MISSED?   Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

Over the New Years weekend I drove 7 hours from my sister’s house back to my apartment in another state.  My brother-in-law was in the car with me for half that trip; I was dropping him off at his mother’s so he could drive her to her winter spot in Arizona.

I had asked my church for prayer about the trip, because my brother-in-law is an atheist and I have heard him say some hostile things about Christians.  We were going to be sitting next to each other for 5 hours or so and I asked for prayer about what to say or not say.

To be honest, I had forgotten about the drive with him or the chance to witness to him or talk to him about his beliefs…. until the morning we had to leave.  I had prayed about it ahead of time, but I was having so much fun relaxing and enjoying myself that I forgot all about it until we were on the road.

Once I remembered, I started thinking about what I could say.  How do I bring up the subject of faith, and his own beliefs? In my head, I starting singing that chorus:

Come Holy Spirit, I need thee
Come sweet spirit I pray
Come in thy strength and thy power
Come in thy own special way

And as it turned out… we talked about various things, but faith wasn’t one of them.   And I’ve been wondering ever since if I failed, if I missed an opportunity. Or, if it all happened the way God wanted?  I still don’t know.

One of the reasons I doubt is because I know in myself that I always try to get along with people.  I always try to find some middle ground, some common ground, with them.  I listen to them and I am respectful.  And I think that characteristic in myself means I miss opportunities.

I am the way God created me.  I have always been this way, so I do believe it is the way God wants me to be.  But, I think it is not ALL He wants me to be. I think I can be more.

Advertisements

Posted January 9, 2018 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

Tagged with , ,

Joy?   Leave a comment

Our sermon this morning blessed my heart.  Pastor was giving us a word for the Christmas season, from the book of Nehemiah.  As a side note, I love the book of Nehemiah.  Years ago we had an adult Bible study on it, using a book titled “Hand me Another Brick”.  It is an excellent book – I recommend it.

He was in chapter 8 this morning.  The setting was after the wall was completed.  It was the day of the New Year celebration, and all the people had gathered to hear Ezra reading the book of the Law.  As he read, the words were explained to the people.  The Bible tells us that the people praised the Lord, but also as they heard the words Ezra was reading, they started weeping.  They were convicted in their hearts of their sins, and the sins of their fathers as they heard how they were supposed to live and worship God.

Nehemiah consoled and encouraged them.  “This day is holy to our Lord”, he said.  “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength“.  (my emphasis) You may have heard those words before.  You may have said them, or taught them.  This morning Pastor reminded us that the joy does not come from us.  We don’t have to have joy before we can get joy.  The joy is a free gift, from God.  It is God’s joy.  He doesn’t wait until we are perfect to give it to us.  He doesn’t wait for our lives to be trouble-free to give it to us.  It is a joy we can have today, for today is holy.

This holiday season, you may not be feeling your best. Your life may not be at a high point right now.  God says to receive the joy.  Receive it on faith if you have to, but receive it.  It is a free gift He gives willingly.  Enjoy the joy.

 

Posted December 17, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

Tagged with , , ,

Hiding? Or Just Okay?   Leave a comment

I recently watched half of an hour-long TV show, waiting for the show I wanted to watch to come on.  I don’t remember the name of the show; I had never watched it before.  It took place in a hospital.  A older woman was brought in and it turned out her husband had died over a year prior, and at that time (it was a car crash, and she was in the car) she got paralyzed from the waist down.  But now she was starting to feel things in her legs again.

She was a woman of faith and believed that God was healing her, and that all glory and praise should go to Him for her getting feeling back in her legs.  The doctors told her, however, that there was no reason for her paralysis in the first place and that she always had the ability to walk.  Basically, her being paralyzed was her way of putting off dealing with the death of her husband.

And I wondered: Is that me?  This year especially I have been very busy at work, almost all the time.  It is tiring and stressful, but it has also felt like a God-send. It helps me get through each day, and helps take my mind off how much I miss my wonderful husband.

