Finding my feet

I may have put too much pressure on myself to break loose and have fun now that my next-to-last school semester is finished.

Rather than being pumped full of motivated energy and chomping at the bit to go out and discover new people and things, I’ve found myself itching to get home at the end of my workday and going to bed early, or at least on time.

Online retail therapy deserves an honorable mention in my current pattern of life. What can I say? I enjoy receiving packages of pretty things … that I can wear.

Part of me is still putting pieces together from things I’ve lost over the past year. I miss my little dog, Stuey, sometimes, especially when I see his picture on my screen saver. I don’t see my adult children as much since they both have grownup jobs now, along with grownup relationships and responsibilities. A lot of my friends are on a trip to Israel this week – a trip I planned to take, but decided against back in the Fall. I don’t regret the decision, but I still wish I could have been there.

I miss being married and having another adult personality around, too. (Especially my ex-husband’s exuberant personality.) That sense of missing out permeates all of my other senses. Frankly, I feel kind of lost without having an insane amount of work and all of my family to focus on in this season. But, I need to take an opportunity to deal with facts and feelings. A lot of my life was pruned away. I remind myself, and others in a similar circumstance, that pruning is just a way to prepare for the season of growth that is coming.

So, I’m feeling a bit less full-grown than I did before. I may look a little bare, or less green. But, I still feel richly blessed in the middle of all of my awkward or self-conscious days. I wonder about what might be around the corner for me and my little guy and pray for wisdom and clarity – for beauty, as we wait for all of our new growth to sprout and bloom.

findingfeetI’m finding my feet. And I’m buying new shoes in the meantime.

Finding My Way Back to Now

The concept of time fascinates me. I’m certainly no physicist, although I am a fan of Sheldon Cooper. Time as we understand it in the sense of being a phenomenon of earth and earthlings is a mystery. It makes me think of eternity and how the timeless interacts with the temporal. (What, for instance, is really happening when people see apparitions?) It leads me to wonder about the continuum of history, present, and future and what that means to the God of creation. I wish I could see even for a moment how our lives must look from His perspective. Eternity is mind-boggling. Yet, it is something to which we who were created in the image of God are connected.

Lately, I have found myself stuck in thoughts about the past and concerns about the future. In the process of grieving a very significant loss in my own life, I have temporarily lost the ability to be fully present. In my grieving, I have found myself tending to distort the past. My memories are very selective, but powerful enough to bring a sense of what was “real.” The disconnection between what was “real” and what is true now brings even more anxiety about the future. It is a terribly disjointed sense of time and eternity. Fortunately, God – Who is present now and Who was present then and Who will be present in all future – calls to my attention that my current perspective is neither accurate nor helpful.

I’ve never been one to wish to know the future. Actually, I believe if we knew what was in our future, we would likely be paralyzed by a fear of the challenges we would see. Surely that’s why Jesus said “Don’t be afraid” so often. When we encounter God, we are encountering eternity, which inevitably brings with it some knowledge of the future as well as a clear vision of the past and present.

The most exciting and only real thing we have is right now. It’s the only place we as humans can operate. In our “right now,” God calls us to be His representatives in the world. (I feel some preaching coming on, yes, but mostly to myself.) In our “right now,” God tells us not to fear, but to love Him and love our neighbors and love ourselves. God calls us into future work by speaking to us right now.

In this frame of mind, I am keenly aware of the present. In this frame of mind, I am listening and looking for what God is saying and showing. In this frame of mind, I see my story – the one that was, that is, and that is yet to be known – as part of a larger story that God authors. And it is in this frame of mind, that I begin to find a real sense of peace, right now.