10 years

So my last post was a few months ago. During that time we've been busy with unpacking (that was pretty fast this time, think I'm getting good at it), had a few token coffee's with old friends, gone back to our old church a few times and tried to get on with the rest of life.
I remember this time from the last time we moved 'back ' to a community. The initial 'they're back' novelty has worn off. We have quickly melded back in...practically unnoticed. I can't say I'm surprised, this is how it goes. 10 years is a long time. Very much has happened in the lives of so many people, ours included. They have lived the last 10 without us in them, I can't expect to start anywhere else than at the beginning again. I just don't have any effort left though, not really.
I mourn those 10 years. 10 years where I could have been building some fun times. 10 years where I could have been there for hard times and tough issues. 10 years where they could have seen me raise my kids and I could have seen theirs change too, how did you deal with this issue, here's how I've done it. 10 years of coffee talk and bible studies and care groups to get to the heart of things together.
I haven't had this anywhere. It's a gift I missed out on. Time. Together. Building.
Starting over. That's the path I'm on again. Sitting on a bench at the start of that path, looking through my backpack...deciding if I have what it takes to take the journey again. Feeling like the sun is a little low in the sky to even head down the trail.
Fortunately (and there's ALWAYS a fortunately...that's how it works when you know you're in God's big picture) I have my family, my husband, and he is my best friend. Fortunately I don't base my self worth on how many friends I have. Fortunately, facebook came into the world. Fortunately I am pretty self sufficient. Fortunately I have other things to focus my attention on. Fortunately I don't let these things get me down for long...because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living!
I just need a moment to indulge in my self-pity. I happened to see a picture today of four friends who have stood the test of time, embracing over a cup of coffee. That set me off. Jealousy.
It won't take long. Just even 'blogging' it out is helping (being fully aware of the fact that my mom is the only one that reads this is actually fine with me!). Having my pity party.
Now, off to go listen to some uplifting music, one that will make me cry and confess my ungratefulness.

Regular Gypsies

I must admit, I have come to not even mind moving. It has become somewhat of a comfort already to pack up all my belongings in a box and relocate. I think I used to hate change and was maybe not open to TRULY letting God take me wherever He wanted. Well God. Lesson learned...I hope (meek insertion). I guess by even admitting that I hope I've learned the lesson is an admission that I haven't. I truly want to be able to stand at any fork in the road and proclaim 'Bring it on!' Whatever you have for me...wherever you want us to go.
I think some of my hesitation comes from wanting something more consistent for my kids now. They don't really even know what it's like to have 'friends for life' yet. I want that for them. I also know, though, that their caravans are ready for excitement. They have an awesome adaptability that will help THEM in the gypsy adventures God will send them on in their lives. Who knows though, they may be SO good at it already that God will have to teach them something else, they may be stuck here now FOREVER...mwahaha!!! Be content where you are.
For my own recollection and for your amusement, here is a list of all the places Tim and I have lived since being married:
1993- Caroline, AB
1994- Edmonton 1, Edmonton 2
1995- Edmonton 3, Edmonton 4
1996- High Level, AB 1, High Level 2, High Level 3
2002- Mennville, MB
2004- Edmonton 5
2006- Vauxhall, AB 1
2007- Lowe Farm, MB
2008- Edmonton 6
2009- Drayton Valley, AB
2010- Vauxhall 2, Vauxhall 3
2011- High Level 4
For a Grand Total of 17 moves, and for me an addendum:
1972- New York, NY
1973- Sherwood Park, AB
1975- Edmonton 1
1978- Louisville, KY
1980- Edmonton 2
1990- Edmonton 3
For a personal Grand Total of 23.
Buy me a hoop ring and call me Esmerelda!
(mom...feel free to correct my dates, I may be off a bit)

Fare thee well?

Have you ever noticed how the passages in Corinthians regarding LOVE have a real tilt to them?

Try not to think about that answer right now...check the passage later...for now, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about how to love, how you love your spouse...your kids...your neighbours even?
Do you think of the passage 'Do unto others' right away? Maybe you think of respect? Maybe your mind goes directly to a more swooning 'LOVE'...the kind that twinkles and shimmers in the mist...lol! (obviously you need to get a sitter for the kids if you're a SAHM and that's the first thing that comes to mind...most mom's REALLY know that LOVE is tilted)
Anyhow...back to the tilt...
These passages ALL seem to refer to things that are inately difficult to do. Love is NOT easy. Loving does not seem to assume that you'll be loved back....it only hopes. It assumes that wrong will be done with the foreplanning of not remembering the wrong. Plan not to bring it up again.
Love requires that there is probably plenty reason to be patient and to 'suck it back' and be kind instead.
How am I measuring up to that kind of love when it comes to my kids especially?
I fare thee not so well.

