lola guerrero

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


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Sunday Scripture 4 featuring Luke 10 verse 27

 https://lolaguerrero.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/img_84411.mov

Jingle Bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way to my video. Haha. Hi!
I noticed I said the wrong verse in my video.  Forgive me. Here is the correct verse Luke 10 v 27 not Luke 11. This verse is about loving  your neighbor as you love yourself. Cheers.


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Thanksgiving Day ( wine begins at 11a.m.) Part 1

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It’s almost time for Thanksgiving and where will you be? Will you cook a 20-lbs turkey and a whole ham for your family and friends?

Though I hate to cook daily meals, I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I especially loved it when we had a bigger home and my boys were still close by. I still like to celebrate Thanksgiving at our condo, too.

It is a little smaller, but none the less, I look forward to inviting family and friends who don’t have a place to go to. This vision of mine has become a tug-of-war for many years between me and Ol’ Wise One.

He would just love to be on his couch with his remote control beside him. He is a content, easy to please man. His heart’s desire is to sit and watch hours of football with popcorn, chips, and salsa — all a finger tip away. Then around 2 pm, he turns his attention to gorging on the artery-clogging feast that is Thanksgiving: turkey breast, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, and gas-producing Brussels sprouts with bacon.

We are so opposite in how we like to celebrate the holidays that it is a miracle we are still married. Through the years, I have learned to have a “whatever” attitude with a smile and move on.

“Baby, Thanksgiving will be at my mom’s apartment,” I announce. “I will cook turkey at her home. You don’t have to come. You can watch football until you slip into a coma.”

“My kind of Thanksgiving,” he murmurs while looking at the TV. “Don’t get me wrong. I love your family, but I have a difficult time with the cold season and getting exposed to viruses when lots of people are around.”

Had I known his only desire is to watch football and eat with his remote control by his side on Thanksgiving, I would have said, “Nooooo, I’m not marrying you. I don’t care if that is a big shiny diamond.”

“Like I said, you can stay here and watch football . . . and do your fantasy football in the privacy of your own home.”

“Just how I imagined it,” he says.

Thinking about cooking at my mom’s apartment weighs me down. I feel the heaviness of ham and turkey on each hand as I transport them from my car parked one block away from her apartment door. Then, I think about having to make more exhausting trips to get the other six bags of groceries.

I would have to start cooking at early morning to have Thanksgiving dinner by 2 pm. With all this  I’ll need a glass of wine at 11 a.m. at the earliest to reduce my stress level that will rise and rise from all the cooking and cleaning I will need to do.

The more I think about this scenario, the more I ask myself, “Is this what I want? Will this get me in the zone to celebrate this holiday?”

“NO,” my inner voice flatly replies.

Like Ol’ Wise One having his fantasy football, I have a fantasy of my own. And it makes me tingle all over.

I imagine Thanksgiving at my condo. I invite family over and have my two-year-old grandson Napoleon running around doing silly toddler stuff and throwing temper tantrums. I wanted him to be here so we can have pumpkin pie and an Elmo-theme birthday cake for him. But he is not here.

Well, I have come so far. “It’s a fantasy, Lola,” I tell myself. “Move on.”

If I’m not looking forward to stress-inducing Plan A, then my vibe to the universe will be anxiety and dread. . . and I will contaminate everyone around me.  Not cool.

I bagged Plan A.
Part 2  tomorrow.


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Get in the love den NOW! I’m Ovulating! Part 2

IMG_5501-4“Ruby, relax . . . the baby will come.”

“I want tell yuuuu how proud I am with your blog.
Your brother James, man he is in bondage.
Give me his birthdates.
I’m into Numerology. Maybe I can help him.

And your sister Rita Mae is a hoot.
I can relate about her fuss about A/C. I told Sterling
when we moved into our condo, ‘Baby, you need to make
me happy! I had A/C in Dallas and I’m not about to start
fannin’ myself now.'”

Like Ruby I felt the same way about God growing up.

I had this vision he is gonna whip me into shape for sinning.
And that’s why I once walked away from church. But, then
I learned that his Son — he died
on the cross for my sins. He took my place to set me free.
It was life changing for me to know that if I do
something bad, he will not disown me.

I don’t know why my Ruby can’t conceive.

But I told her that maybe it is not in God’s plan
for her to give birth to a baby. I know Ruby desires
the experience of having a bump for 9 months
and swollen ankles. But, maybe his plan is for her to adopt a
child that needs two loving parents who can provide all her
or his needs. Perhaps there is a baby out there that is trying
to find Ruby and Sterling. I told Ruby to stay open.

Let’s pray . . .

Dear God,
Bless Ruby with the ability to have a child.
But if it is not in your plan, may her heart be open
to other ways of caring for one.

Many times we think our plans are so much
better than yours, in Isaiah 55v11 you say to us:
Your thoughts are not my thoughts,
my ways are not your ways . . . my ways go far
beyond what you can ever imagine.

