It’s been a rough couple of days…weeks, a year really, and I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to a wet, overcast Monday today. Seeing my mom on two separate occasions last week just really broke my heart. 💔 It is so hard for me to see the suffering she is going through and feeling my hands are tied. The 26th will be a year since the doctor caused her stroke. And if I were to be honest, it’s hard for me to enjoy much of anything in my own life because of it. She is always, always on my mind and in my prayers! I tried hard today to let God in, to take my heavy load, it’s a continual load, but He reminds me He is STILL here and to look for beauty where I can. It is an attitude adjustment I surely struggle with but today, right now, I choose to focus on the beauty He has given me out my rear window.
The Indiana University students are back! We observed many a mom and dad walking alongside their new college student. Boy, that sure brought back memories of me choking up all the way home from Missouri and Georgia.
My kids both left home within a year of each other and I found myself walking by their bedrooms to say something then would quickly realize they weren’t there.
I ended up just shutting their doors. 🗣😭
Leaving our babies behind, wondering when we’ll see them next is a difficult transition. And many of us are/were going through menopause at the same time! 😳 I always said it was God’s cruel joke! We put in all these years of hard work, making lunches, sewing costumes, throwing parties, working in their classrooms, for all of it to come down to moments like this. This is when we do double duty praying that our kids meet professors that align with their upbringing, meet encouraging friends that have the same morals, that their minds only be open to things that will help them grow and become the people they were destined to be.
We’ve worked with college ministries as well as international students. And can you imagine leaving your child in another country? 🙀
We pray our young people come to know God and make a change in this world just by being who God always intended them to be.🙏 .
I took this photo on one of our walks nearby.
I have always loved Francis Chan and this quote came from reading his book “Crazy Love”.
My other Instagram acct deals with fashion, food, home decor and faith. @Morgie_and_Me
I pulled over to take this pic after going up to an appointment for my mom. I call it “Big Sky”.😍
One day, I was walking around my yard and saw this cute, little hydrangea struggling to be a big pom pom. All of the blooms just didn’t quite fill in.
But I loved the shape I saw!
The uniqueness of a heart-shaped hydrangea.
I later thought of an analogy.
If left with our thoughts, we tend to overthink and struggle too much to try and be something we are not. Others often see the uniqueness and beauty (in and through us) but somehow we are just too busy being consumed with trying to be something other than who we were created to be. Why can’t we step back sooner to see this…what others see?
I’m not sure if it’s a lifetime of experiences, age, access to mentors…
But I sure wish I could tell young people these things and have them believe me.
However, as a teenager once myself, I’m sure I would not have believed my wiser self, either.
Why is that?
I don’t know why it sometimes takes so long, but I guess as we age, life has a way of growing us deep and providing a comfortability with self.
So, be at rest young person (or maybe old) in how you were created.
Stop comparing, stop worrying, forget the “what ifs” because the sooner you do, the sooner you will enjoy your life the way you were meant to.
Life passes so quickly, that someday when you get older, you’ll look back and wish you had relaxed with who you
were are a lot sooner.
I love being older only for this one reason. I can just be me.
I don’t have to impress anyone or try to be something I’m not.
I guess time and life experiences have a way of teaching us depth and truth that was there all along.
Whatever your shape!
The leaves and needles are falling, there’s change all over my backyard.
Nature is transitioning, and the cold is coming.
Nature mimics our lives.
Change/transition can sometimes bring the cold too:
At times, ABSOLUTE TRAUMA.
Life can change out of nowhere, with not even a hint of warning…
loss of a job, a bad report from the doctor, a friend’s unfounded betrayal,
And with it, brings heartache.
Deep, deep sadness.
The deepest pit.
Heartache [only YOU know] because it’s YOURS.
You own it at its deepest level.
Yes, people can offer advice, words of comfort, even wisdom…
BUT words feel like a band-aid. You can’t really take them in.
You don’t want any more words.
You dread to see anyone. I mean how do you answer?
You feel you just can’t take anymore.
Finally, your body breaks down in a good cry. A hard cry. A shaking kind of cry.
A cry your body can’t hold in any longer.
And it pleads for a meeting with God.
A quiet, still place where He brings His presence. HIS sweet, wonderful presence.
No one’s talking. It’s just still.
That undeniable presence consumes your space.
You KNOW He’s near.
in every part of your being.
Only GOD can do that.
Only GOD really gets you.
He knows your deepest pain like no other.
Only HE can comfort.
Yes, HE knows you intimately.
He promises to get right in there and feel your sorrow with you.
He’s present…He really is.
Right alongside you.
