fortygirl

Forty Girl…that's me! I am a recently divorced woman in my 40s, and am now a single mother with a career. Join me as I start this exciting new chapter in my life. Let's chat!

Life Changes and More

It is has been awhile since I have visited my blog and written. I have missed it, and good grief how things have changed in my life. I have to say this year has pushed me to reflection, and has run me through a vast variety of emotions. The reflection has been beneficial, but I have also found it to become my very own “beat up on me fest.” I know you know what I am talking about, because I even read one of my friend’s posts on Facebook and she, too, was beating herself up and had promised God she would “be better.” It was while reading that post that I truly took pause.

God does NOT want us to beat up on ourselves. That is not who God is. I am, by no means, an aficionado of the Bible, quite the contrary. I, admittedly, have not read the Bible cover to cover, and believe me I am flawed, humanly flawed. That being said, I know God does not want us to tear ourselves apart when we make a mistake. He is a loving God who wants us to recognize what we need to change, and make changes to better serve him, but that does not mean beating ourselves up with negative self-talk and comparisons of our life to others. Believe me, the image that people put out there on social media and in public is very different in many ways to what their lives are really like, so why do we continue to compare?

I have been a Christian all of my life, but a baptized Christian at 16, and quite frankly, baptism was quite premature at that time, because I truly did not recognize what it truly (emphasis on truly) meant to be baptized. So, after the dunk in the water, I pretty much continued my wild ways. It was not until my 30s that I was really ready to make the commitment, thus I was baptized again. That being said, I have still tripped, fallen, and made my share of mistakes, but here is the beauty of God’s grace…I can ask and be forgiven.

This morning, I woke up in  state of melancholy. I have so much to be thankful for: a beautiful and healthy son, my parents are healthy and live close by, have a home I like, a career I love at a place I love, small circle of true friends I can count on, and old friends far away that I keep in touch with, I am healthy, and on and on. Yet, there I was, sitting on my bed, thinking about who, I think,  may not like me, why certain people are behaving the way they are, what I need to do differently in my life, what I need to be better at, the state of my life in general, and…seriously, Forty Girl, seriously. Enough!

So, my point to those of you graciously reading my blog…quit thinking you are not enough, because you are enough! Not everyone is meant to be in our circle, and not everyone IS going to like you, but have you really found someone that did not like you that you truly cared for either? I mean something to ponder, right? The difference…you are not out to be rude, malicious, mean spirited, etc. You simply are not a part of each other’s lives, and that is ok.

My blog is all over the map today, but it has been awhile and with the life changes I have experienced in the past 6 months, reflection is the name of the game. Would you like to know exactly what the life changes are? Well, in June my husband and I of 16 years separated. I freed him to go find the life he wanted, and in the meantime freed myself to do the same. I pray for him to find happiness. In August our divorce was final. The hardest part of the process…we have an 8 year old son. That being said, I truly believe that had it not been for our son, I would never have left, but when you have an audience as you argue and debate, a different perspective sets in.

A family member went to prison around the same time as my separation. It is devastating. Poor choices, and continued poor choices, combined with poor choices in friends and lifestyle choices and well…they are in prison. Any more to say?

In August, my nephew left for Navy boot camp. I was there the day he was born. Now, he is a man starting a new adventure. I am so excited for him, but watching him leave that day was still terribly hard.

In October, my dog of 14 years passed away…so difficult to say good-bye. While I know he is frolicking on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, it is still tough. Shortly after the passing of my dog, my sweet son needed to have his tonsils removed. Who knew tonsils being removed would be such a tough recovery, but it is no joke! So, those are my recent life changes, oh, how can I forget Irma…you got it…Hurricane Irma hit as well.

Life…we were not promised an easy road, and I refuse to be defeated, for I know that God is with me every step of the way, every challenge of the way, every celebration of the way. He is with me, and He is with you…if you let him. We can’t beat ourselves up about our shortcomings though. We just regroup, have a conversation with God and let him guide us, allow him to work in our lives. He is there always…even during our life changes. I am praying for every reader of this blog. Say a prayer for me, if you will. After all, you can never have enough prayer.

