Monday, February 24, 2014

The Menopausal Wolverine

I wish we had a menopausal superhero.

This past week, my emotions have been like rampant teens on a roller coaster, all because of one little, infinitesimal thing. Hormones. Menopausal hormones turn this not-so-mild-mannered housewife into a raging ball of pent-up lightning, just waiting for some sucker to come along so I can strike him down into verbal oblivion.

Since I never leave the house unless it's food shopping or church (and let's face it, if I blow up in those places, I'll either be arrested by management or exorcised by the pastors), the only victims are the man I married, and my two offspring.

Take yesterday for instance.

I was the epitome of road rage without the road. My hearing became super sensitive, and I swear I could hear these people blinking. It was a good thing everyone was going to school or work, because they might not have survived the day with me. My daughter must have sensed something, because she gave me a little kiss on my head and slowly backed out of the house.

Even the cats made themselves scarce. I didn't see them the entire day.

I had no one to vent to. I was alone- and hormonal. This is the only time someone like me would hope for an energy supplier salesman to come to the door. In my state, there would be nothing left but shredded paperwork fluttering to the pavement.

I switched from emotion to emotion like a malfunctioning CD player; one minute I'm on the warpath, the next I throw myself onto the couch, bawling and repentant, the next in a deep depression, and the next cleaning the house like a boss, using the vacuum like a sword, thrusting at the dust-bunnies with no mercy. 

A menopausal super hero would be awesome. With this much emotional turmoil, She'd make Wolverine seem like a whining weenieburger! I can see it now....

If we had one menopausal super hero, crime in the district would be down 80%.

With a small group, the entire city would be safe. All the bad guys would be tied to fences by their baggy pants, and all people would have to do to thank these ladies is to leave out chocolate and chips.

If there were a large group, and there would be no drug houses, or hidden drug caches, because we menopausals are mad and mean and will hunt them down like dogs the second we get wind of anything.

Gather an army of us, and we would be the top country of the world again. The other countries would be too darn scared to fight. Emotional instability can be a good thing!

In the meantime I'll have to find other ways to vent off steam than make speed bumps out of my family. Maybe kickboxing, bull wrestling or cage fighting. At least in the latter I can wear a cool costume!

Monday, February 17, 2014

One Little Phrase- One Big Impact!

Have you ever read something that swats you right upside the head?

I was reading a book for my women's fellowship called Your Beautiful Purpose. At first I really didn't want to read it (love to read, hate homework), but after a few pages the author Susie Larson seemed to be talking directly to me. I love when that happens.

I had almost finished the required chapter when a phrase caught my eye-

What do I replay in my head? His promises or my problems?


Those words hit me like a ram on a roller coaster.

Lately my focus was not on God, but on the problems. Even when I prayed.

Most of the time I would pray "God please get us out of this" or "God please fix this"- I remembered to say please, but I forgot to say thank you! One of the fundamental lessons we teach our kids, and I blew it big time.

All I could see were the problems, and I would pray; then see they weren't fixed yet, so I'd pray again- all without thanking God for listening and working behind the scenes to do what's best for me. Even if that meant I had to wait for deliverance. 

Then again, maybe He was just waiting for me the thank Him. What's the magic words, Beth? I hear Him saying, What's the magic words?

Thank you Lord, for all you have done for me. And no, I'm not clasping my hands behind my back, staring at my toe dragging through the dirt. I lift my chin, smile, and thank Him with a grateful heart. Because I don't want to focus on my problems anymore.

Oh, my problems are still there, but I'm done worrying about them. I might lose my focus on His promises again (after all, how many times did the Hebrews do that even after He saved them from Egypt?), but I made sure I wrote that phrase down within eyeshot of my desk, just so I can remind myself of my folly follies and replay the right things in my head this time- like His promises!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fighting vs. Facing Fear

You would be amazed at how much of a scaredy-cat I am.

I face my fears each and every day. I know my fears. They also know me, and they know that if I do nothing else but face them, they'll win- because facing them isn't enough.

You can face a charging goat, but until you either step aside or grab that sucker by the horns, you're going to get hit. Actions really do speak louder than words.

Some of my fears are selfish ones. If I had my way, I'd sleep late and forget the whole thing because of my fears.

Especially if it involves helping other people.

