Monday, August 30, 2021

Enjoy the Ride

 In this season, I find it hard to get myself away and write.  I will be walking and the wind will pick up just enough, then I will come up with some peaceful, brilliant thought only to not have my keyboard at the ready.  There are crunchy leaves on the campus that I am currently work on.  I love the sound of the crunch as step on them.  It's such a simple pleasure.  

It wasn't long ago when I was walking along with the trees and the grass all around me that I have realized that God has answered some prayers for me.  It was not that long ago that I was working in a place that made me long for the sun on my face.  I went home to the husband I never thought I would have again and I sat down and told him, "I think I prayed for this.  I think I prayed for the opportunity to walk in the sun and have the smell of cut grass and the sound of swaying leaves in my ears."  He told me that I told him that same thing.  "Maybe you did pray for it."  They even let me wear my sneakers... every day.  God is good to me.

There are things in the mix.  We need to move.  I need to finish school.  I want to pay down my debt and get in shape.  I want to read more books.  I want to keep writing.  Even with my laundry list of wants and needs, I think I want God to write His story upon my life in such a way that you can recognize His writing.  I want to be the paper, blank.  Maybe I'm the pen and the ink is in Elle color.  The pen I imagine is a marble gel pen and the color changes as you write.

So... things are not perfect, but God is so good and life is short.  Just yesterday I was in high school.  I promise you that I BLINKED and all of a sudden I'm facing fifty... FIFTY!!!  I am grateful for every second.  God has a plan and He is trustworthy.  When you get into his car, he says, "Get in and enjoy the ride."  I'm enjoying the ride.  Join me.  Praise the Lord!  

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Hard Parts

I knew when I started this season of my life that there were going to be difficult moments.  The difficult moments tend to stay difficult.  The problem is me.

I used to run and sometimes, I still do.  Running has always been a challenge for me.  I have what you would call a love/hate relationship with running.  I love when I'm finally doing it.  I don't actually like getting up to run but when I'm at the gym and getting it done, there is nothing better.  I mention this because one day I came home from an outdoor run legitimately hating the sidewalk I was running on.  As I my feet hit the pavement, I would literally curse the ground that I ran on.  Silly Woman that I am!!!  One day, I realized that the problem wasn't the sidewalk, the problem was me.  I was mad at the thing that was making it hard, not that I was in a struggle to actually run.  Did I need to say that again?

Things in my life are complicated.  I'm a proud and happy newlywed.  I am the mother to two teens (yes, a mouthful).  I have taken on a new job and I am completing what I hope is my last degree.  This is the hard part of the hike.  Some of you don't hit the peak.  You say to yourself, I did what I could and now I will turn around and head on back down.  I really want to be like this, Folks.  I'm just not made that way.  Ask my best friend, Glenda how I feel about leaving a hike before I have been to the peak.  She'll tell you that I am the most stubborn mule of a person.  Trudging, crying and exhausted, I think I am one of those that will keep on going.  This is my fuel.  I want to be done.  I want to turn around and say that it's enough.  Unfortunately, I married someone who (incredibly) just might be more stubborn than I am and he's like, "Keep going.  You got this."  I don't know whether or not I appreciate it or not. 

Lately I have been thinking, why bother?  Why bother running and making my steps?  Why try and be better so that I can do better? Why work so hard?  I mean, I'm telling you, this part is kind of hard.  I posed the question to God.  I mean... I posed the question to God after complaining.  "God, why can't I have had an easy life?  God, why are things so.. difficult?  God, I don't know if I can and I may have to give up."  I hear a gentle, "Not your way but mine."  I hear echoes of being refined by the fire.  The wise people at my church call it sanctification.  I'm not sure I'm a fan of it.   I hear God whisper, even now, "They are watching."  I wonder who He is referring to... I don't have to wonder.  I know that He is referring to my favorite audience... my children.  

They were there to see me broken and bleeding; crawling through the hardest days of my life whispering through my sobs, "Praise the Lord.  God is good to me."  I hear my advice to them when they echo back to me, "God has a plan."  Today, not too long ago my son said to me, "Wherever you go I will go. It will be good."  My every day prayer to God is for my children to see Him and know Him.  I recommend Jesus to everyone.  Now, on a hike, I'm usually the last one to get some place.  There have been times when they have left and come back to check on me and I have continued to climb in places where I have had to hug the rock with my cheek pressed against it.  Maybe, just maybe, I am modelling how to do hard things with God by my side.  I feel a metaphorical me turn around as I'm climbing my mountain and I can see that my children and my new husband are right there with me in the struggle.  They root me on.  I pray that when it is time for them to do the hard thing, they don't back out because of fear.  "God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-control." (II Timothy 1:7)

Keep me in prayer, Friends.  Pray not that the sidewalk instantly becomes like rubber but that I have the foresight to keep running and trusting on the One with the Master Plan.  Praise the Lord!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

New Things

 Tomorrow begins a new school year.  My children are currently running around the house getting ready.  They are excited for something new.  I too am preparing for new things.  Apparently, there are a lot of new things.  I don't know if you are like me but sometimes, new things are not exciting.  As adults, there are many that tend to worry instead of getting excited for the "something new."  

I find that I am living my life in hopeful expectation.  I have had a few disappointments along the way.  I am at this start and I have decided to allow my children's enthusiasm to be contagious to me.  In my head, I feel the days getting shorter.  I can almost talk myself into feeling cooler, even in Arizona.  These days that are coming are sweater days.  I look forward to cool breezes and hikes that can sometimes remind me of fall. 

Before I know it, the Fall and Winter Holidays will be among us.  This year, I have a child going into 8th grade and another going into 10th.  Where did the time go?  On social media, pictures of when they were younger pop up.  I promise you it was just yesterday.  Do I really have a child getting ready to drive?  Tears are brimming just thinking about it.  And it legitimately hurts to think that I don't have too much time with my children being children left. 

I want time to come and bring new things but then again, I want time to go slow.  In the meantime, I have been marinating on Galatians 6:9.  "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."  I am talking of seasons.  I have been talking of seasons.  Someone asked me about my children now.  I had to think back to 3 years ago when 2018 was the worst year of my life.  Pictures from that time and the time before hurt me.  It's like a twinge of pain.  But oh how God got us through this!!!  Don't give up, Elle.  Do good.  Do what is right.  That's all for now. Have a good school year!  Praise the Lord!!!

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.