Friday, July 25, 2014

It's easy to get lost

Being lost isn't something I've experienced very many times in my life.  For the most part, I am good with directions and have a decent memory with regard to landmarks, signs, etc. Physically, I don't get lost often.  Of course, I also know that if I DO happen to wind up somewhere I don't know exactly what road to get on next, I simply push that pretty blue "OnStar" button on my mirror and some nice person will load directions directly into my car screen and all is good again.

At times, I so wish God had a blue button I could push and He would immediately answer in an audible voice.  Early this week I was having dinner with a precious young woman and talking about how passionate I am about helping her generation realize that they are enough.  Who they are is enough.  They don't need to be prettier, smarter, more popular, more trendy, thinner, better dressed, better moms, wives, or friends.  They are ENOUGH. That does not mean that we don't continue to grow into better people.  If you are breathing, there is a great chance that you have room to grow in extending forgiveness, grace, kindness, and love.  You can also continue to learn about what colors work best with your skin tone and other mighty important facts but those things should not define your self-worth. 

I have been preaching those words for the past few years and I firmly believe them.  You would think, then, that I would be better at living them myself.  My challenge isn't so much my physical appearance any longer (you do learn to live with that aspect of it as you get older) but more my desire to do what God wants me to do and to know that I am following that path on a regular basis.  However, since I haven't found God's blue button yet,  I tend to try to do many different things in order to find the right things and I wind up lost in the midst of much and unable to find my way to those few things that are my true calling.  If I am completely honest, I also struggle with things like this blog and posting on facebook and Instagram - WHY am I do these things?  Am I looking for confirmation from those around me or am I truly seeking to honor God's call on my life by putting the stuff out there and not worrying about people seeing it, liking it, following it, and whatever else denotes acceptance these days.

I continue to know that God is calling me to focus, to refine what my calling looks like in action.  I cannot be all things to all people.  I cannot encourage every hurting heart, praise every good accomplishment, teach every God principle or be everything to all people. None of us can and almost every woman I meet, no matter what age, continues to try.  I believe it is one of Satan's most effective tools.  I'm ready to call him on it.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Legacy Continuer

I used that term in my Instagram profile and yes, I made it up.  I do believe, however, that is is a very real thing.  I am a legacy continuer.  

When my mom passed away in December, 2012, I became an orphan.  Both of my parents are gone.  I am an only child.  Those are very real facts and they are amazingly real to me. Within a few months after mom passed away and I was in the midst of settling their estate, going through or having gone through the papers and things that made up their lives, and knowing that I was going to sell there house, I realized that when it is all over - I will be their legacy.  For a while, people who knew them will drive down the street past their house and remember that "Harold and Doris lived there" and those at their church will remember their "pew" :) and that fact that my mom was their Sunday School teacher for many years.  Still, after a while, those things will not be remembered.  Soon, the only physical reminder of their lives will be a cement rock at Old Salem cemetery in Nortonville, Kentucky.

I want people to remember more.  I want them to see my dad's loving heart and generous spirit, my mom's love of pretty things and her ability to manage their money in an amazing way.  I want them to see the work ethic they instilled in me and that you should always choose to do the honorable thing.  There is only one way those gifts will live on - if I choose to make them a part of my life.  They are in there, stored deep in my heart and my soul.  Some of them break through to the surface fairly easily and regularly.  I have to be careful though, because other legacies are there as well - the tendency to judge too quickly, to be impatient, to see life in a negative way instead of looking for the best.  I don't even have to work hard to bring those to the surface.  They are very happy to step forward and lead.

Mom's birthday was this past Saturday and I guess I think about her more than dad these days.  I think it might be because between the time when dad passed away in December, 2006 and mom six years later, she and I grew so much closer out of necessity.  Her health was poor and she NEEDED me.  She hated that she needed me, but she did.  It didn't make it easy and at times, it was incredibly hard, but it made a difference in my life.  I miss her more than I ever imagined that I would or could.  My dad, well, my dad was my champion and the best father in the world.  His influence on my life is one of the greatest gifts I could ever be given.

