It is that Day.

So, here I go again. Change.

When I divorced, and CHANGE HAPPENED, I moved to a small house in Brevard. Brevard is a tiny town that borders Pisgah National Forest, a rain forest. My home is downtown, within walking distance of the local coffee cafe and the movie theater. Three things I love to do: walk, drink coffee, and eat movie popcorn while watching movies (nothing scary, though).

I knew in my spirit that I would not be harmed here. This quaint town, and charming house with its azaleas, cherry trees, and Spanish bluebells, was going to be a safe harbor. The Lord knew how bruised and broken I was. I claimed the verse, “A bruised reed he will not break” Matthew 12:20.

I was exhausted.

I’d fought for my marriage for 3 years, and lost that war. I moved from my home of 20 years with no help. I packed, shoved furniture and drove it all an hour and half away, with only my then 18-year-old-son to help. It was raining. It rains a lot in Brevard, something I’ve come to love..

When the last box was unpacked, I collapsed on the bed, and told the Lord, no more. No more trials, no more big things, no more mistresses or divorce attorneys, no more inquiring “friends,” no more pain. Just NO MORE. He heard me. He heard me before I opened my mouth to ask. And, for 2 years (2 years August 1st) I knew I was defended. I knew He had spoken to the universe and said, nothing touches her. Sounds crazy, but it truly was a protected time. A time for healing and quiet and safety in a small house in a small town. But it wasn’t forever. It was for a time.

And, now that time is over, and the time ahead of me is one I have been expecting. I’ve been expecting it my entire life. As in, I always knew this day was coming. No, I’m not dying. At least, not that I’m aware of. This is a different kind of predetermined day.

When my Coastie Son decided to join the military, he went off at 18 scared but excited. About 2 weeks into boot camp, he was reevaluating his choice, and wondering what the heck he’d been thinking. But then, he came to THAT DAY. The day where he could either quit and go home, or get on with the program, and at least try. That day for him was 7 years ago, and his efforts have been rewarded.

That is the kind of day I mean.

It is the day you can no longer avoid yourself.

It is the day you must make a decision.

It is the day you might fail, but you still need to try.

It is the day you’re all in.

It is the day you take a big, scary leap.

It is the day you decide you’re worth it,

It is the day you stop comparing yourself to others, and just do the thing–whatever the thing is.

It is the day your life has been gearing up for.

It is the day you’ve been dreading, but also couldn’t wait for.

It is the day you will find out what you’re made of, but even more, what your God is made of. That’s huge.

It is the day you will need your sword. Your armor. Your will to fight. Your determination. Your courage.

This is not the day for wimps who bury their heads in the sand. This is the day to fight.

I feel I just wrote a bunch of Hallmark slogans.

But slogan or no, it doesn’t change the fact that the day has arrived. I told the Lord this past Sunday, “Let’s do this thing.”

Let’s face the fear that has encapsulated me all my life. Let’s face it together.

So, here I am. A girl with a sword, and a God. Let’s do this thing.

 

(I’ll post updates on my progress. NOW, if it is your day too, go do the thing.)

 

 

 

The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living

I don’t know if fear is the undercurrent of most people’s life, but it definitely is mine. I’ve lived long enough to know that there are things to be frightened of. In fact, I am more astonished that the world is as safe a place as it is–most of the time, or at least my little corner of it–than I am that horrific things can and do happen to folks daily. Inhumane acts don’t surprise me, but nice people do.

I know, sounds all bitter and cynical, right? Maybe.

Recently someone did something nice for me.  She cleaned my car. We had traded cars for the day because she was doing something else nice for me; taking my car to get it serviced. Granted, we were using my car for a joint road trip, and my job doesn’t allow for errands or car servicing, so she volunteered. When we traded back, she proudly showed me her handiwork. My car, the one that hauls plants around, the one you could likely grow a plant in, was spotless. I hope I was appropriately grateful, but I may not have been, because I was stunned.

I don’t say this to paint a picture of how pitiful I am, but no one, outside of my family, has ever done anything on that caliber of kindness for me before. It was work that took quite a bit of time away from her day. How crazy is that?

