Still Being Carried

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And I will still be carrying you when you are old. Your hair will turn gray, and I will still carry you. I made you, and I will carry you to safety.
— Isaiah 46:4

I met with my spiritual director yesterday. She’s pretty awesome. She told me in your 50s and 60s things get more complex. Who knew? I thought an empty nest was a quiet nest? Sally is nearing the end of her 60s and I’m just now taking a long look around at my 50s, trying to get my sea-legs. Sally and I wondered what 70s are like. Do things really slow? Quiet down? Simplify?

I wish there were more voices of women in my life like Sally. More women moving through these complex years, threading their way back and forth from career to marriage to adult children to aging parents to changing minds (and bodies!) to ministry and oh so much more! Women who could speak a word of encouragement to me here and there. Women who would say, “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” (Daniel 10:18)

There are a lot of wonderful young female Christian voices in this digital world calling out to each other. I love to see their strength and beauty. But there seems to be a void of more mature women taking the time to speak life-giving words of encouragement to fellow travelers while also doing the important work of calling down to the younger ones, pointing out what lies ahead, maybe helping them miss a pothole or two.. I’m going to try to find those voices… to look for those with a few wrinkles and maybe even some gray hair who are still being carried to safety. And perhaps they will encourage me to get back to writing, to use this space to notice God working, to glory in His Presence, and to remember His faithfulness.

Here’s my first look: Michele Morin at “Living Our Days” - married 30 years, four sons, two daughters-in-law, two grandkids… loves tea and poetry and Bible study. Looking forward to hearing more from this voice.

More to come as I keep searching. See sidebar where I’ll keep of list of those “Still Being Carried".

Christ’s Peace - B

Be Well - Physically

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Today’s goal was to get rid of the crappy food in the fridge and pantry and then to replenish with low carb, naturally gluten free options. Matt made us a wonderful fish dish for dinner tonight with scrumptious lemon and garlic green beans. I also made my first homemade salad dressing: lemon mustard vinaigrette. Yummy! Very full and very tired tonight. ❤️

So Long, 40s!

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See ya later, 40s! I only have a few more days left to hang out with you! It’s been great, really - we’ve had some tough times, but overall you’ve been good to me!

I’ve grown and persevered. There’s been mostly good times… Our boy got married and made me a Grammy - TWICE! Two children have graduated from college and our last one is on her way. My community has grown with new friends…. God has broadened my heart to give more space for some very special people I love so very much. Yet, old friends continue to walk alongside me… we have not lost each other. Work has become more of a place of ministry than a place of business and striving. And I’ve started on my way down the path to get a Masters in Biblical Studies and Theology. I’m not sure of the end game plan for that, but I’m trusting and moving forward.

Matt, my constant, is always beside me…. making me laugh, cheering me on…. patient and loving… He is my heart.

In sadness, I’ve lost my spiritual mother to cancer, seen my father slip into dementia, and watched one child struggle valiantly with mental illness.

And all along - GOD!…. He is here! His wagon tracks overflow with abundance! (Psalm 65:11) And I pray for the strength to live purposefully for His glory in this new decade by:

  • being part of His story through mission and community;

  • being obedient and content while following the path He has set for me;

  • using the resources He has given - prayer and His Word;

  • knowing His power, presence, and promise through faith and trust.

Verses I’m grasping tightly for this next season:

You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. Psalm 65:11

I awake, and I am still with you. Psalm 139:18(b)

And finally…

Now therefore arise, go over THIS Jordan… Joshua 1:2

So, this is 50!

Hiya!

In the Shallows - Brief Weekly Examen

Below are the seven categories from my daily journal (Sacred Orginary Days). These are also the categories that I am working on writing goals for 2018. I thought a weekly check-in of some type on each category would be a good exercise for me here. I do this on Sundays in my journal on the "Weekly Examen" pages but I thought I'd take a little different slant here.... a shallow dive with a brief highlight in each area that I'd like to remember from week to week. 

SOUL - what's feeding me? 

Poetry - This book given to me by Buddy S with a door opening to so many lovely poets! For example - Louise Gluck!! Her line from "Twilight" in A Village Life

Living - living takes you away from sitting
— Louise Gluck - A Village LIfe

Poetry is candy for my soul and I will try to be more deliberate in feasting on it daily in 2018. 

Also feeding me is this book. I've been thinking on Bruegel the Elder's Census at Bethlehem..... all the busyness of daily life obscures the presence of Christ. Do you see Him here?

Census at Bethlehem by Bruegel the Elder

Census at Bethlehem by Bruegel the Elder

If we are not present to the now, we can never be present to the God who was revealed to Moses as “I AM” - the eternal One who is with us in the present moment. We cannot remember how God has met us in the past and we can wait with hope for how we trust God will meet us in the future, but we can only actually meet God in the present moment.
— Juliet Benner in Contemplative Vision

BODY - what's moving me? Not a whole lot!! This week's focus: Limit sugar, hydrate, cook from new cookbook, find smoothie recipes for new Ninja, pick this back up (The Telomere Effect) be outdoors, and WALK. 

MIND - what's growing me? Making a temperature blanket, writing 2018 goals, pre-reading (The Unseen World) for next Knox class, reading (News of the World) and listening (The Barrowfields) for fun! 

HOME - what's comforting me? A clean garage and a lovely new master bedroom. Next project? Laundry room, maybe. Today is the day after Epiphany so all the Christmas decorations must come down and be boxed up and put away. New mantel decorations will be put up with "simplicity" as the theme. Lots of cleaning and organizing needed this week!

OTHERS - what's stretching me? How to turn these eyes of mine outward to others? Date night with Hubs this week? Make B-Box for grand girls in SC. Intentional time with A & T. Package to Mary. E's birthday is Thursday! Texting with mom. Time with Buddy S to talk about goals. Prepping for new Life Group season!  

WORK - what's motivating me? Trying to keep emotional boundaries and not get caught up in what could potentially be a dramatic season with changes going on. Remembering to keep a servant attitude. Signed up with Hubs for Work as Worship Retreat. Organized and focused while at work. Caring about the people there. Reading this again (Deep Work). 

STEWARD - what's stressing me? New year, new tracking spreadsheet. Just do it!