Runaway Train

I am frustrated by my limitations. I can't make someone give me a job or stop an employer from letting me go, no matter how desperately I need the work. From now on, the decision made by any of the publishers considering my manuscript is out of my hands. I will continue to get older, meaning more wrinkles and age spots and unwanted hairs -- whether gray or in unappealing places -- as the years go by. And I cannot make someone fall in love with me.

But there are things in my control. My weight, for instance. Yet I often find myself acting like my fatness is something that happened to me, not something I do to myself. Instead of making smarter choices, I give in to the craving of the moment as if I am powerless to say no. So I eat what I don't need when I'm not hungry, then boo-hoo over pictures that "make me look fat."

Can I find the power within me to change? To undo years of bad habits and replace them with actions that will improve my life won't be easy, but that's a cop-out. We don't make wise decisions because they're easy. We make wise decisions because to do otherwise makes a waste of the years God has given me. My existence on this earth lasts only a moment, as long as it takes a leaf to fall to the ground.

"For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." -- James 4:14b

Of course, this change must go further and deeper than eating right and exercising regularly. All the areas of my life where I make excuses for bad choices must be reconsidered. God doesn't ask me to make the best of the years He has given me. He expects it.

"For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." -- 1 Cor. 6:20

So, when I start feeling frustrated by my limitations, perhaps I would do well to remember God is in control and "with God all things are possible."


Going Solo

I titled this “Going Solo,” which almost sounds like the journey is just getting started rather than what it actually is: the only one I’ve ever known. You can’t be mid-forties and single and not have a very clear understanding of what that involves. It means you don’t have someone to pick you up at the restaurant door during a rainstorm. It means you’re on your own when it comes to killing spiders or trying to figure out your taxes. And if you want to start a freelance writing business, you certainly do not have a second income or your spouse’s insurance to hold on to during the dial-up years.

Those are the selfish reasons. On the giving side, if you’re in the mood to make chicken stir-fry or a pot roast, you can’t be sure you’ll have someone to share it with. You might not be able to give that perfect gift to your perfect someone at the perfect moment. And all those smiles and hugs and kisses you’ve been saving up may never find a beneficiary.

But do you let it get to you? Do you give up? Or do you continue to wait, believing in something bigger than your limited imagination could ever configure? It might not make things easier, but knowing God is right there with you can certainly make the solo journey a lot less lonely.


Here We Go Again ...

Well, here I am, once again trying to figure out what to do with my life. After two and a half years at Cedarville University, economic cuts have cost me my job.

I'm choosing to see this as an opportunity. After all, I've been frustrated lately by the difficulty I've had finding time to do my own work. I still have this nonfiction book about being single over forty haunting me. Wouldn't it be nice, I think, to finally finish it and move on to another project?

My problem is too many ideas. I need to focus and finish. Now I have all this time -- five months! -- to do just that. It's pretty exciting when you think about it ... and I've been thinking about it a lot. My recent Facebook status updates have listed reasons to enjoy or appreciate being unemployed and looking at it that way has encouraged me.

Unfortunately, we are in a recession and full-time writing jobs are hard to come by. I'd rather not move if I don't have to. I like living so close to my family and I've made good friends in this area. But when your options are limited, so are your choices. I may not have the luxury of choosing where I want to live. Five years ago, after I was laid off from Focus on the Family, I wanted to stay there, too. I soon realized that wasn't an option, so I moved. The upside to that was the chance to live closer to family. I hope I won't have to leave Ohio in order to get a job, but I have to make a living.

For now, though, I'm not planning to move. In fact, it's looking good to start my own business so I'm working toward that. Time will tell and your prayers would be appreciated.