Where Antelope Roam


Separation Anxiety
March 4, 2016, 2:08 pm
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Some years ago, someone (probably a psychologist somewhere) coined the phrase “separation anxiety”.  This was usually used in reference to a child who was left with caregivers other than their parents in particularly, mom.

I’ve been thinking about that lately.   We all deal with anxiety at some time or another.  Some of us deal with it more often and for longer periods of time than others.   However, as a woman I am quite aware that there are several times in a woman’s life that come to the forefront with separation anxiety.

Two come to mind strongly today.   For a woman, separation anxiety is often felt when the child they have invested years of training into becomes a young adult and wants to “separate from mom” in order to be all they can be.

This anxiety comes in the form of “what ifs”.    What if  they’re not ready to be out on their own?   What if I’ve not taught them all they need to know?   What if danger comes their way and they aren’t prepared for it?   This is also  known as  the empty nest syndrome when the last child leaves the nest.   While the child is excited (and rightfully so) about what the future holds for them, mom may feel anxiety because to this point the child has been to some extent an anchor for her days.

For those of us left behind in the wake of the death of a parent, separation anxiety shows itself in questions of: “what do I do now?   they were always there…. I could call them to ask advice… they’re not here now… what do I do now?   who am I now?”

When we say goodbye for now to the generation before us, it is imperative that we recognize that this is the time to “pick up the baton”.    We, the next generation, become the anchor for generations coming behind us.    Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren need us to be an anchor in their lives.

If you’re a young person, don’t neglect the generation that goes before you.   That does not mean we don’t recognize you as adults in your own right, but the generation that goes before us can give us much needed guidance and stability in our  lives.    Quite frankly the generation that goes before you needs you to need them in a meaningful way.

Until next time, love God, love others and stay connected with those closest to you.

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The Poignancy of a Life
February 22, 2016, 8:57 am
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There’s something uniquely poignant about watching a slide show of someone’s life at their homegoing celebration. We watched such a slide recently at my mother’s homegoing. Hers began with her wedding pictures. There was the beautiful bride, the handsome groom, the bridal party and each set of parents wishing them well on their journey.

 Then there were the children. First one… then a total of six children in all. The pictures progressed from the big event in her life to events in their lives. First there was the graduations then weddings and eventually came grandchildren and great grandchildren.

 Now for some people, they would think my mother didn’t accomplish great things. There were no business certificates…. Awards for length of service or outstanding work.

As far as the world is concerned perhaps she did nothing noteworthy. She was not a famous woman. Hers was not a particularly easy life, yet, I believe she did do great things!

She raised six children with my father, an almost unheard of thing to do in this day and age. She taught us many things and in previous posts I’ve already mentioned some of those. However, some of the greatest things mom taught us were the things we didn’t know we were learning. They were the things she lived. The things she taught us by her actions.

Such things as faith in a God who cares for us on a personal level; things like self-discipline. She taught us to work through our difficulties; to not give up just because something was hard; to have the stubbornness to conquer whatever was giving us fits; to be kind to others; to give others the benefit of the doubt; to love others

Now, don’t get me wrong, my mother was not a perfect person who lived life perfectly but she did try to live what she said she believed.

Some of the things she taught us, I saw reflected in the faces of each of my siblings as we said our “so long for now mom”s at her homegoing sevice. I saw strength of character mom tried to live in each life to some degree or another.

One of the most poignant things I was struck with in watching the slide show of her life is that life is short. It is fleeting at best.  James tells us that life is “but a vapor”. How true that is.

We all only have a short amount of time to influence others for God and for good in this life. Mom did her best to do it through her children, her nieces and nephews and many, many others whose lives she touched.

We begin our adult lives with such hopes and expectations for the future. Some of us think there will be time to love others when we accomplish the things we want to accomplish. Others of us know time is short.

Now is the time to love others and cast your influence for good on them. Don’t wait. As it’s been said, we only have the guarantee of the breath we draw and only what’s done for Christ will last. We have no guarantees for the future. Use each breath, each word, each action and attitude wisely and for the benefit of others.

I am so grateful for the mother I had on this earth.   Thanks, mama, for all you taught us.

