lola guerrero

50-something empty-nest-search-for-God-and-happiness with more than a dash of humor


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One Day It Will All Make Sense

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Sitting across from Ralph I feel a vibe that I can’t
describe. I only sense it.

“Mom, it will all come together,” he says.
These are the perfect words for me to hear as I struggle with uncertainty about what the heck I’m doing with my life.

Ralph and I share bits and pieces of conversation
about his career and opportunities in New York as relatives are vying for time with him. He only had three days to visit. He came to attend his cousin’s wedding. [It was a really good time. See photo below.]

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My son. In front of me is young man that I pray for nightly.
I pray that he will grow up to use all his talents, be respectful, down to earth . . . all the things that you hope your child becomes. What I sense is that he has all those good qualities and much more.

We have a couple of hours till the wedding so I ask him about his job.

“I like my two bosses. And you asked me two months ago when I started how I would rate it.”

“And what is it from 1-10?” I inquire again. “And don’t tell me what I want to hear just because I’m your mother.”

“It is a 7.5. On a good day an 8.” He smiles.

“Your position is different from what you originally told me you desired to do. I’m confused. I thought you wanted to represent talented artists?”

“That plus produce one day . . . right now I’m marketing Indie films. One day it will all make sense.”

“So . . . what do I tell friends who want to know why you are living in New York?”

“You tell them to keep their eyes open for my name in five years.”

AWW . . . Oh . . . he’s gooood. I’ll use that too when people ask me what the heck I’m doing with my life.

Now I know how to describe the vibe I am getting from my son . . . it is his quiet confidence. I love that about him. I think it’s sexy.
Now, mind you, I know it sounds weird using the word “sexy” as I talk about my son, but you know what I mean.

Having a quiet confidence, whether you are a man or woman, is sexy. There is nothing so annoying as someone constantly boasting about his/her life changing accomplishments.

This I know . . . keep moving forward. Don’t stop.
Don’t let uncertainty and doubts get you down.
Ask God to show you the way. The path will appear.
Trust that it will all come together and make sense.

I made many wrong turns along the way in my life by simply of not checking in first with what God’s plans are for my life. I learned that when go around thinking that I can do it all myself, my plans turn out to be disastrous. And, I tell yah, life is such a B$#@&*! when I try to be in control.

Dear God,
Seems to me you are taking good care of my son living in the Big Apple.
Please continue to teach him the way, light his path, and always find favor in him.

Thank you.

Amen, Lola


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Naysayers Say the Most Ridiculous Things

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Naysayers, you know who you are.

Last week Ol’ Wise One and I were talking in the kitchen.
“So, now you want to start a career at 63 . . . ,” he says dismissively.
( I had just mentioned to him that I wanted to work part time. )

Oohhh! Hold up now.
I can ‘t believe that came out of his mouth.
I want a part-time job . . . I didn’t say I wanted to become a doctor
or lawyer or join the Peace Corps and travel to Africa.

Someone else can do that.

And how dare he age me nine years!
I was ready to throw my favorite coffee cup at him, but I refrained
from doing so.
Instead, I took a breath. Then, these words flashed in my mind,
“You are not in control. God is. And I think God can still use me.
I’m not dead yet.”

After calming down, I decided to forgive him. It wasn’t easy.
For me forgiveness takes awhile, but eventually I get there.

Naysayers say the most ridiculous things, don’t they?

Here are some examples:
1. You can’t move to Manhattan, you’ll never make it as an artist.
Stay here with your mother and me. There’s nothing wrong living  in
the town you grew up in.

2. You’re going to marry her?  It will never last.

3. You applied to the Juilliard School? To do what, ACT?
But, you are not beautiful/ tall/thin/talented  enough. You don’t have
the right look!

4. You want to be a artist? They make no money! How about welding?
Or the cement business? Now, that’s where the money is.

Since turning 50-something, I learned that naysayers are a group of
people who are in fear of what MIGHT happen. They are afraid.

If they felt secure enough to completely love and support us,
we could take them along for the joyride of a lifetime.

When you have a naysayer in your life, you can cope by putting their
comments to the side. Forgive them, but take heart in knowing that
they do not know YOU. For that reason, they do not know what the
heck they are talking about.

Do what you have to do to reach your heart’s desire. Wake up each day
and show up in life. Make the most of each day. Give it your best shot.
As long as you are still breathing, God can use you.

If joining the Peace Corps is in your heart, then plant your feet firmly
on the ground and start walking in that direction. Want to be a chef?
Go to culinary school. You want to write that book, then commit and
wake up two hours early
and turn your lap top on.

