Friday, March 29, 2013

Life Just Happens Sometimes

Sitting here, watching the girlies dance to Taylor Swift, watching it rain with a steaming cup of coffee in hand.  Not much could be better.  The last six weeks have been an insane rush from one thing to another, and today, this is exactly what I needed.  Peace.  And noise.  And giggling girls. 

My Grandma passed away at the beginning of March.  We knew it was coming, and were waiting for it, but the reality of it was this: I wasn't exactly ready.  She taught me so much about life, love and who I am.  She was an incredibly spunky lady, who knew what it meant to love and live life to the fullest.  She taught me how to play cards with dignity, and how to lose with grace.  She also taught me how talk smack and win with an air of cockiness.  She taught me how not to have a poker face, and that it is okay to show excitement over a good hand, because it really isn't all about winning anyway.  She taught me that games (card, domino or board) are an amazing way of creating a family bond and some of the sweetest memories of my life.  She taught me that it is okay to let things go, but that some hurts may take a lifetime to get over.  She taught me how to make a mean egg salad sandwich, and that sometimes, the easiest way to show someone you love them is through their belly.  She loved baseball as much as any girl could, and while I know she loved the sport, mainly she just loved all those men in ball uniforms, cause those uniforms totally gave her a better view of their backsides.  Apparently, some things really are genetic... 

I was so incredibly blessed with inexpensive airfare to get there for her service, which was beautiful.  The pastor that spoke emphasized the way Christians will wait for each other to arrive.  And I know she is waiting, encouraging and smiling at me from up there.  I was blessed to be her granddaughter.  She was a strong woman with an amazing zeal for life that I can only hope people will remember me for.

While I was there, I was so blessed to be able to spend some time on the beach.  I love the beach.  Maybe not so much in a bathing suit, but walking, listening, just being still, I love that.  I love that as I walk life out, knowing exactly who I am, the beach is one of the most spiritual places ever.  Watching the waves roll in and out reminded me of the season I am in.  Waves come, waves go.  Days come in, bring their struggles, their frustrations, the happy moments, and growth, and then get washed away to start again.  Reminding me that God will wash away the stuff that needs to be taken back out to sea, while still leaving the stuff that needs to be there. 

A thought occurred to me while watching huge waves crash the shore right before I came home.  God washes so much away, but still leaves the sand.  Moves it around a little, but leaves it.  This verse resonated within me: "How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!  I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!"  And I realized, He is never going to leave me empty or disheartened.  He leaves the good.  He washes away the bad.  Feeling the sand shift underneath me just helped me realize His thoughts may change about me.  But they are all good, and so many they cannot be counted, far more than the sand.  And, let me just say, that is a lot of goodness! 

Upon coming home, I took the girls to visit my sister and her family in Texas.  We had an amazing trip.  Lots of cousins racing through the house, laughing, playing, scheming.  I am so glad all of the kids are actually old enough to just go play without needing help from the grownups.  It was nice to sit and talk with grown-ups, to laugh and plan and just carry on.  A much needed break from reality was great! 

And, now, I find myself in the midst of figuring out how to just keep going.  I am not sad about my Grandma like I was, especially because I know where she is, that she is waiting for me, and that she isn't hurting or confused anymore.  But, I find myself wondering what people will say about me when the time comes.  I so long to be the woman of God that has it all together and all figured out.  But, really, does any woman of God really fit that description?  We all have flaws, and God knows all about them, because He put them there.  But how do we depend on God to get us through those weak spots? 

You know, this spot I am in completely feels weak.  I am so incredibly tired.  I have less than 7 months left of school.  I have less than 7 classes.  I have an amazing GPA.  I have worked hard.  But how do I stay strong enough to finish this thing?  Then, I look at the obvious.  I am a 28-year-old woman waiting on God to provide me with someone to spend the rest of my days with.  Obviously, I don't need this man to complete me, provide for me, or make me someone I know I'm not, but I so long for something more than I have.  I try to be content.  I try to wait.  I try to not take matters into my own hands.  And then, that stupid voice in the back of my brain nags at me: What is wrong with you that no one is interested?  You will never ever measure up.  And, in those moments, I am learning what it feels like to fully rely on God to make me who I am going to be.  I am learning that I have to shut those voices up and walk with Him, even when I'd much rather do it the only other way I know how, which didn't involve Him the first time.  I have the most amazing little girls on the face of the planet.  But, there are days, I just need help.  Not even so much for them, but for me.  I know they need a present and positive male role model.  I get that.  But, I also get that I need someone to give me another perspective on what they need and what they don't.  So, I wait. I pray.  I thank God for the miracle underway.  And it is hard.

I want this to be encouraging.  I want someone to read this and say, "Wow.  That is just what I needed."  Except, I have used this to complain about my plight instead of focus on how amazing it is to be free from abusive situations, to be able to make Godly choices for my kids and myself, and to be able to be self-sufficient, more or less.  To think about all of the ways God has helped me make it through this wilderness.  To think of the blessings that I have, and not because life was easy, but because I have learned to lean a little harder on God.  He is the God of the impossible.  Thinking back over some of the miracles Jesus performed in his time on Earth can only prove my miracle will happen.  School will eventually end.  I will have the strength to maintain my grades and walk tall across the stage at graduation.  There is an incredibly special man out there looking for us, allowing God to lead him here.  It will happen.  After all, Jesus not only healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and walked across water, He conquered the grave.  Writing my happily ever after will be easy-peasy after that! 

I hope this post finds all of you out there preparing for an incredible Easter weekend.  I know we are ready for at least 2 egg hunts, if not a third.  The girls are happy, and I am happy they know why we celebrate.  Jesus is risen and alive in my heart.  Nothing better than that!  I am gonna get to ironing Easter dresses and getting ready for a fun-filled celebration weekend.  Happy Easter!!

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