Until next time, love God, love others.   Do it now while there is time.



Fools rush in where Angels fear to Tread
January 20, 2016, 9:59 am
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This is a another saying I learned from my mom.    The older I get the more I hear my mother’s words come out of my mouth.   Weird, huh?   Lol.

I’m in the process of studying out what God says about angels.  This saying came to mind particularly in reading what He says about Michael, the archangel, when he contended with the devil for the body of Moses.   Michael is a smart angel. He never tries to usurp God’s authority… he knows what his position is in regard to God and others of God’s creation.

This saying though not actually found in Scripture, it’s principle is.   Smart angels never try to take credit for what God does through them or to try to do something they weren’t told to do.   Neither should we as humans.  When mom would say this to us, she was telling us we were treading on thin ice and we’d better watch our step.

Now mom adhered to the Biblical admonition found in Deuteronomy 6 for parents to teach their children about God and and what following Him entailed.   In Deuteronomy 6, God tells parents to teach their children when they’re sitting down, when they’re standing up. when they’re walking… pretty much every chance they got.

Another saying mom used to say to us kids that IS found in Scripture was… “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”    This is one of the things mom would say to us when as kids we felt something wasn’t fair or we felt she needed to know something we were sure she didn’t know.   We would approach mom and say,  “Moommmm… so and so or such and such is/isn’t … whatever.”   Mom would often be heard to reply, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

I have to be honest and tell you as a kid it never seemed a satisfactory answer to me.   Really?    Sufficient unto the day?   Really?   I wanted immediate satisfaction!

Since becoming an adult I have found in my study that this saying was first voiced by Jesus Himself.    It was part of  what we call the “Sermon on the Mount”.    Jesus was teaching His disciples, His followers.   He was teaching them that God would supply all their needs.   (Interestingly enough, He doesn’t promise to supply all our wants. )

When Jesus gets down to the end of Matthew Chapter 6, He’s only about halfway through the sermon.   However, He’s teaching His listeners that whatever we need, God’s got us covered.    In this chapter, He was telling us we’re not to worry about even the big stuff… like food, clothing, something to satisfy our physical thirst or even sufficient money to pay the bills.    If we rely on Him, if we put Him first,  He’s got us covered.    This is not a carte blanche for us to just sit on our fannies and say, “Okay, God you promised to supply all my needs… I’ll wait for it.”… Hmmm… though we’re not to worry about our needs, big or small.   We can know that God may use us to supply them while being obedient to Him.

That’s what my mom was trying to teach us as kids.   When we’d come crying… Mooommmmm!   She was saying to us.. “Don’t worry about it.  I’ve got this covered.   This is not your responsibility to worry about. ”  Our responsibility as kids was to obey mom and dad.   Their responsibility was to take care of our needs.

As an adult sometimes I find myself wanting to run to God and cry,  “God… Father… so and so isn’t … or such and such doesn’t…  ” and He says to me, “Daughter, don’t worry about that/them.  I’ve got it covered.   You worry about what I’ve told you to do and it will be just fine.”  If we are truly children of God it’s not our responsibility to worry/stress about things.   Our responsibility is to obey Him and believe “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”.

Until next time, love God, love others and remember  He’s got it covered.



Actions Speak Louder Than Words
January 10, 2016, 3:25 pm
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So, this was another saying I learned from my mother.   Though as with the last one it was pretty standard fare for kids growing up in my generation.   This was usually brought out when we tried to hoodwink our parents into believing something that was not true.

This morning,hubby and  I worked in the nursery at church…. man, I LOVE working in the nursery.   Kids are so honest.   I worked during the morning service but because I also play the organ I didn’t get there before all the kids did.

As I came in the door, there were several kids there.   One little girl’s face lit up as she saw me and ran toward me.   Aww man, talk about squeezin the heart strings!     One little girl was new and rather pensive when she saw me.   She didn’t know who I was or whether I could really be trusted…. so she just stood there and watched me for a while.

