Posted in divorce, Faith, God, life, Moving

An Adventure Begins

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God is Good! When I found myself divorced 6.5 years ago, I believed I would never own a home again. I couldn’t find a job. I was living off a quickly depleting 401K and felt utterly unrooted and that was the key. It wasn’t that I hated renting, but it gave me the feeling of impermanence. Prior to the divorce, I had lived in the same community for almost 30 years. Now in 6.5 years I have made 5 moves. Never underestimate God.

After trying to qualify for a mortgage a few years ago, I felt it was a lost cause. Then I decided to try again at the first of this year. The mortgage broker with whom I spoke, told me I could NOT qualify. It was heartbreaking. Then a dear friend told me to try someone else so I did. After giving him my information, he said I could qualify!! I couldn’t believe my ears. In fact I am not certain I believed, until I received the CLEAR TO CLOSE email in my inbox. I’ll be closing the end of May and moving in mid-July. I’ll have no help but somehow I’ll manage.

Upon seeing that email, I began to cry. They were tears of joy but my heart was and still is full of so many emotions. Gratefulness, happiness, joy, coupled with fear and sadness. Why fear and why sadness? My daughter and her family are moving 1,635 miles away to the East. My younger daughter lives 1,412 miles to the West. According to google maps they are 2,711 miles apart. And this will be the first time in my entire life, I have lived with no family or close friends nearby.

Being alone, not living alone, but having no one near to call on in an emergency scares me. I’ll be alone on all major holidays except Christmas. I won’t be there when my daughter has her 2nd child in November. With a 50 hours per week job and not a lot of extra money, the ability to travel to see them is and will be very limited. And that doesn’t include trying to see my 82 yr old mother and sister who live 1,242 miles away.

But God is good and I will never underestimate Him again. If this is where He wants me to live and work, then I will accept it and find joy. As I approach my 60th birthday, it is ever more evident that life doesn’t roll along like a slow paced creek, but it rushes by like river rapids. There is no time to waste. I have to get onboard and go for the ride.

Posted in life

It’s Official

It’s official. My daughter and her family will be moving to Pennsylvania. They’ve never lived anywhere but Texas. This was a job opportunity her husband couldn’t pass up.

The dilemma for me is I want to go with them. However I have to work, I am almost out of money from my divorce. I’ve applied for every type of job imaginable. And I’ve had fewer than 5 interviews and no job offers. So I am not hopeful it’ll be any different in PA than it has been in TX.

I’d consider moving to be near by other daughter but she’s in LA and doesn’t plan on staying there. She’s job searching right now.

The move is 15 months away. It feels as one of my worst nightmares is coming true. I’ll be alone, no friends, no family, struggling to get by.

I don’t want to live with them. Not a good idea for us. I’m doing my best to pray and trust God. Never in a million years did I think I’d find myself in this position. Please pray for me and a solution to my dilemma.

Posted in communication, divorce, Faith, life

Changing Direction

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Say hello to my family. It isn’t exactly the family I imagined I’d have. My husband, the girls’ father isn’t in the picture anymore, literally and figuratively. For a long time after he left, I felt like a failure. It took a few years, lots of counseling, support from my daughters and son-in-law, and loads of prayer to finally understand I wasn’t a failure.

I did spend lots of time being mad at God. I couldn’t understand why He didn’t answer my prayer to save my marriage. Slowly but surely God guided me to an understanding that sometimes He doesn’t say Yes, but He says I have something better planned for you.

I am no longer on the journey to a 50th wedding anniversary and it still disappoints me, but I’ve experienced so much joy in the last few years, I am beginning to grasp God’s plan. I don’t have the power to see into the future so I don’t actually know which direction God will be taking me next. I’ve moved 6 times since 2012 and have gone from living in 4200 sq. ft house with a pool and home theater to a 1000 sq. ft duplex. I live in a town I didn’t even know existed until a few years ago. I live here because I wanted to be close to my daughter and son-in-law.

In less than 18 months, they will be moving across the country to the Northeast. My other daughter lives in CA. Again, having my girls living so far apart wasn’t part of my plan. I still pray God can work it out so we can all live near one another.  I will continue to work daily on trusting him,

My life is going in a new direction and I am waiting to see where that leads me.

Posted in Faith, forgiveness

How do you forgive yourself?

My heart and head are not in alignment. My head says forgive myself. My heart says no I don’t deserve it. I play over and over in my head all of the mistakes I’ve made as a mother, a wife, a daughter and friend and find it impossible to forgive myself.

I’m not exactly sure why because I forgive easily others. Sometimes it might take awhile but I eventually do. I still cry when I remember some of the things I’ve said. I know God forgives me, I just need the key to forgiving myself.

Posted in christmas, Faith, family, Uncategorized

Happy Holidays

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s not surprising to see Christmas decorations going up in stores. While I think it’s a little too early, it has its intended affect on me. I start to get excited. And for young children and many adults, a long period of preparation and build up only leads to disappointment. So here are a few things that might help.

1. Find a good Advent reading guide and spend 10-15 minutes each evening reading Scripture as a family.

2. Discover Christmas traditions from other countries and pick one to try.

3. Find out how to say Merry Christmas in 10 other languages.

4. Look up where the word holiday (holy day) and Christmas (Christ mass) come from and discuss their meaning.

5. Learn one new Christmas Carol. Here is a link to my favorite new one. It’s especially poignant since my divorce. That’s Christmas to Me

6. With older kids, decide on one way to contribute to those in need not just at Christmas but all year long. Suggestions include tutoring younger kids, reading at the local library or to seniors.

