Monday, June 30, 2014


This morning, my kitty, Gabe, started a new game. Gabe is a pound kitty, so I don't know his actual date of birth, but he is approximately eight months old. So, while he looks like a cat, he's actually still a kitten. A teenager, if you will. He's still growing mentally and emotionally. So this morning, his lion took over. He would take one piece of his cat food, drop it on the floor, and swat and chase it. After a couple minutes of pouncing on it, he'd eat it, go back to his bowl, get another piece and start again. He fancied himself quite the hunter. His instincts were kicking in. Very entertaining. And it made me think.

God gives each of us instincts. Usually they're pretty accurate. Not always, sometimes we chase down a morsel of cat food only to discover it's really a poisonous bug and not at all what we wanted, but mostly, our instincts are pretty reliable. God meant them to be.

I have really been struggling the last couple years. From my dear husband's diagnosis, through his death, the grief and anguish, the burgeoning desire to love again, falling in love, getting a broken heart, starting the dating process over, several unsuccessful attempts at new jobs - oy vay, as a friend says! Lots of stress! And I have been in a tizzy for sure, frantically pouncing and searching and trying to discern tasty morsels from poisonous bugs. I have been so busy seeking God's will for me, trying to heal the hurt of the last few years, trying to move forward, live, that I have been unable to hear His voice! Finally, he caught my attention. "Be still and wait!" He said. So, for the last several weeks, I have been doing that. Changing nothing. Not starting anything new. Not stopping anything old. Changing nothing. Except for being still. Waiting. And slowly, I've begun to hear His voice. And it's wonderful!

He has spoken to me through Scripture. He has spoken to me in dreams. He has cleared my confusion. He has honed my instincts. I have begun to make some changes. And today, I realized that I am truly at peace! For the first time in a long while, I am at peace! And it feels so good!!!

Life is quite the journey! And never more so than in trying circumstances! I never thought I would be in this position, trying to make it on my own. And that's because I shouldn't be! Oh, I'm not talking about having Al here to help me. Or Harlan. Or any other man. I'm talking about God! I am never alone, for my Heavenly Father is here, waiting for me to call out to Him, waiting for me to reach for His hand!

The pastor yesterday spoke about Peter's adventure in the midst of the Sea of Galilee. You know the one. Where in absolute trust and faith, he stepped out of the boat into the crashing waves and walked on water to his Saviour. Then he felt the wind. Looked around him at the waves taller than he. And he realized that he couldn't walk on water! And he began to sink. He cried out to Jesus "Save me, Lord!". And then he did it. He didn't scream out an empty plea. He reached for The Saviour! And The Saviour took his hand, raised him up, and they turned and walked on water, through the wind and surf, back to the boat. Then, and only then, did Jesus calm the sea.

I am walking with Jesus, on water, in the storm tossed sea. He has my hand, I will not sink! We will arrive at the boat in His time. Until then, the waves cannot drown me, the winds cannot blow me over. I am safe in The Saviour's hand!

"But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me." Psalm 131:2 NLT

Friday, June 27, 2014

I think Miss Emily had it right!

Under the elm tree, autumn leaves swirling, that's where it happened. Ashley Longworth kissed Miss Emily and a lifetime of love and relationship began. He was all she ever hoped for, she adored him for time and eternity. There was no other. It was a perfect romance! Except for that pesky flesh and blood thing.

Miss Emily was one of the little spinster ladies on The Waltons whose life revolved around making "Papa's recipe" and memories of her lost love, Ashley Longworth. He was based in reality and built on fantasy. No man could ever measure up to the creation he became in her mind and heart. And she was content, happy even, with her love. Eventually the pain of loss gave way to the joy of the memories - and the fantasy. The occasional dip into sadness was no worse than the sorrow of an argument with a real man. And in her fantasy, that never happened. So all-in-all, it was a satisfying "relationship".

