Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Meet Up – Week 2

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

I was feeling pretty desperate to breathe today. The pace of life leaves me dizzy at times. Over the past three weeks or so, I needed great big gulps of air to keep checking things off my never ending to do list. What about you?

When I decided to start this Monday Meet Up series in preparation for the in(RL) virtual conference on April 26th and 27th, I had no idea how life would unfold today.

It’s been one of those days when I think God’s sense of humor has taken license with my life – if you know what I mean?

A month or so ago, a friend approached me with a business idea. It was courageous, gracious, and timely given my life circumstance.

We discussed my reservations but agreed we would move forward and work together to create a win-win for both of us.

Courtesy Aly Hughes
Neither of us had attempted a project of this nature before, so we weren’t really sure what the finished product would be. We gave it a courageous try knowing things would take shape as we progressed. 

Then, life began to happen. What looked good in theory became frustrating and cumbersome in reality. We backed up and took a run at redefining and redesigning our ideas.

Just when I thought we had come up with a solution for the issues that had perplexed us, I received news that blew our best laid plans to bits.

Given the news, I simply could not, in good conscience, commit to the plans we had hoped to accomplish.

It was heart-rending to face the music and break the news. It was even a little demoralizing to admit I was done before I had gotten a chance to begin.

As a people pleaser addicted to pleasing, it hurt even more to know I was letting down a friend. I chastised myself for letting my family down because the plan would have benefited all of us as well.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Even as I winced and wrestled with myself and God over the decision before me, I had a serene sense that he was in the midst of the details.

It was as if he whispered, “Your dilemma, the question behind the question, is what happens if you let go of better in search of what is best. This plan, as wonderful as it is, has come at the wrong season of your life. It is o.k. to let go. I am here.”  

As I re-define my life in light of the encroaching empty nest years and the present reality of a marital separation, I have looked at the future with fear.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Will my marriage heal? How does a woman in her fifties re-create a job history with current work experience when she has not worked full-time in over 2 decades? Who will I be when I am no longer the homeschooling wife and mother I have always been? 

How can I walk away from an opportunity like the one my friend offered when it seems to be exactly what would answer all those questions and more? Oh, the agony.

After my jangled nerves had stopped clanging like an old fashioned church bell in a belfry, I sat down with my copy of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to BreatheI took a deep breath. One of those cleansing breaths they talk about so much in Lamaze classes (which I failed by the way).  

I opened the book and re-read the first two chapters looking more closely at the things I highlighted the first time through. Do you see the humor I see in my life when I tell you that the first section is entitled: "The Dream Life . . . Altered"?

Today, my life dreams were refined. Again. I am the fraidy ‘bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ cat. I was prying my bony claws loose from the bird in the hand all day long. I read Sarah Mae’s words.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Many of my ideals were good, but the standard I set for myself to meet them was completely unrealistic. (p.5)

She was speaking of her struggles as a young mother to meet her goals for mothering. Yet, in her words, I saw my story taking place in a different season of life.

Mine is a fraidy cat story of being torn between better and best. What’s yours? What are the high standards, the unrealistic expectations of self, that rob you of oxygen?

I’ll be blogging a bit more about the first two chapters of Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson this week. Come back and bring a friend. You and I both know we are all struggling to breathe given the hectic lives we lead these days!

See you soon, fraidy cat? Don’t make me come looking! 

Courtesy  B. Creasy - 2010
Isaiah 41:10 (Amplified Bible)
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.


  1. I don't feel torn between better and best. Lately it seems like all my choices are between "not so bad" and "could be better." It's paralyzing. I want best, or at least clearly better. So I do nothing.

    1. Well, I supposed I could have thought about this situation through that same filter. I struggle with the paralysis syndrome as well. Thankfully, not as much as I used to. I think my biggest struggle now is to see what my best option is for moving forward when there are so many options to chose from! I think I have ADD because every new thing I see looks like what I need to be pursuing!