Tag Archives: patience

Welcome to Your Midlife Crisis. Here’s your Complimentary Wine…

want-haveSo, I seem to be having this feeling, ever since…oh, my mid-forties, that I am “missing out” on something. That I need to be doing something “different”, something “new”, even though I have no earthly clue what I may be missing out on, or what that new and different thing is.

Compounding this issue is the feeling that I may not be missing out on anything. That I might, in fact, only be wasting my time in pursuit of these new and different things at the expense of all the great stuff I have before me now (a great family, a good, flexible job, a fledgling writing career, just to name a few).

Then it hits me this morning: This must be what that thing everyone (okay, mostly men) talk about as being a “mid-life crisis”. And suddenly this makes perfect sense to me.

No, I don’t care to go out and run up our credit cards or blow our savings on some hot Italian sports car, or loud, American motorcycle. No, I don’t feel the need to sow my wild oats with some sweet young thing from the coffee shop down the street. But I can see, especially at the (supposedly) midpoint of my life, just how easy it is to look back on the first half and wonder if I’ve done all that the younger me had dreams of accomplishing.

The answer, of course, is a hearty, no.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disappointed. Not in the least. Well, not entirely. I’m just being realistic. Honestly, I can’t even remember half of the “dreams” I may have had in my twenties, at the tail end of my college career, about to be unleashed into the wild jungles of an unsuspecting world. In fact, once out into this mysterious place called “the real world”, most of the stuff I delved into I failed at! Miserably!! Relationships. Jobs. Life in general.

That’s not a sob story; that’s just the way it was. And actually, looking back on it now, I view it not so much as failing, but as finding a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t want to do, didn’t want to be, didn’t want to dream. It was clarifying. Therapeutic.

Well, that may be stretching it a bit, but the one thing I did get right was finding the love of my life. And she helped me find my way to peace, and to contentment, and, ultimately, to God. You know…so there’s that.

Reading back through the first half of this post you’d hardly think I had found anything resembling peace and contentment though. But I think there’s a difference between contentment and fulfillment. There’s a difference between peace and rest. Like Paul, I have “learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11), but I doubt even Paul was content in every second of every day in every place. There’s the living at peace in the way things are, and there’s the little niggling in the back of your mind at the way thinks might be…if only…

Still, I don’t want to spend too much time living in “If Only” Land, thank you very much. I don’t think dwelling there does anything more than rob me of the joy found by living in the moment: The sight of my wife coming in all aglow from a morning run; the feel of my daughter’s first hug in the morning; the laughter of my son over some joke between he and his friends; the taste of red wine during an orange sunset; and lately, the sound of the TV turning off when the political rhetoric becomes too much.

Do I have everything I need? Ultimately, yes, because there is huge, gaping difference between “need” and “want”. I may have a lot of “wants”, and probably always will, but for today, I have everything I need–even in mid life–and, for some reason, I needed to remind myself of that today.

But for now, there’s going to be an awesome sunset tonight, so I’m off to get a good bottle of Pinot.  Talk to y’all soon.

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BEING RIGHT ≠ BEING LOVE

“…to people who think they have the power to read the entirety of another person’s story after a glance in a store aisle, or a report in a newspaper, or a 140-character tweet.”

BABY

Mom Has A Powerful Response To Woman Who Said ‘You’ll Spoil That Baby

I ran across this article the other day and, as they often do, this one got me thinking. I decided it was worth passing on, not because I agree or disagree with anything that was said within the post, but because it raised a larger point that I do think needs to be brought up:

Most all of us need to place ourselves in the position of the “other person”—regardless of our thoughts, emotions, points, or valid excuses—because most often, we have no idea the journey that other person is on. Continue reading BEING RIGHT ≠ BEING LOVE

A Plague of Indecision

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

We all face a plethora of decisions, every day of our lives; no matter the job, no matter the circumstance; and actually it’s more of a plague of INdecision rather than decision; an inability to choose between two or more directions that lay open before you.

Mine at the moment certainly isn’t an earth shattering choice. Actually, I simply can’t decide where to take the direction of the fifth Drifter Series book. I’m stuck at a certain point with two main characters and a villain, and can’t decide where to go from here.

It’s just a temporary case of writer’s block.

What led me to this writer’s block…aahh, these are the choices behind the choices. Continue reading A Plague of Indecision

The War on Christmas? We’ve Already Lost

starbucksCan I just say that I’m more than a little disheartened that the first volley in this year’s “War on Christmas” seems to be over a red coffee cup.

I hate to be the one to say it, but for me, this so-called “War on Christmas” was lost long ago; a beaten and bloodied casualty at the hands of a free market society and retail commercialism as we see more and more displays of Santa, reindeer, green and red baubles, and candy—always the candy—showing up on store shelves and display windows even before the ghouls and goblins of Halloween have been tucked away. Look no further than the ever-increasing creep of “Black Friday” sales now encroaching on Thanksgiving dinner…even into that particular Thursday’s breakfast and pre-dawn hours.

Further, I don’t see the War on Christmas as so much an “us vs. them” conflict as I do an internal civil war. A war created by a master deceiver, drawing our attention away from what should be truly important to us and instead toward such superfluous bickering like what is or is not on a secular corporation’s coffee cup.

Wasn’t it Christ who said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls”? (Luke 11:17)

Didn’t the Apostle Paul also write, “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law (or coffee cups, cashier greetings, window displays, et.al), for they are unprofitable and worthless. (Titus 3:9-10, with a bit of editing)

Paul continues: “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11, and I’m looking at you Josh Feuerstein)

And didn’t Jude, the brother of James, write, “These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage…It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear…” (Jude 1:16, 19-23, emphasis mine)

None of these were written against the world, but against those within the church itself; as Jude puts it, those “certain people (who) have crept in (among the faithful)”

With rare exception, retail stores like Starbucks, Target, and any other who chooses to put up neutral displays, or says it’s employees are to greet customers with a hearty “Happy Holidays”, are not Christian companies. That’s not a slam, that’s a simple fact. Why in the world are we getting offended when they fail to uphold our misguided expectation of adherence to Christian beliefs, or to express Christian language? They’re secular organizations trying to appeal to the widest swath of customers possible in pursuit of market share and profit. You know, the ‘Murican way!

If anything, they are a prime example of who we should be “the light of the world” for.

Light doesn’t produce offense. Light illuminates. Light guides. Light holds back the darkness and, as such, should be a relief and comfort to those caught up and blinded by the darkness.

Yes, Jesus is the “reason for the season”. But that sentiment needs to be spoken in gladness with family around the dinner table, talked of in grace with friends over a cup of coffee or pint of beer, preached as “good news” from the pulpit in the weeks leading up to the day. NOT ranted into an I-phone with venom and arrogance and posted on social media.

Josh Feuerstein, and other ‘certain people’ who think that saying your name is “Merry Christmas” so the Starbucks barista has to shout it out when your order’s ready? You’re not helping.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another (Starbucks) and, if one has a complaint against another (Starbucks), forgiving each other (Starbucks, and, by all means, buy a cup of coffee for the stranger behind you in line and wish them a “Merry Christmas”)
As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15)