“With Or Without You”

Life just keeps on rolling along, hey?  It is now February….coming up on my 4 year anniversary on MSN Live Spaces in March.  It seems so strange to have done something consistently for 4 years.  I am still liking it here…writing the words that seem to reflect my heart, mind and walk with God.  There have been times when I have been so very grateful to have this outlet.  To be able tell my story has been a wonderful blessing to me.  It really does not matter if anyone reads my words or not, though it is very nice when someone does, but it is more about recording my journey.  It is not important in the larger scheme of things but it has been important to me to lay out those things which God shows me from one day to the next.  To keep track, so to speak, of what He is teaching me.  Having others along with me on the journey is just icing on the cake.

In the last post I mentioned that I was seeking God’s vision for 2010.  It has been slow going but the single thought that keeps going through my mind is “God I am trusting you when I can not see what is around the corner!”  I have written down my vision for several areas of my life.  Career, Finance, Spouse/Mate, Physical Fitness, Children, Ministry.  Under each one I have written small statements as to what I envision for the coming year.  I am now praying for opportunities to open up for me to move toward what I envision.  I am waiting on God to open them up as I move forward.  While I wait I am making plans to be prepared to act when the opportunities come. 

This is what the craziest part is…while I wait, life is happening.  Sometimes it is surprising and sometimes it is a challenge. A couple of weeks ago my oldest son told me he got orders to Afghanistan.  He leaves in a couple of months.  When I first heard the news I did not react with fear.  The very first thought was, “God you have always watched out for him, this will be no different.”   I do not know if it is a delayed reaction or if it really is a peace and a trust but I have chosen not to dwell on the thing that has not happened yet.  I am choosing to give my son to the Lord.  Surprise: This I did not envision…my son going to the place on earth where there is war.

Yesterday I found out that my daughter is going to have a baby. My little girl.  I had been looking at her baby pictures that morning.  And later in the day she told me with an excited smile on her face.  She was just busting at the seams.  I was in shock…I did not know what to say first.  It still has not sunk in though I am beginning to wonder what it will be like to watch her go through what I went through four times.  It is not fear but apprehension at knowing what lays ahead of her.  I have been texting her little messages…things every mother wants to tell their daughter to make things a little easier.  Surprise: This I did not envision….my daughter becoming a mother so soon.

One of my teenage sons is giving me some trouble in the “obedience” area.  So I am having to deal with him fairly regularly now.  Firm discipline has not always been easy for me but am finding a way to be so.  I should say being consistent has been difficult, too many other issues going on while my kids were growing up.  Especially during the years of loss and pain.  The younger two really kind of fell through the cracks for a few years there.  Now I am having to catch up…it is exhausting, both mentally and physically.  Working 9 hours a day and commuting 3 hours a day only leaves a few hours to take care of matters before we wake up and do it all over again.  I am praying for wisdom and strength in this area.  I can not lose them to the world.  I have already lost too much.  Again I know that God is leading me and I trust that He is working on my behalf to bring about change in their hearts and lives. Challenge: This I did not envision….my younger son being so very difficult at times.

The next couple of weeks seem to be looming in front of me, saying, “life is going on with or without you.”   Dare I mention once again that V-day is almost upon us?  Yes, the dreaded day of Amore…only us single, lonely souls view such day with scorn.  Not that I scorn the day for I have tried not to be bitter for the sake of others who look forward to the day with excitement.   It is just another day I say to myself while the rest of the world is drenched in hearts of every kind. Edible or otherwise….

I have blogged about this day and the feelings it triggers before so I will spare you the details again.  But I would like to add a little tidbit of personal information so that you won’t think that I am becoming a Valentines recluse.  After many conversations with some dear friends, I had decided to throw myself into the “E Harmoney” pot.  (Cringe) Actually, it has been kind of comic relief for me.  I have not had any contacts but have had many matches.  I am really not sure what to expect.  I don’t think I am expecting anything.  But for the life of me I am beginning to wonder why one would pay for rejection.  I thought I would give it a try and believed that if the stars became aligned on a certain day then just maybe my true love will end up in my Inbox. Or maybe not. It remains to be seen…

It kills me what guys write on their profiles and omg…the pictures.  What are they thinking?  I have seen several who have taken self portraits, their faces so close to the lens that their eyes look like they are bugging out of their head.  The hair is wild and believe it or not some are not wearing a shirt.  Oh joy at seeing that.  I remember logging on one day and seeing a lineup of guys across the bottom of the page.  I thought I was looking at criminals.  “Have you seen this man?”  Now that is scary.  You can’t even see some of their faces because the picture is too small or they are standing too far back.  Bless their hearts. 

I have not been on a true date since 1993.  Was married in 1994 and became single in 2004 (my divorce was not final till 2008)  So you could say that I am extremely out of practice.  And that may be putting it mildly.  I don’t claim to be a super catch but my profile pics are tasteful and current (see below).  I am not claiming that I love to do everything under the sun nor do I make any promises of saving the world.  I do pronounce that I am a Christian and that my faith is very important to me.   I am pretty much “what you see is what you get” but with a smile.  I am not what 90% of the men are looking for, that is very obvious so I guess it will be a God thing, in His time on His terms.  And I am ok with that…just don’t know if paying for more time can be seen as trusting God…what do you think?  Never mind….

