February 29, 2012

goodbye and hello

I went to a wedding in Oregon many years ago. Have you ever been there? It is a beautiful state, and I wouldn't raise a stink if I had to go live there. Mountains, long, rolling valleys, colorful orchards and farms, the wonderful Hood River... (which will take you to the ocean if you care to follow it that far.) In my opinion, Oregon has it all.

That trip was almost indescribable. I came home perfectly refreshed and stayed that way for 2 years. I'm not kidding. I laughed for 10 days straight; I have never had that much fun that constantly at any other time in my life.

There was, however, 1 sad moment during the trip. We were driving through the mountains, laughing and enjoying the scenery, when suddenly a squirrel, (who was probably enjoying the scenery as well) didn't see us and leaped in front of the car. As we sped along we all looked back and there, sure enough, the poor squirrel lay in the middle of the road, flopping and thrashing. It took a lot of begging (on the part of the females in the car) to get the driver to turn around, but eventually we did it. We didn't want to rescue the squirrel, we just wanted to run over him a second time and put him out of his misery. I'm sorry to say once that was accomplished we even found a reason to laugh over that. I'm telling you, there's just something about that Oregon air...

Anyway, that's how the month of February felt to me. It was a lovely month; relaxing, quiet, in some ways deeply refreshing. But to be honest, I feel like the squirrel after it had been hit the first time. It was a beautiful lousy month and I'll be glad to see the back of it.

I have no idea why I just told you all that. Maybe to explain the post I wrote a couple days ago? Maybe just to let you know I'm annoyed that this year is leap year and February will be even longer than usual? I don't remember.

What I wanted to write about was super powers. Have you ever wished you had one?

A few years ago, when we had 3 teenagers in the house, there were several discussions about super powers and what my sons wished they could do or who had the best one. I think one of my sons wanted the ability to control atmospheric pressure for some reason, and another one wanted the ability to shrink and grow things, like a submarine. He wanted to be able to shrink one down, stuff it in his pocket, carry it to who-knows-where, enlarge it, and then launch it on "the enemy".

Of course, we can't forget the Hollywood superheroes: Spiderman, the Wolverine, Ironman...they all have wonderful superpowers and can do things most boys only dream about. However, I don't think they can hold a candle to the super power I'm going to invent. I'm going to come up with a way for my brain to communicate with my computer no matter where I am or how far away from the keyboard I get. I have the best ideas about things when I'm not near my computer-blog posts I want to write, emails I need to send, things I need from the store, miscellaneous problems solved...all these thoughts and more come to me when I'm either in the shower, laying in bed in the middle of the night, driving the car, or out walking. Wouldn't it be amazing if you could just think a thought, think it to your computer, have it "hear you", type it up for you, and save it in Microsoft word? No more brilliance lost.

So, as I sit here poised between two months, on a day that didn't exist last year, and won't exist next year, those are my thoughts-saying goodbye to a lousy 28 days and hello to spring and a brand new super power. What's on your mind?

February 27, 2012

now that i'm gone i'm no longer here

If you're reading this it's because I'm gone. I told Blogger to post it 20 minutes after I croak. Modern technology is amazing, isn't it?

You know what else is amazing? Being free. Now that I'm not chained to my body anymore I don't care who wins this year's election nor do I worry about our stumbling economy.

I don't wish I were prettier, or less random, or could grasp details anymore and

I'm not worried about my family or friends finding the secret blog I have where I vent about them.

I no longer wonder about my short curly hair and what to do with it, nor am I wishing I had better muscle tone.

I'm not embarrassed by what I did in a grocery store bathroom one day or if anyone ever finds out how old I was when I quit sucking my thumb.

Now that I'm gone, I don't wonder who I'd be if we'd had daughters or why we didn't or what my life would've been like if I would've stayed single instead of marrying and raising 4 boys in Indiana.

I no longer worry about how I'll die, or if my husband will be OK without me and I don't wish I'd been a better wife, mother, grandma, sister, or friend. It's too late for that and it's too late to be a better listener.

I don't have to miss my dad anymore or yell at the deer for eating the seed out of the bird feeders.

I no longer lay awake at night wishing I knew how to encourage the people in my life when they're going through hard things, or what to make for dinner because I forgot to soak the beans for the chili.

It's too late to write letters to my big brothers telling them how much they mean to me and I don't even have to worry about the blob of carpet I melted with a heat lamp a couple months ago.

