Thursday, May 26, 2011

Drastic changes part 2

Singleness has been a struggle for me for some years now and last year when I moved to my current house and prayed about training and showing my young horse I very much felt that this was the direction God wanted me to go down.... I am also very certain that going down this path meant that I would be single for a few more years, many tears were shed but I said ok, and I chose to follow Him down this path. I used to pray that God would just take away the desire until He was ready to fulfill it (wish life worked that way) but I don't pray that way any more.... I know better. Instead I pray for the strength to endure and also that He would give me other things to think about.

Well for the past month He has done just that and that particular struggle has been far more manageable. So much that I didn't even realize that I wasn't struggling with it. When it dawned on me last week, I started praying immediately and thanked Him, then I asked the why and how questions (that's the philosopher in me). The past few weeks had been so peaceful. And I think that a large part of it was that I was not spending an enormous amount of time with this group of people. This shocked me as in the past when I have had weeks away from them my walk was usually worse off as these friends are one of the tools that God has always used to keep me on "track" and encourage me. They have very much been a rock for me in the past and so I was very confused.

Of course I prayed and asked for clarity and it came in form of a coffee date with one of those friends. She is so precious to me and I am so thankful for a friend that I can be completely honest with without worries of what she will think. She knows my heart and is a great soundboard: ) So I came to her with this issue and she just listened. She knows how hard the past few months have been and through it all has stuck with me and sought me out when I retreated.

The more I talked about it.... the more I prayed about it..... it made sense. And then I spent time with the group for the first time in a long time and on the way home I knew what He was saying. Change is hard and often uncomfortable but that doesn't mean it is wrong.

You see in our group... and I am only talking in regards to the girls.... there are several single guys in the group but I personally do not see it appropriate to talk about such matters of the heart with the opposite sex (too many dangers there that are not worth taking). In our group of friends that meet together regularly I am the only single person. I used to never really notice it but lately I have. I notice that I really don't fit into the conversations anymore. As we sit around and talk about our week, theirs consist of cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, finding little time to sleep, little time to do other things. My week consists of sitting in front of this computer, calling customers about insurance, and running a farm. Their struggles are finding balance between kids and husbands, work schedules and family time. My struggles are dealing with a 5 month old puppy and his chewing stage and trying to decide how best to use my evenings, riding or building fences.

I know that there is nothing wrong with what I do, or how I spend my time but when your friends are talking about the stress of dealing with a toddler, and while a 5 month old puppy and a toddler do have things in common, it doesn't sound good to compare the two. And conversations about horses and dogs seem trivial compared to talks about the difficulties in marriage. And usually the phrase... "You'll understand one day" gets thrown in a time or two, and that frustrates me and I usually end up finding a kid or two to do something with at that point.

And then I read this article Monday morning from incourage and I realized that when I was around them as a group (things are great one-on-one) I put on a mask. I pretend to be ok just sitting on the outside looking in, I smile and nod my head in agreement to their comments (as if I understand what it is like to live with a man). Trust me it's just easier to nod and smile like you do. Realizing this frustrated me because I am not a person who wears a mask often and here I am with people I look to most often and I have a mask on. It makes me take some steps back and really think about things.

While I do not think nor will I cease to be apart of this group of friends I do think that taking a few steps back is the right thing to do. God has been so gracious to put some great people in my path recently that have really encouraged me and they are completely unrelated to this group. I also learned in the past week that a very good friend from early college days has moved back and lives just down the street.... She is a strong believer and loves horses like I do. While she is not single, her husband is deployed leaving her with two small children all by herself. I do not think that this is a coincident at all. I think God is making some changes in my life that are quite drastic and slightly uncomfortable and He is asking me to just hold on. I have no idea what direction that will be and who will be apart of it... for that matter I'm not really sure where I am going with this post either : ) But I know it feels good to write about it and maybe one of you can relate, offer advice, or just needed a laugh.

One thing I know is that life is full of seasons and while they may look different or take us down a path we didn't anticipate God will never leave us to fend for ourselves. He takes care of those He loves and if He leads us down a path you can be certain that it worth going down.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Drastic changes part 1

Sorry for the lack of writing this month.... There are some things that God is teaching me that are complicated. I can't tell you how many drafts I have in my posting section. Some topics just don't yet make sense in writing and some are subjects that need to be written carefully. And then there are some that just don't come out right. So bare with me over the next few weeks and pray that God will bring clarity on these teachings... I really need it.

