Wednesday, December 28, 2022
End of Year Check In
Saturday, November 19, 2022
Ducks in a Row
I got a new computer. Right now I am not using it. I am looking at it while typing on my old one. I look at how broken in the old one is. This new one isn't even heavy! How is it supposed to hold all of my thoughts? It has no weight to it! There are not a million and one things on the home page that I don't need. When did computers get so streamlined? I feel like a dinosaur looking at this thing. It didn't take any time at all to load up. I find it now that I have to get used to new things.
My husband was talking to me about the plans that we have for after this last class occurs and I find that I have to be honest with myself. What would it be like to come home and not have to do homework? I find that I miss the research and the worry. I find myself thinking of looking things up. I won't have to feel guilty about reading any more. I could go on walks and work out. My husband has already claimed my work out time after work. Who will I be if I'm not an academic?
I have been dreaming dreams again. I forgot that I was a dreamer. I loved making plans and attempting new things. As I get my ducks in a row, I can remember who I am again. I find myself reading books. I buy them and will bring them home with the hopes of reading them. I look at crochet and knitting projects online. I have a hobby again. I can start stretching and working toward my yoga. I have time and great need for this, especially as I grow older. Is it too late? Am I too old to dream dreams again?
I'm dreaming anyway. There is still a lot of life left in me. I am learning from my cat, Midnight. He was at death's door and now I am thrilled to see him fighting every day. Every day I hug him and I love on him. Every day with him fighting is a precious gift. I am committed to loving him for as long as he is on this earth. He has taught me to fight for each day as well. This means reading the Bible more. This means praying more. This means loving more. God has a plan for me. It didn't go according to my plan but according to His plan. For that, Friends, I am grateful. Praise the Lord!
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
The End of an Era
It started a few months. I was getting notices on my computer. I really didn't pay attention. I would shut down the window ignoring or just glancing at the notices. That is until I really looked at what it said and it told me that past January, Windows was no longer going to provide updates my my computer. The notice, brash and intrusive told me that it would be best to get a new laptop. What!!!
It's true that it is old and it runs slow The other day I was not able to upload a power point to one of my classes. But this piece of machinery has been with me for a long time. It is bulky and the battery lasts for 10 minutes but this is the computer I would do my research on. On the front, Santi, my first husband, my late husband, lovingly bought the computer sticker and arranged it on my laptop for me as a surprise. This man who is no more, touched areas of this computer and his touch is sealed within the sticker part. His fingerprints can still be found. I am sentimental about this computer.
I find that I have a lot of sentimentality. I was an only child whose parents died when I was still young. I would make inanimated object my friend all of the time. I got it into my head that the things that I touched were somehown alive but unable to communicate and here I was abandoning them in the garbage. I think I just revealed all of my inner turmoils and trauma in one sentence. Suffice it to say, I have sentimentality as a side affect and this means holding on to things that no longer serve to help you. The computer is literally telling me that I should get a new computer. It is the end of an era.
So I am looking for a new laptop. It no longer has to do a lot of heavy lifting. After this year, I will no longer be a student. I can focus on writing and surfing the web. I can't imagine being able to take a less bulkier computer with me to the coffee house to write for a while. I bought something for the meantime because the other day I couldn't turn it back on and I was afraid that it was gone for good. However, it seems like this computer took a bite of whatever my cat with a straddle thrombosis has and has decided to stay with me for the time being.
To say a last word on sentimentality, it is, underneath it all, a fear. We fear forgetting a past that we once had. I know people who have suffered loss develop a habit of taking pictures just to hold on a little more. This is what we are doing, we are holding on because our brains don't always remember all of the stories. I believe that this is at the crux of people who tend to hoard. I knew a few hoarders in my day. I need to let go of things and remember that God has called me to live my life not to live in the past with people and things who are no longer. I have my future to face and my present to attend to. I need to trust in God. To this I say, Praise the Lord!
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Remembering Different Seasons
There are some days that are brilliant and light filled with goodness and joy every second of every day. There are days that are tiring and hard and each tick of the clock brings you closer to the grateful end of the day. There are seasons that are dark and heavy. There are seasons that are colorful, bright and warm. As I sit here writing, my heart is thankful. We are in a season of thankfulness.
I was scrolling on Facebook and a picture from 4 years ago popped up. Even as I looked, I could see the sadness peeking out from within my eyes. I flinched looking at the hard memories. I could remember the pain and loneliness only to flash back and be where I am. I remember the goodness of the Lord. God has brougnt me to where I am right now. I am not living in the same place. I am not working in the same place. I don't have the degree I thought I would have. What am I going to do with a degree in Leadership? I am married when, for a while there, I thought I would never marry again. God is in control.
I'm writing these things not to complain but just to say that things can keep on changing. I am not who I was last year, never mind who I was when I was much younger. A social media person was dancing to 80s songs and I was brought right back to who I was when I was a teenager. Now I have teenagers living in my life. Life goes by too fast. Here's the thing, things will continue to change.
I would like to have some good moments every day. I would like to remember the good times when the sad days, when the bad days get too heavy. I want to lift up my hands and eyes and give thanks to God from Whom all blessings flow. I can see that at my age, I am looking at slowly rolling down the other side of my life. I want it to be an easy and happy trip. In the meantime, Praise the Lord!
Monday, November 7, 2022
A Masters' Dedication
Normally, there is an Acknowledgement and Dedication page at the beginning of a book. I would have written a dissertation. I will not now. I am learning to be fine with this but I still would like to write a dedication as closure to this time in my life.
I dedicate this work that I am currently doing to my children. I think that it was important for me to model education for my children and my students. I believe in learning and I have invested myself into education. This is a powerful thing. I wanted to be one of the ones that didn't say, "Do what I say, not what I do."
My children have watched me type and read and work late into the night. They have lent me their rooms as work places. They have left me notes inspiring me to keep on working. When I first learned about not being able to finish my dissertation, I thought of them. I thought of them being disappointed in me and this brought me shame. I remember them.
I also want to dedicate the work that I have done to my parents, especially my father. He came to this country from Colombia and it was he that believed in the power of knowledge. He invested in me and in my learning He sent me to good schools. When I think of all I have learned in my formal education, I am so proud of the education that I was blessed to receive. It was exceptional, even when I fought to not do the work. I am thankful.
I think about my family and where I came from. Did my grandparents envision an educated grand daughter. Did they hope for a lover of learning? I don't know. I hope that I have made them proud. It is true, "I am the dream and the hope of the slave."*
I have had two husbands while working on this degree. I think of my late husbamd and his reticence for me to do this. At the time, I was doing it to help us and our small family. I was hoping to bolster my earning power. Now, I think of my current love. He is so proud of me. He doesn't allow me to be mean to myself for my failure. He assures me of who I am and how I am loved. He reminds me that I am not my accomplishments. I am thankful to them.
