Monday, September 26, 2016

The Trouble With Being Multi-Talented- Part Deux

I wrote a post a few years back about being multi-talented (2011- Egad! Where has the time gone?!?), and now, I feel I must expand on this. Because the issue has gotten worse, not better.

I am multi-talented. I'm not bragging or one-upping anyone- trust me- this is more of a burden than a blessing most of the time! I like to do too many things, and when I find something new I like to do, I tend to dive in and get good at it fairly quickly.

For instance:

I went to a women's fellowship meeting. We were given play-doh and asked to make something within ten minutes. This is what I made.
I used a pen cap to make the face and paws.
And yes. I watch waaay too many Pinterest videos.

Want to know the weird part? I'd never sculpted a thing in my life. Great. Go ahead God, add another talent on the pile. 

Why do I sound so snarkish about all of this? Because I have no idea what to do with all of these gifts! Think of a juggler. It's easy for a juggler to juggle two balls in the air, but how about five? Or ten? How about trying to juggle twelve or twenty balls? That's basically what I'm trying to do- and failing miserably.

Sometimes I get a bit miffed at God. Why did You give me all of these talents? What am I supposed to do with them all? It's not like I can give them away or sell them on Ebay. Yet when I don't use them, I feel like I'm doing God a disservice. That's why being multi-talented can feel like a curse more than a blessing. How can one person use all these talents to glorify God? 
I can't be a novel, blog, and children's book-writing, paper-cutting, quilting, sculpting, teaching, speaking, humorist, ventriloquist videographer! Well, I could be, but then the nice men in white coats would need to put me in a cell where there's no Pinterest. (GASP!) Trying to be everything would also suck out the joy and thoroughly mess up the life God has in store for me, because any down time would be spent sleeping!

Some choices have to be made. 
By me. 
With God's help. 
Lots and lots of God's help.

Lucky for me God sent me a guy named Bob, who still answers my phone calls (maybe he doesn't have caller ID?). I talked to him about this very subject. Bob is a wise-guy, but also a wise guy, and his words of wisdom were these; Think of using your talents in seasons- let God help you choose which talent is in season right now, and see where He takes you. Do what brings you and God joy. He'll tell you when you're ready to enter into the next season.

I'm glad he answered the phone. He's brilliant.

So I put time aside this week, fasted, read His Word, and asked God what He wanted me to do. After a long, heartfelt chat (read: me with my face buried in my pillow begging for an answer) He finally said something. 
Write books.
"All of them?" I asked, incredulous (because I'm all over the map genre-wise).
Yes. All of them.

Whew! I know what ball to focus on! 

Yes, I have a lot of genres. I even have two books ready to go (minus the artwork)! But there's nothing stopping me from writing them all. Just not all at once. If I'm in a puzzle mood, I'll write puzzle books, Flesh out children's story notes. Work on that fantasy world. Write proposals and one-sheets for the finished works (also Bob's suggestion). Just...write books. 

This isn't surprising news. He's told me this before. But being the distracted, multi-tasking person I am, I get off-track and then need Him to tell me again. Write. Write books. Write all of them. That alone will take me several lifetimes- especially if I keep going off-track. But if I work on the big stories a little at a time, and finish a lot of small stories, by the time God calls me home, I should have a library's worth of books on the shelves. 

I'm so very glad God is patient. I'm also glad he gave me these talents, despite my earlier groaning. Maybe He gave me the artsy talents to use as recreation, to bless others or the church, or use them to help with the family finances until the books take off- I have no idea. But I have them, and I'll use them when He tells me to. I just have to wait for the right season!

Monday, September 19, 2016

I Am NOT Your Mother!

I never thought of myself as Youth Impaired. Yes, I'm a bit big around the britches, but all in all, I'm young at heart.

Apparently my outsides aren't reflecting my insides.

