Friday, April 30, 2010

Just the Nearness of Him

This morning, from about 10 a.m. until about 12 or so, I spent time sending networking e-mails about a big concert I have on June 12th at Drom Bar/Restaurant. What happened was late last night, just before going to bed, I painstakingly sent about 50 or 60 individual messages about my show. So this morning, many responses were waiting for me. Anyway, once all the networking was out of the way, it was time to do something that I was a bit intimidated by: read, at a very fast pace, the course material in preparation for my New York State Life and Health licensing exam. I was scared because although I have eleven years experience as a literacy expert, I read surprisingly slowly and methodically and usually need to re-read something a few times to understand and remember it well. But I decided to pick up the pace to cut the prep time for my exam in half.

You know how Sarah Palin likes to mention that Todd (her husband) and God give her strength? I can relate to her in this regard. I have the same impression of Rueben and God. Unfortunately they don't rime. so it doesn't have the same ring to it. God helped me with his comforting presence to read faster and retain what I was reading this afternoon. But it was also the comforting presence of my husband, who, thank goodness, did not have any clients today, and thus was in the house, that made a big difference in my studies. He wasn't even on the same floor, much less the same room, but he helped me to persevere. I thank God and I thank him because today's chapter took half the time to read than is typical for me, but I got a score of 80% on the chapter test (passing is 70). It was just the nearness of him that helped me have such an encouraging outcome. I am so grateful to God and Rueben for their help this afternoon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Action and in Truth

Today was a big day for me. I had an important presentation in midtown. I prepared intellectually, spiritually, and physically. I was ready. Before leaving the house my husband and I prayed about my presentation. He encouraged me and I left the house with a boost of confidence that comes from both Christ and my husband having my back. Well, the presentation was wonderful. Fantastic. As soon as it was over, I pulled out my BlackBerry to tell my husband and my circle of close friends the great news via a triumphant e-mail. Guess who was the first person to write back congratulating me? You guessed it. Rueben knows exactly how to love deeply from the heart. There is a scripture in the bible that commands us to not love in word and tongue, but with actions and in truth. That is the way he loves me and that is the way I love him back. I told him how much it means to me that he is cheering for me and wanting me to do not just well, but phenomenal. And it did not just stop with e-mails on our BlackBerries. We spoke about it too. He was brimming with happiness for me and I was so appreciative of his support. He made a big day for me into a great day for US. My triumphs are his triumphs. And his victories are my victories. We are one.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Hero

I just spent six and a half hours writing a project for my best client. Thank God I did a great job on it. It was tough at first, and I feared I would grow weary or lose heart, But I am a person of my word. If I tell my husband that I will do something, I like that he can count on me to do as I said I would do. So, to push myself to do the project in a single day, I told him my plans to keep me accountable. He brings out the best in me. Some other husband out there would just not be right for me. He wouldn't help me to feel amazing by getting difficult tasks completed ahead of schedule and under budget. So I would just like to say, thank you God that I can be all that I can possibly be, with the help of God and my wonderful husband Rueben. I used to warn him about working too hard. But now I have joined him and its great. I love ending the day knowing how many worthwhile things I accomplished. He is my hero. Rueben is the wind beneath my wings. I know he feels the same way about me. We encourage and even push each other towards accomplishments. Being with me, makes him better, and being with him, makes me better. I would just like to close by saying that last night when he came home, he greeted me with my favorite flowers, sunflowers. And later that night he rocked my world. Ah, romance! Great, huh?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Still Dating

I was just thinking about my husband and looking forward to seeing him tonight, and it hit me--I have the same level of excitement and anticipation now that I used to have when we first started dating. I am so glad about that. I never ever want to get to comfortable or take him for granted. I think the moment you become too comfortable or take your husband for granted is the moment you open yourself to trouble. I am happy to report that he feels the same excitement about me too. What is our secret? We both make a conscious decision every day to make each other a priority. My heart started beating faster when I read an e-mail that he sent to me telling me when he would be home.