I no longer wrestle with sin, or restless leg syndrome, or being horribly narcissistic.

I am free. There are no longer any tears, or regrets, or longings for things that don't matter. I am home and safe and realizing what a short wild ride being on earth was and how misplaced my focus often was. I see how much time I wasted and how much energy I used on things that
were petty. I am not in pain anymore and I'll never feel weary again. I don't have to wonder what God's first words to me will be when we see each other face to face... I just found out.

(PS. I have no idea what the day will bring, but as of this posting, I am still very much alive and well. This was written not as a joke or to worry my friends. I intended it to be thought provoking. What are we doing with our time and our lives? What are we worrying about that does not matter?...you get the idea. Life is short and our time here will soon be done and a much better eternity waits. That's all I was trying to say. )

February 23, 2012

reading and stirring

If I weren't a wife and mother, I think I'd be florist and own a huge greenhouse. If I weren't a florist, I'd go climb Mt. Everest and if I survived that, (which is highly unlikely) I'd just wander the planet seeing what's out there to be seen. If I didn't do that, I'd buy a library and a soft, cozy sleeping bag and a large pillow. I'd find a lovely little corner in my library, curl up in my bag and read my days away. (Of course, that would get boring after a few days, but it's something fun to think about doing on a cold, wet rainy day like today.)

I think I'd have to say there are two novels that I've gone back to again and again and again, and I would put up a fight to surrender them even now, after reading them more times than I can remember.

Have you ever read Sea to Sea by James Alexander Thom? It is a powerful book-breathtaking, soul stirring...I fell in love with history when I read that book and gained a whole new appreciation for people who sacrificed almost everything for our country.

The other book that moves my soul, and my spirit, is actually 4 books. Yes, you guessed it. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I'm mind boggled when I ask people if they've read those books and they shrug. "Yeah. I've read them. Have you ever read....?" and they move on, as if Tolkien had written a comic strip. Did you know those books have strings attached to them? And those strings have found a way to wrap themselves in and under, over and around and through my heart....they speak to me in ways no other book but the bible has. I wish I could put into words what Lord of the Rings is....there is wisdom about living, sacrifice, dying to self, trusting the Lord through everything, keeping on keeping on when you're weary, the beauty of deep and true friendship....

Nope. I just can't explain it any better than that.

Do you remember my post from a few days ago about walking and books? What are your favorite books? Do you have any that stir your soul? Any you'd put up a fight to keep?

February 22, 2012

while we wait

I've been thinking about my mom lately.

She died nearly 15 years ago.

I still don't miss her. I miss the idea of a mom, but not my mom. I know I've told you that before, but I wanted to say it again; I think I feel guilty about feeling that way... she was a wonderful, amazing, strong, creative person and the strange this is, my brothers really miss her. They had a bond and a connection with her that I don't think I ever had.

Can I just interrupt myself and say that lately I've been feeling weary? I've been so weepy and washed out...lately I wish I had a mom....

(OK-Judy clears her throat and moves on)

We still don't know if we will ever adopt a little person. We sent our application in and are now waiting to see if we are good enough, rich enough, young enough, enough enough of who-knows-what in the eyes of those who determine these things, to raise another child.

In the meantime, while we wait, God has been talking to me.

The other day I started thinking about a new little person entering our family. A little girl. I thought about her life as an orphan; the abandonment she must feel, the rejection, the loneliness. I was thrilled to think that I could be a momma to someone who so desperately needs one. I could actually picture a little face and chubby little arms around my neck; I could hear a soft voice calling out for momma in the middle of the night, needing comfort or a drink of water. I imagined soft pink pajamas and sweet little kisses on my cheek...

Then I started thinking about those hurts she's living with, even now, this very moment. While I'm here, in the middle of America, cozy, warm, loved, and safe, she is not. What if her heart is so deeply wounded that she shuts it down? What if she closes the door, locks it tight and throws away the key? What if she never, ever allows me to mother her? What if, like me and my mom, there never is a bond or a deep connection?

I never thought about those things when I was pregnant. When I had a baby growing deep in my belly I didn't wonder if he'd love me. It was a given that he would. But the other day I thought about my mom and the little girl we hope to adopt, and her wounds and fears and my heart, and how I closed it off from my mom and the lack of bonding and, and, and, and...all those questions and all those fears and then God said STOP.

