Square Person in a “Well-rounded” World

That’s me there– the square one. You’d think I’d be the well-rounded one with all my experiences and whatnot, but that’s not how it really works.

Words that have been used to describe me by others over the years–

Intense.

Intimidating.

Too sensitive.

Angry-faced.

Project.

Beautiful.

Tenacious.

Words I wish I heard about me–

Compassionate.

Loving.

Kind

Giving.

True friend.

Loyal.

Honest.

Beautiful.

Generous.

Acceptable.

That last one is probably the most coveted by me. There seems to always be something people want me to change in order to “fit” their box for me and change the label they’ve put on me.

It’s not going to happen.

I’ll never again be happy-go-lucky. I’ve experienced too much first hand.

I’ll never be the perfect cook or housekeeper. I just won’t.

I’ll never perform the way anyone thinks I should. I have no desire to jump through “social norm” hoops.

Life has filed down my rounded edges into sharp corners with precise edging.

I can’t go back to being ignorant of pain and suffering.

I can’t heal the wounds others can’t see or make the invisible scars actually disappear for good.

I can’t become someone I have not been designed or conformed through life experiences to be. I can’t, and I won’t.

I am not my outer appearance.

I’m not my experiences.

I’m not maleable to people’s whims and wishes.

I am who God has made me to be, and who He continues to shape– as He kneads the mars and scars.

I am misunderstood and misread, as well as overlooked and undervalued.

Somedays I am only loved by God.

But– I am always loved by God, and that is what makes the difference to me.

I have demonstrated my love for others through acts of service in the past– serving my country, using my gifts and talents for the Body of Christ.

Right now I’m in a season of rest and retreat.

I’ve lived for 1/2 a century. I’ve seen and experienced so many things in those years, sometimes it overwhelms my heart, my mind and my spirit.

I’ve been looking for the miracles of God in people’s situations and lives. I’ve seen some in my life, in my circumstances, and God has caused my own life to do a 180 turn. Miracles are not always evident, but if you can catch just a glimpse of one, you are seeing the evidence of God in action.

I could chip away at the edges, but I’d be leaving off what God has carefully shaped. While that might please the well-roundeds, it would not please God.

So, I don’t mind being a squared person in a well-rounded world.

Because that’s the shape God has formed me into.

Reflections

Today is my birthday. I’m ?? years old– my Grandma always said “A lady never reveals her age.”

I’m feeling like– I made it! I survived! I feel a kind of rejunenation today.

Also tired.

I’m leaving an era behind me. My husband just retired from the military, and we’re moving into a new phase that I think we are both pretty excited about. I wish I had the same energy I had in my youth to do cartwheels and cheers. My mind is full of energy, but my body is on a whole other plateau.

My husband and I get to enjoy the fruits of our labor now– or soon, anyway. There are always hurdles and obstacles in our course. We’ve learned to weather some big, strongs storms– natural and figurative.

I find myself taking some serious deep breaths. I can let go of some of the heavy things I’ve carried over the years. I can let out that mental breath I’ve held for over 20 years as my husband was sent away from us for months at a time, waiting to find out the unknown, not anticipating the unexpected. I can start thinking about plans I’d like to make that we won’t have to change at the last minute.

I can start thinking about things I want to do.

That’s hard.

I’ve been mom, and military spouse for so long, I’ve tied most of my own interests into my family. My relationships with my kids and my husband have taken most of my energy and planning.

I have a new stage ahead of me that I get to set. I get to explore new things to find what I want to put on it.

I get to relearn, maybe even remake, who I am.

I’m still wife, mother and homeschool/violin teacher. But, now I can look around and add some other things that I want to. I’m not limited to what’s chosen for me, my plans aren’t laid out for me, I have a plethora options I didn’t have the freedom to choose before.

I have the benefit of hindsight, and the excitement of foresight.

I have so much to be thankful for to God, my husband and the military.

I haven’t felt a physical joy in a long time. It feels almost foreign to me as I feel it now– almost like that part of me is thawing out.

I’m genuinely looking forward to the next ?? years that God grants me to live.

Also– I have birthday pancakes made for me by one of my boys.

Life is good.

Getting Our Attention, and Missed Opportunities

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If you have children, then you understand what I am saying when I tell you my mind is exhausted from the attention grabbing attempts of my kids. I have 4, and they all want my attention, they even compete for it at times. When my dog climbs into my lap, my 2 year old will rush over and try to push him off, climb into my lap for just a minute, then climb back down. He has to let the dog know who owns my lap, already showing 10150407652477456signs of that male conquering spirit, lol.

Each of my kids has their own way of getting my attention, and we have a method we call the “interrupt rule” that they are supposed to follow (put a hand on my shoulder or arm and wait until I can give my full attention), but of course they often forget to follow it. My daughter,  DaBee , will text me questions and pictures she takes with her phone, or come over to where I am and start talking 111940127455about whatever comes to mind. She gets excited and shows me pictures she draws, or things she sews. She is so talented! My oldest boy, “Jonenator Dude” (JD), he waits until I am alone to talk about his different collections. JD can also be competitive  with the others and try to demand I give him my full attention. I am teaching him how important it is to be considerate and patient, some days those aren’t easy lessons to teach. My middle boy, “Little Red” (LR), he often copies his older brother, or tries to get my attention away from JD, in order to show me his latest drawing or tell me about his Lego creation or a game he’s excited about playing. My 2 year old, “Doctor Oo!” (DO),  lately he will stand behind me and put his hands on my cheeks or in my hair. Sometimes he just sits next to me and takes hold of my hand. He loves to be playful and show me his toys by pretending to shoot me with them, or holding them up close in my face, and often I don’t mind at all.

But, I have learned from past mistakes. Those times when I have been too busy to look up and listen, or when distracted and frustrated, I pushed them away… I can’t get those opportunities back. I lost out.

72083967455As God’s child, I don’t feel I have to try to get His attention. But, I’ve been thinking about how I become aware of God trying to get my attention. How many times have I missed Him during my distracted daily activities, or when I’m frustrated by something or someone? When do I become aware, then give Him my full attention?

Sometimes, I have a song or a verse on my mind that woos my attention to Him. Sometimes I have a sudden urge to pray about something specific, or for someone specific. At times a subject comes to mind with a sadness that overwhelms my spirit and I can’t help but pray and seek God on behalf of what He places on my heart.

I am desperate to not miss Him, to not miss an opportunity to pray or speak into someone’s life, or just be available in the way He impresses on my heart. Except when I’m distracted by the cares of this life. Then I miss Him.

But, because I am distracted, I don’t miss that I miss Him.

That makes my heart sad, when I take the time to let myself think deep on that.

Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” (NASB)