Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am


I am stuck in the flat, frozen corn fields of central Illinois.  This time of year always gets to me, but February is usually worse than January.  I’m really trying not to be pessimistic, but it’s hard not to be.  It’s too cold to take the dogs for a walk, and even though I know I should start exercising again, I have little energy for that or anything else.  John and I have toyed around with the idea of moving someplace warmer, where he would be home more.  But our roots run pretty deep here, and until our kids are out of college, we are here to stay.  So I am stuck, alone, with the dogs.   The bright side of things?  But for the snow blowing and shoveling, there is no yard work to do.

I am stuck at my job as well.  The theoretical promotion ladder doesn’t even exist there, so there is no moving up or down it.  Come to think of it, there is no place to go laterally either.  Things have changed drastically in my short tenure there and not for the better.  The job market is extremely limited here, and unless you work for an insurance company or a university, you’re quite the oddity.  My years of experience in manufacturing purchasing doesn’t get me squat in this town.  That, plus a tight economy means I am…


For so many years, everything was moving forward – college, marrying John, then moving forward with various jobs, kids, then getting the kids out of diapers, getting them to their next soccer game, getting them through the next school year…  Now – it’s paying for college.  They are not around to move forward anymore. They are hopefully doing that on their own.

Is that what "empty nest syndrome" is?  You don't have anyone around to help move on to the next thing?  Or is this a mid-life crisis?  Maybe just the winter blues?  You tell me.

I talked to Hannah today, and to a certain extent, I should practice what I preach.  Be happy with the memories of the past, but look for new and exciting things in the future.  Move forward.  For someone in college, the goal is a clear one - maneuver each semester the best you can, graduate, and get a good job.  For me?  Not so crystal.

We had a Christian therapist talk at our church a few years ago. In a nut shell, he said that it was OK to not have a plan - that it was easier for God to guide you that way.  Okay...  Well, I ended up as the purchasing manager at Wildwood, where the company has gone bankrupt and the owners, controller and production manager have since gone to jail on fraud charges... then I went to a commodity brokerage firm where I have felt completely out of place for 2 1/2 years.

 I just don't get it.

I still believe.  Proverbs 16:3 says - Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

OK - then ESTABLISH!  God's time has never been my time.  I have prayed patience for years, so this may be God answering my prayers - my payback.

Whatever it is, let it be.

My prayer for today, as I was driving back and forth to work:  Lord God, please grant me, my husband  and my children strength, courage and discernment to do your will.  Calm us as we go through troubled times.  Give us the gift of knowing that our efforts are good and righteous.


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