I must partly credit my parents for the way my husband and I prioritize each other. They are quite a model to emulate. My dad met my mom and just a few weeks later, he proposed. Decades later, they are still romantic, they are still very much in love. He sings to her. He gives her cards. He gives her flowers. She cooks for him. It is a beautiful thing, what they have together. My husband and I admire their relationship, and strive to always keep our romance fresh, just as they do. We pray for each other, pray with each other. We cuddle. We express kind words. We work at our love every day because we want to keep our love strong and growing, living and active. So do whatever you can to keep your fire burning. You will be glad you did.

In short, we act like we are still dating. We act like we are still trying to win each other over.

Don't Stay Angry

I apologize for not writing anything last night. I was distracted.

What happened was I got extremely angry at my husband when he called to wish me good night. It is a long story, but suffice it to say I disagreed with his entering into a contract with a friend who has a track record of being unreliable. By the end of our conversation, my husband agreed with me, but I had to expend a lot of energy to convince him. I got turned off that it took so much effort. Soon after that, I went to sleep. I totally forgot about blogging. I will try to not let that happen again.

It is just as well. Who knows what I would have written. At least in the light of a new day, I can say that he apologized to me for upsetting me and I have accepted his apology. It is important to forgive quickly. That is the lesson here. And I acknowledged that the friend is a valued friend, but I also made it clear that he has proven himself unreliable on at least three other occasions, so my husband will never enter into another agreement with him that involves money. I appreciate that we could resolve this situation. He is a wonderful husband.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pillow Talk

First, I must apologize. I forgot to write this until just now. I got out of our warm bed, and am anxious to get back. First, though, I must extol the virtues of pillow talk. Rueben and I both have extremely demanding schedules. Often, like today, we start and end the day together, but have our own separate responsibilities to attend to during the rest of the time. So those quiet moments together in the dark when, as Sting would sing, "You and I are lovers. And night enfolds around our bed. In peace, we sleep entwined. And your love flows through." Or another song, "Precious and few are the moments we two can share." The time at the end of the day, when we tenderly embrace in our bed is sacred and profound. I cherish those times. We kiss, we stoke each other's backs or legs, or I squeeze Rueben's butt, or stroke his hair. And we talk to each other quietly. It is so special. It is our way of saying, missed ya today, hon. How did everything go? Even if we are tired, we try never to miss this pillow talk. BlackBerries are fantastic, but nothing can ever take the place of body heat.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bind each other's wounds

My husband Rueben and I both had a busy, stressful week, trying to get everything done on our respective itineraries. Each did not want to worry the other, so we minimized the seriousness of our state of mind. But this evening over the roast turkey, brown rice, and hearty salad, that I made with love, we confided in each other the extent of our disquietedness. Then we physically and psychologically embraced again and again. The warmth of our embrace healed our wounds. Then we were better able after dinner to take a brief break from the many things we still had to do. We took a moment to sit in the love seat in our living room and listen to the first two movements of Wolgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem Mass. I sang the soprano part. It was a healing and powerful few minutes. Never underestimate the power of a warm, reassuring embrace, a few considerate words, a sacred song, or a neck massage (gave him a neck message while he washed the dinner dishes). When God created Eve, He introduced her as "a suitable helper" for Adam. It is also written that we are to sharpen each other "as iron sharpens iron." We still have many things to take care of and got right back to work after a brief intimate interlude after dinner. But now the things to be done have been put into perspective, because we have bound each other's wounds.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Keep Your Word

I was feeling blue today because after a strong start, I am now no longer doing well in my online course. I am stuck in this one section of the reading and I am just not grasping it. This caused me to feel down. Sometimes when I feel down, I pick myself up, dust myself off, and jump right back on the horse. But today, I sent the horse to the stables, then crawled back into bed. When God was kind enough to wake me up at 6:35 p.m., just in time to catch the dry cleaners that close at 7 p.m., I was very grateful for His mercy on me. You see, when my husband left this morning, I promised to pick up his dry cleaning. I am glad that I was able, with some divine intervention, to keep my word. Because without your word, what are you? Who are you? Where is your integrity? It wouldn't have been the end of the world if I slept too long and the dry cleaner closed. But I want to be a wife who does what she says she will do. If I want a husband who keeps his word, fair is fair and I must keep my word also.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't Be Needy

I was very emotional today because the chapter I was studying was eluding my intellectual grasp. My husband is extremely knowledgeable on the subject matter and had recently volunteered to help me make sense of it. As I worked on it today I felt discouraged and frustrated. But instead of calling Rueben for help, I spoke to my girlfriend Mithsou. She advised me to stop studying, take a walk, do something else and come back to it with fresh eyes and a rested spirit at another time.