Am I in denial?  Will I wake up one day and feel different?  Have I been stuffing my feelings into the background and busying myself with other things so I don’t have to think about Randy’s death?

I think ….. not. I have already been through devastating loss, when my son was murdered in 2000.  I know about shock, and slowly going through the stages of grief. I know about coming to grips with my loss. I know about thinking of my loss and how it affects me and my life, and I know about facing it.

I don’t believe I am in denial about Randy’s death.  My tears are testament to the fact that I am not denying my feelings.   So, I keep going on.  Trying to be the light that God wants me to be.  Trying to find ways I can shine for Jesus.

I hope this season finds you shining out for God, and receiving blessings in return.

Posted December 15, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

Tagged with , ,

What Are You Thankful For?   Leave a comment

Our church had a Thanksgiving eve service.  As is usual this time of year in the US, our Pastor asked us what we were thankful for this year.

And I thought about it, and then I almost started to cry.  Because the first thing that came to mind was: I am thankful I have made it almost all the way through the year.  I didn’t know if I could, in January.

I have struggled to have a life without my sweet husband Randy.  I have struggled with who I am in Christ.  What should I do?  How will God use me?  What should I be doing for God?  And how can I do all of that, and live my life, without my husband?

So yeah – I am thankful that for some reason God is not finished with me yet.  That somehow I can still make a difference, a contribution.  So I keep on.  Day to day, I keep on.  What are you thankful for this year?

Posted November 23, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings, Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

There are books… and books   Leave a comment

I have a Kindle that my dear husband got me a few years ago.  I totally love it, and read anywhere from 5-10 books a month on it.  Every once in a while I will read one of my actual paper books I have.

This month I finished my Kindle books early, so I decided to go through a series I really like, reading each paper book in order.  (Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Vorkosigan” series)  I can’t put these books down!  This is a series I have read — at least 3 times all the way through.  I can’t remember exactly.  I know what’s coming.  I know the dialogue.  There are no surprises.  And yet — I can’t seem to put these books down!

Is it the actual tactile thing of holding a paper book in my hand?  Needing a light to read, since I can’t rely on a backlit screen?  Turning actual pages instead of tapping a screen?  I am not sure what.  But I am enjoying these books just as much as the first time I’ve read them.  Books are books, but sometimes a book can be more enjoyable in a different format.

Posted October 20, 2017 by Maureen in Musings, Randomness, Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

LEARNING   Leave a comment

I haven’t been feeling well recently.  Normally I am a very healthy person; I rarely get sick.  But I really did feel awful, off and on for months. Then in August I began to feel really bad.  Bad enough that I went to the doctor, which is rare for me.

Many, many tests and procedures later, I have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.  I am not happy about this, but it is what it is.  In educating myself about this condition, I realized I have had it for a long time, and it didn’t just “pop up” as I first thought.

As a woman, it is pretty normal for me to just keep on.  Feel tired?  Feel lousy?  Just keep pushing!  Come on, don’t be a wimp!  There is work to be done!  I am used to being the one to do things, to get things done. I rely on God and myself, not others. If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.  Does this sound familiar?

My body had been telling me to take care of it, and I hadn’t been listening.  Or, I listened but didn’t do anything about it.  And, I really can’t do that anymore.  I don’t ever want to get a bad flare up like I had in August again.  So I am having to slow down some.  I am having to say “Yes” to myself sometimes instead of always “No”.  I need to be better at relaxing.

So, recently I took myself out to breakfast.  I went to a live play.  I booked a couple of days in a small cottage in a place I have never been before.  All those things cost money, but not a great deal of money.  I’ve changed the way I eat, and what I eat. And I’ve lost weight.

I’ve been praying that I can be a good steward of all God gives me. That includes this body.  At my age you would think I would have learned these things and have already been taking better care of my body.  But, again as a woman, I am much better at taking care of others than I am of myself.

