Currently viewing the category: "Expectations"

It’s that time again. Those few days in between the month spent at a dead run getting ready for all the festivities of the 24 hours that is Christmas which has now past and the coming of the New Year. That time when we tend to reflect on what was and look forward in anticipation of what is to come.Traffic Sign - Don't

A time many spend thinking about what they want to do differently in the coming year. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the time of preparing the dreaded “RESOLUTIONS.”  They are the plans we make for ourselves that usually include things like losing weight, eating healthy, exercising daily, cleaning out the clutter, the closet, making that scrapbook that you swore to make the year your child was born.

Have you ever noticed how RESOLUTIONS are rarely achieved? I believe it is because mapping out MY RESOLUTIONS is nothing more than me trying to take control over something in my life for which I never really had control. Even my most noble of goals, those related to others, end up being all about me and my sheer determination to take control of myself and the things around me so that something or someone will change to satisfy me. Read Full Article →

heart_miniI was filled with anticipation. Husband and I were off for a weekend away to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, albeit late. We spent our actual anniversary with daughter in Disneyland which is another story (Losing It!).

We wanted our weekend away to be special. Sadly, we both forgot about our anniversary on the day. I was reminded by a Happy Anniversary text. We both laughed and made excuses, but it left me feeling sad and a little unsettled. We have had a tough go of things and I had great hopes of this weekend rekindling some of what felt lost in our relationship.Woman running pathHeb12

We debated about where to go. Since we had just spent a small fortune at the Happiest and Close To The Most Expensive Place on Earth, we wanted to keep our trip in driving distance. We narrowed it down to either our house on the mountain at the lake or the charming town where we got married.

We decided since we go to the lake often, we would go back to where we were married. Husband made all the arrangements, tickets to the theater and booking the cabin where we spent our wedding night. I was excited and yet a little hesitant. A little voice kept whispering, “Go to lake”, but we had made the decision. Read Full Article →

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It was late Sunday night while I was peacefully sleeping that I started having a nightmare that I could not find our Disneyland packet for our trip Wednesday. We were very excited about going. We decided to surprise daughter who had never been but had been asking us repeatedly about going for several years. Most all of her friends had been and I knew she was feeling left out. We just hadn’t had the resources to go, but God blessed us this past summer so I felt it was ok to use the money my father left us to take her. It made it feel even more special, like somehow he was part of it.

Anyway, I was very disturbed Monday morning about the dream. The packet with our tickets, hotel vouchers, etc. had come several weeks before. I remembered pulling it out and putting it someplace “safe” so that daughter would not find it but I wasn’t exactly sure where. I took daughter to school and came home and the search began. I checked my usual places, but it was nowhere to be found.

My next step was to post on Facebook that I was losing my mind, shared my saga and asked for prayer. I received a lot of responses from friends. Some offered prayer, others suggestions of places to look, while others put forth advice. “In the future do what I do, keep a note on your phone with that kind of info.” Followed by another who said “I agree… Or take a picture of where you hid it.”  Well intended but not helpful in the moment. I felt so stupid.

I seemed to recall that I had hidden it in my closet which was a complete mess.  So I started pulling everything out but they were not there. I cleaned out my closet, my dresser, my desk, and was headed to the linen closet not really believing it was there but no idea where else to look. It was midnight and the only thing I had succeeded in finding was the Disney packet from when we took stepdaughter eight years before.

Fall trees Lisa Q Psalm 188 jpgI decided to call it a day. I fell into bed in a state of despair thinking how stupid I am, how I can’t remember anything anymore, knowing husband was completely frustrated with me, telling myself I can’t do anything right, and praying through tears that God would open up the recesses of the black hole I call my brain to reveal where I put them.

