Monday, March 17, 2014

Yeah...It's Already March

Okay, we are already half way through the month of March and I entirely missed the month of February. Oh well, not much I can do about that.

By the time the end of this month rolls around, 2014 will be one-fourth completed. It is sometimes amazing to me how fast time can go by As of this moment, I have no idea how the rest of this year is going to go. There are exciting things on the way. Our daughter, Carrie, and her husband, Drew, will  be bringing another grandson into our lives in May if not before. Few things in this life we live on earth bring more joy than grandchildren. It's a hard thing to explain even after having experienced it. It looks as though our son, Isaac, and his wife, Ricci, will be making some big life changes again this year as he pursues his graduate degree. Beyond that, I'm not sure what the year will bring and don't even want to speculate. Maybe that's the point - not always knowing what is around the next corner.

I am one of those people who can lay in bed at night and think of volumes of things to write on this blog and then sits down in front of the computer and leaves without typing a word. All of the "seemingly profound thoughts and revelations" that I come up with kind of disappear into the air when they try to move from my mind to the screen.

One thing I do know, I'm ready for a new direction. Don't get me wrong, there are areas of my life that I wouldn't change for the world. However, lately I've felt kind of stuck. I know that a person cannot go back and change the past. That would probably be a bad idea anyway because there is always the potential I could make it worse. The problem seems to be letting go of it so that I'm not dragging it into the future. I've prayed about it, talked about it, gotten mad, sad and about everything else that goes along with it. I've felt guilty for not having enough faith, not being spiritual enough, not claiming the victory not giving up control. I've forgiven myself for and accused myself of not handling things right almost within the time frame of the blink of an eye. Many nights I've even wondered if I'm a Christian anymore or if I ever was. Then I wonder why I wonder and if anyone else wonders these things, too....

Like I said, I have no idea what this year will bring for any of us but I'm ready for something new and good for all of us.

Pray for me. I'll pray for you.  (Yeah...I still believe this stuff.)

Monday, January 20, 2014

What is Joy-Full?

Already slacking on the blog posts, but I guess it's still an improvement....

Yesterday we had a speaker at church talking about the importance of knowing what brings us joy and then making sure we make time for those things in our life. He related things back to when he was a child and remembering the things that he did that brought him joy - like riding his bike. So, I have been thinking about this a little bit and was asking myself the question...what brings me joy? Not just being happy about something...but the joy that can be found regardless of what else is going on around me.

Of course, there are some obvious things. Knowing I can come home to a husband that I love and that loves me brings me joy no matter what kind of day/week/month I had. Seeing my kids as incredible adults and gaining all of those life experiences that growing up brings makes me joyful. Grandkids...well that goes without saying. But in thinking about it, there are a few other little things that bring me joy. I like to cook a good meal or good food and share it with family and/or friends. (I remember making up crazy food concoctions when I was young and my dad always ate them.) Also, when I was younger, I was happy when I was outside. Teaching used to bring me a lot of joy when someone connected with something I was sharing or when I would see someone write something down (of course, I assumed it was something they wanted to remember in a positive way). Having a new revelation of a Scripture brings me joy. Knowing that I just learned something I didn't know before.

So, there you have it. Now if I can just remember that these are the things I should be spending my time on or somehow bringing the possibility of these joyful moments into those areas of my life that do not provide a lot of joy.

This is the year I will turn 50. Hard to believe where that many years have gone. There have been those years that sucked and there have been those years where everything seemed right with the world and a lot of years that were a combination of both. Hopefully when I look back at 2014, I will see that I have made time for joy: my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my friends and yes, my God.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Healthy 2014

I suppose like most people, when a new year begins, I start to think about losing weight, exercising, etc. But this year, I hope to go beyond that and just feel healthy - spiritually, mentally and, yes, physically.

Although running was a pretty regular part of 2013, feeling an overall sense of health somewhat escaped me due to the circumstances of life. And, I suppose I should accept responsibility for the way I reacted to some of them. But, that is all history and a new year has begun.

From a physical aspect, I put back on way more weight than I wanted to after losing quite a bit in 2012. So, I have started on the New Lifestyle Diet. It is pretty similar to the one I did before, but it is way less expensive. It is a protein-based diet which seemed to work well for me so I'm going for it again. (Dan is joining me in this as well - or I'm joining him, either which way, we're doing it together.) Hopefully, since I only has about 1/3 of the total weight to lose, it won't take too long. The key this time is to then not go crazy when the goal is reached. Being on a diet is not the way I want to live, I just want to learn to make healthier eating a way of life. I admit, I like food. I like to eat. I like to cook. Learning that I can still do these things but do them healthier is my overall goal. Taking satisfaction in creating a good meal that is healthy is even more rewarding than just one that tastes good. In addition, exercise has got to get back into the routine of life. Last year, with Dan's help, I did my first half-marathon. I was happy to finish, but I know I could have done a lot better had I not had the additional weight and had trained more diligently. So, the walking has begun and hopefully the running is soon to follow. I will be much happier when the running can take place outside. (I am a cold-weather whimp.)

Then there is the mental. I have to say, I have never felt as negative as I did last year. To put honest, there were so many people I was hurt by. Granted, we all get hurt, but this seemed to be too much all at once. I know I could have handled it all better. I started to feel very sorry for myself. Life wasn't fair. This wasn't supposed to turn out this way. And on and on and on.... Maybe that is something I just had to go through, but I probably camped out there for way too long. And yes, I still visit there on a fairly regular basis. So, I'm working on it. I'm trying to concentrate on just how blessed I am in this life. I have an awesome husband whom I love dearly, wonderful kids, grandkids, family, friends. All of the basic necessities of life I have in abundance. These are the thoughts that need to occupy my mind and with God's help and the help of those mentioned above, I know it will come without as many trips to the "dark side" of my mind.

