Thankful for… friendships

Okay, here’s to being truthful and transparent. I’ve been pretty broken over the last few months. I’m not sure why or where or what. But there it is. I’m in a place that I don’t seem to fit anymore and I’m trying to figure it all out. It’s been a gradual slide to this place I am now – I would say over the last couple years even. The only thing I can base it on is my son getting older and less dependent. Even worse (but, not really), he’s an adult now.

I’m officially no longer needed.

Please exit stage left.

Your job is done. You did all right. We’ll take it from here.

Thanks for your years of service. See YA!

Now what? What do I do with myself now? Everything I’ve based my life on for the last 19 years has been this man-child who is his own person (and thank God! That was my goal and purpose!).

My purpose. hmmph. Every time I think of the word “purpose” anymore, I feel like my heart breaks all over. I’ve done my purpose. I had one purpose and now it’s done. This is what empty nesting feels like when you’re a single parent. Because, all of a sudden, all at once, everything just seems g o n e.

I know, this isn’t sounding very much like thankfulness, right? =]

Here’s the thing. I’ve been holding this. Carrying it around and then putting on a mask just before I walked into that place where my friends were. I didn’t know how to verbalize what I was feeling to myself, much less to anyone else. I told one friend, I’m too single for the married people, I’m too much of a mom for the single people, and I’m too old or young to fit into any specific group of anyone… I’m just here in this empty space where I don’t matter.

But here is why I’m thankful… though my dearest friends *knew* something was going on – they all gave me space. They let me do some self processing, spend some time with Jesus, try to sort it all out. I had one who has repeatedly let me break down in her office (or mine) at work and just let me go through whatever it was with big old tears rolling down my face. I had another who brought me a canolli out of the blue because she just wanted to love me. I had another one who let me just be open and share my heart with her. She didn’t have anything for me but an ear to listen and that was all I wanted. I had another invite me for dinner and take extra time walking me to my car to try and understand where I was…

These things. These tiny little gestures of love and friendship are why I’m thankful today.

Why not me?

So, here I was… driving to work. Winding my way through Snickers Gap of the Blue Ridge Mountains – watching the sun rise over the top of the mountains, the clouds scattering like perfect artwork along the bright blue sky – and I just marvel at God’s beautiful work.

I’m amazed that He does this very thing for us every morning. We can look all around – in every corner of creation – and see Him.

Until we look in the mirror.

Then we don’t see His beauty anymore. His perfect creation.

We see imperfection. We see mistakes. We see bad – ugly – wrong – too big – too small – too curly – too straight.

Song of Solomon 4:7   You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Psalms 139:14   I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Colossians 3:12  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

1 Thessalonians 5:5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

1 John 3:1  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that bit did not know him.

Is the very God, who created everything, wrong? Did He make just one mistake – me? Do I doubt what He has for me, in His time? How can I read the words breathed by Him and still look in the mirror with disgust?

Who am I to judge His handiwork? Who am I to say that what He’s made is not good – that, in fact, it’s very, very bad? Who am I to look to someone else to give me value and worth?

He, the Creator of ALL things, is perfect.

I’m telling myself, and you, that we are good! We are beauty! We are lovely! We are HIS! We don’t need to look any further.

In a constant effort to believe these things, I need to be on my face before God – asking Him to fill me up with His love, assurance, confidence, and strength. I can’t do this on my own and you can’t either.

He is relentlessly pursuing all of me. I want Him to know that I am thankful for all things He’s given me – the sunrise over the mountains, a job to pay my bills, and even my fat thighs.

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When I wanna give up – I breathe.

Sometimes… I just want to quit.

Quit everything. Everyone. Just be done.

I hate to admit it, but I tend to be a “runner.” It’s my years of self-preservation, I suppose. When the emotion of everything becomes too much, I bail. Just go.

I wanna be in a place where no one knows me. No one sees me. And no one really cares.

The problem with that is – I can never outrun God.

I can never go where He isn’t. Where He can’t see me. Find me. Know me.

And, honestly – and we are being honest here – I don’t want to go to that place. That place, the one without God, I’ve been there. Lived there. Barely lived there.

In this place, the one where God lives with me, I can’t run. Partly because there is nowhere to run to and partly because He just doesn’t want me to. He’s teaching me how to stay put. He’s teaching me how to wait in the dark. He’s teaching me that in the waiting there is goodness. 

Here’s the thing… I don’t know what I’m waiting for! It’s frustrating! I can’t see the plan. The outline. The drawing board that is so carefully designed just.for.me. I can’t see it. How do I move if I don’t know where I’m going? How do I stay if I don’t know what I’m staying for? UGH! Can you feel me?! Remember, we’re being honest here. I know you can feel me!

So, here’s the *real* thing… in God’s book… the Love Book… His very personal book of love to me, to you… He tells us – over and over and over again…

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Psalm 33:20-22 ESV

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Romans 5:3-4 ESV

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

Psalm 62:5 ESV

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

Matthew 6:34 ESV

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Psalm 25:4-5 ESV

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Those are just a few of the verses that talk about waiting for Him. Not being anxious. Not running away.

Just wait. Breathe Him in. Wait.

Breathe…

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A brand new day…

Well, here it is. My new blog. I have an old blog and it was a really great blog for a lot of years. I’m in a new season now. Time for a fresh start. A new beginning.

I don't remember where I found this photo so long ago, but it's fitting, dontcha think?
I don’t remember where I found this photo so long ago, but it’s fitting, dontcha think?

I look back in my old blog, to some of the very first posts – back when it was all about food – and I see how much I’ve changed since then. Where I’ve come from and where I am now.

I’m just not the same person.

I’m not the same kinda cook.

I’m not the same kinda woman.

I’m not the same kinda mom.

Everything has changed. It’s all different.

So, here we are. Learning to unfold the lovely together. Learning to walk a journey through womanhood, motherhood, singleness, and life in general.

This new blog will still cover a variety of things – cooking, events and planning of events, my life, Jesus, hot topics, what I find interesting, things I see on Facebook or the news – it’ll still be me, all over the place. =] Isn’t that comforting?!

We also have a Facebook page! You’ll find the link over on the right side of the page – please “like” there too. Sometimes, I may post things there and not here, so like it, will ya?

As always, talk to me – I like it! If there is something you’d like me to discuss or use as a topic for an upcoming post, let me know! If you’d like to do a guest post, let me know! I am ready to jump – with both feet – into this “lovely” with each of you.

Let’s go!