758 is the amount of blog posts I’ve written over the last 3+ years since I started blogging. When I started blogging, it was at it’s peak. I jumped on the bandwagon a little late which is surprising since I love to write. One would think I would have been a pioneer in the blog world because of my passion for writing, but I wasn’t. I joined a great crew of folks already crafting creative and thought-provoking pieces of literature that were typically under 500 words. Over the last year I have wondered if my time of blogging as come to an end. I have wondered that because my own personal blog reading has decreased. Blogs I used to read religiously are now something I catch up on when I have an hour to spare. I’ve also removed some of the more popular blogs from my “must read” lists simply because the voice I often heard from said blog became either abrasive, condescending, self-indulgent or downright boring. Just sayin’. I kinda wonder if my blog has become that way for some people because I don’t have the readership I once had or the number of comments I once received or the content I once produced. I guess I’m just tired. I’m not tired of writing. I love that. I think what I’m tired of is battling this self-imposed feeling that I have to come up with something amazing to keep people reading my blog. Other bloggers are still going strong, producing brilliant material and developing outstanding community amongst their readers. And I’m just not. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe I should just write on cindybeall.com when I have something to say that cannot be contained within me. We’ll see, I suppose. Just thinking out loud.
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Hope you don’t mind that I just referenced a George Strait song. (Because I love George Strait.) (He’s from Texas. Oh, God bless Texas.) (And Oklahoma.) I like that line in his song Where Have I Been All My Life. I couldn’t agree with him more. I know that as some people age they have a mindset that says, “Hey, I got this. I know the answers. And don’t expect me to admit my wrongdoing or that I need advice. Cuz I don’t.” I feel that the exact opposite actually. When I was a teenager, I thought I knew more than my mom and dad. Then I went to college, grew up a bit and realized my mom wasn’t so dumb after all. Got married, had a son, turned 30 and learned that I have a whole heckuva lot of learning to do because I pretty much squandered away many years. Now I’m 40. I have lived four decades. And I haven’t a clue about anything. At least it feels that way. I don’t mind learning from someone younger than me. I don’t mind extending forgiveness to people when they don’t ask for it. I don’t mind not knowing the answers to things. I don’t have a problem holding my tongue when my flesh is dying to retaliate. I don’t mind saying I’m sorry without following it up with an excuse. Life is too short. Where in the world have I been all my life? Thanks, George.
There’s a lot of new going on in my life these days. I’m definitely out of my comfort zone. I don’t know what the next step is or where God is leading. I just know He is. Because I don’t have to know the how of everything in my life. I just need to know the One who knows the how. I am absolutely certain that I am where I am because God has led me here. I am intimidated, but not fearful. I am unsure, but not scared. I am honored that He has chosen me, but not arrogant. And certainly not entitled. Lord, continue to develop in me a heart that isn’t impressed with me or any others around me. Let me only be impressed with you.
I had every intention of walking down my street to meet her. One of her sons consistently comes to my front door asking “can Seth play?” to which I usually reply “he’s already outside, hon.” They are from Texas, that I know well. One doesn’t often see children running up and down streets in Oklahoma wearing Texas Longhorn jerseys unless they are truly from the Lone Star State. But now I’ll never be able to meet her. I’ll never know what her voice sounded like or how she fixed her little girl’s hair or how she felt about being a stay-at-home mom. I’ll never know those things not because she moved out of my neighborhood. No, I’ll never know those things because she died three nights ago. Unexpectedly. Suddenly. Tragically. At the age of 41, she left her husband and five children behind. Five children. And there’s no other way for me to say it but I’m just plain sick about it. My heart hurts for a family I don’t even know. I’m grieving the loss of something that quite honestly, I had no desire in knowing. I mean, the last thing I really wanted to do was walk to the end of my street in the heat of the day to introduce myself to someone who I may or may not like. I already have neighbor friends whom I enjoy being with. I didn’t need another one. I have no idea about her eternity. I don’t know how her children will deal with their grief. I don’t know if they have a close-knit family back home to help them through this tragedy. I don’t have a single clue. And I don’t even know her name, for cryin’ out loud. I am battling so much inside right now as I write these words. I am thinking of those four boys and one little girl who will never see their mother again. How they will have a question about something one day and realize that it was mom who always did that or knew where that thing was. They will want to share something cool with her and then run to tell her only to remember that she’s no longer there. And now there is a dad who has been slammed against a wall that he probably never saw coming. He will take on all her roles and I’m guessing it will either crush him or create a new man. Of course, I can’t help but think of my life. I’m 40. She was 41. That could have been me. Could be me in the future. Leaving my husband as a widower is tough to think about but leaving my sons without a mother? I’d rather swim constantly in an indoor swimming pool, eat seafood every meal of my life and have scorpions crawl all over my body. It’s very possible that part of my sadness is really for me, for my boys, for my family. And the fact that I even admitted that makes me feel even more selfish than I already am. I would pray for God to ruin me, but I think He already is.
It’s quiet in my house right now as I write this post. Eerily quiet. My husband is still at work and my sons are playing at the neighbor’s house. All I can hear is the hum of the dishwasher, the click from the ceiling fan and my fingers hitting the keys on my laptop. And if I sit real still, I can also hear my thoughts. Sometimes my thoughts scare me. I’d like to be able to reassure you that my thoughts are always godly, always pure, always right. That I have good intentions followed by good actions. That when I wake up each morning and hit the pillow each night, I can honestly say that I have done right by my God, my family, my country and my friends. But I’m human, right? Right. I’m definitely not proud of the thoughts that enter and are often entertained in my head some days. I am thankful that there isn’t some camera that plays my thoughts on a big screen saying, “Cindy Beall is a farce. Don’t listen to her.” Because although I’m sinful and often do and say things that don’t bring honor to God, I do desire it. It’s just that sometimes, I desire to gratify my flesh more. Oh, I don’t really like to admit that but when I choose to do things that I know are bad for me there is no other way to describe it: I am choosing the flesh. But right now, I’m just sitting here. Putting my heart out on “paper” for you to read when this entry posts. I know I’m not alone in this fight against my thoughts. Which leads me to why I wrote this in the first place. You are not alone in this fight with your thoughts either.