Reunited….and it Feels So Weird

I’ve just returned from a quick trip down to Colorado to drop my son off with J, so he can drive back up to Alaska with his father.  Yep, J is coming home.  And if I’m honest, I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about it.

DISCLAIMER:  I never want to dishonor J (or anybody) in these posts.  But he and I discussed it, and the fact is, we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in, had he not made certain choices.  To tell the story and not acknowledge that would be disingenuous.  It’s been a long, hard road.  People have had their opinions – some of his family finding it inconceivable that he could ever do anything wrong, so it must be my fault; some of my family insisting they knew better what God was saying to me than I did.  That’s fine; I learned a long time ago not to be too concerned with what other people thought.  The whole reason I started writing this blog in 2010 was to use my life experiences to hopefully illuminate someone else’s situations, help them find hope.  You can’t do that without telling the truth in all its ugliness AND beauty.

am·biv·a·lent
/amˈbivələnt/
adjective    1. having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

I suppose, looking at that definition, it’s fair to say that trust -or lack thereof- plays into it.  In my case, it’s trust in God that’s the important factor, even above trusting J.  Why?  Because God has been with me every step of the way.  It’s old hat for me to trust Him in times of difficulty.  But trusting Him in brand-new seasons that are brimming with His promise that things will never be the way they were again?  That, I find challenging.

About a month ago, when J first told me he had applied for a job in Alaska and it was looking good, I had a heart-to-heart with God that went something like this:

Me:  Do I even want this at this point?  I don’t know this man anymore.  I don’t want what was, but I have no idea what IS now.

God:  He is not where he was.  He is in a good place with Me.  His heart is tender toward Me now.  He made his “now or never” choice.  Daughter, I’m not telling you you have to stay with him.  But I haven’t given up on him, and this is still the best path for you.  Will you trust Me?  I would not have opened this back up if it was going to bring you harm.

Well, what do you say to that?  On paper, the obvious choice is, if God hasn’t given up, then I won’t.   In reality, I feel like I’m tiptoeing into a dark room, with no idea what it holds.  I’ve been going ’round the mountain for the better part of 15 years, seeing things get better for a bit and then go all to hell again.  Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt, ripped the tee shirt to shreds.  BUT.  What I’ve never had in the past was God’s promise that things were new and different.  That’s a VERY different paradigm from, “He’s got to make his choice, but I will strengthen you and be with you through it.”

So here we are.  In about a week, J and I will once again be living under one roof.  And I think I’m mostly okay with that, provided there are no illusions about picking up where we left off.  Nope.  This is brand-new.  So there needs to be a time of getting to know each other.  There needs to be pursuit, even courtship.  Everything has to be fresh.  I have to make the choice not to default to “but in the past, you always _______.”   He has to keep God – and me – in the places we belong in his life.  We will start there, and eventually, friendship and feelings will come.

Similarly, J and M will need to get to know each other.  M is not the little boy he was when all this mess came to a head, and J needs to know him as a young man, which is part of the reason they are on this road trip together.  A week together in a car will make or break anyone!

I am cautiously optimistic because I have seen many times that what God puts together is always SO much better that what I can imagine.  So I will go forward with that knowledge as my strength on the days I don’t feel it wholeheartedly.  Thanks for standing with us and for us, those of you who have prayed and been privy to the inner workings of this crazy, past season. ❤  Would you continue to pray as we make this new start?

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March Madness

It’s time to start breathing again.

Y’all.  I don’t know about yours, but my March was filled with some crazy stuff.  So many things shifting, changing.  It’s left me a little tired, a little breathless…

