Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What I learned in 2014

I am joining Emily at Chatting at the Sky for What I Learned in 2014.

We bless this year for all we learned, 

For all we loved and lost

And for the quiet way it brought us

Nearer to our invisible destination.  - To Bless the Space Between Us

I think I could mark this year as my mid-life crisis.  I thought it was just for men who traded in the sensible family car for a sporty convertible - yet apparently mid-life crisis is equal opportunity to both of the sexes and it shows up when it is least expected. I want to mark it and move on.  This process has been painful. Productive.  Humbling. 

My crisis did not come in the form of a car, although  we did buy a new vehicle in September, but in a long drawn out process to dig deep between me and God.  There have been many tears and much gnashing of teeth.  I have come to realize that I have had some faulty thinking.

Parenting is hard.  We are all doing the best we can with what we know.  As much as I wish it could be trimmed down to a neat and tidy formula, parenting is messy.  Children have their own agendas, thoughts and wills.  It is prideful of me to judge another parent on what I see from the outside.  I am only getting a small snapshot of what is going on.  We should encourage and build up other parents because this gig is super hard.  I question my decisions of parenting most of the time and wonder if I my children will need therapy when they are adults.  When I see my insecurities come out in my children I cringe...and cry.  I want to do it well and I am sure you do too. 

Marriage still takes work.  I've been married for 22 years.  My man is amazing and wonderful.  He is thoughtful, kind, and serves me well.  Anytime he is away from home whether it be an errand he is running or coming home from work, he calls and asks if I need anything before he gets home.  Every time. He calls me "Beautiful" even when and especially when I am not.  I am so thankful that he does not measure his love for me on what I give to him.  It takes a lot of effort to keep my husband a priority, look into his heart, and give to him when I feel empty.  Ron is easy to love, faithful to give to me and the kids and I take him for granted most of the time.  I want to love him well.  I am so thankful that I get to spend my life with him.  He is my greatest gift.

I like to be in control.  I don't like the unknowns.  The what-ifs in life.  I don't like to need people.    I have tried in vain to keep things under my control and not step out into the unknown because it is safe, and it falsely feels like control.  When I release my tight grip and open my hands it gives God the opportunities to do something new and wonderful.  Starting in my heart.  My controlling behaviors come out in trying to do things perfect without grace, especially towards my self.  Being hyper sensitive to comments and hyper critical towards others keeping them a safe distance to prevent potential hurts.  I am learning so much about grace.  How much I need it and how much God wants to give it.  I have closed my hand to His grace falsely believing that I could do life on my own and avoid hurts.  I am leaning into the Gifts of Imperfection.

I am looking forward to 2015.  It is a new stage of life for me and my family.  I want to approach it with grace and love my people well.  I want to be open to new relationships and deepening the ones I already have.  I want to fall forward. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I have tried this several times.  To start this space again.  Way back, several years ago, I loved blogging.  I met interesting like minded people and it was a way to process what I was learning and how I was growing.  Back then it didn't seem as though I was able to form a complete thought without the process of writing it down.  And then it changed.

I am not sure exactly when or what happened.  But somewhere along the way I became way too self conscious.  I remember going to dinner with a group of friends and one woman made a comment that blogging was narcissistic and it made me question my motives.  Was sharing recipes, crafts and thoughts really just a way to focus on me?

Then there came the time when you had to have a niche.  What kind of blogger was I?  Because apparently you need to have a niche if you are going to be on the internet.  I didn't feel as if I had a specialty or anything of any real value to say.

Add in broken friendships,life challenges, and Pintrest perfection...and I quit.

Too much time wasted on comparison and trying for perfection.  Too much value placed on what others thought.  God is teaching me much about self-grace as well as others-grace.  How much I need Him.  Oh, how I need HIM.

I have a daughter getting married, a son visiting colleges, a daughter struggling to find who she is, another maneuvering through Junior High and one in full blown 8 year old childhood.  This is a new season in life I am starting.  One with chicks in the nest as well as some birds starting to soar.  I want to love my people well.  I want to live a life of grace.  Grace to others and grace to myself.

Thank you Rachel for this very timely and encouraging post on maneuvering change.