Amen,
Lola


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In Cabo Soaking Up Sun and Drinking Piña Coladas

One morning I’m in front of my full-length mirror naked
and I’m not happy.
There is a row of gray hair on top of my head.
Why is one eye lid droopy?
Whose legs do these belong to? There is cellulite all over!
AGRHH.

This woman in the mirror, who is she?
I study the face closer. Fine lines by the mouth.
Dark age spot on my cheeks.

Shhh–there’s a little bit of lose skin under my chin.
Nothing ages you more than a double chin.
“No need to freak out; it’s only saggin’ skin. It’s not cancer.
Just stop eating at country buffet.” I tell myself.

I check out my butt. I see two small pancakes side by side with
lots of dips.
I suck in my tummy. There is no hourglass figure.
Darn. Where is my waistline?

Where did my waistline run off to?
I bet my waistline and libido (my libido is MIA, too) are in Cabo
soaking up the sun, drinking piña coladas, and getting caught in
tropical desert rain.

Quickly, I pull away from the mirror.
To lift my deflated spirit off the floor, I say,
“Lola, your wine glass is half full. Roll with it.
You have eyes to see your grandbaby,
you have arms to lift 10-pound weights above your head,
your rotator cup is still “rotating,”
you have legs to walk 20 miles a week, but your rear end
is still flat.

Oh well. Get over it.”
I did get over it.

I may not have long shiny hair with extensions and Victoria
Secret legs, but I’m really diggin’ who I have become.
When I look in the mirror, this is who I try to see.

I have an effervescent personality.
I have a nice smile and pearly white teeth.
I’m not shy about asking for a better price.

While updating my oven last month, I asked the salesman,
“Is this is the best price you can do?”

I always say a small prayer before I speak especially before
talking to someone who is intimidating the heck out of me.

During the summer months, I jump right in the pool.
Before, I used to dip my toes in the pool to see if the water
is warm or not swim at all because I was worried about my
hair getting wet.

Share with me what you see when you look in the mirror.
Who is that gorgeous man or beautiful woman?

Dear God,
We are used to seeing glossy magazines with pretty women
with no bags under their eyes and wind-blown hair. But it is
all an illusion.

Bless us with wisdom to know what matters the most.

Tell us to look inward. That is where we will find meaning.
Fill us with your spirit to love more, hug more, and laugh
more . . . that is what matters. Amen.
lola


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Christmas Is Over. Hallelujah. Let’s Move On.

 

Is there a sense of a relief that Christmas is over?

For me, YES. Hallelujah. Let’s move on.

Christmas is about inviting relatives over for white rice, chicken adobo or ham, and strawberry cheesecake from Costco.

It’s about brotherly love and peace. And celebrating Baby Jesus’ birthday. Right? Not quite at least for my side of the family.

They all come over to dinner on December 24 to celebrate.
Our condo is small. So my husband gets uneasy. He is a germ-a-phobe who is allergic to pet hair and big family gatherings.

We did talk about having my family over. We do this every year.
He quietly says “yes” with a sour face.

So, I know there will be nothing but discord in our relationship from December 23 until December 26. I had moments this year when I thought of of canceling dinner. But why I should I? I’m going to his mother’s on Christmas Day!

About ten  minutes before everyone comes over, my cell rings.
It’s my brother, Harold.

“Lola, is it OK to bring two friends for dinner?
“Absolutely.”
“Alright, we are outside your door. Buzz us in.”

On Christmas Eve, I live by this rule of etiquette: when others have no place to go, I open my door.

That’s because I always think:  What if my boys don’t have a place to go for the holidays? I would want their friends’ families to welcome them in.

Everyone arrives and the turkey is done. My husband is in the kitchen with his arms crossed. “When do I carve the turkey?” he demands.

“According to Good Housekeeping magazine, you have to let it sit for 30 minutes.”

I pour myself a glass of Merlot.

With eyes closed, I wish I was in Manila playing catch with my one-year-old Napoleon and listening to his giggle.

My nose inhales the scent of dark wood and I can taste a trace of cherry in my wine. It goes down soft.
Like a symphony, all my senses are in sync–just for a second.
.
Brewing in my head is : Why did he marry a Filipino? We have big families! I take another sip.

Sitting in front of me is my sweet sister-in-law Alice. She has animals at her home. I can spot a few dog hairs on her lovely gray sweater. Her five-year-old Arthur, who has blonde spikey hair, is running around with a red nose and shaking his water bottle filled with apple juice.

Randy, my brother’s friend, is sitting on our couch. He is under the weather. I tell myself to relax.

After dinner we open presents. Thank you God for my brother Earl’s sense of humor. My husband gave him a poster-sized gift for Christmas.

“Is this a blown up selfie of you in a yellow thong?” Earl asks.

