Glacier National Park 2010

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Future Plans

What a wonderful week!  Spent 3 1/2 days with my best friend...rested....did lots of thinking...enjoyed the time away.

There is this sense deep within me of a change coming....not sure what shape it will take...but it is coming.  Sounds silly doesn't it? I'm sure it is all tied into the fact that my one and only daughter is now engaged to be married. Although it has only been one week, things have already begun changing.

The best change so far has been the time I've spent talking, texting, being with my daughter.  Its as if we are finally becoming friends in addition to a mother /daughter combo. There has been a fence between us since she was junior high age....the fence became a wall during my divorce. But the wall slowly started coming down about a year brick at a time. This week we've talked or texted daily, have gone out to lunch, have laughed and cried together. For me, it has been glorious.

One thing I've learned this week is that putting a wedding together will be fun....and torture. I never knew how many tiny details have to be decided and decided upon before a wedding can actually happen.  First and foremost has been to decide on a date.  Sounds easy right? Nope. After a great deal of talking and checking of calendars and schedules, she thought they'd found the perfect one had a birthday, there was no national holiday, etc. Perfect.....and then....

We started talking about her younger brother's work schedule at Auburn University...he works as a videographer for the football team....and I decided to double check the football schedule. If you are from the South then you understand how crucial that is in the Fall.  And when we did....oh my goodness! The date we'd thought so perfect only moments before turned out to be the very Saturday the Iron Bowl is to be played at Auburn University!  There is no way my only daughter's wedding would be scheduled for the Saturday the biggest football rivalry in the South is to be played. I had alternating visions of no one attending or everyone wearing ear buds to follow the play by play during the ceremony and reception.!!! It has happened people.

So now we have gone back to searching calendars, double checking schedules, looking at venue availability. We don't have a date yet but that is okay.  It will be set and then the real fun will begin.  I want it to be a day of happy memories for my little girl and the man who will become my son....and I will do whatever she needs me to do in order to insure that it will be.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Big News!!

Big news! My daughter is getting married....which means I'm going to become a mother-in law....yikes! Having just defined my 'new normal' I find myself having to tweak it a bit. Let's see I am now a daughter, a sister, an ex-wife, a mother, an aunt, a teacher, a writer, an artist, and now I'm adding a new role to the is a bit daunting. Will have to absorb it all and see what transpires.

Let me tell you about the how the proposal went....that's always fun isn't

The first time I met him, he was somewhat quiet but the thing that struck me was the way he looked at my daughter. There was absolute love in his eyes....and five years later, it is still there.  He treats her with kindness and courtesy that isn't forced but a natural part of his personality.  He cherishes her and as her mother, that is what I want for her.  He has been with her through some rough patches over the past five years and says that he admires her strength in dealing with them.....he's also had to deal with her stubbornness and temper and still looks at her with love....a good man.

Fast forward a bit....last Friday he called to speak with me....rather he called to ask for her hand in marriage...which touched my heart.  I know he also spoke with her father but the fact that he honored me with the same courtesy says a lot about the kind of man he is.  He regretted not being able to speak with me face to face...but as he lives in another city the time constraints were difficult. As for myself, the fact that he thought enough of me to call was enough.  You see, since my divorce, my daughter and I have had a very rocky time.....very rough on both of us....but over the past year we've slowly begun building a better relationship.  Although there were times I thought she would never include me in any part of her was devastating.  But we are both in a better place now I think....

Okay enough about that.  On to the proposal itself......he proved himself a romantic in my eyes!  Under the pretext of going to see his relatives, he got my daughter up bright and early to drive to the event...."a family reunion" ha ha.  It is about an hour drive and they had to go through the town where my daughter attended university. Under the guise of needing coffee before seeing the family, he took her to a little coffee shop....the one where they had their first 'date'...yes, I know...romantic.  AND he had one of his cousins staked out to video the proposal!  I know, I know!!  Anyway, he had the ring on top of the cup around a chocolate covered coffee bean....and he went down on one knee and everything......he was crying, she was crying, the cousin was was amazing! I'm crying just thinking about it.

The afternoon became a whirlwind of telling everyone and showing the ring and all the things which go along with becoming engaged.

It would be easy for me to get wrapped up in all that lies ahead....but I've learned to take one day at a time. Making plans for the wedding will come...but for now, I am content in knowing that my daughter is happy and loved by a good man......the other things will come, in time.  My prayers for my daughter have always included her husband to be......and now that he is here in her life and he has a prayers will be more specific.  And as always I will trust God to take care of them both.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My New Normal

Some days I wake up and think, "I don't know if I can do it."  Putting my feet on the floor and walking to the bathroom saps me and I know a pain flare is on its way. The way I deal with it has changed.  There have been times in my past when I have simply crawled back under the covers and cried as I waited for the talons of pain from the "fibro fiend" to grip me.  That doesn't happen as much anymore.