On occasion I would be the one best suited for the job. Frankly, no one else wants the job- even though it will help the surrounding neighborhoods, families, and local businesses.

So I start by facing my fears.

What am I so afraid of? Failure? Success? That people will expect more from me than I can give? Or that my efforts would stink so bad they'd run me out of town with torches and pitchforks? 
Yep. all of the above.

Then I start thinking about the people. My neighbors. The young adults and kids that would benefit from my chairing the position. What if I gave up on them and there was no one else to take up the reigns? Who would not benefit if I didn't do this? After looking at it this way, the benefits would certainly outweigh my fears- big time.

Now comes the hard part. Fighting those fears.

Planning helps. A lot. Having a list and delegating (aka- not trying to do everything myself!) holds most of those 'fear of failure' jitters down. Backup plans are also essential, especially if one of the helpers winds up sick. Planning so I'm not running around at the last minute helps a bunch too. 

And if I can do it without having to hide under the covers, you can too.

Face the fear. Plan. Delegate. Have a backup plan. Then go smack those fears over the head with a zucchini. And do it with a grin on your face.

The fear won't go away (at least until you've done whatever it is you fear one hundred times, and there still might be a twinge now and then), but in fighting them, not just facing them, you can move mountains. 

Sometimes the fears are life-goal oriented. I want to make a ton of people laugh and learn when they see me. But I have to learn how to speak in public without a mop. I faced the fear, and now I'm working up the courage to fight that fear by taking classes and talking to other speakers. It might take a while, but when that goat tries to nail me again, I'll be ready.

With a zucchini if I have to!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Delayed Blessings

Sometimes we're blessed when we're delayed, and sometimes we're delayed so we can be blessed!

I was sent this story the other day. I don't know the author, but if you do, please let me know who it is so I can give the proper credit!

Here's the story:
Man: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure
Man: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do you mean?
Man: Well, I woke up late
God: Yes
Man: My car took forever to start
God: Okay
Man: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
God: Hmmm
Man: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All right
Man: And on top of it all, when I got home I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. But it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning, & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that
Man (humbled): OH
GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.
Man: (ashamed)
God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick, & I didn’t want you to catch what he has, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.
Man (embarrassed): Okay
God: Your phone went dead because the person who was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
Man (softly): I see God
God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.
Man: I’m sorry God.
God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to trust Me…. in all things , the good & the bad.
Man: I will trust You.
God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is always better than your plan.
Man: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today.
God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and looking after My Children…

I've had one of those days, have you? Sometimes God delays us to protect us in unexpected ways.

Why does it seem like I do what God wants me to, then He makes me wait? Is this His idea of a joke just to mess with my head?

For example, I've just finished writing a book. He put this book on my heart eons ago, and I kept putting it off. But He just kept poking and poking me until I threw up my hands and said 'Okay! Okay! I'll do it! will You please stop poking me?!?" (and yes, I really did do this!)
So I finished it within a few months. I sent it to be critiqued last month.

Time slowed to a crawl. In fact when I look at the clock, sometimes the hands go backwards. The critiquers have other projects to work on other than mine, and I've learned I'm not the center of everyone else's universe, dagnabbit. I have to wait, wait, wait for the work to be finished properly.

Why is God not hurrying this thing along? He's the one that asked me to do this in the first place...right?

My women's group is reading a book called Your Beautiful Purpose (by Susie Larson), and I came across a section 'Wait on God'.
I read about a family waiting (and waiting) to adopt children; This is not about you. It's not about bringing a child into your family. It's about bringing your family to a child.


So if I used this gem for my situation, it would read; This is not about you. It's not about bringing a book to your readers. It's about bringing readers to your book.

The book needs the be refined so readers will see it and snatch it happily from the shelf. If I keep rushing the process, I'll be hindering God's blessings for the work He has given me.

You can't bake a good cake in five minutes and you can't write a book and expect an agent to accept it without being critiqued and edited properly- and that takes time. God not only wants this to be a good book, He wants me to be a better writer. I think I can be patient for that particular blessing!

Maybe you're going through something like this right now. Perhaps you already have! Here's a huge cyber-hug from me for being brave enough to wait for the good stuff!

 Yes, sometimes it's really, really hard to wait, to put up with delays (and re-writes), but in the end, won't it be worth it?