We live in a fallen world with many hurts and disappointments.
This isn’t how we saw our lives.
This wasn’t the plan.
People weren’t supposed to be so mean.
My loved one was to be here for many, more years.
But..life happens and you’re caught off guard.
There’s no stopping it, or asking for a do-over.
You can never be prepared.
Lean on God, pour out your heart.
Feel embraced and loved today.
He gets it. He really does.
More than anyone else.
And yes, someday…
Someday…IT WILL ALL MAKE SENSE.
That is the HOPE I choose to lean on;
to cling to.
It’s my ONLY choice, really.
Today I’ve been married 29 years.
October 23, 1987. The year of oversized shirts, big earrings, and mullets.
We met at church when I was home for the holidays; I was a junior in college, and
he was a sophomore.
He was attending school, here in Indiana, and I was in Missouri.
He studied business, and I was in education.
Can you believe an old boyfriend introduced us?
Fast forward…soon after we were engaged, I left to teach in China for a year.
I was 23 and he was 22.
Yep, an entire year.
(me and a few students)
Some people thought I was nuts to do so, but it all worked out in the end. 🙂 Obviously.
We both knew I had to go. Felt it was my calling, and I knew we’d both regret it if I didn’t.
I think it made us stronger, actually.
Long before we were serious, I had planned to teach there; so, off I went.
Communication was tough.
Oh, I did try to make a call this ONE TIME.
I had to “make an appointment” to get help with getting a call out to the US, and it had to be done through the government officials’ office. Three men sat around STARING at me as I uncomfortably began to speak. I constantly was trying to hear my fiance over the multiple Chinese voices I heard coming across the line.
I grew increasingly frustrated.
They were all trying to talk over me as I struggled to hear my fiance’s voice; it was a true Chinese, party line!
I don’t know what happened but in the midst of that chaotic, but short call, abruptly the phone went silent. Ended!
Later on, I found out my hubby/fiance thought I hung up on him. Whaaaa?!
Yeah, right. I finally save up money to call you, clear around the world, and in the middle of our conversation decide I need to hang up?
Anyhow, I found out that he really couldn’t hear me, thought I was in the middle of a big party, with a bunch of Chinese friends 🙂 , AND… I hung up the phone.
Clearly, that process was never attempted again!!
(I wanted to stay engaged. HA)
Plus, it was so expensive.
So, the only way we could communicate was by cassette tape.
Late nights consisted of me lying on my cot, head on a bag of beans (pillow) surrounded by a mosquito net, talking very low, into my handheld tape recorder. (I didn’t want to disrupt my roommates, nor have them hear my conversations.)
Now that we were engaged, I had more serious questions.
I mean, we WERE still getting to know one another…
“How many kids do you want? What are your thoughts on where we should live? What did you do today?” Then, I’d rehash the day usually adding all the funny cultural differences and stories in full detail.
(I like lots of details.)
Then I’d WAIT.
Wait for weeks.
And another tape would arrive with all my answers. 🙂
It was fun, and a daily diary of sorts. It helped the time pass.
It was a lifeline, and it helped me get through the year.
One Christmas tape, had me and my roommate singing all the familiar carols while adding our own hysterical lyrics that reflected living abroad.
Our families really got a kick out of that one.
We worked really hard on those lyrics.
So, we still have all those tapes.
LOTS of them.
We haven’t relistened to all of them, in full, but a few years back I started to play one for my teenaged kids, and hubby walked in very confused asking whose voice that was.
He couldn’t quite wrap his head around it.
It was a time warp, really.
Finally realizing that low, “mushy” sounding voice was his own, he quickly
asked demanded we turn it off. 😉
I think he felt somewhat embarrassed as our kids listened intently, hardly believing what they heard.
I don’t think the kids thought that was truly him! 🙂
I remember times while living in China, I’d go outside and look at the moon (thinking about life) wondering what he, or my family members, were doing clear across the other side of the planet.
And thinking…we look at that same moon just at different times.
So, here we are 29 years later.
Still together. We’ve seen a lot of life.
We’ve weathered some really tough storms, too.
WE honestly grew closer, not further apart.
Through some of the toughest times that LIFE’s curve balls could throw.
Many of them my health battles.
BEST of FRIENDS, STRONGER!
That year apart just may have taught us a whole host of things that would later keep us grounded, and working together.
I think I’m just now realizing this as I type.
Perhaps, that year apart solidified a firm foundation for the rest of our lives and getting us through many more years together!
God has surely been with us the whole way.
NOTE: I dedicate these reflections to you, honey. I thank God for the gift he’s given me in ♥YOU!♥