To be truthful, and thus look a bit less pitiful, recently again, this time at work, I was grumbling about a co-worker to a co-worker. The person I was grumbling too, kindly reminded me to be kind. It was a good reminder, and I appreciated her forthrightness in setting me straight. Kindness is a virtue I am learning. I want to be kind, but really, I think I want others to be kind first, then I’ll be kind.

But, maybe, they’re waiting for me.

It seems to me that fear is not spurred by the actions of others toward us, but by their indifference. During my divorce, I was terrified of my future. How would I support myself? Where would I live? Could I parent and grandparent alone? All of that was big, scary stuff, but the most fearful component was not the unknown, but the new and complete indifference my ex regarded me with. The man who made sure my car was cleaned and serviced for 20 years, was now the man who wanted me out of “his” house. Watching that transformation was frightening. I could have used a bit of kindness. I wanted to scream at him, “Hello, my name is Cinthia!” I wanted to be seen, even in the process of dissolving our marriage, which is what I think kindness is, seeing someone.  Even the person who is mean. Even the person who participates in making the world a scarier place, because if you can see the image of God carved out in that person, then surely, you can see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

And, maybe, be kind first.

 

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7 Truthful Things About Me; 7 Being the Perfect Number

I’m sick. After a visit with the grandkids, who were completely healthy, and my son and daughter-in-law (it was the son who was sick), I came home with lethargy and laryngitis. Translated that means, I am in my favorite tights, favorite long, blue sweater, and socks with dog paws on them. The socks can be number one on the ten things you wish you didn’t know about me list, if you like.

So, for kicks, lying in my sick bed, I thought I’d just be truthful. As opposed to being that person that tries so dang hard to appear she has it all together. So, here goes. Seven truthful things about me.

1. I do and I don’t like myself. At almost 55, I can give myself a break on most things, but at the same time, at almost 55, I can see clearly now….the idiotic things I did, and how easy it would have been to do them differently. #1 thing I wish I had done differently: Listen to my mom. Bottom line: she was right. #2 thing I wish I had done differently: not be such a know-it-all. Guess what? Other people (even spouses, even ex-spouses) are right sometimes, or rather, are right a lot of the time.

2. I think about my weight as much as a 19 year old boy thinks about sex. Every morsel of food that goes into my body is measured, not by some food/ounce scale, but by the scales in my mind. Every calorie is counted, every crumb weighed, every carb considered. Its exhausting. #1 reason why this is stupid: it just is.

3. I’m all or nothing. Which would be okay, if the all was in the good spectrum, and the nothing meant avoiding the bad. #1 reason this has proven not to be a good thing: too much wasted time on projects/people that proved futile.

4. I can’t tell a joke, and you have to explain jokes to me. This one needs no further commenting.

5. I don’t always like my kids. In my defense, I did like them when they were little, and I mostly like them now. But there are days, that I just hate having adult kids. If I wasn’t wishing my life away, I’d be begging God to jump the next ten years, and let’s just get to the 30’s. #1 thing I don’t like about adult kids: They don’t listen to their mother (refer to number one to see who they get that from).

6. I am so not a detail oriented person that it is possible I will skip a number in this list. This means, I will miss my exit, I will burn dinner, or forget to pay that bill, or forget your birthday (though I am generous so your make-up gift will be awesome), or just not hear that last instruction. #1 reason why I don’t care that I’m not a detail oriented person: I hate details.

7.  I am horribly fearful.  Honestly. People are always telling me how brave I am, but really, I am not. I don’t mean like afraid of the dark, or monsters. I wish monsters were all there was to be fearful of. No, I’m afraid of being alone. Not like, single-without-a-guy alone, but more like, doing life on my own. Am I smart enough to make good decisions about money, work, houses, kids, health, LIFE? #1 way I deal with this: close my eyes and make a decision, while praying.

Make it 8. I am getting ready to watch Emma (the one with G.Paltrow) for the 10 billionth time. Yes, I do like J.Austen.

So, there’s my 7. How about you?