Saturday, December 31, 2011
Movin On Down My Highway
As I reflect on the past 12 months, I truly have so much to be grateful for...
A year filled with growth for our family and business. When the economy and jobs have failed in such a serious way, God has blessed us richly with a peace this year that I haven't felt in forever it seems. It's that "I know that I know" that all will work out kind of peace, and for our good. One that has a natural joy attached to it. Oh challenges for us have of course been involved but in all things we overcame and what's still challenging seems like a mountain that we can climb. Really what a great year we've had even with the challenges. What changed for me this year?
I seriously made a commitment this year to do my daily quiet time, and maybe that is what brought on the level of peace I feel through my time just listening to that voice, for me it's God, for you it is whatever takes you to that serene place of peace and joy, hopefully on the same highway as mine, I wouldn't know.
Turning Over a New Leaf
I definitely experienced a new me transform as I walked down the highway of 2011. It really began in the last quarter of 2010 when changes in relationships along my way just began and I was feeling odd. I found this new book by John Bevere "The Bait of Satan" and it really did help me to see the other side of life in a way that helped me rise above what initially was painful offense. Anyone who knows me well, knows my bend for analyzing every situation to death and I did, but this book helped me to view offenses as opportunities and to get to a point where you can describe the entire feeling in 5 words. That's important because it stops that never ending cycle of rehashing painful times until you build walls of defense...sooner or later your walls grow so tall, long and wide that noone can break through them and you live alone with yourself in what you think is protection. That's no way for anyone to live and this book helped me overcome the appetite for building walls and instead see things with a wide angled lens. This opened up a whole new purpose for any relationship in my life and though offenses still come, I go back to the concept in his writings and remember to come up with the 5 words that best describe how I am allowing myself to feel in this pain. I can choose to talk to the person about it, OR in my case just coming up with the words, actually helped me to heal without having to go any further. It was such a wonderful cure. If you haven't read this book, I recommend it!
Fitting Into My Skin
Yes 'Fitting Into My Skin' is also something that has changed for me this year. We all get older in age right? Some of us stop midlife to have a 'crisis' while others try to just psyche ourselves out through various methods of having the mind meet the body in grace...makes me chuckle as I feel my way down this highway...it is a comical one to experience and watch as others 'tip toe' through the same 'tulips' I do. I believe there is a freedom we get when we finally accept the chapter of life we're in and just 'fit into our skin' at that point. My freedom is to enjoy watching others have their own kind of fun where they're at in life and not feel that I have failed if I don't feel like being a part of it. No, instead I love this new chapter of my life. It's like putting on a fresh new pair of glasses with 20/20 vision, acting my age, not too old and not so young, and still feeling like I'm living life to it's fullest. Oh I know, 58 isn't old, but when you consider it's only 22 years away from 80 and how fast 20 years flies? It gives you a whole new perspective on how far down the highway one is in life at 58. Nonetheless, I happen to love this age and all the freedom that goes along with it!
Absolutely the key and my faith framing 'letting go' has got to be mentioned here. I have to be true to me, to God, to my husband, family and friends, BUT if I don't let go of past issues, worry, control, and all those things that can make you crazy, guess what? I will go crazy! I work daily at letting go of anything that is on my mind and letting God handle it. A friend of mine once taught me to write your cares and worries on a small piece of paper, roll it up and put it in a bookcase. Now it's God's to handle, don't go back to it. I loved that but never could put it to practice. Virtual has a whole new meaning for me this year as I virtually note any of my cares, and roll it up placing it in my virtual file for God to handle. It seems to be working. Am I tempted to revisit it, sure am, but I let go of that temptation each time.
I have a new hobby, I people watch...NO not stare, but rather I just now enjoy watching everyone walk down their highway of life and learn for themselves what works best for them. Oh, I still will give my opinion if they are open to it, but I leave it there and I don't force my way on anyone anymore. (now my husband might disagree with this, but I am still working on this when it comes to my own marriage :) I'm not perfect at this by any means but I am keenly aware of the benefits this hobby has for living a longer life without worry so I work to achieve more and more of this skill in my hobby daily.
I truly have so much to be grateful for...I have reconnected with so many family and friends through social networks and even had the honor of participating in planning and attending my 40th highschool reunion (Go Rough Riders!). Our business is thriving through a jungle of economic downturn and turmoil, my marriage is getting more and more amazing every year, my kids are growing daily and really transforming into beautiful people. And btw...when I say 'my kids' I include our daughterinlaw and soninlaw. AND...we just finished a fantastic vacation (1st for us in almost 5 years), met knew friends and hope to do a repeat with our kids in 2012! Oh and even our animals, and we have a zoo here, are doing well. (I must say...I will forever miss our Buff, for those that don't know, we had a beautiful baby golden that turned 'alpha' in our pack of 3 and we had to give her up to a great family. I do miss you Buff!) So now that I have gotten my eyes all watery after sharing how great our year has been, giving Buff away was the sad point of the year for me personally...think I better leave it here :)
Happy New Year everyone! Blessings to all of YOU in 2012!!!
(Jeremiah 29:11 is a promise we have)
AND, in the words of our daughter..."Bring it on!"
It's Just Me Val, Ciao!