She never dated, never had to worry about impressing anyone, never had to concern herself with moral failure, Ashley never aged, never was sick, never disappointed her, always loved her, was always an adoring suitor, an ardent lover. It made me sad when his grandson showed up and revealed that he had passed away for until that moment, he was immortal. Then she had the sorrow of death. But still, even knowing he was physically dead, he had lived only in her heart and mind for so long that she was able to continue her romance with him.

I always wondered how she could do it. She'd get that far-away look in her eye, her gentle face would go even softer, and you knew - she was with Ashley. I always wondered why too. Why didn't she find another love, have a life? I understand a little better now.

Yeah, I think Miss Emily had it right!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

57 going on 17

There I was, 56 going on 16. Hopelessly, helplessly in love. Positively giddy. I didn't think it would happen when I lost my beloved to cancer. Thought I was destined to be alone for the remainder of my life. Then "he" came into my life. Handsome, loving, kind, and good, everything I could have hoped for! Then it ended. And there I was. A 56 year old widow who had married her high school sweetheart, doing what most girls do at 16 - dealing with a breakup for the first time.

And I did what most 16 year olds do, immediately starting dating again. Now, because of the nature of my meeting with "him" we didn't do traditional dating. And because I was only 14 when my sweet husband and I became a couple, and we met at church where, until I turned 16 and was allowed to date, all our dates took place in group settings at teen activities, we didn't date in the traditional sense either. By the time we "dated", we had been a couple for nearly 2 years. So, at nearly 57 years old, I ventured out into the dating world for the first time. Let me tell you, it's scary out there!

I am put in mind of "Sleepless in Seattle" where Tom Hanks is discussing, after several years of marriage, what to expect in the dating world. A friend gives him all kinds of, ahem, advice and tells him how different things are, that women's expectations have changed and that he will have lots of tiramisu. Poor guy doesn't realize tiramisu is food and is concerned that some woman will ask him to "do it to her and I won't know what it is!" Yeah, it's kind of like that! Except it has been my discovery that men, even in their 50's and 60's are still pretty much looking for "tiramisu" and I'm still unwilling to give it without a ring on my finger and a license in my safety deposit box! Other than that, it's a whole new world!

For example, where does a 57 year old woman go to meet men? I'm not interested in bars. The singles groups at churches consist of primarily 30 somethings and under (I've already raised my children, thank you very much!) or divorced or widowed women church hopping looking for that one single Christian man in Amarillo! LOL Dating sites? How does one tell the good guys from the bad guys? And, really, I don't want to date a New Yorker!

I did meet an eligible bachelor the other day. I was coming out of a local women's shelter where I volunteer and a man talking to two other women asked if I was single. Seems he's a millionaire looking for a good woman. At a women's shelter. Been married twice he said. Didn't choose very well the first two times he said. Yeah, snatched him right up! ;-)

So, here I am, 57 going on 17 (see how this process ages a person???), trying to heal from a twice broken heart and find happiness once again. Someone said to me recently, "It's a journey!" It's a journey alright!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

What do you mean I'm too emotional???

Emotions are a funny thing. And I mean funny "ha-ha" AND funny "strange"! Sometimes I just click my tongue and shake my head at myself! Sometimes I role my eyes in disbelief. Sometimes I point my finger at me and just LOLOLOL. Sometimes I run for cover at my emotional outbursts! Sometimes I go "awwwwwwww". Sometimes I look at me in disgust. Yep, I am an emotionally driven individual. And it can be difficult.

I sometimes look with jealousy (oops, is that an emotion?) at my logic-driven friends who make choices based on research and wisdom. Whether or not it "feels" right never enters the picture. Logical choices are rarely "off" because facts rarely change whereas what "feels" right today may not feel so good tomorrow. So, sometimes I'm jealous.

But mostly, I like my personality, including the fact that I am emotionally driven. I like that I feel strongly, love deeply, commit wholly regardless of how you make me feel. Sometimes that means I get hurt. Really, really badly! Sometimes it means I make poor choices. But mostly it means that I have wonderful, fulfilling relationships, that I have a lot of fun, that I get to laugh with others at myself. And that's such a good thing!