Sunday, January 25, 2015

Onions



I was peeling an onion the other day and tears were streaming down my face.  I was breathless from the pain of what my own life layers represented as I slowly started peeling away the layers of my life.

A layer of hurt. Hurt I've caused others. Things said without thinking of the pain my words would have on someone else. Hurt I've felt from rejection. Hurt from betrayal. Hurt from words. Words that wound. I've said my share of them. Hurt is the largest outer layer. The one that protects the inner layers. Concealing the inside. If I could get could peel away the outer layer, perhaps I could begin to work on the other layers that need to be exposed. The deep layers, and get to the core of who I really am and find my life's purpose. But without removing this part, the other parts just stay hidden. So, I rip it off! It's old and cracking. It's been there a while. There's no use for it. As with hurt, it just needs to be discarded. It's of no use. 
A layer of Anger. The next layer is anger. I've been angry for a while. Angry at God. Angry at myself. Angry at circumstances. Angry at people. Just angry because life's not easy. Bitter and stubbornness needs to be removed. If I could get the tough layer peeled away, I'm sure the layers underneath would start to be more useful. More pleasant. Easier to remove, softer in texture, and aroma. But this layer is not easy to remove. It lies just beneath the tough old outer layer of hurt. If I can just put my strength into removing it, letting it fall to the side, then the next layer will be freed from the hurt and the anger. 
A layer of Pride. When I peel this layer away the juices start to flow. The tears of years of holding on to actions that reflect a spirit of unforgiveness. Seeing my self as self righteous. as superior in words and deeds. Such shame lies within this layer.  This layer has held back the best parts of me. The real me. Once pride is gone, the person I want to be lies just inside. 
As these layers have been peeled away from the onion, it notice a heap of useless parts. And I'm tried of holding onto these layers for so long. They have taken the best of me and kept them hidden them deep within. But I am exposed. I'm grieved at what I've let me own heart become. Tears flowing like a river, as I wipe my eyes with the back of my hand. The person God wants me to be lies just head. I want to keep peeling away each layer, but I'm afraid. 
A layer of Fear. Fear of failure. Admitting I'm not what I can be. Fear of rejection. Fear of love lost. Fear of hurt. Fear gripes me as I silently pray to God that I'll get through the layers to something good. Something worth His love. And at that moment, a calm comes over me. I'm reminded of a scripture. 2 Timothy 1:7 

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."  
I begin to feel His presence and the courage to continue presses me to move on. 
Love. God loves me. He loves all of me. My rough, cracked and hard outer shell. He knows all about my layers. The hurt, the anger, and the pride. He knows I'm fearful of what I've become. Ashamed of the years of sin. Layer after layer I peel away until I reach a green leafy center core. The core represents the place where I first began. When God created this onion, just like he created me knew that I would grow if tended. New life needs deep roots. As time has passed, I've left my roots become dry. I haven't tended to my need for a greater power to keep me healthy. I've become self sufficient. A plant can't water itself. It can't give the warmth of the sun to prosper. I couldn't do it alone. I'm not alone. 
Peeling away the layers revealed a greater need for my maker.  A hope burns within me. I was created by a living, forgiving, all seeing God. One who takes care of all creation. Rom 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 

            May the God of hope fill you with          all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ode to 49


As I look ahead to the big 50,  I've decided to list what my 40s taught me.  So here my list;
1. Grey is the new black, or blonde, or red... 
2. Thinking I had my life in order, was just 40 placing a cruel joke on me. 
3. Changing jobs in your late 40s is perfectly fine! As long as your happy the universe is happy, or better yet your family 
4. Reading glasses are the newest fashion statement 
5. Be prepared for major life changes, they don't call it midlife for nothing 
6. More people will look at you crazy when you dance to music, especially your children (just stop, Mom!)
7. Speaking of children, it's your time to do the embarrassing so make it good!
8. Friends come and go, but the real ones will never leave and the new ones totally except you for who you are. 
9. Vacations are about you recharging your inner self, not Mickey and Minnie 
10. You lose people you love more often, to illness, even those your age. 
11. You look at pictures of when you thought your were fat and long to be that size again 
12. Diet Coke is replaced with Cabernet or Merlot, or who cares as long as there is a cork 
13. A long night out ends at 10
14. Sweat shirts and yoga pants are totally acceptable casual attire
15. Sunsets are masterpieces 
16. Long lines don't stress you out, it's a great time to catch up on Facebook 
17. Grocery carts have things in them like Almond milk, kale, and organic veggies alongside Cheetos 
18. Empty nest is a good thing 
19. Laundry is sorted according to importance, not type and color
20. Shaving took less time and pluckin takes more 
21. Exercise became a means to be able to get outta bed the next day 
22. Hearing loss is blamed on loud concerts you attended in your youth 
23. You refer to young people by the phrase " their generation" 
24. You believe less of what people say, more of what they do
25. You enjoy work
26. Time off is spent in fore mentioned sweatshirts and yoga pants. 
27. Hot flashes are for the reason you walk around in your panties and bra 
28. Midlife crisis does exist, looks who has motorcycles and sport cars 
29. Late night movies are for kids, past my bedtime 
30. You get addressed as Ma'am by everyone!
31. Speaking of pluckin hair, when did I start browning a beard? 
32. You remember when microwaves were invented and now it's your go to oven. Supper is served 
33. Your kids need you less, and you are perfectly fine with that
34. A trip away is a visit to see your kids 
35. You don't fight over what to watch on tv, you go to another room had watch what you want. 
36. Eating out is considered a daily routine
37. When you hear from an old friend, it's to find out who died or divorced or is in the hospital 
38. Pets are more spoiled than your kids 
39. Decorating is considered picking up the house
40. Sleeping in isn't possible anymore, not because of kids, but because your body has gotten up at 5 for most of the 365 days to go to work and your internal clock is SET
41. Life throws you curves, but you got your catchers mitt on and protective gear 
42. Muffin tops and biscuit cans mean nothing about food. 
43. Falling asleep sitting up is possible
44.  Spots and bruises appear on your body for no reason 
45. You have an arsenal of pain pills, happy pills and sleeping pills. 
46. You can read a book cover to cover without interruption
47. What you wear depends less on your mood and more on what you can fit into 
48. Your parents call you for advice 
49.  You are looking forward to 50!  It's closer to retirement. 
50. Sneezing, coughing at laughing too hard may require a change of clothes


