More on her in future posts.
This was an interesting week...
It was not without its challenges and there were several things that didn't go as I'd planned. But this week also brought me several "little things" that made a HUGE difference in how I made it through. Here are just five of them:
Little thing #1: I got an email from a friend asking me out to dinner.
Little thing #2: A friend told me that he's praying for me.
Little thing #3: I got a thoughtful text from someone just saying that she was thinking about me.
Little thing #4: My close childhood friend called me just to share a laugh about something silly.
Little thing #5: My cat licked my cheek.
I thank God for these little gestures that meant so very, very much. And I'm especially grateful for the ability to notice them.
My prayer is that something I do or say will somehow turn someone's rough week into one that they can reflect upon fondly. I want to be somebody's "little thing,"
Well now, I bet that's not the thing you'd expect to hear from someone who describes herself as a "grown up church girl", is it? Well, SURPRISE!! I really do think it's time for me to strip and, since today is Sunday, I think this is the perfect time to do it.
I need to strip myself from the negative thoughts that keep me up at night.
I need to strip myself from the doubts that cause me to question the God I serve.
I need to strip myself of the false belief that if I can't control it, it won't turn out right.
I need to strip myself of the need to know how this current chapter of my life's story is going to end.
And that's just for starters!
There are some people that I need to strip from my life, as well a some attitudes and appetites that I'd be better off without. And, if I'm going to really practical about this, I need to strip my drawers and my closets of the stuff that I don't use or don't wear.
Anything that hinders my JOY needs to go!
Now, every good stripper needs a p-o-l-e, so here's mine:
I must put into PRACTICE the faith I sing about.
I must embrace new OPPORTUNITIES when they present themselves.
I must LEARN the lessons embedded in my current challenges.
I must ENDURE the difficulties, knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I think I'm ready, are you? One... two... three.... STRIP!
Last night I received a phone call from an ex in-law. But is there even such a thing?
When you get a divorce you get an ex-husband, but what do you call the people who were once such an important part of your life and are now no longer?
I'd always hoped that I'd be able to call them "friends", but that's not the case with most of them. My divorce has been so ugly that, unfortunately, family members have had to take sides and most of my ex-husband's family have sided with him. That makes sense, especially since I haven't been particularly friendly with them since the split, but it did sorta surprise me.
You see, during our marriage, I was always the "level-headed, kind-hearted wife". These people shared confidential things with me that they didn't share with my husband and seemed to genuinely care about me. But when it came time to take sides, blood won out, and these people are now in the enemy camp. So what do I call them?
My former mother-in-law is obviously struggling with the same question. She sent me a Christmas card last month, but she didn't sign it. She wrote "Love," but then she didn't put a name. Poor thing, I guess she's dealing with her own identity crisis. Is she still "Mom" or is she Mrs. "my former last name", who the heck is she? She's not sure and, quite frankly, neither am I.
Divorce forces us to deal with some strange issues, doesn't it?
When I seriously consider my life since I left my husband in July of 2012, I realize that it's been good... but not great. In spite of the drama and the trauma, I've been doing well and keeping up, if you know what I mean.
I've had some fun, thanks to my family and friends, but I haven't done anything daring, I've just been sorta taking it easy, just going with the flow. In other words, I've just been staying afloat.
How Boring! Life is too short and I am too wonderful to live that way. So I've decided that NOW is the time to make some changes. Get ready world, I'm ready to make some waves!
I believe that everything that happens for a reason and that every situation is an opportunity to learn something new. My divorce was no exception.
So it was during a recent conversation with my sisterfriend, Karen, that I realized that "busy" is a relative term and I learned that 3 can oftentimes be more than 100. My ex-husband taught me this. Let me explain...
My ex was always dabbling in this thing or the other. If he wasn't telling someone how to fix their problem, he was fixing a truck, running an errand, buying hay for his horses, arguing on the phone with a customer service rep, returning something to Lowes, or catching a sale at Home Depot. He was literally and figuratively all over the place, but he was actually accomplishing very little.
You see, like us all, he had a finite amount of time and energy to give, and he chose to spread it among 100 different things, sorta like 100 different cups. He dropped a little of himself into each cup which, at the end of the day, amounted to very little in each cup.
I would have preferred him to have had just three cups. Then that same finite amount of time and energy may have actually been enough to fill all three cups. I would have seen the results of his labor, three things would have been completed, and I would have appreciated him a lot more. Instead, I saw 100 cups that were almost empty.
Wow. If I'd understood that then maybe... No, we won't go there. :-)
But the point is that there's a lesson in this for me. And maybe for you, too.
Let's slow down. Let's identify the cups that matter the most. And let's fill them to the brim.
As you get older, you notice things differently. This holiday season I witnessed something that I've seen countless times before, but I saw it in a new way.
I noticed that when people were given gifts to open, they thanked the giver before they opened the gift. They obviously knew the giver and trusted him/her well enough to know that they had the recipient's best interest at heart. So in anticipation of a gift they would enjoy, the recipient said thanks.
What an act of faith! And doesn't God deserve at least that much?
He knows us, He loves us, He wants what is best for us, yet He doesn't always move as quickly as we'd like.
But the lesson for me is to thank Him in advance -- to give Him the credit that He so rightfully deserves. To stand on His promises and to wait for the proper time to open the box He is preparing for me.
In the meanwhile, while I wait and while I wonder and while I wait some more, I'll just say thanks.
This is my first post and I'm a little nervous. Not because I can't write, but because I know that blogging involves exposing yourself in a way that's not always comfortable for me. But I want to do this, so here it goes.
Once upon a time... no, that's corny. Ok, I'll start out by telling you that I was once an extremely joyous person. I had wonderful family and friends and good health and I would sometimes marvel at just how incredibly blessed I was.
Then life happened. Challenges invaded my perfect world. I lost part of the essence of who I was, my joy was gone, but nobody knew it -- not even me. I was relatively happy, doing the things that relatively happy people do, but my joy had left the building. She left no note so, poor me, I didn't know that she was gone. (Yes, my joy is a girl!)
So I just kept doing the same things I did back when she and I were best buddies. I went to the same places, I did the same things, and even hung out with many of the same people. I attended Sunday School and church every Sunday. I sang in the choir and did all the things that grown up "church girls" do. But my joy? She was gone.
Then there was a major shift in my atmosphere when I left my husband of 14 years in July of 2012. Slowly, but surely, some of the wants and desires that I'd stifled for years came back to the surface and I began a sometimes painful, but oh so remarkable, journey back to "me." Sensing this, joy saw that the coast was clear, and she came back!
I soon found myself looking better, feeling better, and simply doing better. I found my already solid relationship with my family strengthened as I had to depend upon them like never before. And I found my trust in God increase as I had to lean on Him and believe in Him, even when it felt as if His back was turned to me.
So now I do my best to live in the key of joy! Not because everything is perfect, in fact things are far from it (which I'm sure I'll be writing about). But because I have learned that I'm stronger than I thought I was and that God is greater than I ever believed Him to be.