Category Archives: New Beginnings

A Little of Both (M’m! M’m! Monday and Wise Wednesday) on Friday…

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Letting go is exactly what I’ve been doing for the last several months: of clothes, of stuff,  and of bits and pieces of my life that I’ve clung to so tightly. As of last week, I’ve even said my goodbyes as I let go of my beloved pine tree and old blue house. To be honest though, “beautiful” is not how I’ve been looking at any of it. Exhausting, emotional, overwhelming, just to name a few, would better describe my attitude…..That is, until I came upon these wise words which got me thinking……

I don’t know about you, but it’s way too easy for me to fall into the trap of “woe is me”. As I’m purposeful in reflecting on this crazy house process, I’m beginning to see it a little differently. Shifting my focus has revealed the fact that every day I’ve spent letting go leads me one step closer to making memories in a brand new house. There is beauty in this chaos.

 Sorting and sifting through everything we own opened my eyes and let me see that we’d collected so many things we didn’t use or need anymore. What’s a pack rat to do? It took a while, but I finally recognized that maybe there was someone else who needed exactly what I didn’t.  While emptying drawers, closets, and storage spaces was hard work; I’ve come to realize something. There’s beauty in giving.

I’m pretty sure those close to me (and maybe even you reading this) are more ready for this stage of my life to end than I am. Let’s just say my thoughts, worries, conversations, and yes, my blog posts have been pretty much like a broken record, but despite it all, my family and friends have prayed for us to let go of our fear, cheered us on to let go of our doubts, and urged us to let go of the past and look to the future.  My biggest lesson about letting go?  There’s beauty in encouragement!

The calendar shows that it’s officially fall.  Nature proves it true.  The sky is a more brilliant blue.  The Hummingbirds and Monarchs are migrating. And yes, the trees are “letting go” of their leaves.  As they float on the breeze, let them remind us that there IS beauty in the act of letting go, not just of things, but of all that hinders us from living our best life; the one God’s designed just for us!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

Since it IS officially fall here is a super simple dessert/snack that’s perfect on a cool, autumn day!

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of Rice Krispies
  • 40 large marshmallows (I usually add one for the pot to make 41)
  • 4 Tbls. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  • Spray 9 x 13 pan generously with Pam. (I spray my spatula as well)
  • Over medium heat melt the butter in a large pan. Add marshmallows and stir until smooth.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add pumpkin pie spice and blend well.
  • Stir in Rice Krispies until all are coated with marshmallow mixture.
  • Put in the prepared pan and using spatula, spread and smooth to fill the pan.
  • Cut into squares while warm.
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Wise Wednesday 9/28/16

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It’s funny how different, members of the same family can be. Growing up, my mom, youngest sister and I loved to read.  My middle sister on the other hand wanted nothing to do with it and often tried to “rescue” us while we were lost in a book.  (Annoy us may be a better way to say it!) And in my own family, my better half, son, and I of course, love to read.  My daughter would rather do almost anything else than pick up a book.  The differences don’t stop there though….when my son and husband find a book they love, they’ll read it over and over until the cover is worn out.  I on the other hand, only want to read a story once……

Uhhhhh……unless of course, it’s the story of my life! Then, I want to immerse myself in those chapters which were set in my comfort zone and had happy endings. I long to linger with those characters who’ve meant so much to me.  I’ve survived all the adventures, challenges, disappointments, and triumphs that have been woven together to create my story. Rereading it is safe.  I like safe!

Then….the page turns. A new chapter awaits. What’s a “play it safe, memory hoarding, stay on the sidewalk, status quo” kinda gal supposed to do?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek His will in all you do and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 

 We know there are volumes of things that can go wrong….cliff hangers, plot twists, surprise endings….and they can make us want to slam the cover shut and demand a rewrite! But, I’m learning (slowly) it’s exactly those things that help develop OUR character and make our story richer.

 A chapter in my book of life came to an end yesterday.  Perhaps one is ending for you as well. It leaves us with a choice. Are we going to reread the pages we know so well or are we going to trust with all our heart, turn the page, and start discovering the paths that await us in our new chapter of life?