Why are you doing this? Why do you want to adopt? Whose needs are you trying to meet? What if she never opens up and trusts you? What if she doesn't even like you? What if you just don't connect? Judy, are you willing to do this for Me? Are you willing to love a little girl, take her in, feed her, teach her, protect her, play with her, be her momma, even if she never ever becomes your daughter? Are you willing to take care of her and love her unconditionally until death do you part just because she's MY daughter and I'm asking you to do this? Regardless of if she ever meets your need to momma? Are you willing to lay down your life and serve her without getting a thing back?

I don't know if we will adopt a little person or if this will come to nothing. I do know God has been busy in my heart, using the idea of adoption to do some disecting and show me some of the uglies I don't like to see and the selfish motives I have for some of the things I do...those were very hard questions to hear, and even harder questions to answer truthfully. It took me awhile and it took a lot of tears but I'm at a place where I'm willing to be willing. I think I'm willing to be used and give because He's asking me to and for no other reason?...

(I do wish He'd use anesthesia when He does this sort-of thing, ya know?)

February 17, 2012

let's go walking, ok?

Sometimes I wish we could go for a walk around the world. There are just too, too many things I want to ask you and show you and tell you and explore with you; so many things I'd love to discuss. Life is too short, isn't it?

If we went walking I don't thing we would ever run out of things to talk about. I am me and you are you and between the two of us we've lived a lot of years and have had a lot of things happen to us. We've hurt people, and learned things; we have memories and broken dreams, favorite desserts, people we've loved and things we're afraid of. If we went walking around the world, we'd be stuck with each other for a very long time. We would have to talk; we might even learn to listen to the heart that's behind the words we speak.

I'd love to hear your story-the whole thing from the very first memory you have to the day you tie your sneakers on and we begin our trek. Everyone has a story. Have you ever put your life on paper? Have you ever stopped the noise and running and doing and looked back? Writing your story can be a painful, exhausting, mind clearing experience-it might show you any number of things good and bad that you've missed in all the busyness of life; things you never ever want to forget and things you need to kill and bury. Who knows? You might see God's fingerprints all over the place, or notice the times you pushed Him away. thanks, but no thanks...

We could discuss black holes and the expanding universe and why I cry every time I have a good long laugh. We could debate secular music vs. Christian, explore the bible verses that make no sense, and you could tell me what comforts you when you're sick.

Oh, and the books we've read! Perhaps we need two walks around the planet. I could talk about Sea to Sea and Tolkien's books all the way from here to Oregon. What are your favorite books, and why? What parts of you did they speak to? Did they stir your soul or bring healing to a hurt? Did they open your eyes to a new way of looking at something? What makes a book a favorite for you?

Speaking of books, have you ever noticed this bible verse? Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25

My youngest son and I read that verse 2 days ago. We had a long discussion about it. Just think about it. Jesus was only physically on the planet for 33 years. That is a lot of giving and serving and loving and praying....a lot of living. My little guy read that verse and stopped. His eyes looked like dinner plates as he stared off into space, imagining that many books, trying to eliminate all the chairs, beds, tables and toys to make room for that many books, and then his smile...it was a sweet, vulnerable, baffled smile; an awestruck smile.

That would be the best part of our walk-discussing books-the Book that was written, the books about Him that weren't, and the book I think you should write. The one about you...how do you think it will end?

February 15, 2012

love and marriage

My husband is a stinker and I am a conundrum. I think there's a better word out there to describe me but I can't figure out what it is. I even tried googling it. What do you call someone who is not schizophrenic, but close?
I don't think there are two people running around inside this body, but there is certainly more than one.

I am shy and outgoing, quiet and loud. I can be very insecure and confident, compassionate and unfeeling, and I can be blunt and...I was going to say subtle, but I'm sure my husband would say I'm never indirect. Anyway, what do you call someone like that?

So Monday evening I started thinking about Valentine's Day. I thought about all the hype and the crazy amounts of money people spend just to say I love you. Then I thought about love. Do all those Hallmark cards, flowers, chocolates, and stuffed animals say to a woman, "I love you"? Not this woman.

Just as we were falling asleep Monday night I bluntly blurted out, "Lovey, let's just skip Valentine's Day. I don't want flowers or a card. I don't want chocolates and I certainly don't want a stuffed animal. I don't want anything if all it is is you driving home from work and thinking, Whoa! It's Valentine's Day. I better stop at Walmart and grab a card for my wife. That is not romantic to me. I want something that's thought out and shows you really truly love me. I don't want something that's done just because it's "that" day and everyone else is doing it. To me, one of the most romantic things you've ever said was the other night when I was crying. Remember? The boys bolted from the room because they couldn't handle it. I didn't want to chase you off so I stuffed everything down inside. Remember? And then a few minutes later you came in, sat down, looked at me and said, "I'm not afraid of you. It's OK to cry...." That is romantic to me. That said I love you more than any card ever could...I don't need anything else. OK?"

