What is a Marriage?


What is marriage? Is it a wedding ceremony and a license? Is it a commitment to love honor and obey? Marriage is defined by Webster’s as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law or by the rite by which the married status is effected, an intimate or close union. No mention of love.

Marriage existed before any government was organized. For thousands of years, people were getting married without a marriage license. Even today, there are some countries that have no governmental recognition of marriage and no legal requirements for marriage. Government endorsement is usually necessary for certain benefits, however. In American history, up to around the 1920’s, there was no such thing as a marriage license. The states invented them as a way to dictate who could and could not get married. Primarily as a way to stop white people from marrying black people. Still no mention of love.

Some people believe that a man and a woman are married in God’s eyes when they have completed some kind of formal wedding ceremony. There is an event, action, covenant, vow, or proclamation that is recognized as declaring a man and woman to be married. Love may be present, maybe not.

But does the very act of getting married constitute a true partnership? Does connecting yourself to another in the bonds of marriage mean that you are equally respected, loved or wanted?

Though many of my characters that I write choose to get married, I for one do not like what marriage has become in today’s society. It is an institution that gives people carte blanche to dictate what another person can and can’t do. I consider myself an expert on how not to be a spouse and how not to preform life as a married person. I should know I have had three failed marriages. Just as it takes two to make a marriage work it takes two to destroy one as well. I know, I have been there. Usually it plays out that one person gives up sooner in the marital timeline than the other. The vow is broken, hurt happens and loss is felt. Often a marriage dies long before the participants are willing to admit it. How many times have you known people who stayed married for the sake of the children or other reason that is not that they truly liked being together? Notice I said marriage not love.

Love is a choice. Love is a promise to cherish the other person. 

You choose to love or not. There are couples who are more devoted to each other without a marriage license than others who have been married for years. It is society that has conditioned us to believe that those who are in committed relationships but are not legally married are somehow not valid partnerships. Somehow we are taught to believe that two people can’t be devoted if they do not get married or we think maybe they don’t love each other, trust each other, or care about each other enough to get married.

Marriage as ordained by God is a spiritual connection that is grounded in faith not government. Faith in God, faith in each other and faith in your choice to be together. It is not based on the human’s faulty idea of marriage that is a contract and dictated by social norms. It is the choice and promise of commitment to that one other person that is important. Love and devotion do not require a piece of paper or even a ceremony. Ultimately, that is between the couple and God. Only God knows our true heart (1 John 3:20).

A marriage license is just a piece of paper. If there is no love there is no point.

~Lori O’Gara

(Also published on Medium.com)

Overthinking Is Way Too Easy


Why do we do it? We know it is ridiculous, yet we go there every time. Let someone say something positive or negative, we over analyze and pick it apart. Let that someone be our spouse or significant other and we go in to overthinking over drive. We examine methodically and in detail every word and action, typically for purposes of our assumed interpretation.

Stop it.  It is deadly to happiness, peace and love.

It makes no difference if what we know is the truth. If it doesn’t fit in our preconceived reality we will think it to death to make it fit. It never ends up resembling the truth. Oh, it may have tiny similarities of the truth, but it will not save you from the anxiety that will result.

There is only one cure, one solution to correct or stop your over thinking. Communicate openly with your person.  Let them tell you the truth. Now here’s where it gets difficult, trust them. Don’t give the trust lip service. Really and truly trust them. What if they are lying to you? So what? If they are not telling you the truth, the truth will come out. It always does. Trusting them frees you from the demon of over thinking.

Love and peace will follow.

~Lori O’Gara

Valentines Day, so What?


A person asked me today what gift I got for Valentines Day. When I told them my significant other fixed my lunch for me before I went to work, he smiled at me and asked me how my day went when I got home and he told me that he loved me. The person said to me, sounds like a normal day, not a Valentines Day gift? Yeah, so?

As I look at all the Valentines Day posts on social media I am struck by the conformity of the holiday. I am not talking about the commercialism of the thing promoted by card companies, florists, and jewelers. Rather the mind set that because it is Valentines Day one must get a gift for their chosen special person. Really? I say, why wait for a made up holiday to let the most important person in your life know that you love them? Tell them today.

I would much rather have a my love tell me how important I am to him or have him express it by his day to day actions than for him to make a show of our relationship by sending an obnoxious bouquet of flowers that will be dead in a few days anyway.

How about doing all the little things that you did while you where pursuing the one you now have. If you are still new and are still wooing them, do not stop once you catch them.

For example, he texted me with this, “13140 days and counting…” When I asked him what he meant he said, “That’s how many days we have had love in our hearts for each other.”

That, my friend, is a gift, holiday or not.

~Lori O’Gara

Hello Monday: Why I Avoid Trends


I am famous for not jumping on the latest and greatest band wagons because I have learned that my values are often not inline with trends. It doesn’t matter if it is a book trend, a product trend or a fashion trend. All trends have a few things in common. They are often short lived and often disrupt my simple peaceful life. I either find out that yes they do test on animals, they do not respect the dignity of people, they are uncomfortable to be worn or used, they waste money time and/or space. Some are simply ridiculous.

