When Plans Change

photo-1462885928573-b5d04c6855deYesterday’s post was about the anticipation of an important meeting between me and my-soon-to-be-ex-husband.

The meeting didn’t happen.

Yesterday I wrote about my intentional preparation leading up to the meeting – the meeting that didn’t happen. But that preparation wasn’t wasted.

Had I relied on myself for the preparation, perhaps it would  have been wasted. I might have prepared for the wrong things. But I tried to focus on allowing God to prepare me. After all, he knows what’s coming. He knows what preparation I actually need.

I was frustrated and disappointed about the meeting that didn’t happen, but in reality, it didn’t shock me. Why be shocked about consistency? I simply sat at my desk for a moment, and I heard myself sigh. And I took one step.

Yesterday’s post was about a spiritual workout that left me strong and peaceful.

God’s strength and peace abide.

Trust his preparation. Even when you don’t like the outcome,you can trust him through the process.

Spiritual Workout

photo-1523395294292-1fbf0cd2435eIt was the night before I was supposed to have an important meeting with my soon-to-be-ex-husband. (It’s still so awkward to refer to him, as I have no idea how to categorize him at this point in the-divorce-that-never-ends.) I had been gearing up for it emotionally and spiritually. We have no contact at this point. It’s simply not healthy to interact. Maybe someday, but not now while we are still sorting through the details.

I knew I needed to be in a good place, a peaceful place, going into a potentially rough situation. But I felt surrounded and filled with God’s presence. I had friends who were spiritually walking beside me – people I’d asked to pray for him as much if not more than for me just as I had asked them to pray for our attorneys leading up to our last court date. Yet I knew my heart, mind, and soul position was important.

While working out, I turned on a video from a recent event that was cancelled due to weather. Because of the cancellation, the speaker recorded the remaining teachings to share with those who had purchased tickets for the event. But now, many more people, including me, could be encouraged and challenged by the teaching.

It was bold, comforting, convicting, and inspiring. My heart pounded more from the spiritual workout than the physical one. At one point, there was a break in the teaching, and one of my favorite worship songs played while Scriptures displayed on the screen. The more I walked, the less tired I became. God strengthened me. He opened my eyes, ears, mind, heart, and hands.

I have decided spiritual workouts are my favorite. The results aren’t usually widely noticeable, at least not for a while, but they are invigorating.

Be intentional about your faith. Let God fill you with his strength and peace. Be willing to work out, whether that means an effort toward something or a withdrawal away from something. Just make it less about you and more about him.

 

To The Other Woman

photo-1434030216411-0b793f4b4173I don’t blame you.

I also don’t believe you are without fault.

But I want you to know I am sure this has been hard for you, too.

You only heard one perspective; my husband’s viewpoint, filtered by what he most wanted you to hear, is all you know.

It’s not the complete picture.

I don’t like that you are most frequently referred to as “the other woman.” It dehumanizes and distances you. I know your name. I know your face. I don’t know you personally, just as you don’t know me. But just as I don’t want you to make assumptions about me, I have tried not to make assumptions about you.

However, for you or anyone else in your position in the future, please keep in mind:

  • A family is worth fighting for. Whether it’s your family or not, value it enough to put it ahead of your own wishes and comfort.
  • Never assume a relationship is beyond repair, unless you also assume every relationship you have or will have will also be irreparable at some point.
  • Refuse to encourage a deepening relationship. While it is true that someone who is looking for intimacy outside a marriage will find it somewhere else if not with you, you don’t need to be the one who makes it easy.
  • Demand honesty for yourself, for my husband, for me, and for our family. Vehemently search for truth even when it’s uncomfortable.
  • Respect yourself enough to not believe you are the only one who feels this way and has made him feel this way.
  • Respect me enough to seek the truth about me. The more you distance yourself from me and make me into who you want to assume I am, the more you dehumanize me and make your choices easier.
  • Respect my husband enough to want him to be healthy. Being happy in the short-term isn’t worth the cost when other areas of life are compartmentalized and set aside.
  • Respect my children – no matter how old they are. What you are told about how they will handle your relationship is probably not accurate. If my husband lost perspective in one area of life, it likely shifted the perspective accuracy of other areas of life.
  • Take a breath and step away. If you want to pursue him, there will be time later to do that. Give my family space to process and heal.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for your consideration and respect.

I have forgiven you.

 

Calibrating

photo-1503610594381-aed30c818b8eThe printers at work have been busy lately.

I sent something to the printer, walked the 8-10 steps to pick it up, which is usually the right amount of time for a page or two, but nothing was waiting or printing. I could hear something happening, so I looked at the display:

“Calibrating. Please wait.”

Did I have a choice?

I smiled as I reflected how often life is just that: “Calibrating. Please wait.”

I’m thankful God calibrates me. I’m not always thankful for the waiting process. But it is always worthwhile. He knows what he’s doing.

Lifelong Learning

photo-1505778276668-26b3ff7af103When I worked at a college several years ago, we often talked about the importance of developing lifelong learning skills. Learning the skills is secondary to fostering an attitude of lifetime learning. It requires the desire to anticipate possibilities, humility to change, and interactions with people and ideas. It requires thinking through things and developing theories, then engaging doubts and contradictions, then reworking established assumptions to incorporate the new that is trustworthy.

Lifelong learning admits “I don’t know it all.”

It continues “…but I want to know more.”

There is no shortage of access to “more.” We have access to a staggering amount of information. But content isn’t nearly as important as process when lifelong learning is concerned. It’s not what you know as much as what you do with it – and what you are potentially capable of knowing. Lifelong learning is exciting, difficult, and worthwhile.

I certainly cannot learn, access, or absorb everything, but the past year-plus has brought many changes that have invited opportunities to learn, grow, and change. It hasn’t been just about forging forward; much lifelong learning involves looping into the past to rework, reflect, heal, and reconcile.

Lifelong learning is not a direct route, but the journey is worth the effort.

Open your eyes, ears, mind, heart, and soul today.

Lunchbox

photo-1512852939750-1305098529bfI packed my lunch for a day away from the office. When I unpacked my food to eat, I sighed with appreciation. My daughter had given me the lunch bag, and a best friend had given me the containers to keep my food cold. My lunch that day was seasoned with the blessing of special people in my life.

I love pouring into others. Listening to, encouraging, and challenging others enriches my life. Relationships, even when they are difficult, are purposeful. What we experience with others develops us into who we are. It involves give and take, which includes bold honesty and humility, abundant grace and forgiveness, and sacrificial choices. Sometimes we’re not willing to give, and we lose. Others lose, too.

Invest in others today. Allow others to invest in you today. It is worth the humility and effort. It can make life – even a simple lunch eaten alone – much more delicious.

Live A Great Story

2018-04-11 16.49.14This sits on my bookcase at work, reminding me to choose to live a great story. That doesn’t mean pretending I’m living a story I want but don’t have. A great story is always authentic.

The dandelions remind me of other qualities of living a great story:

  • The height of bloom isn’t the only beautiful and necessary part of a great story.
  • We have to be willing to die throughout our story. A great story is a process.
  • A great story involves giving yourself away and trusting God to use pieces of yourself to help others.

You cannot live a great story completely in one day, but today you can live one day – and many moments – of a great story.