My husband said, "OK" and that was the end of that-until this morning. This morning I was stumbling around, trying to pump some coffee into my sleepy head and wake up. Mike had already showered, shaved, had some coffee and was about to walk out the door. Suddenly he stopped, looked at me and said, "Well, now I can get a card and some chocolates for you!"

"No, you can't. I don't want all that. Remember?"

"Yeah, but today it'll all be on sale!" he grinned. He bolted before I could throw something at him.

February 13, 2012

pick a part

Something's been gnawing at me for the last several months. It never used to bother me and I never really even noticed it before, but lately? Lately it has become bothersome and even a bit embarrassing.

I don't understand my brain.

Until this weekend I was beginning to think there were parts missing but now I'm noticing my son's brain working in exactly the same way mine does so how can that be? Unless...unless...could missing brain parts be a genetic thing that's handed down from generation to generation? (If so, I'm sorry Alec....)

Let me give you a few examples and you can judge for yourself.

If you took grammar and punctuation in junior high school and didn't get it, well, no biggie. High school will take care of that, right? Wrong. And if you took grammar and punctuation in high school and didn't get it? Hmmm....Then you go to college and you take grammar and punctuation and you still don't get it so they hand you over to a tutor and you still. don't. get. it.
What would that tell you about your brain? Yes! See, you agree with me. Parts missing.

Or, take this example. You go to a movie and absolutely love it. It stirs your soul and touches your heart deeply-you even cry during the climatic finale. Later, you come home and try to tell your family about the movie. They ask, "Who was in it?"

"Well...I don't know..."

"Where did the movie take place?"

"Hm? What? Some city, you know...it had tall buildings and lots of stop lights and..."

"What was the plot?"

"Ohhh...I can't remember, but it was soooo good! I just loved it. It was the best movie I've seen in years and I'll never forget it! "

The same kind of thing happened yesterday at church. The sermon was perfect and exactly what I needed to hear. It was challenging and very encouraging. It went to a deep place in my heart and hugged me. Later, after church, we went out to lunch with our son and daughter-in-law. They'd been working in the nursery at church and had missed the teaching time.

So, as we're sitting there chatting I started thinking about the things I'd heard and blurted out, "Wow. You guys should've heard the sermon this morning. It was so good! It was just what I needed to hear!"

Naturally my son wanted to know what it was about. I suddenly felt like a deer caught in the headlights. I couldn't remember.
"Well, it was...it was perfect! He talked about...it was somewhere in the book of Mark and it was sooo good." I looked lamely at my husband for help and thankfully, he came through. He was able to tell my son what the whole message had been about without missing a beat.

There are certain theological concepts I can't wrap my head around either. I talk about them, I study them, I google them, and they won't. soak. in. I'll start to get it but then suddenly, poof. It's completely gone. I will admit here and now, this one isn't funny. This example brings me to tears of frustration sometimes...

OK-moving right along. Like I said before, I thought I was alone...a random, big picture person
lost in a sea of people who aren't missing brain parts and who, I've noticed, snicker and shake their heads at me when they think I'm not looking.

Then, this weekend, I found a comrade. Someone who understands me and thinks exactly like I do. My third son. What a relief.

A few weeks ago he told me a story about something he'd heard at work. It was hilarious and we laughed so hard we both had tears in our eyes. Then, Saturday evening we wanted to spread the joy so we started telling his big brother the story. The only problem is, neither one of us could remember the details. We sat in the livingroom laughing and spluttering over something we couldn't even remember, but boy was it funny! It was something we will never forget.
You should've seen the look on his big brother's face. That was even more amusing than the story we weren't telling.

Did you know there's a place here in Indiana called Pick A Part? It's a car junk yard. If you happen to be working on your car and find you need a doo-hicky that's too expensive at Auto Zone, you can hop over to Pick A Part and wander through their wasteland of broken and abandoned vehicles until you find one that's similar to yours. You then buy the doo hicky off that car, put it into your car and you're good to go.

