Mother-Daughter Discoveries

When I was a young mother of three, I thought I had life all figured out. Katie, our middle child, loved baby dolls. I imagined she’d grow up, get married, and one day become a mama.

After she married, life brought some surprises.

It always does, doesn’t it? 

You think you know exactly how things are going to turn out, and then everything changes. 

Katie experienced infertility and divorced after almost eight years of marriage.

Tough times.

Unexpected twists and turns in the road.

She remarried this past February.

A couple of weeks ago, the two of us met at PF Chang’s for my birthday.  She gave me a beautiful scarf and bracelet. “They came from Altar’d State,” she said. “It’s a new store at the mall. After lunch, I’ll show you.”

Nothing on the outside looked much different from other stores.

Inside Altar’d State, scenes from Katie’s childhood came to me. I remembered her playing babies–the white picket fence desires of her heart.

“Isn’t this cute, Mom?”

“Yep. Looks like something you wore when you were little.”

“Did you know I got my second wedding dress at this store?” she said. 

Second wedding dress.

My heart skipped a beat, and we both smiled.

I never thought life would go this way. 

Then I spotted gifts that bring hope–crosses and candles and bracelets.

This sign below says: “You are loved for the little girl you were, for the special woman you are, and for the precious daughter you always will be.”

“Leave it at the cross.”

 

When there are unexpected curves in the road, God is still around the bend, offering Grace. Click to Tweet
P.S. Katie’s now a stepmom to a precious three-year-old girl!
Has your life ever taken an unexpected turn? What happened?
Love,
Julie

September Song, An Old Picture, Some New Insight

When things happen unexpectedly, sometimes I wonder if God’s trying to get my attention. This past Thursday afternoon, I was going about my everyday routine. Clyde (my yellow lab) and I hurried down the driveway to get the mail.

Well, I was hurrying.

Clyde was poking around, sniffing the fall air, and checking out patches of pine straw.

I had a lot to do that day, so I didn’t pause to study the changing seasons.

But what I found buried in the stack of mail got my attention.

It was anything but ordinary.

A plain white envelope from a dear friend.

Inside was an old picture of my husband and me at a wedding.

No note enclosed.

Just a photo  carefully wrapped in a paper towel.

She’d written one word on the back.

“1995.”

I sat on the front porch steps remembering when we were younger–that season in life when I was a new mother, folding diapers, bringing babies home from the hospital.

How fast it all goes. 

Almost twenty years since this picture was taken.

Now the children are all grown. And we’re older. A different season.

We’re middle-aged–no longer in the summertime of life.

Maybe we’re in the fall of our lives? 

A couple of days later, I showed my husband the picture. “What do you think?” I said.

“About what?”

“About us. How young we looked. About life. About everything.”

He studied the picture. Didn’t say anything.

“Well?”

“Your hair is shorter in the picture,” he finally said.

“And yours is longer, but don’t you get it? We’re not young anymore.”

“So what. We’re still us.”

I taped the picture to the refrigerator and smiled.

It’s good to remember the past, anticipate the future, and always be grateful for the present.

Willie Nelson sings about the seasons of life in an oldie but goodie.

Take a break and listen. I think you’ll love it too.

What life season are you in right now?

Are you anticipating something in the future?

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing With My Eyes And My Heart

I had no idea a new pair of glasses could teach me a life lesson. Last week, I decided to get progressive lens — a fancy name for no-line trifocals. My first pair. I kept losing my readers. When you advance to progressives, you don’t take them off and on.

Picking out my frames, I texted pictures to my fashion savvy daughter.

 

After a bunch of “MOM, NO!!!” texts, I finally chose the pair on the left.

 

Friday night, I was so excited. My new glasses were ready. I slipped them on in the store. Ta-dah!

Then I tried to walk. My hands got clammy. I thought I might throw up. “Feels like my head’s stuck in a fishbowl,” I said to the saleslady.

“Point your nose toward what you want to see. The more you wear them, the quicker you’ll adjust.”

Adjust? To walking and moving my head? “How long does it take? A few hours?”

“Anywhere from a week to a month. Don’t shift your eyes, honey. Turn your head.”

This is ridiculous. I shouldn’t have to change to see.

As I baby-stepped to the door, she called out, “Look down when you step off the curb.”

I didn’t trip walking to the car, but at home, I bumped into plenty of things.

The first two days, I considered asking for a refund.

And then on day three, I remembered the saleslady had worn progressive lens. Maybe she knew what she was talking about. I decided to follow her instructions.

Eureka!

By the afternoon, I became Alice in Wonderland. I noticed what kind of birds were at the feeder, tiny drops of rain, and even dirty spots on my  cabinets. Because of my stubborness, I almost missed out.

To experience a new way of living, I had to:

1. Listen to the truth.

2. Trust someone who knew more than I did.

3. Let go of my old ways.

Anyone working on changing? I understand. I hope this helps.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strange Weather…When the Seasons (of Life) Seem out of Sync

Saturday morning, my husband and I had the strangest porch party. January felt like April. “Reminds me of that Glenn Frey song, ‘Strange Weather,'” I said. “How’s it go?”

“Something about dark clouds in the sky and wanting to cry,” Rick said.

 

 The warm air hung damp and heavy without the first hint of spring. Dead-looking tree limbs reached toward a gray sky. “From inside the house, you’d think it was wintertime,” I said. “But out here, it feels like spring. Like the seasons are out of sync.”

“Clyde sure is hanging close to us,” Rick said.

 “He’s sniffing the air like he senses a storm brewing.”

 

People came to my heart that we’d been praying for–some going through difficult seasons of life.

A couple dealing with infertility.

Friends with health issues…one starting chemo combined with radiation. Auto-immune illnesses. Depression.

Someone watching a loved one relapse into addiction.

Another, attending her great-grandchild’s funeral.

Sitting there in the odd January/April weather, I wanted some sort of sign (even something small) that God was still in control.

“Come here, buddy,” Rick said to Clyde. “Everything’s okay. Even if a storm comes, we’re not gonna leave you.”

My heart melted at his kindness. And at how Clyde seemed to listen so intently. Like he totally trusted his master.

I’m here, God seemed to say. Trust Me. Everything’s going to be okay. I won’t leave you.  I’m still God.

I reached for my coffee and started rocking, trusting, and praising again–like we do at porch parties.

Be encouraged, my friends. God’s with us. He loves us. No matter how strange the weather or seasons of life.

Love,

Julie