Tag Archives: Christian

Middle Age Manifesto: The Winter of My Discontent

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How many times in our lives do we think we deserve more than we were given?  We are settling for Joe, when Johan is out there waiting for us.  You see, Joe and Johan are not the same.

What happened to all the fun?  Youthful smoke mellowed days of partying with friends and letting the sun bake your skin to a deep golden bronze while blasting Zeppelin at ear-piercing decibels.  Reckless and carefree without the slightest thought of future skin cancer, potential liver damage or permanent hearing loss.  Living with no rules, no regard and no regrets.  Thinking only of yourself.21854_103015253054260_541415_n

And by the way, what happen to my fairy tale?  The one where I find the perfect Mr. Right, we make our fortune, live in a beautiful home and have the perfect life.  Where is my piece of the pie?  Are the times to Carpe Diem really over? Is this all I get?

I struggled with publishing this post, feeling apprehensive about showing this negative side of myself.  Then I realized feeling discontented with life is no new thing.  From the Bible to Shakespeare to Steinbeck to the Hollywood big screen, many have lamented over the cards they have been dealt.  In the movie The Family Man, Nicolas Cage plays Jack Campbell, a successful Wall Street Executive bachelor who gets to see what his life might have been like had he given up his perfect life and stayed with his old sweetheart.  Much like George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, Jack encounters an angel on Christmas Eve who offers him the opportunity to see life from another path.  After a shocking wake up call on Christmas morning in middle class suburbia, wearing Walmart sweat pants and surrounded by all the other mediocre trappings of normal family life, Jack flees back to the city only to discover his former perfect life is nonexistent.

Upon returning to his bland middle class life, he encounters his now wife Kate who rips into him for leaving his family on Christmas day, letting him know how frantic she has searched for him.   Jack replies “Look, you don’t understand.  I woke up this morning here.  And this is very strange because… this isn’t my house…   And those aren’t my kids…  I’m not Dad…  You’re not  my wife.”

Sometimes I look at my own life and think what happened to me?  As I am surrounded by the cracking plaster on the 80 year old walls of our country home.  The badly patched hole in the ceiling, the unfinished crown molding and the wood floor that still lacks a threshold.  The leftover casualties of the countless DIY projects my husband eagerly starts, but never seems to finish.  I look at the lines on my 50 year old face, the gray in my hair and I do not recognize my own reflection in the mirror.  Who is that person looking back at me?  I look at my daughters, now in their twenties, and think that’s who I am.  I should be out living it up! I’m not this older woman looking back at me.  Frazzled and twenty pounds overweight, trying to manage my household while working and caring for my own elderly parents.

As I am dealing with my parent’s multiple medical issues, doctor’s appointments, bills that need to be paid and trying to determine how to handle the next ball I’ve been given to juggle; I see my family go about their daily lives and I want to scream “I need to be taken care of!”  “I’m hanging on by a thread here!”  “Dear God, please give me another life!”

Then a somber reality hits me like a ton of bricks and just like George Bailey and Jack Campbell, I realize I would be nothing without them.  An empty shell.  A dried husk.  A tumbleweed blowing in the wind.  They are my roots.  My anchor in the storm and my nourishment after the rain.  They are my Zuzu’s petals.  My reality and my reason for being.  They are my destiny.

So I shamefully fall to my knees and ask forgiveness for being so selfish.  Then say a prayer of thanksgiving for all that I have.  I get up, wash my face, then wash the 8,968th load of laundry and smile as I ask “What are you hungry for tonight?”  Because the simple fact is I am blessed beyond measure and cherish the life I’ve been given.  When it’s all said and done, I still choose us and it is a wonderful life…

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The Most Influential Man in My Life

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I want to take a moment to talk about the most influential man in my life.  His name is Jesus.  I’m not talking about the Jesus of the modern-day fanatical Christian.  The one who condemns you to hell if you don’t believe every word written in the King James bible.  The Jesus who hates non Christians, homosexuals, adulterers, drug addicts, criminals…  No, I’m talking about the immaculate Jesus.  The perfect highest spiritual being, chosen by the Creator to come down to earth in physical form and set an example for us to live by.

Jesus was not a man who condemned and judged people for the way they believed, lived or the mistakes they made.  He loved them, sought them out, lived among them, forgave them and ultimately died for them.  This is the Jesus whose example I choose to follow.  This is the Jesus my soul desires and knows as well as I know my own earthly parents.  I don’t know the Jesus that judges and condemns, nor do I care to.  It’s so heartbreaking to see all the well-meaning Christians judging and spewing hatred, while firmly placing a wedge between themselves and people who may truly need Christ.  The message they are relaying is “I am better than you, you are a sinner and do things I do not approve of, therefore you are not good enough to associate with us.  But if you do as we say, believe what we tell you, dress and act like us, we will let you be a part of our religion.”  Unfortunately, many people turn away from a spiritual relationship with God because of the negativity they encounter in many of today’s organized religions.

A very special friend of mine Cara, a young woman who is wise well beyond her 29 years, recently wrote a post titled I Love You in her blog This Little Light where she made the following statement;  “As a challenge to myself, I don’t often speak directly about my beliefs or the One in which I have devoted my life to following; not because I am ashamed to say so, but because it is my understanding, that if I am being who I am supposed to be, then the need for me to tell others I am a Christian is superfluous. Do I need to tell you I have peach skin, or green eyes, or auburn hair? Of course not. And so my faith should be as evident as the most prominent features — more so! — on my face.”

This is perfectly stated.  A true Christian should not have to convince others to follow them in their beliefs.  Christ’s love and influence should be apparent in everything they do.  My heart’s desire is that the peace and love of Christ is magnified in my words and deeds every day.  I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, I let myself and others down, but I am still loved.  Just as He loves the Buddhist, the homosexual, the loving grandmother, the adulterer, the newborn baby, the drug addict, the bigot, the atheist and even the judgmental well-meaning Christian.

May peace and love be with you all the days of your life.