Life Lessons

 

Through an event this past weekend I learned that I still have a lot to learn- about me. About people. And most importantly, about God.

I’ve spent most of my life learning. Drinking in knowledge. About life, the universe, everything. About God, about what a Godly woman/wife looks like, about Godly mothers, daughters, friends.

Yet, a painful discovery of how I can {still} make life miserable for everyone around me has hit me in the face.

I won’t expose the details here. It was not pretty, just downright ugly.  Most others would just shake it off and move on. Not me. If life doesn’t go as I expect, if others don’t do exactly as they said, my applecart is upset. And MY apples are ruined-at least for that moment in time.

This is not just due to my elevated expectations, but a lack of trust.

My entire life up through 2008 was spent dealing with an untrustworthy parent.  I can hear you saying: “surely not.” Maybe it is an exaggeration. 

Let me rephrase that: In a world where, if we truly trust God to be Who He is and that, like Joseph, things meant to harm me, God intended for good, then we can bear up under most anything thrown our way. 

For most of my adult life, someone managed to throw harmful things my way. Whether intentional or unintentional-that’s what my parent represented in my life. Lies, accusations, victimization, manipulation of circumstances, all were a daily part of the interchange with my parent.  It was standard operating procedure to try to control through deceit.

Expectations by me that said parent would change, maybe this time it will be different…. Went unmet… There were the occasional times when a surprise glimmer of the person I wished for would show, but those fast faded in the next sentence spoken or question asked. I kept believing that eventually there would be a place where everything would fall into place, but that was not to be.

I had a functionally insane parent who re-wrote the rules of behavior every morning.

The erosion of trust in my heart began long ago and continued until death us did part.

Fast-forward. I find myself still operating on those same expectations. I just want people to do what they say they will do, exactly when they say they will do it. When they don’t there’s another erosion in my trust bank.  How sad is that?

All that time God intended for good, was to mature me, to teach me to trust Him for everything and depend on Him only. Yet, I find I still haven’t quite learned the lesson well enough that it has stuck. 

I still try to trust that my expectations will be met. My skepticism and cynical nature have not served me well in that department. I still want to believe that, someday, everyone will do what they say they will do and when they will do it.

So, this lesson is being re-taught. Again.

From my earliest recollection in nursery school{preschool to the younger generation}, the first two Bible verses I memorized were:

What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. Psalm 56:3

 And

 Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Trust. In. Him.   

Know. Him.

The preschool lesson I am still learning.

 Is He still teaching you a lesson you haven’t learned yet?

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Close

 

Close

That’s the prompt. I usually don’t read Lisa-Jo’s post before I write mine just so I won’t be influenced by greatness.  😉

But, not sure of the usage I thought I’d read a line or two to see if I could figure it out.  She used it in the meaning of proximity. I was actually thinking of the meaning “to shut or end”.

So, onward and upward… I recently closed one season of my life and opened a new season. It happened as quickly and surely as it happens when one reaches the end of a book. The last line is read and  “The End” pops up and voila, you’re done.  Book closed.

The season where I was employed, working full time, in a place of authority and responsibility closed abruptly when I made the decision to retire. Most of the people contributing here are still in the babes in diapers season of their lives. And, that’s ok. But I’m past that except as a grandmother. 

Retirement involved a lot of closing. Closing my desk, my office, my email account, and my professional address with professional organizations among other things.

Now, some of that may seem like a sad or glad experience depending on perspective. But, what I’ve found is that when one season closes another opens. We all know this but to experience it, say, like an empty nest when the last birdie flies, there’s a tangibly felt door closing on our faces. 

 I have found that close is a good thing. A completion. A finish. An end. 

And a beginning!

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

I’m adding my 5 minutes to all those who write for the same 5 minutes at Lisa-Jo Baker’s.

 

Five Minute Friday: Break

Today Lisa-Jo Baker is taking a break. We continue to write, and the subject this week is:

Break

I unwrapped some articles that had been in storage this week. One box was from my husband’s mother’s things when we cleared out the assisted living apartment she had spent her last years in. The boxes weren’t marked; I had no idea what was in them. I popped open the first one, and began unwrapping glass after glass- her everyday tea glasses. Surprisingly, none were broken. As I continued, there were sounds of glass as some of the wrapping paper shifted-breakage. I slowly unwrapped the next item and found one of her special occasion glasses- broken. In all there were 4 broken. She would have been sad to see her things dumped into a box and taped up and thrown into storage only to have them retrieved and found damaged. 
That is what we all are, once revealed, broken.
Until God.
He comes into our lives and repairs the breaks. He sands down the sharp edges, finds the missing pieces, glues back our hearts, cleans us and makes us useful. We can still see the evidence of His mending- the trailing line back to our past, the faint sign of a chip off the edge. But, once we are whole we have purpose and can be used as we were designed to be used. 
“For it is God who acts in you to will and  to act in order to fill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13