Today when I awoke it hurt to open my eyes and I thought, "oh crap!" But as I lay there,gathering strength, I decided "not today." I struggled up and began my getting ready routine.  It was hard. I'm not going to lie. But here I sit at work, pretending it is all good.  Maybe if I 'pretend' hard enough and long enough, the pain will pass. Maybe I can absorb all the laughter and smiles from my co-workers and students and it will cause a healing.  Maybe I'll wake up one morning and all will be normal.....

But I cannot wait for normalcy....I have to create my own normal...A normal that includes bouts with pain and the sometimes accompanying depression... a normal which means not always being able to make long range plans because I never know how much energy will be available to me....a normal which means possibly no one to share my life with because of the stress living with health issues can put on a personal relationship.  Those are the negatives in my lets talk about the positives.

In my normal I am thankful for every pain free moment.....I appreciate greatly every kindness shown to me....I have time to really pray for myself and others......I am learning new ways to express myself creatively....I have begun to put a greater value on the relationships I do have with my normal I have realized every moment is to be lived to its fullest potential not squandered in self-pity.  That is something I can do no matter how much pain I'm in....there is always good to be discovered if I only look hard enough.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Break!

It is the week before Spring Break and here at school normal schedules are fighting to remain intact!  The biggest distraction for the students seems to be, of course, the thoughts of the multitude of adventures they plan to have when released from the strictures of studying for one entire week!  Add to that mix, RTI testing, a field trip for one grade level, presentations of the "Good Touch, Bad Touch" program for multiple grade levels....and for the younger students, Easter parties and Egg Hunts.  It is madness I tell you, madness!

Seriously, because all the class schedules are topsy- turvy this week, my schedule is as well.  I say that in explanation of why I'm blogging at this time of the day during a school week.  Am I excited about Spring Break? You could say that.

Some years MoMe and I have the same Spring Break so we try to have a road trip of some sort....our great Montana Adventure was experienced during Spring Break three years ago.  It was awesome!  Seeing Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park were both on our "bucket lists" so that is what we did!One year we visited MoMe's sister in Arkansas which was a lot of fun.  It was my first trip to the Ozarks. This year unfortunately her Spring Break falls in April....and mine does not.  Instead of a road trip to some exotic local, I will have a few days by the pool at "Spa MoMe."  It is a much needed respite for me....a time away from home to focus and clear my head.  The first time since my own personal epiphany last summer that I have been able to "get away" and just think.

Do you know how hard it is to think when one also has to go to a job, do laundry, clean and mop, grocery shop, etc? For me thinking in short bursts only serves to frustrate especially when issues are personal ones. And when one is trying to get to the core of who they are, long periods of unencumbered time is crucial!!  No wonder I'm making such slow progress....dirty dishes can be so very distracting...and in the long run much easier to deal with than character flaws which need correcting.

Since there are lots of issues I'd like to deal with concerning my own personal growth and development, I've decided to simply pray and let God put on my heart the issues I need to focus on.  For me each issue is of equal importance with the other.....God knows my inner most heart and is in the best position to guide me.  I've had to hit my knees and prostrate myself before God's Loving Wisdom many times.....and will never stop being willing to do so.  I'm His creation and He's not finished with me yet.....thank goodness.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Positive Thinking

It's Saturday, the sun is shining, I have homemade tomato sauce simmering on the stove and it smells delicious!

It has been a really good week....very few pain issues....lots of good stuff going on.  I've met a new friend and heard from an old friend and enjoyed my friends at school! It just feels good to be alive and I feel remarkably blessed.

Because I work at an elementary school my coworkers are male and female and all different ages and personalities.  Though we don't have much free time at work we do have moments before and after school to converse.  There is one particular teacher with whom I always enjoy discussing movies, books, TV shows, etc.  I tease him and tell him if I were twenty years younger I'd want to date him! He's going to make some woman an amazing husband....anyone out there interested in an intro, let me know! Anyway, he paid me the nicest compliment this week and it really touched my heart.  He told me that I was a rare woman in that I could see beyond what was right in front of me and am able to discuss things "outside the box" so to speak....he thinks I'm smart! Do you know what an ego boost that was to someone with my self-esteem issues?!  Gave me a warm glow for several hours...