Posted October 10, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings, Uncategorized

Were We Dating?   Leave a comment

I haven’t posted a story from my old dating days in a while.  I have no desire to date at present, still being very much in love with my dear departed husband.  But this dating story is from at least 15 years ago, way before I met my wonderful Randy.

I had met Mitchell (not his real name) through a friend.  He was a friend of her boyfriend at the time.  My friend told me a bit about Mitchell, in retrospect I figured it was probably a way to get me interested in him.  Mitchell had been dating a girl for several months and apparently she had been pressuring him to have sex.  He wanted to take things slowly and date more, but the way I was told the story was she pressured him and so he gave in and had sex with her. And she promptly dumped him.  So, he was hurting and sad.

The first few times I met Mitchell were in group settings and it was all very casual and no pressure.  I talked with him but didn’t spend all my time with him, nor he with me.  He was not bad looking, and he seemed like a nice guy.  Had his own house and business.  He just didn’t do anything for me, really.  I didn’t get any red flags – I just wasn’t attracted to him.

At some point (the details are a bit fuzzy after all this time) he started calling me.  Now up to this point our interaction and contact had all been friendly and casual.  So when he started calling I really didn’t think much of it.  It would be pretty short conversations – maybe 7-10 minutes long. “How was your day?” kind of thing.  This went on for maybe a week or so.  Then one night on the phone he asked if he could stop by that Saturday night.  I thought, “Why not?”

He came by the apartment I was living in at the time, which was actually about 4 minutes from where he lived.  We sat in the living room on different pieces of furniture and he asked if there was anything on TV that we could watch.  The only thing I could find was an old Elvis movie, which we watched all the way through.  We barely talked the whole time and the movie was so…. bad.  Ug.  I’m not a big Elvis fan, and this was not a good movie.  When it was over I was thinking how I could ask him to leave and he got up and said goodnight, and as he was going out the door he said, “Next time, let’s talk some more.”  And I said, “Okay!” cheerfully while ushering him out the door, and it wasn’t until I closed the door that I thought, “Next time?  There’s going to be a next time?  Huh??”

Then I started thinking of our nightly conversations, and wondered if he was interested in me.  (I know, seems obvious now, looking back.  But honestly he was so casual about everything I didn’t know.)  The nightly short phone calls continued.  One night I got home a bit early and decided to call him first.  He was obviously surprised when he answered the phone and it was me.  So I went through the same routine he had been using – “How was your day?” kind of thing.  Near the end of the conversation, hesitantly, he asked me if I minded calling him.  I said, “No, not at all.  Sometimes I call my friends, sometimes my friends call me.”  He kind of stuttered at that, and we said good night.

We met two more times for activities together, and at neither of those times did I have the slightest clue (from his body language or words) that he was interested in me other than just a casual friend.  He had multiple opportunities to hold my hand, put his arm on my shoulders, say something affectionate to me, etc.  He gave me no indication he was physically attracted to me.  It was like dating my brother.

Later, as months passed and I thought about that time, I think I figured out what was going on.  I also had one or two conversations with my girlfriend about all this that filled in some clues.  I think that, because of the abrupt breakup he had experienced with the other lady, and thinking he had gone too far too fast, he wanted to pull back and take his time with the next girl he was interested in.  He wanted to make sure he didn’t jump into anything too fast.  The problem was, in the end, he went so slowly and carefully I truly didn’t realize he thought we were dating.

I thought back over our months of … interactions?  Friendship?  Communication?  Whatever you want to call it.  I thought about it and wondered if I had done or said anything wrong, and wondered if I could have done something differently.  I should have talked with him about it.  I should have been upfront with him that while I liked him as a person and he was fine as a friend, I wasn’t romantically interested in him.  Lesson learned!  But that is the story of how I dated someone without knowing, really, until afterwards, that we were dating.

Posted July 27, 2017 by Maureen in Being Single, Memories, Musings

Tagged with ,