Author Archive

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.

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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

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DIRT / CLEAN   Leave a comment

I got my car washed last weekend.  My white car.  (her name is Shadowfax).  My white car that hasn’t been washed in months.  Yes, she was pretty dirty.

For the past week it is like I have a new view on life.  I can see!  My windows are clear!  Clean!  And my backup camera is showing such a clear, sharp picture now!

I truly had no idea 1) how dirty my windows had gotten or 2) how it had affected how I saw things outside the car.  I had grown used to the dirt.  I thought it was normal.  It was something I accepted and just kind of worked around or ignored.

Kind of like sin.  It seeps in.  It grows slowly.  We let a little in, and don’t confess it.  And more gets attracted to the first part.  And before we even know it, we are used to the way things are in sin.  They seem normal.  We can’t see how dirty we are, we just think everything is fine and pretty much the way things have always been.

Until we confess our sin(s) to God.  And we ask Him to cleanse us and free us.  And suddenly we can see how dirty we were.  We can see how clean we are now that the sin has been forgiven.

 

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16

Posted July 14, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

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GOD CHUCKLED   Leave a comment

This past week we had another week of early morning prayer at the church I attend.  6:00am to 7:00am.

I did my usual thing — I wander.  It is hard for me to sit and pray, or kneel and pray. I need to stand, to walk around.  In circles, or up and down the aisles.  Its a kinetic thing, is the only explanation I can come up with for why I pray that way.

One day this week I was at the front of the church and I remembered to stop talking TO God and just stand and listen to what God might have to say to me.  But being me, I had to preface that with once again asking God to lead me and guide me according to His will, and to keep me in the path of His commands.  Then I said (this is all internal, you understand) what I usually say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

And God said, “You’re doing a good job.  Keep it up.”  I am always taken aback when I get a word from God, and I feel Him talk to me.  It is an awesome feeling to have the God of the universe talk to you.  Being me, I started in again, “Oh – thank you God.  I love you so much.  Please let me know if there is anything I need to be doing, or not doing.”

And God chuckled.  And He told me He loved me, and once again told me I was doing a good job and to just keep on doing it.

I’m so glad God understands me and puts up with me, and can chuckle at my foolishness.

Posted July 8, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings, Uncategorized

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What You Can   Leave a comment

There are so many things I don’t know how to do.  There are things I can’t do.  And sure, there are things I don’t want to do.  Currently it is vacuuming.  I have always believed that if there is something we see needs doing and we are able to do it, then we should.

When I was called to go on my first missions trip, it was a different experience for me.  I was sitting in the morning service, listening to the missionary.  I always love listening to missionaries talk about their mission field and the stories they have to tell.  As I was sitting there, I thought to myself, “I could do that.”  As the missionary talked on, I thought to myself, “I should do that.”  And by the time the missionary was done, I was saying to myself, “I will do that.”

What do you see needing to be done around you?  Can you do it?  Are you able?  Then do it, if you can.  Not for recognition or praise.  But because it needs doing.

Posted June 24, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

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BLUES   Leave a comment

Have you ever attended a church camp or retreat, and the leader(s) warned you about the “let down” after you went home?  You get all pumped up and fired up and hopefully Holy Spirit-filled and inspired while away, and then you come back home and you don’t sustain that same feeling.

I get the Sunday blues.  So many years I’ve battled the Sunday blues.  When Randy was alive I didn’t have to worry – I had him as company and we often did something or talked after church.  Now that he’s gone, the Sunday Blues are back.

The whole afternoon and evening seem to stretch before me, without anything to keep me busy and take my mind away from how much I miss him and my grief.  I had forgotten to make plans, to make a list of things to do.  So I came home today and all I want to do is crawl back into bed.

I’m not going to.  I will continue to struggle the rest of today.  There is always something to do around the apartment.  I am blessed that I have a church that I can go to in freedom and be lifted up, spiritually, and taught and grow in my relationship with God.  Just, the blues are hard.

Posted May 28, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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LIKE A LITTLE KID   Leave a comment

I have been volunteering as a teacher or assistant in Children’s Ministry at churches I attend for…. wow – 16 years.  I didn’t quite realize how long it had been until I wrote that.  One of the things I have always heard was that to be successful in children’s ministry you have to be kind of a big kid yourself. And I have never really thought of myself as a big kid.

So this week was kind of a chuckling eye opener for me.  On Wednesday nights I trade off teaching the Grade School kids with another teacher.  We finished our curriculum last week and the new one has not come in, so we had a party.   Since she’s the Children’s Minister for the church she did all the work, bless her heart.  She bought snacks and drinks and set up games for us.

I came into the Kids area and a big grin spread across my face.  Ping Pong!  I LOVE ping pong!  Corn Hole!  I LOVE corn hole!  A carpet bowling game!  I LOVE carpet bowling!  Tiny cupcakes!  Pretzels!  YEAH!!!

I wrote her the next day how much I enjoyed it.  I was just being honest and letting her know her hard work and planning had not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.  She wrote back, “One of the things I love about you is that you are truly a kid at heart.”  It made me smile.  ‘Cause, I guess I did sound like a little kid in my email.  And I guess I really am a kid at heart when you get right down to it.  And since Jesus said we should all have the heart of a child, that is okay with me that I am that way.

Posted May 26, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings, Uncategorized

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