  1.  My father died.  This is a man I hadn’t seen or spoken to in over 20 years, a man who caused no small amount of stress and horror and terror and issues for every person in my family.  He was not a good man by even the most generous definition of good.  I spent a lot of years working through all the yuck and was truly able to come to a place of forgiveness.  And I’ve stayed there, at peace.  But I felt nothing when informed of his passing.  It wasn’t like I was trying not to feel; there really was no connection and no reaction, except maybe a little pity that he died senile and alone in a VA hospital.  Messages of condolence came rolling in, and I had no idea how to tell people how completely unnecessary they were, so I just said, “Thank you.”
  2. A family member called me confrontational, said all of us were, and we just needed to sit down at a table together and hash it all out.  No, no, no.  First, there’s a huge difference between being confrontational and standing on the truth.  Think about it.  The first conveys a sort of aggressive forward motion, a loud voice.  The second conveys a sense of stillness, being immovable, quietly holding one’s ground.  A big part of the difference between the two is knowing when to speak and when to keep quiet.  I’m not confrontational – I don’t have the time, energy, or inclination – but I will defend the truth.  Second, I know my family members, and they are all very set in their own opinions, which is fine.  I don’t know what this particular family member expects to magically happen, but all that table session would be is a lot of yelling and negativity and no one budging.  As with the stuff with my father, I worked through the family drama, and I forgave and moved on.  And for that matter, I moved 4000 miles away.  How much less confrontational can one be?  A pastor friend once told me, “You can forgive someone fully, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit and eat apple pie with them.”  I think there’s a lot of wisdom in that statement, especially when you don’t live your life from the same place as the other person.
  3. I reached my limit with the terrible job I talked about in my last post.  I got tired of not being able to sleep, of having a heavy weight on my chest at all times, of the dread of going to work, of being constantly undermined.  J and I talked, and his exact words were, “None of this would be worth it if you were making $200K a year,” (which I’m not).  So I resigned, and you would not believe the number of coworkers who came out of the woodwork and said things like, “Good for you.  I’m afraid to leave,” or, “99% of the staff on center feel like you do, but we’ve all got reasons we have to stay,” or, “Did you ever notice how no one ever volunteers their real feelings in the management meetings because they’ll just get shot down?” or even, “I hate to see you go.  You’re one of the good ones.”  I know I made the right choice, and while it’s stretching my faith in a totally new way (scary), I know I need to take some time and, well, decontaminate.  That’s really what it feels like.

I have no idea what April is going to hold, but I know Who holds me, and things are going to be okay.  If you’ve just come out of a tumultuous season, I really encourage you to seek the Lord for direction.  The direction he’s given me is to rest, heal, play, create, and get in the sun, and while a huge part of me feels like I’m not doing anything productive, the smarter part of me knows that I’ve had a really rough few years, and if the Lord is telling me to take care of myself (and providing a way for that to happen), then it’s the most productive thing I can do.  So today, the temperature hit 51 degrees, and I laid outside on my deck and basked in the warm sun, and I’ll probably do it again tomorrow.  And I will paint and write and take it one day at a time until I know the next step.  And then I’ll do that one.

Stay tuned…

A Bad Case of “This Ain’t What I Thought it was Gonna Be!”

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Sometimes my optimism really annoys me.  I tend to go into things expecting them to be 100% wonderful…or at the very least, function like they should.  And then, when they aren’t and don’t, I stand bewildered, then frustrated, my sense of justice and rightness raring up indignantly.  The cynics point and laugh and say, “You’re kind of an idiot, you know.  What were you thinking?”

Well, I was thinking the best of everyone and everything.  It’s my default, and it means I get disappointed a lot…

Take my job, for example.  I had wanted to work at my current place of employment since I first moved to Alaska in 2014.  I believe in their mission and thought it would be a great chance to impact young people’s lives.  The opportunity came in May 2018, but even getting the job was an odyssey.  I applied and never heard anything, but the position stayed open.  So I called and was told I didn’t qualify, which made no sense.  I had clearly heard the Lord tell me that was where he wanted me, but it seemed to dead-end.  And then one day in August, a friend told me the company was holding a job fair, so I showed up with a couple of copies of my resume.  I was the only person who attended that day, and they could see that I had applied but couldn’t find my resume anywhere on the recruiting site.  They couldn’t imagine why I was told I didn’t qualify.  They interviewed me the next week and offered me the job.

Yay!  Or so I thought, until I understood the maelstrom I had walked into and was now ostensibly in charge of:

  1.  My department’s office moved from Anchorage to the Valley in June.
  2. The entire team quit.
  3. They left behind over 300 files that hadn’t been touched, some since February.
  4. All of my subordinates’ positions were filled before I was hired.
  5. They never got much training.
  6. I never got much training.
  7. Because we were scrambling to deal with the files, I had no time to build team relationships.  I was on cleanup duty for a mess I didn’t make, and there was an expectation that we’d all produce as fast as possible.  The human element didn’t seem to matter to the higher-ups, and we didn’t gel as a team from the start.
  8. My immediate manager didn’t hand over the reins on far too many things I was responsible for, even though I asked and asked and asked.
  9. When the contract changed at the beginning of this year, he was let go, and the director started to understand just how much I didn’t know.  (“Whoa, maybe she’s NOT just a crappy manager.  Maybe she’s just untrained!”)
  10. Half of my team quit right when the contract changed.
  11. We’ve been EXTREMELY short-staffed but expected to produce at the level of a fully-staffed team…and no one is applying for the open positions across our center.  Word on the street is that we don’t have such a great reputation as a place to work.
  12. Numbers and stats seem to be more important than people.
  13. The general air across the whole center is soooooo negative, tense, and stressed.  You can feel it in the air.

