Running my own marathon!

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This morning, Mark and I drove up to Natick, MA to witness, cheer on and just be part of this legendary Boston Marathon. In light of what happened last year in our beloved city of Boston, we just felt that we wanted to cheer on the runners. As we watched the wheelchair participants, we were in awe of their determination. They are all tucked into their wheelchairs with their heads down and eyes focused on the road and what’s ahead of them. Some were paralyzed and some were amputees, but all were determined and focused. And then the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me of the times that I lose focus by the little distractions around me, little annoyances that are so insignificant in the bigger picture. I need to keep my eyes on the race, ignore the distractions on the sidelines and look toward the reward at the end.

At times I wondered “What does our cheering, screaming names, ringing cow bells and holding signs do for the runners?” And then, this dear lady ran by with her hands over her heart thanking the fans. She was very teary and we could see the gratefulness on her face. She seemed to gain some energy from the support of the crowds. And then the Holy Spirit reminded me of the verse in Hebrews 12:1 & 2: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

If you ever want to get a picture of this verse, go to a marathon!  I was cheering on random people whom I have never met and whom I will probably never see again. I just kept thinking “There are days when I feel as though I’m running this race called ‘Life’ on my own, nobody really understands my frustrations, etc.” and then this verse reminds me that I, and my brothers and sisters in Christ, have this great cloud of witnesses cheering us on!  They know my name!  They know what I’m racing against and what I’m racing towards!  They are cheering me on from Heaven!! They are screaming, and I hope they have some cow bells, and they are yelling “Go, Terry!!!  You’re almost there!!  You’re almost over “Heartbreak Hill!”  You can do it!! Hang in there!!  Don’t give up now! Stay focused!  Don’t let the enemy distract you or slow you down!!”  What an encouragement for us believers to know that we have the likes of the saints of the Old and New Testament, family members and friends who have gone on before us cheering us on!!  I’m counting on my sister, Naomi to have a big old sign saying “Go Terry” and ringing her cow bell for me!!

Well, gotta run….my sneakers are ready to be laced up and hit the pavement!!

 

“I can’t hear you!!”

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Since Naomi’s “home-going”, I don’t listen to music from the 70’s. I find it too painful to remember the days of hanging out in the summers at our camp on Worthley Pond or staying up late in the room that we shared singing our hearts out to the popular hits from that era. In the van, the radio is set to the stations that play either the 50’s or 60’s or Christian music. So, I was a little surprised this morning when I got in the van, turned the radio on and the 70’s station was on. And the song that was playing was a favorite of Naomi’s. If you’ve never heard the song “Loving You” by Minnie Riperton then you’re missing out! 😉 Naomi used to call me and just start singing this painful song to me in her highest pitched voice!! And when she came to the ‘screaming part’ of this song, I was crying because I was laughing so hard! So today, as I was stopped at a traffic light, listening to this horrendous song, I was both laughing from remembering Naomi’s rendition and crying because I miss her so much. There are days when I ache to hear her voice again. I ache to hear her call me and tell me in her best Barney Fife voice “We’ve got a situation up here!”, I ache to hear her quote “Sense and Sensibility” or “Pride and Prejudice”. I ache to hear her when she’s had way too much coffee and she can hardly stop talking to take a breath.

So, as I was driving and wishing I could hear her voice again, I felt the Holy Spirit tap my on my shoulder and ask me “When was the last time you ‘ached’ to hear My voice?”  Ouch!!  How many days do I neglect spending time in the Word or sitting quietly waiting to hear the voice of the One who loves me more than Naomi ever could have? How many times do I fill my days with so much noise that I couldn’t hear His voice at all?  One of my dear sisters told me this week that she’s been trying to set time aside daily to just be quiet and listen for His voice.  I’ve noticed lately that I’m usually surrounded by noise; I either have music on or the tv.  I need to start taking time for quiet and meditation on what God has to say to me.

And there will be a day, when I will hear Naomi’s voice again…..and I’m hoping that she’s forgotten the lyrics to that painful song!!  🙂

Same Test, Different Day!

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Some days I feel as though I’m the main character in the movie “Groundhog Day”.  If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about this man who wakes up each morning and it’s Groundhog Day.  He can’t move on until he gets the day right.