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So that is my week in a nutshell…only looking forward and am going to give it my best shot, nothing to lose, everything to gain.  I will leave you with this excerpt from the book, Visioneering by Andy Stanley:

“God is using your circumstances to prepare you to accomplish his vision for your life.  Your present circumstances are part of the vision.  You are not wasting your time.  You are not spinning your wheels. You are not wandering in the wilderness.  If you are “seeking first” his kingdom where you are, then where you are is where he has positioned you.  And he has positioned you there with a purpose in mind.”

Wow, can we say most amazing thought!!!!

Here is a little funny that my friend texted me this afternoon….try texting it to your friends and see what happens…

“I got a call from Walmart and they told me someone was drunk, wearing a gold thong, purple beeds and was screaming “who dat”, I am on my way to pick you up but this stuff has got to stop!!!!

 

You all have a wonderful Superbowl Sunday!!!

grace to you

shell

6 thoughts on ““With Or Without You”

  1. Joe says:

    Well, in the middle of it all you still have a sense of humor, I must say I certainly admire that. I\’ve never understood why it has to be that when it rains it pours…a.k.a the straw that breaks the camel\’s back syndrom so often in life. I think that if you can keep your sense of humor and faith in God intact…well, you\’ve got a tremendous advantage in the battle you\’re in to say the least. Hey, a free note: I despise V day…ugh!

  2. Grandma's says:

    I love the excerpt from Visioneering……I\’m going to go and find that book. It is so true. We who seek God\’s Kingdom first are exactly where he wants us to be. A difficult concept sometimes…especially for me…because I am so stubborn but God deals with us patiently when I honestly think sometimes he needs to hit me over the head with a sledge hammer to get my attention.Congratulations, Michelle…..how wonderful that your little girl is going to be a mommy. I remember how I felt when my daughter told me she was expecting my first grandchild….shock, happiness, apprehension. Both she and her brother were very difficult births…..and I spent the whole nine months praying that all would go well for her. She now has three children and each birth was a breeze. I was honored when she invited me to be present for the birth of the first one (as I had two C-sections and always felt I missed out on something). Your photos are lovely. Take care, my friendGod Bless You Richly~Karin~

  3. Greg says:

    Good morning Shell…It is kind of neat to persevere on WLS. I actually kind of miss it when so many hung out here. Now…It seems many just share little tid-bits on Facebook or Twitter. For me I like to babble more and contemplate. You understand, dig into our inner being…Yes…We are recording a journey. Journeys that for some of us intertwined.Very wise to write a vision statement. Do I have to post mine on my fridge…Wink!I’m in prayer agreement with your son.Ah yes…Those teenage years. Us parents all too well understand. Even more difficult in broken or blended families. But God always carries us through and the Godliness planted in them eventually always rises to the surface.Valentines Day eh…Yep we will have to buy ourselves a box of chocolates. This guy won’t put on a “Bitter Beard” face. No match game or E-Harmony fa-la-la for this guy either. “Hello coffee…My old friend. I’ve come to talk to you again…” I sang that to Simon and Garfunkel’s, “Sounds of Silence.”Thanks for not going into too much detail on men’s profile pic’s. I had to chuckle at your explanation. Yes, most of us guys are like big dumb dogs…Shaking my head. My son and I were listening to Mike and Mike the other morning, on ESPN, and they were commenting on Reggie Bush’s (Saints) comments about possible marriage to Kim Kardashian. OH MY!!! Afterwards, I said to my son, “See, how much simpler the single life.”I would think that I am out of practice on the dating scene too…Which brings up the question, “How does one practice?” Imagine trying to dance to Lady Gaga…D’oh!!!You know what Shell…We all like what we see and what we get in you. Just be that and all will be well.Looks like I rambled and got distracted from my studies.Thanks for the visit…Greg

  4. ROCKET says:

    Hi, Shell! Our youngest is about to graduate from high school. While we\’re shocked and a little saddened that our baby girl has grown so quickly we are also relieved that the rebellious years are behind us and she has become a lovely young lady. I wish you courage and patience, my friend and good luck with E-Harmony.

  5. nita says:

    hi shell, firstly the quote about god using circumstances, it just so fits, hope you wont mind me copying and pasting it – for future ref – secondly I do hope and pray you find the happiness you desire and deserve. the song love is in the air, is going through my mind as I type. thirdly, it must be very difficult to face your son going to afganistan you will be in my prayers. fourthly (dont know quite why I am doing this numbering thing, no particular significance intended) congratulations on your daughter\’s news – guess it has taken some getting used too. last but not least the obedience thing, having recently shared with you about my grandson – or grandsons and probably grandaughter too you will know I can relate to this. isnt being a parent/grandparent an awesome responsibility and a life long occupation, but it has its rewards too, and in the midst of many difficulties again tonight I am trying to look for those and the fact as re your quote, that god is using our circumstances (dire as they maybe sometimes) to accomplish his vision for our lives. take care and god bless – nita

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