Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Older Woman

I don't know how it happened, but all of a sudden, I am an "older woman." I guess turning 48, being married for 26 years, and having children ages 21 through 12 - well, let's just say those numbers seemed to step right up and slap me in the face!

I may be older, but surely, I'm not the "older woman" that's supposed to mentor other younger women, right? You know, the older woman that is supposed to possess wisdom gleaned through years of living as a faithful wife and loving mother; the one who supposedly knows how to make and keep a home; the one who should know and obey the still, small voice of the Lord above all others; the one who is now comfortable in her own skin; the one who has stepped beyond her doubts and anxieties into the wide open spaces of peace and contentment.

I guess what I'm saying is that older does not necessarily mean wiser or more mature, sometimes it just means older. Or at least that's how I feel. I've come to realize, though, that by simply surviving for these 48 years, I've been through some experiences and learned some things from God's word that I can now share with someone who might need to hear it.

This body of mine is showing its age, reminding me that I am not as young as I think I am. I still struggle with insecurities and feel like a little girl that doesn't know what to do at times. I often wonder if what I think I'm hearing from the Lord isn't really just my own thoughts. And Lord knows......I don't have the "keeping a house" thing down. Yep; I may have lived more days than someone else, but I sure don't feel that mature in many areas of my life.

However......in the last year, God has shown me that I have grown in maturity in some areas. I don't always see it because I'm just doing my best to live my life day by day, trying to walk in His ways. I find myself stumbling now and again, more often than I'd like sometimes. Without even realizing it, though, I have learned a few things along the way that I've adopted into my life, and there have been a few times lately when the Lord has allowed me to share those things with someone "younger" than me. These things don't seem like new thoughts, or even wise thoughts, to me when I share them, but I have seen from the look on these gals' faces that it is a new thought for them. Hmmm.....it's good to realize that just persevering on this journey of life gradually brings its own amount of wisdom - wisdom gained through time, experiences, and God's Word. I'm still here, so I guess it's to be expected that I've gained a little bit of knowledge (and hopefully some compassion) that God will use to encourage or instruct someone else.

I am simply called to humble myself before God and allow Him to work through me in whatever way He chooses. Sometimes, that means sharing a little bit about something I've gone through in life that might encourage or help someone else. I may still sometimes feel like a little girl or that I don't have it all together, but really.....I'll always feel that way on this side of heaven. And that's okay.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Well, hello there!

Wow! It's been a year and a month since I last posted here, and I've had quite a few times I had things on my heart that I wanted to share. Instead, I focused on what was in front of me, obeyed the Lord as best I could discern, and set aside this blog.

A lot has happened since my last post. A quick run-down?

February 22, 2011 - Dave and I celebrated 25 years of marriage! I read a quote that was floating around on the internet at Valentine's Day that said "A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers." Can I just say, "Ain't that the truth?!" :)

March 2011 - my first fundraising banquet since taking the role of Director with Turlock Pregnancy Center. I felt that it went well, but must say, I was nervous having to get up in front to speak. Some great people shared with us that evening; Eli and Cindi Arrigotti shared about their open adoptions, a client and her boyfriend shared (via video) what the Center had meant to them, and Holly shared about her abortion and why she wished Turlock Pregnancy Center would have existed at that time. We met our fundraising goal for that event - Thank you, Jesus! :)

May 2011 - Servolution #4! Watch this video of a past Servolution and contact me to let me know that you would be willing to lead a team for this year's Servolution (which is now called "Love Turlock" to join other valley cities all serving together on one day, showing love in action).

June 2011 - We headed back to Washington DC for vacation. Eric had to work, but the rest of us had a wonderful time at our nation's capitol. Our favorites? The Library of Congress; the Supreme Court building (very, very interesting; I'd have never thunk it!); the White House; and the Federal Bureau of Engraving. We also visited Williamsburg VA, and Philadelphia PA (loved the National Constitution Center) and the Franklin Institute was phenomenal! The trip was a wonderful time for us all!

June also held a missions trip to Portland, OR for Hannah, Peter, and Dave. Kari was able to go and stay with her Aunt Nancy and Uncle Todd who live there and spend time loving on her cousins Hugo, Augie, and Pearl. She loves the babies, that girl!

In July, I was able to go to the Uppercase Living convention in Las Vegas. Hate Vegas, but had a fun time at the convention, and Dave was able to join me.

August 2011 brought a leadership trip to Costa Rica for Dave. He had a great time suffering for the Lord - white water rafting, zip-lining, hiking, etc... Poor guy!

Also in August, Kari started 8th grade and Peter started his sophomore year. Hannah started her senior year at CSU Stanislaus (unbelievable!). And.....Dave, Eric, Hannah, and I ran The Giant Race half-maration in San Francisco (Peter ran the 5K).

The fall was a rough time for me as I struggled with a herniated disc. My world became a narrow path of pain that kept me from many, many things. After a long road, I ended up having surgery on December 23rd. I had never experienced pain like that ever in my life, and I pretty much only had relief if I was down on my back. I thank God that there was finally an answer to my pain, and I have been great since the surgery. I am back to walking, but I am afraid to try running again as that was when I first noticed the pain. I am hoping that at some point I am at least able to get back to running three - four miles, but that will be a bit down the road.

During those dark and painful times this fall, God allowed me to see that I fill so much of my time with meaningless running and busyness of my own making. Without being able to go-go-go, I had to let many things go, and take it a day at a time. And you know what? The world went on. I had one of the most peaceful Christmases I've ever had with not being able to run hither and yon looking for gifts. I didn't bake all the goodies I usually do. I ordered all my gifts online. And it was all fine! Why, oh why, do I make my life more difficult than it needs to be? I have always said that I have the uncanny ability to make anything more complicated than it has to be, and I want to stop that! O Lord, I ask you to continue to help me sift my life and activities down to what really matters.

So, how was that for a quick rundown of the last year? We're now a month and a half into 2012, and in a couple of days, Dave and I will celebrate our 26th anniversary! I'm so excited that we are able to get away for a couple of nights - those times are necessary for us to reconnect with who we are outside of our jobs, children, and responsibilities. We really are those same two kids who fell in love all those years ago! :) And I'd do it all again in a heartbeat!