I have never worked in an environment like this before.  I have never cried so much or been so exhausted by a job.  And on top of that, I have had the hardest time figuring out why I’m even there because when I asked the Lord to help me hit the expected numbers, he said, “No.”

“Wait, what?” said I.  “So you’re setting me up for failure?  This is extremely uncool, and I don’t understand.”

“Daughter.  Chill.  I am not setting you up for failure.  I will protect you, and you know that.  What I AM doing is giving them a chance to realize how unrealistic their expectations are and to change them.  In the meantime, speak life every opportunity you get.”

Okay, then.  First, I had to make a Herculean effort to climb out of the sludge of negativity that just consumes that place, and I realized the only way to do so was to crawl up in the Lord’s lap and let Him wrap His wings around me and not move an inch.  I had to choose to see things from His perspective, rather than focus on the chaos around me. Most days now, I do pretty well.  What still gets to me is seeing/feeling the frustration others carry, but that’s where His directive comes into play.  I have been looking for every possible way to speak life over people.  For many, it’s as simple and basic as a smile and finding something positive to say to them (although the Lord asks me to pray for them in my own time).  For a few quietly like-minded believers on site, I get to ask openly how I can pray.  For two, maybe three, I can go a lot deeper.  There’s one who’s on a journey to discover the Lord, and I feel incredibly honored to be even a small part of that.

So, in hindsight, I guess I really should have realized that it wasn’t going to be what I thought.  The Lord sends me into places on assignments – he’s always done this – for his purposes.  I suppose I assumed, since the job description looked like someone wrote it based on a list of my experiences and qualifications, that I was going to make an impact through the job itself.  But y’all, I am not a “numbers trump people” kind of person.  I’m actually a pretty terrible manager, if you go by their definition of management.  I could not care less about being number one in the nation, or meeting quotas, or writing monthly reports, or or or…

I’ve got some future dreams burning in me, and I’m thinking they’re going to come to life pretty soon.  But I’m to stay in this job until the Lord says the assignment is finished.  And if I’m the only one in the entire company who believes that people are more important than stats, so be it.  I think about the stars, how from our perspective, they’re tiny little pinpoints of light in a vast blackness, but in reality, they’re quite large.  And to me, those little positive words are like the stars.  A small word of hope or kindness or truth can be a HUGE thing in the darkness of someone’s life, and I might never know because from where I’m standing, all I did was say, “Hey, you’ve got great hair,” or, “You are doing an awesome job, and I appreciate you.”

So there I go again, being all optimistic.  Sorry, cynics.  In the end, I know who’s got me, and I want to see things the way He does, always.  I choose life.

 

Restoration, Part I

The season has shifted, and now it’s time for me to tell you about all the good things the Lord has done and is doing.

In July of 2017, I had been in the San Diego area for about a year, and, as horribly as everything was going at that point (see https://pellucere.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/pellucere-and-th…d-very-bad-years/), I had reconciled myself to the idea that this was now home.  But one night, I pulled up Google Maps and began looking at all the places I loved in Alaska, and I started to weep.  I went into a vision, where the Lord showed me myself hunched over a grave in the Mat-Su Valley in AK.  In the grave was Alaska itself. He said my dream had been murdered and I needed to mourn, specifically that I needed to “sit shiva.”

For those of you who don’t know, sitting shiva is the Jewish practice that symbolizes the mourner being “brought low” following the loss of a loved one.  It has a specific time frame and many guidelines, so I immediately asked the Lord how I was supposed to implement all that.  He smiled and said it was less about the ritual and more about deliberately putting myself in the frame of mind to actively mourn.  So I took off for a friend’s place in Phoenix, locked myself in her guesthouse for 4 days, and let the Lord take me through it.  I cried some but mostly rested and wrote and enjoyed the Arizona monsoon season. (Is there anything more soothing than a violent thunderstorm? Not in my book!) On probably day 3, the Lord took me back into the vision, back to the grave, and I saw him absorb it into himself, which I understood, and then absorb me into himself, which I did not.  I went back to California feeling like I had set down a heavy weight.