It is great to ask for help when needed and accept it when offered on the one hand, but there is also something to be said for having the tenacity to simply reread the material tomorrow morning and God-willing make a breakthrough and have great news to share that I tackled it.

So this evening, Rueben and I just sat together relaxing, holding each other in our arms and speaking affectionately to each other. This relaxing, soothing time was more valuable to me than whining to him about how disasterous my studies went today. I cherish our quiet, profound intimacy. If I try again tomorrow to no avail, I will let him know and see what he can add to the process I am attempting to succeed. But until then, I have decided it is better to not go crying to him at the first sign of trouble. He fell in love with a smart, resourceful, clever, independent woman. So she is still with him today!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Full Life

One of the reasons I am so happy with my husband Rueben is that as much as I love him, as much as I am devoted to him, he is not my whole world. I think it is important to have a full life outside of your relationship. Let me give you a glimpse into my day so you can see what I mean. I was up until about 4 a.m. this morning. I was studying for a test, updating my Facebook and Twitter accounts, and e-mailing my best friend back and forth. Then I got some sleep. When my alarm went off at 9 a.m., I was still a bit groggy and fell back asleep. I finally got up at 11 when my best friend called me. We spoke briefly, e-mailed each other again, then I got ready for an important business meeting I had at 1:30 in midtown. After the meeting, I fired off a bunch of e-mails on my BlackBerry, including to my husband. I also rushed to FedEx Office to place an order for copies of a new flyer I created to spread the word about one of my upcoming performances. Then I took myself out for a cocktail. After that I went shopping for groceries and finally my close friend Mithsou stopped by for a visit. I used to drop everything and build my whole world around people with whom I was involved. But I have learned from experience that to do so is a big mistake. It is much more healthy to have a full life outside your relationship. That keeps you stimulated and makes you more interesting. Well, until tomorrow everyone. Have a great night.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


There is a scripture in the Holy Bible that reads, "God opposes the proud, and gives grace to the humble." Well, we could all use grace, and we certainly don't want to be opposed by God, do we! This scripture comes to mind as I reflect on what almost became an argument with Rueben, but what instead brought us closer together.

A couple of weeks ago, I registered for an online course to prepare for a New York State licensing exam in Life and Health Insurance. I need to pass an exam before an employer who thinks I am just wonderful can hire me to work in his firm. The material is extremely dense and complicated. Usually, I am highly motivated to study. And thank God, so far, I have been doing very well in the course. But all weekend long, I blew it off. When Rueben noticed I hadn't been studying, he was concerned. He warned me not to "drag it out."

Once he said that, pride, hurt, and anger collided. "Drag it out? That means I haven't studied on purpose! But it wasn't on purpose," I said, raising my voice. He said he didn't agree with me and I said I didn't agree with him. Just as things were about to deteriorate, I abruptly said,"Let's just agree to disagree."Then that was the end of it. Or so I thought. Soon after that we kissed goodnight and he went to bed. I stayed up a bit. I decided to put our disagreement to a vote. I wrote to my girlfriends and copied him asking them if someone said to you that you had dragged something out, would you think he meant you did so accidentally or intentionally.

My best friend Kim, had the first response, and the wisest. She called me and asked for more details. Long story short, I ended up admitting that over the weekend I procrastinated and that procrastination is intentionally putting something off, so Rueben was right and I was wrong.