Dear God,
Why do we have naysayers in this life? Why?
I don’t get it.

I believe that when you put desires and goals in our hearts,
there is a reason. You want us to go out there in the world and use
what you gave us.

I know you are still in control of my life. I will continue
to seek your will until you say otherwise.

Amen,

Lola


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You Are Unstoppable, Part 2

Today, if you want to do something big and rewarding for yourself
and for the universe–get started.

MELVIN PHAN came to the United States from Vietnam
25 years ago.
Melvin worked in his chosen field of engineering.
With his love of learning and a desire for more for
himself and family he wanted to go as far as
he could with his education.

He set his sights on getting his PhD in Management and Organizational Leadership. With support from his wife, son,
and mentor he now has a PhD by his name.

He said in his speech
“When you know your purpose and have the desire to
pursue it–YOUR ARE UNSTOPPABLE.”

A candidate that I know oh too well that is
unstoppable is my cousin Jerrie.

She is the eldest of three children.
We have similar traits.
* We are first-born children.
*We are both ambitious.
*We love our families.
*We like to tell others what to do.

Jerrie has been a nurse for dozens of years. When
I sense a pain in my body, I will email her wondering
what it is. She will email me back a ten page outline explaining “This is what ‘s wrong with you . . . .”

She has a full life. She and her husband, Tyler,
are raising two boys. She works fulltime. She cares for
her elderly mom and our aunts. NO kidding.

Two years ago during our lunch date
she mentioned to me she wanted to get her
Masters degree in nursing. “Go for it!” I said sipping my wine.
“Oh and I’m going for my Masters in Health Administration, too.”

“Oh pleaseee Jerr . . . don’t stop at one.”

As I drove home that day, my mind could not
wrap around the idea of how she would pull it off.

Geez, I’m an empty nester and my Masters degree each day is to master getting out of bed. Studying for two Masters degrees sounds
insane to me, but leave it to Jerrie to get the job done.

Today was her day to shine as she walked up the stage to get
her two Masters degree. When her name was called
her family of 20 were loud and proud.

During her graduation party I talked to her mom, Sue.
“I told Jerrie to get her PhD,” she said.
“Oh, I told her that a month ago to get started on it.
“You encourage your cousin.”
“Oh, you bet,” I said.
I do know this–one of our many purposes
in life is to inspire, motivate, and support each other.

Do you work with a single full-time mom
that is going to college? Give her a word of
encouragement. Support her all the way to the finish line.

Do you have a family member
who is looking for work or struggling to make it
happen. Tell them to pray to God and not give up.

Do you know someone who is going through a nasty divorce?
Tell them to learn from it and move on . . . . cheer them on and tell them they will get through it and that you are there when they need to talk.

Let’s pray.

Dear God,
You know very well all our hopes and dreams.
And if we believe . . . our time to shine will come at just the perfect moment.

Help us to pray without ceasing and never give up.

Amen,

Lola

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What Have You Done (the last 11 months), Part 2

 

JOHN: Another year over and a new one just begun.

LOLA: Indeed, 2014 is almost over. Next week my husband and I will be ringing in the New Year, very low key. Our tired bodies are in bed by nine and asleep by ten.

I will set my alarm for 12 so I can greet the new year and do what my mother told me to do.

Open my front door and let out the negative energy. Then, close it and open it again to let the positive energy come in. And do this with change in my pocket for prosperity and good fortune.

I think I will I have more than change, I’ll go for having 100s.

JOHN (smiles): Let’s hope its a good one without any fear.

LOLA: Oh, definitely, I HOPE so, too. It’ll be a relief when this Sony hacking situation is put to rest.

I hope certain reality shows will be cancelled like that one with the family with all the daughters’ names that start with K.
And I would like to see shows like Breaking Bad and Broadwalk Empire go away.They are too stressful and negative for my tastes.

I hope we all put our guns away.
It makes me afraid to think that a gun might get into the hands of a child or someone with mental illness.

I feel this fear everyday. It’s a great big fury rug on my shoulders that I have to shake off.

I say to myself: Fear or Faith? Pick one.

That is how my conversation would flow if I were having coffee with
John Lennon and talking about the new year.

Tell me. If John Lennon asked you What have you done?
What would you say?

Let’s pray.

Dear God,
A new year is around the corner. I’m getting panicky. Have I done all that you have asked me to do during this year? Have I been a good servant?

I desire to follow your will. May you continue to hold my hand and guide me to paths you have already prepared for me.

Bless each one of us with good health and good fortune. And may you give us courage to live our lives each day without fear.

Thank you.

Amen.