My blog will be different going forward as I will share my experiences as a recently divorced woman, who became a single mother overnight, who is a mere mortal with lots of flaws, but I am loved, loved, loved by a gracious and loving God. My adventure, your adventure, awaits…

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Prayer Warriors Needed…Immediately

All you have to do today is turn on the television and you are bombarded with negativity. I have this image that God is looking down from his throne on high, and is shaking his head as he observes the events taking place in our nation, and across the globe. We have violent protests, we have police officers getting shot and under public scrutiny, we have a terrorist organization terrorizing the world, Christians are under attack across the world, human trafficking is alive and well in this world. Our country is polarizing, our world is polarizing and it is scary! I truly worry about the future, not so much for me, but for my son, my nephews, our youth as a whole.What is going on???  We need prayer! We need action!

The beauty of this country is that you have a right to peaceful protest…peaceful. Now, our nation has a history of violence, as does the world in general, but what happened to learning from past history. I remember hearing in school “history always repeats itself”, well, at that time I wasn’t so sure, but I now know how true that statement is!

In conversations with people I am amazed at the fact that some people truly have no idea what is going on in the world. We are in the midst of an election for the next President, and many people do not know specifics about the candidates. They do not know what is happening in the world today, but can tell me what is happening on the latest reality show! Seriously! It is time to get engaged in reality! On the flip side I have had people say, “I’m just not going to vote or I will just write someone in on the ballot”. Come on…take a stand for one candidate or the other, after you get the facts, but don’t just remain silent by not voting, or writing in some name that doesn’t stand a chance. Get involved! Have an educated voice, Pray about it!!!

Our nation is hurting, our citizens are hurting each other and pulling away from each other, and we must take action to reunify. We need Prayer Warriors! We need Prayer Warriors that will pray every day for healing for our country, our world. We need Prayer Warriors that pray for our country’s leaders, future leaders, our people. We need prayer Warriors to heal hearts, mend families, cure addictions, bring about personal peace. God is listening!

As a Prayer Warrior you will be drawn, like a magnet, to make a change. Get involved locally, donate whether it is time, money or both. Support a cause, share the message of Christ. Now, I am the first one to say I am not comfortable approaching strangers, as I am not even comfortable praying in front of a group of people, but that is the beauty of being a Prayer Warrior. You do not need to approach strangers or pray out loud…this can be done privately, and as for sharing your faith, and God’s message…that can be done through your actions.

I will tell you I am working on the praying in front of people, and talking with strangers, remember taking action…baby steps. I took a leap of faith and began a book study at church, and I am preparing to lead another one. I have shared the books with co-workers and friends as well. Taking action can start out small. I promise you will find it easier and easier as you continue to take those small leaps of faith.

Stop and reflect today. What can you do to make a difference? Change does in fact start with us. Will you join me, and encourage others, to become a Prayer Warrior?

Here is a prayer to get you started…

Dear Lord, you are aware of what is happening in the world, and specifically in our nation. Please put your hand on me and lead me to help bring a positive change. Please heal the hearts of those hurting. Please refocus the eyes of our nation back on you. Please unify the citizens of this great nation, and please place in the office of President the candidate that represents you and your values, and will lead our country being guided by you, Lord.

In Jesus’ name…Amen

Welcome Prayer Warrior! God IS listening!

 

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Taking a Leap of Faith

Gosh! it has been awhile since I last posted. Time has flown by, and things have been rather hectic. The past 6 months I have faced my share of challenges, some that have downright brought me to my knees, praying knees that is. Through all of the challenges, I prayed, even quoted scripture, and in the end know that his hand directed the outcome…it required me taking that leap of faith and trusting…in Him.

