I’m not sure WHAT to do with it…

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My heart is all over the place today.   How can a human being fit that many feelings into one head?  I’d like to say it’s all hormonal. It would make it so much easier to think it’s all my imagination. Some of it is.  But for the most part, with all that is going on in this world, I just wish God would push the pause button for a minute.  I was just thinking about how human beings can be so innovative in their cruelty.  Up until today I never quite understood why God stopped all those people from building the Tower of Babel that could reach all the way to heaven.  Now I know. To keep all the crazy people out!

 

So, where do we find peace in this world?  First, put your phone down and turn off the tv.  “But there are people SUFFERING!” Yes. People are ALWAYS suffering.  I don’t need a reporter to tell me when to be outraged by the insufferable inhumanity towards each other.  I can pray for God to bring everyone quiet. That’s right, quiet. That sound you heard when you were a kid laying on your back on the lawn on a warm spring day, listening to birds, feeling the slight breeze on your skin, and closing your eyes because you felt calm…

peace

I wondered why God wanted me to be completely alone when I turned 52.  This is why.  Because talking about all of this pain and anger with another human being will only bring more anxiety.  HE knew I needed to be quiet. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.  He’s got this, so i don’t have to.  I think that’s the best bit of advice I’ve heard all day…

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Lesson Learned… I’m All In

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This was the very first Bible verse I have ever read and committed to memory. Until this week, I hadn’t really comprehended how important it is to have FAITH.  I’ve spent my entire life afraid. Afraid of dying, afraid of being alone, afraid of… being afraid.  While doing the Bible study The Quest by Beth Moore, I read something that just rattled me to the core:  fear is the absence of faith.  Where there is true, uncompromising faith, there is no need to be afraid.  I’ve spent the best part of my years thinking that I was “living in a house with no floor.”  I had no foundation, nothing I could really believe was holding me up. I was dangling in mid-air, waiting for someone else to build the floor for me, or move me somewhere else so I didn’t have to look down.  Basically, I felt like I didn’t have control over anything, I was just riding in a car that was screaming down a mountain road, with the inevitable crash at the end.  If you’re good, you go to heaven, bad, go to hell.

But THIS… this FAITH thing, that I’ve known for so long, didn’t sink in until now.  I mean it hit me in the forehead like a 2 by 4!  “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.”  Like  Detective Colombo on my favorite tv show, you don’t have to actually see it to believe it.  Faith is in, and of itself, the evidence. My son is a detective and tells me all the time about how his “gut feeling” helps him find evidence.  As moms we know in our HEART when our babies don’t feel well.  We just know as we reach for the phone to make a doctor’s appointment that this child needs help.

umbrella faith

So, I knew the words in the verse, and I knew how I felt so afraid, but until now I hadn’t connected the two. So, I need to have faith that God has my future.  My footsteps aren’t so important now.  I can stand where I need to stand, and focus on the next part of the verse: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for.”  This was the easy part before I turned 52.  I knew I wanted healthy kids, a nice home, healthy marriage, and good health.  So, now I don’t know WHAT I WANT! Well, that’s where faith comes in again. I just ask God to give me something to be passionate about. Just give me a direction, and walk with me. No, I don’t want to be just a little wind up doll that follows the path and then the power runs out.  I want a QUEST.  A JOURNEY.  A VERY long walk.  And I mean REALLY LONG.  Because if I know where the end is, I’m going to focus on getting finished, and not notice what is going on around me.  I want to take this walk in the woods and notice all there is to see, smell, and hear. Rain or shine. I’m all in…

faith

Squawk, squawk, squawk…

 

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I usually like to hear the chickens in the morning. But sometimes, they’re just making noise for the sake of being obnoxious, I think.  And LORD, they can be obnoxious.  It took some honest introspection, but I’ve noticed that I can be just as obnoxious.  (NO! NOT YOU!) Yeah, I know, right?!  When I get into my funk, I just can’t help but complain.  I’m not good enough, not young enough, not pretty enough… and because of all that, not HAPPY enough.  So, I recently listened to Suzy Rosenstein’s podcast “Feeling Like You’re in a Midlife Funk- and Why It’s the Best News Ever!”  She really put into perspective about how what we thinks can become not only how we feel, but what we say and what we’re willing to do about it.  You become what you think.

The more I think about where I am, and the more I let my anxiety about my future (and how short it may be), the more I’ve created this funk.  I’m a hamster on a wheel in a stinky cage that needs to be CHANGED!  So, to get over it, here are the things I need to DO (in no particular order, so relax Type A people!)

  1. Get into a group of people to talk it out.  Yes. Counseling. But I’m approaching this with MAJOR caution because I know how I get- crazy people can steer me like a biker on a Harley!

2. Get moving.  I need to exercise. And flapping my lips is NOT what I’m talking about.           Water aerobics, walking, and eventually running.

3. Bible study.  In order to have a direction, I have to have the right frame of mind,                 and the right reason for doing what I’m doing.

4. Stop the negative thoughts coming in, staying in, and going out.  No more tv and                 politics. FaceBook is limited to smiling happy people.  I’m not avoiding reality, I’m               avoiding all the negative forces at work around me.  I’ll check up on news every                 once in a while, but for the most part, I’m out.  Now, as for the negative things                     swimming around my head that I’ve created all by myself, those need to be put in               check.

 

I have lots of excuses why I can’t do ALL of them right now, but I’m checking off numbers 2, 3, and 4 right off the bat.  Ok, 3 and 4… So in all honesty, so far it’s just 3 because I started that on Monday. I really have a ways to go, don’t I….

 

When Jesus and Monty Python’s Holy Grail Collide…

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What do you seek?

