… the mountain casts a spell over people who live near it. When one leaves the area, the spell causes that person to never really leave, but at least continue to return.
We left the area about six weeks ago, then returned to retrieve a vehicle we’d left behind. Our conversations revealed we each felt happy to be back in town, driving the streets, seeing a few friends, enjoying the sights and having food from several favorite places.
Let there be no mistake. We know our new home, the region where we live, the town we’re part of is exactly where we are supposed to be and we’re thrilled to begin this new adventure in our life journey.
We’ve returned to locations from our past homes because of the people, but never experienced the feeling of simple happiness by just being in the area. Perhaps there is a spell on us from the mountain, or maybe it’s because we each experienced so much personal growth and deepened our spiritual lives here; made many friendships and memories. We changed living here. We’re not the same people we were when we moved here. We smile, knowing we’ll be back again.
Have you ever felt like living somewhere changed who you are?
I recently finished reading “The Second Half of your Life” by Jill Shaw Ruddock.
I resonate with the term “Second Half” instead of “old” or “retired.”
This book covers much information I’ve previously read, available to the woman who reaches those menopausal years, yet Jill Ruddock nicely pulled it all together in one place. Being an American, I enjoyed reading perspectives from “the other side of the pond,” even though I’m currently “on that side.” The core issues remain the same.
I enjoyed the humor found in the different use of vocabulary.
I appreciated her reference to those of us who are “baby boomers” being the “golden generation.” She stated we have defined every age of our lives simply because of how many of us there are; and expects as a group we will redefine what “old” means.
I like that thought. I have no interest in the idea of trying to be younger than my current age, but certainly won’t sit down and wait to die. This is my “second life” and I’m enjoying life. For me, that means life is to be lived; to be creative; to be full of passion and meaning.
Last week I spent a morning with a group of women trying to get a Women’s Resource Center off the ground here in Tralee, Ireland. The room was filled with energy while women shared their vision and passion to create something in the community to benefit many. Some of these women were in their “second half” living a passionate life.
Have you ever felt trapped in your marriage, in another relationship, in your job, in your town, whatever? Well, I’ve spent times in my life trapped. Trapped in a job, like a wild bird in a cage desperate to fly free. I thought there wasn’t anywhere to turn.
One day someone asked me: what happens if you find a cookie on your desk, day after day – and then one day a note replaces the cookie?
The idea fascinated me.
I explored the emotions of being trapped and the options yet at the same time considered other fall-outs of ‘escaping’ the office.
A story was born. My character, Liz becomes the trapped employee. One thing leads to another. The story solves a mystery or two; unlocks dreams or passions previously dismissed as financially impractical or immature; and necessitates dealing with a tangle of relationships – both building new ones and healing old hurts.
Writing this story I explore another place. I bring all the senses into play of being somewhere else and find Liz’s special place. You will too. Join Liz on her journey and discover what the Dream Glasses reveal.
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…a town in juxtaposition of very old and very modern.
I awoke in the heart this town just starting to rouse its self from winter, in preparation for the seasonal tourists, which are sure to arrive. Narrow medieval streets lined with colorful tiny shops filled my morning walk. People bustling about on narrow sidewalks dodging in and out of cars, to get where they are going. Crosswalks exist, but are rarely used. Drivers seem to expect people will pop into the street and cross in front of them.
Yes, this is a village, a very old village. I’m snuggled in the middle of it for a week, and I it’s charming. I almost feel lost in another time and place.
Expanding the exploration outside the old core, are many modern buildings and amenities. In these neighborhoods, the houses are bigger and further apart. The homes have characteristics of the region, but they feel like neighborhoods I’ve been to in many places.
Yet it’s in the very old where I find myself more comfortable. I enjoy walking from place to place. The people feel more connected with each other. They smile as you pass or stop to greet you.
Oddly enough, most my photos are from out of town. Go figure…
The following two sentences are in the middle of a book I’m reading, the last paragraph on the left side of the page. I had to stop and just think about these thoughts. In fact, I’ve been thinking about them for four days.
This is why a defining mark of revival is that as the Spirit increases, divisions decrease. Gender divisions, race divisions, socio-economic divisions fade away as everyone encounters God together.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve been working through thoughts related to Revival this year. Looks like I’m still thinking about it.
I still believe ‘refining’ is a critical component of ‘revival’. Yet after reading the above sentences I have to wonder, besides the obvious refining we each need to submit to daily, does this refining need a common focus? As Christians do we each need to take a good look at ourselves, our churches and our communities and then determine where we as individuals, might be able to help bridge some of the divisions that exist in our families, our churches and our communities? If you’re a leader, or following a leader, should you be looking for this?
No one needs to look far, to see the affects of divisions caused by:
Ego or power struggles
Desire for control and recognition
Financial disparity that abound around us
Women hampered by the glass ceiling
Relationships severed due to hurt feelings or harsh words
This list is unending. I’m sure you could add many more things to it, but you get the idea.
As we pray for Revival, perhaps we should be asking to be refined in a true spirit of unity.
It’s that time, when I reflect on the past year. I began 2015 with no particular expectations for the year. It became the year to conquer fear. Or should I say, turn my fears over to God.
By March, I found myself on a new trajectory. I would be going to Haiti in June. This newfound knowledge was surrounded by much fear and trepidation on my part, yet I knew it was a trip I was supposed to make. I had fears about my personal health; my ability to withstand the heat and humidity; letting go of pride to ask others to partner with me and greatest of all were the words a wise elderly woman spoke to me when she said, “These trips change people. You will never be the same again.”
Those words were frightening to me. It had taken many years for me to learn to accept and appreciate myself, and my life. Now I was hearing, I would never be the same. What would that mean, and would I like the person I would become?
As I prepared for the trip, I watched God graciously erase each fear before I arrived at the action part. The departure date arrived and I was ready to go. The trip itself was amazing. All I’ll say, is if God is asking you to step out and do something like this – then GO.
I was changed! Changed in the best possible way. At the end of the year, my husband received some medical news that created some uncertainties in our life. Fear was not part of this time. When I stopped and reflected on this, I was surprised! The old me would have been fearful and anxious. The new me was able to go about the required actions, procedures, tests and waiting, resting in peace.
Though I’ve been a child of God for years, I’m ending 2015 with the following refrain from “No Longer Slaves” having new meaning for me: