31 Days...

Saturday, November 22, 2014


So three days ago I read a friend's blog about being thankful and keeping a journal. The same day I  read a devotional that also talked about keeping a thankful journal. I told my blogging friend I got the message yet I didn't begin my journal. So, I've been in this mode of regretting what I haven't done or considering and planning for what I INTEND to do and tonight after this amazing evening with my friend whose blog first inspired me and another friend who has been inspiring me for years...two amazing women...(my husband just called the three of us the God Squad!)...I realized I just needed to start! (Sorry for that incredibly run on sentence!)
But seriously...just start! Don't regret what I didn't do and don't continue to anticipate what I'm going to do...JUST DO IT!
So here it is...my first entry of my thankful list!
1) My amazing women friends
2) My wonderful and patient husband
3) My clean bathroom
4) Red wine
5) Warm days after days of bitter cold...this southern girl does not like winter.
Bam. I did it. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Countdown to...

So, I am the most pathetic blogger. Probably not in the history of blogging, but I am pretty lame. I really did have great intentions, but we all know what they say about good intentions...

So I am going to try once again! And this time I am really motivated! (cough,cough) But seriously. I. Am. I have those negative thoughts that no one really cares what I have to say, why would ANYONE want to read my silly blog posts. But then I realize that I do have something to say - and if no one wants to read it - that's okay. Maybe if nothing else my daughters will read them when they are grown and realize that their mother was as kooky as they thought! It might even save them some money on counseling!

Okay - all kidding aside. I do want to share my journey. My story. Because what I have learned in the past however many years  - I'd say at least throughout my 40's  - is that you just never know who might learn something from an experience you have had or someone might just need to know they aren't alone in the situation. So, maybe my words will help someone. Or make them laugh. Or even cry. But at least they will know they are not alone.

My current "life situation" is pretty easy to sum up! 

In two months I'm turning FIFTY! Yep, the BIG 5-0!! I know, right!? How can that be! I swear I just turned 40 a few minutes ago! Really, I did! (insert screeching tire sound here!)
Obviously it's been a little longer than that, but none the less...

So here is the deal HUMANS (my new favorite way to address the masses - all 2 of you reading this - which I am stealing from actor Tim Daly who is the hot, theologian husband on my new favorite show Madame Secretary), I am not exactly where I hoped and dreamed I would be as I approach 50. It's like this - I am out of shape, I am not as healthy as I would like to be, I am not serving where I truly believe God has called me to serve. I have become complacent, discouraged and even apathetic! This is not a good place for a Seven to be.  I have an amazing husband and two incredible daughters and that is more than I deserve - but I know I can be more and do more!
So today I begin a journey - to wholeness, to living wholeheartedly, to getting into shape and most important of all - to seeking to follow God's will for my life no matter how unequipped or inadequate I might believe I am - because I know God equips the called. 
I won't likely post every day - but I will attempt to share my journey. I will be looking for a new perspective. Continuing on the path to being bold and courageous. Seeking to live a life worthy of the blessings.
Join me as I enter the fifth decade of my life  - Fabulous at 50! That's my new mantra!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Really, Dude?

So I know...I am the Biggest. Blog. Slacker. Ever. But I haven't been inspired lately. And honestly, I'm not feeling inspired now either. But something compelled me to write about the past 36 hours - give or take a few hours on one end or the other.

Wednesday was one of those days that I would like to erase out of the history books. Just press DELETE and move on. But it was also one of those days when much of what "went down" is going to have a lasting effect on one way or another. And quite frankly folks - IT SUCKED! I know that isn't nice church lady language but there just isn't another word that sums it up quite like that one does!

Here is a synopsis of the day: Bad EOG (end of grade standardized tests) proctoring experience, difficult conversation at lunch, my friend from California had to cancel her trip here, my youngest daughter didn't make the cheer team, bad health news from a very close family member, more bad news from one of my mission friends. And the worst part of the day (insert sarcasm here folks!) was I couldn't find non-scented candles for my friend doing the Pentecost altar-scape in the colors she wanted! Anyway  - it was a bummer of a day if you get my drift. One of those days when I found myself saying, "Really God?"

We all have those days. Then today I met a new friend and as we were sharing things about ourselves and I was (still) kvetching (I love that word and how it is spelled!) about my day yesterday, she told me that when she has those days, weeks....whatever the time frame of the STUFF we go through, that she calls God "Dude!" Now I have been a regular user of the word "dude" for years now. Just ask my kids! But this was like the Holy Grail to me for some reason! And I know - some of you out there are going to get all holier than thou and think I am being disrespectful to God and so on...but hear me out! Or not - it doesn't bother me if you tune out! But...here is the thing - I consider God my friend. He hears all the yucky stuff anyway so being able to say "Really Dude?" somehow makes it more personal to me. Like God might really perk His ears up and hear me. That it will somehow help ME get the point across a little clearer that I am NOT happy about the current state of affairs!

