Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lesson Learned... Again

Sometimes, I feel like God is just smacking me upside the head with life lessons. Actually, if I were to be honest, I feel like He does a bit more than "sometimes." I feel like I'm constantly learning. Granted, many times it's more that I'm confused at what He is trying to show me, either by not answering my prayers for something (which IS an answer - it's just not necessarily one we want to hear) or by smacking me in the face with scripture.

Since moving to Michigan, I have been... lonely. For lack of a better word. I have my husband, who is wonderful and devoted, but I don't have the same network of friends I had in Florida. It's kind of just the two of us and sometimes his family. I don't mind that we do everything together. I just mind that if I'm not working one day, and he is working, that I have no one to just go with to the mall and walk the mall (one of my favorite forms of exercise. Gets me out of the house and doing something, so I'm not stuck inside all day.

I have made some friends since moving up here. The problem is, they all work full time. The other problem, we aren't close enough to really make plans to do anything. Okay, truth time. I'm really just not that great at making friends. In Florida, I was always friends with people I either had classes with, or worked with. All of my closest friends were met that way. No, the number is not very high. It's under ten. Up here... I am the weirdo that everyone tries to avoid at work. I talk too much about random things, and I'm a bit weird. Everything that helped me to make friends in the past, has failed since moving to Michigan. My friends love my quirkiness, and my random ability to remember theme songs from TV shows, which stars are in what movies, and many many other random things that really show just how nerdy and geek like I am.:-P

Here, people stare at me like I'm crazy. Even commenting on something in the check out line to the person next to me gets me that look (I cannot count the times I have had this done to me or done it while living in FL. Yes "that look." The one that makes it seem like the person is scared and wants absolutely nothing to do with you.

This has been going on since we moved up here. My first job was a little better as far as the interactions with the other breakfast people went. Especially some of my managers. The problem was, I didnt like the lunch people much. I also hated having to be at work at 5 am. So I found another job with not only better pay, but better hours - and I'm just as miserable. In fact, I get "that look" more often now that I have in my entire life!

So now I'm sitting around trying to figure out what all this means. God has definitely brought us here, and He has definitely blessed us in so many ways while we have been here in these few short months. So I know there is a reason we are here. I just don't really know or understand WHY God would move us 1100 miles, but then leave us without friends. And with the exception of hub's family (whom we only really see on Sundays) absolutely no one to socialize with. Okay. absolutely no one is a bit of an exaggeration. I do have my Bible Study group, I just never seem to do anything outside of Bible study with them. Which isn't bad. It's wonderful. I NEED the constant study and someone kind of keeping an eye on me to make sure I'm keeping on track with it all. I'm horribly lazy.

Sometimes we both feel as if God wanted us to learn some lessons while up here. 1)That hubs hates working retail, and really needs a career change- there's flexibility in his schedule here to make going to school happen that we didn't have in FL- and 2)to show us that as much as we hated the weather in FL, that's where we met and built our lives. We met in 2007 when we both started working for Disney. It's where we created a makeshift, adopted family that loved and cared for us. It's where we made all our friends who hung out with us, even if it was just to grab a beer or some food at a fast food joint or a burger. We had that down there, and that made it home for us. So we are wondering if part of all this, is just to get hubs into a new career and then return to FL... Still praying on this

For me, I've been learning some HUGE lessons in my personal life. I've been learning how easily influenced I am by people. I've been learning huge lessons about my vanity, and need to feel wanted and needed. Lessons I thought I learned a year ago. Lessons that I'm relearning as I'm thrust into an alien environment. Lessons I'm learning because of a sweet little girl - my niece.

This was a picture of us a little more than a year ago, when everyone came down to Disney. She and I REALL wanted pictures with Duffy. I'm a huge character fan and LOVE taking pics with them. Especially the ones that you don't get to see very often. I have some GREAT pics of those. But I digress.

A month after my niece turned four (hubby's brother's daughter btw) her mother passed away. Her mom had a long hard battle with... well.. a lot of stuff. She was serverely diabetic, told her body couldn't sustain a pregnancy. Then, she got pregnant with my niece. My niece was born about two months early (if I remember correctly) and her mother had some pretty bad complications. By the time niece was a year and a half, her mom needed a new kidney and a new pancreas. Within the next year she would get both. She was doing really well and was able to go to Disney for a full week and enjoy the rides and have fun. She was healthy for the first time in many, many years. Then her body started to reject the new organs, and with her kidneys failing, she was on dialysis. This lasted for about 6 months before my BIL found her collapsed outside (we think this means she passed peacefully because she wouldn't have gone outside if she had been in much pain). This was a month after niece turned 4. She turns 6 next month.

We love our niece. Hubs and I get a kick out of spending time with her. We honestly wish we could spend more time with her because it's just that much fun for us. Being big kids ourselves, we have a blast spending time with her and playing and running around. Whenever we get to hang out, her eyes light up and she gets so excited. I personally think it's partly because we are still so new to her. She used to only see us when she went to FL, but now we are here all the time and its fun for her.

She's also a ham. She loves getting her picture taken. It's possibly getting to a point where it's getting to be a bad thing - at my SIL's wedding, she was ready to cry and pitch a fit when the camera wasn't pointed at her. At one point she came to me and hubs ready to cry because all the pictures were of "aunt c- and uncle m-"

This behavior, and her usual behavior of being a complete ham, made me wonder... Are we teaching her that beauty is more important than anything else? I'm a worrier. How many times have I complimented her on how pretty she looks, but paid no attention, or very little attention, to the content of her character? It's okay to want to look beautiful, but when do we say enough is enough?

When I realized this the other day, it dawned on me... How often am I guilty of putting looks and fitting in ahead of doing something for God? How often have I projected an image of being a part of this world, instead of projecting an image that reflects the glory of God? Who am I dressing for? God? Or those around me? We can be super modest, and still dressing and acting and worrying about makeup in a way that is not glorifying God. We can even go to extremes of not wearing makeup, wearing only skirts etc, and still be dressing for other people and not for God!

How often have I set this example for her?

She's not my daughter. Shes my niece. But she will learn from those around her. From school, from television, her aunts and uncles. What is she learning from me?

I pray that what she learns from me, is to have a heart for God first and foremost. That our character is more important than whether we are wearing the latest fashions or look "cute" by the world's standards.

Lesson learned. Again. Now to implement... the part where I'm the most lazy :-P

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