Lola

P.S. When I’m in my office with a candle burning and having a quiet time with God with all my uncertainties and thoughts about feeling unworthy put aside, I look over my list of things I did this year and I’m confident that I did great.

I didn’t land an interview with Barbara Walters. I wasn’t one of her 10 most fascinating people in 2014, but does anybody care?

God knows I show up and do the best I can. He loves me and sees the best in me.

And I believe when we serve the God of the universe with our hard work, he blesses us tenfold.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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What Have You Done (the last 11 months), Part 1

Every year in December I play John Lennon’s CD.
I insert the CD into my car’s stereo system and drive to the gym.

The words to the song Happy Christmas (War Is Over) make me cry.

I feel as if John Lennon is talking to me.
The tears well up around my eyes and a cocktail of uncertainty about the new year wells up in me, too.
Insecurities–am I confident enough? worthy enough?–seep through me, traveling in my veins.

Soon, black mascara is smeared all over my glasses.
I’m a mess when I reach my gym.

“Why play the song? ” you ask.
“Because I like to go through mild misery before getting to the gym.”

The first verse and chorus of the song go like this:

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun  . . .

A very Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
With out any fear

The title of the song ought to be:
What Have You Done.

As I sit in my car I IMAGINE
What if he was talking to me face to face having coffee? Haha.
A Beatles member talking to me . . . work with me here . . .

This is how it would go.

JOHN: AND SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS
Lola: Yes, John. I’m well aware that this is Christmas. There is stress all around me as people shop for for food and wine and mindlessly pick up gifts to give. Some will spend Christmas Eve with a small group  of friends or, like me, they will have 15 relatives come over for Christmas Eve, for honey baked ham and egg rolls.

JOHN: AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
Lola: Gosh . . . let’s see . . . [sigh] . . . such a loaded question. Let me tell you what I have NOT DONE. Not a whole lot. Nothing over the top that will get me inside the castle to have noon tea with the Queen of England. I won’t get to ask if she texts her grandkids.

Sadly, I have not done any acting to be considered a contender for this year’s Oscars. People Magazine didn’t include me on their list of 25 most intriguing people. I’m not intriguing enough, I guess.

My best seller is in its gestation stage. I didn’t find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

However, this is what I HAVE DONE.

In April, my husband and I began walking/ hiking 20-25 miles a week.
It was our way of getting to know each other all over again since our grown boys have moved on to start their careers.

At first we started out with short walks, then they got longer and longer. Our steps  at times are  in sync; other times he leads and I walk behind. Something like a marriage.
There are quiet moments and that’s OK. I know he is not tuning me out. We are both thinking and dreaming. Then, I recall something funny and giggle.
“What’s so funny?” he asks.

The sound of the pebbles under our feet when walking  on the beach or going through the woods have become meditative. Our long walks have become something we have started to look forward to.

By the end of summer, I realized it was God’s way of telling us this empty nest is not so bad. Give this new space a chance. Breathe.

There’s no reason for us to uncouple just because certain famous people are doing it.

In July, I started writing again and like everyone else, I got my own blog. I prayed about it; then took the leap.
And one lesson I learned this year is to close your eyes, hug all your fears, and JUMP!
The net will appear.

If what you are doing feels right God will let you know. If not, he will slowly close the screen door.

Bloggers have viewed my site. This is a good sign.

In September, I joined a Bible Study Fellowship. Instead of laying in my bed watching the sky turn to dusk, I decided to take the leap and join a class.

And I feel I’m in the right place. Being with a group of ladies who share the same faith has sparked an interest in becoming more involved–I’m considering becoming a welcome committee director.

In November, I traveled to Manila to visit someone more special than the Queen. I went to visit Napoleon.
I taught him how to “high- five.”
For sure, that was more enjoyable than having tea with the Queen.

My humanitarian efforts this year include driving my 90-year-old Aunt Lucy every Monday get her dentures fixed and to buy a week’s worth of food at Safeway. This takes five  hours.
I also care for my aging mother every Wednesday.

. . . to be continued . . .

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Good, Better, Best

My BF recently hired Susan, a wellness/ nutrition coach.  So far, Susan’s advice to eat more healthfully includes a list of snacks divided into categories–Good, Better, Best.

My BF sent me the list.

Reading it at home alone, I said to no one, “Ha! How about that! There are good, better, and best in snacks. Good to know.” But, darn it! Beef jerky didn’t make it on the BEST list.

I began to think about good, better, and best not in snacks, but in life. My life.

I thought of Oprah, who seems to live and breathe nothing but the best. She’s on tour now. She is coming to my town in three weeks.

But ladies, the BEST exists for all of us, not just for Oprah. I think the best comes to whomever desires it.