I know - it seems sort of silly. But I like it! And tonight as my still heart-broken daughter headed upstairs berating herself and her shortcomings I could only raise my hands to my loving Father and say, "Really Dude?" And then I giggled - which made me feel slightly better...and gave me a new perspective on the happenings of the past two days.

What really cracked me up was as I was leaving my lunch date with my new friend I walked past a car and saw this...

Now what are the odds of that? I didn't have any idea what this bumper sticker was actually all about until about two minutes ago when I was googling the word ABIDE and found that it is a common quote from the movie The Big Lebowski. (Guess I'll have to watch that one now!) Since I don't believe in coincidences I know this was stuck there for me to see! And yes, THE DUDE DOES ABIDE! My favorite use of the word abide, as I was googling, was "to remain; continue; stay"  - yep, that about sums it up. Even when the chips are down and the day needs to be deleted, DUDE ABIDES! God is there for me. He is right there - ready to carry me through the stuff, ready to guide me through the carnage, ready to bring new friends into my life who unknowingly offer just a tidbit of hope and humor by being willing to share something personal to them. 

So as I sift through the events and news of the past two days (and months if I am really being honest here) I can look up and say "Really Dude?" and know that My Dude Abides. He is right there when I need Him the most - and even brings a smile to my face through His amazing sense of humor! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

An End and a Beginning

Today was the first day of Spring. It mostly felt like it - at least if you could dodge the wind and soak up the sunshine it felt like it. 

Spring is the time of new birth, rebirth, starting over...and for us Christians a time to look forward to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. For me today was not only a beginning but an end. 

I have spent the last four years slowly but surely working toward attaining my graduate degree in Practical Theology. I started this journey in the fall of 2010...after a year and a half of really hard stuff in my life. I'll sum it up quickly for you:
2008 - Financial/real estate industry crashed, had to sell my dream house, my marriage began to unravel, I went back to work full-time after 10 years as a stay-at-home mom
2009 - My now ex-husband and I separated and my dear grandmother died all within 6 weeks (during the spring I might add)
2010 - My father died (spring also)

Good things happened in the midst of all that craziness as well - but that time was intense and I sometimes wonder how I survived it all - but well... I know the answer! And just to prove to me that He was in control God pressed harder about this so called calling into ministry.

So Fall 2010 I enrolled in my first graduate class, History of Christianity. I wondered what I had gotten myself into as I read the syllabus. I was certain I had gotten in over my head. But I stuck with it and here I am four years later! DONE! With all A's I might add! (I am pretty proud of that since I worked full-time most of that time as a single parent!)

The final piece of my degree requirements was to do what is called CPE - Clinical Pastoral Education - otherwise known as a chaplaincy internship. I really didn't want to do it - it seemed unnecessary to me. I tried to do something else, but (thankfully) the department chair said no! So here I am done with CPE and I must say it was perhaps the most important part of my training and education. 

Not to say that the classes I had weren't wonderful, and the professors were great - but this experience was putting the rubber to the road. When our precious CPE supervisor told us we were just going to go "do it" we really thought we would at least follow him around one or two weeks and get a feel for it. Oh, but no! We really did just have to go "do it!" 

I read something the other day that said "Life doesn't begin until you get out of your comfort zone!" Well - if that is the case - my life began six months ago when I started my CPE experience!

I have laughed, cried, and even argued. I have lost sleep, eaten bad hospital food, and seen things I never really wanted to see. But I have also heard precious stories, sat with families who just lost loved ones, held mothers terrified for their one month old babies who were so very sick and offered hope and encouragement to young people who seemed to have none. Being with people in their time of need, worry, sickness, loss and death is the most awesome privilege I could ever have had. I have been humbled. I have learned to listen and to wait. I have found that I can hear a story and not have to share my own similar experience. I have learned that it really isn't all about me.

I have also gained 8 very dear friends. The seven people I went through this experience with will always have a special place in my heart. I could not have survived without them. We leaned on one another, sought each other's advice, laughed till we cried, read silly books, argued over theology, ate together and nearly blew up our phones with texting madness! I love them dearly. They are, as my friend Marie said, "tools in my tool belt." And the 8th, my dear supervisor - what a gem of a human being. He is definitely where he needs to be. 

So as this chapter of my life ends, I look forward to waking up tomorrow and knowing that I have done what I needed to do. I have been successful. I can really say to myself, "Job well done Merit." And I know that I know that it was all through the power and grace of God and the people He placed in my path these past four years. It took a village - for real! My only regret is that my dear Granny and my dad aren't here to celebrate with me. But they know...

I look forward to that next chapter...I think it's gonna be a great one!