Finally, but God. My dissertation chair called me the day that he died. I was supposed to submit some chapters for her. I imagine working on my dissertation while waiting for the police and then the medical examiner. Regardless of what I may think, grief did affect my ability to finish, but I didn't quit. I fought to write and then to present. It's true that I didn't have the time. I'm not upset, whatever my God ordains for me is good. Praise the Lord!
*Quote from Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Loving Black Cats: Midnight
I try to remember the year. I believe it was either 2010 or 2011. This would make Midnight either 12 or 11. I have been calling him 13 years old. No wonder he's upset with me. In any case, a little boy gave him to me at the end of the school year. I was working in South Phoenix in an elementary school. He wasn't my student. His mother didn't speak English. "Do you want him?" He was this tiny kitty. The small boy told me that he was the runt of the litter. When I brought him home, my husband at the time, Santi, told me that I had 9 days to get rid of him. He has lasted so long already.
Midnight was really my baby. He loves to snuggle and be carried vertically. He was the only cat I knew that liked to be carried. He was so small and sweet. He got along well with our oldest cat, Samson right from the start. When we brought Barkley home, we were scared to introduce them. Later, it was Midnight that would hang out with Barkley. They were such good friends.
One day, a window was accidentally left open. The kids and I went out, it was just after Santi passed away. We went to church and when we got home, there was a dog and one cat waiting for us to arrive. Samson was so upset. It was almost like he was waiting for us to get home. David and I went around the block looking for a black cat in the dark of night. I was crying. I just lost my husband, I was going to now lose my cat!!!
The next morning I woke up and went to the backyard right away. I was standing there drinking my coffee when I see a sly black cat climb back over the wall to the house./ I didn't wait. In bare feet and pajamas I went running and picked him up. I felt a little like the father running towards the prodigal son. I was just so glad he was back. When I put him down, Samson sniffed him and licked him. Big Brother missed him.
When we brought home Luke, the lucky kitty, Midnight was the one who showed him the ropes. Luke loves to mess with Midnight. I can find them sleeping together and fighting. They are just so cute. Midnight is my social butterfly He loves company but hates the doctor. Right now, he is fighting. He has a lot of life in him. We are coddling him as much as we can. Sweet cats are a gift. We are cherishing him while he is with us. Every day with him is another day of the gift that is his presence. Yes, it can be stressful caring for a disabled cat but he doesn't complain... until it is time to give him medicine. So far, it takes at least three of us to give him his medicine. My Midnight is such a fighter and I am so grateful for him. I am thankful to God who has brought him into our lives to love and be loved unconditionally. He, like so many pets are such a gift. Praise the Lord!
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
It's night time already. Let me tell you about my day. Today was not like me. I like to prepare and then prepare some more. I usually like to have all of my Ts crossed and my Is dotted, if you know what I mean. I didn't have too many ideas today on how it would all go down. I mean, I had been thinking about graduation for years but not this graduation at this time. Not getting the degree that I started out with has me feeling like an imposter. I guess this is at the root of everything.
So, I had planned on doing my hair. I did my nails. I didn't have an outfit planned. I didn't know the flow of the day. I got up and was overwhelmed. I wonder what Santi would have thought had he been here today. I think he would have been proud of me. I think all of my loved ones on the other side would have been proud but somehow I feel like I have let them down. I aimed too high and I am only coming home with second prize.
There is an acknowledgement and dedication page I will still post. I'm working on that for later on in the week. And yet, today there were moments that were hard and I couldn't put my finger on why. As I got ready, I cried. My husband had to talk me down. He told me he was proud of me. Am I such a big critic that I can't be proud of myself? It took me forever to get myself together and I drove myself to graduation while my husband went to pick up the children.
It was lonely driving over to the university by myself and super early. I kept on sweating and I ended up moving and then sweating some more. I loved where I sat and I was happy to sit with some women who were graduating with me. There was peace as I posted and people watched. I waited for my family to arrive.
There were some errors. I mean, there were more than just a few issues. Apparently, I didn't remind people that there were no purses and it had to be see through. Some people didn't know where the graduation was to take place. The lady saying my name mispronounced it and my people were barely able to catch me as I walked across the stage. I'm sitting here thankful. I don't know what God has in store but I want to believe that there are still big things in front of me. Praise the Lord!
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
An Anticlimactic Graduation
I have off this week for Fall Break. Yesterday, I spent the day with my family on a family adventure. Today I spent the day re-dying my hair and doing my nails because tomorrow, I will be graduating. I believe greatly in graduations. I always encouraged all of my students to walk when they had the chance. There is nothing like the ceremony of graduating to come to terms with an accomplishment. Yes, it's true that I still have the rest of one class and another class after this one to complete but in my mind, I am closing a chapter in my life that was long and hard.
You should know that I normally love a celebration. I love the pomp and circumstance of an event. Had this been the original graduation plan, I would have wanted a big celebration. There is something about doing it in October, where my friends will not be able to join me. One friend is traveling. Another friend, I don't know what is goind on with but at the end of the day it will be just family. I don't want to go out for a nice dinner to celebrate. I just want to go to my usually Bible Study at church and post some picture. I may be able to post the live stream and wouldn't that be awesome!
Here is the crux of this post. I am relikeved at the end of the day to be mostly done at this point. I will walk and I will quietly finish my classes and have just one more degree under my belt. My sweet husband will tell me that this is quite the accomplishment and I am finally feeling that maybe it is. As I have stated in a previous post, I look forward to reading books and watching television. I look forward to being able to spend time on myself and maybe even... write more? In any case, I am relying on the God who knows all things to walk me through all of this. In case you were wondering, I'm still praising the Lord!
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Now that my plans have changed. I think that I need to change. First of all, I now acknowledge that I can no longer eat the way I used to eat and have been eating. I'm not moving the way that I used to and right now, I can't seem to get into the flow of a regular gym workout. I have about three months at the outset to finish this degree up and put it away with the hoopla it created in the back of my closet. Honestly, I'm thinking about what is next but first, I need to confront this weight gain that I have assured comes from menopause. I want to say that it comes from lovin Cheetohs but hey, menopause just sounds better.
Here is what I think I want. I want to read. I used to love reading and because of everything, I felt guilty reading. Now I want to renew my library card and get lost in words. I'm not going to let my poor vision ruin it for me I mean, I have cool glasses! Now is the time to use them.
I thought the book that I would be writing is my dissertation. I still want to write. I have always wanted to write. I love this blog that has allowed me to think about all of my thoughts and feelings. I want to write... part time, at least. Already I thinking of the stories that I will get to write. Already I'm thinking about the characters I'm going to meet and the places that I will get to go. It's like I'm already there. It's exciting.
I would like to get into yoga. I know that there are a lot of Christians that are not a fan of the Eastern practice but I would still like to try it and practice it. I think I would like to become someone that uses yoga to worship God. Blasphemy you say? Well, let's see. I have to try something and yoga calls to me. It may be the pants.
