Wednesday, December 23, 2015

More about "Someday."

Yesterday morning I was poking around in my Facebook memories, and I found a blog post that I wrote three years ago, called "'Someday' is waiting for us!" I wrote this at a time when I was feeling very alone and vulnerable, and deeply insecure.  I wrote about what I was feeling from the perspective of a disciple of Jesus Christ, as one who is being "transformed in His image." (2Cor3:18) I believe that being a follower of Jesus means change, not by my own feeble efforts but by my submission to the trans-formative power of God.  In the blog post of three years ago, I wrote that change comes, not by pursuing it, but by pursuing loving relationships with God and others.  I am in love with God, and because of this, I pursue Him. I talk to Him in prayer because I can't not talk to Him. I'd miss Him. I read the scriptures because He is there, and He speaks to me through them. I want to hear from Him. I strive to obey Him because I trust Him and His desires for me, and I believe that He knows the way to wholeness, to healthy, loving relationships with Him, with others and with myself.

Because of all this, someday is a very real place to me.  I realize, though, that in the social media world of sound bite pseudo-wisdom, looking forward to "someday" is not encouraged.  We are to live for today, rest in the moment, breathe, experience every moment with eyes wide open. And I agree. I am a "live in the moment" kind of person. I stop and smell the roses. And the cookies. And the autumn leaves. I am intentional about listening to my children, knowing full well that these days of adolescence and young adulthood will pass quickly. I practice yoga, and I know how to breathe out stress, to breathe in the calm.

I am convinced, though, of the importance of the somedays. Parenting teenagers has taught me this.  One of the most important words teens need to hear from adults is "someday."  Living is hard, and it is especially hard for our young people.  Teens feel things deeply. Emotions come fast and loud for them.  They feel the expectations of their parents, teachers, peers, society, expectations which are often conflicting.  They need to know that, whatever difficult thing they are feeling or experiencing, they will not always feel like they do in the moment.  Life does get better. Their emotions will calm, and they will become better at the whole "living" thing.  Someday is hopeful for teens, because it challenges the despair of strong, painful emotions that threaten to stay forever.

The promise of someday is not necessarily about different circumstances, though.  Stuff happens. Stuff will always happen.  Heartaches, jobs losses, conflicts with friends and loved ones, illness and death...the world can be a scary place.  Even when circumstances do become more favorable, good happenings can lead to new kinds of difficulties. For me, meeting Brian and falling in love was a wonderful thing.  It led to marriage, three brilliant step children, a new home and family, and a love relationship that is beyond anything that I could have imagined.   It also meant moving away from all of my people. Changing countries.  Lots of goodbyes. Kissing my sweet daughter good-bye as she headed off on her own adventure in England. Letting go.

 Within my happiness and security and peace, there is a heaviness.  In my life, someday meant changed circumstances, but more importantly, it meant a changed me. God has been strengthening and empowering me to be whole in the face of my losses, and I understand that He has done that by calling me to deeply and sacrificially love those that He has given me here in Massachusetts.  How do I nurse my wounded heart when I miss my daughter so much, it physically hurts?  By taking care of my father-in-law, or loving my step kids, or serving my husband.  Loving others does not replace Grace in my life.  Our hurts and losses are too real to simply be replaced.  Love does heal, though. It is powerful stuff.  God's love, poured through us onto others is a glory, blessing us as He blesses those around us.

When someday means, someday when I'm thin, or someday when I win the lottery, or someday when the kids leave the house, or someday when my dream job opens up, or someday when I meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, looking for someday will just hold us back.  There is too much living to be done, and too little time.

Still, looking forward to a "someday" that we can start moving towards right this minute is a blessing. If I reach out to God, if I choose to trust in His trans-formative work in me, if I remember how far He has already brought me, if I choose love over fear in the circumstance that is right in front of me now, someday I am going to be stronger, steadier, more secure, more loving. More whole.

To me, that makes "someday" a day worth waiting for!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Here's to being back...

Ah, the age old question - how to write a post in a blog that has been silent for ten months. Okay, maybe it's not an age-old question, but I've been thinking about it for ages, so...same thing. It has been an eventful ten months.  I spent the summer in Franklin Centre, Quebec, with my dearest friend and her family. It was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with her before I was to move six hours away, to Massachusetts. Which I did, at the end of August. I married my sweet Brian, became a step mother to three brilliant young people, and I have settled into my new home where we live with Brian's parents, Allen and Judy.  I spent hours Skyping with Grace in England, enjoying her stories about work as a receptionist at a holiday park. I started going to a new church, Bethany Bible Chapel. At least it's new to me.  Brian and his family have been going there for quite a while.

So much has happened. There have been many changes, losses, gains, feelings.  So much living.  Some tears. A lot of laughter.  A crazy amount of hormones, thanks to the perfect storm of a house full of teenagers and peri-menopausal me.  Still, we've all survived and have been melding into a comfortable, weird, funny, loud, moody, messy, loving family.

I'm settled now, and I'm back.  With thoughts.  And pictures. And feels, and ideas, and questions, and confidence and doubts and stupidities.

It has taken me three days to break the ice and write this post. So, here's to pushing through, to broken ice and being back.

And this picture - just because.

My Zimbio