Army Strong

I thought I knew what Army Strong meant. Look at me. I'd gone a whole month with my husband gone and I hadn't really cried once. I was strong. I was ready for this new life. My husband and I, we were so closely bonded the miles didn't even matter. I had this great community to lean on--family, neighbors, church. I was praying every day. My foundation was solid and I was ready for the next twenty years.

Or so I thought.

In one sharp instant of disappointment and pain, I was struck down from my high horse and, looking up from my back, saw what I had been missing. God [and a dose of humility, too]. Cut off from [almost] everything I thought was making me strong, I cried like a freaking wimp who could never possibly make it in this Army lifestyle.

The lesson? It's lent. Expect trials. Know that you can ALWAYS be closer to God.

Romance or Real Life

On a day when my patience is wearing thin and I'm pretty sure Karma is playing catch up [have you ever spilt a container of lemonade on the kitchen floor two days after you mopped it?], I question my sanity to write a Romance Novel at all. Where does my inspiration come from? Am I stuck in a world of fantasy? Will the naysayers see through my words to the hair-brained gal with four kids and only the luck of the Irish to pull her through some days?

Where does the Happily Ever After[HEA] come into play? How can the Romance Novel be Real?

Happily For Now[HFN]: Though I like a story where I'm confident that the main characters will live together for the rest of their lives, I'm okay with understanding that bad days are bound to happen again. A mentality from the reader in some ways, even a true HEA can be seen as a [HFN]. I guess I fall here. I'm not silly enough to believe that even in true love conflicts will never arise again. Most people aren't. It's seeing what is behind and what will be again that allows contentment when life is out of control. It's knowing and expressing Faith that offers peace and joy.

But sometimes the HEA is a HFN where being with someone in a moment and truly loving them could mean finding someone else in another instant and truly loving there, too.

*gasp* WHAT?! This is not a Romance Novel!, you might be thinking.

But for some, this is the reality of Romance. When you write or consider romance and true love, do you leave out the entire audience who has suffered heartbreak? do you exclude those who have been divorced? Where is their happy ending if the only worthwhile HEA includes one person and one soulmate, the one person in the entire world who can make them happy, who they will live with and spend eternity with... forever and ever Amen. [which I'm going to do, btw :D *fingers-crossed*]

The romance novel takes snippets of a life: conflict and resolution. Anyone who agrees that the romance novel is about escaping is only partially right. It's also the reminder of what the outcome should/could/might be.

Better to consider where the root of the Happily Ever After comes from...
Where joy, peace, and love are the center of everything that exists.
For me that's God.

...because, it's a really rotten day, when nothing goes right and there are too many worries and the kids are driving me nuts and I haven't talked to my husband in hours, that I wonder how we've made it this far. :D But, I have my Happily Ever After.