Saving Yourself for Marriage

Back in the carefree summer of 1993, while full of youth and nativity, I wanted to do at least one thing for my parents, save myself for marriage. I saw myself marrying my then-boyfriend and going to our marital bed a virgin and waking up the next morning a woman. Yeah, well, we all can dream, right?

I was barely twenty years old, a nursing student, carhop at Sonic drive-thru, and a huge sucker for romance. I never really knew what it felt like to be in love and in a relationship until then. I thought I had been in love once, but when I experienced it for real, I knew that high school crushes in no way compared to true love. I was very naive from growing up sheltered my entire life. When I did fall in love, I fell hard.

It was June of 1993. I saw him standing outside the nursing home in which we were forced to place my Daddy. Something about him moved something in me. I don’t know if it was the way the sunlight hit his hazel eyes as dusk settled over or the fact I knew him from school without ever really noticing him. We had to have exchanged pleasantries but I don’t remember what was said. All I know is, for me, it was love at first sight.

You know, I must have bumped my head when I fell hard for him because I held on to him for dear life and made him my everything. He was my first love, partner, everything and I never sought after another man. I almost couldn’t breath when he wasn’t around. He became my air. Back then he was honest to a fault. I mean, so brutally honest that he’d hurt my feelings at times.

But, I was happy for the most part as I blindly went forth into a relationship where I thought we would be together forever and he’d never cheat on me. For some reason, we had a tight bond that others could sense. As the months went by so did his patience for my need to remain pure. I figured if he loved me he’d wait. I was worth it in my mind. It didn’t occur to me that he would actually be with anyone else.

I thought romances happened as the did on TV; boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl; boy and girl get married and live happily ever after. Yes, I was that naive for a long time. Long story short I didn’t go to my marital bed a virgin. I was pressured into deflowering with threats that he’d have to cheat if I didn’t agree. I did manage to hold out almost a year and ended up marrying him, the first man I fell in love with. By then, unbeknownst to me, he had already been unfaithful.

Saving myself for marriage was something I was taught to believe in. But did I really believe that religiously, it was a sin? Or was it something else that had been carved into my mind? At that time, I was scared, but part of me was ashamed. Now, I know I’m worth the wait. But at 20, still struggling to fit in, it seemed like the only thing that would keep him with me. That right there should’ve been a huge red flag for me but I was too love-blind to see it.

I’m sharing this intimate portion of my life to tell young women or women in general, if you have to do anything you are not ready for or not comfortable doing, to keep a man, he’s not the one for you. If he leaves you then he was only there for a season and he has fulfilled his purpose. Let him go! Your body is YOUR body. If you believe in keeping your body pure until marriage, do just that! Don’t worry about what anyone thinks or says.

Sex is not love; not even in the best of relationships. Intimacy can be experienced (shared) mentally without even being in the same room. I’m not knocking those who don’t save themselves for marriage because I stand with you. Do what’s best for you in your life. I think I gave myself away not only to keep him but because I was told not to for so long. This is a rough post to get through. Honestly, its one of my most uncomfortable subjects to speak on.

But I’m a woman willing to be transparent with my readers. There is no subject that should be off-limits. My life story is a made for TV movie. Believe me, when I say, my personal stories as of now, don’t even touch the surface. Maybe one day I’ll write a book. But for now, I will stay humble and continue to count my blessings.

Be blessed,


#vfurrmstheblogger #valeriefurrcollins #valeriemariecollins #mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlife #savingyourselfformarriage #virginity

Happy One Year Blogging Anniversary to Me

I know I’m nearly a month late but, Happy One Year Anniversary to me!! I am celebrating successfully blogging for one year! This is big for me! One of the things I wanted to accomplish was sticking with a goal and seeing it through. There were many times that I didn’t feel like writing or had no topic ideas to pop in my head for days. But I can say that I am proud of myself for pushing on regardless. I am thankful to my fellow bloggers who follow me. You’re comments and time is much appreciated and needed. Thank you.

I must say, I’m somewhat disappointed in the lack of support from my family and friends. But God! I always get support from my Mom and a few others who take time out of their day to read my posts. I’m also so grateful to Dennis Pitocco for believing in my talent as a writer and allowing me to be a Featured Contributor Panelist for I’m getting so much exposure.

I am keeping up with my blog, poetry book, and Fibromyalgia book, all the while, working on another secret project, my first novel. I’ve traded my crochet hooks in for Microsoft word for now but I am still open for business on FB at Val’s Gifts of Warmth. I’ve wanted to be a successful writer most of my life. But as other writers know, the lack of support or belittling of our capabilities to make money at this can stop you dead in your tracks.

