I was happy when my 40’s ended, the decade of menopause and sleepless nights. Not one to wish my life away, I tired (literally) of waking up at 2 .m. and, after much tossing and turning, finally getting up and cleaning the house. After that ten years, I had about 2 years of sleep, and then my ex-husband announced he wanted a divorce.
Cue the sleepless nights again.
Staring at my ceiling once more, but now it wasn’t hormones, I trying to see the future. Two decades of being a stay-at-home-mom, one child off to the military, one in high school, a husband with a mistress and an ache to leave–I’m talking eyes wide open, watching the clock tick. I learned, after I scored a job, that a person can stay awake all night, without one second of sleep, and still be productive. I am astonished by that.
I’ve got some history with this debate–Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays–because I was a government employee once. But, I’ll get to that later. For now, let me say, I don’t take offense at either sentiment.
As a Christian, I desire for those who don’t know Jesus, to know him. I don’t have time, and I mean that quite literally, to debate who gets to say what. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37). I want to be his worker. In my career of horticulture, we gotta be ready for the harvest. Time is short and workers need to be focused. If you stand around talking while everyone else is working, well then, likely, you’re out of a job.
Jesus standing around debating Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays when people were clamoring to him with hearts and bodies breaking? I just don’t
In 1989, NASA teamed up with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) to study the affects of houseplants on indoor toxins, with a goal of improving the quality of indoor air. Their goal was cleaner space station air, but their findings proved useful for our well-insulated, energy efficient homes, as well. On this rainy, winter day, it’s good to know our houseplants (3 per room is recommended, but 1 makes a difference) are helping to keep our homes free of toxins while we sip hot chocolate with our feet to the fire.
Below is NASA’s chart of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), or household toxins, common to most homes. We all know being outside in nature is great for stress reduction, and filling our lungs with fresh oxygen, so bringing plants indoors just makes sense. Now, with NASA’s study, it makes even more sense.
Houseplants can absorb unwanted indoor toxins through
So my pagan pals are all like, who is this Franklin Graham dude, and how the heck does he know that God elected Donald Trump?
My pagan pals weren’t clued into Franklin Graham until he told everybody that God placed Trump as the leader of the free world. My pagan pals are rubbing their eyes in disbelief and saying WTF? (Yes, they say that.) Then they say, “Seriously, Cinthia? This is the sh*t you believe?” (They say that, too.)
They conclude that if Franklin Graham believes God gave Trump the presidency, then it follows that I believe it, too. I mean, we’re both Christians, right?
Yes, Franklin Graham and I both call Jesus Lord, but the similarities end there. I don’t come from Christian royalty (his daddy is Billy Graham, as in THE Billy Graham), and God has never shared a political thought with me. And, it seems Franklin has
When sad or uncomfortable things happened to me, I was able to steady myself with retail therapy, lunch out with friends, dinner with family, a random tv show or movie. All sorts of “normal” things returned my mindset from anxious, grieving, disappointed or whatever, back to “normal” again. It was akin to the old bury-the-head-in-the-sand ploy and it worked fabulously. Without realizing it, there was an unconscious (or maybe not so unconscious) part of me that was thinking, “I’m a white, American, Southern, Christian girl. What could happen to me?”
Even this week, as my plane circled to land in Asheville, where the smoke from the forest fires was so bad the pilot was forced to take a couple of “go’s” at it, I was simultaneously pleading with God to get that plane on the ground, while reminding him that this, THIS, wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I’m a
If you’re stuck thinking everyone else has such a great life and your life is super crummy, then ask someone, “How may I pray for you?”
My ex and I prayed together almost every night. We laid in bed, held hands and prayed before going to sleep. Obviously, we weren’t the perfect couple, he’s my ex. So, prayer doesn’t necessarily fix everything the way we’d like it too, but it definitely puts things back into perspective. For instance, it was hard for the ex and I to stay mad at one another, if we’d just had a fight, when we were finishing the night with prayer. Why? Prayer is spoken to God. Things get real when God steps in or when we step toward him.
Ask someone, how may I pray for you, and instantly, things will get real with them. You’ll watch their perfect life fade before your eyes
I did learn a few things from my ex. It wasn’t all smoke and mirrors.
Like, don’t drink Mike’s Hard Lemonade before doing yoga. It throws your balance off. And, if you wait long enough, and are still enough, a copperhead will come back out of the woodshed (that you saw it go into 2 days before) and then you can kill it. (Got that?)
In the garden, I learned a few lessons, too. One crucial one was really, oh-so-simple. There’s always poison ivy. My 2016 garden exemplifies this truism. The poison ivy is spectacular while everything else is withering from heat and drought. Which brings me to random weed day. Without benefit of the ex’s wisdom, I stumbled upon random weed day by myself. Well, that and Impulse Hill, but that’s another post.
It goes like this.
If you’re a gardener and you’ve lived long enough, you’ve planted way
Want a piece of humble pie? Try this. Read your old journals. I’ve been reading my old journals. That I’ve written since I was 12. I can’t even.
Describes me from age 12 to say, 45: Narcissistic. Silly. Ridiculous. Delusional.
I know, you’re thinking, uh, yeah. We knew.
Then why the heck didn’t you tell me? But you were narcissistic (and often the victim), you say. True. I’d have thought it was like, so your problem not mine. Like NBD. Learn some boundaries, people. I’m on my journey. You’re on yours.
I wish age wasn’t the thing here. The thing that allows you to stop. Stop the obsessing about yourself. Stop the insanely, crazy idea that you must be happy or well, well, you just must. (Truly, happiness is a state of mind.) I wish age didn’t soften the edges or turn the mind toward others, but it does.
Everybody is a Donald Trump anymore. Everybody has turned so mean.
And since I am a Christian, it is even more upsetting that Christians are mean, too.
I am referring to mean conservative Christians who shout ugly things about gays, transgenders, and whoever else to the rooftops. And, I am referring to mean liberal Christians who name call and hurl insults at their conservative counterparts.
Somehow, both the liberals and the conservatives ended up with God on their side. Amazingly.
The liberals like to make everyone look stupid, and the conservatives like to make everyone look immoral. One group shouts stupid, one group shouts sinful. Both groups like to toss around the phrase “What would Jesus do?” insinuating that the other group was not behaving as Jesus would, since both groups seem pretty convinced that they know what Jesus would actually do.
Poor Jesus. What a tug of war he’s
Sometimes it’s important to tell others what God has done in our lives. You never know, maybe that person is in a similar situation, or any old situation, where someone like God would be darn useful.
So, here’s a story–really the pared down version–of what God did in my life when I had no money, no job, no home and no plan.
I was divorcing and for all the convoluted stories divorces can be, I won’t go into how this next thing happened, but it did. The ex got the house, and most of the money. I hadn’t worked in 15 years (stay-at-home mom), and was unemployed when this happened.
Here’s what I needed: a home, money to move, a job that would pay for myself and my son, and a plan. A really good plan.
The plan was the thing that bugged me the most. I believed if I