My sun porch

My sun porch

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

RIGHT in the middle...

"And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:4

On one side of me sat the grandmothers and great grandmothers.. Their hair was "frosted" or entirely white. Their faces lined with years of living and loving. Their waistlines weren't what they were in their twenties. Their laughter was generous and their advice was sound and true. "Been there, done that" was the phrase used over and over.

On the other side of me sat the younger mothers. They held crying and hungry babies. Their eyes tired from lack of sleep. Their purses held everything from pacifiers to Barbie to little green army men. They watched the grandmothers with humor and a little bit of awe. Those women have LIVED their lives. They made it through the sleepless nights, temper tantrums, skinned knees, broken bones, teenage hormones and dating horror stories and STILL have the energy and heart to serve others in so many ways.

And there I sat...RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE. How fitting and appropriate as I am no longer the young mother with a crying baby and I have not yet made it to grandmother status. I am still figuring out who I am at this stage in my life. My body is changing and adjusting to the years and life I have led so far, and yet I have hopefully many years left to gain experience that life will deal out to me. God has so much yet to teach me and it is my job to learn, reflect and endure so when my hair is white and pictures of my grandchildren fill my purse I will have advice for young mothers that is sound and true.

I am middle aged. That is a phrase that I have a hard time saying aloud. I don't want to think about my life being half over. However, sitting in that room of Methodist Women and young mothers, I figured out I am RIGHT where I am supposed to be. I am RIGHT where God wants me to be and RIGHT in the middle of my life.

I was blessed so much by the loving and "motherly" women who welcomed me and the younger mothers to their meeting. They told funny stories, discussed how they take care of other people in need in our church and in our community and it was clear that they take care of each other as well. I hope when I endure my years to come and become a grandmother myself, I am half as loving, welcoming and caring toward younger women around me.

Until that time, I will make the most of the life God has blessed me with. At this Thanksgiving time of making one's blessings known to friends and family, I want to say that I am thankful that I have discovered and come to terms with the fact that I am RIGHT, smack dab in the middle and ready to move forward to the rest of my life.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"The Troubles"

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (Words of Jesus)

I have been watching a show on Nextflix called "Haven." It is NOT the kind of show that I would normally watch. I am not a sci-fi/horror kind of girl so I am not sure what gained my interest in this show. is about an FBI agent, Audrey Parker who travels to Haven, a small town in Main that is dealing what is called "The Troubles" a plague of supernatural afflictions that have occurred in the town at least twice before. These "troubles" seem to affect only a select group of Haven's townspeople, but more and more of the town's citizens, so one can assume that the whole town is "troubled." People die...people and buildings burn...things appear...mythical creatures appear and cause havoc, all because of "The Troubles." Some episodes of this show are truly disturbing, and I am not sure why I keep watching. Audrey Parker seems to be immune to these troubles and she find ways to HELP those who are troubled.

Today, I was scrolling down through Facebook and had a thought. Perhaps we ALL suffer with our own kind of "The Troubles." There are so many people who are hurting, angry, depressed, disenchanted, upset and falling to pieces today. With this social technology we feel the need to tell all our friends about our troubles. While I generally try to keep my Facebook posts pretty positive and upbeat, I too sometimes find myself posting my troubles out there for the world to see. It is a convenient and easy venting resource, isn't it? So, if we ALL have troubles, shouldn't we all be a little more understanding of people's feelings? Apparently not! Our troubles seem to make us more close minded and hard hearted and our comments are equally as negative and hurtful, making THE TROUBLES of this world so much worse all over!

I know things are tough all over. We are upset about our Health Care, whichever side you are's frustrating! Bombings, war, car wrecks, shootings in the local Burger King. Money's tight, schedules are tight, stress levels are high. It's no wonder we need to vent and get these frustrating feelings off our chests!

Some try to buck the system and live more positive and uplifting lives. November is the season of the days of Thanksgiving postings on Facebook where people list what they are thankful for each day. In this world there is MUCH to be thankful for, even amidst "The Troubles." We need to keep reminding ourselves, and more importantly each other, of the good things. We can be a little more forgiving...we can keep our negative comments to ourselves, even if they are warranted! We can be "Audrey Parkers" in this world and find ways to HELP those around us who are troubled, even if we have troubles of our own.

I think I am an Audrey Parker. It's the reason I write. It's the reason I listen to the troubles of my friends...I want to HELP. I want to point to the verse from John 16:33 above. Those are the words of Jesus. He is telling us there WILL be trouble in this world. But He tell us that He has overcome this world! He says that He tells us these things so we believe that IN HIM we can have peace IN our troubles. These troubles will not last forever! HE WINS! God knows what we are going through and sent Jesus to overcome those troubles.

Are you troubled today? Reach out to Jesus and let Him give you peace. Reach out and help another troubled soul. Something magical happens in your heart when even in your trouble you help someone else. You bond and lift each other up. The peace of Jesus allows you to do this. Tempted to post a nasty comment to someone on Facebook who posted something you disagree with? THINK AGAIN! You don't know what trouble that person is dealing with, don't add to it. Pray for them, but leave the negative postings to someone else.