Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New posts

A friend's message has caused movement - a good thing.  I thought that I had not written for months, only to find that the reality is that I had written, just not posted, so today I have swamped the blog with all my old posts that were not seen only written.
As this year begins it, as most, comes with a sense of opportunity and clean slate.  Our christmas letter was themed :change, for that seems to be the season we are in.  As I look ahead I can anticipate what might come but having lived more than 4 decades with many unexepected twists and turns to our story there is much unknown that the year ahead may hold. 
Sunday's sermon spoke to the idea of resolution and how it is so often man centered.  yet we are God created people, and who knows better our center and our needs for the season ahead than our creator.  So, this year instead of trying to determine what I should do I am asking the God of the Universe to guide me in the changes He would have me make.  Just as I found Him to change my heart to exercise, so I anticipate him changing some other things within me in the months ahead.  I am spending the next 40 days rereading and listening close as I work my way through The Purpose Driven Life.
  My husband and I were blessed with a new devotional and we are using that to share life together daily.  It has been good - Love Talk is the title.

This month I anticipate - new information on my husbands brain- it has been a year of knowing he is living with MS and this week we get a "lets see how it is really going" MRI.  Not sure what is ahead but this may be a signposts.  We continue with green smoothies and seeking to increase health naturally along with my periodic opportunities to legeally shoot him!  (talk about God moments - this comes from a needle fearing girl who by God's strength now gives injections!)

This month we also watch our middle son move from boy to recruit to Marine!  He has been away for 10 weeks.  The house has been quiet, peacefully so.  The food lingers in the fridge.  We watch and wait for letters and gather around to savor words from afar.  I think I will miss the letter writing when he is released and has phone privilidges, hmmm may still have to keep it up.  We have heard of heart change and seen it indicated by his words.  soon we shall get to live with him and see how and what the transformation has reprioritized in his head and heart. 

This month our daughter returns to college- only one in college now.  The all too short semester break is soon over and the pace will pick up.  I shall miss having her about the house, watching her creativity flow.  I am sure she brings life to her work and the people there- she inspried a skirt day and word is one of the guys donned a sport skirt jsut for the fun of it- over his jeans!

The eldest is in a season of waiting- college is done for this season and he is waiting for the first real job- thankfully his part time work continues.  He remains creative as he waits- building and creating.  Presently working on motion control switch for our garage streetlight- fun!  (I think he may be tired of stumbling in a dark garage).  He is a published creator- - fun!

And with the new year I must return to my day job.  My student reluctantly awaits the start of his education.  Winter break was all too short for him, he pleaded for another week as the dust was burning off his brain witha  afew math problems.  Time to hit the books hard again and explore ancient history, creation and art!  Time to fill the exercise log that has only seen limited use over the holidays.  Time to live life together as we move through the year ahead!

wounds revisited

One day when I was a girl my dad took my sisters and brothers camping and I stayed home with my mom.  later on that day we visited a neighbor.  Many of the details of that time are fuzzy, I never quite realized that drinks were being enjoyed or what exactly was going on.  What has stayed with me was the mean anger of the woman towards me, the orders and unkindness and all the confusion, panic and fear of that afternoon.  Only later did I realize that she was drunk, that her angry demands were not from her but from the drink.  I recall running home, sad and feeling abandoned, shaking and not wanting to ever go back there again.

Today the memory came back again, unexpected but there none the less.  I have wrestled with the issue of alcohol in recent days.  What is balance, what is out of balance?  How do I, one who does not like the taste in any form, and yes, I have sampled a taste of many, fit in with the many around who seem to daily enjoy a drink or two.  How do I continue to stand firm on my convictions as the drinks come out and I alone abstain.

I had thought that my resolve was to not drink because I had an alcoholic grandfather.  As a newlywed facing hard times of husband deployed and an empty house night after night I resolved that I would endure, though I acknowledged that I could choose to turn to drink, I did not.  As a newlywed I wateched many drink in many levels, and never found need nor desire for.  The environment sometimes was off putting, the taste or smell other times off putting and ocassionally the behavior made me long to be elsewhere.

After a time in life friends changed and drinking was rarely a topic or issue to be considered.  Recently I have noticed that there has been a change.  With gatherings have come brown bottles.  Often its just one, but othertimes they have collected.  Sometimes it is a reward after a long day of hard work, or a refreshment after laboring in the pool tossing kids about to their delight.  Othertimes the beverages have appeared unexpectedly and flowed freely, and I have wondered at their presence.

