Friday, August 31, 2012

I look at all the lonely people

When I was single, I went through major bouts of loneliness.  I had great friends around me and despite a variety of different jobs and situations, churches, community, and all the "things" I could ever want to buy, I was lonely.  My heart would long for "the one" thinking that if I just met the right guy I wouldn't be lonely anymore.  Being single, especially in your thirties, is a very difficult place to be.  If you know anyone in that stage of life, please be very kind to them and surround them with every ounce of support you can imagine.  (This does NOT mean ask them if they've met someone every time you see them).

And then, I did meet "the one."  And it is great!  All those times I thought "I wish I had someone to eat dinner with" or "I wish I had someone to run errands with" was now a non-issue.  And of course, I thought my loneliness would go away.  I was wrong.  Now before you read into this, please understand that my husband is awesome and we have a great relationship.  This is not a marriage issue.  But what I'm finding is that there are MANY women like me who think that marriage will solve their loneliness issues and some get married solely for this reason.  If you think that is the case, you are sorely mistaken.  In fact, if this is why you're getting married, then it may be time to reevaluate.

Marriage does not solve loneliness.  And let me dispel another myth.  Kids do NOT solve loneliness...if anything, they make it worse.  Again, I love my son and am excited for our next child to join our family.  I wouldn't give up my family for anything.  But these issues are not related unless you use one to try and fix the other.  When you have kids, you become even more isolated.  You have way less time to spend with your friends and some people you thought were your friends seem to disappear or just distance themselves because they're not willing to do the work to make the friendship adapt to your new situations.  Your kids take priority in your life which means your friendships take a far backseat to your family which means your friendships tend to suffer.

I have a dear friend whom I adore that I spoke to about this today.  She and her husband have an adult child that doesn't live at home.  She told me she and her husband sit at home most weekends because many people believe they are busy so they don't ask them to do anything.  And then, when they see that other people did stuff their feelings are hurt and don't understand why they weren't invited.  MAN I can relate to this!!  Can you?

Why am I talking about this?  Because when we're lonely, we feel alone, isolated.  And yet, I believe that there are MANY people out there (especially women) who are dealing with this loneliness.  We feel like if we tell anyone about it then we sound weak, needy, and undesirable as a friend.  But if we all feel this way from time to time (or much of the time) then we NEED to talk about it!

I am a working mother that travels a lot, especially in the fall.  This pushes me further and further away from people and results in me feeling isolated.  Then I see all the things I perceive people doing together (and not inviting me) and I think they don't want me around.  This isolates me even further.  Then I don't ask people to hang out because I perceive they "don't like me" or "don't want to hang out with me."  Which makes me even more isolated.  As you can see, this cycle only continues in a downward spiral.

For some this spiral leads to depression.  This was me at one time.  Thankfully I have learned to combat that and know where/when to raise the red flag.  But I have a great deal of compassion for those that aren't able to beat that on their own and hope, if this is you, you will seek help.  For some this spiral leads to negative behaviors whether it be seeking bad relationships or leaning on other methods of numbing your feelings.

Regardless of your position in life, loneliness is something we all deal with.  And it is nothing that any one individual can "fix" for you.  But maybe if more of us talked about how lonely we feel, we wouldn't feel so alone!

Psalm 68:6 "God sets the lonely in families..."  Praying my little James isn't lonely tonight.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

this journey

There are times when my life seems so appealing to people given the places I travel to for work.  I do not deny that I have had amazing opportunities to see the world between my years in the navy and my current job.  I have seen all of the Med, much of Europe, Asia, the Middle East...so many places!!  But here's the thing, travel gets old.  Travel appeals to so many people because of the different people and places in our world.  And yet fundamentally, people and places are the same.  We all are moving through our own journeys in our day to day lives and these bits of travel are exceptions to the rule.  So many times people just wish they were somewhere else, doing something else, "seeing the world."  I can't tell you how many people tell me their jealous of my travels.

While I appreciate the opportunity, there are many days where I am just as longing for something else...being home with my family.  Just like everyone else, I miss the day to day longing for something else.  It's true, sometimes my day to day takes me to Japan or Italy.  Today  my day to day takes me to Nebraska.  Just for a day.  Just for a meeting.  And yet this one trip will tack on more skymiles that add to our adoption miles that will pay for our plane tickets to Uganda.  How awesome is that?  So maybe today, instead of loathing in the fact that I won't see my son tomorrow, I will appreciate the fact that we will be that much closer to our mileage goal and thus one step closer to being in the presence of our next little boy.