I look at it like this, God will send those who will read my writing. So I for myself, first. Then I write for those who’s life will be changed for the better, regardless of how many. Also, I write for those who will be simply be touched by my words. I’ve begun projects but was easily discouraged or distracted. I didn’t realize that when I quit any project, I also gave up on me. For example, I’ve been compiling my poetry book most of my adult life and my fibromyalgia book for over since 2008.

My problem is two-fold. First, procrastination and second, finances. I’ve put things off until the last minute ever since I can remember. Overcoming this character flaw is on my victory list. I’m better with it but I’m also a work in progress. There’s not much I can do financially being disabled but I plan to either invest in a home-based business or try my hand at being an elementary school substitute teacher.

Sometimes it takes us to our adult years to find what we are good at. People get stuck working to pay bills instead of finding a career path that pays bills and makes them happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking what anyone does to make ends meet. But there’s a huge difference between a job and a career.

I’ve had to change gears from nursing because I’m not physically able to work. But my next love is writing. I appreciate the power of words. I consider it a gift to be able to bring words together to say something profound. I respect the process. My goal is to write in such a way that I’m able to touch someone with my words.

Find out what you enjoy doing the most. Create a vision board. Then, another thing I do that I found helpful is to design a timeline. You may not stick to it word for word but give yourself a certain amount of time to complete tasks that’ll get you closer to your goal and career. Life is too short to just be ordinary. We all have the ability to be great!

God is love,


#BloggingOneYearAnniversary #mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlifethebook #vfurrmstheblogger

The Afterglow

Four days ago, I had the pleasure of gracing the stage once again in the play, “You Can’t Break Me” written and produced by Shawna D. Moore and directed by Anthony Noland. For some reason fundraising and tickets sales were low. But God! Those who made it out to see us were pleasantly surprised with laughter, tears, joy, and appreciation. Actually, I’m still on high from the greatness this play exuded. This cast is the best group of actors ever, just as our writer and director.

I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity to live out one huge dream of mine. It goes to show that regardless of your circumstances, your age, finances, or challenges, you should NEVER give up on your dreams. Whatever you want to do in life, stay prayerful and seek opportunities to be great. Dreams will come to true if you just be still and let God work.

Before the end of last year, I had no clue I would be able to add ‘stage actress, to my resume nor did I expect I would see my writing on different websites of Dennis Pitocco. I met Dennis through a FB group called “Women of Facebook Creates”. He liked my writing so much that he offered me an opportunity to write for him. I accepted. Now my writing has been shared all over the internet through his networking and interface

I have full belief that my next dream will manifest. That is, someone out there will read my work and offer me a paid writing gig. I’d love to write a self-help article for a newspaper or anything in that realm of possibilities. I have faith in myself that my books will be published as well.

For now, I am getting some much-needed rest so whatever endeavor comes my way next, will be successful. God is truly good! My victory list is getting thin. Looks like I need to add some more goals to it. Today, I’m basking in the afterglow and overflow of being an actress. Every opportunity I get to be on stage, I’m taking it! My heart is full! Life is good.

You Can’t Break Me

If you know me or have followed my blog, you know that my life has been riddled with difficulty, sickness, and many trials. No more than the next person, but still, more than my share. I have had to dig deep and triumph even if it has taken me decades to do so. My most difficult trials to overcome were my childhood, divorce, and illness. Two out of three aren’t bad, considering this disease is completely unpredictable.

I’ve never said the words, but I’ve often thought to myself, you can do this, just pray, you’ll be ok, keep fighting! In other words, I was speaking to the worse trials of my life, telling them, you can’t break me! And you know what, they did! Did you think they didn’t? Life will often split you in two when you’re young and unprepared.

But God!! I feel like these last three years, I’ve been given a second chance at life. I really don’t let my illnesses take me down anymore. It’s hard sometimes but I persevere. I have grown so much spiritually, emotionally and mentally that I am able to speak happiness over my life and still tell those things, “Hey, you’ll never break me.

That’s why acting in this particular play alongside this phenomenal cast, is so important to me. In the play entitled ” You Can’t Break Me”, I play a character that is actually who I am in life, a no-nonsense Auntie who talks to much but tells it like it is! Therefore, it is amazing to watch the vision of Shawna D. Moore come to life. Yes, she has done it again. She has written yet another masterpiece that will make you laugh, cry, sing, and shout hallelujah all at the same time.

I identify with this play for several reasons. One, I had a dad who was very strict and controlling. I suppose the way my mind was set up, I was saying, “You can’t break me” to myself a dozen times a day, in my head of course. But that’s a whole other post. Two, as I said above, the character I play is basically who I am in real life. I’m a blood Auntie to 21, a Great-aunt to many and an honorary Auntie to more than I can count. Three, the ministry flowing through this play, and all of Ms. Moore’s plays, has touched my heart and spirit will in such a way that I am a better person for it.

