Visiting Family and Friends

I have had so much to write about lately that I haven’t had time to write. How ironic is that? An important part of my preparations to move to Colorado has been visiting with family and friends while I still live within a few hours of them. I took the photo below as I was crossing into Kentucky from Virginia this past Sunday. This view has always been one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get at a good angle to capture the true majesty of it.

Sunday, I went to see Aunt Betty and Uncle James Homer. They are both getting up in years and declining in health, and every time I go to see them I wonder if it will be the last. I certainly couldn’t move far away without going to see them again.

While I was in Pike County, KY, I visited Mom’s grave once more before my move. I know she’s not really there, but it is cathartic to visit her and talk with her about everything that’s on my mind.

Last week, I made a trip to Clayton, NC, to visit with Aunt Kitty and Uncle Johnny. I had such an enjoyable time there! We didn’t do a whole lot, but we spent precious time talking, reminiscing, and playing with their grandchildren.

While I was in Clayton, I had the opportunity to see a couple friends from my childhood. On that Friday evening, I went to dinner with Glenn Hackney, and the next day I went to lunch with Jodi Davis Hester. Both meals were a happy time of reconnecting and catching up. That’s Jodi and me in the photo to the left. We almost forgot to take one, but she came back before driving off so we could capture the moment.

The week before my trip to Clayton, I had the immense pleasure of seeing my long-time friend Al Faulkner. I met him online several years ago, and every in-person visit has been a memorable experience. He is one of the kindest people I know!

I also had the privilege of meeting Wayne Kovacs (whom I also met online several years ago) and his beautiful wife Maria. They took me to an authentic Japanese restaurant where I tried some new cuisine that was quite delicious. The only available utensils were chopsticks, and I figured out why Japanese are so thin. It’s not easy to eat with those things! Hahaha!

I made a quick drop-in visit at Sears in Greenville, SC, to surprise my high school friend Tom Dentel. I hadn’t seen him in about 13 or 14 years, and he didn’t recognize me at first. It was great getting to catch up with him a little, even though my visit had to be kept short so I could get on back home.

The past couple weeks I have made some nice memories to carry with me as I make the move to Colorado soon. Before long, my posts here will be about all my new adventures in that beautiful state.

 

Advertisements

Relationships in General

Last night, I wrote a post about my philosophy of love. After reading over it, I realized it makes more sense if you have some understanding of my philosophy of relationships in general. Thus, I’m writing this follow-up post.

This may come as a surprise to most of you who have known me for quite a while, but by nature, I am an introvert. Yes, I like hanging out with people, and I can usually talk to strangers without too much awkwardness; but at the end of the day, I need my alone time to recharge, and I would generally prefer to be alone reading a book or binging Netflix shows.

So, the truth is I don’t understand why people think they NEED to be in a romantic relationship. That just means that there will be another person there practically ALL the time, drastically cutting down my alone time. During the last 10 years that I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve seen some friends go from relationship to relationship to relationship with hardly enough time to take a breath in between. I try to be understanding since I know everyone is different with different needs, but I don’t get it at all. Don’t they need some time to themselves to recover and to self-elvaluate?

Sure, I like companionship. I have a few friends I can talk to for hours because we’re on the same page, they “get” me and vice versa. When I choose to spend time with someone, it’s kind of a big deal. Sometimes, I do it just because I know I need to be social so as not to turn into a hermit. More often, it’s because I genuinely enjoy the other person’s company (until I need to get alone to recharge, that is).

So, when I said in yesterday’s post that I’m not looking for love, I meant it. Before I can even think about love, I need to find someone whose company I enjoy enough to not think about needing alone time.

Philosophy of Love

Relationships are funny things. Lately, I’ve had several conversations with friends about relationships. There are many types of relationships: family, friends, co-workers, etc.; but usually when people talk about relationships they mean romantic ones. I haven’t had much luck with those. A very good friend of mine recently told me that I have a bad habit of breaking my toys, and I’m afraid that’s true.

Some of my friends have found love on dating websites, and I couldn’t be happier for them. The one thing I’ve learned from all of my friends who have tried it is that internet dating is a deliberate thing; it takes a lot of work and time and patience — things that I don’t choose to expend.