I took my husband to the doctor a while back. He was dizzy and had no business driving, so I went with him and helped him into the doctor's office. The nurse smiled and asked "So, what's wrong with your son today?"
My son? What was she talking about? My son was in school, and...wait...oh no she didn't! This woman did not just assume I was my husband's mother, did she? I gave her another chance. "Excuse me?" I asked, raising a brow in warning.
She nodded towards my husband. "Your son- What's wrong with him today?"
That's it. She was on my hit list.
I smiled oh-so-sweetly. "My husband is having dizzy spells, like vertigo."
The nurse hid her incredulousness well. "Your husband? Oh- sorry about that."
Not well enough though. I could see the look in her eyes.
It said Humph. Cougar.
I sat my husband down, trying not to swat the little grin off of his face, and turned to the nurse, my composure riposted by a deep breath. I smiled again. "That's okay- we just had our nineteenth anniversary."
Let her chew on that for a while, I thought. Cougar, my Aunt Fanny.He's only five years my junior!
The nurse remained quiet except for a few medical questions, and then we went back into one of the little sub-offices to wait for the doctor.
When he came in, he greeted us and started asking much of the same questions to verify what the nurse wrote down. Then he turned to me and asked "And what's Mother's health history?"
Seriously? Did he just imply the same exact thing the nurse had?
This time I didn't miss a beat.
"I don't know about 'Mother's' history, since she's back at her place, probably gardening. You'll have to ask my husband about her health history."
"Oh!" he exclaimed, looking deeper into the paperwork. "He's forty-one, not twenty-one! He looks like a college kid."
Yeah. Thanks a lot, Buster. I heard my husband snort. I sat in the second chair, folded my arms and and gave a disgruntled snort.

Yet this wasn't the first time this has happened.

My husband had to return something to a local home improvement store, and as I sat on the bench (due to a pulled muscle in my hip), he went up to the returns cashier to get his refund, chatting with her about our impending lunch date. The young girl glanced at me and smiled at my husband. "Oh! You're so sweet to take your mom out to lunch!"

If my hip wasn't bothering me at the time, I would have vaulted over that counter and let her know what's what. Darn hip.
It didn't help that he grinned like a Cheshire cat through the entire lunch, telling the waitress what had happened. She thought I didn't look old at all and that we were a very adorable young couple. 

I gave her a big tip.

Now it's a big family joke. Anytime anyone refers to my husband as my son, we just laugh and tell the offenders the other stories and share the joke. The kids especially love to share the stories. But there's a little more to the stories than this!

Sometimes my daughter is called my husband's wife- and I'm still his mother. I'm my daughter's mother-in-law, despite the fact we look a lot alike.
My son is referred to as my husband's brother- and I'm still considered their mother.
Apparently I look my age. At least these people don't think I'm ancient. They just think my husband is my son, my son's brother, and my daughter's wife.

Nothing confusing about that at all.

It could be the grey hair the three of them gave me. My husband has a tiny bit of grey in his sideburns, but no one seems to notice that. Mine is a lightened blaze at the top of my forehead, and one single curl on the side (like a reverse dalmatian) which apparently can be seen via satellite.

I hope it becomes that pretty white kind of grey and not that 'non-color' grey- I'd have no idea what to put on my renewed driver's license under 'Description'. Maybe 'Platinum Blonde'. Yeah. I like the sound of that.

To my darling husband...I am not your mother. You don't want me as your mother, trust me- just ask the kids!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Get Over It...NOT!

Has anyone told you that you just need to 'Get over it' when you lose someone?

Maybe he felt that six weeks was enough time to mourn, no matter who it was.
Maybe she felt you were milking your sorrow, trying to garner extra helpings of pity.
Maybe they felt like you were wallowing too long, and needed a mourning 'intervention'.

The fact is folks, when you lose someone, you never 'get over it'. Ever.

That person, the one you were close to, was a piece of your life- and you can't 'get over' the memories that come when you're reminded of that someone, or when thinking of them on occasion. 

'Get over it' could possibly be the worst thing anyone could say to someone who suffered a deep loss.

But there is a dawn after the darkness.

Sadness fades. Scars heal. Memories start to make us smile instead of cry. The pain becomes a ghost of its former self, and the good things start showing through. It's not something to 'get over'- it's something to get through.

And yes, sometimes it takes more than six weeks.

If you know someone who has lost, the most comforting words to say can be "I'm sorry."
Then give them a hug.
Listen as they talk.
Offer them a shoulder to cry on.
Then give them a tissue, because shoulders aren't very absorbent- unless you're wearing shoulder pads.
Then hug them again.

You don't need longish speeches, the right words, or spout inspirational Bible passages to make someone feel better. All you need to do is be there when they need you. Hug them when you see them. Ask if they have any stories about their loved one. Listen. Cry together. Hug again.

You will never know the blessed impact you'll have when you do.

I'm beginning to remember the good stuff. I'm reminded of mom whenever I see okra (her favorite fried side), and though there's a little hint of sadness to my smile, I remember how much she enjoyed it- and the joy on her face when I got her an extra order to take home.

And I wouldn't be at this point if it weren't for the huggers, listeners, and people with very absorbent shoulder pads- and a boxful of tissues.

The wound is still too fresh, but it's healing slowly. And when it does, there will be even more blessings when I share her stories. Her passing is something I'll never fully get over. But with God and the friends He gave me, I'll definitely get through!