Nothing new.

That's my answer lately, to a lot of life things.
How do we get that 'new' feeling again? There seems to be a thirst out there for this feeling, feeling new, feeling young, feeling the same thing we felt when things were new. The thoughts that may spring to your mind may be of first loves, faith-altering moments, new babies...that sort of thing. I am not THAT romantic. God's been really good to me that way. I have been dealt an usually uncommon amount of realism and contentment. I have been told, in fact, that I must not have enough estrogen.
I think it is because God has blessed me with a keen sense that when I experience monetary pain I had better learn a lesson from it because I doubt that He would ever put us through that crap without having a greater purpose. I TRUST that and have been well prepared for tougher grief because of it. I hope more than ANYTHING that I'll always see the beauty in the rain.
Here's my monetery examples:
-I just got a new windshield. It wasn't THAT bad, but bad enough that I thought maybe if another rock hit it that the whole thing would land on our laps mid-trip. So we got a new one...and were promptly blessed with two beautifully placed cracks one vertical across the whole and a horizontal one breaking out into a sprint daily.
-I just got a new massage table for the course I have FINALLY decided to take. The cat climbed on it sometime last night (knows better than to try this when we are looking) and scratched the brand new smooth, lovely vinyl on top! ARG!

So, then, I posted my frustration over these issues on facebook.

Minutes later, an old, dear friend came on to let me know how much she misses me and our bible studies with another few old friends.
Lesson learned.
Quit mourning things that you can't take with you. Mourn the real things. The friends you've developed, the ones that inspired you to new facets of your faith. Friends that miss you. Friends that you may never see again.
AND...be satisfied.
We can't always expect new to stay new. Be satisfied with what you have.
This is actually the 'BIGGER' lesson I need to digest. I have not been able to build the same kind of friendships I had in High Level and in Manitoba. I have been longing for NEW ones to replace the ones I've lost.
I don't know how to fully grasp the parallel for this one. Somehow God's been telling I can't have new things right now.
Is that because He wants me to just be content with what I've got right here at home. My husband, my kids? Should I be trying harder to stay in touch with the old friends I've left behind?
My attraction to parallels falls short, all the time. I love to try though. To always seek the mystery of what God is doing in my life. Seek and you shall find He promised.

Always something new.

For Polly, who said I should blog:
It is very hard to be reprimanded and torn down a notch from someone who has no idea what your intentions were in the first place...particularly when you thought that what you were doing was a good thing.
I think I am safe to say that, generally speaking, I and most other people don't wake up in the morning asking themselves who we can hurt today. Yet, even with the best of intentions, sometimes people get hurt. I have had that happen to me. I have done it to others. Recently.
I think beauty can rise from these situations though, as in all bad situations. I think that beauty can come in the reaction to the pain.
We give people too much responsibility. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, on the face of the planet can rise to the expectations others place on them. I don't believe we were ever supposed to place people on a pedestal like that. If you don't place expectations like that on others they won't let you down. Only God deserves that kind of pedestal.
I'd hate for you to think though that I don't have any hope that people will do the right thing though. I do HOPE for that. I hope that for all my relationships...I just don't 'EXPECT' it.
Clarifying this in my life has gifted me with more reactions of gratitude for times when they succeed AND more reactions of grace when they don't because I didn't expect it of them in the first place. I can just hope for better things.
Now, when the tables are turned and I didn't live up to the unstated expectations someone else had placed on me I HOPE that they can take me down from that pedestal and only hope that I don't hurt them again.
In the meantime, I can only hope they will gift me with some grace and understanding. Sadly I don't expect they will. For that, I am sorry.
It is not always healthy to change just because you have let someone down. I have done that too often in my life...changed who I was at my core because someone else wasn't happy with something I said or did. I lost track of who I was. I've learned that it's not always beneficial to rise to the expectations others place on you unless, of course you have sinned against them. They might not be able to see what path YOU are on, what purpose God is accomplishing through your life. Their current view of things might only involve themselves.
Live with integrity. Extend grace to ALL.

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