Saturday, 12 October 2019
Tuesday, 8 October 2019
I started this blog to continue the conversations I've had for so many years in my Midlife Christian Woman, Ministry to Women and Design Your Midlife Transition Roadmap blogs.
I am now beyond midlife and life is different yet again. I decided there needs to be an older Christian woman blog, so this is it.
This past month my grown son returned to school for a grad course. We are in the empty nest again.
I'm also shifting from a long season of caring for my aging dog. I loved her dearly and pray she is now running free and full of joy in Heaven.
From both of these events, I'm feeling grief mingled with freedom.
These events are part of life. While we don't know in advance what will happen in life, we can put up roadmap guideposts that help us deal with life events.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit guides us with His signs--STOP, GO, YIELD, GO SLOW, and so on.
When my son needed to secure an apartment for his grad course, the guideposts we followed included TRUST GOD, MAKE LOW-COST PROBES, TAKE A STEP...
Similarly, as the time was approaching for my dog to be put down, I looked for God's guideposts.
The first signpost was, "Give it to God and respect your husband's input on your dog."
One night I cried out, "God, I'm worn, I can't care for her any longer and we can't bring ourselves to put her down!"
A devotional gave me this sign post: I WILL SHINE A LIGHT ON YOUR PATH.
I arranged for a mobile vet service to give us an in-home consultation. The vet provided the light we needed.
With all this change, I am aware I'm at the beginning of yet another life season.
I'm tempted to rush ahead with new plans but want to be God-directed.
In designing my life just now back in the empty nest and sans doggy, I'm:
- continuing to exercise at my group class.
- going for doctor appointments, physiotherapy, massages, working on my posture and addressing neck pain and headaches.
- resting as needed.
- trying to do intermittent fasting to shed some pounds.
- tending to what needs to be done at home inside and out.
- planning events with my husband and children.
- attending a new women's Bible study.
- remembering how life was before having children and a needy dog and changing my mindset back to youthful thinking.
- decluttering my home to make it work for the two of us.
- creating art.
- enjoying my yard and garden.
- Writing, and updating my blogs.
I'm keenly aware God doesn't give me instructions too far in advance. I have to make plans a day at a time, it seems. So I invite God into each day and listen for his unique instructions.
I have hope that God will bring many new things into my life at just the right time.
Thursday, 3 October 2019
"It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep" (Psalm 127:2 ESV).
Today, I stayed in bed until 2 pm. When I do such, my husband often says, "I didn't disturb you because I thought maybe you needed the rest."
Am I embarrassed? No. Do I think other women do this? Some may, others definitely would not. Women who work fulltime definitely don't do this. I work freelance so I can do this.
Most recently, we'd been through a year of palliative care of our beloved dog. I had many nights of disturbed sleep due to her needs, restlessness, and my own worry about it all. We boosted her a lot as her legs began to fail, and my body grew weary of lifting her 73 pounds. My neck and shoulders bore the brunt. She's been gone a month now. Extra rest may very well be needed as my body and mind restore themselves.
"For I will satisfy the weary soul,
and every languishing soul I will replenish”
(Jeremiah 31:25 ESV).
Make the Bed or Not?
Do you arise and make your bed right away? I pull up the blankets but don't necessarily do a complete bed-making.
My mother-in-law made her bed early each morning and it stayed that way until bedtime. She said she NEVER went back to bed. I know other women who say the same.
One person I queried never went back to bed even when feeling ill. BUT, some of these people will nap on their lounge chairs, on the sofa, and so on and not admit to it.
I prefer my naps in bed.
Why Not Rest?
Why not rest? How do you feel about such? Do you feel guilty for resting? Do you feel it's about time to do so after raising a family or working fulltime?
Do you feel bad for going back to bed? Why should you feel that way?
Are You Judgmental?
Maybe it's time to examine the judgment you use on yourself. Maybe it's time to examine the judgment you use toward others?
I have a sibling that has balked me for sleeping in and not arising like an early bird as she does. Why does she do this? To make herself feel better? Superior?
I am a nighthawk. I get a lot of work done after 10 pm. She, on the other hand, is in bed by then. Why is one routine praised over the other?
Though I like sleeping, every other day I'm up at 8:30 where I walk about my yard to loosen muscles and then go to my gym by 10 am for a hard circuit-style workout with a group of other lovely women.
I know women at my gym who are compelled to work out daily. They've paid to do so and want to make good use of their money. Myself, I feel it's a chore to go every day. I also feel my body needs a day of recovery. Today, my muscles needed recovery from yesterday's work out.
Adding balance by going every other day gives my body a break and ensures I don't lose motivation and quit.
I am sometimes teased for not going more. Why do they tease? To tease someone for not doing what YOU think they should do is nothing more than an effort to dominate, control, or criticize.
Resist the Rush
Even as a freelance writer, I feel compelled to always be working on a paying project or doing housework. Others in my circle seem compelled to always be busy doing something too.
Yes, God warns us not to be lazy, but I don't know He wants us to fill our time to justify ourselves. He wants our time with Him. He allows rest as needed. It's important to check ourselves for guilt over not rushing to fill our every minute.
I've seen women compelled to fill their schedules. They look at their phone calendar and brag a little. One does gym work outs daily, volunteers, babysits, travels, and works part-time for pay though she's officially retired from her former career.
I suppose these things help her feel productive and prevent boredom but sometimes I wonder if they are in the realm of busywork or works of the flesh? Does God ask her to do ALL these things? Does she do them to impress others? Does she fill her schedule to escape from feelings she doesn't want to face?
"Whatever you do, work heartily,
as for the Lord and not for men"
(Colossians 3:23 ESV)
As you design your life roadmap, consider this topic of rest and how you feel about it.
- Write a statement that defines rest in your opinion.
We may have seasons when more rest is needed.
- Write a rule on how you will handle such seasons.
Feel free to leave your comments below.