I have not blogged lately because of many reasons, travel being one of them.  I had the blessing of being with my family last week in Illinois - for work, and with Jack.  I am thankful.  My husband had the blessing of having a week to himself...no work, no responsibility, just him.  I think he needed it.  

This week Justin started his new job teaching 8th grade reading.  Jack started daycare for the first time in his life (this should be an entirely different post but I'm not ready to talk about it).  I am heading to Nebraska for the night and, if the hurricane allows, back for the remainder of the week.  Then we get to go visit some amazing friends in Winston-Salem for the weekend.  We have SO MANY things to be thankful for.  And I have to remember that travel is a function of that.  Thankful for this journey.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

An update...

It is only 7:15 pm in the states but it is already August 10th in Italy.  My sister and I are packing to prepare for our journey to Paris tomorrow and then home in a few days.  I am continually humbled by His provisions.  After making that post this morning and hearing even more heartbreaking news about the situation at church, I got to skype with my boys and then got a truly amazing update...Justin interviewed for a job the morning of August 9th and by 3pm in the afternoon, he got a call from HR making him an offer!!!!

Oh how I clearly do not know You well enough to trust You through the unimaginable.
Your Glory Endures Forever!!!

Joy and Tragedy

Life is truly a roller coaster.  At the peak of the hill it seems the bottom just drops out and before I know it we are screaming toward the ground faster than it seems anything could catch us...and yet we are always caught and heading right back up again toward the next twist or turn or corkscrew.

Last week my husband and I headed away for a few days of just us time.  While we wanted him to come on my work trip with me to Italy, we knew that it wasn't feasible in the midst of adoption support raising.  We had a great time away together and the awesome part of the Italy trip is that my sister got to come with me.  My parents were in town to watch our little ginger boy and it was a pretty great week filled with joy.  We even got to go to Busch Gardens for a bit and ride the roller coasters.  It was awesome.

Sunday we went to church and then later that day I would board a plane to fly to Italy for a work trip.  Little did I know that things were about to change.  We were informed at church that our lead minister had resigned under certain allegations which we later found out that these were sexual allegations from a minor boy.  I will not go into anything more about it other than to say we are deeply saddened by the entire situation and are praying for all those involved.

This on top of a lot of travel in the near future followed by the uncertainty of my husbands job and the feeling that Satan is using people to try and attack my husband (spiritually) made it feel like a very bad time to be leaving the country.  Not to mention it's always very difficult for me to leave even though I only travel internationally about 3-4 times a year anymore.  And yet now, as I sit in my hotel room in Italy on my 35th birthday, I feel like this may have been the best time for me to be gone.  There is nothing I can do.  About any of this.  Yes, I could be there for other people, I could love on my son, and just be int he same room as my husband.  But I am reeling from this news and from the attacks on J so much that being away may be God's way of protecting me (and them).

I have seen J grow so much in the last two years and I am so excited at what God has been doing in his life.  He has stepped out of the box and taken seriously his call to lead and the group of men that he has been in fellowship with have impressed me beyond belief!  Which, of course, is when you become vulnerable.  And believe you me, there is an attack happening, on many fronts.  But he has not let it phase him and to see his strength and courage at following Him and pursuing His will has been so refreshing!

So in the midst of this tragedy with our church and dear friends and family, we find joy.  Joy in the position we have been placed in, joy in the waiting, joy in the now, and joy in the excitement of what He is doing to prepare us for what's next!

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lam 3:22-24

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Number 22

We are moving on up!!  We know that there will be some months where we don't move at all on the list but this month, we have movement.  I realized about a week ago that now that Lifeline is doing this number on a list thing that we have an email to look forward to every month.  And as we were standing in line at Busch Gardens for a ride, I read it...Number 22.

The exciting thing about the process is that something is moving.  We know there may be months where we may not move up in number at all.  And, as I stated in Number 24, we know that as we move up it doesn't necessarily mean we are closer to a referral because it's only when someone in front of us with the same requirements for a referral gets one that we really move up.  But here's the thing, someone did!  As part of the updated number, we are told exactly what referrals happened last month and this time, there was one the same as ours!  Which means we really did move up on the list!!

So here we are, four months into what is supposed to be about a 12 month referral waiting period, and we are number 22!!!  WOOHOO!!