7. Wrap baby Jesus from the nativity and unwrap him Christmas Eve while reading the Christmas Story. Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-14, Luke 2:15-20, Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 2:14

8. Start a tradition of playing your favorite game on the Saturday nights in December.

9. Bake cookies, make fudge, a cake, a pie whatever reminds you the most of your own childhood Christmas and pass it on.

10. Invite “strays” for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner. There any many people, including me, who may have nowhere to go to celebrate.

11. Write down a blessing each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Each family member). Place them in a jar and read them on January 1st.

12. Find and go to a holiday concert or play. Many high schools have free concerts and community theaters may offer a low cost alternative to seeing a professional production. There are also community orchestras which are less expensive.

13. Find the best Christmas light displays in your community and make a photo scrapbook.

14. Hold a potluck and invite your friends to a Christmas Carol sing-a-long.

Whatever you do, share it with those you love and most importantly know this: it’s not how many gifts your children receive or how expensive they are. What they will remember are the memories you make together.

My girls in 1991 in dresses I made for them.

Posted in Faith, Uncategorized

Heartbreak Hill

Heartbreak Hill By The Light Breaks Through

A must read for anyone struggling with life’s challenges.

Posted in Faith, family, Uncategorized

Two days, 1247 miles and 1 cat

Someone I love has cancer and has begun a rigorous routine of chemotherapy. Before my divorce, I would have purchased a ticket and flown west to Las Vegas, NV. My family has lived there for almost 43 years. I’ve only made the full round trip road adventure once prior to this time when my dad died. Then I had a husband and daughter who could help with the drive. This time it was me and my cat.
There isn’t much between central Texas and Southern Nevada. There are long stretches of road which appear endless. And in many areas there is no radio reception. It gives you time for a lot of introspection. The first day was 12 hours. Albuquerque was my destination for the night. About an hour outside the city, the sky grew dark and it rained, hard. I was already tired and my cat was beginning to get restless in his kennel. Heavy rain just added to my already high stress level. But before long, the sky began to grow light and then it turned the most brilliant shade of blue.

It occurred to me this storm is a representation of my life the past few years. I lived with an ugly storm building on the horizon and when it hit, it had 30 years of hurt and heartache raining down. It came close to destroying me. Then slowly, very slowly I began to see a break in the storm. I could hear the faint calling of God’s voice telling me not to give up. And now, even though my loved one is facing cancer, I can see blue sky.

The blue sky of hope is calling my name. It reminds me of the story in Luke 8. Jesus is asleep on the boat when a storm hits. The disciples ran to him because they feared drowning. He utters a word and the sea and sky are calm. That is where I made my crucial mistake. I was so caught up in the drama, fear and pain of my storm I forgot to turn to Jesus. But thankfully our God is patient and he waited for me to turn around and call upon his name.

Posted in daily prompt, Faith, Uncategorized

Mistake

Hmm, wouldn’t it be nice if I had only made one mistake but I’ve made many. From small ones to big ones, the mistakes that linger the longest are the ones from which I fail to learn something.

Mistakes if accepted, pondered and if necessary ask for forgiveness are really life lessons. How else would we learn some of life’s most important lessons if not from making mistakes.

I used to beat myself up relentlessly over mistakes. A soul can only take that for so long before it wants to give up. Slowly with the love and patience of my family, I have started to realize I can learn a lot from what happened to me and find my faith and joy again. Without those mistakes, I might not have turned back to God.

Daily Prompt

Posted in daily prompt, Uncategorized

Miniature-The Daily Prompt

Miniature: small, tiny, little, replica of something larger

How do I create the life I want? How do I rebuild a new foundation without using the same faulty stones? 

I begin with one small, miniature step towards the future. The steps, the choices, the vision need not be grand. It can begin by being a smaller replica of what I had before. And as the days go by and the vision grows, it will evolve from miniature to slightly larger until it has grown as beautiful as my dream.

Miniature doesn’t mean less than. It gives me the opportunity to adjust, grow and bloom a little bit at a time. While my life isn’t what I’d like, dreaming and seeing a small, miniature glimpse into the future gives me hope. 

A mustard seed is small, miniature compared to other plant seeds. But what is compared to a mustard seed? Faith and if my faith is only the size of a mustard seed, I can tell a tree to uproot and go plant itself in the sea. The tree will obey me.

WordPress daily prompt

Posted in depression, divorce, Uncategorized

Click my heels 3 times

I’m feeling like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. this has been an interesting place to be but I’m tired and want to go home. The difference between me and Dorothy is I can not go home. Home, as I knew it, no longer exists. I know home is where your heart is, but my heart has yet to fully recover.

I feel sometimes like this is a bad dream and tomorrow I will wake up and life will be back to normal. Of course I realize my normal wasn’t healthy. It was destructive. He was cruel and incapable of empathy and compassion. So why do I find sometimes I still long for the security of my marriage even though I wasn’t happy?

I’ve had to accept he is a narcissist and absolutely incapable of understanding how his selfish actions have hurt not just me but our daughters. I have to accept he will never change because he doesn’t have the ability to change. He will forever be a soulless man.

I continue to pray and ask that I know His will. It’s not easy to know. I pray God leads my girls down the paths He has chosen for them. I  pray I don’t fall apart again. I don’t think my girls are strong enough to handle it. All I can do is one minute, one hour, on day at a time.