. Plain and simple.

“When dating, ask yourself is this relationship my BEST YES physically, financially, spiritually, emotionally?”- J. Flowers, Texas

9. His qualities and character will speak for themselves: You won’t have to make excuses for him. I’m reminded of the time when I was dating someone. I found myself boasting his good qualities, hoping no one paid attention to the poor ones.

10. It will be peaceful and natural: There will be arguments, disagreements, and hiccups, but it will be a healthy balance and not toxic.

“We shared the same sense of humor. By the end of the night (first date), we already had inside jokes. After the first date, we were inseparable. I knew by the end of the week, we would be long term.” –  A. Dye, Texas

Woman to Woman, what we face when it comes to dating is our fault. Not all of it, but we must take responsibility for our part. Growing up, I heard the saying, “you have to teach a man how to treat you.”  If we want men to change, we need to change. We, as women need to revert to being firm with what we want. If they are not willing to provide those needs and desire, we must be woman enough to walk away. Let’s go back to raising those standards.

With that being said, every married woman who contributed to this blog can attest there are still great men out there. When you meet him, you won’t remember or care about the ones who walked away. Women have more power then we give ourselves credit. James Brown proclaimed, “This is a man’s world.” However, he followed up with this, “But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman.”

I hope this helps and feel free to comment below.

With much love,

Ebby LeBlanc

P.S. I have received so much feedback from women on dating I have decided to break this up into multiple blog post. Subscribe if you liked to receive alerts on new post. Don’t forget to like my page on facebook : )

P.S.S. Thank you to all the women who contributed. I definitely couldn’t have written this without your input, Destiny Oribabhor (https://destinyiyere.wordpress.com/ ), Eunique Loggins, Kendra Feaster, Shaina Eden Thomas, AlexandraWilloughby, Jordan Flowers (http://www.fitbyjordan.blogspot.com/), Catrina Banks, Sherika Thomas, Jessica Bowers, Adrian Caston Dye, Rachel Doucet, Jessica Coleman, Jessica Brown, Tiffany Johnson, Queen Evans