Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Life's Lessons

My mom used to say that we learn something every day during our lives. I evidently took that to heart, because here I am, still in college.  I think she was talking about life lessons, though.  Those little nuggets of wisdom that come with age and experience.  I had one of those this past weekend.

Apparently, I need to stop posting facebook statuses about the weather. In the first place, I'm in the minority--I actually like winter. This is considered not cool by the summer-lovin' people I am surrounded by. In the second place, I can, at times, have a dry wit that not many people get. Truly, only a handful of people "get" me (and you know who you are).  So I made a sarcastic comment about the weather being too hot Saturday afternoon because it was warm enough in my car that I could have used the AC.  I didn't, mind you.  I just could have. Anyway, it started a string of comments that made me roll my eyes in disbelief.  I was being sarcastic.  Well, I was trying to.  It didn't go over well, and I finally deleted the whole post.  

Lesson learned: there is freedom of speech, but there are consequences that come with that freedom. We have to learn to weigh our need to be funny, or vent, or express ourselves against those consequences.  I realized that the image I had projected was not a positive one, even though I was trying to be funny. The scripture came to mind:

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8,9 (NLT)

So I need to stop and ask myself:  Is it good?  Is it necessary?  Will it cause friction or ill feelings if I mean it in jest but someone takes it seriously? I'm not saying I shouldn't joke about stuff.  In no way do I mean to imply that it was wrong to make a wisecrack.  I'm just saying, for me, that particular joke at that time wasn't prudent. 

In other news:  Homework.  That is what I have done all evening, not only tonight, but last night, and a lot of the weekend we just had.  This is my reason for being late on my blog posting this week.  I have deadlines to meet! It will all be over soon, though.  Only these 2 classes and then 2 classes this fall, then I graduate!  I'm closing in on a lifelong goal.

Now that's a positive note!  I think I'll end on that. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014


This past week was interesting. The new classes started, and they are going great. I think I'm really going to like my Chaucer class (yea, I know--but remember, I'm an English major nerd).

As I was leaving my first class on Monday, I got a phone call from a relative telling me that my nephew had passed away. Since my brother was almost 15 years older than I, his son was closer in age to me and more like a brother when we were growing up; only 5 years younger. He lost a battle with cancer at the age of 54. Too soon; too young. We hadn't been close in our adult lives. I hardly ever saw him; we had kind of lost track of each other. I always meant to get in touch with him, and I prayed for him when the Spirit put him on my heart. I was saddened to hear that I will never get the chance to chat with him, or catch up on family with him. He had trusted in Christ as his Savior, thank God, so someday I will see him again, just not on this earth.

I also heard of two other people from my past dying this past week. One earlier this week, from my childrens' grade school days, and one just today, from my high school graduating class.

It's never easy to let go of those family members or friends who have impacted our lives. This causes me to realize that I should re-evaluate my life and the people around me. I've made a list of some things I intend to do on a more regular basis.  I will do my best to:

...ask that friend or family member if they have accepted Christ.
...call that friend when I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit.
...do something kind for someone in my life.
...be nice, even when I don't feel like it.
...tell those close to me what they mean to me a lot more often.
...encourage my friends, family, and co-workers whenever I get the chance.

That's a short list, but it's a start. Folks, we aren't promised tomorrow. We need to make every second count.

Have a blessed week.

Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.~~1 Peter 1:21-23 NLT

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Holidays and Family Time

Here I am, posting less than 2 weeks after my last post.  I'm making progress!  I will get this regular posting under control.

It has been an eventful few weeks.  The weekend before Christmas, my daughter and family came and we had "Christmas" a little early so they could be back home for my granddaughter to have Christmas morning at home.  I totally get that; we did that when the kids were growing up, too.  We always had Christmas Eve at my parents' house and Christmas Day at home, but since my daughter and I live 3 1/2 hours apart that isn't feasible.  So the weekend before works.  At least we all get to be together.