 

So I started this Bible study with Beth Moore, called The Quest.  Really interesting about how we SHOULD be asking questions about our faith, and especially our relationship with God.  Got to this question, and I’m was really surprised at how much I don’t have a clue about what I want.  I mean OTHER than health and happiness of my family, what do I REALLY want?  If you think materialistically, look around Amazon at all the things that you probably… kind of… maybe… would like to have.

Anyone who has ever been forced to evacuate from their home knows about the importance of “stuff.”  You have to categorize your belongings into what you are ABLE to save and what must be sacrificed due to space or your ability to move.  You quickly realize, everything you buy is insignificant when it’s compared with those people and critters you love.  Think about it: your Bible can be replaced, but your relationships cannot. Is your grandmother’s vase more important than the first picture your child drew? Or are both of these more important as conversations we have with our children where we “remember that time when….”

So that brings me to Monty Python’s Holy Grail

 

“WHAT is your quest?”

The problem with being 52, you see yourself with this whole unknown in front of you, and you’re afraid if you give the wrong answer, you’ll get flung off into the deep.  We KNOW that our time is limited, so we want to make the most of it. The answers are almost as important as the questions at this age.

I was in panic mode for a while, until my Bible study gave me some unplanned insight.  In John 1:35-51, we learn about how all the disciples were “chosen.” Only, Jesus didn’t go out and find all of them.  The first two guys were following John the Baptist, and he kind of “referred” them to the new job.  Then one of them grabbed his brother. Then Jesus went in to Galillee and found Phillip, who in turn grabbed his brother, Nathaniel by the arm and said, “Come see!”

So, from these two colliding forces, I have learned that my quest isn’t supposed to be me just jumping into an abyss.  My quest has to have a purpose- a goal.  And I can’t go alone. So, now I just have to pray from God to send me someone who is as smart as the first knight, and not get me flung into the pit like the second guy!

 

 

How Can I Have a “New Me” If I Don’t Know Who The “Old Me” Is?

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Who are you?


So everywhere we see all these advertisements for “New You” and “Re-invent Yourself.”  But since my last son left the house, I’m not quite sure who “I” really am.  I’m someone’s wife (still love you, Babe!), and someone’s Mom (even though they’re both responsible adults and REALLY don’t need me all that much.)  So that just leaves…. me.  Even the things I used to love don’t really ring true until I figure out where I belong in the scheme of things.  But, then little things spring up, and I find myself showing glimmers of maturity that are nothing short of surprising.

Take yesterday.  Saw a post on FaceBook that in the past I would have jumped on and joined the fray.  Instead, I gave a positive answer, valuable feedback, and contact information for the person to get the help they were asking for.  Maturity, right?

What about courage? Where did all that go?  Used to be I’d jump right in and think about it after.  With maturity has come wisdom.  And with wisdom, comes trepidation.  The problem is finding that balance between caution and adventure, between seeking new thrills and not ending up in the hospital.  When you reach 50, you find that sometimes taking a step outside your comfort zone is often more risk-taking and frightening than you were expecting.  But that’s where the mature me, has to call on the adventurous me.  It’s going to take some chutzpa to get through all these new changes.  And to make the changes means I have to have the right attitude about them.  Don’t let my own fear become a reason to not see with clarity.

So, can I say I’m not quite the little old lady waving her cane in the air and yelling at kids to get out of her yard?  Can I admit that I can be wise, and not be OLD?  Answer: yes.

So the answer to the BIG question “Who are you?” I. Am. Mature.

God Willing & The Creek Don’t Rise…

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Where are you?

In just over a week, I’m going to turn 52 years old.  I wonder how this happened. Not the age part, but the AGE aspect.  I was always never satisfied where I was, so I would count myself as a year older that day after my birthday. In simpler terms,  I was 10 years old from October 3rd, 1974 to October 1st, 1975.  I had to find some way of making sense of those age cut-off for starting school. If you’re5 years old for almost the entire year, why do you have to wait until you’re almost 6 before going to Kindergarten?

But age is just a number. AGE is something else entirely.  Somehow I became OLD.  Like how my Mom used to sit in the living room with my Dad and watch old movies on their black and white tv.  It didn’t just sneak up on me either. I should have seen it coming, but like everything else that happens when you’re holding on to 29, I didn’t think it would happen to ME.  I couldn’t handle teaching because all of a sudden I didn’t like yelling kids. So I stayed to help out with my elderly Mother-in-law.  When she passed away, I kind of drifted…. and drifted…. and now here I am.

Not just physically, but emotionally.  Hiding like a hermit in a cave, I type away at my funny, troll-like comments on FaceBook and then skulk around on Pinterest to find things to stock my imaginary beach house and camper.

This is where I am: Fat, depressed, and over 50.

BUT…. (and you know that “but” is like a delete button for all that’s said previously)… I have raised 2 incredible young men, who are responsible adults who make their own way in life without lots of hovering.  I have an incredibly healthy marriage to a man who knows me better than myself but has enough tact to not say what he’s thinking! (Thanks, babe!)

Where are you going?

When I was growing up in tiny little Cut Bank, Montana, I would stand on the sidewalk in front of our house on Highway 2, looking to the East.  I just KNEW there was something happening out there, and I wanted to be a part of it.  This point of view where I’m constantly looking forward has served me well as an Army Wife.  We’ve moved 17 times over the last 29 years, across the country, across the street, and across the ocean.

And now we’re starting a new direction:  we’re moving to New Jersey. And for the first time, I’m on myown without kids as a distraction.  N.O. children. And doing the Army Wife thing, after staying by myself in my bubble for so long?

So, this is my future.  Join me as I post my journey.  As a mid-life woman without a normal life.  Will I make it? God willing and the creek don’t rise… I certainly hope so!