It’s a Wrap! (M’m! M’m! Monday in Disguise)

"The season has shifted and changed so I let go of what I am use to and walk bravely into the unknown because I know God is right beside me with each step." A Modern Day Ruth / Pixabay

“The season has shifted and changed so I let go of what I am use to and walk bravely into the unknown because I know God is right beside me with each step.” A Modern Day Ruth / Pixabay

“That’s a wrap!” Words often used to signal the end of a storyline or season of a T.V. show, but today they’re words reverberating around in my chaotic mind. Part of MY story, a season of MY life is wrapping up and I’m going to have to wait for the new season to begin to see how things work out.  Just so you know; I don’t like waiting……I don’t like change…….and I don’t like not being in control……even when the new season promises to be good, great even!

Our new house was ordered today.  I’m packing the remaining odds and ends and we’re moving out this weekend. In six to eight weeks our house should arrive and we’ll begin to write a new story; live a new season! That means in this in-between time we must say goodbye to our old, blue house. In the world of television the time between seasons is full of reruns and it’s no different really for me.  This time of farewell to our home of 18 years is sure to generate lots of memories to relive and retell.

I’m not really sure how to say goodbye to walls that protected our family and gave us space at the same time.  To let go of bedrooms where books were read, sleepover giggles quieted,  bedtime prayers whispered, and goodnight kisses shared. The upstairs porch with its once grand brick-a-brack railing , a place where little girls could get lost in their imaginations, will be hard to see go. Conversations while we ate together, games played, homework done, and Christmas cookies decorated made our dining room the heart of our home. As I sat this morning in “my chair”, a place made for lingering, a place that allows me to gaze out to our majestic pine tree and the bird feeders that hang there, a tightness formed in my chest as I realized that my view will never be exactly like this again.

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That’s life isn’t it? We take the familiar for granted and then it’s gone. We get caught up in the day to day and forget we are creating memories. We blink. Things change. WE change. The season ends.  

“For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-7 (NLT)

Yes, For now: “It’s a wrap!” It’s time to tear down. However, I’m so grateful it doesn’t end there.  It’s also a time to build – build a new house – build new memories – Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 goes on and says:

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.  So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.”

We all find ourselves leaving seasons behind and venturing in to new ones.  What a wonderful promise that even when we can’t see where they lead; God has the whole beautiful journey planned for us, all the way to eternity!  So let’s “wrap” ourselves in that! 

Now for this weeks recipe……I couldn’t miss this opportunity to share with you a tasty WRAP recipe!

 

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbls. olive oil
  • 1 Lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 C. BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 C. pineapple tidbits
  • 1/4 of onion, chopped
  • 1-2 hearts of romain, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh chopped cilantro
  • 4-5 large wheat or white tortillas (I used white)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add chicken pieces to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring to be sure chicken is cooked through and a golden brown.
  • Remove pan from heat.
  • Add barbecue sauce and pineapple to the pan and toss with the chicken.
  • Warm tortillas.
  • On each tortilla, put a spoonful of chicken, sprinkle with cheese, onion, and romain.
  • Put cilantro on top. (I found this to be very strong and would not use near the amount again)
  • Roll burrito style and serve immediately.
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Wise Wednesday 8/3/16

I collect words! I savor them. Linger with them. Ponder over them. They can touch my heart and satisfy my soul.  Whether they are words in a devotional, a speech,  a song, a book, a sermon, a poem, a conversation, or even a blog post; wisdom abounds! This love of words has influenced me to try something new…..Ta Da!….Wise Wednesday is born!  To be honest, it’s as much for me as it is for you.  It’s my hope that by sharing bits of wisdom which have inspired me, caused me to pause and think, or to look at something differently than I have before, will do the same for you AND it will allow me to create a gathering place for the words of others that have resonated with me in some way: like to motivate a change, encourage, reassure, spark an idea, gain a deeper understanding, or kindle a dream. 

Some weeks I’ll share my connection with the “Wise Wednesday” words. Other times, I may simply post the quote and let it stand on its own.  Either way, I would love it if this compilation of words will be an invitation for conversation between us and an opportunity for you to share YOUR wise words with me! So, here we go……….