Just think it all started with me liking a post asking for actors last year. Now tomorrow I am blessed to act for our phenomenal playwright, Shawna Moore, alongside our leads and cast India Franklin, April Watson, Jocelyn Minor, Michael Davis, James Washington, Linda Millhouse, Davalon Gray, Allyson Jones, Salada Mack, and directed by my cousin, the incomparable, Anthony Noland. I love you all!

I’m so excited to keep fulfilling one of my dreams and mark this one off my victory board. I am in love with the stage. I know that I will be doing this for the rest of my life! Thank you, Shawna, for bringing your beautiful visions to the stage and allowing me to be a part of it!

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

I learned a valuable lesson this month. No matter how I am feeling about me, I should never be so hard on myself that I get depressed or stop loving the skin I’m in. I know how dark my depression can get and I can’t let myself get that bad off. Recently, I’ve gained some weight back after a two year weight loss journey. I thought it was the end of the world and was so disappointed in myself.

That is until God showed me my health is more important than my weight in a joyous unexpected way. I took my nieces (6 (twin one) & 7) and nephew (6 twin two) to their back to school bash held outside on the elementary school grounds. They were so excited to find out what teachers they had and to see their friends and play.

When my kids were in elementary school, I was too sick to play with them or too winded or in too much pain. But this day last week, I found myself so thrilled to be able to walk and keep up with them, to rush to the playground so they could play on the jungle gym, to stand in line so they could get hot dogs and chips. I did all this without the usual perverse sweating, heart palpitations, shin splints, backache, asthma attack, heavy breathing and embarrassment of past years.

At that moment, I realized how much healthier I am now and it brought happy tears to my eyes, right there in the middle of the playground. Here I was worried about gaining weight without realizing that I’m still healthy, alive, and well. I can’t believe I stood and walked around the entire time without having to sit down or rest. They had a blast and I was so grateful to be able to be there with them having a fun time for the first time in years.

I remembered that initially, I wasn’t trying to get small, but I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to do everything I could do to assure that I would be here for many years to come because I have a granddaughter now. I can’t allow myself to be drawn into the pitfalls of scales, pounds, and size. I have to just make healthy choices and get back in control of what I am putting in my body.

To me living a healthy lifestyle is not dieting. It is making choices for yourself that help you maintain, metabolism, cardiac health, digestive health, etc., but also mental health. Dieting focuses on weight, pounds, sizes, and calories. That’s why diets don’t last for some people because although they yo-yo up and down, they are not particularly healthy. Dieting takes a toll on your body, believe me, I know. I’m not a fan of stretch marks, but I have roadmaps everywhere from yo-yo dieting.

The difference in my tactics this time lyzuzzuzhzzhyzzy6zyz gies in the ability to change; change the way I was thinking, change the way I saw life, and therefore change the way I was living. Only then did I accomplished a lifestyle change, which was my goal. I do have difficult days sometimes due to fibromyalgiafxddzzzzxyuj 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊 😊😊😊😊 🔗 🔗 🔗 🔗 🔗 🔗🔗 🔗 🔗. 🔗🔗 🔗🔗 🔗 🔗. 🔗🔗🔗🔗🔗🔗 🔗🛏 and cheat days I allow myself where my choices are not the best. But that’s ok.

So this article is a reminder on your bad days, you just have to remember not to focus on pounds or size and just stay healthy. There’s no reason to be hard on yourself. Life is complicated enough. Live your best, healthy life and don’t sweat the little things. I guarantee staying healthy will result in keeping the weight off. We all fall off the weight-loss wagon at times but there’s only one of you. Celebrate who you are every day regardless and always, ALWAYS love the skin you’re in.

❤❤ #vfurrmstheblogger #mypoeticlifethebook #mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlife #valeriefurrcollins

The Ice Cream Man

Don’t you miss the old days when you could hear the ice cream truck from a mile away, dinging out its familiar melody for blocks? If your old memories don’t include that sound and the anticipation that rises as it gets closer to you, you truly missed out. The “good old days”, for our family, included growing up in the year-round heat of the Arizona desert with 70 degree winters and 110+ degree summers. Kids and their parents sought out the ice cream man.

As a kid, my dad was the Ice Cream Man! He had a big red ice cream truck, he bought and hand-painted himself. There were six of us kids. So to keep a profit, he would only take one of us out on his route at a time during those hot summer days. I remember he didn’t only sell ice cream and treats, but he sold frozen fried corn. My memory won’t allow me to even fathom where or how it was fried but I remember we used to eat it. Because I was so young, I can only assume that most of those times were good memories.

