You Can’t Solve Life

You know how life can sometimes shake us up like loose change in a pocket? How we get rattled, and stirred, and tossed about? How we sit in our circumstances and putter around for answers? Well, here’s what I’ve learned from all the bumps and bruises—there are no answers.

All the rattling, shaking, and puttering is the answer. The experience is the answer. The journey is the answer. You can’t solve life, you just have to live it. One day, one moment at a time.

Therefore, what I’m hoping to do—because I know life will shake me—is try my best to not get stirred. Once I get stirred up or fired up by the trials of life that’s when all the “crazy” comes out. So instead of getting stirred, I’m trying to laugh a little longer, pray a little harder, build faith a little stronger, and breathe a little deeper.

We only get one life to live. Live it.

 

(Reminder: Postings to this blog are done once a month)


January Has No Power

It’s the New Year and everyone’s revved up about new changes for the year ahead. We’re setting new goals, burying old habits, creating new pathways, and building better futures. The month of January (particularly January 1st) inspires in us a sense of revival and renewal, which makes us feel we can conquer the world (or at least the forthcoming year). Yet there’s only one problem.

There’s an oversight we fail to see in January that becomes vividly clear to us in February, March, and so on. That oversight is this…

“God doesn’t alter His plans in our lives just because January comes around.”

 

That’s why come February, March, and so on; our goals, resolutions, and well-laid-out plans start to fade, or fall by the wayside. The blistery winds of life blow us back into reality. And the reality is, whatever season of life we’re experiencing is ours to “grow” through. It can’t be altered, dismissed, or placed on hold. It’s here for our good, though sometimes it doesn’t feel so good.

Waving our magic wands in January doesn’t change the status of God’s plan in motion. Though there’s nothing wrong with allowing the New Year to inspire us to set new goals, make resolutions, or bury old habits. We should always motivate ourselves to be the best we can be. However, the key is not to get caught up or be totally reliant upon our self-made plans. There’s a higher plan in motion, which takes precedence over anything we can conjure up for ourselves.

Therefore, instead of putting all our eggs in the January basket only to fall flat on our faces come February; we should allow the year to unfold for us the growth which God has intended.

    __________________Please Note The Following Change__________________

Photo by Stuart Miles

Crusty Walls

I miss the house cleaning service we had a few years ago.

I took pleasure in coming home to a clean house back when we could afford the luxury of a twice-a-month house cleaner.

Yet that was during the glory days before I left my corporate life behind to become a freelance writer and novelist.

My husband and I were financially comfortable and able to splurge on a few niceties. Yet, that all changed when we slashed our budget drastically in order for me to fulfill my writer dreams. That meant the house cleaning service was the first to go. But I miss it greatly. Not only because of the non-stop cleaning I have to do, and the non-stop yelling I do at others (in my house) who’re slacking on their cleaning duties, but also for another reason in particular. Let me explain.

I was in my son’s room one day reaching for his dirty underwear wedged between the dresser and the wall. It was laundry day, and as usual I had to hunt down the kids clothes. They prefer to throw them around their room and all over the house, instead of putting them in their dirty clothes hamper. Go figure.

With one hand leveraged on the wall, I bent over to retrieve the skid-marked underwear (don’t act like you don’t know what skid marks are), then hoisted myself back up. The hand, which leveraged me on the wall slid across a bumpy surface. Immediately, my motherly instincts told me if I take a closer look, I won’t like what I’m about to see. But I looked anyway.

“What is this?” I said to my son. Though I already knew what it was, I wanted to hear what his story would be.

“What is what?” He came next to me, stooped over for a closer look, then hunched his shoulders rapidly and repeatedly. “Um, I dunno. Boogers, maybe?”

Keep in mind, I’m talking to a teenager who recently turned fifteen, and old enough to know better.

“Why is there a cluster of dried boogers on the wall?” I asked.

He was silent for a second, then dropped his head in defeat. “I didn’t have tissue so I just flicked them over there.”

Is he serious? Wouldn’t you just like to wring his neck? The bathroom is right next to his room. There’s a butt-load of tissue there. Who leaves booger clusters on a wall?

Needless to say after giving him my infamous pissed-off-mom tongue lashing, I made him get a wet towel and clean it up.

And that’s why I miss the house cleaner. If we still had a house cleaner, she’d have gotten rid of that cluster before I ever had a chance to witness it.

Photo by Domdeen

Red Wine and I Are Breaking Up

For a few years, I’ve been a member of the Mark My Word book club where a small group of women and I get together every other month to discuss books. We take turns hosting the meetings at each others’ homes, over potluck dinners and glasses of wine.

It was at one of these gatherings where I had an “aha” moment.

While filling up my plate with a second helping of food, then reaching for the bottle of Moscato (white wine) to refill my glass, I discovered the bottle was empty. Disappointed, the only drink options left were watered-down fruit punch and red wine. There stood my dilemma.

Typically, I’m not a drinker. You can probably count on one hand how many drinks I have during the course of a year (okay, two hands). And it’s usually in a girlfriend-type setting like book club potluck dinners, or other girlfriend-type gatherings (wink wink, Sharon) where we’ve broken free from our kids, our husbands, and all our crappy responsibilities.

But there amongst my beverage dilemma (and amongst all the women who drank the other two bottles of Moscato), it finally hit me: In all my life, I’ve never tasted a red wine I’ve ever liked. Never.

Aha. There lies a defining moment in red wine history—I hate red wine. Even though I’ve always continued to try it, thinking I just haven’t met the right one. There is no “right” one. And finally I’ve arrived at that conclusion. To me, they will always suck.

Therefore, red wine and I are breaking up. We’ve always clashed together anyway.

Photo by Njaj