Thursday, December 8, 2016

Partnership, Single-ness

I am a person who has a medium circle of friends.  I know people.  I chat.  But, only for a few am the go-to girl for friendship.  By that I mean, a person you go to in order to express your fears and joys and hopes and troubles.  I don't talk on the phone much, so that is one reason I am not available for those kinds of things. In my recent life talking on the phone was difficult and frustrating.  Being honest about my situation was also nearly impossible.  The past few years I have spent a lot of energy trying to control the anger of another. I didn't have the time and energy for friends.

My life is changed recently.  I have freedom and joy.  Somebody asked if I missed having a partner.  A partner?  I don't really know what having a partner is all about.  A partner seems like he or she should be a person who wants good for you, who you enjoy being with, who shares with you and is honest, who thoroughly knows you.  I have never had a partner in that way.

I am processing partnership.  I am trying to see it realistically instead of with rose colored glasses.  At this age and stage of life, I never expect to have a partner.  I missed my chance.  Do I miss having a partner?  How can I miss something I never knew?  I am enjoying singleness.  That is where I am called to be these days.  There is much, so much, I can do on my own.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Needles and Pins, Pins and Needles

I have a house up for sale.  It is a big house.  If you watch HGTV then it is probably not the house for you.  It has some carpet and some laminate and some parquet flooring.  It doesn't have granite or quartz counters.  It has a traditional look without the open concept.  It would not be worth it to rip out the walls in my opinion.  The back yard is a ski slope.  I have a lot of bad memories of that house, so it is hard to even see the positives.

But, it does have some positives.  Some people have praised it.  It has high ceilings and a deep pour walk out basement. The master bed and bath are lovely.  I think it would be a great house for someone with slightly older children, not babies or toddlers because there are separate spaces and
room to spread out.  The "formal" living room would make a great homeschool classroom or an office for someone who worked at home.  I love the neighborhood and the school district.

But, once you no longer live in a house and have it up for sale, all of that, the memories, the neighborhood, doesn't matter anymore.  I just want someone else to want it.  I want to be done with this house.  With every showing I find myself asking--is this the one?  Will they make an offer? It has been less than a week on the market.  Somebody will want it.  I hope. 

And I believe God has a plan for my life.  And selling this house is a part of that.  So, to the best of my ability, I am trusting in God's will for my life.  I am looking forward with courage.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Human Being

When I was a young child I thought human beings were human beans.  I knew what beans were, I didn't know what beings were.  So both words made equal amounts of sense.  What is a being anyway?  After I learned the correct word I didn't think too much about beings.

Over the years I heard advice from counselors, friends, spiritual directors to slow down and take some time, not to do so much.  My busy-ness distracted me from the spiritual part of myself.  My human "doing" took away from my sense that I was God's beloved.  I thought I had to keep doing to deserve the grace and mercy I received. At least that is the only way I can explain it.

I received that message again recently.  Slow down.  Spend some quiet time.  Don't quit on important things, but spend some time not running here and there. Be.  Beloved.  Just breathe.  Listen to the quiet. Know God's presence.  He doesn't ask what I have accomplished.  Become a human being, precious and special just as I am.  Be.

So I reflect on being.  Not being a Mexican jumping bean, but a person who is valuable outside of anything I do or accomplish. I can't entirely give up the doing part of myself.  I am a do-er.  But, I am trying to process and plan this Advent to spend more time listening to silence and hearing the voice of God.  I am working on the human being.....

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Prayers for a Sunday in Advent

Lord of Wisdom and of Mercy, Grant to me this day the grace to feel the shining of Your love, trust in Your will for my life, and forgiveness.  Walk in fellowship with me and inspire me to hear the stirrings of Your Spirit in my heart. Help me to remember when You were with me, when you pulled me out of sorrow and the dark places and led me to the light of Your friendship. I sing praise and thanksgiving.  I give You all the glory and honor.  Amen

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Processing, from the Inside Out

I have an old slow computer.  Lots of time I spend several minutes watching the little wheel spin at the cursor while it attempts to go where I have directed it to on the world wide super highway.  My computer is slowly processing.  I guess the spinning wheel thing helps it to think.  I need to process things in my life and I find, like my old computer that I need some time to process.