Following my daughter's visit, Christmas Day my oldest son came in and stayed with me until the following Sunday. We had a great visit; Christmas dinner with the cousins, which turned into a fun game night complete with a session of "Just Dance," or something like it on X-Box and lots of catching up with everyone. Then he and I went back to my house for our traditional viewing of the Doctor Who Christmas Special later that evening. We also went to see "The Desolation of Smaug" during his time here.  Great movie.

Finally, this past week my youngest son came for a visit. He stayed with me part of the time and also drove upstate to see his sister and niece, whom he hadn't seen in over 2 years. We also had a great visit; lots of catching up as well as 2 movies at the theater; "Catching Fire," which was excellent, and "Frozen," which was surprisingly good.

Yes, we do a lot of movie watching, but that's what we enjoy.  Their childhood was filled with lots of movie watching, and we have some great memories of those times.

So, as I said before, it's been an eventful few weeks.  This last week was crazy; 9 degrees Monday, freezing rain and sleet Wednesday, and a snow day Thursday (which, ironically, I spent alone since my son was visiting his sister).  The week ended with my son coming back and spending a couple of days with me before going back home today.

Oh, and the temperature today was 70 I believe.  Quite a change from 9 degrees earlier in the week, though I don't really like warm weather, especially in the winter when it's supposed to be cold.

And now, for something completely different:  Classes start tomorrow!  I'm ready to get going on the next to last semester of my bachelor's degree.  The excitement generated by my upcoming college classes has helped take the sting out of the "empty nest" I always feel when my children have been here and gone again. A definite improvement.

God is healing my heart in the most incredible way.  He is amazing.  "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."  Psalm 147:3 NASB.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Fresh Starts and Resolutions

Wow.  I was shocked when I logged in to my blog and discovered that my last post was in October.  I really had no idea it had been that long.  It was a very busy fall, but that is ridiculous!  

I made one new year's resolution this year:  to blog regularly.  My goal is to blog weekly; we'll see how it goes.  I know that readers get tired of blogs that don't post on a regular basis and I don't blame them.  I follow several blogs myself, and it is annoying to me, too.

So, with that being said, here goes with the new year of 2014.  First, I will list the reasons I was ready for 2013 to end:

Quite frankly, 2013 was a hard year for me, and I welcome a new year with a fresh start.  In 2013, I had some health issues that caused a lot of pain, and I ended up undergoing two surgical procedures; one in November and one December 30.  Neither were major, but it doesn't feel minor when you are being wheeled into surgery.

I also struggled with other issues in my life, like overcoming perfectionism, balancing my college classes with the rest of my life, and missing my adult children.  I made progress in the first two.  The last one, well, it's an ongoing struggle, but I am starting to see some improvement.  Any of you readers have children that live more than a day's drive away?  If so, maybe you can relate.  I know that it is made worse by the fact that I am single, and when they come to visit, the vacuum left when they leave is therefore very noticeable.  

Those are the problems that make me glad for a fresh start.  But, as I said, I am doing better.  There is a lot to be thankful for, too:

Number one: the spells of sadness or depression after a child has visited is less than 24 hours now, where a few years ago it could go on for days, even weeks.  

Two:  I successfully took 15 college hours last year, and only have 12 to go! Two classes this spring, and two this fall, and I will GRADUATE.  Yes.  I will graduate with a B.A. in English in December of 2014! 

Three:  I have church family members that help fill the void in the absence of my biological family.  I am so, so thankful for them.  I love them like they were blood family.  God really does "set the lonely in families" as it says in Psalm 68:6.

All in all, it was a pretty good year.  I have a lot to be thankful for, and I have hope for 2014.  It is going to be a good year. I just know it is.

So, there you have it.  The good last year outweighs the bad.  I am a blessed woman, and I thank God for what He has done in my life.  And, ready or not 2014 is here.  So here we go!  It's off to a good start...I blogged as I had planned to.  

Have a great 2014! Happy New Year everyone!