That's what Alec and I need! We need to find a place called Brains. Pick A Part. We could hop over there, wander through the wasteland of broken and abandoned.....well, you get the picture...

February 12, 2012

it takes all kinds

If you were to take my two oldest sons, (there were times by the way, when I wished someone would) and look at their personalities and the paths their lives have taken, you would never think they came from the same family. The strange thing is, they were raised in exactly the same way, used the same school books, went to the same church, listened to the same novels and autobiographies, and taught the same theology. We tried to be consistent with our words, our prayers for each of them, and the way we disciplined them.

However, in many, many ways they are poles apart in the way they think and in how they've approached life.

Our oldest son went to college and likes to have his ducks in a row before he takes the next step. And you know what? He and his ducks are happy living life that way.

#2? He did not go to college, and his ducks sometimes appear to be swimming all over the pond enjoying the water. And again, he and his ducks are happy living life that way.

(Please don't think I'm saying their lives are always hunky dory. They have stresses and challenges and go through hard things just like the rest of us do.)

OK, so, for a few years I sat here on the dock and watched my sons and their ducks and wondered, which way is God's way? How does He want us to live? Are we supposed to line up each little duck and follow them in a straight neat line? Or, is it better to just jump in the pond and play with the ducks? Let them swim around, and see what God does with them?

Sometimes I'd worry and stress about one son and the way he was treating his ducks, and sometimes I'd fear for the other one. Which boy is right?? I could see pros and cons to both ways of living and I could see the logic behind their choices.

Finally, I went to the bible to see what it had to say about men and living life and ducks. What on earth does God want us to do with them?? Are we supposed to line those duckies up or does God want us to toss them in the water and join them for a swim?

After a bit I began to notice something. It takes all kinds of men and all kinds of lives and all kinds of ducks to be a light and salt and husband and provider.

I looked in the bible and found Joseph. Talk about ducks and lining them up! That man was put in charge of saving and storing enough food to feed an entire nation for 7 years. I bet that man's excel spread sheets flapped in the breeze day and night for years while he worked on that project.

Then I thought about Moses. God told him to take the Israelites, well over 600,000 of them, and go. Just jump in the pond, (or desert in this case) and swim. There was no time to organize, no time to plan ahead, no time to pull the old excel spread sheet out or line up the ducks. Just take the ducks and leap.

I had so much peace after I peeked in the bible and spent time with Joseph and Moses-I could see God's hand in their lives, directing them, caring for them, using them...and I noticed the same thing with my sons. There isn't just one way to live with ducks. God is a God of variety and surprise and it takes all kinds of duck owners to accomplish what God wants accomplished.

February 9, 2012

weaning me

If you've been here very long, or read even some of my posts from the past, you may have noticed I frequently dwell on my mid-life crisis. I have now determined it's going to last longer than any man's ever has. Come to think of it, I've never heard of a momma having a midlife crisis, have you? Am I the only one??

Anyway, I've written about our sons growing up and 2 of them moving out, and I've written about my future. Do I have one? I've written about our emptying nest, and I've written about the sadness that's brought. However, I don't think I've ever shown you the flip side-the good and sweet things that have surrounded the sadness.

I'd like to tell you first of all that there is a difference between the good and the sweet.

The good has been discovering things like:
-our grocery bill is smaller
-the house stays cleaner
-the nest isn't as crowded as it once was-we have a bit of room to spread out our wings
-um...um....surely there are more good things?....

Well then... what about the sweet things? The sweet things that have come have surrounded and surprised me. They've left me speechless and baffled and blessed me more than words can say.

I loved nursing my babies. I loved snuggling with those boys and filling their tummies, knowing that at the same time I was comforting them and filling their hearts. Nursing reassured and relaxed them and more often than not, they would go to sleep as they nursed, feeling safe, knowing they were loved.

But, like all good things, nursing had to end. Weaning them was hard. Being boys, they loved real food, but after a meal they'd want to nurse again. Are you still there momma? Can you please comfort me? Let me know you love me? Are we still a "we"? Weaning them was a step by step process, done slowly and gently so they wouldn't feel abandoned. Once each baby was weaned there was a change in the relationship. We were still a "we" but we both enjoyed our newfound freedom.

There's been a role reversal of sorts as each son has grown. I was the one who needed the reassurance, especially during the few months before and after they moved out. My heart frequently wondered, Are you still there son? Do you still love me? I know you are a man now, but are we still a "we"?