I don't have a spinning wheel to go round and round, instead I use my brain and my fingers.  I used to employ a pencil or pen and paper, but these days, it is easier with the computer.  I write to help me process things.  It really helps.  During the act of writing truths are revealed to me. I often see things more clearly.  I can sometimes hear how whiny I sound about things that are unpleasant.  Writing helps me to question and think deeply.  Sometimes the light of day comes in and I change my course after I have written things down.  The processing happens somehow during the writing.

In some teaching of writing class I had somewhere in my educational career I remember something about different parts of the brain for writing and speaking. Writing goes deeper into the brain or something like that. All I really know about it is that in writing I can see things that I didn't see before.  Writing also helps me to express emotions that are far inside. The Holy Spirit whispers things to me.

This blog is one of my methods of processing.  I try not to rip someone apart or just display my anger or displeasure with another person directly.  They are entitled to be who they are, if that is hurtful to me, then I need to process it.  Looking back over recent posts, I recognize that I process a lot of aches and hurt on this blog.  I write about it to understand and move past the painful place.  Sometimes like the slow old computer that I own, I am slow in processing.  When that happens I write about the same topic over and over again.  But, I am here to report that eventually things do get better and I finish processing and move on in my thoughts and my life.  Like Advent, the slow processing parts of my life come to an end and I am on to Christmas.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Love of Money.....

I like to spend money.  I enjoy hunting for things I want and need.  I am very privileged in my first world life to have that pleasure.  I have more than I need.  Not as much as I want, but more than I need for sure.  I learned in my past life to be a saver, to not need new shiny things all the time.  Most of the things I buy have some practical use.

Recently, I had to divide my assets with another person.  That person claimed to love me.  The state required a 50-50 split.  I recognized that the claim of love was not unconditional love.  I recognized it from the first of our relationship.  I thought I could change that.  I have learned that the only one I can change is myself.  It was a crazy dream to think I could make someone love me.

Anyway, the 50-50 split gave way to demands for more and more money.  I admit I was angry about this.  We had a gentleman's agreement and it was tossed aside at the last minute to do what from my view was extort more money from me.  I considered fighting it, but what came to me is--I like to spend money, but I don't love money.  I don't need all the money I have coming to me.  I can make do with less.

What was made abdundantly clear to me is this--I was never loved by this person.  It was all about the money.  While that makes me sad, because I would have liked to have been loved, it frees me to move on and know that I did the right thing for me.  I hear the Lord whisper to me--You are loved, you are treasured, you deserve to be loved, not the money.  I wasn't planning to take the money to heaven with me anyway.

And there is this--the love of money is the root of all evil.  Note that it isn't the money itself, it is where the heart lies.  It is about what you love.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sing Praise

As the end of the church year is upon us, and the end of the calendar year is not far off, I look with joyful anticipation to the rebirth of the new church year, the new calendar year, my own changes in living.  I praise the Lord who led me here to this place where I can start over despite my age, the injuries that have happened to me, the challenges I face.

I can be renewed.  I am being renewed and transformed.  I have learned that the past is the past and it isn't about regret or guilt or sadness.  I rejoice in the good gifts I have received and I am leaving the trash at the curb. There is no reason to go through the trash again.  There is a life and opportunities and joy to be had ahead of me.  This is true whether I only live one more day or if I would (shudder) live into old old age like my mother is doing now.  I look forward to dancing with Jesus when my life is done.  That will be true peace, true joy.

As this week of Thanksgiving begins, all I can thiink of is joy and praise.  The Lord led me through the sea and the desert of my life.  There will be challenges ahead.  What is life without some problems?  The challenges make it interesting and give me opportunities to grow in trust.  The Lord still leads me.  For this day and all the days that have passed and all the days to come, I sing praise.