Whatever is ahead of me, I have choices there are things in my power and it is all so exciting. I love it. I am thankful to a God who listens to the deep prayers of our hearts and helps us escape our own way. May I lean more on my Sovereign God.
As for my friend, Menopause, I will be sweating and aging as I was meant to be. Guys, a few years ago I was a heartbroken widow. Then I was a lonely widow. Then I made the decision to date and here we are now and I'm married. Being married to Geoff makes me happy. It's a blessing that we found each other and we are working on our journey to God together as fellow travelers in this life. I am thankful for him deciding to become part of our family. God knew what he was doing when he put us together. Of course, the joke's on him because now he has to deal with a menopausal wife. I mean, you reap what you sow, right? Just kidding, a little bit. I am thankful to God. Praise the Lord!
Sunday, October 2, 2022
Now that I am finishing up my "final" degree, I find that I have to rethink my opportunities. I thought I would be some kind of professor and I would live a small life teaching adults how to do something in a small community college. This may not be now and there are so many things that I am facing as a result. Of course, at this point in my story, I look up to the heavens and my prayer is, "God, what are you up to?" I say this with a smirk and I am confidant that the story that God is leading me on is much better than the one that I had set up for myself. It's just not what I expected.
I am happy, despite my massive failure. I am celebrating not being a doctor by graduating (ahead of time) in a few weeks. There are times that I find a small shame in explaining to people that I have failed and instead of a doctorate, I will be earning a Masters in Leadership. I have to laugh at it all. I have never seen myself as a leader in the same way that I didn't think I was a teacher and yet here I am working on about 17 years of teaching. There is such an honor in graduating though. God has been so merciful to me! I am amazed at God's goodness in my life.
I think that there is a question of what is next. I have been talking it out with my family. We are talking about taking vacations. I'm trying to get into a ministry at the church (now that I have more time). I am looking at books to read and I'm basking in this hot autumnal season and I am hoping that in the South West, I get a reprieve from the heat and I am able to enjoy a proper sweater weather.
I just read a book about wishing and I guess that if I am honest, I have always wanted to write. Look at me now! I'm writing! I may not make my living off of it but here I am writing. God is good to me. I had wanted to be a singer and every Sunday I am afforded the opportunity to sing. God is great to me. I think that I will go for long walks and enjoy sunsets. I think that I will spend time with my family. I think that I will try an appreciate the little things in my life each and every day because tomorrow is not promised and here I am staunchly in today. I know that there are moments that are hard and defeating. I know that I am not who I was and I may not be who I would like to be but at this moment my heart is full, my cup runs over and God is good to me. Praise the Lord!
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Not a Doctor
These days, every now and again, I remember the work that I put into a dissertation that will not be written and it saddens me. I think this is the correct emotion. But then I think about how I am almost done with this journey and I feel relief and joy. The positives outweigh the negatives and I am wondering about the path that God has for me. I should be defeated and depressed but instead there are just good things.
I was driving home the other day and I was listening to a podcast on the Bible that I found on Spotify. I think that it had to do with an overview of the Bible books in 30 minutes and I felt lead to listen to this podcast. On the podcast, the man speaking talked of attempting to get his doctorate and at the time he was leading a church. At some point, he understood that he would have to choose between the doctorate and the leadership position and he chose the church. I felt... akin to this man. I understood this choice well and it resounded with me. I mean, it wasn't exactly a choice. I didn't have enough time to finish.
So... What will my title be now that I'm not going to be Dr. I think out of everything, this is the part that upsets me. I'm just some older lady walking around with three degrees and not one of them is a doctorate. I guess it's not so bad. I'm working on my last two classes and then I get to find out what else I can do. It feels like my future is stretched out before me and I am right where I am supposed to be. Isn't this a blessing? Praise the Lord!
Thursday, September 1, 2022
Changing Focus: A Confession
It's Thursday evening and I find myself surprised. I am working on reading a chapter on management. I find as I am reading that this is thrilling. You may not know this but I am basking in a second chance. I failed. I failed brilliantly and here I am with the opportunity to do something else. I am thankful to God for bestowing on me honor that I truly don't deserve and yet, here I am. This is the grace of God.
I had been working for years on trying to get my EdD. I was hoping to get my educational doctorate in organizational leadership. I was under the idea that I would like in Higher Education in some way or shape. So I worked. I went through all the phases. I went up to submitting my proposal for AQR review when the review board let me know that I would not be able to complete my study in time for my April 2023 deadline. I had worked tirelessly and it was so stressful. In all transparency, I confess to you now that my drive for the doctorate dried up when my late husband died. What was I working so hard for? I continued for the sake of my children but in the time that I attempted the last of it I had: dated for a year, I was a single mother, got married, changed jobs, changed homes, changed cars and in all of that changing, I changed focus.
The university let me know that I had done enough work to be conferred a Masters of Science degree in Organizational Leadership. I happily agreed to complete my last two classes. I am currently taking a Leadership class that has a focus on various industries and I'm happy to read several chapters a week, write papers and contribute to online discussion boards.
I sit here taking a moment from my reading and note taking as I look around to the busy and messy dining room table I am working on. I look around my house and I need to clean, or my children need to clean but for the most part my house looks like a home. My children are under my roof, driving me crazy, a sure sign of love and happiness and I praise God for His faithfulness in my life. I don't know how to live in this world without Jesus.
And friend, I am so looking forward to the next adventure. Buckle in your seatbelts. I'm sure it will be an epic adventure. Praise the Lord!
Monday, August 15, 2022
National Day of Failing and of Resting
I got out of the car today as I was coming home. It was a long Monday. I had the radio on and the disc jockey stated that today was the National Day of Failing and of Resting. I told my dear sweet husband this as I walked through the door. He said something like, "Well, now that you have failed, you can rest." Isn't that the truth!!!!
I sat there. I have to fill out some papers and scan them in. I am preparing for the last two classes. I picked up a book and again, my dear sweet husband tells me, "What! You think you can read now because you aren't writing?" I laughed. This is exactly how I felt.
Later, I spoke to my chair over the phone. We reflected. She told me how amazing and how proud she was of all of the work that I had put into my degree. I was so close but I really don't feel bad. I fought so hard for so long to try and finish. I am ok walking away with the consolation prize of a lesser degree. God has a plan in place. He has a good plan for me. Maybe the way to proper is to first fail.
I find today apropos for the sentiment. Already I feel myself letting go. I feel aspects of myself already growing again after being stifled for so long. I thought it would be hard to write about but... it's not. God is for me, then who can be against me? (paraphrasing Romans 8 here). Today I took time out of my day to give thanks and praise to God Who looks out to me. I am now and have been, blessed beyone all measure.
The Bible says that the ending of something is better than the beginning. There is relief and peace. I am humbled, but in a good way and now there is more of me to spread (because there is a lot of me to spread). I'm excited to see what the Lord has next for me. In the meantime, Praise the Lord!