Tuesday morning came, daughter went to school and panic set in. We were supposed to leave the next day. Husband was staying focused on work, which is what I should have been doing for the past 2 days and not searching for something I should be able to put my hands on immediately. I started trying to console myself. If I couldn’t find them, at least daughter would not be disappointed. Husband chimed in that if we had told her then I would not have had to hide them. Another not so timely piece of advice. Read Full Article →

heart_miniThe volume had been high at home for a couple of days. Daughter had been struggling with issues, some known and some unknown. What is known is that life is hard at seven. Life is hard at 40-something. Life is just hard.Playgroundjpg

It is hard being here, in this broken place with broken people carrying around lofty expectations, when we were made to be there, in that perfect place, in heaven with God. Yet our faith requires us to live a life of not yet in a very broken now.

I am the first to admit that home is broken and to be clear, I am not getting divorced. We are simply imperfect and still figuring out how to be “healthy” in a sick space. For as hard as it is for us, it somehow seems compounded for daughter.

She had been riddled with anxiety and acting out more so than usual those couple of days. I tried so hard to figure it out. As a mommy, my heart bled for the hurt I could see as she lashed out, yelling and seemingly out of control. There must be a reason, something I could fix. Read Full Article →

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I saw this meme on a friend’s page on Facebook the other day and it made me laugh. I read it out loud to husband who also chuckled. I am not sure if it was sincere or obligatory in an attempt to ward off my using one of the words against him.Five Deadly Women Words

I know I have said these words in exactly that way and I bet many of you have as well. Whether you are male or female, I am sure you relate to this “secret” language that we are making light of here.

I started to share the post to have a laugh over it with friends but was stopped short. A sense of deep sadness swept over me as the truth about using this “secret” language or “code words” took hold.

We speak these code words, sometimes flippantly, in frustration, or maybe even in exasperation, expecting our spouses to understand.  We may even use these code words on our children, friends, or coworkers.

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My eyes at half mast, my heart in angst, I walked out to my desk in the dark this very early morning. I flipped on the light, able to see but I heard nothing. It is another day of deafening silence.

Why when God has been so present, answering so many of my prayers daily, has He been so painfully quiet in this one are of my life? This one hugely significant area of my life for which I have been seeking wisdom and direction for months, actually years and still I hear nothing. It has taken me to a place of frustration and sometimes anger, testing my faith.

I am simply not good at waiting and I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting.  Last December as I was sitting at a women’s Christmas dinner, the speaker charged us with relinquishing ourselves to God and asking for His direction. I almost laughed, thinking that is all I have been doing for months, but out of obedience I prayed.  What came next was an answer I never expected and did not like at all. The answer was, “Barbara, you know what to do.”

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My daughter is afraid of the dark. We have taken to leaving a light on in the bathroom just across the hall with her door slightly ajar so that a small stream of light glows softly on her bed and she feels safe.

While this has helped her, it has been challenging for me because the light also streams into our bedroom at the end of the hall and I am distracted by it. It has been hard for me to sleep.

Then it hits me. I like the dark because I have been living in darkness, even on the brightest day. The darkness is my grief. It is my grief over losing my dad, my grief over unmet and unrealistic expectations for my life, my husband, my stepdaughter and my daughter, the sorrow and the self pity that has paralyzed me for almost two years.

I forced myself to look into God’s word this morning. I headed for the Psalms because I often find them uplifting, an easy place to put my mind in a state of praise. I randomly flipped to Psalm 30 to find David telling me “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

I fell on the floor in tears, the tears that just keep coming.  When does the morning actually come? I want to rejoice in the light, not walk in perpetual darkness. Then God’s truth comes crashing in on me like a train wreck. Rejoice is a choice. It is not some easy, natural thing that just happens one day. It is a choice and choices involve work.

I have been choosing darkness. I have been choosing sorrow and self pity.  These choices have also involved work. How much energy have I poured out, thrown away in a wasteland of self-imposed grief. It is mind boggling to think of my lack of stewardship over God’s gifts to me in all areas of my life.

Today I choose morning, I choose light, I choose rejoicing!  I am rolling up my sleeves and venturing into the work of pulling myself out of the pit and allowing God to work in me, to heal me.

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth , a hymn of praise to our God…” Psalm 40:2-3

God will do this for me and he will do it for you too! Make the choice of light and freedom with me this day!

Photo Credit: Heidi Lettau Photography