I feel as though I keep having to take the same spiritual test over and over again until I get it right!  And anyone who knows me, knows that it sometimes takes a while for me to get it right.

This post should have started with “Hello, my name is Terry and I depend on people way too much!”  (That’s when all of you should respond with “Hello, Terry”)  🙂

For the past few years, our family has dealt with some major changes.  Family members moving, loved ones passing away and friendships that have moved on without us.  As someone who loves people, this has been extremely difficult.  Losing my sister had to be the hardest.  She was not only my sister but she was also my best female friend. Test number 1:  How on earth do I survive without Naomi?

Then we lost my dad.  Very tough in so many ways.  Test number 2: How do I move one without one of my parents?

This past summer has been very, very hard in our church family.  We have had some dear friends leave our congregation and some of them wish to no longer be part of my life.  I actually had a “sister” at our church put her hand on my shoulder and tell me that I had to stop reaching out to someone who doesn’t want to be contacted!  (How pathetic is that?!) Test number 3:  How can I possibly deal with this painful rejection?

Last night, as I was lying in bed, mourning all the different losses, I asked God “What on earth am I suppose to be learning here?  I can’t deal with many more tests? I don’t want to be “unfriended by anyone else!  I don’t want to be ignored!”  And then….you guessed it…I feel the gentle tap on my shoulder and hear “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Joshua 1:5b and Hebrews 13:5b) And I realized that, because I’m human and also a little thick headed, I put way too much faith in people who are going to let me down and who will leave me.  I put too much pressure on mere humans to make me feel loved, treasured, and important.  But that’s too big of a job for anyone.  It’s not fair to them, either.  I need to put my faith in Someone who will not leave me due to death, due to a re-location or due to a disagreement.  The only time that I will feel far from my Heavenly Father is if I’ve moved away from Him.  I can never, ever do anything so bad or hurtful that He would ever say “That’s it!  You’ve gone too far this time.  I’ve had it with you.”  He promises me that He will never leave me.  What a comfort to know that in this world, I have at least one friend that won’t ‘unfriend’ me.

So, hopefully I’ve learned and maybe I’ve passed this spiritual test….but I’m not holding my breath!  😉  I’ve got my pencil all sharpened for the next test.  I hope I’ve studied enough.  🙂

To Facebook or Not to Facebook….that is the question!

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I’m going to go out on a limb here…am I the only one, who some days just wants to trash my Facebook account? Oy! There are days where I just shake my head at what some people feel should be on a public forum for everyone to see.

Our family has seen our share of “What were you thinking?” I remember the day after my sister’s death, my mom called me into her spare room where she keeps her computer. She was visibly upset. She asked me to read what one of her “friends” had posted on her status. This “friend” used my sister’s death to promote her business!! We were horrified and deeply hurt that someone would use something so painful to us for her own advantage! What were you thinking? Did you not think that my mom would most likely see your status. Oy, I just don’t get some people.

Recently, our daughter received a very hurtful message from a “friend”. Sarah has just returned from a very difficult time up in Maine. She was looking forward to coming home and just trying to get over the hurtful things that were said to her and about her via Facebook and then she receives this message from someone she loves dearly. But unlike me, she’s over it. At first she was very hurt, then she was angry and now she just laughs at how ridiculous it was. I’m still at the first two feelings. 🙂

I think what bothers me most is that Facebook has somehow become the forum for saying things about or to people that you would never, ever say to their face. How painful….and cowardly. If you have something to say to me, or about me, could you just take a moment and pull me aside and say it? I’m almost nervous now to hear what people have to say to me. 🙂

But on a positive note, for the most part, I really do enjoy my facebook account! I have reconnected with so many of my friends. Here are a few of the things I treasure about facebook:

1) Keeping in touch with our kiddos!!  I love being able to send them notes of love and encouragement via fb.  I enjoy keeping up on what Eric and Sean are doing, reading about Kelly’s new home business, harassing Jonathan (hee hee),  and hearing how Isaac is doing at NBBI.

2)  My brother is now on fb!  I laugh so many times at some of the comments and posts my brother makes!  He is so funny and somedays, I just need to hear what my much older brother has to say!