A few years ago, right before my late husband died, I went on a hike with my children. It was hard to find the starting point and when we finally got there I was faced with a very steep climb ahead of me. I trudged along as my children went ahead of me. At some point I lost my son and my daughter had to rush ahead while I sat crying amidst a legitimate panic attack wondering if my son was okay. He was almost to the top when his little sister found him and told him to go all the way back down to where I was. Together we continued up this hill where older ladies were passing me and there was a couple that ran up the hill. I could barely walk up it. My hips were screaming and my back was done with my efforts. Still I climbed to where the hill plateaued. I was so happy to reach it to this mark. I thought I had reached the top. But when I looked out, I could see that there was still about a horizontal mile before I made it to the tippy top. I didn't continue. I stopped where I was. I took a picture of my children and then we started making our way home. We were exhausted. At the time, James, my late husband was home. He would pass away within the month. I remember talking to him about the hike and he asked for us to bring us food from Denny's when we ordered our victory lunch. I feel that this forshadows a journey that has taken years to take.
I started an academic program years ago. I did well but this week I was told that I would not be able to finish the initial program. I was given the benefit of a consolation prize. I will be able to complete a Masters degree. I agreed. It isn't what I wanted but it is what I am getting.
My initial reaction was this feeling of failure and of being a loser. I am hard on myself but after prayer and my current husband boistering up my spirits, I am thankful for the opportunity and honestly, I am relieved. It feels like I have my life back. I am going through the hoops of finishing up the degree. and I'm... at peace and happy. I don't think that this is the right reaction but yet, here I am. Thank you, Jesus. I prayed for an option and this is the option and I'm so good with it all.
I think for a moment of the people that are disappointed in me. I'm not so disappointed. I want to believe that I am where God wants me to be. I am thankful for His providence. I look forward to the future and I am hopefully trusting in God.
There are many changes afoot. There have been many changes afoot. It has been a complicated time but I am glad to be out of the tunnel breathing the fresh air again. I don't have the heaviness of having something beyond my scope weighing me. Let's be clear, I could have done it. But I didn't and I'm okay with that. Praise the Lord!
Monday, August 8, 2022
A Teacher's Prayer
The other day I was watching a stand up comedian and I looked at my husband and I told him, "I think I can do that." He told me to sit down. I mean, I think that I am funny. I can be funny. I think I meant to say that in my whiny voice. Can you hear it if I say, "Think more whiny." I can be funny. In my head it came out exactly how I expected. Maybe I should take his advice and learn to sit down.
I had big dreams. I have always had big dreams. I had this sense of who I was. I still have that confidence in who I am. I look around the room where I am working. Well, maybe I can work on a few things. Here is the thing, if God meant for me to have a different life then, maybe I would have a different life. I can't tell you how much I have tried to escape teaching and yet here I am... teaching. "God," I pray. "Really, God? Is there any way that I could try something else?" I look around and I try applying for other jobs. There should be no reason why I don't get another job and yet, I am overlooked. I pray to God and I can hear that those jobs were not meant for me. "But, God, I never wanted to teach." I ran from teaching the way that Jonah ran away from Nineveh. He spent three days in a whale and still had to go back and prophesy to Nineveh. God will tell me that it is not about what I want but what He wants. I should want what he wants.
This year, I have started embracing teaching in my own way. I wanted a plant theme and I went out and went crazy getting plants. I want to teach the students how to have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. Already they are warming up to me. I bought a shirt that announced to the world that I was a teacher. I think I have finally embraced my occupation. I am waving my white flag. Okay, God, I am a teacher. I very educated and degreed teacher. I think that there is a possibility that I can do this job well. We will soon find out.
It is the second week of school and already I am tired. I look forward to cooler days and celebrations. I look forward to the breaks found throughout the school year. I look up what this state is willing to do to help teachers make ends meet. There appears to be a disrespect for teachers as professionals. It's hard to make a comfortable life. We need more teachers to help spread the need out. I talk to kids, I tell them to consider teaching. They smile. I can almost see the head shake. Everyone knows that teachers have a bad deal.
God, help the teachers this year as they educate and fight for their students. God open up hearts and mind to receive knowledge. I pray that parents hear and understand what we are trying to say. I pray that you help the teacher's heart. Help them to be strong in a hard job. Please God, have mercy on our teacher.
Have you prayed for your children's teachers lately? I would recommend it. Ask them how we could be praying for them and then pray for them. They have your children for a big chunk of the day. Consider that. In the meantime, praise the Lord!
Saturday, July 23, 2022
On the Verge of Doing or Not Doing
I think that all of us has been faced with hard things, things that make us question if the better thing would be to leave. You should know that I am not one of those people. Usually when presented with something difficult, I am the one that says, "Let's keep on going." When the pain is too great I am the one who says, "Praise You, Jesus because I know that you are with me." That is unless I have a charlie horse, then I'm cursing up a blue streak. Or if I forget that I have a small cut on my hand and I put on hand sanitizer; that's the devil riling me up.
Okay, in any case, this year has been a rough year. I have been working and struggling with the completion of a very personal goal. I promise I'll share about it soon. I was contemplating giving up. I asked myself, "Who would you be if you just gave up? What would it mean? How would you handle it?" And honestly, it didn't feel good. I talked about it with God and I really wanted to hear what He had to say about the matter. I talked to my husband and I then brought the issue around to my children. They have to live with their mother failing too.
My kids are so loving and supportive but it was my daughter who called me to task and let me know that I am not a quitter and that she knew that I could accomplish this goal. I guess you could say that this is what I needed in order to face my Goliath with some stones, borrowed from my little girl.
But being in this place leaves you paralyzed and scared. I was simultaneously ashamed and weakened by the prospect of failing. And here is the thing, I may still fail. It is not done. I understand now why God states that the end of something is better than the beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8). How many people are stuck in a shame pattern due to the inability either physicially, emotionally or mentally, to finish a goal? I understand that. I mean, not everyone has someone in their corner. Not everyone has the assurances of God in their lives.
Here is what I want you to do. Be kind to people. Pray for them as the smallest act. Because there are people who have spent their whole lives in the year that I have had and I can't even imagine.
And if you are one of these people, just know that I am praying for you right now, Dear Reader, that the Lord unfreeze you and that you have faith in God to move on or away from this thing that has a hold of you. You are loved. Praise God! That's all.
Monday, July 18, 2022
From what I understand, hedging a bet is betting on two sides at once to guarantee some sort of win. From a religious standpoint, it is a big no no as the children of Israel had not problems doing this with God and with the idols they have been punished for. It's like those people who wear a cross and carry a lucky rabbit's foot around.
Well... in a sense, I have been hedging my bets when it comes to my life. I feel like these days, I'm in a Sliding Doors situation where if I go one way, I'll have one kind of life and if I go another way, I will have another kind of life. So, the only thing to do is to pray about it all. I'm so distracted, even my prayers have been disjointed and unorganized. As I look around my home, there is detritus of my indecision everywhere. I'm living two halves of a life and it shows.
