A Turtle in Peanut Butter

My summer was really, really busy because of my job. So after a summer of non-existent exercise in my life I decided a first of September I would try and get back into some sort of healthy routine. And when I say a healthy routine, that means I would try to keep it to 1 brownie after lunch instead of 2, 1 scoop of ice cream at night instead of 3, and I walk my dog a couple of miles most mornings. (I never said I was actually trying to achieve some health goal – I’m more or less trying to counterbalance the amount of sugar I take in with some type of exercise.)

Anyway, many days in September it was extremely humid where I live – I’ll go with approximately 1,500% humidity – and on particular humid day I left my dog in our comfy climate controlled home while I went to sweat it out on a walk. I was alone, just me and my iPod, determined to walk off the ice cream eaten the previous night.

Now it is well documented in my blog posts that I can’t sleep anymore. I’ve tried to figure out why – stress, no stress, getting older, not quite old enough, lumpy bed, firm bed – and I’m no closer to the reason so I quit trying to figure it out and I do what I have to do to sleep. Confession: I take 1 Simply Sleep pill at night so that I can sleep straight through, or go back to sleep it I get up in the middle of the night. So yes, I drug myself essentially with Benadryl every night. Please, please no one comment and tell me how bad that is for me. I’m certain my family would write back and tell you my mood & attitude is much worse when I don’t sleep and any possible long term side effects are risks we are all willing to take.

So I take 1 Simply Sleep pill every night, and I have to take 1 thyroid pill in the morning. Easy, peasy. Unless you accidentally take your Simply Sleep pill in the morning instead of your thyroid pill…

I set out on my walk thinking, “I don’t feel any effects yet, so it will probably be awhile before it kicks in. I’ll walk, and then if I have to take a nap this afternoon that’s NBD.”

Oh but it was a BD (that’s a Big Deal in your child’s text language).

About halfway through my normal route, at the point where I’m the farthest away from my home (of course) I start to feel oh, not so good. I’m already hot and sticky from the 1,500% humidity, and now my stomach is churning and my mind is slowly fading away to… sleep. As I’m walking I notice my steps getting slower and slower, my will and determination to get home slowly but surely fading away like the SEC’s chances of winning a national championship in football last year.

At one point I seriously considered laying down in the shade, near some bushes so I wouldn’t be in anyone’s way (and hopefully no one would see me) like an old dog that is going off to die. I just didn’t think I could pick up my feet and step any further without taking some time to lay down and rest.

I was, at that moment, moving like a turtle in peanut butter.

turtle

We all have times we feel like turtles in peanut butter. We all face trials and difficulties where we feel stuck, like we just can’t take another step further.

It’s at that point where the will and the mind literally have to take over the body. Maybe you are a widow and you feel no reason to get out of bed today because your wife is no longer with you. Or you might have a son who has chosen a life of drugs & alcohol and you just can’t face another day of despair over his situation.

I’ve been in desperate situations – everyone has. Where do we turn? To whom do we listen? How do we find the will to face another day?

It’s only through the power of Jesus that we rise to face each day when we are in hopeless situations. God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:1) We may feel lost and unnoticed, but that simply isn’t true. God never leaves our side and He gives us the power to carry on, day after day: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) And we need to take it one day at a time, facing today’s challenges only and not borrowing worries and anxiety from tomorrow. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

And lastly – and most importantly – we need to keep in mind that Jesus has already been through everything we could experience, and He is victorious over every single situation, every emotion, every experience. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

I literally prayed my way home that day, slowly but surely putting one foot in front of the other until I was able to lay down in the safety of my home. Pray your way through your desperate situation so that you can feel the safety of being home at the feet of Jesus.

Blessings!
Leigh

Letting Go

“It’s my life.”

When your child is under your roof you have more opportunities, more time to have conversations that matter. Conversations about a summer job, where they want to attend college or if they even want to go to college. When your kids live at home your conversations can last as long as they need to (or you want them to).

But when your child goes to college, it’s hard to have a meaningful conversation in snippets. I talk to my daughter every day (literally) but it’s more of a what’s going on today type of discussion because she’s either on her way to study, to do something for sorority or to work. Deep conversations now feel like Bigfoot sightings – elusive and very rare.

bigfoot

Last weekend we went to visit my daughter to celebrate her 21st birthday (I know, I know, clearly I am too young to have a child who has been on this earth 21 years. But I digress.), and I had an agenda with 3 important topics up for discussion. One was to establish a plan for next summer, which we all agreed needed to have the word “internship” in the plan, but that’s where the agreements ended.

When my husband or I would make a suggestion that she didn’t care for, her response was, “But it’s my life.” And I’ll just say at first I was completely annoyed by that response. Of course it’s your life, but you need our wisdom, our experience, our contacts, our money

While we were talking about “her life” I mentally drifted from the restaurant. I had a flashback to when she was almost one. As she was learning to walk she held both my hands as she tentatively put one foot in front of the other. I was always behind her to catch her if she were to fall. Slowly but surely she let go of one of my hands, took a step, then another, and eventually she let go of my other hand, took some more steps, and carefully looked behind her to make sure I was still there, just in case she needed me as she walked all by herself.

And yep, that’s when it hit me. We are in the same place, just 20 years later. I’d say we are at the point where she is holding on to the index finger of my right hand, ready to let go completely and walk her own path. Yes, I will be right here should she fall and need some help to get back on her feet, but it’s getting to the point of – dare I say it – independence!

So hold on to your hearts, mommas (and daddies) – that day is coming where yep, it is your child’s life to live. And as hard as it may be, we’re gonna have to deal with that little dose of reality. So how do we handle that transition?

Through prayer. Pray for them, pray for yourself – “…pray without ceasing…” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and trust in God’s plan for their lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

And then watch. Wait and watch as that toddler who learned to walk on her own one day slowly but surely lets go of your hands and begins to walk on the path God has laid out for her.

It’s her life.

Blessings!
Leigh

Hello, Old Friend

It’s been awhile. It’s been since August 13th, to be exact. Two months and some change since I’ve written anything. So what in the world has been going on?

Life.

Moving a child into the sorority house, getting another one settled in high school. Football games and golf tournaments. Oh and work – I do actually have a job to do. Grocery store runs, hosting a small group, etc.

But those are just excuses for not doing what God clearly called me to do almost two years ago.

It’s not that I think I’m the best writer in the world – I don’t. But I did get a clear directive from my Creator to write about life and point people to Jesus. And I was on a roll for awhile, until I let life creep in and steal the gift God called me to share.

You have a gift, too. God planted a special gift inside of you – do you know what it is? Do you know how to use it? If not I suggest you get in a church or Bible study that can help you figure it out.

So here are three steps we all need to keep in mind:
Step 1 – Figure out the gift God has placed inside you.
Step 2 – Use it for His glory and to point others to Jesus.
Step 3 – Don’t let life get in the way.

“God has give gifts to each of you from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT)

keyboard

It took a Sunday in church listening to a message on spiritual gifts for me to say, “Oh yeah, that blog thing – I should probably get back on that…”

I can’t say I’ll be able to write as frequently as I used to, but I am going to choose to make time to do what God has called me to do. And I trust He will give me the time and the space and the means to get everything else done.

Don’t let your gift go to waste. Discover it. Use it. Bless others with it.

Blessings!
Leigh