The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the 80s and 90s this week. The kids and I are going camping with our church this weekend. People are still swimming and taking their boats out on the lake. But I can tell winter is coming.
The leaves on the tree outside my bedroom window started turning from green to red a couple weeks ago. Many of them have already fallen to the ground. The night air is too crisp to sleep with the window open, and my feet are cold against the kitchen floor in the morning. The kids have started back to school, and I was starting to lose hope in my dreams for this year.
I am currently planning a trip for myself and the kids. I love to surprise them, so I am not telling them until the day we leave. I wonder if that’s why God keeps us in the dark regarding His plans; He loves to surprise us too!
God didn’t ask me if I wanted to be alive during the circus that is 2020. He didn’t ask me if I wanted my husband to go to prison or if I wanted to lose my house. He didn’t ask if I wanted boys or girls when I was pregnant. He didn’t ask my friend if he wanted cancer. He didn’t ask my coworker if she wanted a special needs child. He didn’t ask hurricane victims if they wanted their houses destroyed. He didn’t ask that couple if they wanted to struggle with infertility. He didn’t ask any of us.
A lot has happened in the month since I last wrote. My stepmother died a few days ago. She was married to my father for 38 years–since I was three. Together, they raised five children who gave them twelve grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. And yet she died without a single family member by her side.
My daughter’s birthday was five days ago. Being the big spender that I am, I bought her a “happy birthday” balloon from the Dollar Tree which was slightly under-inflated to begin with. Today, I noticed it was hovering a couple of feet off the floor.
I learned something today- life’s not fair. The rich get richer while the poor stay poor. Innocent children die of horrible diseases while various adults treat their bodies horribly and live into old age. Couples who would be excellent parents can’t conceive while others abuse their children. Some married couples fight constantly and cheat while their single friends dream of having a spouse.
That is just life, and it’s not fair. I’m not the only one who thinks so. The Bible is full of people asking God about the unfairness of it all:
Nine years ago today I made a decision which changed the trajectory of my life. I was a backslider who had decided to come back to church. It wasn’t Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day, or any other special day of the year. It was just a beautiful, springy Sunday morning here in the Pacific Northwest.
When I first came back to church in 2011, I was obsessed with “finding my purpose” in life. The book “Purpose Driven Life” was still popular around that time. I not only read the book- I took extensive notes in a special little hard-cover notebook that I bought just for the occasion. The notebook had the poem “Footprints” recessed into the wood on the front. It was very nice; I still have it and all the notes.
I would love to tell you that after reading and taking notes on every page of that book that a light bulb went off and I knew my life’s purpose. But, alas, I was still clueless.
I love my Fitbit. Every hour it vibrates to let me know that I need to get up and move. When I first got it a little over a year ago, I would actually get up and walk around until I got my 250 steps in for that hour. Over time though, I would ignore the vibration periodically.
I just checked the app to see when’s the last time I got all my hourly steps in during the day. Y’all, it was February of last year! What happened?
While driving down the road today, I saw a billboard sign that depicted a family washing their car. The advertisement was for a church and said, “Busy? We now have a 5 p.m. service!”
As a working, single mom, I understand busy. I also understand that weekends are usually more for errands and cleaning the house than anything fun or relaxing. But this billboard just rubbed me the wrong way.