At night as I lay in bed, I thank God. "Thank you, Lord Jesus for this day that you have given me." I do this because I have no idea what my next day will be. Even now, today, I had banked on having time off before I start school and now I have been told that I have trainings. Already my days are filled. Did I do everything that I wanted to do prior to starting school? No! It is a resounding no!
So, I am trying to lean, not on myself, not on what I think I know or on any other subsequent idol like technology. I am fervently trying to lean on God. I understand that this is a messy time in my life. I am all discombobulated vehemently. I don't have an idea of what to do next year but I know that God knows and that just has to be enough for me. This is the hard part, right? This is the part that has me relooking at dates and times to make sure that I am enough to remember. When do the kids have what meeting? What appointments have I lined up? I mean, it wouldn't hurt to get an app to help but ultimately, I am leaning on God to guide me. Praise the Lord!
Friday, July 8, 2022
In The Wrong
About two weeks ago, I was in a small car accident. It was more like a car incident. In any case, I reported it to my insurance and I called the other cars insurance to see if I can get my very minor damages covered. The whole situation was not as black and white as I would have liked it to be but in talking with my husband, he said not to be surprised if I was found liable. In other words, there was a possibility that I would be found in the wrong. I fought this label very hard. I was not in the wrong!!! I mean there I was driving my car, minding my business, trying to get home and CRASH! There was other things that didn't feel right either. Again, the purpose of this post is not to get people on my side but to explore this process that I went through.
I recently heard back from the insurance company and they deemed me, "in the wrong." I'm still fighting it. This whole thing has made me feel very insecure about my driving and my capabilities. I feel that I am a very capable driver so it is hard for me to accept, if possible, user error. Why do I fight this so hard? Am I so good that I can't be deemed in the wrong? I can tell you that I know me and I'm not so right. In fact, there is nothing really about me that is in the right... except Jesus.
Romans 3:10 tells us that there is none righteous. Yes, I said it right, not a one. God is the one who redeems us and makes us righteous. After being in my ego for a while and having to confront my... what is it called again? Humanity, having to confront my humanity. I now have a lot of things to talk myself into: getting my mind ready to start work again; summer cleaning the house and working on things that should have been done but are not. What are those things? I don't really want to talk about it because there is a possibility I may not be able to complete a goal. My fragile ego is taking some blows but God is with me and He makes me righteous. I need to trust in God.
Confession is good for the soul. As I get ready to go and do things that need to be done, what do you need to talk to yourself about? I can't be the only one, can I? In any case, even if I am, praise the Lord!
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
On May 4th, I went to work and when I went to pick up some of my students from the bus, I heard that there was a kitty on the bus. Curiosity piqued, I went to find out what had happened. There was a little guy, dirty and meowing. The kitten was so small and he was overwhelmed. I didn't want the kitten. I thought about what my husband would say. Later I would come to find out that as soon as I sent him the picture of the kitten, he thought that it was ours. It was later that he learned of my efforts to find the kitten a home that wasn't ours.
Luke is lame. He has a little paw that he doesn't walk on correctly. It took him longer to learn how to walk. The vet that we took him to the next day stated that the little guy was 3 and a half weeks old. He reported that dear Luke was in general good health. He was tired. That first day he spent massive amounts of time just sleeping. When I talk to Geoff about his little leg, we know that at the end of the day Luke's leg is a non-issue because he is safe with us.
You should know that the next day I asked the bus drivers where they had found him. It was about a block away from the school and they informed me that his sibling was not so lucky. They found the ran-over corpse on the side of the road the next day. I look at lucky Luke. Just knowing that makes me want to hold him a little closer. I would have tried to save them all but instead, I saved one.
I don't know if we in our power have the ability to save people the same way we can rescue a kitten. I think of the babies that I have served as a teacher. I have always worked in schools of need. I have not worked in affluent schools. I wouldn't know what to do. I have had affluent students but for the most part I have worked in schools that work with underfunded populations. When asked what it was that I thought I did in these school, I would tell you that I shed a little light in a dark place. I give off some very serious Mom vibes. I have been told that I "mom" people. What a compliment!! This is such a high honor for me. God in His mercy is so giving that He lets us help with His mission like children "helping" Mom mix up cake batter. Later the child says proudly, "I made it. Mom helped." I'm laughing. We all know who did all of the real work.
Speaking of which, Mother's Day and my birthday has just passed. My children, my biological children celebrated me. I look at them. I know that there are things that I need to teach them. I am hoping they will continue to come to me. I think they know that I would do anything I can for them. I will parent them the best way that I can. I know that there are some days that this is not enough. I know for a fact that there are days and moments that I will never be enough. I'm okay with that. I am hoping that I have done enough pointing to where they can go if they need a good and perfect parent... God. Honestly, I'm blessed to be along for the ride. I will write more about my birthday later.
I put Luke to bed under protest. I need to make sure that he is safe during the night so he is living out of our walk in closet. I rearranged it just for him. In a way, I'm his mom. I know that I will take care of him the way that I have taken care of others. I took a post today in another school under a contract company. I already know the kind of school that it is. It is the same kind of environment that I have worked in. I have only signed on for a year. Already I wonder what kind of babies will I meet. What kind of needs they have. I wonder if I can be a little light for them. I pray. You can be in prayer with me. Teaching is hard and tiring. Pray for good teachers. In the meantime, instead of complaining... Well... instead of complaining right now, I will be thankful and I will praise my good God who watches over me and allows me to "help." Praise the Lord!
Monday, May 2, 2022
Thoughts on Not Being Able
This post isn't bad and I am not depressed. As I look to myself, I have to understnd that I'm okay even when I'm not totally okay. That being said... Here is my post:
Monday, April 25, 2022
Rants of a Teacher
I am a teacher. I am a teacher in a world where there are not enough teachers. There are not enough teachers because people don't want to stay a teacher once they get here. There are not enough teachers because there is too much work for not enought pay. There are not enough teachers because the teaching profession does not feel like a respectable profession, therefore, the younger generation are choosing to be other things and I don't blame them. To make up for the lack of teachers, more work is placed on the existing teachers. We hear complaints about these teachers...
I am hurt. When I said that I was jealous that someone was able to take a break, to take a nap after working from home that they said that I have summers off and holidays off. Yeah, that's cool. You ever give a presentation? How long does it last? I bet you that you don't usually have to convince your audience of the benefit of just listening. I bet you don't repeat your presentation more than once. Are you tired afterwards? Are you bone tired? I am bone tired. I teach the most vulnerable. There are meetings before and after my long day. There is paperwork to do in the 45 minutes that I am given in order to be prepared for my meetings. Bringing the work home will call for 12 hour days more days than I would like to admit. I don't do it. I'm a contracted worker. I work when I'm at work but I usually work extra most days. There is just too much to do. I'm hurt and mad that people make it seem that I don't work enough. Maybe that's my own issue but it's still disrespectful.