When I work in the nursery, I like to get down on the kids’ level which usually means sitting on the floor.   So, as is my custom, I got down on the floor and started pulling toys out of the toy box.   The little girl who’d run toward me started playing with the toys I’d pull out and we carried on quite an animated conversation while the other little girl just continued to watch and listen to us.   Every once in a while I’d catch her eye and throw her a question.   After a while, she decided I could indeed be trusted so she started playing with the toys and interacting with me.

Recently a post came across my Facebook feed that cited a study on why good employees leave any position.   The gist of it was that when there is a large turnover in employees, it can usually be traced back to the manager/supervisor/owner.  It made a lot of sense to me.

Perhaps you’re wondering what that has to do with my working in the church nursery…

I’m so glad you asked.    Just like the two little girls in the nursery, we all need to know that we’re valued by other people for who we are not just for what we do…. particularly with those we have close interaction – be they family, friends, co-workers or management.

Most of us as working adults spend 90% of our day in the work place outside of our home.  We want to know what we’re doing makes a difference and that it’s worth our effort to come to work.  Not only do we want to know that what we do makes a difference but that we have value to someone else. My late father-in-law put it this way.   We all need to be needed.

Though many of us must work to supply the basic material needs of life, we want to know what we do is important to those with whom we work, particularly management.  If a manager never or rarely interacts with the people he calls his team on a personal, face to face basis, the “team” is doomed to fail in it’s asserted mission.

Intracompany communications such as emails (which are really impersonal) have their place but can leave “team members” feeling disenfranchised and valueless if used too often and/or in place of face to face communication.   Managers who manage primarily by impersonal communications do not realize the message they are sending to their team.   This is a case where actions DO speak louder than words.

A manager who refuses to interact and get to know his team personally is telling them they are not important to the outcome of the mission much less to him.   If an employee feels this way, they will NOT stick around for very long unless forced to by extenuating circumstances.  Then the manager may get adequate results but not the excellent results they might have gotten had they expended some effort.

All of us are like the two little girls in the nursery.    We either feel connected and ready to interact on the “team” or we feel pensive and uncertain about our relationship and /or where we might fit in.

If you’re a manager/supervisor or in any leadership capacity at all anywhere YOUR  success depends upon how well you communicate value to your people.   Think about it.

Until next time, love God, love others and remember Actions Speak Volumes!

 



Character
April 8, 2013, 12:28 pm
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This is a subject that has come to mind today. What is character?

Well, let me say there is a difference between being a character and having character. Being a character uses personal traits one already has to draw attention to oneself.   Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a not so good way.    We often call a person who has a well-developed sense of humor and the ability to tell stories, a character.

Character is what you do and who you are when no one is looking but God.  Character does not draw undue attention to one’s self.    True character serves others.  Having character takes time and practice.

This subject has come to mind to me today because though we thought spring was really here, we have a forecast where we’re to have blizzard conditions again tomorrow with any where from 4-14 inches of snow when it’s all said and done.

I’m grateful for the moisture. The Lord knows we need it. However, as we heat primarily with our woodstove and our wood supply is down, we need more wood. Hubby has been sick with nasty flu/cold symptoms and just not feeling up to cutting wood. He did go to work today because tomorrow is promising to be a day where NO ONE wants to be out on the roads. So, hubby suggested that I cut some wood today.

While I’m pleased to be able to help him in this way, cutting wood is not something I enjoy doing as it involves using a machine with moving parts where I could do damage to myself or the machine.  (I have this fear of moving machine parts… !cid_2138628E-3C49-435C-BCF9-D56FB04C5843)

However, I do like to be warm and cozy when that snow blows… so, out I went to find the chainsaw… well actually, I went out and gathered up all the little stuff I could first (it helps the big stuff burn better)… then I went to get the chainsaw. Sad to say, it’s been several years since I actually had to start a chainsaw myself and unfortunately, I could not get it running.

Now, I do have an in here. My SIL and Nephew were feeding cattle so I asked if they’d help me get the chainsaw started… They did and I was in business. I cut as much wood as I could… maybe not enough but it was all I could find and more than we had.

My point in all of this is, character often requires us to do things we don’t necessarily like to do. Now, I could have said, I’ll just wait till hubby gets home and let him do it, which he probably would have but it might make him sicker and besides, I should do what I can to help him when I can.   I’m sure the Lord will provide me with more opportunities to build more character into my life as I’m a fer piece from being what I should be.

