Sunday, September 11, 2022

Young Jane has some questions ...

 It occurred to me this evening, while I was writing in my prayer journal, that if the 35 year old me were to show up and read over my shoulder, she'd be wondering a few things:

(I've just spend 2 hours looking for a photo of myself at age 35.)

Pretty sure there are none. A million pics of my kids by themselves or with their dad, but not a single one of me from ages 23 - 50. 

If there are any young moms reading, please get in touch with me. I'd love to hang out at your house to take casual/not posed 'mom' pics with you and your kids. In your yard, at the park, on boring days ... just capturing you doing you. 


My father-in-law took at pic of me and my mom-in-law on the day after I brought Drew home from the hospital. Lemme find it. 

And we'll change this blog post to be about current me with THAT Jane. The Jane who is going to deep dive into post partum for a few months before resurfacing the following Spring, 

OK. Finally. THREE HOURS after I started, we can proceed. Not sure I even feel like it now. 

Things I'm praying about this weekend:

1. My hair. It's falling out by the handful. My pony tail is a limp, thin, collection of fine, easily detached hair. God? Am I going to be bald? Has my hair been too much of a defining 'thing' for me? Please, could You, who knows exactly how many hairs are on my head, protect the rest from escaping my scalp? 

Her: It's the perms, isn't it? All those chemicals. Why didn't you take better care of it? Our hair is kinda important. That, and our boobs are what make us feel feminine. 

Me to her: Actually, Julie said NO MORE PERMS in the late 90's, early 2000's. We've had straight hair ever since. This might be menopausal. Or normal. Or something. We've had a good run.

2. God? I'm SO very tired of plumbing issues. It's been never-ending. And my capacity to care is dwindling. Could You oversee this project now? Can I just hand it over to you? No? That's not how this works? Well, then, give me patience and wisdom as I get Mike back to figure out why we have no working exterior taps? Turns out I do need a couple hose bibs to work. And direct me to someone who can help me with my dishwasher in Langley. The owner's manual says I need to hire a professional to unclog the clogged drain. Ugh. 

Her: We still hang out at the cabin? Cool. I'm glad. But why are you dealing with plumbers? Where's dad? 

Me to her: Dad died. In 2016, after about 10 years of massive health issues. Dementia, Parkinson's, Heart Disease, Stroke ... And yup I miss him for a whole lot of reasons, but the most selfish reason is I wish he was around to look after this place. He did it so much better than I am. 

3. God? Just about every conversation I'm a part of lately is about retirement. I'm not in a position to do so for at least 10 years. And even then, I'm not sure how I'll be able to afford it. But, if at all possible, I don't want to work past 70. Or do I? Please give me peace about my finances and my retirement. I hate being worried. If there's something I should be doing, give me wisdom, or just do it for me. THANK YOU x 1000 for my job; I pray I would continue to be effective and needed in the coming seasons. 

Her: Why the heck are you worried about retirement and finances? You're working? What happened to Billie's? I'm confused. Isn't Mark looking after all this? Why are you worried? WHAT HAPPENED?

Me to her: Ahhh, mate. Bad news. Remember that secretary that had us worried? Well, he and she fell in love. So they got married. I've been on my own since '98. Our baby had just turned 4. Max was 8 and Clint was 12. Haha. That was a plot twist we didn't see coming. But we're OK. I only worry about money about once a month. And that happens to be today. I'm sure I'll be fine. God's been looking after me really well, so I should stop fretting. 

Her: Who are those men? 

Me: Those are our boys! (And their younger brother.) Mikhail, Max, Drew, and Clint. (Clint's 35, same age as you ...)

Her: I. Can't. Even. 

Me to her: I know girlfriend. I know. Crazy. All of it. But good. 

4. Thank you God, for another clean mammogram. Thank you for the technology that gives me peace. All those twinges and tings and throbs are not cancer. It's my mind, being stupid. God I pray for peace and boring mammogram results for my friends who're being mindful of my story and have their own worries about bumps and lumps. 

Her: Why would you pray about mammograms?

