me, now

Turning 40 made me extra-reflective about everything.  This past year was so full of thoughts and plans and declarations, it makes me a bit tired thinking back to everything I squeezed into it.

In the middle of it all, I faced some some hard truths last year and had to make the time to decide what was really, really important to me.

How's my marriage?  What did I want for my children at this stage of their lives?  Am I taking care of my body?  Am I making myself available for God's calling?  Am I even listening for it?  What do I love, and what am I doing about it?

Addressing these is helping me re-order my priorities, rip off some band-aids and start this transition.

Here's what I know for sure, now (in no particular order):

  • I am an introvert who can no longer pretend to be an extrovert.  Large groups and busy gatherings exhaust me and I need regular periods of quiet alone time to thrive.
  • My marriage is both strong and tender.  It does not have an auto-pilot feature and must be a vessel through which our children and other couples can learn about grace, humility and the joy that results from them.
  • My children are getting older and may all leave home, quite plausibly, within the next ten years.  I cannot dillydally with the lessons I want to teach and exemplify.
  • I want to meet the world.  Travel outside of North America is a new priority.
  • I want contribution and generosity to be natural responses, with less calculation or hesitation.
  • I value hospitality.  I want to explore different ways to practice it.
  • I am not good at housekeeping, inside and out (you should see my backyard right now).  I am no longer a lover of baking.  I don't enjoy planning parties like I used to.  And that's all okay.
  • I love reading (memoirs, mostly) and I love writing (run-on sentences, mostly).
  • I want to figure out what foods, exercise regimes and general practices are best for my own health.
  • God is my Number One.  Jesus is my Example.  The Holy Spirit is my Guide.

real women of right here

I was compelled to google “Real Housewives of” today, just to see what would come up. Ya, pretty sad.

Here are the lowlights:

“Another season of over-the-top glamour and underhanded drama” “…plenty more drama…” “…fan to foe…” “…little future for their friendship…” “…catfights…”

Even worse, viewership ranges from one to four million an episode.  And there have been spinoffs in other cities around the world.

What is the matter with us, ladies??  (Because you KNOW it’s not four million men watching these shows.)

I’ve only seen part of one episode of, I think, the Beverly Hills series, but I am by no means worthy to cast any stones here.

Lord, have mercy on me but I enjoyed the scene in The Best Man Holiday when Candace and Shelby scrap it out, first with horribly foul words and then with a full-on, glass-throwing, punch, kick and hair-flying on-the-floor brawl.  I just watched it again and I’m pretty disgusted.  I swear.

The other day I spent the evening in the ER (everyone’s fine), which of course allowed for a lot of people-watching.  I watched a young woman get all up in the doctor’s and nurses’ business, questioning their decisions and ultimately delaying the administration of medication that would settle her father’s heart and lung issues.  I saw enough to know that this was typical behaviour (i.e. her sister’s eyes rolling) and imagined that it likely warrants some strong opinions about her in her real world.  I’m sure it did for the staff that night.  But it made me kind of sad, because behind the persistence is a little girl panicking over the welfare of her dad.

What’s my point?  I've got two.

  1. We need to stop the glorification of *itch.
  2. We need to remember that everyone – let me repeat that – EVERYONE is dealing with stuff we don’t see.  Family stuff, scary stuff, stuff they’re not proud of, stuff they’re drowning in, stuff they can’t figure out.  Maybe we don’t need to be entertaining or reacting to or gossiping about what appears annoying or juicy to us.

Sisters, it’s time we start crowding out all the junk by giving our attention to women that listen, protect, respect and lift up one another.  And it starts by becoming them ourselves.

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19) She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)