I sent Rueben an e-mail apologizing for getting so angry with him and saying he was right and I was wrong. But here is that part that is astounding. He did not say "See. I told you so." He graciously, humbly accepted my apology for getting angry, and then he apologized for unintentionally hurting me. Humility is a protective shield in the battle we call life. Because we were both humble, God blessed us with a profound feeling of closeness this afternoon when all this went down via BlackBerry.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Staying Connected

My husband and I have very demanding schedules, but we always strive to make time for each other. Last night, I stayed up to watch "Two and a Half Men" and "Friends" reruns. Meanwhile, he went to bed. But first, we spent quality time together watching, and discussing the last hour of "The Apprentice." Why the last hour? Because during the first hour of his show, I am watching my show. On Sundays, he watches "The Apprentice" from 9-11 p.m., while I watch "Desperate Housewives," from 9-10 p.m. At 10 p.m., I join him. We always kiss, hold hands, talk, hug, and caress each other while watch television together, and last night was no exception. We both are so grateful to God for each other, and strive to let each other know how much we cherish each other every chance we get. Or should I say every chance we CREATE. You have to quite literally MAKE love. Not only in bed, but in every day interactions as often as possible.

This morning, as usual, Rueben's schedule was quite different from my schedule. He got up very early, at 6:30 to go meet Ivanka Trump for a session. She is one of his clients. Anyway, any time he gets up early, no matter how drowsy I am, I always make an effort to hug and kiss him good morning, before I roll over and continue dreaming. Little gestures like that go a long way, believe me. They help us to stay connected to each other.

Finally, throughout the day, every day, we e-mail each other. I love that we stay connected in this way. Some days, because he has back to back clients, it is the only way we can "talk." I appreciate that in every single message, whether long or brief, Rueben always signs his messages, "Love, Rueben." Again, we cherish each other, and look for opportunities to let each other know.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Evening

Hello out there. This is my very first time doing this. I got the idea from a movie I saw this weekend on DirecTV, "Julie and Julia." As Julie said, "I have thoughts."

I recently got back home from my typical Sunday activities. My husband Rueben and I wake up at 8 a.m. We have breakfast at about 8:30, leave for Jenny Craig at 9 (we are both members; his consultation is Sunday morning and mine is Tuesday afternoon), get to church by about 10:30, get a quick bite in the church's cafeteria at about 12:30, then we part until later in the evening.

But I am getting ahead of myself with all this talk of what happens on Sundays. This is supposed to be about my happy marriage and how you can have one too. So sorry. I am new at this. Please forgive me. I will start again. Rueben and I met on Match dot com about three years ago, and have been together ever since. I saw his profile, and liked what I saw. He was good looking and seemed smart, pleasant, and funny, very attractive qualities. I fired off an extremely brief message saying that I liked his profile and he should let me know if he liked mine too. That was it. I think it was a single sentence long. Well, he wrote back right away. We hit it off, he asked me out, and now we are newlyweds!

He is the most exceptional man that I have ever met. I thank God for him. Literally. I thank God for putting him in my life. He is the man of my dreams and I spent years praying to meet him.

He is definitely my muse. I have written three songs and a book about him.

Right now, he is with clients. I asked him to call me when he is done and to let me know whether or not he wants me to prepare his dinner. That right there is one of the secrets to my happy marriage. We take excellent care of each other. We are always looking for ways to show we love each other. Some things are grand gestures, and other things are small, yet caring gestures. An example of a grand gesture? I once gave him as a present two tickets to a Felix Trinidad boxing match. The tickets cost a whopping $1000 dollars. He once paid about $8000 to pay the musicians in my band to record my new jazz album, "Topsy Turvy." Small gestures? This morning, I prepared a delicious breakfast, and he made sure not to finish the last of the milk. We have each other's back.

I am looking forward to seeing him tonight. When we parted at church, he said he thinks he will be home at about 9. At that point, I will be in the bedroom watching "Desperate Housewives," while he will be in the living room watching "the Apprentice." I love that we are so secure that we can spend time apart under the same roof, yet remain connected. We both have BlackBerries and often write to each other when we are in separate rooms, just to show we care. I will see him after "The Apprentice" is over.

Okay, I know I am new to this, but somehow I have the impression that I wrote too much. So I will sign off. Thanks so much for reading this.