Friday, November 18, 2016

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man, Toot, Toot

I am not actually sure why, but when I was a really little girl, under 5 years old, I loved Popeye.  I didn't like Olive Oyll, I loved Popeye.  I admired his muscles and terrible singing and that he always fought for right.  I would play Popeye like some kids play superheroes today.

Lately I have had some setbacks in my life.  Things I have been waiting for have not come to fruition. They have taken a long time and cost more money than they should have in my view.  I have trusted in the Lord and He has brought me through day by day.  In miraculous ways, he has brought me though it all.  I am learning to say in the midst of crisis and doubt, Jesus, I trust in You.  What ever happens will be better than I had planned.

In the midst of life recently, I realized how tired I was of all my recent trials.  The open ended nature of my life was getting to me.  I really did trust, but I talked to God about how long it was taking and how uncertain my future was.  I didn't think I could keep going with the uncertainty.  I didn't have any other choices, but I was finding it hard to hope to believe that an end to the trials would finally happen.

As I prayed this, I thought of Popeye.  I had not thought of Popeye in years, maybe decades.  But the little song that Popeye sang so poorly came to mind and I sang along.  I got my answer.  These days when the trials seem long and hard and endless, I am building up muscles to handle future trials.  These days are my spinach.  I will be strong to the finish......

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Rejoice, Again, I Say Rejoice

I am working daily to keep the philosophy--This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.....  This is my spiritual awakening, I can choose to be a person of gloom and doom and complain about the circumstances of my life, or I can decide that this very moment is the best moment of my life and a gift from God.  And which  attitude makes me happier?

I suppose this is something I have always known.  That I could choose to be happy despite the circumstances.  I just wasn't able to do it.  I had too much fear and anxiety going on.  I was pleasing others, accepting unacceptable behavior, and trying to keep the situations of my life under control so that I wouldn't be blamed or shamed.  The realization that God is good, all the time and I don't have to spend my life worrying has been a slow process.  The past led me into depression.

Now, everything isn't perfect.  The circumstances of my life still have major problems at times.  I am trying to get a house ready to sell instead of prepare for Thanksgiving at the place I am living.  My car has turned out to be an oil burner and will need to have the engine rebuilt or something.  I had hoped to trade it in before 100,000 miles, but that wasn't to be.  I want to retire at the end of this school year, but I can't know about whether this will be possible unless or until the court case is settled.  And on and on.  But, I can choose not to worry about these things.  I can choose not to obsess or ponder on the things I have no control over.  I can accept that there is a lesson to learn and joy to be found despite the circumstances.  Earth is not my final home.  I have eternity.  I have hope.  I can find joy.

Rejoice in the Lord always, again, I say, Rejoice.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Take This Job.....

I have always loved books and reading.  I am a fully certified reading teacher and librarian.  I know a lot about reading.  I like being a librarian better than I like being a reading teacher because most of the kids in my remedial reading classes did not like to read and most of the kids who come to the library do.

I have loved my job for the past 10 years in the library.  I love ordering and processing new books, I love fixing books, I love the book club, I love reading. I am getting the hang of ebooks.  But since last year my job has an additional flavor.  I "do" Chromebooks.

Because I am one of the oldest librarians around here, I have made it a matter of pride to keep up and do as much with the Chromebooks as possible.  I am considered the go to gal about librarian's handling Chromebooks. I can powerwash, update, assess problems with the best of them.

I had an epiphany the other day.  I am good at taking care of Chromebooks, ordering repairs, contacting parents, and the like.  I can do my job.  But, I realized, I don't really like this job.  It is stressful and boring at the same time.  When a kid cracks the screen by (self-admitting) he threw the Chromebook across the room and his parent is calling demanding the thing to be fixed, it is stressful.  I am able to do all of this and do it well, but I don't like it.  It isn't what I want to do with my life.  It isn't my passion.  So, I am working on getting out of of these days soon.

I would love to teach refugees to read or speak English.  I don't need to make much money. I need to do good.  I need to spend my time on love not on technology problems. I am ready for a change. I am beginning to hear another call.