So, after many years of contemplation and hours of discussions with close friends, I have developed my philosophy of love. I won’t go looking for it. I’m going to just live my life and follow the path God has me on. Then, if I notice someone on the same path, more or less keeping pace with me, then just maybe love will blossom.

Homesick

I have spent a couple hours looking at hundreds of photos of Colorado. Although, I’ve only been in the state three times and never for more than a few days at a time, it feels like home; and I’m homesick! As the time for my move is fast approaching, I’m overcome with all kinds of emotions: excitement, anxiety, anticipation, fear, hope, nervousness, impatience, uncertainty, joy, suspense, elation, apprehension. The photos portray a majestic place, and rarely do photos accurately capture their subjects. Which means, it’s even more wonderful and awe-inspiring. I feel like I’m not worthy to live in such a place.

Cycling Disappointment

One thing I’ve been especially looking forward to about moving to Colorado is cycling. A few years ago, I was given a Mongoose mountain bike. It was old but still a great bike, so I thought. I did some repairs and maintenance on it and thought I had gotten it trail-worthy. So, I’ve recently tried it out at Rooster Front Park, and…NO… The gears aren’t working right. They don’t want to shift at all, and when they do, it’s very jerky.

That’s not the least of my problems, though. It’s a 26-inch bike. In other words, it’s TOO BIG for me! I can barely get on it at all, and once I’m riding it, I keep freaking out because I’m way too high up in the air. I need a 24-inch bike!

I guess that means there’s one more thing I have to spend money on. Saying I’m disappointed doesn’t quite express the way I feel.

Preparing to Move

I haven’t been consistent about writing blog posts so far this year primarily because I’ve been busy being an Office Supervisor for Liberty Tax Service. It’s been a busy tax season, which will be over in couple weeks. Another major reason is because I haven’t had a lot of specifics to give, and I don’t like vague posts. Nonetheless, this is going to be a somewhat vague post.


I am happy to report that things are coming together for my upcoming move to Colorado. My car, which has been down since November 16, is finally in the shop getting a new clutch and new shifter bushings. It will (hopefully) drive like new when I get it back. That one thing has been a huge source of concern for me, so it’s a great relief to see light at the end of that tunnel!


One thing that my friends have expressed their concern over has been my apparent lack of plans regarding my move. I have had plans all along, knowing that I was following God’s leading in my life, even though it wasn’t as easy for others to envision my plans. I’ve had well-meaning friends tell me that I needed more specific plans, or even try to make plans for me. In it all, I’ve kept my eyes on God rather than people, and last week, something that I never thought was possible was presented to me in a way that it is not only possible but very probable. So, my friends and family can rest assured that I have concrete plans now, not just for the next few months, but for the foreseeable future.


To be honest, the past few months have been hard. I’ve been doing my best to follow God’s plan for my life, but sometimes it has been hard to see. I’ve often felt like He was leading me around blindfolded. That’s just where He wanted me, though. That’s where He wants all of us … blindly following Him by faith. I’ve had many opportunities to follow people who I could see, people who had definite plans, people who had more means than I have on my own. But, I remembered Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” And, now I can see God fulfilling this verse in my life.


No, I don’t have everything figured out yet, but I have a more definite path laid out now, and I am more sure than ever that Colorado is where God wants me to be. I can’t wait, either. Even though I’ve been to that state only a few times, it feels like home already, and I miss it. With the date of my move fast approaching, I will attempt to write in here more consistently to keep everyone updated on what’s going on. I’d like to know what’s going on in your world, too, so leave a comment and let me know what’s up!

Winter Blues Cure

Lots of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is depression caused by a particular season, usually winter because of the gloominess. The first time I heard of it, I didn’t quite understand it. Of course, I lived in south Texas at the time where it didn’t get gloomy very often or for very long. Now, I know all about it. This winter has dragged on and on and on, and this week, which should have been more springlike, was just more of the same. Yesterday was the first day this week that it didn’t snow, and today was the first time the sun came out. Yesterday, the weather had me so depressed I wanted to cry even though there was nothing going on to make me sad.