He had stickers of the ice cream he sold decorating the sides of his truck. My oldest brother used to help him a lot more than the rest of us and we dared never to touch the dry ice used to keep the ice cream cold. My brother was burned by it a few times and it took his skin off his hand. I don’t recall many more specifics about those routes but I do remember eating ice cream with my daddy as he weaved in and out of the neighborhoods speaking to his usual customers and being proud to sell his ice cream to kids, most, he knew by name. My favorite was the red, white, and blue popsicles that were called bullets.

Ice cream, salt rocks, cold soft drinks, and candy; he sold till there were none left. I think I even have a memory of him selling little bags of popcorn my momma would pop the night before. My daddy, the ice cream man. He was humble then, and when some kids would try to poke fun, I didn’t even have to defend my daddy because somebody knew him for fixing their dads car, refrigerator, or their folks air condition. He was a jack of all trades.

Little did they know, at the time of his last routes, my daddy had been a preacher, owned his own security business before, could sing beautifully, was a poet, and musician, had rubbed elbows with celebrities due to his degrees in Television and Film, and more degrees would follow. This goes to show the job doesn’t make the man, the man makes the man. My dad wasn’t a perfect father, but at that moment he was a provider when I was young enough to see it and just old enough to appreciate what that meant.

Friends and Friendships: Telling the Difference

This particular topic is mostly to help me through losing “friends”. I have been blessed with some beautiful friendship; a few that spans over two or three decades. I take my roles in friendships seriously. I try to make myself always available and open to whatever they need. But recently, in the last two years, I’ve found myself having to let go of some of my dearest friendships.

I’m trying to write this without going into specifics, but it’s hard. A friend should be someone you can go to and visa verse. But a friendship runs a little deeper meaning this involves loving each other and making sacrifices, even. Friendships are never to be taken for granted. It makes me wonder if this Steve Harvey quote is true, “You can live without family but you can’t live without a friend”.

I feel like most of my friends have either turned completely away from me or partially away, but I don’t exactly know why. I assume it’s me. Who knows? My existence doesn’t hinge on us being friends but I can’t help feeling lonely at times. People have lives and get busy, I know, so that isn’t why I feel this way. I do think that sometimes I have been willing to participate in a friendship that no longer exists. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

You know, I have never just stopped loving a friend, even if their actions cause the demise of our friendship. I find myself still caring and still hoping they are well. Perhaps my heart is way too big and I find it easier to love than to hate. It’s easier for me to be someone’s friend than their enemy. I try to never allow hate in my heart. But I’m human. Life gets hard and we tend to react instead of remembering you never know what someone else is going through.

I say to let your first response be kindness and go from there. Friends come and go and so do friendships. People simply outgrow one another. Don’t take it personally. Some people divorce after thirty-year marriages so don’t sweat it too long when friendships die. Don’t stay where you’re not wanted. This is simply God’s way of making space for new people in your life. Let it go and move on!

I have also had to learn to be happy by myself and to lean on my family. If you can’t be happy alone and get to know you, how can enjoy the company of anyone else? I know this is easier said than done because loneliness is not fun. So wrap your head around this idea: you can be friends without a friendship. Yep, you can! But being fake friends with someone is deplorable. Be real. Be you. Open yourself up to meeting new people and creating true friendships that will stand the test of time. You’ll thank me for it!



#mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlife #friendship #friends

Running on Empty, But…

Have you ever been so tired that you can’t sleep? A conundrum not many people say they can associate with, but I am just that tired sometimes. But I can’t give up on my goals. Where do you pull strength from when you take an inner inventory and find yours is all gone?

For me, on days like today, I have looked around at my family spread across the living room. The youth that surrounds us, the children laughter, inquisitive minds, tiny voices, and even the cries make you appreciate life so much. Then I look out the window, with rain coming and the heat index over 90, it may be too hot to go outside, but, within this beautiful summer, God’s glory is magical.

Then I think about the generations in this room. Seventy-five years of wisdom sits to my right embodied with the anointed vessel I am blessed to call Mommy. The remaining next generation her children ages 50, 48, 45 years old. The third-generation are grandchildren of hers at 26, 24, 21, 20, 20 all caring for babies, watching young one’s color, making powerful music in a makeshift studio. Then within the fourth generation are seven children ages 7 years to 5 months, all loved, protected, and safe from harm. That’s God’s grace.

So at those times when you feel as if you can’t take another step, look around you; beyond the surface, past the unpaid bills, sink of dishes, loads of laundry, and lawn to cut. Look at those God blessed to subsist in your world. See them. Hear them. And thank God for days like this. You never know when the same room full of people will be less one, or two. You may be running on empty, but be grateful because tomorrow brings with it, one more chance to be great.