I started smoking when I was 15 years old. I quit on my 35th birthday after it dawned on me that I had been smoking for 20 years. Twenty years is a long time to do anything. I started again at the end of 2014 and quit again one week ago today. So yeah, I was smoking on the down low for just over 2 years. Some people knew, but not that many. I kept the secret from everyone who didn't have to know.
I am not really sure what made me start again after 11 years, boredom probably and on some level I don't think I ever stopped missing it. It was stupid and damaging and I was living a huge lie.
I work with our health ministry and I encourage living a healthy lifestyle while smoking every day. This is hard to admit and I know I am going to disappoint a lot of people whose opinion of me matters. But I also know that these people, while they will be upset and disappointed, will not stop loving me. They will correct me, and rightly so, and maybe even suggest that I stop working with the health...
I've been running scared a long long time. Scared to fully commit myself to whatever God has in store for me. Scared to be used. Scared to write. Scared to speak. Scared to admit it out loud and terrified to type it in my blog.
God and I have had so many fits and starts during the last twenty or so years. I move forward one inch, see a glimpse of what God wants me to do and then I run back a mile.
I am a victim of my own flesh. Victim of worrying about what people might think about me. Victim of wondering if any of this is real. Am I really speaking in tongues when I worship? Am I really calling on heaven when I pray? Am I really effective when I speak? Could this all be in my own mind?
What will this person have to say? Or that person? If I told someone that I was going to be used by God, would they express disbelief that I was even a Christian? Would they remind me of the time I used those curse words or drank that wine? Would they question God's judgement to use me of all peopl...
There is a poem that begins "People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person."
The poem says 'reason' people are are there to fulfill a need, to aid you in something immediate and once the need is met, they are gone.
'Season' people come to help you grow. The bring laughter, peace and teach you things you didn't know. They bring you joy.
'Lifetime' people teach you lifelong lessons; lessons that you learn and then pay forward to teach someone else. Lifetime folks help you build solid emotional foundations that you continue to build upon.
As I get older, I think a lot about the people in my life who I classified as reasons, seasons or lifetimes, only to find out over time that I was wrong. Those who I thought were only going to be there for an insignificant reason turned out to remain for long long seasons of my life. And the ones that I was confident were with me for life actually...
I have blogged often about my loneliness. I used to think it was the absence of a companion, but lately I've realized that its more likely the absence of feeling necessary to someone. That might be the same thing, but I'm not sure.
I miss a lot of things about being married and having my family under one roof. I miss the sense of someone being there. I miss the laughter and the noise of togetherness. I miss the daily presence of folks who love you and need you around.
Now don't get me wrong, I know they still love me and, I'm sure on some level, they still need me. But not like they did when they were dependent on me for their very survival. The hardest part about being an empty-nester, is not only that they aren't physically around, but that you aren't necessary for the big things.
It doesn't need to be said that I am so very proud of my adults, who have taken in all of the lessons that we tried to teach them, and are applying them every single day. They are independent and resi...