One example of taking a leap of faith…I kept getting a gnawing feeling, a push, if you will, that I needed to lead a book study, get involved in my church. So, I took that leap of faith. I spoke to my pastor about my thought, I prayed about it, and next thing I know I was signed up to lead a women’s book study. The book I chose, “More Than a Good Bible Study Girl” by Lysa TerKeurst. The book was shared with my by a dear friend, and after reading it twice I felt it was a book I related so well with, I knew other women would too.

Now, let me be clear, I have never done anything like this. I have not read the Bible, I do not know scripture so easily that I can quote it on a moment’s notice. Putting it plainly, this leap of faith was way out of my comfort zone…to say the least. I also am definitely a Christian in the works, shall we say. Regardless, I felt the push and knew it is what God wanted me to do.

The first night of class I entered my classroom and found my self surrounded by the pastor’s wife, her mother, a former school principal and retired pastor’s wife, my own mother, just to name a few. Needless to say, I felt inferior. My lack of Bible knowledge suddenly caused my anxiety level to increase…drastically. May I also say that the books for the study, that I had ordered well in advance, had arrived, but were the wrong books. Good grief! I needed a scripture and a prayer immediately…this was an emergency! So, I gathered myself and read the first couple of chapters out loud to the ladies. You know what was so interesting…people never get too old to be read to. Each of the ladies sat back in their chairs and just listened. As I read, I would stop and ask questions. Before I knew it the first class was over.

Each week, as I faced challenges at my job, I found this class to be rewarding to me. I was tired each week and wanted to go home, but I would arrive at class greeted by smiles and support from the ladies in my class. I can honestly say I got more out of the class than those ladies probably did. I was the youngest member of the class, and yet I was leading. As we moved through the chapters, what I learned is that women suffer from the same issues and concerns. I listened to women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s talk about their challenges as women, and you know what? Their concerns and challenges were similar to my own!

As I led this book study, it became so clear to me that women need to spend more time lifting each other up and less time tearing each other down. Regardless of our age, we still are women with similar questions and concerns. It was so refreshing to walk into a room full of women who were willing to share their stories. We bonded, connected, and I know leading that class has made a difference in my life. All of this because I heeded God’s desire, and I took that Leap of Faith!

I am preparing to put myself out there to lead another class very soon, and I know that I will be blessed yet again. My encouragement to you is to take that Leap of Faith…get out there! With God leading you…blessings will follow.

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Are We Preparing Students For The World, Or A Test?

Source: Are We Preparing Students For The World, Or A Test?

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Social Media…blessing and a curse?

Now, I am not unaware of the irony of my title considering I am writing a blog that I will tweet out soon, thus using social media. That being said, social media has been a super resource for me professionally. I love utilizing Twitter to connect with people all over the world. I obtain some great information and ideas through my connections on Twitter. Pinterest has given me some great DIY projects for my home, and ideas for my son’s birthday party. Facebook has allowed be to reconnect with friends I have not seen or heard from in years. I love seeing how my high school friend’s children have grown, and what my college friends are up to. I find social media to be so positive!

The flip side of that is, some people truly believe that social media is a forum for their therapy.They express everything and anything on social media thinking there should not ever be consequences. I am amazed at people who post on a social media site, which is public, but then are surprised when everyone “knows their business”, really? I have even had people say that they are entitled to freedom of speech. Well, that is true, we all have freedom of speech; however, freedom of speech does not mean without consequences.

I also wonder about the people who must post their every waking thought or movement on social media. Are people really interested in your date night, or the latest batch of cookies someone made, or the song lyrics going through someone’s head, and on and on. Truly, if you are on a date night with your spouse, maybe turning off the phone and spending the date night with them would be better. I imagine it would be appreciated by their date!