And that's where the speechless, baffled, blessed part comes in. My sons have risen to the occasion and weaned me. They've instinctively known and understood my sadness and have taken care to let me know I am and always will be loved. They pulled away gently and have done countless things to show me I'm still loved; little presents, frequent, frequent hugs, phone calls and visits when life allows. I have no doubt that we are still a "we". There's been a change in the relationship. We are still a "we" but we both enjoy our newfound freedom.

February 8, 2012

3 things that may never have been

Do you remember that group I wrote about on January 16th? It's a facebook group of people who want to focus on giving thanks to God daily for His gifts to us, and then sharing those things with each other online.

We've had "thinking" prompts for the first month. Each day we've been given an assignment-looking for 3 specific gifts to be thankful for. Some of those have been a bit baffling, some hard to face. For instance, on January 16th we were supposed to list 3 things about ourselves we were thankful for. That was a tough one.

However, today's assignment is easy peasy. What are 3 things you're thankful for that may never have been? Can I write my whole life? I know that's not not 3 things. It's one great big huge thing but I see God's fingerprints everywhere, all over my history. Even the fact that I'm alive and breathing is a miracle to me. Shortly before I became a Christian, (at the ripe old age of 13) I would lay in bed each night trying to decide which way would be the least painful way to kill myself....

That's a long story and not what I wanted to write about today. When I read today's assignment 3 things immediately popped into my head and those are the things I wanted to write about. Near misses. (Do you believe in those btw? Do you think if God is sovereign over who's president and how many hairs are on your head and that the thoughts He has about you outnumber the grains of sand, that there can be near misses in life??)

So anyway. 3 things that may never have been.

The first thing that sprang to mind when I saw today's assignment was our youngest son. I had him when I was 40. He was not a surprise and not a mistake. We wanted a baby, but fear held me back. I wrote about how he came to be back in July so I won't go into it again, but I will say this. He may never have been. When I think about that my heart falls down on its knees and praises God for the miracle of that boy....

The next thing that popped into my head is my friendship with A. I went through what some people call "a mountaintop" experience spiritually after my mom died and one day I told my pastor about it. He casually mentioned A. and said she was going through a similar situation at the same time. He said, "Why don't you give her a call? I think you two would get along and you could talk about what the Lord is doing in your lives right now..." Well, normally I'm a pretty shy person and would never, ever, not never no-how call a stranger out of the blue and suggest going out for coffee. Right....but I overruled myself, listened to my pastor and called A. That was 15 years ago. We became best friends almost instantly. I've never met anyone else who thinks so much like I do, and feels like I do about things and can tell me what I'm thinking when I can't even figure it out for myself. On the surface we don't have too many things in common and I don't know much about her. I don't know what her favorite color is or what kind of music she likes. I don't know what her favorite junk food is or what kinds of movies she likes or what she does when she's bored and restless. We are what Anne of Green Gables would call bosom friends. Deep friends. And A. may never have been if our pastor hadn't suggested a simple cup of coffee....

And finally, the third thing. Old friends. In the last 6 or 7 months I've reconnected with several old friends and what a huge blessing that has been. They've encouraged me, supported me, challenged me and given to me in so, so many ways. I hate to admit it was good old cyberspace that brought these friends back into my life, but there it is. And, if we didn't have a computer, or if my son hadn't set up a facebook account for me and forced me into it, those friendships may never have been renewed...

Can you think of 3 things to be thankful for that may never have been?

February 5, 2012

a thought for you to think about

I've often wondered about something. I sure don't feel like a spring chicken anymore physically. Why do I still feel so young and jaunty inside but my body is starting to feel the years?

A few years ago I was listening to two women on the radio; they were discussing the aging process, midlife, grand parenting, etc. etc. when one of them brought up the whole idea of being energetic and vibrant inside while her body was busy doing its own thing and growing old.

The other woman replied, "That is because there is no aging going on inside. We are eternal beings meant to live forever. Our bodies feel the ticking of the clock but our spirits and souls know no time."

No wonder I sometimes feel like I'm at war with myself and frustrated beyond words. My heart wants to go out and conquer the world but my body wants to curl up on the couch and take a nap.

I think this is one of those bittersweet things...encouraging, discouraging, exciting and disappointing. It's like being trapped on a slowly sinking ship in the beautiful Caribbean. The difference is, once the ship sinks there's something even more lovely than the Caribbean waiting for me....

February 3, 2012

these are a few of my favorite things....