Me to her: Well, sweets. We were diagnosed with breast cancer on August 1 2019. They caught it early, we had some slicing and dicing done and then some zaps of radiation, and we're fine. But we're fi


Me: Right? Haha. Another plot twist; life hasn't been boring. NO one in our family has ever had it. We're the first. But it's all good. Honest. But one in eight women in Canada get it, so I keep praying. 

5. Thank you God, for keeping me n my fam safe from Covid. More and more people are getting it, and I pray that those I love (and strangers too, I guess), would heal quickly and completely. Let there be no lingering effects. Give us wisdom as we head back into a new normal.

Her: Covid? 

Me: I don't think you wanna know. Sigh, OK. It is a world-wide, global pandemic called the Coronavirus. It has affected 608 million people, with 6.51 deaths resulting from it. Schools, churches, community centres, government offices and businesses closed. Countries shut their borders. There was a challenge getting groceries as the supply chain got snapped. Wild. So unexpected. But it was a great eye-opener as to the kindness of strangers. The willingness of just about everyone to step up and help those who were house-bound, shut-in, or struggling was so very inspiring. 

Her: I got nothin. I just can't imagine ...

6. Thank you, thank you, thankyou, for the fun evenings this summer; hanging out with friends in my condo. Thank you for bringing into my life such a fabulous collection of women who bring richness to my life. So, so, SO very grateful for their love, their attention, their wisdom, their joy, their meaningful conversations, their investment in my life. 

Her: Friends? Whaaa? When did we make friends?

Me: I know, right? Haha. It just kinda happened around my 40th birthday. With no husband, and no kids every other weekend, I was getting lonely. So I started getting to know the women in my life. No one is more surprised than me. But it's awesome. 

Her: Huh. I woulda never guessed. Aren't we shy? Don't we like reading? 

Me: In 2022, it's called being an introvert. And a fun thing to do with other introverts? Is to sit in a room, or at the beach together and read by yourself. Hahahaha. Ah, young Jane - so many good things ahead for you. 

7. God? Could you remove my longing to travel? I'm aching to go to Italy. And Ireland. And Portugal. And the south of France. And the Caribbean. Maybe Iceland. And Turkey. Croatia? Thailand? It seems that everyone is going somewhere, now that countries are opening their borders again and I don't know how I'm going to be able to swing it. It feels like I have to save for my retirement, or not save, and take advantage of travel opportunities. But not both. And I want to be responsible about this. And I trust that if I can't see all the beauty in the world in this lifetime, I'll have eternity to sightsee in the next. But Facebook. And Instagram. They're fueling my fire for travel. And I think I need You to redirect my attention. What would You have me do? Please direct my paths. 

Her: Since when do we need more than Palm Springs trips every Spring Break? What's Facebook? Can't believe you're even praying about this.

Me: Babe, the world opened up for us. We love to travel. We've taken the kids to Montreal and New York. Did a house swap and lived in England for 3 weeks. Went to Europe with Max and 35 other grade 9's ... joined Sue on her business trips to Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan. Have been on a couple cruises. Been to Rose's place in Mexico. Visited Karm in the Yukon. Been to Colorado, Texas, Florida and Arizona with Sandra... 

When the travel bug bites you, the sting lasts a long time. 

And Facebook is... Well, it's a social media platform on the internet. A place where people share photos and thoughts with other people/friends. It's a lovely, lovely part of my life. As are other platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Trust me on this.  

8. God, I don't think I've prayed for packages/mail delivery as much as I have this past year. Something that used to be reliable, and I wouldn't have given it a second thought, now seems like something that needs divine intervention. There are parcels on their way to me from Colorado; a cheque that's been in the mail since June, and a box of Brio magazines in the mail since July. Could you speed them along? Could they not be lost? 

And there are envelopes on their way to England from Canada  - and from England to Italy. It all seems lost. Stolen? Destroyed? Hindered in some way from getting to their destinations. 

Can you do something? Your will be done. Please let your will be that all those packages arrive at their destinations next week. 

Her: Seriously? We pray about mail? Who are we? And who do we know in Colorado? England? Italy?