Stick to tried and true. However, if tried and true begin to cause you any stress, get rid of it too. Simplify your life in all areas. Focus on positive and simple ways to live. If the storage, cooking or fashion solution makes you spend more money, more time preparing under the disguise of saving money or time later, don’t do it.

No Thank you I don’t need one of those amazing cook everything pots, I have cookware thank you. I do not need any of the free ebooks that are basically word porn with no legitimate real story written in one night with flat characters, no real content and marketed with thirty or more other ones all with half naked people on the covers. Give me a real story I can sink my teeth into and with characters I can love or hate. Also, I do not need those leggings and clothes that all the girls are wearing from a company who’s owners are disrespectful to my fellow disabled humans.  Then there is that new amazing eyebrow and make up product that was tested on animals, most probably beagles. Do not get me started on the beagles!

In reality humans need very little to survive and be happy.  We need water, food, shelter, clothing, mental simulation, physical touch and love to feel secure and thrive.

Everything else, yes EVERYTHING else, is optional.

~Lori O’Gara




The Moment of Happiness


What is happiness? Is it a temporary feeling of happy? We experience life in moments. We tend to look at life as days, months and years when in reality it is actually moments. It isn’t even past moments. It is the current moment. The right now. We have to learn to be happy in the movement. As the moments go one after the other happiness becomes contentment. Happiness, true soul deep happiness is contentment. Even in a sad moment or a rough day, if you have a content life you can say “I am happy”.

~Lori O’Gara


Believe in Hope


Hope is a powerful word. What is hope? It is the belief in possibility. It is the belief in something better in the future. Hope gets you through tough times. Hope gives you the strength to keep fighting, surviving and progressing forward in life. Don’t confuse hope with optimism.  Optimism is confidence in yourself for the future. Hope is the belief that whatever it is will happen or improve, with or without you being involved.

If you want to help others, if you want to live a positive life, be the one who believes in hope. Be the one who pushes out negative thoughts with a radical grip on hope. Hope and courage go hand in hand. You can be terrified of the future but if you have hope you can find the courage to keep going.

Don’t quit. Keep moving forward hoping for better things.

Believe in hope.

~Lori O’Gara


Randomness of Life



I just realized that I haven’t posted since last Monday. I am still trying to get my head screwed back on correctly after the holidays. You know that now it’s over let’s get back to real life routine sort of brain that takes a minute to remember where and who you are.

As I look over the next few weeks I see that there are a lot of things on my agenda. It would be easy to get overwhelmed at it and stressed out. I have made the decision that will not happen My next thoughts were Don’t Panic! and Where’s my towel? ….Actually it went something like this…

“Crap, look at this calendar. I have so much to do…Where is my towel? Do not panic. Scrap it! I can do this! I will do this! I am a strong resourceful woman. Yea…sure I am.”

Just then my love sets a cup of strong coffee next to me and smiles….yea I can do this.

Who’s with me?  Pull up your big girl or boy warrior britches and get things done.

We can do this!

~Lori O’Gara




Hello Monday: Newsletter Peek


Hi,  if you haven’t signed up for Lori’s newsletter here is a peek at what you missed. If you signed up and did not receive it please check you spam/junk folder. It comes from her email, lori_ogara@outlook.com. Click here to sign up! 

Paradise Lost

In We Will Get There one of the themes is a very real issue facing Perdido Key even today. The loss of land and change to the horizon.  In the book, Krystal fights and wins but in reality the fight was lost years ago.

What we have to remember is that change is inevitable. It is how we react that counts. All we can do is fight when we can and accept the change when we can’t control it.

It breaks my heart to see the monstrous condos line the shore when I top the bridge headed out to Perdido. I have my memories. No one can change that.  Home is a place but it is in our hearts as well.

Where is your home? Has it changed in significant ways?

~ Lori O’Gara
Perdido Key now and before development.

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Sunday Thoughts: Resolutions, sort of…


I usually do not make resolutions. I can never stick them out all year. I read once that it takes doing a thing for 30 days to make a habit. So this year I am going to try that, 30 days to make a habit. Then do it again the next month and the next. Before long another year will be gone. I only have 3 resolutions.

1. Listen to God, do what he says without following my own rules.

2. Write something every single day even if I don’t feel like it.

3. Read every day, even if I don’t feel like it and by doing so read everything on my shelves that I have not read.

These resolutions are not as easy as the sound. Making my own mind shut up and listen is going to be difficult.  God knows better than I do. I need to listen and follow Him.

Write something everyday even if I don’t feel like it. Most of the time I want to write, I have the desire to write. I will first devise some sort of plan listing what projects I really want to work on. Organize my writing and write everyday.

Read read read! I have several unread books. I have serious OCD about buying books. I see something that looks interesting and I buy it to read later. My TBR (to be read) stacks have grown a lot the past year.

So that’s it for 2018. No crazy commitments that I know I won’t keep, no empty promises to myself or God, only a plan to make some progress.

~Lori O’Gara