Do you have any hobbies or things that maybe aren't a hobby, but they still refresh you? Something that you do that feeds your soul?

I once met a woman who didn't. She told me she had no hobbies, no crafts, no creative outlet whatsoever; she was perfectly happy with that. That is what fed her soul. Having nothing on her plate and nothing to do. I can certainly understand that. I love doing nothing. Sitting, daydreaming, planning, remembering-those things are soul food to me too.

But, I do have a few other things I love doing. You know I love my green babies. I have 40 houseplants scattered around. (I don't think there's one toxic air molecule within a mile of our house.)

I also love hiking out in the woods. That is deeply refreshing to me.

Car rides and long walks with my husband soothe and comfort me as well.

And being a grandma? Wow. There is nothing like it and no words to describe it. It's....it's....other than my own children, one of the sweetest gifts God's given me.

And then you have these two. They are two of my best friends. Really. They are. We have soooo much fun together. Sometimes they make me laugh so hard I can hardly stay vertical.

One thing that is more than soul food to me is writing. I need it. I crave it. It's often how I pray and often how I surrender things to the Lord. It is also a creative outlet for me.

And scrapbooking? Ack! I have a love/hate relationship with that one. Do you have any hobbies you hate to love? That's how I feel about scrapbooking.

Drawing has become something I enjoy, in small doses. It is a lot of work so it's not as refreshing as a few other things I try.

I started crocheting maybe 2 years ago? I needed someting to do with my hands when my brain was too tired to function but it was too early to go to bed.

There are other things I enjoy doing-little projects I try and crafty things I make. Just recently I've taken up sculpting. What do you think of these? My family thinks they are proof positive that I'm deeply disturbed. (Something they've suspected all along, but couldn't put on a finger on til now.)

So, it's Friday, and the weekend is almost here. What are you going to do to relax? What will refresh you over the next two days? What will soothe your soul? What are some of your hobbies?

February 2, 2012

looking into the mirror

I was listening to the radio Tuesday evening, on my way to bible study, when the words to a song jumped out at me. I'm not sure, but I think the song is called, Are You Strong Enough To Be My Man? Have you heard it?

It's an OK song, but that one line?....I have a face I cannot show...that line hit me. I thought about my face and wondered if I ever let you see it. Not the one that stares at me from the mirror. I'm thinking about the face that's behind that one. The one that lives in the hidden places of my heart. Do I ever let her out? And then I started wondering about her. What kind of person is the one I cannot show and why can't I show her? And if I can't show her I'm thinking it's because I don't want to, so shouldn't the words in that song actually be, I have a face I will NOT show?

Having said all that, I have a confession. Did you read the post I wrote on Monday? The one about our desire to adopt a little person? Well, all day Monday I thought about that. Adopting. I hadn't expected my husband to say yes, and I'd never really thought through the whole, incredible, challenging, life changing experience it would be. It was always just this vague "thing" that we'd talked about off and on over the years. Monday some of the realities hit me and I panicked inside. This is going to be hard. This is going to stretch us. This is going to pull me so far out of my comfort zone I don't think I want to do it.

By the time Monday evening rolled around I'd decided, nope. It just ain't gonna happen. I can't do this. It is too hard and too scary. I felt like I'd jumped into an icy lake and the cold shock was overwhelming.

I talked to my husband about it later that evening. I thought it would be easy to bail. I thought he'd most certainly agree with me. I thought he'd say, You're right Jude. We're too old, our house is too small, money is always tight, etc. etc. etc. But no. Instead that man picked me up and threw me into an even icier lake.

"Judy, this is something we need to pursue. I want to see if we can make the difference in the life of even one child."

I was stunned into silence. My lovely little face, the one I show you, completely disappeared. I saw the really ugly one. You know. The one I "cannot" show and the one I don't like to look at. Up until that moment, a lot of my motive for adopting had been me. I need. I want. I miss...

My husband's words pulled the reflective coating off my mirror (Should I maybe say the sugar coating? ) and I don't like the selfish person that hides behind it. I'd been looking at adoption and thinking, in some ways, I want to see if adopting can make a difference in the life of me. That's not my entire motive by a long shot, but that ugly little woman was lurking down there and has now been exposed.

There is more to this than even that. I'm seeing ugly faces popping up all over the place in my heart, and I'm trying to deal with them and trying to lay them at God's feet. I'll write about those another time. This is long enough for now and I have a hungry little person waiting for me in the kitchen.