Sunday, July 21, 2013

Reluctant Rebel

There is one thing that I REALLY don't enjoy about being an "older" female. (some of you know what I mean and some of you might not...oh well) It's called belly fat. I eat the same, exercise more (well...I did until my arthritis has caused me to change my entire work out routine) and I continue to watch my midsection grow larger than the parts of me that are supposed to stick out! What's a girl old lady to do?
So, here it is Sunday night before the Monday that I decide to "do" something...again. My middle son (who reluctantly still lives with us until he enters the Air Force this fall) suggested that we go back to eating "close to the ground", so to speak. As we shared our thoughts with a friend last night, she suggested (again) the Whole 30 program. I feel discouraged. So, tonight I am making macaroni and cheese. Not total, bad macaroni and cheese - at least I am preparing the heart healthy version with whole wheat elbow macaroni and cottage cheese but shall I say "REBEL?" Yes! Regardless, I went to the grocery store and purchased fish (salmon and sole) and chicken along with asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, etc. You get the picture. I stayed on the outside edges of the store and the only "no-no" in my cart was Greek yogurt. hmf. Still uncertain and only halfheartedly into the family decision, the day is almost over and tomorrow I will begin to eliminate the things that cause my middle to puff out. We will see.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Grateful Al-Anon

My strongest desire is to live my daily life in such a way that I am aware of God's presence, honoring Him in what I do, say, and think and at the same time, experiencing the peace that He has promised me and I know is available to me.  I participate in different activities, disciplines, and such, in order to learn more about how to live life in such a way; sometimes with success and sometimes with little growth but never giving up. 

This past weekend, I participated in a retreat (one of my favorite ways of learning and practicing a lifestyle that helps me with a higher awareness of God's presence) and I am still chewing on some of the wonderful gifts and insights that God revealed between Friday and Sunday afternoon. 

If you know me (well) you know that I am a grateful member of Al-Anon.  And also, if you know me (at all) you know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ.  This is something that I actually had to "work through" in my mind.  Let me explain. 

I became a Christian in 1987.  When that decision was made, I believed (rightfully so) that my trust in Jesus Christ and faith in God would provide me with all the tools that I would ever need for life from that day forward.  But, what I was finding out in the years that followed my decision was that I didn't know how to use these tools very well.  I found myself, periodically, asking for "outside" help and one of the common themes that was suggested to me was, "Have you ever considered going to Al-Anon?" I was able to brush that question aside with different answers for over a decade, mostly due to the belief that I already had Jesus...what more could I get from Al-Anon? 

When I finally started attending Al-Anon meetings about 8 years ago, I realized that this program gave me specific instructions to use tools that I already had to live a life that would bring a deeper awareness of God's presence, honor Him, and experience the peace (serenity) that He promised and I craved. 

The retreat that I attended this past weekend was a retreat for women in recovery - AA, Al-Anon...or whatever 12 step program one might be a part of.  And Jesus Christ was all in it.  The speakers spoke openly about their Higher Power and He was MY Higher Power.  There was no beating around the bush or pretending He was anyone else and how absolutely and wonderfully empowering it was!  Not everyone in attendance professed Jesus Christ, but many (most) did and I was given such a gift as a result of their openness.

For the first time, and I have attended similar retreats since 2006, I left there with the usual mountaintop feeling but arrived home without feeling discouraged.  I felt empowered and have remained that way still (up to this writing).  I have spoken boldly about what God has shown and been enlightened in some new areas.  Finally, there are words to better express the answer to the question, "Why do you attend Al-Anon?"

Because I have turned my (unmanageable) life over the the care and will of God....the God of my understanding...who is the God that drew me into His salvation to help me maintain sanity.

Oh, I am so grateful.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Yesterday I received some news that I have been waiting for.  An email was delivered to me with the results of an exam I took to complete a certification in Biblical Counseling.  Don't get too is not THAT big of a deal, but it did take over a year for me to complete the work and honestly, I am quite relieved that it is over.  Almost two years ago, the church that I attend thought it would be a great idea to equip their "Home Group Coaches" with a (level 1) Biblical Counseling certification.  It is a good idea, but what happened was that several of those who serve in this capacity found the time frame a bit more intense that what they could actually do.  Myself, and a few women barreled through (and I think about two or three couples) and the work is now complete!  Whew!

As I ponder this completion, I have to snicker to myself.  "What does this actually mean?" and "What am I really going to do with this?"  As I worked on process papers, exams, and progress notes (yes, I had to actually "counsel" someone for twelve weeks), the same questions kept rolling through my mind.  Then I would have thoughts like, "There is no way that I will pass this course.  I can't remember God's word when I am in my own in the world will I ever really apply this stuff?" But I kept working toward the goal.

I can't answer any of those questions, still.  But, I can say that I have passed the course to the glory of God and that is all that matters.  He chose me to participate.  I did not.  He provided the opportunity.  I did not seek it out.  He paid for it.  I paid nothing.  Therefore, I trust that He already knows what I will need this information for and that since He is the one who equipped me, He will give me all I need when He decides to use it. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Once an Extrovert, always...?

Have you ever taken one of those personality tests?  You know, the one's where you are identified as extrovert or introvert, or choleric vs melancholy?  Well, I have taken several...for work, in ministry and some just for fun.  One thing has been consistent.  I am identified as extrovert, the out going one, energized by being around people.  And I never questioned it for probably 30 years... Until recently.  Can an extrovert become tired and turn into an introvert? I am starting to wonder.  Others have always commented on how I can stay so busy...go, go, go.  I never tired of being involved here, volunteering there, and meeting with so and so.  But lately, I find any excuse to just come home after work and do nothing.  Zone.  Sit in the quiet, talk to no one. I am not depressed. Honestly, I am just not interested and the the very thought of another conversation is too much for me to think about.  So, I wonder, have I been misdiagnosed all these years?  Did I simply flip over to "the other side"? Or am I just tired?  It's anyone's guess, I suppose.  But I am going to have to go with it for now.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I Am Not Always Right

Well, it has been nearly one year since I posted to this blog. I have given thought to giving it up, but I enjoyed posting these blog posts in the past and whether anyone reads them or not, I find the process of putting my life experiences to written word is somewhat therapeutic.

Currently, summer is in full swing.  Rebecca has completed her freshman year of college.  She did beautifully and we are very proud of her. She moved out if the dorm in the below post and moved into a different dorm room with a sorority sister in January.  I was so hesitant for her to join the sorority but I believe it has been one of the best things she has been a part of.  She is making great friends and learning much about relationships. 

Aaron enlisted in the USAF a couple of months ago and will leave for Basic Training in November.  When he first talked of doing this more than two years ago, I wasn't convinced.  But, again, I think I have been wrong and most likely, it will be one of the best things he has done. 

Adam and his wife purchased their first home several months ago and guess what?  I was not one hundred percent on board at first but they are very happy there and I absolutely love their home!  It has been a real joy to see them newly-wed and enjoying all the new things they are experiencing together.

If you really read any of the above narrative, you may have noticed a theme.  I have noticed it too and have had to work at coming to terms with that I am not always right!  Go figure! This is a lesson God has has to teach me over and over again.  I don't find this is an easy lesson but what I do whole-heartedly believe is that God is smarter than me and much more capable of taking care of my "kids" then I am. Same goes for myself, my husband, and everyone else for that matter. 

So, things are going well and I am letting God take care of things.  He has done a good job so far and I think I will keep trusting Him.  After all, I am not always right, but He is!