One of the difficult things about these lessons is that they are mostly about my friendships and their impact on my spiritual health. Usually when God brings things to mind I talk it over with several different close friends... talking helps me sort things out, after all things can sound great in your head but then you say them and you realize that its crazy or the light bulb comes on:-)

The problem is.... some of the things God is revealing is about them.

The last month has flown by and I am pretty sure that I have lost an entire month of my life without realizing it. I seriously don't remember much of April and May... Is it already May??? Oh, wait, June starts next week.... AGH!!!!!! Where has this year gone?? I feel like I am just now recovering from Christmas and now summer is here???

That being said the past month has been unusual. I have not seen many of my good friends and life has just kept us all very busy.... meanwhile some new friends have crept in and time got away. Early last week I realized that I had not seen a few of my good friends in at least three weeks which shocked me as we rarely go 7 days without at least catching up through texting... but even that had not happened.

But something else hit me too..... you know that one thing I struggle with.... that thing called singleness.... well it hasn't reared its ugly head in awhile..... so I got-to-thinking (uh oh).

What was different about the past few weeks? The one thing that stuck out was my time away from this group of people. Now I just want you to know that I do not think that there is any person that is responsible for my struggles, they are mine.... and I alone make them smaller then they should be or larger then they should be. However when we are struggling in an area I do not think that it is always a bad idea to make some changes that might make that struggle easier to deal with. There are definitely times when we need to face situations and deal with the struggle head on and that is my usual approach. However for several months I had dealt with this issue head on with no change and then all of a sudden there was a drastic change.

*this post got really long so I broke it up into 2 parts... come by tomorrow to read part 2

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's back up:-)

I am sure many of you already are aware but blogger was done for like days!!! Craziness!!!! I am doing a 30 day challenge over at Life with Romeo and now I am behind:-/

I've been working on several posts in my head for a few days now... that's how all my post start. Usually days ahead of time, lots of thinking, lots of praying. Funny... that's pretty much how every single one of my at least a thousand papers I wrote to get my two degrees... typing didn't usually occur till the day before the due date:-)

I haven't forgotten about the last chapters of Ann's book, because I have yet to get past chapter 8.

The chapter has been read, and reread again and again. I can't seem to move past the story of Moses tucked away in a cleft... in complete darkness, while the presence of God passes by him.

"Dark is the holiest place."

It is the most beautiful picture of His redemptive grace.
It is also the most gruesome picture in all of history.

Because the holiest place was also the darkest place and the blood that ran was innocent blood... blood that should of been mine.

But it wasn't mine and it wasn't yours and He willingly shed His own so that I wouldn't have to shed mine.

And yes I know that Easter was weeks ago but I can't seem to move past it... and I don't want to move past it and it breaks my heart that so much of Easter focus on the resurrection and the darkness of the holiday is often glanced over. 

It is in that darkness that we can find comfort.... that the same Savior who provides us with hope can also identify with our sufferings.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

An update

The last week has been quite crazy around here. April is a month for rain in this great state and this year we got slammed. Saturday night we got well over 6 inches just while I slept... and then it continue for the next 24 hours. The central part of this state is experiencing flooding like never before and I am thanking God that my family has remained unaffected by all of the craziness the weather has brought upon as of late.

Just a week ago we were slammed with tornadoes... the same line of storms that did so much devastation in AL did not leave this state unscathed before moving on. Thankfully the two that came through central AR went on either side of where I am and left my place alone.

Besides all the crazy and unpredictable weather that puppy that was supposed to go to live with my nephew.... well..... he isn't going anywhere.

Turns out the mostly Aussie mix is really a mostly Catahoula mix. If you, like me, are unfamiliar with a Catahoula let me educate you. A Catahoula is a stock dog... known around these parts as a Louisiana hog dog, they are primarily used to hunt... you guessed it.... hogs. Big, mean, wild hogs. They are known for not backing down in a fight and for being aggressive. They are also extremely dominate and tend to be a one-person dog. Not really a good first dog for a 4-yr old.

However.... he is really cute and really sweet and really smart soooo..... I decided to keep him.

And some days I ask myself why???

He is extremely energetic and tends to be a trouble maker :-/ but he has a strong desire to please and loves me to death. I can already see that one-person trait in him. As far as any aggression, only when food is involved and we work on that every day. I take him everywhere and socialize the mess out of him as I want to avoid any future problems concerning strangers. And I have even started to get up early and take him and my old lab for a walk :-o yes... i did just say get up early.... which for me means anything before 8 and I will say that I have been doing pretty well at that at least 4 days a week... Go me!!!!!

Here are a few pics of my new little guy.... Meet Bentley

You can be sure you will be seeing more of this cute little guy soon :-)