Today I was caught short by my mmeory.  I believe it is the root of my discomfort with alcohol.  I realize that it has probably tempered my being as wounds can while we live unaware.  When a first experience is strongly negative it establishes a good scar.  I think that I dont regret part of it as it has helped me establish a boundary that has served me well.  At the same time it may have served me poorly as I am not sure that i am balanced and at present I find myself fairly confused as to what balance looks like.

As I reflect upon some of my early adult life wounds there were several, they have had an affect.  i dont want them to reign, yet i also do not want to miss the value of the wisdom that they might teach me.

Heart change makes all the difference

Throughout our married life the issue of exercise has been a sore topic. Paul exercised, I hardly at all. There have been seasons of Jazzercize, a short running class and several months of TTapp. Each has been good, rewarding and yet work without alot of enjoyment.

Last month, after returning from a trip to CA, I had another conversation about exercise with my husband. The reality of the impact of my life upon the family was noted. The need for me to be strong and healthy and his partner in this season of life was revealed. I had not realized how what I did really had a ripple effect. Sometime following that conversation the Lord shifted things in my heart and I chose to engage in exercise.

I have since kept the previously dusty elliptical well dusted. I started slow- 10 min walk,slowly moved up to 12.5 min. I don't rush because I know pain and I are not friends. As the weeks passed I started to post goals on the sliding glass window that I look out as I work. Today I have passed my 15 min goal and once again worked for 20 min, started using a program to increase resistance and went 1.3 miles. No records set, no major marathon run, but a routine is setting in. An enjoyment in rising to the challenge and sweating hard. I find I look forward to M,W,F,Sa workouts in the morning.

There have been other benefits- with my exercise I am now challenging the youngest to work on the elliptical. For him, a challenge is a goal to rise to, competition will drive him forward. My head is now focused upon exercise so it gets proper attention in his life as well as mine. Daily we are working on physical things that have been long ignored.

Heart change- a small thing but a huge in impact. I continue to be amazed at the work that God has done within so simply and quietly.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

moments of gratitude

Every day life can quickly creep in and cause us to forget the moments of gratitude we find amidst daily living.  This morning it was discoveirng my "lost" debit card on third search of my wallet- just before the call to the bank and all the inconveniences that would put into action.

thank you lord for hesitation and eyes to see on the third look.

Last week it was the provision of 2" rigid foam within my budget.  I wanted to make a gap filler for my sewing machine table, a  4 x 6 sheet costs $30.  My budget was $10.  I "just happened" to spot a stray piece at HD and when asked it was marked down to $10 and has now met my needs with leftovers to spare.

Thank you for provision within my means.

For years I have struggled to commit to exercise.  About a month ago my husband and I had yet another conversation about the need for exercise in our life.  At some point following that conversation I sensed a heart change within.  I no longer think of dusting the elliptical, rather I am looking forward to my time keeping it greased.  Compettion between the youngest and I have helped to motivate us both to strive longer and farther.

A new trashcan location greeted me when i returned from vaction- front and center of the kitchen.  Logistically it was great, estecially,not so much.  My can had no lid and was several years old.  Long overdue for replacement so the trash could be covered I balked at the thought of paying $50+ for a nice new metal one with lid.  As I walked through Sam's club i started to consider how high i was willing to go as theirs were right at $50.  Then I noticed a dented one on the scratch and dent rack- half price!  Score- home we went, worked on some dents, found a spot where the dent isnt front and cneter and my kitchen trash can has once again been relocated closer and I am at ease with price paid.

Thank you for timely visits to scratch and dent racks that meet both need and wants and budget.

I have been looking for activities to help us get out of the house routinely now that we are not in a co-op.  Thursdays now have homeschool swim time in the closest rec center, swim lesons offeredn next month.  We begin today and piggyback it with our vision therapy appt.

Thank you for organizing our opportunities when we are uncertain of how to pull it together.

Our daughter has been away at camp all summer.  She goes to school locally and needs a job to pay for expenses.  It was with great joy that after working 4-5 days before camp that they told her tocall  when she was ready to return after camp.  She is back to work again and the schedule seems to be flexible enough to work around her school schedule.

Thankyou for employers that understand summer camp and are willing for wait for you to return.

We were traveling to NY and home again.  The trip north went well and on the first night we found ourselves on the border of NY.  The trip home we were able to make it home in 18.5 hours, thus giving us an extra day of rest before reentering life as "normal" .  Not sure when the roads came together to make it possible but all of a sudden the trip to NY is not the daunting 20+ hours long.

Thank your for road engineers and highways that make passages through Ohio and allowing us to not have to drive through big big citiies and tons of traffic.

Amidst daily life it is easy to develop short thinking- I am happy to pause and think about the many blessings and joys in my life.