No Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock, paper, scissors was the way my friends and I made decisions when we were young enough to play hopscotch and tag–when days were endless hours of playing in the sunshine and catching fireflies at night.

Those days are long gone now. Through my adult years I’ve been faced with many decisions. I became good at making lists of pros and cons. This still works when making financial decisions, but not so with emotionally charged decisions.

I’m facing saying goodbye to my furry friend of nineteen years. It’s been a roller coaster ride for the past year. He has his good days and bad days, like me. I tell him we are just two old people doing life together, one human, one feline. However, his bad days are every day now. Yet, he eats good, and wants to spend every waking minute by my side. I am comforted listening to him purr every time I touch him.

He sleeps a lot, but when his naps are over, he’s vociferous, loudly vociferous, until he finds me and feels my touch. His health issues require a lot of bending, cleaning, and constant attention, which I won’t elaborate on in this blog post. His weight is more than half what it used to be. His body is weak and he stumbles, but so do I.

Making the decision on what is the right thing to do can’t be accomplished by a game of rock, paper, scissors. He doesn’t know how to play. When it comes to a list of pros and cons the emotional pain overwhelms me. How does one say goodbye when so much love is involved?

I’m haunted by the decision I had to make in 2013 when a doctor offered a possibility of extending my husband’s nonexistence in a hospital bed where his body was shutting down. Emotional decisions when the choice is whether or not to extend a life that isn’t really a life are heartbreaking.

And so today, Templeton and I will visit the veterinarian possibly for the last time. In this case, as in the case of my husband, I will ask the same question of the doctor. If this was your father, or cat, what would you do?

Bubble Baths and Me Time

I remember the days of interruptions, squabbling children, meals to fix, housecleaning, laundry, endless hours of being a mother, housekeeper, bookkeeper, cook and chauffer, all on top of working outside the home at a full-time job.

So many times I longed for peace and quiet…a few hours to rest quietly and regain energy. Usually those moments were found in a bubble bath behind a bathroom door that didn’t lock. During two plus years of that time, there were studies for a college degree.

How did I manage? It seems God gives us the strength to persevere and endure. I hear many young mothers complaining and longing for respite. Perhaps it is a perpetual desire for “me” time.

I have all the “me” time I could ever desire in this stage of life. If only I could have foreseen this time coming and all it meant, I might have taken more pleasure in the hectic years of raising a family. Or not. For there was little free time to think what the future might hold.

Quiet surrounds me. I hear only the tapping of the keyboard and the sound of raindrops on the window of this rainy morning. I talk to myself because I need to hear the sound of voices.

I sip my tea in silent pleasure and wish my husband would wander to the doorway to read me something from the morning newspaper. I miss his voice. I miss his embraces. I miss the warmth of his body next to mine in the bed at night. Despite these things, life moves on. And God continues to provide strength to persevere and endure.

In the Still Moments

This morning I sit and look through my office window at the sunshine and the lovely colors of spring, and I’m suspended in these still moments. No words clamor to be written. This is a pleasant place to rest for now, safely under His wings.

I sip my tea. I smile. I feel His nearness.

This is a gift. This is the peace that passes understanding. I breathe. This is the breath He breathed into my lungs. This is life. He knew me before I existed. He knows me now.

I am grateful here in the still moments of morning.

One Foot in Today, One Foot in Yesterday

So here it is April 1st of 2022. Amazing. Twenty two years plus into this century. I never in my wildest imagination saw me in this year prior to the turning of the century. The word century makes me think old. I am old in the eyes of those born in this century. I’m a relic.

This makes me laugh. My mind doesn’t see old any longer. Each day is an awesome gift to be savored and cherished. My body ages but my mind sees only possibilities in each given moment. Life is beautiful.

I’m happily sipping on my morning cup of Earl Grey Decaffeinated tea. My morning indulgence. In 1950, I never thought I’d have a machine to brew my tea. Maybe that’s why I place a tea bag in my mug and use the machine to add the hot water. I can’t see purchasing those little pod things when I can get a box of tea bags less expensive. LOL! But I’m buying into the faster cup of tea instead of wasting electricity while my teakettle heats for 10 minutes or more. I have one foot in 2022 and one foot in 1950.

Outside I watch a light rain falling with no hint of the snow flurries mixed in earlier. It’s a new day, a new month, and God woke me to be part of it all. I smile as I give thanks for this day, this moment, and this soothing cup of tea.

Refueling

I think everyone understands the purpose of refueling. When vehicles are low on fuel, they need to have the gas tank filled. Otherwise, the motor won’t start. Our bodies need refueling, too. Runners and other athletes understand the importance of refueling in order to maintain strength and endurance.

As spiritual beings, humans also need to refuel our souls. Refuel our passion for Jesus. It is easy to neglect spending time with Him. Going to church and/or reading the Bible for a few minutes a day isn’t enough to fill our spiritual tanks. When our spiritual tanks are low, Satan is ready to fill us with lies.

Yesterday I attended a Refuel conference at Sycamore Creek Church. Going in I believed I’d been doing what I needed to do to keep my spiritual tank full. I learned differently. I left with my passion ignited, with God breaking my carefully erected comfort zone. He shattered the illusion of me having achieved the right to sit in my comfort zone because of age.

Now it is up to me to not procrastinate. One speaker spoke this truth to me: procrastination is arrogance. Yikes! How many excuses have I created to do nothing? I’m ashamed to admit the number cannot be counted, but is numerous. My spiritual tank was filled yesterday with a renewed passion for using my God given gift as it should be used…for others.

My focus word for 2022 is prayer. Not just praying for others in need, or for myself in my weakness. The goal in my mind is to spend more quality time with Jesus, with learning more about who God is and deepening my relationship with Him. I don’t want to make decisions without consulting Him first. I want to stop trying to do everything myself because in doing so I’m trying to be God. It’s very humbling to be exposed to the truth of who I am.

For years, I’ve struggled with how to use my passion for writing. I believe with all my heart this is a gift from God to be used for His glory. I’ve prayed for direction, been mistaken by Satan’s voice, given up, and been misled. How do I build a ministry with this gift is how I am praying now and taking time to listen so I discern God’s voice among the distractions.

Yesterday I learned distractions are unhealthy attractions. God never promised this life would be easy, not even when we feel we are in a good place spiritually. I don’t want to become arrogant in believing I’m who God wants me to be. I’m far from that. I need Him. Without Him, I am nothing. I know every day is an opportunity to learn from the Holy Spirit. I need to listen to wisdom, learn from mistakes, and never take my eyes off Jesus, off the Way to eternity.

I am refueled and ready to move into action wherever God is calling me.