That conversation made me realize that I should take more opportunities to tell the people I know that I notice and appreciate their strengths, their good qualities, the often unnoticed nice things they do. We are more apt to be critical of the people around us which does nothing to improve the relationships we share.  Like our wonderful guidance counselor is trying to teach our students, use "I" messages with your friends to resolve conflicts instead of being accusatory.....and I think if we use "I" messages to convey praise and appreciation it can only improve our relationships!

So my goal for the week is to really pay attention to the people around me and to take the time to point out the good I see.....focusing on the positive so to speak....and to praise those positives.  Who knows what kind of effect that praise may have?  Maybe a chain reaction of positive reinforcement....and a world full of people who encourage rather than destroy others.  I'm willing to give it a shot.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I Will Survive

Hooray it is Saturday! After a busy, pain punctuated week.....that means moments of pain only...yay! it is the weekend. And I am ready to change my pattern.  Because my friends and family have indicated of late that I spend entirely too much time alone and at home....I've decided to get out and about more...whether it be on my own or with a friend.

Big step don't you think? I do and I'm a bit nervous about it.  But I have prayed about it and am trusting in God to keep me strong and focused.....which I know He will. This afternoon I'm going to the park to feed the ducks which is always fun.  It is a breezy partly cloudy day but lovely just the same.

Not sure what's causing it but I feel, well, really alive.....perhaps it is just the three cups of coffee I've had this morning...but it is a nice feeling. I slept with my window open last night and awoke to birdsong this morning and the day is progressing nicely. If I were pessimistic  I'd be wondering when the day will begin to go horribly wrong.....and though it might....I'm more optimistic that whatever happens, I'll be able to handle it. Or rather...I will handle it with God's help and guidance.

True I hit a 'bump' in the road several weeks ago and felt awash with feelings of self-doubt and depression....but I made it past the 'bump' and learned from the hurt it caused. And now I am sure my life is full of possibilities and if I choose wisely then hurt may be minimal......if I lack wisdom in choosing, then my wisdom will grow from the hurt I experience. Holding on to my faith and abiding in God's love, I will survive.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Learning to Abide

At home today....yeah, a "fibro flair" after many amazing weeks without one. Haven't actually been totally pain free but it has been much more manageable....sigh....I did go in to work, did my morning duty....then had to leave.

God is teaching me something I'm sure....because I have so very much to learn about so very many things.

Perhaps He's already planted the seed.  Eight months ago I bought Beth Moore's book Praying God's Word Day By Day and I read it every morning as part of my devotional reading. Today she said, "Help me not only fully accept how much You love me, but help me to abide in Your love (John 15:9.) It started me thinking.

Since that moment eight months ago when I was reminded how much God did indeed love me, I have lived moment by moment, day by day accepting that love. Now I think I need to go a step further....learn to "abide" in His love. But what does that mean?

To abide means to remain, to reside, to continue without God's love. How comforting is that? To God's love, to God's love, to continue without God's love.  In God's total, forgiving, accepting, encouraging, unchanging, nurturing, nourishing LOVE! It is all there for me...and you...and anyone who wants it.

I accept God's love in all its manifestations and from this moment, I will strive to learn how to 'abide' in His love, moment by moment, day by day. It is His gift to us.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Five Lessons

Wasn't sure whether to share this or not but thought, "why not? you've shared everything else?" So here goes.....

Several weeks ago I ventured out into the world of  "dating" for the first time since my divorce....thought I was accepted an invitation for coffee and a walk in the park.  It was nice. Several "dates" later......poof.....over.  I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt....perhaps more than I anticipated.

But I learned some things in the process.....1) the dating game is perhaps more difficult at my current age than it was when I was 15.....and it was no picnic then! 2) I found that I open my heart and trust too quickly which is 3) not wise!  As a result of past relationships, I thought I had my emotions and my feelings tightly locked away in a box with the key hidden in the dark recesses of my heart. Obviously not.

Then again...part of what makes me the person I am is the fact that I want to believe others are as accepting and loving and honest as I try to be. Locking away my heart isn't the answer...not really. Yes, it will keep hurt at bay but at the same time, it shuts out the possibilities of good things happening. Lesson 4) hurt and disappointment often walk hand in hand with love and caring. Doesn't seem I can have one without the I have to choose whether the pain is worth it.

Now, the most important lesson I learned was 5) God is by my side through all situations.....even "dating." Who do you suppose held me as I wept my way through the feelings of rejection, hurt and disappointment? God and Father.  Who whispered in my ear, "its going to be fine....I have a plan for you and this is just a bump in the road?" You got it......the God of Love and Grace. And in my tears I thanked Him again for that prayer warrior who called on Him to lift me out of darkness so many months ago. 

People aren't always what they seem......but I know from experience that God is and for me that is all that matters.