I took advantage of the sunshine today as much as I possibly could. I drove up to Grayson Highlands State Park with the intent to hike. Unfortunately, most of the park is still closed for the season, and there was still lots of snow up there. There were some horse trails open, and I walked along one of those for a while, just so I could get some exercise outdoors. My daily (well, almost daily) trips to the gym are great, but they don’t come close to being active outside on a sunny, blue-sky day.¬†After my little trip, I felt revitalized! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for winter to be over and for the sun to come out to stay.

Going Home

Although I’ve only lived a total of three years and eight months in Kentucky during my lifetime, I still consider it to be “Home”. It’s where my mom grew up and where she called home. In fact, it’s where she is buried, so it is her final earthly home. Whenever I need comfort and solace, that is where I return.

For some reason, the month of February is always the worst month of the year for Sam and me. If something horrific is going to happen during the year, it will be in February. This year was no exception. Although a few of you know the details, I don’t feel like they are necessary for this post. The point is, during this month of heartbreak, I have, as usual, found solace in returning home to Kentucky…two weekends in a row, in fact!

Last weekend was focused on Pike County. During my trip, I visited the church Sam and I attended when we lived in Dorton, I was blessed to reconnect with some old friends, and I got to visit with precious family. I also visited Mom’s grave and wept as I told her all about what was going on. It was a cathartic release to let go of my burden for a few moments and let it rest at Mom’s feet.

This weekend, I went back to Floyd County. This time, I focused more on visiting places rather than people. I went to or drove past many places I hadn’t been in a million years, or so it seemed. It’s kind of funny how just driving past some mundane place can cause memories and emotions to flood the soul. Like how driving past some ordinary storage units brought back a sweet memory, particularly because it was raining.

This morning, I visited the church Sam and I attended when we lived in Allen. I know that both last Sunday and today I was right in the place where God wanted me to be. It was reassuring to see churches that have not veered from preaching God’s Word and loving God’s people!

As I’ve mentioned before, and as most of you already know, I’m planning to move to Colorado once tax season is over. I can’t wait to get out there, but I know I’m going to miss the closeness of “home” and being only a couple hours away from where Mom is.

Thoughts on Job

This year, I’m reading the chronological Bible, and I recently finished the book of Job. In this post, I’m going to share a few things that caused me to stop and consider.

First of all, we’ve all heard about Job’s wife. She is always portrayed as a terrible person because she advised Job to curse God and die. But, let’s think this through. Job’s ten children who all died in one day were also her children. Job’s possessions that were all stolen or destroyed in one day were also her possessions. Her security was stripped from her suddenly, and on top of it all, she had a sick husband to care for. (Any of you who have ever cared for a sick man know how stressful that can be.) Her response to all the tragedy was not the best, but she could have said what she did out of compassion. If Job had died, he would have instantly been relieved of his suffering. We know that she stayed with him despite everything, and she shared in God’s blessing with double of everything that was lost, as well as ten more children. I’ve known of marriages that crumbled or at least took a huge hit at the loss of one child. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to hold it all together with the extent of the loss that Job and his wife faced.

Next, we read about Job’s friends. The first thing that struck me was that Job did not reach out to them. He didn’t ask any of them for help, support, encouragement, compassion, or anything else. They came to him, and they thought they were smart enough to know why Job was in the mess he was in and what needed to be done to get out of it. Truthfully, though, they didn’t know much. They were totally wrong about the reason for Job’s trials, so their advice was not correct, being based on false assumptions.

This past week, I have realized how truly blessed I am to have friends who will listen and pray without judgment. I thank God for the way they have offered compassion, understanding, and prayers. I don’t know I would make it through my current trials without them!

Praise You In This Storm

I don’t usually start a post with a video, but this song is so appropriate at this time that I felt like it was necessary to set the tone for this post. The seven or so weeks since I last wrote here have been C.R.A.Z.Y! I’ve been very busy with work, and some things have occurred that I would never in my life have believed to be possible.

Now, I’m somewhere I never expected to be, wondering how I got here. I look around at the others, and my first thought is, “I don’t fit in here at all!” Then, I heard a lady talking on the phone about God and how hard it is to have faith in Him. That’s when it occurred to me that God allowed the circumstances that happened for some reason, and maybe that reason is so that I can be a minister of His grace to others.

Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for good. I can’t see the good right now, but I’m going to praise and serve God in this storm.