Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lessons Learned

I know that there aren't too many people who read my blog which is completely understandable since I am of the opinion that blogging is somewhat a thing of the past.  But, for me - it may become a journal of sorts.

I have learned some tough lessons in life. We all have I am sure.  And, some people have learned things by going through much more difficult things that I have even thought about.  One area where I have learned a lot is in relationships with people.  There are family relationships, friend relationships, work relationships and even closer ones than that such as with my children and husband.  Here is a very transparent me saying that for years my life revolved around my relationship with people.  I wanted to be around people all the time.  I loved the idea of getting together with people, having people over, having parties and get-togethers.  I loved being on the phone, talking to people, going shopping, out to eat - you name it and I wanted it to involve people.

But - life happens.  Hurts happen.  Painful things happen.  We grow up.  We change.  We mature (or we are supposed to).  We move.  We change churches.  Our living situation changes.  It is inevitable - change happens.  For me, I changed.  I developed some well-placed boundaries and some other NOT so well-placed boundaries.  I struggled with my identity.  I needed to try to learn who I was and who and what really mattered in my life. I can't say that I have "arrived" but I have learned a LOT about what really matters to me. What I did was make a choice.  I chose to allow God to teach me about relationships.  By no means have I learned everything that I need to.  Trust me - this is a work in progress.

My friendships are varied.  Some closer than others, some not so close.  Some are close on purpose, some are not so close on purpose. I have a variety of friendships that meet a variety of "needs".  And you know what?  That is okay with me.  As a matter of fact, that is exactly what I need!  I don't have to put myself in a box in my relationships.  I am not sure that I did before but I felt like I did.  It may have been a preconceived feeling on my part.  :))  I'm learning to be content with my friendships.

My relationships with my family are different.  I don't think my sister reads this but just in case she does, I will start with this disclaimer - sorry Sandy!  :)  My sister and I were never really that close growing up.  She was 9 years older than me and we were/are VERY different.  But, in the last 4 years or so, our relationship has changed and if that is the only thing I moved to Indiana for, then it has been worth it.  For the record, she really hasn't changed that much but I sure have!  :))  In the past in my family, I always wanted to "fix" everything and everybody.  Now, I love my family but I have learned the importance of allowing them to be themselves!  :))

The most significant changes have come in my relationships with my children, their spouses and my husband!  Let me preface this by saying that NOTHING will change the fact that I am a nosy, worrisome Mom!!  :))  But, I have to admit I like the friendships I have developed with my kids!  They are very different!  With David, he doesn't call home often but when he does, we talk about all kinds of stuff!  We argue and debate and have a blast while we do it!  He is the one child of mine who has the ability to pull out all my emotion but I love him to death for it!  :)  And, thank GOD for Christa and the relationship we have with her or we wouldn't know anything about David!  :))  With Carrie - there are days when she probably wishes she didn't have to talk to me!  :))  I don't know - there is a certain tone to her voice so I just know if there is something right or wrong in her world!  :)  We just talk about all kinds of stuff and I like that she feels comfortable enough to talk to me!  Josh??  He is so fun to talk to and he is usually picking on Carrie when I do talk to him!  Then there is Ashley - poor Ashley....she is so much like her Mommy!  And the hard part for her is that she is living the closest!  But, she is usually the first one to text me wanting to know about my day!  I like that!  And, Andrew is probably the fastest one of the 6 to come up and give me a hug!  That means a lot!  I text my kids a lot!  :))  They always know when my Mommy Radar is up because they all get a text from me that reminds them to stay close to Jesus and keep HIM first!  Our relationships have changed - they aren't home for me to control anymore so I pray!  But I so appreciate my relationship with my kids!

The absolute best change of all has happened in my relationship with Dave.  We just like this empty nest thing!  Well, I do. :))  I am not sure he enjoys all the "honey do list" that I come up with!  :)  Before, I wanted to be with people, do things with friends, talk to friends on the phone, shop with friends.  Now, I just want to do things with Dave.  He is my very best friend in the world and I wouldn't trade my "friendship" with him for anything!  He leads by his Godly example, keeps my feet firmly planted where they need to be, is fun to be around, can fix anything at the house, reminds me of what is important and loves me in spite of myself.

What does all this rambling mean??  I am so grateful for the changes God is making in me to help me see what matters in my relationships.  The reason why this matters is because I started to withdraw and stay away from people because I didn't want to be hurt anymore.  I am so thankful that He very gently prods me when I need to make a change in a relationship and helps me to see unhealthy relationships and guides my boundaries for them.  He is STILL helping me with my priorities where some relationships are concerned and I am so grateful for His continued leadership. The longer I live the more I see that God's guidelines for my relationships is what matters and I am very thankful He is still teaching me!