Character is not just one act of doing something one does not like to do… It is often time and time again. That’s why chores are so good for children… it’s not that the parents necessarily need more help… it’s that it teaches children character… it teaches them to do things even when they’d rather be doing something else.

Character often requires us to step outside of ourselves and think of others… and after all, others have done that for me, why shouldn’t I do it for others?

Until next time, love God, love others and the next time someone asks you to do something you don’t particularly like to do, why don’t ya just go ahead and do it… it builds character!



Another first..
May 22, 2010, 7:01 pm
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Last week we were having dinner on the grounds after the morning service and then an older couple in our church were going to get married. 

Well, while we were getting lunch ready, the youth pastor comes to me with the phone and says, you might want to take this in my office… Okay…. so what did he mean.??? Was something wrong?

I picked the phone up in his office to here “Mom, where is the registration for the car?”    My first thought was relief… she at least wasn’t injured… my next thought was… grr… and then the following conversation ensued. 

I asked “why?”   

“Well the policeman wants to see it.” 

“Why does a policeman want to see it?”  

“Well, he wants to see the car insurance too…”

“why?”  

“I got stopped, mom.  Don’t freak out… ”

Freak out??!!  Freak out!!!   Well, I think a did a really good job not freaking out….

I asked  “did you get a ticket?”   “No mom.”  “Okay.”   

In the background I can hear a male voice saying, “if you make sure this gets paid by…I won’t take any more points off your license and you won’t have to appear in court…. ” 

“Did he give you a ticket?”   “No, mom, I just have to pay a fine.”    “DD…. why would you have to pay a fine if he didn’t give you a ticket??”   You got a ticket!

Well, she’s grounded until that’s paid which she feels is unfair… so I said… okay, so if you get another ticket while you’re still living at home… I WILL suspend your driving privileges AND your license…. how’s that for unfair!?   She thought grounding was okay after that… lol

Of course, after the story made it’s way around, everyone was telling how they had gotten tickets at young age.. and I’m thinking I’ve NEVER gotten a speeding ticket… (I better bet quiet… I’ve heard pride goes before a fall… and I don’t want to fall….lol)

So, it is in the lives of the first…Until next time, love God and love others…



The Joy of Dusting!
April 3, 2010, 8:38 am
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Okay, so I know you’ve probably thought I’ve lost my mind, particularly if you know that dusting is my least favorit home task!  However, I’ve been working 10-11 hour days lately and just the idea of being at home to make it homey excites me!  

I’ve been learning a new job and just trying to get my bearings with it and it has required letting go of the old one and getting into the new.  Wow!  My mind has been so boggled at times it’s been unreal.  My core family as well as extended family members have had to get used to my not being at beck and call and learning to plan ahead. 

Me too!  I’ve had to learn more discipline in getting things done.  My hope is that when my learning curve evens out more, the hours will be less.    However, for now, I’m enjoying having my Saturdays back and just being mom and homemaker.   For the last few weeks my home has looked like a major catastrophic event has taken place and so I’m excited about being able to put things back into a little better order and get organized.

DD has learned the joy of  having her first paying  job!   Last week while on spring break, she had the opportunity to work in the mornings, while she was also still  working on her Science Research Project to take to State as well as her state FCCLA project which while being separate projects all take place at the same time!  

She was hilarious when she got her first paycheck!  Though it brought back many memories to me.   I remember my first paycheck.   It was from the restaurant I worked for.   I thought I was rich… then reality set in as my parents started letting me take care of some of the bills I incurred. 

We’re doing that with DD.  My hope is that she’ll learn that while it may be exciting to buy anything you want, when you want… eventually you have to make hard decisions and things that you think are “needs” really are luxuries.

She’s learning the joy of adulthood which means having to learn to juggle many things at once.  It also means that when it rains it pours!   

We’ve all had that happening!  It seems like in our lives these days we are busier than any bee thought about being during honey season! 

Well, maybe I’ll get a chance to let you in on more of that later.   Until then, love God, love others and stay appropriately busy!