Wednesday, August 20, 2014

God IS at work!

It's funny to me how God reveals Himself to me when I bother to slow down and look for Him.  As an almost 50 mother of 3 with a full time job, a dog and a husband, I can honestly say that most of the time....I'm tired!  So much so that I'm painfully aware of the blessings that I miss because I am mentally and physically exhausted.  It doesn't help that I'm overweight or that I have a tendency towards anxiety/panic attacks.  It all plays a part in the portrait of my life!

This week, while I dealt with 60 minute car lines (YES, you read that right 6-0!), I had the opportunity for some quiet time, all alone.  It is a rarity that I have even 15 minutes to myself, so having 50 to 60 minutes to just sit...and think...and pray...was a wonderful unexpected GIFT from God!

My personality is such that I'm easily annoyed.  I let things get under my skin and fester.  At some point, the blister bursts and my nastiness spills out all over the place.  Many times I regret my words, both written and spoken.  Sometimes I even wish I could physically kick myself in the behind!  "Nancy, why can't you keep your trap shut?"

About a month ago, I turned over a new leaf.  I decided to ask God to help remind me that I don't need all that stress in my life.  I wanted the stress to be overridden by the Holy Spirit!  I promised myself NOT to let things get me upset and to try and keep my heart ready to receive the gifts that God wanted to give me.  HIS GRACES!

He has honored that prayer...a hundred fold!  I have talked to Him more in this last month than I have in the last year!  I have felt His presence, I have heard His voice (in my heart), I have seen how He loves me and wants me for His own.

This has been a transforming few weeks!  I realize that I won't be able to go forever without getting upset and frustrated...but I have learned something (or, rather, re-learned) that my 8th grade teacher, Sr. Madeline Carey, used to tell us everyday......"you are going to get out of something exactly what you are willing to put into it".  I've never forgotten those words....never ever!  What you give and offer up to God through your love for Him and your desire to be closer to Him, He will repay you in ways you never thought possible!  I mean, imagine this....a 50 year old mom waiting in a hot, sticky car line for ONE HOUR (and then still having to return to work to finish out an 8 hour shift) and she didn't get upset, her feathers weren't ruffled in any way...and she managed to use her time wisely to converse with the Creator of the Universe.....and she lives to tell about it!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Half a Century!

I'll be fifty years old in January!  F-I-F-T-Y!  Where did the time go?  The last twenty years have been filled with cross country moves, job changes, engagement, marriage, having babies and breast cancer.  It seems as though it was only yesterday that I was graduating from high school! 

As my 50th year approaches, I find myself becoming more and more melancholy.  I don't think it's because I fear getting older or dread getting closer to death, although that may very well be part of it. But as I reflect on my life, I'm becoming more and more aware of the time that I've wasted.  And let's be honest, I've wasted a ton of time!  I wonder how much time I've wasted on worrying, watching T.V. or surfing the internet.  I bet I've wasted a fair amount of time gossiping or wishing for things I don't have and plotting how I can go about acquiring those things.  I know for a fact that I've wasted time wondering what other people think, what other people are doing and being frustrated that they don't want to do it my way.

I'm sure that my parents and other adults warned me about this when I was younger.  "Don't wish your life away", my mom used to say. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Do you want to know what I wish for today?  More time!  I wish that I could have these 50 years back...or at least a good 25.  I would definitely do things differently.
I would have spent more time with my mom.  I would have paid more attention when she told me stories of her past.  I would have watched her cook...and written down ingredients and recipes.  I would have sought out more time with extended family members...kept in touch better.  I would have spent more time reading instead of watching T.V.  I would have talked less about praying and actually prayed more.  I would have spent more time trying to help others and a little less time focused on myself.

I don't know why I'm having such hard time turning 50.  All of us have regrets, or things that we would do differently.  But here's the thing:  We don't get that time back.  We don't.  What's done is done.  Still, we can look forward.  We can be mindful of those things that we know are good and worthy of our time, talent and treasure.  We can look back on our past with a sense of determination that we can finish what we've started or totally begin again.

The pages on this blog are going to be about how I "begin again".  My journey is not over just because I'm turning 50.  I may be on the down side of the hill, but I still have some time.  I'm going to do my best to not blink.