My inability to catch up the work gives me issues with my personality. I have built up an inferiority complex that I am not enough because I can't do the work. There are lies. I know that the work is too much for the few that are working, but it still feels true. Had I not been a contracted worker, there would be even more work still. I would have data goals and other things to consider.
Today I have to remind myself with tears in my eyes that it has been a bad day, not a bad life. Some of it has to do with hormones, I'm sure. Some of it has to do with exhaustion. Another part of it is worry and dissatisfaction. What would I do? What do I want to do? Am I brave enough to try something new? I am finding that maybe I'm not brave enough to try something new. This by itself is cause enough for alarm.
I read somewhere something about how the public understands that teachers don't teach because of the money. The system is taking advantage of educator's love and dedication to their profession. Teachers are professionals. We earn our days of rest and we desperately need it. How long do you usually hang out with other people's children before enough is enough? 180 day is enough? Have you ever met a kid that you mentally think, "Man, I'm glad I don't have to be around this kid!" What about the teacher that is with the kid more than his/her parent? What do we do? We spend our own money and try to buy something to entice/bribe the kid to learn, for the benefit of learning. I believe in education. I believe in the power that education gives. I believe that knowledge is truly power. Teaching is a fight, and today it feels like I lost the battle.
As teacher appreciation comes up, think of your teachers; not just your child's main teacher, their resource room teachers, their speech teachers, their OTs and PTs. Think of the school nurses and the secretarial staff who try to reach your child. Take a moment and think of the teachers that helped you when you were in school.
Okay... Rant is over. I am getting off of my soapbox for the night and saying my prayers. I will try to look toward my good God for help. That's all for now. Praise God!
Thursday, April 21, 2022
I am of the mindset that feelings are arbitrary for the most part. Yes, we should consider them and try and understand what they are telling us. We should definitely pay attention to our bodies when we are tired, mad or sad. This is all part of emotional intelligence. HOWEVER, I am not sure that we should dictate our world and make all of our decisions based on what we feel.
Sunday, April 17, 2022
Trial and Error and Error
Today is Easter Sunday. I want to be transparent with you so I will tell you that I am very well and very tired. Let me clarify, I am in the middle of a transition. As a result of being in this change, I am tired. And I don't really know all of the particulars of how things will land. I am traversing a line and I have been trying things out and at this point in time, I can say looking back that I have made some mistakes. I have learned some stuff but this era in my life is all about trial and error... and some more error. There may be even be more error up ahead.
Let me start with my attempt at healing my broken heart by trying out getting a dog. I live in a beautiful townhouse. The dog, as a puppy (we had named him Midas), was huge. It took well over a week to discover that nobody would be happy should he stay with us. And again my heart was broken again. I didn't realize what a dog person I was and even thinking about my dear dog makes my heart ache. I tried it but it didn't work.
This whole year was sort of an experiment. I left a job that I had worked at for 10 years in one school and 2 years in another school. Again, to be frank, I'm discouraged at the state of education in the United States. There are clearly not enough teachers. I took a contractual position working for an agency for this year until I figured things out. The job called for more than the 3 special education teachers that were there. As a result, there was more work to do amongst less people. I don't know if you know this, but teaching is tiring. Some of you think that leaving the house is tiring. Some other of you think that giving a presentation is tiring. Imagine being "on" for at least 6 hours of a day. Your audience are people who don't really want to be there sometimes. Is it fun? Sometimes it is fun. Sometimes it is heart breaking and it is always very exhausting. I hear the argument that teachers only work 180-190 days a year. But when you think of all of the work that is put in and all of the money, your own money, that is invested into our students and our classrooms, well, the work and the money don't match up and teachers are leaving in droves. I don't blame them. If God didn't have me where I was I wonder if I would be one to leave too. But I love the babies. This appears to be another crossroad that I am at. It's a big one. What would I do if I wasn't an educator? I don't have the credentials to be what I want. I may be closer but I may not reach the lofty goal that I was trying for. All of this adds further the exhaustion that I am feeling. I am not enough.
I catch myself singing "There must be more to this provencial life..." from Beauty and the Beast. This is never a good sign. How do I get the rest I need and the work I need all at the same time? I think of my beautiful family. I don't feel like I am enough for them. I try things and when they don't work out, it leaves me with feelings of failure.
I am not a failure.
So, I need to pray. I need to go to God and bring all of these bags I have accumulated to Him so that He could take care of it. I want to believe that this time in my life is part of the plan. And I am not to worry. Matthew 6:25-34 calls me not to worry about tomorrow and that tomorrow will bring its own problems. Already I am feeling some peace. And you should know that I am usually at peace with joy because I have Jesus in my life, especially today on the day we commemorate His ressurection. I write these thoughts because I know for a fact that I am not the only one to worry about things. I know that some people don't know what to do with their lives, with their loves, with their problems, with their worries and I am offering to you a solution. Here it is: I try things and there is error but one thing I can trust in totally that has no error whatsoever is Jesus. I recommend trying Him for yourself and seeing that He is good. That's all for now. Praise God!!!
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Spring Break 2022
My dream of a break usually consists of laying somewhere slightly warm and sunny where I can watch something beautiful for long periods of time comfortably. The first thing that comes to mind is a beach somewhere. I one time told my friend, Ray after an exhausting season that I would like nothing more than having a bed on a beach somewhere. That request did not go through.
This break was not as relaxing as I would have liked. Instead of relaxing, I cleaned, spring cleaning. I can tell you that it isn't as thrilling as it sounds. In total honesty, I confess to just doing the basic stuff during the normal work week and neglecting the deeper cleaning that should be done. I don't know how the rest of you do it, honestly. Even now as I look around my living room where I am writing this post, I notice a shelf that did not get dusted. I think to myself, "How can I be better?" I love to hear from those people who seem to have it all together. They get up early to work out. They have the discipline to eat better than I do. Their homes are spotless. I'm tired just writing about them.
The other thing is that I scheduled time to be with friends. Adults, especially women, easily get bogged down into their own lives. We are busy people. There are days that I'm halfway through my day when I realize that I didn't do something essential. I didn't pray. I didn't read the Bible. I didn't spend time with God, which I feel is different than praying. It's like sitting down remembering the goodness of God and being thankful. This attitude of gratitude fuels my joy and the joy of the Lord is ultimately my strength. How many times have we heard it and yet, don't follow. I'm raising my hand.
This morning, first thing, even before I opened my eyes, I was in a bad mood. There were so many things that I didn't get to do yet and then I find that I may not get to do them. I start mentally railing on my circumstances and the people around me, in my head. Things like, "I would have been able to have more time if my kids or my husband would have helped me! How do I end up doing everything? Why do I put myself in t hese positions? I'm not going to do anything anymore." I mean, I can get really in my feelings and this morning, I was. I recognized that I needed to pray. So I took all of this negativity. I thought about talkiing it through with someone, but how is this fair? Humans are not made to take the junk of others. That's taxing. That just puts a lot of negativity and strain back out into the world. Do I really need to share the vileness that I find in my heart? No, I don't. Instead I went and I brought it all to God in my prayer journal. By the time I finished writing, I was praising God again.
