Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy happy happy

Happy belated birthday to my niece Krysta...19 and fabulous!

And Happy birthday today to Father Paul...ageless and priceless!


Monday, October 30, 2006

Wanting what I can't have (yet) - Part IV

Read Part I
Read Part II
Read Part III

This is the day that the Lord hath made.

I don't know what will happen today. But I can be pretty darn sure what will NOT happen. I won't be getting married today. I won't be a size 10 today. Today I won't have a healed friendship with my former roommate who hasn't talked to me in 10 years. I won't run a 5k today.

These are all things I want but cannot have, yet. (OK, maybe I don't actually want to run a 5k, but I want to be in the kind of physical shape it takes to run a 5k.) Is it possible that I will never have these things? Yes. Does that mean I give up wanting them? No way. But to be sad or resentful that I don't have what I think I want is no way to live.

I'm happy today because I have decided to be grateful for God's many, many blessings in my life. And I'm happy because each and every day is a new chance to do a little or a lot (as guided by the Spirit) to build towards the things I want. I can drop a "thinking of you" note to my ex-roommate. I can pray for willingness to eat right and exercise today. I can rest in the knowledge that if God wants me to be married again someday, I've got the best Matchmaker in the history of the universe working on my behalf.

The Bible is full of God's promises. Seriously...there are hundreds in there (check out this list). And I choose to believe that God will fulfill His promises, in a way that is the very best for me.

And who could want more than that?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wanting what I can't have (yet) - Part III

Read Part I
Read Part II

Elisabeth Elliot wrote this book thirty years ago as a collection of advice for her daughter, who was about to get married. I'm almost done reading it. So far, the paragraph that speaks to me most, the one that could almost have been written by me, is this:

I had been a widow for thirteen years when the man who was to become your stepfather proposed. It seemed to me the miracle that could never happen. That any man wanted me the first time was astonishing. I had gone through high school and college with very few dates. But to be wanted again was almost beyond imagination. I told this man that I knew there were women waiting for him who could offer him many things I couldn't offer--things like beauty and money. But, I said, "There's one thing I can give you that no woman on earth can outdo me in and that's appreciation." The perspective of widowhood had taught me that.

I was an older bride...just shy of 34 when I married Daniel. Before the nature of our friendship changed, I had pretty much resigned myself to the belief that I might remain single my entire life. I don't remember being scared or saddened by that thought; I just accepted it.

Now, having experienced marriage - what Daniel referred to as "the ultimate" human experience - I know I want it again. And I have been scared that it wouldn't happen again. But I'm coming to realize that I don't need to worry about it. I don't need to "put myself out there" in the dating world or otherwise "move the process along".

All I need to do is keep my eyes on God, seek and do His will for my life, and let Him lead me to my ultimate destiny. Whether it includes another marriage for me or not, it is certainly the best plan for living.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wanting what I can't have (yet)

I just got back home from a quick trip to Michigan (the reason for which I'll write about very soon). My drive home was blessed, as I narrowly avoided a potentially dangerous situation caused by what I think was once a car's bumper being flung around the highway by passing vehicles. I tried to avoid it, but the object hit the side of my car as I passed. Fortunately, it appears all it did was put a scratch in the dirt (time for a car wash).

Besides those few seconds of hyper-alertness, my drive was filled with something that seemed pleasant but has the potential of being more dangerous than a flying piece of metal.

It's natural for me to think of (and miss) my husband when I'm with his family. Daniel was on my mind a lot these last few days. But the seed that was planted by my thoughts of him bloomed into a romantic fantasy about somebody else. So what's so dangerous about that?

Daniel has been gone for over five years now. I've written a bit about the subject of dating, and my feeble attempts to "get out there". And, of course, the subject inevitably comes up when I'm with friends I don't see very often. Which leads me to daydream in idle moments (like six hours in a car alone).

There is a special man in my life. He is a good man, and one of the best people I know. He is a long-time friend with whom I have shared more about myself than perhaps he ever wanted to know. That kind of closeness can be comforting, and at times a little scary. And it can also lead to the kind of mind games I experienced today.

You may think that a little fantasy is no big deal. But when we indulge in a fantasy, it can have a detrimental affect on our reality. I don't want to ruin my friendship with this man by imagining us in situations that will probably never happen. Could he be a potential mate? He is single and a Christian, so yes. But what if he is not intended for me? By letting my imagination run wild, I could be setting myself up for (at best) disappointment or (at worst) a serious fall.

When I find myself wanting what I do not (or cannot, or may never be able to) have, I know it is because I am trying to fill that hole in my spirit that is meant for my relationship with God. So when I got home I went online to search for some new books or web sites to help me get my mind, heart and spirit back where they belong. Which in turn led me to a quote that I think says it all for us single women of faith:

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man must be seeking the Lord to find it." (Elisabeth Elliott)

So now I'm off to the bookstore.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My head is a jukebox

UPDATE: Wednesday morning - today's song is "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother".


For the past couple of weeks, every morning when I wake up I have a different song in my head. This morning it is "What Kind of Fool" by Barry Gibb and Barbra Streisand. Yesterday it was "Kung Foo Fighting".

I think I'm working too hard.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bless Yourself

When I start my day with quiet time for prayer, reading God's Word and personal reflection, my day is better than when I don't start it this way. It doesn't matter what happens during the day, I just seem to be able to "handle" everything better when I have sought that spiritual connection first.

One part of my morning "time with God" routine is reading the day's message from my Joyce Meyer "Starting Your Day Right" calendar. Today's message made me realize that I have perhaps been doing my morning routine with the wrong intention...to please God. I'll quote the whole thing:

I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and diligently shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17, Amplified Bible)

Our motives are misplaced if we think we read the Bible and pray to please God or to keep from making Him mad at us. Every single thing that God tells us to do, He tells us to do so to bless ourselves. He doesn't ask us to devote ourselves to study and prayer for Him; it is for us. The good life is our choice.

The good life is our choice. Think about that. Does it make sense? How can the good life be our choice when so much of what we experience is out of our control. Guess what? Everything we experience is out of our control! The only thing we can control are the choices we make.

When we choose to pursue conscious contact with God, seeking him through our own free will, we can experience those "fruits of the spirit" that Paul wrote about to the Galatians...love, joy, peace, patience, kindess, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

And aren't those the things that make it a good life?