Fast-forward to 2018.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post (https://pellucere.wordpress.com/2018/05/12/my-cup-filleth-up/), the Lord gave me “restoration” as one of my words for the year.  Apparently a LOT of people got this word because all of a sudden, I started hearing it everywhere.  Right after the new year, the Lord took me back to that same valley where the grave used to be. But as he stood there, he became a portal. He shimmered like a transporter beam, and then I could see his outline but his center became clear, and it was the same valley I was standing in but inside him. I understood that I had mourned what was dead, that I was still in him, and that this was an invitation to restoration. He called Alaska “Lazarus” and invited me to walk through the portal.  And I did.

Now, as far as how that was going to play out in the “real” world, well, I had no clue.  I figured I’d find a job before M and I drove up.  I thought we’d stay in a hotel for a couple of weeks until I got a paycheck or two, at which time we’d find a house and get our stuff out of our storage unit.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with M until school started, but I figured I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.  And God laughed indulgently…

In my mind, I always saw us in a cozy little house until J was released to Alaska.  I saw J walking up a gravel driveway with no baggage, ready to come home at that time, but in the interim, M and I needed to be able to spread out, set up our art stuff and our drums, and just rest.  I looked on Craigslist and Zillow, just to keep tabs on the market, and one day in May, I found the cutest little leaf-green 3/2 ranch.  It really jumped out at me, but at that point, I still wasn’t sure when we were leaving San Diego, and nothing stays on the market long in Alaska, so I didn’t give it much thought.  Eventually, it disappeared off Zillow.  And then in mid-June, it reappeared, ready to rent beginning in July.  J and I talked, and we got this crazy idea to apply for it, even though I wasn’t working and he had rent to pay in Colorado.  We had the lease within 2 days, rented sight-unseen.  Now M and I have been here a month, and it is absolutely perfect for us.  Quiet, peaceful, facing the Talkeetna Mountains, it’s a restful haven, except when Little Drummer Boy is banging on his kit. 😀  And it has a gravel driveway.

The restoration continues.  M and his best friend have picked up their relationship right where they left off 2 years ago.  We had talked about getting another cat, preferably a Maine Coon, one day…and then we went to the animal shelter, and this tiny kitten launched himself at my shoulder and would not let go.  So we now have Bean, and guess what? He’s a Maine Coon.  We have the ultimate Alaska neighbors, who have already shown M how to fillet salmon and taught him to ride a 4-wheeler.  And I’m feeling better healthwise than I have in years.  I know there’s so much more just ahead, and I am so excited about this new season.  Be encouraged, y’all.  The Lord does not forget his promises, and even when it doesn’t look ANYTHING like what you think it should (and let’s face it; that’s pretty much always), he is faithful to restore the years the locusts ate.  If you’re still waiting to see those promises fulfilled, hang in there. Call for restoration; stand on it.  It’s coming!

To be continued…

A Long Post About a Poser Wandering in the Desert (and Maybe Learning a Few Things)

There are times I think I’m the biggest poser on the planet.  This past Saturday was one of them, at least at first.  I had this compulsion to get out to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and go on a hike through Palm Canyon to the palm oasis there.  I didn’t even want to do it as much as I felt like I had to do it, and that right there should have clued me in to the fact that the whole darn escapade was going to be a series of life lessons…

IMG_8169
Indianhead Mountain. Palm Canyon is to its left.

The actual hike is 3 miles round-trip, but when you tack on the walk from the park Visitors’ Center to the trailhead, it’s closer to 6.  But the weather was in the unseasonably-cool low 80s, and I’ve walked that kind of distance many times.  I figured I could get away with about half of the strongly-recommended gallon of water per person since it wasn’t too hot, so I tossed a few water bottles, my camera, and my journal in a backpack, and off I went.

The walk to the trailhead is paved all the way to the campground at the entrance of the canyon, and it’s marked with signs detailing what kind of flora and fauna you might encounter on your way.  Easy peasy.  And then suddenly, you get to a sign saying “Palm Canyon Trail” with a little arrow, and you launch yourself into a vast expanse of sand dotted with creosote bushes and ocotillo.

IMG_20180526_1723437
I bet this jackrabbit knew where HE was going!

But what that sign doesn’t say is that you’re merely on your way to the trail, not on it yet.  You have to cross a campground parking lot and pass a toilet with no doors and apparently look lost enough that a passing park ranger rolls down his truck window and asks if you’re okay, and when you say you’re trying to find the trailhead, he looks at you dubiously and points, and says, “You mean where those 3 palm trees are?” and you just know he thinks your poser self is gonna die on that trail.