My therapist, Ruth, told me one time, “God wants us to be HAPPY and have the best.”

Remember that movie Field of Dreams? The Voice says to Kevin Costner, If you build it, he will come. That quotation has become an inspiration and an invitation to people all over the world to follow their dreams.

I believe what wish and dream for can and will come true.

For the heck of it, I let my mind wander through my field of dreams. Suddenly, I was excited. You’ll never win the lottery if you never buy a ticket, as they say.

Here are my top 12 wishes for my BEST life. There are 12 because 12 is my favorite number.

In my BEST Life, I have:
1. A fit and healthy body.
2. An intelligent and curious mind that keeps up with all the Apple software and updates.
3. My two girlfriends who think I’m simply the BEST.
4. Not a single trace of cellulite on my body.
5. A tummy tuck surgery scheduled on my calendar.
6. 53m ++ in the bank.
7. Front row seats at the Oscar and I’m nominated for BEST actress.
8. Lucrative speaking engagements all over the country.
9. Many BEST-selling books because I’m a BEST-selling author.
10. Sons who are the BEST at their careers and they are happy and cool human beings.
11. A condo at the Edsa Shangrila in Manila and an apartment in Manhattan.
12. A beach house in Maui for spending all the Christmas holidays.

What’s your BEST life look like?

Dear God,

You said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)”

I have made my list. If it is your will and for my highest good, I would love to have all my heart’s desires.

If having even half of my list would just be superficial and cause my head to swell up, forgive me.

Today, bless every member of my family, every friend, and all the people I don’t know.
Give each of us the desire to dream big and do good things.
And help us understand that when much is given, much is expected.

Amen,

Lola


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You Are Not Here To Take Up Space, Part 2

With my boys gone I have time to find what interests and delights me. 

What gives me confidence.

I was open to possibilities of what that might be and hungry to find it. A nagging feeling was inside me.

I asked for God’s guidance. Two things happened.

One day, I’m at Starbucks sitting with my latte when I hear
someone next to me tutoring an elderly lady on how to text her grandson.

With the technical world changing so fast I feel inept. I’m not computer smart, so I fear the big box in front of me when I write. I might hit a button and it’ll explode. I get the same feeling with my cell. 

Bruce, the instructor, must have sensed all this from how I looked over and took an interest in what he was saying to his student. He handed me his card.

Last Tuesday, I had my computer class with him. We covered the iOS8 and the iPhone6s. OS means stands for Operating Systems, Bruce explained. The OS is like the engine of a car. Aha. Yes, I get it now.

I got out of the class smarter and more confident than when
I walked in. I know I’m meant to take this class. It excites me.
It lifts me up out of the dark and that feeling left out and frustrated. I can’t wait for next week.

There is a church by my home. I go there for quiet time. I say, “OK God, I know there’s more for me to do. Where do you want me?”

A friend of mine, Elena, calls me up. She mentioned joining her bible class once again.
“Come check it out.”
“Sure, I’ll join you. After that, let’s have lunch with wine. What are you studying this year?”
“The life of Moses.”

Interesting. Ha, wasn’t I thinking about Moses the other day?
It’s a sign.
The decision was made. I’m taking bible class for one year.

From The Alchemist:
“He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really driving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

In bible study fellowship, we all meet in the sanctuary. There are about 100 of us singing praises to the Lord. After that we branch off into a smaller groups to discuss Moses.

Looking around, I’m thinking there’s room for growth here.
Where does God want me? In what capacity can God use me?

I’m part of a group now. One day, I can lead one.

Each time I leave my class, I’m filled with excitement. I can’t wait for
next week. That’s a great feeling! When you have excitement
all over your body that means you are meant to be there.

Christopher , my son who lives in Manila, plays basketball
for a living. I asked him two months ago when I saw him
during a visit, “You still enjoy playing?  You’ve been
playing basket ball for 15 years.”
“Mom, I like it. I get to perform.”
When he said that, I realized his stage is the basketball court. That is where God wants him to be. He is  using all the gifts God gave him.

God desires that for all of his children.

You never know where a path will lead.
Our job is to remain open. The path we are on will lead us to our best self. Trust the God of the universe knows what he is doing.

We are here for a purpose.
What were you meant to do on this planet?
Then, do it.

What feeds your soul?
Find it.
What is your desire?
Live it.

Dear God,

When we see arrows pointing in all directions on our path, we get so confused. Help us clearly see what direction you want us to go. We want to hear your voice say, “This is the way.”

Thank you for listening to our prayers and requests.
Thank you for our answered prayers.

Amen.

Lola