Today is St. Patrick's Day. I saw a shirt that said, "Not lucky, blessed." This is what I feel today. I feel blessed and I know that it isn't just chance that brings it to me. It's God. I pray that I can spread his message of light and love instead of the darkness and hate that is found in my own heart. Alleluia and Praise the Lord!
Thursday, March 10, 2022
Birth and Death Days
This week has been a crazy week and so I didn't have time to really spend time commemorating my son. He turned 16 years old this past weekend. I had decided to let him celebrate it the way that he wanted to. What he opted for was going to his best friend's house and having a sleep over and then there was a wonderfully freezing night of glow in the dark... tag? I'm not sure what it was because I was in a frozen coma. Well, as cold as Arizona can get in March.
This was not what I would have wanted. I would have wanted to do something with him the night before his birthday. He likes bowling so I would have wanted to hang out with him and his friends while going to the bowling alley. I would have liked to make him a big cake with a lot of candles. That didn't happen either. He wanted cupcakes that we ended up buying from the store and the candles that he did blow out were not with me. They were with his friends at Youth Group. I'm so very glad that my son has such wonderful great friends to celebrate but I was no where in sight. I would have liked for him to wake up at home and make him a big breakfast followed by a day trip with an awesome hike somewhere near or far. Instead when I woke up, I texted him at his friends house and in the evening I picked him up.
Sunday the exhaustion set in. I woke up but couldn't really get up. In my home I had my son, my daughter and my son's friend. I didn't really think about the death day at all. My late husband passed away the day after my son's 12 birthday 4 years ago. My son once told me that he would never forget that the day after his birthday is his father's death day. There is nothing that I can do to change that.
On his birthday 4 years ago, I came home from work with a small cake for David and some decorations. Santi had not been feeling well and honestly, I was starting to get worried. As soon as I came home and saw him, I knew that Santi was not feeling well. You could see it in his eyes. I begged him to come with me to the urgent care. He was always so stubborn. He told me that he wouldn't go on his son's birthday. I cried. I practically begged him. Instead, we compromised. He told me that I could take him first thing in the morning. I texted my boss that night and I let everyone who needed to know that I wasn't going to go to work the next day... the longest day of my life.
Four years ago I woke up and got my morning started. Santi had taken to sleeping in the family room. I got up and started getting the children ready for school. I got dressed and went to the family room and I didn't see him. I was just about ready to take the kids to the bus. Janet was the one that found him. He had fallen from his seat. I had a feeling when I went to touch him but it was when I reached out to him that I knew for sure that I had to call 911. I think that's about all I have in me to write about it. It was enough thinking about it on this past Sunday.
Here is the up side. We are thankful and we praise God. My family and I know that Santi is home. We didn't talk about him on the Death day but there are moments when we remember. I pulled out my phone and looked at pictures of his smiling face and I remembered. He left me two of the best pieces of him that I can imagine, my son and my daughter. I am blessed beyond all measure. Praise God!!!
Friday, March 4, 2022
Don't Lean on What You Understand
There are options before me. I think I have been talking about the exciting life of transitions. There is so much going on. Here is the thing that people don't really realize. For every degree in a circle, that is how many options there are out there. At any time, there could be 360 degrees of options. Let me try to explain. \
Tomorrow, God willing, I will wake up. Let me list for you some of the things that I could do...
Maybe I could write a novel
Maybe I could wake up and clean the bathroom.
Maybe I could weed the yard, or lounge all day in a tub, or eat pizza, or play frisbee.
Obviously I could go on for a while about my Saturday mornings; I think you get the hint. Well, here I am in my life and I confess to sometimes having small thoughts even though I serve a Big God. The other day I was wondering if I would be able to get a decent job for the next school year as a teacher. I was talking with my husband and he tells me, "Elle, you are in a high demand job. Are you really worried?" And he's absolutely right. Now all I have to ask is, "What do I want?" But, instead of asking that, I have decided, "What does God want to do with this little life that I have?" I'm still breathing, so I must have a purpose to fulfill.
I prayed. I prayed fervently to God for clarity. I'm not sure if this is an appropriate prayer but inevitably, I find that we should all pray to our Good God from the heart with all our concerns and intentions. And I'm still praying. Why is praying for clarity not appropriate? What if praying for clarity turns out to eliminate options until only one option is available? Is this the way we should feel about the will of our Sovereign God? You see, I'm not so sure and right now this thought is too big to think about so... I'm stepping back from this very deep thought and I'm looking up and once again relying not on my own thoughts but on the amazing plan and will of God. Praise the Lord!
Monday, February 28, 2022
When you are watching or reading about a story, in the reading, there is laid out for you the heroes and the villains. In fact, we see ourselves as the heroes of our own lives. Our family and friends are the secondary characters and those that oppose us or make us angry are quickly cast as the villain. I learned about this when I was teaching and in talking to a student I understood that he saw not just me, but all teachers as the villains in his life. In fact, all adults were labeled untrustworthy and he lived a type of Peter Pan idealogy where only peers and children could be trusted. I could see how he got to that conclusion. It made me think about how I should see people in my own life. It is easier to see how hurt people hurt people and continue to hurt people instead of making them a villain. Perspective changes so much how we see things.
There are wars waging in this world. I think that it is clear that we are trying to root for the "good guys." And there is this paradoxical idea where we must fight for peace. Well... maybe not me but people must and should fight for peace. To not fight is to not have peace.
What does the Bible say of this? It says, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9. This is a verse that is part of a set of other verses called the Beatitudes. This is part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Here he calls blessed a bunch of people that don't seem like they should be blessed, or in the least, it begs to ask how, how are people to be blessed. I have been marinating on this verse. Just this verse since I heard about the conflict in the Ukraine. Why? Why is there a need to acquire more land and more power? Who does this war benefit? I am being dense on purpose, I know I am but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really make sense to me. And it would seem in this scenario that Ukraine, with a former comedian as a leader, are the peacemakers.
So... how are they called sons of God? Are they in fact, sons of God? I don't know. But they will be called sons of God regardless. I think it implies that they are on the side of God which would be the side of good whether or not they are sons of God. I'm sure that some or all could be sons of God. I think this is the question. I think being called a son of God refers more to how they are viewed, or their reputation. I pray that they continue to fight for the cause of peace. I pray that they honor the side of good and that they in fact will be remembered by history as peacemakers. And may God give them victory in their endeavors. God who knows the hearts of men and the answers to all of the whys. I pray for peace with them. May God hear our prayers. Praise the Lord!
