If most of you are like me, the last two years have been frustrating. Covid has changed our world and stress levels are at an all-time high. Our lives are nothing like we envisioned them. I retired when Covid-19 hit such high numbers in 2020.
My expectations for retirement were drastically changed. My bucket list hit the trash can. There would be no road trips to see family and long-time friends, no cruises, and no extra vacations. Suddenly instead of the retirement I envisioned, I was left with the fall-out of Covid and it was hard to find joy in my life.
The fact is that many of the women I talk with are struggling to find joy in their lives amidst the chaos right now. They are tired and worn out. They are juggling their lives, trying to be everything to everyone. You are not alone if you are struggling.
For our recent annual writer’s retreat we rented a lovely, large home that had enough space for us to spread out and write. One of the first things I noticed when I arrived was a large mirror hanging on the wall at the foot of the staircase.
Now there are things in my life I seriously have love/hate relationships with–my computer, my car, and food, for example. But my relationship with mirrors? There is no doubt; I absolutely have a hate relationship with them! Can you imagine that?
Mirrors simply reflect the image in front of them (unless they are magic like in Snow White). When I look in the mirror, I see an aging overweight body, a graying head of hair and a double chin. The mirror reflects the reality of my aging self. And mirrors with a magnifying glass? Who needs that?
The tricky thing about mirrors is what you see is based on your perspective. Continue reading
I remember it like it was yesterday. My husband came in from the garage and told me that a hummingbird had flown into the garage and he was trying to get it out. The problem was that every time he tried to catch the hummingbird to help it out of the garage, it would flee from him. Deciding that he would just leave the garage with the doors wide open, he came in the house so the hummingbird would not feel threatened.
As we periodically checked on the hummingbird, we found that he was flying up high and would not fly lower to where the open door was. We watched as he flew into the walls over and over again in trying to fly away. This went on all day and we decided to just leave the garage door open overnight in the hope that the bird would eventually find his way out.
In the past few months, we have been surrounded by crises and events that seem unimaginable. Hurricanes have left havoc and despair in their wake, earthquakes have caused unimaginable damage and death, shootings have shook us to our very core, racism has reared its ugly head in ways that should have been put behind us years ago, and politics . . . well, I do not even want to go there. Continue reading
Today I was contemplating what makes a person truly successful. How do we measure it? How do we know when someone achieves it? How do we even define it?
For some individuals success is defined by reaching the pinnacle of power, for others it is defined in hearing applause for a job well done, for the career person it may be defined by successfully climbing the corporate ladder. Each person identifies their own interpretation of success, and it is based on their cultural values, moral values, and personal goals. Continue reading
If you have lived any time at all, you already know that in this life bad things happen. No matter who you are, or where you live, or what you do, at some point pain and heartache will touch your life. Whether you are rich or poor, young or old, male or female, you are not exempt from this thing we call life.
Sometimes days are just hard. The heartache that comes seems unbearable. Continue reading
I feel like my life has been in a holding pattern since my husband’s death six years ago. I have lived within my comfort zone, with very few challenges outside of it. However, for the past several months, the Holy Spirit has been convicting me to get ready for change. And for someone who does not like change, that is scary! Continue reading
If you have been in Christian circles long enough, you have undoubtedly been exposed to a church that is embroiled in scandal, hurt, and poor decisions. Individuals (both inside and outside of the church) have watched as leaders or members take a stand that is not only hurtful, but arrogant and prideful. It can be as simple as choosing a paint color and as complicated as an extra-marital affair on the part of the minister.
I have been watching a scandal unfold in a local church and the depth of the hurt has been unimaginable. No one in the church has been unscathed by the accusations and finger-pointing that has resulted as sin has been exposed to the light. My heart grieves as I watch a church that has been growing for years, splinter before my very eyes. I can’t imagine how burdened God’s heart is for his church right now. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I attended the church of a friend. I did not tell her I was coming and as I arrived I entered the nearest door to where I parked. A man greeted me at the door and I entered a large open area, that was virtually empty. I was not sure where to go, until I saw a young couple entering through double doors ahead. As I followed, I looked around me. The room was smaller in size, seating about a hundred, the walls were painted black, and the lighting looked like a theater. There was a slick, themed background for the praise band. There was a multitude of open seats and I quickly found one. Continue reading
Last weekend I rode the Ducks in Branson, Missouri. For those of you who are familiar with Branson, the Duck Tour is one of the most popular tourist attractions there. It is fun, and a treat to hear the Captains of the amphibious vehicles as they guide you on the tour.
As we took in the area around Branson, we drove up up Bear Mountain. Partially up the mountain there is a rock clearing with old military vehicles. While driving through the site a narrative plays, explaining which war the vehicle was used in and the primary role of each of the vehicles. We saw tanks, Jeeps, and a various assortment of vehicles.
I have been on the Duck tour before, but this time it took on a special significance to me and I saw it from a new perspective. That was because my brother-in-law, Steve, is a Vietnam veteran, and he and my sister were with me on the tour. Steve was a medic in Vietnam and served mostly on the front line with the ground troops. They generally used helicopters to evacuate wounded soldiers, but as we approached the ambulance, he noted it was the type of ambulance they used in other areas. Continue reading