Just past those 3 palms I found another sign warning me that the trail is HOT and DRY, and PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF EXPOSURE HERE, and begging me to PLEASE TURN BACK WHEN YOU HAVE CONSUMED HALF OF YOUR WATER.  It might as well have said, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here,” because there really wasn’t a marked trail.  All I saw in front of me were downed tree trunks (which I later found out were remnants of palms destroyed in a huge flash flood in 2004) and boulders strewn haphazardly across the sand.  But the canyon walls formed a V shape ahead of me, so I figured it would be hard to get lost.  And I assumed the trail would be pretty clear…hahahaha.  First life lesson time!

1. Sometimes you have to learn to see in a different way.  And usually, you’re in the middle of a completely unfamiliar, potentially panic-inducing situation before you figure that out.

IMG_20180526_1508388
Most of the trail looked like this.

Based on past hikes, I assumed the trail would be clearly signed/mapped/marked.  It was not.  I had the hardest time even getting into the canyon, until slowly, slowly, it began to register that some of the rocks weren’t so randomly placed (TRAIL EDGES! HALLELUJAH!).  And some of the palm trunks seemed to form barriers (YO! DON’T GO THIS WAY!).  And, lo and behold, there were even a few, teeny-tiny, rust-colored arrow signs tacked here and there!  It felt like learning a new language by immersion, but I started being able to see the trail more clearly…unless I looked too hard.  Then I came to a standstill.  Life lesson number 2!

2.  In a life lived by faith, if you get too bogged down in the details, you lose momentum and bearing.  Keep your eyes on the prize.

I found it fascinating that if I didn’t think too much, my brain seemed to identify the trail with no problems, and I didn’t feel panicky from not knowing where to place my foot.  I heard the Lord whisper very clearly, “Just like following me.  Faith transcends your understanding and keeps you moving in the right direction, even when you have no idea where you’re going.”  However, life lesson number 3!

3.  Don’t get complacent.  That will get you off track, too. 

A few times, I found my mind wandering and then realized I’d lost the trail.  I had to stop, get my bearings, and backtrack.  I also had to revisit life lesson number 1.

Finally, I began to see desert willows, a sure sign of water, and soon there was an actual trickle of liquid in the creekbed.  I could see palm trees ahead of me, but I couldn’t figure out how to get across a very slippery boulder.  As I shot photos and thought, a couple caught up with me and asked if I had been to the palm trees.  I had to say no, that I couldn’t get across the rocks, and I turned to go.  A minute later, I heard the woman call for me.  Her boyfriend had been able to climb it, and they wanted to show me.  Life lesson number 4!

IMG_8170
The seemingly-insurmountable boulder

4.  Sometimes you’ll cross paths, however briefly, with people who can figure out things you can’t.  There’s wisdom in being teachable. 

He found a way around a side I hadn’t seen, and he offered to give me a hand if I needed it.  His girlfriend took my camera so I wouldn’t accidentally drop it, and we all continued to the palm grove together.

Eventually, the couple took off in search of a seasonal waterfall, and I sat in the cool shade and wrote in my journal.  Then I began to head back toward the trailhead, and that’s when I learned life lesson number 5!

PCOasis2
Palm Canyon Oasis

5.  Don’t think just because you’ve been somewhere or done something once, you’re an expert.  Stay humble, and remember past life lessons as you move forward.

I suppose it was silly of me to think getting back would be trouble-free because I did lose my bearings a few times.  Nothing ever looks the same coming and going; plus, I was getting tired and hungry, and I had to pee (guess I took enough water after all?).  But I did get back, and I had such a lot to think about.  I suppose I had felt like a poser because people are always telling me how adventurous/competent/in control I am, and I felt woefully inept on this hike, even a little nervous.  But as I trekked back to my car, the Lord whispered the clearest life lesson I heard all day:

6.  Courage is not the absence of fear.  It’s approaching full-on freak-out mode and going ahead into the unknown anyway.  It’s preparing as much as you can and then trusting Me with the rest.  Good job, daughter.  Go get a taco.  And drink some more water.  You need more than you think you do.

🙂

 

 

 

 

My Cup Filleth Up

The Lord really does do what he says he’s going to do.