Finally, my husband’s frozen jaw thaws.
“A thong and a halter top,” he replies. I see a smile.

After opening presents, we devour the strawberry cheesecake.

When everyone has gone home, I want to scream at my husband, “Was that so bad?” Nah . . . I give him the silent treatment instead. It’s more powerful.

I retreat to the kitchen with my wine. Rinsing dirty dishes relaxes me. The condo is silent, but the talk and laughter of my family lingers in my head.

Was it worth having my family over?  I think as I nibble on chicken and rice. Yes, but it is always complicated because my husband had a different kind of Christmas when he was younger.

With ten years of therapy, I have come to understand my husband.
He loves his space; he is not a big family kind of guy. And to add to that, our boys are not with us so we are both suffering in our own ways.

However, it’s important for me to speak up and say that I love having my family over–once a year–for three hours.

So where do I go from here? I count my positives in life. Doing that restores my breathing to a relaxed rhythm.

I sip the last drop of wine and I close my eyes and dream of wonderful Christmases to come.

Dear God,

Help us be who you want us to be in the coming
new year. Shape us, guide us, renew our
our thoughts, and our perceptions.

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to
give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29v11.
Amen.
Lola

 

 

*****


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Detoxing From My Smartphone, Part 3

 

Everyone here is gorgeous inside the Valkyrie night club.
The lights are dim. Maybe that’s why.
Ladies wear their hair long. There are lots of skin-tight dresses and hot pants with six-inch heels that prance around as if they own the place. Me? I have on my long black printed dress with two-inch heels. This is my go-to outfit when I attend a bible class.

Slowly I sip my drink and glance all around me. I am fascinated by how the ladies can wear these sky-high heels. They might fall and break a hip. Then what?

I can feel the energy and anticipation of how the night might unfold as the dancers move to the beat of Michael Jackson’s Rock With You.

I wanna ROCK with you . . . aaaalll night . . .

My last night in Manila we had dinner at an Italian restaurant. Christopher’s friends and basketball teammates joined us, too.
I had angel hair pasta, truffles with prosciutto, and red vino to sip and savor all evening.

About half of them had their cellphones on the table and were busy checking whatever it was that was urgent. Probably, Twitter accounts. They would look down at their cell, then look up to talk, and then look down again.

how do you work this thing

how do you work this thing

I didn’t take this behavior as rude. It was just my observation–these young heads moving up and down. It is what it is. This is my son’s generation. They do not detox from their electronic devices. Ever.
The cellphone is now part of the table setting.

After our past a dinner, would you believe they asked me to go clubbin’ with them? Again!
Anyone tired?

I told them, “I’m flattered you desire my company and I know you all love me, but think I will pass. I gotta go pack.”

“No, stay up all night.” They pleaded.
“All night? ” The last time I stayed up ALL night, you all weren’t even born and Ronald and Nancy were living in the White House.

“You can go straight to the airport.” They egged me on.

I smiled.  What a bunch of fun people! They want me to stay up with them.

Oh, to be 25  years old again. I wouldn’t mind having firmer buttocks and one less chin. I would love to see my waistline and have more energy. But, I would want to hold on to my wisdom–the stuff I know now. My strength, my surrendered spirit, and to know  that I’m not in control. God is. And that is my truth.

Inside my son’s condo, I began to pack and wished he and his family lived close by. However, I noticed that I felt proud of my ability to accept. I can let go of my young adult offspring.

Part of me wanted to stay longer and part of me was ready to go home.

What got to me was missing Napoleon waking up at 7 a.m. ready to play. I would miss his screaming for milk and to be carried. Though my back ached from carrying him. I would miss putting him to sleep in my arms while singing silly songs.

Looking on the bright side, I “get to” do this–visit my son for two weeks. For this, I’m grateful.

My son and his girlfriend asked me to extend my stay. I thought, How sweet. If only I had no penalty changes related to changing my departure flight . . .  I wouldn’t mind another three days of sunshine, tank tops, and limp hair.

I know this: I believe God hears us when we pray. Those times before a vacation, he knows we want to see our children filled with love, closeness, and laughter.

When my son asks me to stay longer, I know I must have done a few things right in my parenting.

FYI–for parents visiting their grown up kids and staying with them–my advice is: Know when to arrive and when to exit.

Fish start to smell bad when left too long in the refrigerator, ya know?

Dear God,

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

Thank you for going ahead of me on my trip and for lighting my path.
I had no vertigo episodes, no sickness on the plane, and just a few headaches due to too much red wine. It was nothing that two Tylenol couldn’t cure.

Thank you for the time I had to get to know my son and his family and for the time spent hanging out with his friends.

I pray for all the parents out there who visit their grown up sons and daughters this holiday season.
May the time of being together be full of laughter, great conversations, and thankful hearts.

Amen.
Lola