There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. ~Ecc. 3:1
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~Lam 3:21-23
As a part of adjusting to my “new normal”, I’ve found these verses to be a powerful comfort and reminder.
And I’ve begun to focus on finding the positives and possibilities in this new phase . . .
- more free time to pursue creative endeavors – write a new song, learn a new piano piece, cross-stitch, direct a show, be in a show, write . . . so many possibilities!
- a smaller grocery bill (although it is a bit of a struggle learning to cook for only two!)
- my own craft room! Two empty bedrooms in the house and I get to take over one. A space all my own!
- being a grandmother. Been at this new role for a month and I love it!
- less guilt about taking time for me whether it’s reading a book or getting a manicure.
Priority number one is to find some gal pals to hang out with. When you spend a couple decades as a mom to four AND you move to a new town with three of those kiddos in the midst of the busy teen years, finding friends to hang out with takes a backseat to being at concerts, musicals, plays, games, etc. Now that my free time is ALL mine, I can give myself the freedom to get to know some other fabulous women and build some supportive friendships.
There is still some adjusting that needs to take place, but I’ve taken the first few steps. I’m confident that I’ll find a way to make empty nesting fabulous!
Been away for awhile. Nothing major . . . it’s just multiple shows back to back and all the craziness a schedule like that imposes on life.
And it’s partly because I’ve been learning so much abut myself and a new approach to life and I’m not sure how to share it all! But here goes nothing.
I’ve begun a new workout regimen. I know, I know. Working out, trying to lose weight, . . . everyone tries, everyone fails. Here’s the thing – I am 4 days into the SECOND WEEK of a workout program that I got through Beach Body (it’s called CIZE and if you have seen the infomercials, it is just as fun as it looks. Maybe more!) and I’m loving it! I don’t think I’ve ever made it four days in a row with ANY work out plan before, much less being four days into the second week! Nothing crazy with my eating habits; I’ve just been watching my portion sizes and making smarter choices (fruit instead of junk food when I want something sweet, for example) and being very intentional about my water consumption. Since it’s a Beach Body program, I have access to a coach online and my coach happens to run an accountability group on that site plus a Facebook page.
I’m still working on the reading challenge that I started earlier. Turns out that taking 10 minutes a day to read is a FABULOUS form of self-care for yours truly! I’ve read genres I don’t usually venture into and found some of them rather enjoyable. A friend of mine created a group on Facebook for others doing the same challenge so I even have a group of people to help keep me on track.
Accountability. It’s kind of becoming a theme for me lately. From an intellectual perspective, I’ve understood the value of having others partner with you for various activities. But the true worth of accountability? For some reason, I never appreciated it or valued it much until now. I don’t mean someone pointing their finger saying, “You had better . . . ” or “Don’t you dare. . . .” I mean a person – or small group – that will be there to say “woo hoo” when you get it right, reach a goal, or finish a task OR that will help you brush yourself off and get back at it if you stumble.
We weren’t meant to do life alone. If we are wise, we will seek out others who will serve as accountability partners for us. I don’t mean sycophants who will tell us what they think we want to hear. I’m talking about individuals who will cheer us on when we get it right or help to redirect us when needed. These people need to use authentic praise where it is appropriate, words of encouragement when we’ve stumbled, and words of honest correction when we are out of line.
As important as it is to find people like this, I also want to learn how to a person like this. Here’s to being more intentional about both.
I spent all of yesterday and most of today curled up in the corner of one of the living room futons battling the worst respiratory “yuckiness” I’ve had in a long time. Maybe ever. Apart from the coughing, sneezing, and the occasional nap, I had much time to think and even did some praying. Almost all of this thinking and praying was specifically for a family member who is hurting. This big sister wishes she could do more than pray but the situation is so far out of my control it’s crazy.
My sister is hurting. Big time. Like “can’t-breathe-not-sure-how-to-keep-functioning” hurting. The circumstance is so huge that it has hurt much of the family – my sister more than any other, but my kids have all gotten stung as well. My other sister, the husbands, my parents . . . all are a little hurt/frustrated/angry. So take big sister anger and add some mama bear growl . . . let’s just say my first impulse when I heard about the situation a week ago was to jump on a plane and rush to the rescue; with violence, if necessary.
As I’ve prayed for my sister and her boys, I’ve also had to pray quite a bit about my own attitude. I don’t want to forgive. The offender hasn’t asked for forgiveness but forgiveness really isn’t about the other person, is it? I mean, there are so many times when the other person doesn’t care if we forgive or not. Forgiving is really about my releasing the right to seek revenge for the wrong. In this case, the wrong was not directly visited on me. But anyone who has ever been a big sister or a mom can tell you, I would probably be MORE forgiving if it was me – rather than my sister or my ducklings – that had been hurt directly.
I am an imperfect Jesus follower (aren’t we all!) and I know there are areas in which I need to grow. This whole week has revealed a very big one for me. I don’t want to forgive this person. Right now this person shows no interest in being forgiven or trying to make amends. But I’m only responsible my response, not the other person’s actions. And I REALLY DON’T WANT TO FORGIVE!!! *sigh* So now I know what I need to work on –
I need to get better at forgiving.
I need to get better at extending grace when others have screwed up big time.
I need to look to the person who “took the direct hit” for my cue on how to respond.
But I’ve also realized that I can drop everything and be there for hurting family and not, even for a moment, regret the time spent. In the time I’ve spent praying for this, I’ve been very honest about my feelings and asked for help growing up. And I’ve tried to be very aware of the usual cliches offered in situations like this and (hopefully!) avoided them.
Regardless of the eventual outcome – this whole thing could drag on for a year at the least – I have just a couple things I hope will be true in the end: (1) I want to be available as a sounding board/person to vent to/shoulder to cry on as often as possible and (2) I want to forgive the “guilty party” even if that person NEVER owns up to the hurtful actions.
Sometimes “adulting” is hard.
I’ve been away for quite some time because explaining where I am in my own personal growth is challenging at present. I am finding my personal paradigms blown to bits with new ones being rebuilt that look nothing like what I used to think faith was and how it worked. This passage – from Ted Dekker’s newest publication, “Waking Up: How I Found My Faith by Losing It” – slapped me right in the face with an intense level of personal conviction. I have so failed letting love define me and that has to change. Read and do with this what you will; it’s just the latest step in a new way of looking at faith and how it affects my daily behavior.
This post is going to lean toward that disjointed/random thoughts kind of thing. Nothing HUGELY profound has happened recently, but several small things or conversations have reminded me of lessons that life has helped me learn. So here they are!
- Forgiveness is almost never solely about the other person. Sometimes it’s not about them at all. It’s about letting go of your “right” to get revenge and choose to move forward with a positive attitude
- If you seek to be a positive person who looks for the good in others, you will sometimes get burned by those who are willing to take advantage of others. But be a positive person anyway. Don’t give the “users” any power over your attitude and perspective.
- Not every one will like the work you do. But if the majority of the feedback is positive, learn what you can to improve – because EVERYONE has room to improve – and move forward!
- Your passion will not always be understood by others around you but don’t walk away from it no matter what. Your passion is YOURS because it is what you are supposed to pursue. You will eventually find others who share your passion and they will gladly share the journey!
- If you need to take time for you . . . do it and don’t apologize! Even the most social butterfly will find him/herself in need of some “down” time. If you feel the urge to put on comfy clothes and turn on Netflix, then do it.
One of the college classes I teach is intended to be taken by education majors. I tell my students all the time that it is imperative that they seek to learn new things for the rest of their lives. So I’m grateful that at 46 I can have lessons reinforced and maybe even learn a new thing or two!