not the end

This is just a chapter. Not the entirety of the rest of the story. In other words, a season, not a lifetime.

Though not especially original, I came up with the above during one of those days when my mind thinks:

  • I went to college for this?
  • Is it really going to snow again on Saturday?
  • Am I the mother my 14 year old daughter needs?
  • Etc.etc.etc.

I’m currently reading Anna Karenina.  Apparently there are those who venture to say this is the greatest work of fiction ever written.  It is extremely long, over 900 pages.  I’m reading it on my Kindle [it was a free download since it’s a classic], so it’s a bit difficult to monitor page wise how much I have remaining.  My Kindle tells me I’m 82% through it, so yes, I could obviously do the math. I’m roughly on page 800.  It is a well written [IMO] , expansive novel that incorporates numerous characters and themes.  Yet, I’m ready to move on to something outside the realm of Russian imperialism.  Plus, I know how it’s going to end.  At least for Anna.  Therefore, I’m more than anxious to be done with it.

It’s interesting to me that we so often think we’ll end up somewhere, whether an actual place or a place in our psyche, and we never quite do.  The best laid plans, so to speak.  My husband and I are not doing today what we thought we’d be doing when we married.  Or what we thought we’d be doing today when we looked ahead in 1998.  Or really even what we thought we’d be doing today in 2004.

For many years I truly believed [probably rightly so] that I was to give my working life to a specific cause and/or movement.  I gave many volunteer and working hours to this particular cause.  I thought I always would.  I thought my professional life would grow in that direction, finally leading to a position of leadership.  Yet alas, I’m not even on a close track.  Whether or not I will eventually, I don’t know.  I honestly doubt it.  I think that season is over.  A door closed.

Today is Ash Wednesday, and as I begin the Lent season, I’m reminded it’s time to move on.  In other words, it’s time to get over it.  Get over the past.  All the plans and expectations.  All the closed doors and disappointments.  So life didn’t play out exactly as planned?  Focus on what has turned out great.  Focus on the family I love.  Last night I had the chance to serve spaghetti to families in one of the programs I work with at my job.  [I apologize for the excessive use of prepositions in that last sentence.]  My daughter Allie came along to help.  I should focus on positive opportunities like this instead of all the past ministry experiences that didn’t work out.

Likewise, I’m reminded this is a season.  This isn’t how things will always be.  It’s winter, snow flurries are flying.  It’s cold.  But in a few months, it will be warm.  I’ll sit on our back deck and read in the sun.  Metaphorically, a new season will arrive.  Life will change.  What’s great about today might not always be; what’s gloomy about today will possibly change to joy.  Today’s not the end of the story. 
I am reminded:

this is not the end

I encourage you to listen to this song.  Here are the words:

This is not the end 
This is not the end of this 
We will open our eyes wide, wider
This is not our last 
This is not our last breath 
We will open our mouths wide, wider
And you know you’ll be alright 
Oh and you know you’ll be alright
This is not the end 
This is not the end of us 
We will shine like stars bright, brighter

Happy Ash Wednesday.  Happy Lent. 

I am meditating on this today:  

 But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation:
 It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.
  The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.
 Lamentations 3:21-24  Amplified Bible (AMP)

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