There’s a story in the Bible (see Mark 9:14-29) about a man who brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus and basically says, “If you could do anything to fix this, that would be great.”  Jesus looks at him somewhat incredulously (implied by the use of the most emphatic form of “if” in the Greek) and says, “What do you mean, ‘if’? IF you are able to believe, all things are possible to the believer.”  The dad hears this, and according to one translation, says, “I do believe…now help my weakened faith.”   And let me tell you, often I relate to this guy more than any other character in the Bible.  Because I DO believe the Lord, just…weakly at times.  I want to be this powerhouse believer, never wavering, never feeling nervous, never questioning, but I’m more likely to be the one saying, “Yeah, God, I know you’re perfectly capable of doing ______, but are you actually gonna?”

Sigh.

Such was the case when I went to Denver over my birthday weekend.  I had a lot of expectations of the Lord because he had been shouting “REDEMPTION! REDEMPTION! REDEMPTION!” over the 6th of May since the start of the year.  I just didn’t have a lot of optimism that J was in line with all of it because there have been sooooo many times where I was hopeful, and my hope dropped like a bird shot out of the sky in the face of whatever mess J was dealing with at the time.  But I resolved to trust God regardless of how shaky I felt, and I went – this trip was the Lord’s idea to begin with, so once I said yes, I committed to it with everything I could.

And it was a fantastic weekend.

It was a little awkward at first; plus, flying sucks these days, so who’s really ever super-happy after stepping off an airplane?  But I had a great, blessedly quiet hotel room – we both agreed that a neutral space would be better than me staying with J – and after getting a good night’s sleep, I felt a little more optimistic.  We spent the whole of Friday driving through the Rocky Mountains, stopping whenever we wanted to, eating good food, and having good conversation.  We really enjoyed each others’ company, and by Saturday night, I felt a physical and psychic shift. (Have you ever had that happen?  Where you feel like your reality has literally been picked up and moved over a couple of inches and it takes you a second to recalibrate yourself?)  We sat in the hot tub at my hotel, and J poured out his heart to me.  Sadly, I couldn’t hear most of it because of the VERY loud children in the pool, but I could feel the truth and the sincerity of what he was saying.  I didn’t tell him that until after we had gotten out, though. 😀

The bottom line is: things are not what they were.  The old truly has passed away, and all things are made new.  We’re still in the process, but we are watching God’s promises unfold before us.  How gracious is he that our little, tiny, weakened faith is enough for him to work with?  I am so very optimistic for our future now!

The rest of the story in Mark finds the disciples asking Jesus why they couldn’t cast the demon out of the boy, and he told them that kind couldn’t come out except by prayer.  I say that to say this: if you need to see God move in a situation, PRAY.  And give him your little, tiny, weakened faith, and let him take it from there.  Don’t try to demand the hows or wheres or whens.  Let him do it.  If he says he will, he will.

Also, M and I are planning to move back to our beloved Alaska this summer, with J to follow when the Lord releases him to (at which time my cup shall overflow).  How this came about is for another post, but I will say that it is well in line with the words the Lord gave me for 2018: restoration, equilibrium, and tabula rasa.  I’ve applied for pretty much what seems my dream job, so hopefully I’ll have even more good news to share soon.

He’s so good, y’all.  He really is.

Unlucky #13, Huh? Hold That Thought.

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary.  It’s supposed to be a fun-filled, celebratory time, and it’s not.  Instead, this anniversary has served to bring to the forefront – yet again – something that reeeeeeeally needs to be different going forward.

I’m a little bruised, a little sad, a little angry.  I’ve stayed in bed reading all day, though in retrospect, my book choice, Chris Perez’ To Selena, With Love, probably hasn’t done my mood any favors.  I’m going to eat my soon-to-be-delivered panang curry, and then I’m probably going back to bed, where I will watch really dumb YouTube videos and ignore everything else except my son, who is wonderful and growing into a very responsible young man.  And eventually, I will sleep, and then, said in my best Scarlett O’Hara voice, tomorrow is another day.

And I won’t stop believing that the Lord is, even now, working behind the scenes on my behalf.  I will stand on this truth until the day I die, knowing that it never won’t be the case.  Even this present darkness (see Ephesians 6:12) will eventually disappear in the light.  One of these days, things are gonna get good, and I’m here for that.  Things are going to be different, and I’m definitely here for that.  In the meantime, I remember that the Lord gave me “restoration” as one of my words for this year, and I know that even today is not beyond His reach.  Post title notwithstanding, I don’t actually believe in luck or lack thereof:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.
                            – Because He Lives, by Bill and Gloria Gaither