"Knowledge comes from learning. Wisdom comes from living." Anthony Douglas Williams

“Knowledge comes from learning. Wisdom comes from living.”
Anthony Douglas Williams

I’m in the midst of an on-line book study.  The timing of it is no coincidence! The book is Come With Me by Suzanne Eller. Her previous books have had a tremendous effect on me and so far this one is no different.  My “Ah-Ha” moment came with these “wise” words:

“Whisper yes where no wants to take root.”

Since retiring, I’ve felt God calling me to do things, but out of fear of failure, lack of confidence, and selfishness with my time; I have ignored Him and put them off. “No has taken root!” There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s time for me to say, “YES”.  It’s still scary and will require some sacrifice, and I’m pretty sure my “yes” WILL start only as a whisper and not a shout, but these wise words are inspiring me to rip up the old roots holding me back and follow where God is leading me. 

Have you felt called to do something that you too, have ignored? What’s holding you back? Are you in the midst of fulfilling God’s call? What helped you to step out and follow?  I’ll meet you in the comments to continue this conversation!

To learn more about the “Come With Me” book study, go to http://www.tsuzanneeller.com

The Stuff of Life

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One of many loads of stuff from my classroom as I retired.

I am an expert on stuff!  Stuff and I have an intimate relationship.  Everywhere I go stuff seems to follow.  My classroom was “stuff central”. My house? Stuff City.  Need something?  “Let me dig in the stuff in my purse.  I’m sure I have it!” Oh, and then there’s my brain….more stuff rattling around in there than I can handle or you want to know about!

Up until recently I was comfortable with my stuff.  I felt safe amidst the clutter. But now? Something’s changed.  As I’ve told you before, I am going through every room in preparation to move.  Somewhere in this process my perspective shifted. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy for this memory collector to let things go. Tears have been shed.  Things have been in the trash or give away pile that I’ve struggled to leave there. But as I look around a finished room I feel an unexpected feeling of freedom. A lightness that wasn’t there before.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)

As I linger (as I so love to do) with this new attitude I’ve come to realized that in having old greeting cards, letters, awards, artwork, ticket stubs, souvenirs from happy times; I somehow found reassurance of my self-worth. (I know, I’m worse off than you thought!) As I continue to sort through my stuff, I’m also sorting through all these emotions , but what I’m learning is: life is full of good stuff and bad stuff. When we (I) focus and are tied to that stuff, it can become a burden.

Let me just confess to you now that as hard as getting rid of my tangible stuff is; releasing my “worry stuff”, scary stuff”, “sad stuff”, “angry stuff”, “unforgiving stuff”, to God is even more difficult for me! Oh, I might put it away for awhile, but all too often I think I know what’s best so I open that “box of stuff”, comb through it, and even add to it! Oh how that stuff weighs on my heart, my mind, and soul!

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Did you catch that?  The burdens I create, and maybe you too, by collecting stuff, whether in drawers, boxes, closets, or in our hearts; we don’t have to carry! Unburdening ourselves from the stuff of life allows us to open our arms and soul to the “yoke that is easy and the burden that is light” Jesus offers us.

The process of eliminating stuff from my life is an ongoing one.  I’m happy to report that recently I sat and went through four boxes of memories from my elementary years forward and when I was finished I only filled two back up.  I laughed, cried, and shook my head in wonder in all that I’d kept. And yes, as hard as it was, I had to let go of these precious items!

Bobby Sherman still makes me swoon!

Bobby Sherman still makes me swoon!

I pray that as I prepare to move into a new house, God continues to work on moving me forward. No more looking behind to find myself but setting my eyes on Him who’s known me all along.  Maybe you have some cleaning out to do like I do.  Will you join me in releasing the stuff of life so that we can begin to store our treasures right where they belong; the only place “where moths and rust cannot destroy them.”

 

Joining Suzi Eller for #livefreeThursday where her prompt this week is “It’s just stuff”. (Oh so timely for me!) Want to read more?  Jump over to http://www.tsuzanneeller.com to see what others are saying!