Monday, February 21, 2022
You don't know about this but I sit here wasting time. I spent the day wasting time. Ask me what I did. I woke up late. I rested. I cooked food with my darling husband. We cleaned a little bit, and that was it! I spent the rest of the time crocheting this afghan I am making for my living room. I like getting lost in the colors. They are autumn happy colors that I enjoy blending together. I was supposed to be working on something. I was supposed to be doing something important, like filling out job applications and helping along on what is next in my life. But is that trusting God?
I think what the real problem could be is that trusting God is hard. Have I said this before? I'm pretty sure that I have mentioned this before. Here we are in the middle of the desert of uncertainty and there doesn't really seem to be any resolutions or solutions and we look up to the sky. We don't think that the answer is up there. We need to know that the answer is there. Do you want to know where I come up with this crazy idea? You will never guess... or maybe you will. It's found in the Bible.
Psalm 121 says:
"I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip-- He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you-- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not har you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- He will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
Is this not exactly the answer to the problems? Now tell my heart. Tell my fear. Tell the part of me that wants to freak out and imagines the worst case scenario. I recently came across John 14:26:
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whome the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your rememberance all things that I said to you."
So, I am praying to the Holy Spirit to help me remember and to be taught all the things to get me through things. Like, when I feel like I'm going to worry, I remember that God tell me not to worry-- Matthew 6:34. He tells me to cast my anxiety on Him-- 1 Peter 5:7. He tells me to accept His peace-- John 14:27.
Now that I have had this moment, I am going to pray and instead of feeling guilty about what I call my wasted day, I am going to give God thanks for time spent enjoyably with my family in fellowship and rest. I needed some rest and I am thankful. Praise the Lord! Praise God! Amen!
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Exhaustion and Bereavement
I have been tired. There really is no explanation for it. I am behind on work and I'm tired, too tired to catch up. Have you been there? I have to plug in for a while and find my energy. There is too much to do and little time to do it all, to see it all. I'm so busy living my life that I'm tired and I need some more energy for what is next on the horizon.
So... I hear you asking, "What's next on the horizon?" I don't know. I'm living life without GPS but I have G-O-D leading my way so, I'm trusting the One who can see more than what I can from where He is. There are days when this is really hard. There are days when I know that I can do this. I need a lot of reminders. I need to hear it all the time. This is why I find myself turning to the Word of God to center me.
And then, I lost a friend. I consider her a fan of my writing. She encouraged me in my blog posts and I considered her one of my best fans. I had to edit the previous sentence and make it past tense. I loved her and her beloved husband. They are home now but I can't believe that they are gone and it hurts because I miss her.
She was a behind the scenes kind of lady. She had an attitude of servitude. I can always rely on her to make the coffee. She knew where to find everything in the kitchen. I found out a few years ago that she had a wonderful alto voice. She would never admit to it. She was always so kind and so easy to talk to. Her and her husband were... Gentle, in name and in spirit. I hope I am not stepping out of bounds to write this.
I still miss my dog. I didn't even know that I liked him that much. Someone gave me a puppy to hold and I wanted to walk out the door with someone else's dog. Tomorrow we would have celebrated his birthday. He would have been 10 years old. He was so young. I expected him to be the last to go and I miss him so much it hurts.
What do I do with all of the exhaustion and grief? What do I do? I turn to God. I know that He is with me. I am comforted somehow. I know that this will pass. I lean on the promise that He is with me. I pray that He allows the next transition to be good and that He will not let me fail. I feel like I should be doing more somehhow. I am hard on myself because I am not enough, a hard fact to admit, but God is enough. He completes what I lack and I become more. This is what I am learning from Him. So I wait. I pray. I mourn. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Praise God! I allow myself to receive comfort I don't deserve and I didn't earn. This is the grace of God. Praise the Lord!
Monday, January 17, 2022
Tomorrow, on a Tuesday, my daughter will be 14 years old. I look at her. Well, I look at both of my children and... I love them. You would hope that I love them, right? I don't know how God in His grace allowed me to have such children. I am thankful to God for them.
Janet loves the stories about what she was like when she was a baby. She is smart and extroverted. She is exceedingly kind and fair. She is loving. I won't spell out her shortcomings here. I am happy to celebrate my daughter. We are a family that wants to celebrate the goodness of God for bringing us to each other.
My late husband used to love celebrating birthdays. He would plan small intimate celebrations with balloons and homemade cake. He would like to decorate home made cards and put streamers up. We would turn off all the lights and sing Happy Birthday. We were blessed to celebrate such happy times. I wanted my children to remember what it was to be celebrated even when they feel they don't deserve it, such is the nature of grace.
She had fun today. We woke up late and before I knew it, a celebration came together. My friend, Gia told us something like, "Who else but God could bring this all together?" Yes! Exactly! It was like I planned it. It was so good to see my lovely girl laughing and being a child with other children.
Later this year my son will be 16. I have him for 2 more years. Already I am sad and crying. Time goes by so fast. Just yesterday they were children, they were babies and now... I want to slow time down a little bit. I don't have this luxury. I must sit back and be thankful for what I do have. I have them now. I have them under my roof with me. When they ask me to do something with them, I do it. This is the time that it matters. These are the moments they remember and I am thankful for them. Praise the Lord!
Thursday, January 13, 2022
The investigation has been done. I have a torn meniscus in my right knee. No one anticipates getting injured. When I think about how I fell, it is a true miracle that there is less injury than more. I am thankful. It has been hard getting around and the treatment is tiring. I am feeling my age and it takes more time to do things. You should know that I always underestimate time.
I found myself worrying about bills and the consequences and in the mire of stress and exhaustion, I prayed. I said, "Praise the Lord." I said it quietly. I said it purposefully. I wasn't feeling joyful. It cost me to give honor and praise to the Lord. I worshipped Him anyway. God is good to me.
I have been hearing that it is okay not to be okay. Okay. Romans 8 in its entirety talks about God and His goodnesss. It talks about everything wonderful we have because of Jesus. I mean, you should take a look at it. In fact, I'll leave it down below. Here is the thing. In verse 37 it states that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. More than conquerors, like Alexander the Great, Xerxes or Napolean. We are more. Why don't we act like we are more? So yeah... Praise the Lord! If God is for us, who can be against us (again from Romans 8)?
I may not be anything special. I may be a hot mess on toast. In fact, I may be a hotter mess than any one you have ever known. Definitely messier than you (wink). But I'm a hot mess who loves Jesus and even in my infirmity I will praise the Lord! I think I am writing this more for me than for you. God is good. Taste Him and see. Say a prayer. How do you feel? Better than okay? Than go ahead and say those three little words. Praise the Lord! I can even make it easier. Praise God! If you don't even have that, then I recommend one of my faves, just say, "Jesus." I'll end it all with Praise the Lord.
Life in the Spirit
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus[d] from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Heirs with Christ
12 So then, brothers,[e] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[g] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
God's Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Courtesy of Bible Gateway