Got more to add? Please share! 
50, here I come! ❤️




Saturday, October 18, 2014

From Tabacco Fields to Cotton

As I sit on my porch in a cool Autumn evening, I'm reminded of days of my youth. I grew up in a small farming town in rural North Carolina. Harvesting tobacco was the talk around the town. At the corner of an interception was Handi-Corner convinent store, where my Daddy's folks sat and talked from sun up til sun down, to the local fish market run by one of his dearest friend, tobacco was always the topic of conversation. I grew up watching women cook for the help during harvesting season. My brother "put in tobacco" as they called it. He would come home late at night with the sticky tobacco gum on every inch of his body. My mother would wash his clothes, as he showered, ate and prepared himself for another day in the tobacco fields of North Carolina. I enveyed him then. I wanted to be a part of it. But as I was too young, so I watched from afar.  Admiring the efforts of the men and women toiling in the midday sun to bring in the crop. 

We spent nights roller skating in "buck barns" until they were filled with the racks of curing tobacco leaves. We rode dirt bikes to each other's homes. Everyone was welcome. Everyone was important. Everyone was loved. This is the memory of my youth. 

I went to school in this small town where every one knew your name, your momma and your daddy. My daddy was the preacher of the First Baptist church there. We had moved from Mississippi, my mothers home, to be back with the people of this small town. A homecoming for my dad, a transition for the rest of us. But, we fit right in. Small town living runs deep in our blood. 

I played little league baseball, alongside my best friend. The only two girls on a team of all boys. We didn't know we were breaking new ground at the time.  We just wanted to pay ball. So, with a lot of pestering, and through the good heart of the team coach, he let us on the team. We entered new ground. Slamming the ball over the heads of the out of town boys who thought girls couldn't play as good as them. I was a tomboy back then.  My husband now can't see it that in his prissy Mississippi girl even today.  Somewhere along the way, I found my femininity. A label to this days, I find demeaning. I'm a Carolina girl at heart. 

Fishing back ponds with my daddy, catching flounder off the Carolina coast, pig pickings and tractor pulls at the park, those are my fondest memories. We moved away, back to my mother's hometown of Columbus, Mississippi. I seemed to fit in just fine. I was asked to join the high school Social Club. That's as big as it gets in these parts. I married the local high school football star. Been together 31 years. Little changes here. Raised a family, built a house, yell #Hailstate for the College team just 14 miles from our home, but somewhere in the timeframe of my youth to my middle years, I long for what I once knew as my home. North Carolina people are gentle, soft spoken, loving and welcoming. 

My brother stayed there, married a beautiful girl, and started his own family there. I still envy him some days.  He has two beautiful grown children who have made their lives there. We are what seems at times, worlds apart. But, Carolina will always be in my blood. I long to be there more as I grow order. Visiting with Mrs. Hilda as she talks her sweet Carolina drawl. Remembering friends and family I've missed seeing through the years. My heart longs to be home once again. 

I've married a Mississippi boy. He's slow speaking, kind and gentle.  He reminds me of the boys from my youth.  "We've done good ," he says. And it's true.  Memories, family, and our faith. That's what we focus on. As the sun sets and the dogs head off to the lake, I'm reminded that I always have a little of Carolina with me all the time. If only in the memories, sweet as they are, they are real, vivid and honest. 

From tobacco fields, to cotton. From Mississippi to North Carolina.  Home is deeply rooted in my mind.