Finally, the spiritual. My life in this area has really pretty much sucked and I have no one to blame but myself. I admit I gave up. It just didn't seem worth it anymore. I really didn't vocalize that to many people, but I know that's what I did. I am so thankful that we have found a church. I know we may not be there forever, but for the time being it has seemed to be just what we needed. Case in point... Just received an email that the series beginning in February is going to be about developing a healthy lifestyle incorporating all of the above. I am really looking forward to the affirmation of my endeavors.

So, there you have it. Here's to a good year. And life.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Snowy Sunday - Thinking about the middle of the night call....

We are currently getting quite a bit of snow. It has been awhile since I remember getting this much snow. Things are being closed, called off and cancelled pretty much across the board. It is quite beautiful to look at, but I'm glad we are in for the day.

This past week, I was recalling a few conversations I've had with different people over the years about "the middle of the night call..."  Now usually, when your phone rings during the night - the news on the other end is probably not going to be good. There are those exceptions...a grandchild has arrived, or the engagement is official, etc., but for the most part, your heart starts beating really fast for a reason as your mind tries to become coherent enough to understand what the person on the other end of the call is trying to tell you.

The conversation just eluded to, was regarding who would you call at 2 a.m. if you needed to? If tragedy struck? If the relationship ended? If you weren't sure you could make it another day? How many of us have those kind of relationships? Would you be willing to be the friend that would receive that call?

Lots of questions I suppose and no easy answers. But yet, I think this is the kind of friend we are all called to be. Granted, some of us are blessed with spouses and children that we could call in an emergency or who would most likely already be with us, but what if they weren't? What if they were the emergency? Sadly to say, I'm not sure who I would call. Who I could call. I do have family - most of which are hours away who I could call, but who would not be able to be there in a matter of minutes. There were a few others that I thought I could call, but for one reason or another are no longer part of my life.

So, all of this to say...I want to work on that. I want to have friendships where I could be that person for someone or know of people that could be that person for me (or for us). I went to a conference years ago where the speaker was talking about friendships, specifically between women, but I think it works regardless of gender. She said that many friendships can survive long distances, some can even survive long absences, but those that can survive conflict are few and far between. I agree. And, I think that's wrong. Conflict is tiring. Confrontation is so uncomfortable and stressful. But what is the alternative?

Once again, I do have hope - not just for the new year, but in general. To me, as long as we are asking questions, there are possibilities. As we keep looking - there are things to be found. Unfortunately, some relationships have an expiration date and I am learning to accept that. But, to those in my life - thank you for sticking around. Call me anytime.  :)

Friday, January 03, 2014


So glad that Friday is here. Today's meetings about made my head explode. I'm sure it will all be fine - I need to remind myself to take one thing at a time...and to be thankful for all that's good. So many people that I care about have had such a rough go of it this past several months.

Fridays are the day that Dan and I always go out to dinner. It's been our date night for years and I so appreciate that. We usually end up with our small group of friends - it's been a good time, especially this past year.

We are starting a new Bible study with Drew & Carrie and I am looking forward to learning again. Again, this past year has taken a toll on all of us - but I know that God never leaves, even through the crap - both our own and what we get from others. Trying to get back to that radical hope - but for now I'll be content with just being hopeful.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Another Year Begins

The calendar has changed over to yet another year - 2014. I'm not going to make any big commitment about blogging again, because it may or may not happen and that's okay.

This past year has seemed like five years. Lots of not-so-good stuff happened this year and I am still trying to process through most of it and hopefully learn from it. Maybe this will be a good place to break a few things down now and then because to look at the whole year in its entirety is not something I can or really want to do at this point.

However, that being said, this was a year of some really good stuff, too. Dan and I were able to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. In honor of this, we took our first family vacation in years. By family - I mean everyone (Dan, Me, Drew, Carrie, Anna, Bennett, Isaac & Ricci). We headed down to Myrtle Beach and enjoyed a nice, relaxing week together. Probably won't be doing something like that every year, but hope we can every few years, and for sure, try to make more time to get together this year. Later on in November, Dan and I took a long weekend trip to Mexico - just the two of us. We needed it and it was good.

Also, we were blessed to have Isaac and Ricci's wedding in September. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple. We were so happy to be able to share that day with a lot of our family and friends. Days like that give a sort of hope for the future.

We also found out that we will be having another grandchild this spring. So, there is already one exciting family event on the calendar for 2014.

We have started to attend church at a new place - Grace Gathering in New Haven. Slowly starting to get involved and are thankful that it has been a good place of healing for us (the Feipels too).

Dan started his first day on a new job today. Very proud of him and trust this came along at the right time. He has had so much to deal with this past year and it is time for him to be able to enjoy more of life. Very thankful for the family and friends who have stood by us.

This is it for today. Maybe I'll be back tomorrow - or maybe not. Guess we'll wait and see.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Well, here it is the 3rd day of a new year. Wish I could say it was starting off on a positive note, but not so much. What is a person to do?

Sometimes trying to understand people can zap one of every ounce of energy. Why is it that what can seem to make perfect sense to some makes no sense to someone else? Maybe it is me (us) - maybe it is them, either way, it is exhausting.

Trying to change my medicine today - hopefully this will straighten that part of life out. Guess we'll wait and see.