3) Checking in on what Momma is doing and if she’s staying out of trouble.  If I see her on facebook, I know she’s not in the slammer (are you allowed internet access in jail)!!  What a comfort to see that she’s been active on facebook!  Phew!!  😉

4)  I feel it was a “divine appointment” that I reconnected with my friend, Tammy.  She was such a huge blessing to me right after Naomi’s passing.  She would contact me to check in on how I was doing and to encourage me.  I treasure our friendship in so many ways.  I don’t know how many times I just sit here in hysterics and Mark will say to the kids “She must be talking to Tammy!”  I love how our other friends encourage our verbal wars!  Nice friends, huh?  🙂

5) Making breakfast/lunch dates with my friends.  I love meeting with my “sisters” for times of sweet fellowship; talking about our kids, what books we’re reading, who will be the next cast member killed off Downton Abbey, what’s going on in our spiritual lives, etc.

6) Seeing what my friends are up to: how big their babies are getting, how big they are getting while waiting for baby to come, what they are dealing with in their lives, pictures from their vacations, big announcements in their families….the list goes on and on.

So for now, I think I’ll keep my facebook account.  The good far outweighs the bad, I believe.

Ooops, gotta go!!  My crops are ready to be harvested on Farmville 2!!

“The Year of My Discontent”

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I hope Shakespeare doesn’t mind me loosely using a line from his writings. 🙂

This year, I’ve been dealing with this feeling of being discontent. It’s not a comfortable feeling, it sometimes keeps me up at night. Oh, wait, maybe it’s my age that’s keeping me up at night. 🙂

Starting this Spring, I have been feeling as though I’m in the wrong state…state of mind and literal State. If I’m up in Maine taking care of my dad’s affairs, I feel as though I should be home in Massachusetts taking care of my own affairs. Being Mark and Neil’s chauffer to work, I feel as though I’m letting them down by not being home. Being back home in MA, I feel as though I’m shirking my duties to my dad and my nieces and nephew by not being up in Maine. When I’m in Maine, I’m thinking of what I need to be doing or should be doing at home and missing Mark. When I’m in MA, I’m missing Sarah, my mom and the “Farrar Five”. 🙂 Oh, and then there is the family in Milwaukee! I feel bad missing out on Eric’s concert at school because I’m either in MA or Maine.

And then…you got it…the Holy Spirit taps me on the shoulder and quietly whispers in my ear “Philippians 4:11: for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content“.  (Hee hee)  So whether I’m in the state Maine or the state Massachusetts or even in the state of confusion (you can usually find me there!), I need to be content.  I need to realize that I am not God.  I can’t be all things to all people. God is quite capable of taking care of those I love dearly. He doesn’t need my help, but He does allow me to help.

So, I go back to one of my favorite Psalms.  Ps. 37 is full of commands that were written just for me. 🙂  Words like “trust in the Lord”, “take delight in the Lord”, “commit your way to the Lord”, “trust in Him” and “Be still before the Lord” are His commands to me.  Now to put them into practice!  🙂

Have a wonderful day, friends…no matter what “state” you are in!

Weapon of Mass Destruction!

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I, Terry Lynn Hathaway, have accomplished what others have not been able to do! I know, you’re all impressed! I have located THE Weapon of Mass Destruction! And you’ll all be shocked to know that we each have one of these weapons. Brace yourself…the Weapon of Mass Destruction is…The Tongue!! Yes, you’ve read that right. The tongue is a weapon capable of causing massive pain and destruction.

Recently I’ve witnessed how this weapon was used. Talk about “Shock and Awe”! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Days later, I was still amazed at the pain this weapon had caused. Why is it that some people can say hurtful things and then just move on as if nothing was wrong. I’m the type of person, I guess, that tends to dwell on things.

As I considered this weapon, I was reminded of the times that our family had been injured by this weapon of mass destruction! Our family has been on the casualty list of this weapon; we have been the victims of people’s gossip and hateful words. I don’t think people realize that gossip is like a murder. The person being gossiped about is having their reputation murdered.

