Christmas, Birthdays, Rose Bowls, the Flu and Flowers

As I sit at January 11th, wondering how in the world today can be my 45th Birthday I am reminded of the fact that I have been known by God that entire time. He doesn’t just know who I am, but He KNOWS ME.

Psalm 139:13-16 tells us,
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Did God really knit me together and then walk with me and help me navigate the last 45 years? I love being able to say the answer is yes, even when I feel I am stuck in a holding pattern trying to figure out the next steps of my journey. I am 45 and feel like I should really have it all figured out, but let’s be real… Does that ever really happen?

If you feel like you are floating in space waiting to land where God wants you to be join the club. Often God leads us out of one part of our Journey to let us assess and regroup for where He wants us to go. Sometimes I think he just needs us to be still for a while and trust Him – even in stillness.

As we headed home to Georgia for Christmas a few weeks ago I prepared myself for a wave of emotions. Parker is graduating from high school this summer so Christmas next year may look a bit different. We would see friends we haven’t seen in a while, which means we will have to say goodbye to them… again. We are reminded that since we moved, everyone’s life moved on, even without us. On the flip side, the life of our ‘Winge 4” has changed as well. The boys have acclimated well to Texas and are growing into the young men has called them to be through the relationships and experiences they have had since our move. My husband is enjoying his job and feels a freedom he hasn’t felt in years. For me, I have been able to truly rest. The resting was great, but I can’t sit in that space very long. So I am the one that seems to be in a holding pattern. You know the feeling when nothing is wrong, but nothing is really right either?  So how do we make sense of those times?
This is what God has been showing me…

(1) You never truly say goodbye to where you have been. All through college football season we followed our Georgia Bulldogs. We scheduled our Saturdays around watching the game. We cooked and ate a lot of chicken wings. We made sure our Georgia shirts were clean and worn during the game. We were in Texas but never stopped being a Bulldog.  We stayed with our boys all the way to the SEC Championship game with a heartbreaking loss.   Our past always makes us who we are and travels with us no matter where we go. I still say “y’all” and “bless your heart” no matter where I go. It is who I am. I will build onto that, but I will never have to leave it. Although friendships may look a little different, they don’t go away. Family time is not as often but it is as sweet. We have learned to say “see you later” rather than “goodbye. “ #GoDawgs

(2) Don’t Fight Life – Just because life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns at the moment doesn’t mean you should be doing something about it. The day I flew back to Texas from Georgia I came down with the flu. I was out for a week. There were Christmas decorations that needed to come down, suitcases that needed to be unpacked, and work to be caught up on. I kept thinking, I will feel better tomorrow. But I didn’t. I eventually had to decide if I needed to cancel by work travel plans. I had work to do and figured I just needed to push through. Then it hit me, Why do we always push through? I was sick. I needed to get well and if I didn’t I would probably get everyone else around me sick. Isn’t that how we fight life when circumstances don’t look like we would like them to? Why don’t we ever just take the time to sit still and heal? I needed rest, fluids, and Dayquil. I came to the reality that I needed to stop worrying about what I needed to do short term to get better for the long term. Today I finished packing my last box of Christmas decorations – eleven days into the New Year and nothing terrible happened – other than I got to enjoy my Christmas tree while I was sick.  Sometimes we need to just roll with things.

(3) Move Forward and Smile – I am feeling almost totally well other than a nagging cough. The Christmas decorations are put away, the laundry is caught up, and I am packed and ready for my week of work travel. But I was still feeling Blah… and then I walked by my kitchen table. There is a simple vase of yellow flowers Casey brought me for my Birthday last night. I felt myself exhale and smile. I don’t have my goals set for 2018, and I don’t have a clear direction. What do I have is the beauty of the moment, the reminder of spring and new beginnings, and the reality that I am loved – by both my husband and my heavenly father.

My heavenly father formed me, has known me, has held me in His hand as I am learning to be more like Him and striving to be obedient to His calling. I am not hidden from Him ever. He has days ordained for me to share who He is with a dying world. What that looks like, I don’t know. What I do know is I will share his Word when I have the opportunity, I will trust in Him and His Word, and smile as I have peace in knowing I didn’t miss the moment to enjoy the flowers on my table. May I not miss the daily beautiful moments God consistently places in my life.  Just smile, exhale, and move forward.

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