And Away He Goes

up1I’m dealing with some unexpected feelings that I think I’ll talk about here just in case it might surprise or help someone. I stated earlier today that I have feelings of joy, happiness, appreciation and expectation, however I didn’t expect the other feeling that came along today, the one called sadness. Keep in mind that not  one of our sons had yet traveled outside of the country. Jay is the first. For the past two months, we have been in preparation. A lot of time was spent just getting answers to questions. Every time I thought of something or someone else thought of something, my self-appointed job was to research it and find the answer, and when there were conflicting answers, i was to poll the audience and find out what the truth was. It was intriguing, enlightening, stressful, and in the end hopefully helpful.

blue t-shirtSo after two months of research, planning, and preparation the day finally came.  I had expected relief once he got on the plane in Charlotte, but instead I cried, not a lot, just a little. And as I’m busying around the house straightening up. . . because 1. It needed it, 2. Larry would appreciate it, and 3. Jay was not here to do it. . . I kept seeing things like his blue t-shirt that he likes, and he didn’t take because it was the last thing he wore, and it wasn’t clean. What will he do without it? Then I spied the business card for Chick-fil-a that wanted him to do their windows; an account welcome at any other time had to be turned down. And then I cleaned up evidence of  last minute purchases for travel wallet and neck pillow. All reminders, that the last of the three cowboys has flown the coop. If I get the remotes messed up, who will rescue me?  And if the internet goes out, oh my, let’s just hope it doesn’t. And who will stimulate endless conversations on the beach, at Sir Pizza and the Barbecue House?

ThisUp3 fine young man, the last of three amazing men who were babies, then little boys, then teenagers, now adults, will be gone for two months. Then more adventures are surely on his horizon, leaving Larry and I with the impending “empty nest.” I didn’t see it coming, and here it is, or is it?

Do you know that we actually never experienced the “terrible two” syndrome? Honestly not one of the three was a terrible two. You will find this difficult to believe but neither did we have “rebellious teenage” syndrome. Not to say that they, or we, were perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we just never felt we experienced those stages to the degree that others had. Some told us it was inevitable, yet we have other dear friends who also skipped these maladies.

The point here is that yes, it is possible, dare I say even probable that the Jordan’s will escape the terrors of “empty nest” syndrome. Will the nest be empty? Yes, eventually, it will. But as is His Way, God will provide the grace available to add a few more feathers to the nest to make it more comfortable, and we will be just fine. I may not be fine this exact moment in time, but in a minute I will be and ever so thankful that God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and three fine sons, a beautiful, loving daughter-in-law and precious grandchild. We are truly blessed.

Jay21These are my thoughts as Jay makes his sixteen hour way through four airports, dealing with security, customs, connections, communication, baggage pick-up, airplane food or lack thereof, and finally into the waiting shuttle to take him to Herrnhutt, Germany where he will experience sixty days of worship and intense training with leaders, teachers, and other students all who have the same  desire to go deeper in the things of God through their instruments and worship. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

There you have it: my thoughts and feelings about today as I wait to hear that he has arrived at his destination. I must pull a life lesson from my story here, for that is the purpose of the blog.

The lesson begins with a question. How were the Jordan’s and others of their friends able to avoid terrible twos, rebellious teenagers and empty nests? What contributing factor produced such astonishing results which defy the American culture. I have to say, my theory is that we didn’t embrace the concept. We didn’t accept the idea as viable. We did our best to obey God and discipline our children as we believed He wanted us to, and we expected the right results. We embraced God’s faithfulness in bringing His desired end. We have not been disappointed. So now with the third phase  making its appearance, we simply don’t embrace it. We live each day to the fullest, trusting God for His grace and being grateful for our blessings!

up6Another question might bring some further relief and encouragement for one experiencing a day like today. How can we experience the unpleasant feelings associated with change, yet avoid letting them bring us down until full-blown misery and heartache prevail? When moments of sadness, negativity, maybe even pain come along as they often will, we simply do not embrace them. We experience them,  and we direct our prayer and our thoughts to what God has ordained, and we embrace that instead. And then we move on to our next moment. This is daring to be happy.

Wear Your Thoughts Right Side Out

Inside out3Sometimes we find ourselves thinking the wrong thoughts. Sometimes our minds can come up with all kinds of things that could go wrong and all kinds of things to. . .well worry about. That is just like wearing our clothes inside out. It is uncomfortable, it doesn’t feel right, and people may look at us strangely! There is a very simple and easy solution. Go to a private place and turn your thoughts, just like your clothes so that the right side is out. That feels much better! Just simply begin thinking about what is the best thing that could happen in this situation or to someone you love or yourself. It’s just that simple. Turn them so that the tag in the back and the stitches in the seams do not show. If you’re wearing bad thoughts, you will be embarrassed, unhappy, unhelpful, and possibly worse. So as soon as you possibly can, make the change!

What is the best thing that could happen to your family, friends, or people you meet today? As you think about this, it is a prayer. Send it on up with a smile, and God will take care of it for you. Everything is going to be all right; you can be sure of that. Take a deep breath, enjoy the day, enjoy the moment. God loves you. God loves the people in your life, and He alone can make everything turn out right.

Inside out2What is the best thing that could happen to people that you love today? That is how I like to think. That is how I like to pray.

And always before you leave home, check to make sure your clothes are turned right side out!

Have a terrific day!

Today’s Action: Think about what is the best thing that could happen today.

Today’s Verse:  Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Shhhhhh. . . You’re Entering the Quiet Zone

quietness1Busy, busy, busy. Thoughts keep coming at you like rush hour traffic, Our minds are so busy constantly looking for answers and solving problems and thinking this and thinking that. Thoughts rush in from all sides. Our enemy certainly tries to give us his opinion on any and every subject throughout the day. The very atmosphere we live in is charged with thoughts from every person we come in contact with and maybe even those we never see. And we are constantly thinking and trying to figure things out. Yet we have this verse from Isaiah, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15  Shhhhhhhh. . . Let your mind rest. God, himself rested, and He made us to need rest; we must take time to rest from our thoughts.

quietness2Thoughts are extremely important. In fact, what would life be without our thoughts? Absolutely nothing would get done because everything starts with a thought. Yet in all of the thinking, there must be a time of quietness. In fact the more often we have moments of quietness, the more the One Voice that has all Wisdom and all answers can guide us and give us direction, success, and peace. His answers and His wisdom will come to us without effort. Quietness. . . just listen and don’t think. Listen to the One who made us. God will speak in our quietness; peace and confidence will come and we will be strengthened.

Today’s Verse: In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15
Today’s Action: Take 5 minutes and quiet your mind. Breathe deeply. Just listen. Let Peace come.
Meditate on the insight from the word “quietness” below from the Thesaurus and have a peaceful day!
Noun 1. quietness – the property of making no sound

silence, quiet – the absence of sound; “he needed silence in order to sleep”; “the street was quiet”
noiselessness – the property of making no noise
2. quietness – a state of peace and quiet

calmness – a feeling of calm; an absence of agitation or excitement
peace of mind, ataraxis, peacefulness, repose, serenity, peace, heartsease – the absence of mental stress or anxiety
easiness, relaxation – a feeling of refreshing tranquility and an absence of tension or worry; “the easiness we feel when sleeping”

quietness