And then the Holy Spirit taps me on the shoulder and asks me “When was the last time you used your “WMD?” Ooops!!  Ummm, well, ummm, lets talk about how others use this weapon.  This is getting a little uncomfortable!  :-/   I started to take a little inventory of the times I spoke about someone in an unflattering way.  Oh, and being a Christian doesn’t automatically change gossip into prayer requests!  🙂

I quickly realized how guilty I am of hurting people’s reputations by saying things that weren’t part of the problem or the solution.  How many times have I spoken about things that are of no concern to me?  How many times have I spoken out of anger or frustration?  Maybe my weapon needs to be de-fused!  :-/

I Peter 3:10 says:

For whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.”

James 3:3-5 puts it this way:

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds , they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

Yikes!! Makes me want to keep a closer watch on my tongue!

But, on the flip side and because I like to end my posts on a positive note, the tongue can also bring healing and a balm to a hurting soul!  🙂  Is there any sweeter sound than someone calling you “Mom” or “Dear” or “Friend”?  Since my sister’s passing, I don’t think my sister-in-law, Julie and I part ways without saying “I love you”!  My dear friend Erin also uses her tongue to call me “Sweet Friend”  🙂  And then there are 2 young men that call me “Peemaw”!  Or what about when you are feeling at the end of your rope and someone says “I’m praying for you”?!  And the calls that come just when you need it and you hear “Just calling to check in and see how you’re doing.”  My niece calling me to tell me about something funny that’s happened and I hear “Aunt Terry…we have a situation up here!”  Ahhhh sweet sounds from a very powerful muscle!  🙂

Good night, sweet friends!  Oh…and “I love you!”

Be very careful…you’re being watched!! :-)

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This afternoon, as I was ironing curtains, I started thinking about my Grammy Brown and how she used to let me iron for her (I think she was just getting some free labor out of me, but I digress!).  Grammy Brown instilled in me the proper way to hang out laundry (“hang the “unmentionables” closest to the house so the neighbors won’t see them!”  I really don’t think that Audrey Wentzell cared about my grandmother’s unmentionables!!)

As usual when I begin thinking, my mind hops all over the place.  A walk down memory lane began.  I remember going over to Louise Kangas’ home to watch her iron and soon she would bring out some of Dick’s handkerchiefs or dish towels for me to iron (I think she thought those would be safe with a young girl and a hot iron!).  My trek down memory lane took me up Lovejoy Hill to the Moro’s house!  Oh my goodness!!  The stories that could be told from that home! Rae Jean was so patient with three giggling girls hanging out in Angie’s room!!  John would come home from a long busy day and find Naomi, Angie and I in the living room playing games and of course, giggling.  Rae Jean and John never ever made Naomi and I feel as though we were not welcome.  The Moro family was just an extension of the Horne family!

My “walk” took me down the hill to Audrey Byron and Bea’s house.  One year, Naomi and I decided to do a community newspaper (even back then, Naomi wanted to be a journalist!)  Here were these two elderly ladies, probably with a list of things they wanted to get done and in walks two kids from up the hill wanting to interview them.  And guess what??  They gave us their stories!!  Bea’s news was about her pets; she loved her cats and Zsa Zsa, her dog!  After the interviews, Audrey and Bea would serve refreshments to the roving reporters.

A little further down Dickvale Road, lives Edie Porter!!!  Who doesn’t love “Speedy Edie”!!??  Naomi, Angie and I would ask Edie if we could be dropped off last on her bus route.  We loved racing to the back seats on the bus after everyone else had been dropped off.  Edie would try to hit every bump for us so we could become air-born on those back seats!!  Here Edie had been driving kids all day, but she would always make our trip home from school a fun one!  She probably just wanted to get home and put her feet up but she loved us kids and would do anything for us.

You may be wondering….”What on earth is Terry rambling about?!”  Some of you may work in a pre-school, some of you are stay at home moms, some substitute in the public schools, some work with the children at your church.  All this rambling is just to remind you that “you’re being watched”.  Grammy Brown, Louise, Rae Jean, Bea and Audrey, and Edie probably never realized how they enriched the lives of the kids they came in contact with.  Here I am at 29+ and I remember all of these ladies with such love and fondness.  I have such great memories from the ladies that I watched while I was growing up on Lovejoy Hill, Peru, Maine!!  Thank you, ladies (Grammy Brown, Bea and Audrey, you’re remembered with love!)  Naomi, Angie and I are better women because of you!!

Titus 2:3-5 

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women  to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

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