Again, social media has so many positives, it is the use of social media by some, or maybe not just some, that leaves me scratching my head. As I think about it, maybe it isn’t what is being said, but who people are “friends” with? I am pretty selective about who I am “friends” with, and definitely careful and cautious about what I post. I am always aware of my profession, and the perception of what I say, and how that can be perceived. Who we socialize with and the comments we make are forever out in social media space. They can even keep us from advancing, getting a new position or job, and can affect personal relationships and professional ones. I guess, with everything, one must consider the consequences, and truly be responsible in all of their actions, social media included. Oh, one last thing…selfies in a bathroom mirror are less than impressive…please pick a different location to show off your latest hair style!

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Is There a Test for That?

Education is about the whole child, and testing should be more than to evaluate a teacher. If we test we should be obtaining accurate information that truly has an impact on what we teach, not just because we want something to tie to teacher evaluations.

Help4Teacher

I love being an educator! There is no other job quite as important as being an educator. It is our responsibility as educators to educate our students to be thinkers in a globalized world. Now that is a tough job to tackle! We have new standards…Common Core, and quite frankly I am thrilled to have standards that are common around the country. As a mobile student growing up, I have gaps in my education because the standards were not common from state to state. Now, onto testing…we know we need standardized testing, and let’s face it we have always had standardized testing. A lot of great information can come from reviewing testing data, and great teachers analyze their data and make decisions about their teaching based upon their findings.

Accountability is needed. We need to know if teachers are performing adequately in the classroom. We need to know if a…

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Love it or Leave it

Love it or Leave it.

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Saying Good-bye is never easy to do…

Monday was one of the hardest days of my life. It was one of the hardest days for our family. We had to say good-bye to our family member and companion of 13 years, Cookie. She was 15 years old. My husband and I adopted Cookie when she was two years old. She has been a part of our family ever since. She was a sheltie mix, and she was wonderful. Believe it or not, she even smiled, yes, smiled. She would raise her gums and show us her teeth when she was excited about something. She was our “baby girl”. We added a male sheltie, Max, to our family 3 years later and then our son, Alexander, was born 3 years after that.

Cookie was a part of our family through many changes, and she was loyal and loving. We have had the hardest time getting through this week without her.  We knew the time was drawing near, as her age began to be more and more obvious. She was sleeping more, and just showing signs of aging. On Monday, we knew we needed to take her to the veterinarian to have her checked and as I sat in the waiting room with her head on my lap, crying, I just knew. I cried the entire time as we waited. As the vet checked her out and then told us that he believed she had cancer and it was “time”…I can simply say I, we, were devastated. 

We knew that letting her go was the right thing to do. We did not want to see her suffer, but letting her go was also the hardest thing to do. Coming home to her bed, toys, and of course, Max our other dog, who is still trying to figure our where she is…we were, and are, completely heartbroken.

Our son has drawn pictures, and says “Cookie is peeing on pansies in Heaven”, something his grandparents told him, and a phrase that did bring a smile to our faces through the tears. As a Christian, I believe in a loving and gracious God, and I know that I will see our Cookie again someday. In the meantime, I will remember the precious times with our “baby girl”. So many people have told us what a good life we gave her, but the fact of the matter is she made our lives better.  She made us better people. 

Our Max is now getting all of the attention and is not quite sure how to take that, but is enjoying it all the same. He brings a smile to our face each and everyday as well, and we are thankful for him. Our son, Alexander, told me just a day ago that he misses Cookie, and my only response was “me too”. 

Pets bring so much joy to our lives, in our case our dogs, and saying good-bye has been one of hardest things we have ever had to do. I just want the hole inside of me to close, and I know it will get smaller as time passes. In the meantime, I just cry when it hits me and miss her and remember her.

We love you, Cookie…so very much…we are heartbroken without you.

We said good-bye on July 28th.image

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A favorite quote…

A favorite quote….

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A favorite quote…

“Before you judge me, make sure you are perfect”…oh, I just love this quote. It is so simple and if we all followed by its words the world would be a better place…don’t you think? Simple words, and yet very hard to follow. If you really think about it, as humans we are so quick to make a judgment on very little information, or by how someone or something looks. So, my personal challenge is to remember this very quote when I feel the urge to make a judgment call. Are you up to the challenge?

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