Me: Remember me mentioning that thing called social media? Well, uh, I've gotten to know some people in other countries because of tweets. It's really hard to explain. But trust me. The world is a tiny place because of the internet. We care about people we've never met because of ... well, it's kinda like being pen pals with someone. And your letters to each other can only be 140 characters long. And you don't have to put a postage stamp on it. Just hit send. Or enter. Depending. You're going to love it. 

9. God, the news out of the Ukraine today seems like good news? The Ukrainians are pushing back? Regaining some territory? Is this war ending soon? Will Putin retreat? Get testicular cancer? Will the people in Russia learn the truth about their leaders and this war? I pray Your protection over the women and children; provide them with clean water, courage, hope, fresh vegetables, sharp pencils, warm socks, and wisdom in the midst bombs dropping around them. I pray Your will be done, both in Ukraine and Russia. 

Her: What the flipping heck? I don't remember praying about wars before. Do we like pray about everything? 

Me: Buckle up, little Jane. We pray all the time about random shit. 

10. God, could you intervene in the lives of those who are stuck in the dark abyss of alcoholism and drug addiction? They desperately need you. Stir in their hearts a longing to live clean. Bring into their lives friends who've got some clean time racked up who can walk alongside. Provide them with AA and NA groups who're good fits for their personalities and social needs. If necessary, I pray You would get them placed in rehab houses where their lives would be filled with friendships, purpose and guidance. I pray for role models and sponsors; give them patience and wisdom; let them have the words and know when to say them. I pray for the fellowships - let them be transparent and reliable and relevant. God, I pray for the parents of those who're struggling; give them peace. Allow them to lean on You for strength. Restore the broken relationships, mend the broken hearts, fix the broken bits. In Jesus' name. 

Her: Whoa. We really do pray for everything. 

Me: Max was caught up in drug addiction. He's clean now, but yu

Her: MAX WAS WHAT? OH GOD. OH GOD. OH GOD. How did we cope? Is he OK? (Turns away sobbing uncontrollably).

Me: Rough days. He's clean. Eleven years. It's good. A million friends were praying; his brothers stood by his side. He made some solid friends. Stop crying. Do you need a kleenex? 

11. God? Ugh. What is my problem? WHY CAN'T I CONTROL MY EATING? Why can't I get my ass off the couch and JUST MOVE A LITTLE. I'm embarrassed and ashamed. I need Your help. But be gentle with me. Don't give me, like a parasite. Or colon cancer. Or have my tongue cut out. Are you disappointed in me too? Gross. If we're going to get started on one particular body part, could it be my lower stomach? Can we figure out a thing? 

Her: DID YOU GET FAT? We just lost all that weight. Did you put it all back on again? 

Me: Mate. I'm not proud of myself. Quit harping. 

12. Lastly, God? Could You be at work, behind the scenes, calling Your lost sheep? Be their shepherd, hold them close, find and protect them from evil, enable them to run to you, longing to be Your's. Be relentless. Don't get weary. Keep at it. Use everything in creation to get their attention. Shout or whisper. Open their eyes. Show them what they need to see. Please. This is a begging prayer. Even though this is the last on my list, it's my biggest, most desperate, never-ending prayer. In Jesus's powerful name. Amen

Her: I'm afraid to ask. Is this prayer for anyone in particular?  

Me: People we love so so much. 

Her: What are our kids up to these days? 

Me: Clint's got his own business. He's a producer, specializing in food marketing. He's gifted with amazing video/photo skills. He graduated from SFU and has spent months in Africa with his other business - a student travel experience. Not married. No kids. Lives in Vancouver. Extremely independent. We're proud of him and wish we could see him more often. 

Max graduated from BCIT and has been working with Clint for the past couple Covid years. But he's currently looking for a new job. He lives in Vancouver, near Kit's Beach. Not married. No kids. He too is independent and I wish I could see him more often. Probably the wish of all moms everywhere. Terribly proud of the man he's become. 


And Drewbs? He's married! We have a daughter! And we love her to bits. She's a hair stylist. Drew works for Mark at LCT. They own a townhouse in Abby and have 2 cats. Their lives are stressful these days, but they're figuring it out. So so proud of these two. 

Her: Anything else I should know? 

Me: We paint rocks. 

Her: *blinks. Wait, what? 

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