Back to mom's birthday a few days ago....I've been intentional in looking for her legacy this week.  Visual reminders are everywhere in my home, from the beautiful dishes in the dining room to the gold bracelets on my wrists at this very moment. The car in my driveway is a constant sweet reminder as I was able to purchase it after mom died.  I also know my dad would be overjoyed for me and my mom would wonder why in the world I traded in her precious Grand Marquis! :)

This week has also made me think about the legacy I want to leave.  What do I want my son and others to remember most when they thinks about me years from now?  I began writing on paper a few months ago what my core values are and I landed here:

1)  I want to live out my faith
2)  I want to be genuine in who I am
3)  I want to act in humility and fight arrogance
4)  I want to be an encourager
5)  Be generous
5)  Give grace

Those six things are tall orders and leaving a legacy to include them will only be possible through the grace and mercy of God.  I'm going to give it my best shot.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The one phrase that you should never use - unless you should..........

 Mack and I went to Nashville last weekend to see our son and new daughter-in-law.  I don't remember being more excited about a trip in a long time.  We were going to spend a few days in Nashville and then head towards Kentucky for a mini-family reunion.

When we were about 30 miles outside of Nashville, our son called and asked us to head directly to a local hospital.  They had planned a huge surprise when we got to their apartment to tell us we were going to be grandparents and instead, she was in the midst of a miscarriage.  We got there, hugged our son tightly, and I headed back to the room where our precious daughter was resting.  I had no words.  My heart was breaking and I desperately wanted to say something to make it better.  I could not think of one single thing.  I learned a long time ago to NEVER, EVER say "I know how you feel" unless I really know how you feel.  It's insulting and it is dishonoring to the person walking through that hard moment.  If you do know how someone feels, or at least something closely related, you have a valuable gift to offer.  They can open their heart to you in a way that is so precious.  I have a friend who lost her 19 year old son many years ago and she makes a point to visit parents who lose children close to that age.  She is able to offer them something unique that most of us cannot - she can offer hope for the future. Hope that the day will come when they will be able to breathe again without mind-numbing pain, hope that the world really will go on.  She can do that because she has lived it.  If you haven't lived it, you can't tell about it.

We still had a good weekend and I am beyond grateful that God allowed us to be there for this weekend.  That is one of the challenges that comes from being in different states - you can't always be close enough to hold on in the physical sense.  That said, we all need to be certain our relationships are strong enough to hold on in a distance.  You never know when you are going to need to grab and hold on for dear life.  We are firmly anchored in our little family and I am looking forward to the day when we will celebrate!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bathroom stall etiquette - this is important stuff!

One of the reasons I began this blog was to eventually share my heart with young women in an effort to help them see themselves as enough, to share mountaintop and deep valley experiences, and to teach things that my mom taught me but that many young women today have not had the privilege to learn - either because their mom isn't around or because those random learnings may have just been missed.

Bathroom stall etiquette is definitely a teaching that has been sorely lacking in many of today's young women! :)  Working in the Grand Chalet at WinShape Retreat in the summer involves sharing the Women's restroom with several college-aged young women.  There are three stalls in the bathroom - the first two are regular ones and the last one is a bit larger and equipped for physically challenged individuals.  If you go in and no one else is in there, you have a great choice - the first or the third.  Do NOT take the middle stall because if someone else comes in, they have no option but to plop down next to you.  If you come into the restroom and someone is in the first or the third stall - take the other one (first or third).  Again, do NOT take the middle stall and plop down next to someone else if it isn't absolutely necessary.  The middle stall should always be reserved for when all three stalls are in use and there are no other options.  Think about it - doesn't it drive you crazy when you are in the middle of a parking lot with open spots all around you and someone parts in the spot RIGHT next to you??  See, it is the same thing with bathroom stalls.  Think about that the next time you walk in a multi-stall facility. :)

You now are the owner of some new pretty important information!