 

 

 

His Perfect Plan

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This is the third in a series of miraculous true stories about Living Hope High School in Bungoma, Kenya.  Stories that share the divine inspiration and dedication to helping students of poverty, who once had no hope, reach their full potential.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for him.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Marilyn knew that her answer to God’s call was back in Kenya, yet here she was on the other side of the world in Tennessee. Summer had ended and responsibilities forced her return.Her job at school, her house, her truck, and her beloved dog, Jesse, all things she was grateful for, had drawn her away from the children she loved and the make-shift high school she’d planted and cultivated.

Although others were skeptical about the voice Marilyn had heard in her kitchen, she didn’t waver in her conviction that God had spoken to her.She didn’t pretend to understand why He had chosen her or how He was going to use her; but she knew without a doubt that somehow He would be sending her back to Kenya.

As teachers often do, Marilyn began preparing in advance, both mentally and educationally for the new school year. A few days into her preparations she received an unexpected visit from the Superintendent of schools. Sitting in the same chair she’d been sitting in when she’d heard God’s call, she now listened to another voice; this time telling her that because of federal cutbacks there were no financial means to continue the Behavior Disorder Program Marilyn had been in charge of.The news didn’t stop there though.Marilyn was also the lowest on the seniority list and so not only was her program being terminated, so was she. A sense of panic began to take hold. She had house and truck payments to make! So, without much of a plan Marilyn embarked on a frantic job search.

Despite her best efforts, Marilyn’s job hunt came up empty. The only option now was to try to sell her house so she’d have a little money to live on until she knew what to do next. Not wanting to put off the inevitable, Marilyn began painting every room in her little house and laying down new flooring. Boxes began stacking up as she started packing her belongings. The improvements on the inside being almost finished, Marilyn headed out to her flower beds where she’d so often found respite. Weeding, working the soil, and planting colorful flowers brought a much needed peace to her soul. It also caught the attention of one of her friends who inquired about what was going on. Marilyn told her the whole story and before she had barely gotten the last word out, her friend excitedly exclaimed that she was looking for a new home and that Marilyn’s would be just perfect!

While the paperwork for the sale of her house progressed, Marilyn knew she couldn’t afford to keep her truck. She’d need something smaller, older, and more economical if she was going to get by on a tight budget. Soon after the “For Sale” sign was placed in the window, Marilyn was placing the keys into the hand of its new owner. No job, no house, no truck. It was just her and her faithful companion. Feeling restless, she called Jesse to follow her outside. She needed fresh air to clear her thoughts. Marilyn threw the frisbee. Jesse leaped into the air catching the disc before it hit the ground and returned it to Marilyn. The two continued this familiar game until suddenly Jesse jumped up but missed the frisbee and fell to the ground. He lay motionless cradled in Marilyn’s arms. Oh, how she loved this dog! He’d always been there for her even when people hadn’t. He’d listened to her, comforted her, accepted her. Now here they were sprawled in the grass: Jesse, unable to move physically and Marilyn, unable to move emotionally. Four days later, Jesse died.

Marilyn sat in her chair at the table straining to hear the voice that had once filled her kitchen. Somehow in the silence His message was clear. She’d lost her job and then she’d found a buyer for her house, sold her truck, and lost her precious dog all within one week. She heard Him speaking to her as only He could… through His perfect plan. He’d called her for His good purpose; the children in Kenya. What had once drawn her away was now gone. She would return to Kenya as she knew she would but, what would His plan be once she arrived?

Copyright Living Hope High School, Bungoma, Kenya

Small Things Change Everything

Our First Meeting

Our First Meeting

How can something so small change everything?

It’s a question I’m asking myself because life as I’ve known it has been permanently altered by a tiny baby being born….my grandson!  This little guy with perfect fingers, soft hair, and a cute nose has made most everything else fade into the background.  My priorities have changed and things I used to think were important aren’t now. My heart is overflowing!  Yes, one gaze upon this small miracle has forever redefined who I am.  I am still a daughter, sister, woman, teacher, friend, wife, and mother, but now for the first time I am “Mimi”!   All the paths I’ve traveled have been leading me to this destination.  I’ve had no map.  It’s been a journey of hard lessons, great happiness, accomplishments, disappointments,  adventure, heartache, forgiveness, and strong love.  Step by step, climb by climb, slips, slides, and sometimes by just hanging on for dear life I’ve gotten to this place of overwhelming joy.  He is my child’s child. She, who I held in my arms, now holds the future in hers.  The depth of emotion I’m experiencing leaves me breathless and my prayers for them roll down my cheeks.

