It’s one a.m. and I should be asleep.
After all, six a.m. and hungry fur-babies are just around the corner. God must have implanted an internal time clock in all of creation, because my fur-babies alert me when it’s six a.m.
For those of you who don’t know who my fur-babies are….here’s a picture of Dorothy “Dotty” Joy Manship and Tinkerbell “Tink” Charlene Manship (yes, they have middle names 😉
With the minutes ticking by, my mind won’t let me sleep. Ever have those nights?
In case you missed it, that was a rhetorical question 😉 We all have sleepless nights when our minds won’t shut off.
Then again, I dated someone years ago who told me men have a “nothing button” behind their right ear. All they need to do is touch that spot and they’re off to dreamland.
I often wish I had one of the “nothing buttons,” but, alas, God did not create me with one.
So here’s the thing…..
Every day I think of something I need to write about. But then the end of the day comes and I haven’t written it.
I add it to a list of things I should write about, but the list only continues to grow.
It’s one of those lists that is made for the sake of a list. Or, at least, that is what it has become.
There’s always adding and never subtracting. And so the list grows.
So, since I’m not really writing about anything, but yet I am, here are some random things on my mind right now….the things God is walking me through and teaching me.
(1) Although my father and I have not gotten along very well for—oh, about thirty-six years—it scared me when he was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago with heart problems (again). As much as we rub each other the wrong way, I love him and he’s my dad. No one wants to lose a parent. (Well, maybe some do if their parent is terrible. Mine’s just “complicated” and I love him.) …. I would love to write about relationships between adults and their parents. About how to deal with your parents’ drama. About how to continue loving someone even when it’s difficult. About not giving up on people….even if it’s thirty-six years and counting. About honoring your mother and father, and what that looks like as an adult. (I realize my dad may read this. I love him dearly, but he knows we seem to frustrate each other. Truth be told though, that is getting better with time as we both grow in wisdom and grace.)
(2) My mom is also on my mind. She is one of my human superheroes. She started doing in-home daycare before I was born. I am now thirty-six years old and she just retired three weeks ago!!! Her mornings often started before six a.m. with prep; children showing up anytime after six a.m. so their parents could get to work on time; then the kids wouldn’t leave until five-thirty or six p.m.; after which she still had clean-up to do, paperwork the government mandated, a family to feed, errands to runs, Bible study homework to get done, us crazy kids (three of us) to run around, help with our homework, make certain we got to bed on time, prep for the next day…..and on and on and on! And guess what?! None of us died! We have all of our limbs! Granted the work took a toll on her, but she is the rock of our family. I want her to enjoy her retirement. She has earned it and needs it. I would love for her to be able to travel to visit us, to be able to read all the books she wants to read, to go visit friends for “just becauses,” and to see her grandchildren. But, she is going blind and soon her life will be much different. I think about that a lot. I love her to pieces and I hate that she is losing her sight. …… I would love to write about our real human superheroes. About moms who just keep going and going and going. About knowing for years that your mother is slowly going blind and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. About growing up in a crazy daycare house. About all the amazing lessons I learned from her and from all the children who have passed through my life.
(3) I think about my husband. He’s sleeping in the other room as I type this. He works really hard at a his job and by the time he comes home he has no energy left. Yet, he feeds the fur-babies in the evenings. (The smell of their night-time food makes me nauseous–and NO! I am not pregnant, just sensitive to smells.) He also often cooks dinner, because by the time the evening rolls around I’m too tired to cook. When I say too tired, I mean my body is shutting down and I’m literally a danger in the kitchen. He does so much for me and makes sure to tell me he “loves me” at least once a day. Our marriage is not perfect. We have a lot of work to do on it. But, I love him so terribly much and I want to see the best for him. ….. I would love to write about husbands who do the little things. About husbands who work at jobs that take all their energy. About how to honor your husband. About how to better love your husband. About how I often fail him in one way or another. About how in life we all fail each other at one time or another. About brokenness and healing in relationships. About remarriage after a painful divorce. About being a military wife. About being proud of my husband and all the sacrifices he has made, and continues to make, for our country. About loving the boy I thought was cute at twelve, the bees knees at seventeen, a goofy looking guy at thirty, and my handsome man at thirty-six. (Yes, he was looking a bit goofy when I first saw him after years of being apart.) About love stories and finding someone after years of losing them. About wishing you had more time, and wanting to make the most of what you have. And, yet, not quite being able to grasp that “most.”
(4) I think about my friends, my extended family, my neighbors, our country, the world, all the poor and hurting, all the orphans and widows, about the people being martyred for their faith, about how in all of the craziness….God is there! I would love to write about how I see God in the big things and in the small things and in the in-between things and in the hurts and pains and joys and celebrations ….. About how God is both transcendent and imminent. About how He created everything with glorious purpose. About how focusing on who He says we are, changes our lives. About how the atoning work His Son, Jesus, did on the cross has the power to wipe away our sins as far as the east is from the west. About how “owning” that truth and living in it brings such freedom and joy. About how He is my everything!
(5) I think about the things God has called me to. He has called me to be a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a neighbor, a friend, a community member, …. He has called me to be someone who knows what it is to suffer. He allowed me to be born with a chiari malformation, to go through two brain surgeries, to experience being bullied and abused, to live in hiding for awhile, to go through bankruptcy, to survive domestic violence, to almost commit suicide, ….. and in all of it, to be able to find a sense of thankfulness and joy. I would love to write about perspective. About living through difficult things and being able to learn the hard lessons on the other side of it. About how God uses all the details of our lives for His glorious purpose. About how He doesn’t want to see us hurt, but that it is something that He allows to grow our character, to discipline us, to show us He loves us. About having bad days and getting back up the next. About so much more!
In the end, I want to write. I want to share what God has taught me and is teaching me. I want to write about the deeper things of God. I want to write about the economy of God and how we are each a part of it. I want to write about how much He loves you! I want to write to encourage, to inform, to build up, to rebuke, to train, to equip….
It is 1:49 now, and I’m finally getting tired. I think I needed to purge my mind of some of the things that are weighing on it.
Please know this, I have the joy of the Lord! He is my peace that passes all understanding. In the midst of the mess, He gives me hope. In my natural, He puts His supernatural. In my weakness, He is strong. In all the things I wrote about above, I know He is there. He is never far away, because He is always abiding with me. He is my heart and my song.
And with that….I should call it a night.
Stay encouraged, for God is right there with you. All you need to do is listen.
~Your coffee-guzzling-truth-telling-joy-finding-polka-dot-fanatic, Lici Joy