Friday, July 15, 2016

Notes for 40: Be Alert ... But Don't Be Afraid

I'm sharing a few lessons that I'd like to carry on into my 40's .  You know how you hear something that resonates and you think, "That's good.  I want to be/do/live that".  Same.  Perhaps in writing them here, I will remember and reference them later on down the road.  Maybe something will resonate with you too.

Lesson #2

"Be alert and always keep on praying" (Ephesians 6:18)

I mentioned fear in my last post.  At some point we all kind of discover that life doesn't exactly turn out the way we had hoped or planned.  We live in a scary world that seems to be becoming more dangerous by the week.  From Orlando to Minnesota to Dallas to Nice and so on ... what kind of future are we facing?  On a personal level, I began to find it hard to look forward to the future because I was always waiting for the "other shoe to drop".  Then I found this verse:

This has become my prayer: Lord, let me be a woman who can find laughter and be joyful without fear of the future.  Scared people don't laugh. Let me be fearless, EVEN IF Even if the world we live in is unpredictable.  Even if I could be one phone call away from crisis.  Even if I am imperfect and broken.  Because EVEN IF ... God is still good.  I can find joy.  I MUST find joy. 

If I could trust a God who is always faithful; A God who is writing my story and has only my best interest at heart; a God who loves me extravagantly... If I can believe that God is always good, I CAN FACE TOMORROW WITH NO FEAR.  I'll be honest.  I'm still working on it; fear tries to creep in.  I don't believe that we should dig our heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge that sometimes things really stink.  Sometimes life is unfair and bad things happen.  I don't want to just say positive things and hope that they will be true.  I want to live real. I want to be alert and always in prayer about everything.  I MUST be alert and always in prayer.  And what else am I to do, but cling to Jeremiah 29:11?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
There is always something to be joyful about.  We can always find a reason to laugh.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Notes for 40: About Circumstances

Well, it's happened.  I'm 40 now.  In all honesty, I'm not disappointed.  My 30's were full of all sorts of 'hard', and I don't want to go back there!  I have always felt that although 40 is not young, it's not old either, and I've hoped that I would have gained some wisdom by now.  HA!  While that is questionable, I have picked up on a few truths that I hope to bring into the next decade.  Instead of listing everything in one long, drawn-out post, I've decided to make it kind of a series.  I am hoping that this will get me writing more often.  Oh, how I've missed it - and you!  I noticed that today marks exactly 5 months since I last wrote here.  No good!

So here goes.  Lesson #1:

"Your circumstances don't make you, they simply reveal who you already are."

This was a hard one to hear.  I was reading the book, "Lies Women Believe" (Nancy Leigh DeMoss) with a friend, when we came across the quote above.  Can I just say one thing?  OUCH!  Nancy didn't hold back in this book, but I'm thankful for that because we all need someone who is willing to tell us the hard truth!  I can't blame anybody or any circumstance for how I behave or respond to adverse situations. 

For example, I might say, "I wouldn't have thrown that plate across the room if he hadn't made me so angry." This puts the blame on "him".  "He" made me do it.  Yet the truth is that I threw the plate (hypothetical, okay!) because I have an anger problem and I allowed it to get the best of me. 

Or, "I ate so much because I was stressed" (not hypothetical).  But really I ate so much (cake, cookies, ice cream, chocolate) because I am addicted to sugar and it makes me feel better for like 10 minutes until I start feeling guilty and then I feel even worse (too honest?).

Or, I might say, "I was never impatient before I had kids".  Actually, I was.  Having kids just gave that trait an opportunity to arise. 

On the other side of the coin, some situations have taught me that I am stronger than I knew.  While I never want to go 'back there', I am grateful for the hard things that have made me stronger.  Some lessons are only learned by experience.  And with experience comes maturity (hopefully!).
"...we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." -Romans 5:3-5
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:2-5
I also discovered that I had some 'ugly' lurking beneath the surface.  Things like discontent, self-pity, un-forgiveness and one that took me by surprise - fear, especially when it comes to my children.  I never considered myself any of those things before.  But I love what Maya Angelou says:
"When you know better, you do better.
I don't know what kind of challenges are around the corner, but dear Jesus, please let me wear my circumstances well!  So here's to 40 and to living a "better broken"!

Friday, January 29, 2016


Hello, Five-Minute Friday!  I've missed you.  I've linked up over here with other bloggers, where we overlook mistakes and imperfection and just write for five minutes on the same prompt.
I'm stuck here in a quiet house, amidst Kleenix and cough drops and vapor rub.  Ick.  It's my day off and all I can do is rest.  I'm torn between wanting to take advantage of a good excuse to do nothing and that nagging voice in my head that tells me I need to be productive.  You'd think it'd be a no-brainer, huh.

Doing nothing has won out.  My pounding head has seen to that.  I've sat here on the couch while my sweet girl cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed, and made pancakes, all with her little one under foot.  I wished that I could at least scoop up my grandson so she could work more quickly (dumb sick germs).

I'm left to these thoughts in a clean, quiet house, as my loves head to the grocery store for weekend supplies.  I worry that she'll have a hard time juggling her wallet and bags and the baby, but then smile and remind myself that she can do it. She's a mom.  And God gave moms capes.

Quiet seasons can be hard.  I'm in the middle of one.  There is a nagging and a tugging that I should be doing more.  I want to do more.  But if having a baby in the house has taught me anything, it's to slow down.  One season at a time.  I think that's the gift of becoming a grandma.  We know by experience how quickly these baby days go by.  The gift of savor ...  I like that.