Archive for March, 2015

I Am Not Alone

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

I attend a Small Group of folks from my church who get together and talk about our journeys. We’re currently going through John Eldredge’s book, Waking the Dead. The book is talking about spiritual warfare and how demonic spirits try to get a foothold by getting you to make agreements with them.

Now, I think of myself as good at avoiding negative self-talk. But as I’ve become aware of this, I’ve noticed negative statements about myself which I’m tempted to believe.

I think one tip off that the suggestion might be of the devil? It often comes with the word, “See, . . .”

I’ve noticed lately, I keep getting the thought, “See, you’re all alone.”

It came when my toilet broke. It came when I had to call the police about a problem customer at work. It came when my oldest son had a birthday and I remembered really good times in my marriage. It comes when I think about that nice man I found on a dating site — who hasn’t been online since. It even came when my younger son told me he’s applied to graduate early.

How to fight this?

Being aware of these lies, I think, is the first step.

And the next step is rejecting the lies in the name of Jesus. And filling your mind with the opposing truth.

Deuteronomy 31:8 —

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged.

And what better way to get truth into your heart than to sing it? I’m going to have to order Kari Jobe’s CD that includes this song, “I am not alone.”

While Waiting

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

I was talking with a friend this week. She also is single, and she’d like to find a life partner. She wants the person God has for her. And has no idea what’s taking God so long to bring him into her life.

She hasn’t been passive. She’s done the online dating. She prays about it often.

And, yes, I’m in the same situation. No, I haven’t been looking as long as she has. I’ve only recently felt enough recovered from my divorce to have any desire to date.

But yes, that desire is there. I recently expanded my search radius (regarding physical distance) on an online dating site, and found a profile of a man who sounded like a wonderful match for me. I even sent a message. He’d last been online the day before.

It’s been two weeks — and he hasn’t been online since. So much for that. At least I don’t feel rejected, since he never even read my message.

And I have to believe that God had a hand in even that. That maybe he would not have been such a good match as he seemed from what I read. Or simply that the time is not right for us to meet.

There’s a balance between being passive and being active — and I want to find the place of trust.

Anyway, I was having my quiet time this morning, and God gave me a lot of comfort. I thought it would be worthwhile trying to share some of that comfort, trying to talk about my journey — for the sake of the other women in the same situation.

After this introduction, I’m hoping I can be shorter with more regular posts. Today some key thoughts were:

1) God is so good. And my life is so good right now.

Last night, I went to a gaming group and had a wonderful time playing board games and card games with three men whom I’m friends with, one a co-worker and a particularly good friend. He’s in a relationship, and we’ve figured out we’re not a match — but he’s still such a good friend, and gives me a male perspective on things. And he’s the first very close friend I’ve had who’s a man since my marriage fell apart (from my ex-husband being *too* good a friend with a female friend) — and I had missed that, and treasure it now.

Today I’m going to go see Cinderella with a lifelong girlfriend, and I’m really looking forward to that. I find myself singing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” — such a lovely song.

I am loving my job lately, and feel like I get to make a difference, and get to bring a lot of joy to it.

I still love my home which I bought two years ago. The small lake outside my window, and the wildlife that frequents it and the flowers that bloom around it all simply feed my soul.

I once heard Christel Nani say that giving thanks is a wonderful way to live in the present — to keep from obsessing about the past (a problem after a betrayal) or worrying about the future. It’s also good to keep from focusing on what you don’t have.

2) God has brought me through so much. It was not at all what I wanted or expected, but he has brought good out of it all.

The verse for this is Hosea 2:14 —

Therefore I am going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

Leading me into the desert was alluring me?

Actually, So Much YES. I have learned so much about the tender love of God *because* of all I went through.

3. God is still writing my story. And I can still trust him.

In the Psalms, David doesn’t pray by telling God what to do. He tells God where he is and what he’s feeling. He reminds himself what God has done in the past. And he joyfully realizes that he can trust God and that he knows what God will do is good.

As for what comes next in my life? Today I’m able to say these words with the Psalmist, which I hope will also encourage my sisters and cousins who would like some romantic love in their lives:

Psalm 27:13-14 —

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

So that’s where I am today. But this is so much a journey.

How about you? Does any of this ring true and help you on your journey?

Forgiveness, Stage Two

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Today Matthew West’s song “Forgiveness” came on the radio.

I got to thinking that there’s more than one stage to forgiveness. You can try to clear away the anger, and you can do that — you can choose not to be angry.

But with a traumatic wrong, such as being betrayed, there’s an extent to which you have to learn all the ways you were hurt. You can’t just bury it away, or you won’t be healed. You have to uncover the lies told about you — because if you don’t, even if you try to cover them over and forgive them being told, you’re going to believe them.

I’m thinking about things that maybe never even registered in your brain — but hit you in the heart.

What made me think of all this? Listening to the song didn’t make me cry. I think it’s one of the first times I’ve heard the song and I *feel* lovable. I am no longer hurt by the lies that my husband left because I didn’t deserve to be loved.

And feeling lovable again also makes it easier to forgive.

Mind you, what I’m trying to say is that it takes time and work at healing. (Ten years in my case. And the work is never finished.)

I do believe forgiveness helps the healing. But healing also helps the forgiveness.

And today, for at least the length of the song, I felt happy and lovable and forgiving and loving toward my ex-husband and thankful for the family we had and our years together — as well as excited about the future and simply knowing there’s lots about me to love. And finding someone who does will not be impossible or incredible. And I’m going to live an exciting, vibrant life, whether single or with someone who loves me.

And I am, in fact, worthy of love. And, yes, forgiveness is freeing.

Reading to Children

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

IMG_4648

Yesterday I posted about reading Fox in Socks for our library’s Seussathon. (I also read The Sneetches and Other Stories, Horton Hatches an Egg, Green Eggs and Ham, and Mr. Brown Can Moo… Can You?)

Reflecting about my long history with Fox in Socks also reminded me how completely part of who I am is a delight in reading to children.

My Mom taught us to read before we were in Kindergarten. But the fact is, with the younger kids, we older ones had a lot to do with that. I learned at a young age that the process of watching a small child learn to read is next to miraculous. And I wanted in on it.

So as a kid, I learned both that being read to is cozy and warm and loving and wonderful, and that doing the reading to a younger child is the same.

Then, of course, I read to my own sons. I married a man who had a wonderful reading aloud voice, and read to the boys as much as I did. (Did I love that about him? Did I actually fall for him when we were reading Winnie-the-Pooh out loud in a group in college? Um, yes I did.)

Now my boys are grown, so there’s no one at home to hold in my lap and read to.

So how lucky am I that I get to do this on my job?!?

Mind you, I’m an introvert. Too frequent programs burn me out fairly quickly. However, the perfect thing about it is that as a manager, I don’t do many programs myself — just enough that I still love it.

Bottom line, I get to read books to children. And I get paid for it. I am a lucky woman!