Friday, March 16, 2012

Walking with Friends

Honestly, this is something I should do at lunch every day.  I "accidentally" forgot my shoes last week, and I sincerely forgot my shoes this morning.  But this is not what this post is about.

In the teaching-high-school-English portion of my life, I was one of several chaperones for a trip to a national park in our city.  It was a very nature-y setting and the students loved just being able to run and roam.  Another teacher and I decided to take a walk down one particular trail, just because it looked like "fun."  In retrospect, it was not the kind of fun that actually FEELS like fun.  It's the kind of fun that you hope will be fun because it resembles an opportunity that could possibly be fun if the planets aligned properly and you were wearing the right kind of shoes.  So off we went down this trail that seemed to be fairly worn and had some signage to direct fun-seekers.

To make a long story a little shorter, it started out great.  However, when the trail narrowed and then dead-ended at a swamp, a little back-tracking was in order.  Then going back the way we came worked but then didn't, because we couldn't find the signage.  We eventually, after two hours of "fun," worked our way back to the bus just in time to leave with the students.  All was well, minus a few scrapes and a random alligator sighting.

I have a very good friend who was on the same kind of trail.  Her son had become addicted to drugs and finding the trail back was a two-year journey.  I walked with her at what became the end of her journey, and I will never be the same. God allowed me to be a part of the "fun," and I mean real fun, because I saw first hand how He worked to bring His glory to a sinner who needed a Savior and needed to be saved from his own life.  There were so many loose ends that seemed totally unrelated but ended up being tied all together and her son is now part of the family of God.  I feel so honored and privileged to have been a witness to it all.

It seems like there are so many "trails" in my life and I am not sure where they are going and there is no signage.  I have doubts and I am worried about how I will pay for college, raise children, pay the bills, use my time to do what matters. However, Psalm 27:1 says that "the Lord is my light and my salvation -- whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life -- of whom shall I be afraid?"  Can God provide the "signage" that my heart needs?  Yes.  Will God be faithful to show the way?  Yes.  Look for God in His Word and He'll be there.  Take a friend with you -- share your life and invest into the life of a friend.  Your walk together will be truly fun, even without good shoes.

And no alligators.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Fun

I have decided that I am occasionally going to dig out a "blog" from my journals every now and then, and today seems like a good day to start.  I do have to mention that the idea for this came from my good friend and partner in crime, Jamie Vaughn. 

The Way of the Mother
Mothering is the proudest profession.  And the oldest, too, despite what some may say.  I have some friends who are having babies, and they are so wide-eyed and eager and well, "fresh."  I guess that's why it's "refreshing"  in a way to see them and all their young mother friends talk as they hover over their strollers.

However, at this stage of the mothering game that I (and many of my friends) are in, having teenagers and older, there are very few things that are "fresh."  I have been excited over report cards approximately 116 times, we have sung "Happy Birthday" at least 47 times, and have put out cookies and milk for Santa about 13 times, when you consider that Oldest Daughter had to put on a show for Youngest Daughter until she learned the truth.   Now, these were wonderful, sweet, endearing memories that made for great photo ops that make you want to say "aww."  And as much as these fresh, sweet, young moms look forward to all of that, there is something that they don't know and can't realize.  These same moms will, one day, after being asked 22 questions in 6 miles of driving, turn to their children and say, "If you do not stop talking, Mommy will (and gentle readers, just pick your favorite here) 1) run away to Mexico, 2) put duct tape over your mouth, or 3) lapse into a Mom coma that she cannot be resurrected from until a whole lotta chocolate has been consumed." 

So enjoy these beautiful days of ear infections, diaper rash, and open-mouth kisses from 14-month olds.  Enjoy the freshness of it while it lasts.  And, when you come out of your first Mom coma, think back on this blog post, and eat some chocolate.  And smile.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Givin' Up

Giving up has such a negative connotation.  I'm giving up, throwing in the towel, that's all she wrote, the fat lady has sung.  I hate giving up.  I am thankful that I have an indomitable spirit of hope.  No matter how bad things are, I firmly believe that they are going to get better -- for other people.  I was ready to throw in the towel the other day with this whole blog thing.  But let me start with the beginning of the story, rather than starting in the middle like most of us ADD adults do.

I follow a lovely writer named Mary de Muth that is a published writer with a great web site and this incredible ministry.  I saw that another esteemed person that I follow, Micheal Hyatt, had asked the Tweetdom for names of people with great social platforms.  Mary responded with a few names, and because I like to see what other people are doing with their blogs, I clickety-clicked my way on over to one.  And it was this whole website with blog, speaking calendar, store, resources page, you name it.  And the next name had pretty much the same thing, except she is also in a network of speakers that address women's conferences.  And the next, and pretty much the same for the next. 

After viewing all of this, my big bloggin' balloon was completely deflated.  I thought, "Of all the blogs in all the world, why in the world should I continue mine?"  I don't have a speaking calendar (or speaking engagements) or any books or anything.  So yeah.  Failure with an upsized F.  I facebooked Mary and told her that with all these great writers, I really feel like a ginormous nothing.  But she wrote one statement that made me rethink the whole giving up, throwing in the towel, waiting-for-the-fat-lady-to-quit-singing thing.  She wrote that I am the only one that has my voice.  I am the only one that can say what is in my head.  (Some might consider this a good thing.)  So it's been a few days, but I'm back.  I'm not sure I will ever have this great website with professional photography and an actual webperson, but I will be content to do my thing, say my piece, be my quirky yet lovable self.

So what is it that you want to give up?  What makes you want to give up?  You are an individual and there is no one like you.  I once said this to Oldest Daughter and she quizzically looked at me and said, "Isn't that a song?"  which led to yes, that is a song, FROM BARNEY, but that's not why I said it.  Everyone has a special gift and talent and God will use that to take you to the place of amazing.  So keep on doing what you do, because you are the only person who can do it just like you.