I know I’m not alone.  Maybe you are also a new grandparent or parent with a wee bundle of your own.  Maybe a minute spot on an X-ray has changed everything.  Maybe a tiny seed of friendship has grown to true love. Maybe a still, small voice has guided you on a new path.  Small things DO change our world.  I’m reminded now more than ever that God knew the effect of small things when he sent his Son, a tiny baby to change all of us.  What a gift!  Perfect little hands that would one day be nailed to a cross. A miracle that would redefine who we could be and change our priorities. A life’s beginning who’s journey would be full of overflowing forgiveness and great love. I look at the world around me now and I wonder what the future holds for my precious grand baby. I don’t know of course, but what a comfort to know that He, the creator of all small things holds it and us safely in His arms and THAT changes everything!

Home

"There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am." John 14:2-3 NLT

“There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:2-3 NLT

I got up this morning, poured my cup of coffee, and sat down in my chair at the window to watch the activity taking place at the bird feeders.  This is my routine pretty much every morning I’m home, however, this morning was a little more exciting (in the bird world, at least) because the Wrens are back and building a nest in the bird house.  It’s an amazing thing to watch as the tiny bird approaches the small opening in the bird house with a GIANT stick, often three times their size and yet, it still manages to maneuver it through. All the while the other half of the couple is chattering anxiously and excitedly flitting here and there. It’s hard work creating a home one stick at a time!

Home……it’s what’s been on my mind lately.  I recently traveled to help my mom prepare to move into a new home.  It’s a lovely condo with lots of light and storage. But even though it’s a positive move it has still caused her feelings of doubt, anxiety, and heartache.  At the same time, she’s experiencing excitement about redecorating, the joy of having friends close by, and a peace knowing she’s found the right place

In a few weeks my daughter, who I can still picture smiling up at me with a toothless grin and a head full of curls, is about to have a baby of her own.  She and her husband will be navigating their way to recreate their home as a family of three instead of two.  Doubt? Anxiety? You know it!  And as a parent I know that there’ll be some heartache too, but right there mixed in are great excitement and abundant joy!  (I can hardly wait!)

Add into the mix, my son, who is about to be married and join two lives into one home.  Again, its a time of mixed emotions. There are so many questions to be answered, plans to be made, and priorities to set. If ever there’s a time with a myriad of feelings, it’s planning a wedding, but the promise of this new love brings such delight!

My home was built over one hundred years ago and has seen better days. Now common sense would tell you that we have enough going on in our lives right now, but I’m not always sensible, SO….my husband and I have been looking into making a change in our home too.  We’ve given consideration to building a new house, one board at a time….. TOO STRESSFUL! Tearing down our family home and putting in a modular has been an option….. this caused me some heartache, though.  Remodeling where we’ve called home for many years is still being considered.  All three options are exciting and all three have also caused my husband and me a great deal of anxiety!

Home…..some of its definitions are:  shelter, a dwelling place or retreat, any place of residence or refuge, a place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.  These are all so true but for me there’s something more about home which cannot be defined.  It is that gravitational-like pull that draws me back. It is memories of times past and hope for times to come. It is love.

Yes, every emotion on the spectrum is experienced in a home…some good, some not. It is where we teach and learn about life.  It isn’t perfect but it’s where we begin and where we end. And in the midst of it all we have the promise that a Heavenly home awaits us. A place where there will be no more heartache or anxiety, only excitement and joy as we have never known before!  They say “Home is where the heart is”.  I have definitely put my whole heart into creating a home for my family and more importantly into building in us, one prayer at a time, hearts of faith, so that on some sweet day we will all finally be home together, forever.

