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Year Two, Day 360: The Stage of Mastery

I had another one of my God moments this morning on my walk.  I was talking to God, thanking Him for the beautiful day and another day of life. I was sharing with him my thoughts.  And praying for people I loved and was concerned about.

Just then a warm breeze fluttered through my hair.  I stopped walking.  Usually when I am talking to God, and I feel a gentle breeze, it is the Holy Spirit bringing me insight.  This was what came to me:

"Don't just pray for them. Love them. Show them you care. Show them you love Jesus".

As usual, God is right. I do care. I pray. I pray often. Not as much as Paul recommends ("Pray without ceasing" - Thessalonians 5:17). But a lot! I pray in the morning, I pray when I walk (I walk a lot!), and in the evening.

But I was thinking about my family this morning. I pray for all of them. But sometimes they get on my nerves. Of course, I love them. I tell them. Well, I tell my children. It is awkward with my parents. They were not big on the "L" word when we were young.

But do I show them? And do I tell them about the LOVE I have found in my Heavenly Father?

Not so much.

I was pondering this as I walked. As I rode the bus. As I picked up a green tea latte, with coconut milk and 1 shot of vanilla this morning.

Then during the church service, the pastor wrote the word "ἁγιάζω" on the screen.  It is the Greek word "hagiadzo" which means to sanctify, to be holy, to set apart.  I was so excited that I recognized letters of the Greek alphabet in the word! It did not just look like squiggles, like in the past. I could say each letter!  My studies are paying off!

Then the pastor told us that all Christians are saints. We are "set apart by God in Christ for a special grow in spiritual maturity our whole lives".  (Pastor Gary Glenney, Portland Bible Church)

I pondered this as I recalled my earlier talk with God. 

Then at the break, one of the church members came up and asked me about my dad. I had asked the congregation to pray for my parents. My father, who had a stroke a year and a half ago, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and then recently with prostate cancer. And for my mother, who was his caregiver.

I told him that they were doing pretty well. My mother, a retired Registered Nurse, took good care of my father. And my father, who was grumpy and not very loving to the family for most of my memory, had become dependent on my mother, kinder and gentler. He had asked about God. And asked me to buy him a rosary. (Which I did).

My friends said that must be very healing for the family. But had I shared the Gospel with him?  I admitted I had not. We were not close. I treated him kindly, like a nice elderly  man, but not like my father.  

Then I told him about my revelation this morning. We had a lovely talk about applying what we learn in church, bible study and prayer, to the "real world" and incorporating into our lives.

Then suddenly, a thought occurred to me. "I think I will write him a letter!"  The man smiled and nodded. "That sounds like a good idea".

I was pleased with this.  After the second session of our service, a woman about my age came up to talk. We have been chatting for the last few weeks. She told me she too had a new living situation. She was one of three female "roommates".  She had a life changing family experience.  We talked a bit.  And she suggested we get together for coffee.  So we exchanged numbers. I am looking forward to a new friend with a similar life!

And web of life continues to be woven.  I stopped at the little used bookstore by my church. I was thinking about looking for a New Testament Bible written in the original Greek.  I did not find one. However, I found a workbook called Learning the Basics of New Testament Greek, by Dr. George Hadjiantoniou.And a video called "Candlelight Yoga: Soothing Yoga for Stress Relief and Relaxation", and The Gospel According to "Peanuts" by Robert L. Short (Couldn't resist this one. Lover of Snoopy am I!)  As I was about to leave, a title on the bargain shelf ($.50 books) caught my eye:
Chicken Fajitas at Tecos!

Menopause: The Silent Passage by Gail Sheehy.

I was so thrilled! I grabbed my bag of goodies and headed to "Tecos" for lunch. Nice little Mexican restaurant.  It's quiet and cheap. Good place for reading a pondering!  The server is always very sweet.  And today's special was chicken fajitas! :)  

I enjoyed my lunch. But I virtually INHALED the menopause book!

I really do need to give this transitionary stage of my life more consideration.  I've been looking at this all wrong. I've been worrying over the changes in my life as if I have a disease. As if there were something wrong with me. I've been working towards regaining health as if I could go back to where I once was, rather than restructure my life moving forward.  Going back to what Pastor Glenney said this morning,  I am "growing in {spiritual} maturity".  

The author, Gail Sheehy uses the words "coalescence" to describe this transition out of menopause into post menopause:

"Once the ovarian transition is complete, a woman enters a new state of equilibrium.  Her energy, moods, and overall sense of physical and mental well-being should be restored, but with a difference. Think of it as discarding the shell of the reproductive self - who came into being in adolescence - and coming out the other side to coalescence. (Coalesce means "to come together," "to unite"; - escence denotes "action or process," a change state).  

She says that this stage after menopause is a "stage of mastery"..."a passage that is not cause for remorse but for celebration"! 

So it appears I have much to research and much to celebrate!

It is a beautiful day outside. I am in my home away from home - the library!  I am heading to the gym to swim and sit in the hot tub.  

Tonight, I plan on writing a letter to my father. And knitting a few rows on the baby blanket for my granddaughter to be. And practicing my ukelele. This is indeed my age of mastery!

Happy Sunday!

Talk to you tomorrow.





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