I know I have been absent from here.
I have been absent from myself. It has been a short season of living scared.
I have been scared that I walked away from the one thing I know I was really good at...teaching.
I have been scared that we can't live on what we are making.
I have been scared that God has quit listening to me.
I have been scared that my dad is not getting any better.
I have been scared that I cannot lose enough weight to be most healthy.
I have been scared that I look like a crazy old fat lady at Zumba.
I have been scared that we can't get our house under roof before snow.
Do I need to continue?
I have felt physically sick.
And I didn't want to share with you. I knew you, my sweet friends, would tell me all the things I need to hear and it wouldn't work and then I would feel bad that I couldn't tell you that I was all better. Really, I have told myself all the things I would tell you (and you would tell me)...I am naturally an encourager.
I was falling into despair...grouchy...sickly...unhelpful...mean.
A season of scared.
I meet an old friend who teaches at one of our small colleges nearby and was happy to hear I might like to try my hand at teaching a college course.
I read two articles in my World Ark magazine about being generous. Betty Londergan is a lady who challenged herself to give $100/day for 365 days....challenged herself to give until it didn't hurt. I said to someone just today when they were asking about affording to retire, that I would rather have a full heart and empty pockets than full pockets and an empty heart. I am turning again to the joy...my heart turns before my head. My mouth speaks words that I had not thought.
I talked to both of my brothers about dad...we have started thinking about the future...I can see no easy way, but a peace is beginning.
I have started watching what I eat more carefully and the scale is not creeping up any longer. There is a book I want to read...Year Of Plenty - One suburban family, four rules and 365 days of homegrown adventure in Christian living.
I am a crazy old fat lady at Zumba...but they love me anyway!
I can see the house finished before it snows. Roof trusses are coming next Saturday. We are building upstairs walls that we absolutely cannot budge (by ourselves) from laying flat on the upstairs floor to standing...but help is coming on Monday.
One of my favorite preachers reminded me that my certainty of God's love and presence in my life cannot be connected to my circumstances, but must live in my heart and soul.
I found a book...One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, who dares me to live fully right where I am. Here is one of the many things I have underlined:
"Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy." It is a challenge, a dare, to give thanks...to notice the many gifts that God gives and give thanks.
So, finally, I can see light again.
Isn't it interesting that with only a switch of 2 letters my season of scared can become a sacred season?
Soon I can be a light shining for others again.
God was listening.
I still have questions.
So, forgive me for my being away and for waiting and reading all of this without even one picture.
Tomorrow is my art show...I'll share the pictures.