56 Year Old Dreamer?

When You Wish Upon a Star

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Faith is kind
She brings to those she loves
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

When we are young we all have dreams, goals, and longings. But what about now? I’m almost 56 years old. Are my dreaming days over? For a while I thought so, until I retired, that is, and now I have time to contemplate. Recently, I’ve begun to let a dream or two creep back into my mind and now my heart has joined in. Tiny flickers like stars in the summer sky waiting to ignite.

Unfortunately, accompanying these “flights of fancy” is an insistent voice that whispers things like “you’re too old”, “it will never work”, you’re not good enough” in an attempt to douse the flames of hope and excitement before I even give them a chance to shine.

I’d like to believe ole Jiminy Cricket, that making dreams come true is as easy as wishing on a star. Life has taught me however, that wishing and dreaming are the easy parts. It takes work and dedication to make them come true and sometimes even then they don’t. I’ve found it way too easy to just give up on dreaming and now I find that it’s uncomfortable for me to acknowledge these new desires of my soul. It’s much easier for this procrastinator to do just that. I love the quote; “Procrastination is the killer of dreams.” How true I’ve let that be for me!

Writing this post is my first step in giving myself permission to dream again and not just dream but to do everything I can to make my dreams come true. I will have to battle my worst enemy….myself. I’ll have to DO instead of just think. I’ll have to believe. I’ll have to risk failing. I’ll have to find ways to” fan the flames” until the burning desire in my heart is greater than the fear in my head. And maybe, just maybe tonight I’ll go outside, look up, and “wish on a star as dreamers do”….. just in case Jiminy’s right.

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Dare to believe
Realize it’s time to try
Envision success
Avoid Procrastination
Make it happen
Cindy

I hope to keep you up to date on my journey of following a dream. I would love to know what your dreams are! Feel free to share with me by leaving your comments.

Wait and See

Wow!  It’s been since October that I’ve written a post!  I have many excuses…..I’ve worked on a couple  projects up at school, I’ve traveled a little, and getting lost in the holiday rush…..all good reasons for not having the time to write…..good, but not the real reason.

The real reason I haven’t written is my own disillusionment and fear.  It was eye-opening for me just now to go back and read my October post, “It’s Time”.  I talk about taking off and living my dreams but instead I have done the exact opposite.  Actually, I’ve been hiding.

I felt ready to retire.  I felt it was time.  I felt it was for the best for me and the school.  I felt God was leading me to a new life and I couldn’t wait. But waiting is exactly what I’m doing and I must admit I’m not doing a very good job of it.  Somehow I thought that my new future was going to emerge from writing this blog.  It hasn’t.  I was sure opportunities were going to knock on my door. The only opportunities I’ve been given are the spam messages to improve my blog that fill my inbox.  I thought I was going to fulfill the longing of my creative spirit and make a difference.  I thought I knew where I was going…..

Keeping busy hasn’t been a problem.  I’ve spent a lot of time back at school substituting, putting up bulletin boards, chairing special projects and I’ve enjoyed it.  It’s just that this isn’t how I envisioned it to be.  Have I made a big mistake?  Did I take my future into my own hands instead of following God’s lead?  I talk a big game but truthfully, I’ve been scared and disappointed in myself.  What have I done?  What am I supposed to do now?  I know…….wait.

So, here I am back to tell you that while I wish I was flying, sailing, climbing, or traveling on a new exciting adventure, I’m actually a little lost and still not sure where I’m going.  It’s a good thing I have a patient husband, family who support me, and friends that cheer me on.  Because really when it’s all said and done, it doesn’t matter where I’m headed.  What matters most is who’s along for the ride and I am richly blessed by MY “traveling partners”!  Am I a little anxious? Yes.  Is this how I pictured retirement?  No.  The reality though is life rarely happens the way we expect it to.  Once we realize it, we always have the choice to give up (as I sort of have been doing) or embrace the moment we’re in (what I’m now going to try to do).  Armed with the confidence that God has a plan, that He can see the whole picture, and the knowledge that I’m surrounded by people who care about me, I’m going to try and relax, let go of my preconceptions, and be grateful for this time of discovery.  Where will it lead me you ask?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I believe we’ll just have to WAIT and see.

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