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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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 Know I Can’t Handle Not Having AC, Part 1

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Do you have siblings and
and a parent that say and do things that
annoy the sh– out of you?

James has borrowed my mom’s Honda for one year.
The maintenance light has been on for 10 months.
He has never bothered to say
“Hmm . . . the car might need new oil . . . or a tire rotation” or
“Maybe this light means something important like the car needs some tender loving care?”

My sister Rita-May came to visit for two weeks and she
stayed at my mom’s apartment. She also borrowed the Honda.
During her stay, the temperature went up to
95 and beyond.
The car’s AC failed to work.

Nine a.m., my cell rings .
“Good Morning. Did you know the AC decided not to work?
That’s right . . .”
I can just see her sitting right in front of mom’s clip on fan
with her orange toes perched on top of her Louis Vuitton luggage devouring a Cinnabon.

It was only a matter of time before the Honda
was going to break down, but I was not going
to nag my brother James to get it serviced. I have my
boundaries.

“You know . . . I can’t handle not having AC, ” my sister complained.
“We always have the AC turned up HIGH in our home, car, and office.  I can’t believe no one has AC here. This is upsetting.”

First world issues for Rita-May.

“Well, of course you have AC ,” I told her.

She lives in 115-degree, dry heat
year round, so she would be DUMB not to have AC.

Does she not recall being born and raised in the Pacific NW?
Having AC is a luxury. For sure, my next home will have AC just so when Rita visits me, she can put her feet up, relax, and enjoy her apple fritter. For now my AC are two fans.

Rita took the Honda in for
service. It needed oil, A/C compressor, coil set and filter.
She’s smart. She didn’t ignore the maintenance light.

But, I got another phone call.
“Lola, the car repairs on the car cost $1,500.00. That ‘s with my military discount. I just saved ya’ll $250.00.”

“Relax, Lola,” I say. I will now recite my meditation mantra:

Show me how to love
Teach me how to extend my light
Remove the barriers of my soul*

I feel a migraine coming.

Why did I answer the damn phone!?

****Part 2 tomorrow


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Life Gives Lemons But No Juicer, Part 1

FullSizeRender-27Has life given you lots of lemons
and no juicer to make lemonade?

My 50-year-old brother James is smart and hilarious.
I love him and right now that is all I can do.
Every year when I have Thanksgiving at my home,
he gets his own cherry pie. He loves cherry pie.
I like to make him smile.
His life is never sunny.

James has a basket of lemons he holds on to.

For some unexplained reason,
he can’t seem to or won’t
channel his smartness to getting in his car, driving
to Target, and buying a juicer so he can make lemonade.

I have learned that when people in your life
throw you lemons, you can always say
“NO, thank you.
I don’t have a juicer.”

And I have learned, that when I have to, I can make pretty good lemonade from the lemons that do come my way. It isn’t always easy, of course.

But, my brother, hasn’t ever quite figured out what do to with the lemons in his life. He doesn’t throw them back. And he doesn’t make lemonade. Here are the lemons in his life:

*Our dad was an alcoholic and was never was around.
*He had bad case of acne as a teenager.
*He never graduated from high school and can’t seem to keep a job.
*He got a divorce.
*The bank foreclosed on his home after he neglected to pay his mortgage.
* He has filed for bankruptcy.

With that many lemons, he could have
gotten himself a lemonade stand.

I believe my brother suffers from depression.
I went to the doctor with him to see if
he can get on medication . . . the doctor gave him a prescription.

But my brother slipped it into
his wallet and there it stayed.
Ol’ Wise One offered him a job,
but my brother never filled out an application .

I could go buy him a juicer, make lemonade for him, hook it up as an IV on his arm, and give him a shot of B12 in his ass, but I don’t think it would help.
Hmmmm . . . as much as I want to fix him, I retired
from fixing other people’s issues. Too exhausting.

I do know this from my own journey,
I have done my best to beat my depression, panic attacks, and
anxiety. I have had 12 years of therapy.
I was on lots of medication, but now I’m down
to one . Yahh. I have had lots of lemons
thrown at me or the lemons just magically appear in my life without my asking for them.
But, one day I drove to Target
bought a juicer and began making lemonade.

My road back to healing has been a lot of work.

********Part 2 tomorrow


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20/20

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I must be a popular person to be with and loved. Of course, ZEN vibes
ooze out of my skin throughout  the day. Who wouldn’t want to be
with me?

Two invitations came to me  this week: one from Ol’  Wise One and the
other was from my BF.

Ole’ Wise One asked me to go to a high school graduation three hours away. It was for Jenna, his late best friend’s daughter. Getting there means driving to the ferry dock,
getting on the ferry, and then driving another two hours. Really.
Is that how I want to spend my precious Friday?

My BF invited me to go to the beach with her in July for the weekend with another girlfriend.  “Wow!” I thought. “Walking the beach with
two ladies I’m fond of sounds fantastic and I know at night there will be dinners with
serious talks about our husbands, grandkids, and world events. We will figure out what ISIS is all about and formulate ways to handle all the scary things on the news.
How can I refuse?

But, I began to ponder why I didn’t jump with  excitement. Is something wrong with me?
“NO, I’m being who I am,”  I told myself.
As I thought more about the situation, I became aware what I wanted to do.

It’s amazing to be over 50. I know how much I know what I want NOW. I know myself more  than ever. The layers of what I don’t want are peeling away faster and faster. Could it be that I’m AWAKE to the fact that I’m not  getting any younger. I know I have low estrogen.
And I know I’m getting closer to my grave.

As these layers peel away, I’m getting  closer to my soul,
the core of who I am–my true beautiful self.

With clarity, I know what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to
be in the car driving to an event that I could care less about.

How awful it would be for me to be with my husband with
this bitchy attitude.  The very truth was that was not how I wanted to
spend my day.

Going to the beach was not what I wanted to do for  one weekend
during the summer. I know there will come a time that I will see both of these ladies.
Just not this July.

By  saying “yes” to the two invites, my mind and body
would go through a  spin and rinse cycle of “Why did I say  yes? I don’t want to go,
but if I don’t go they will get mad or they will think I’m selfish.”

With my  20/20 vision and ability to know how I would react be in the future, I knew what I wanted and realized it before I said “yes” to something that I really wanted to say “no” to.

My days  and weeks are about my husband, making dinners, my mom,  my relatives, and my part-time job. When I do have the time to do nothing and have a moment to myself,  I feel like the luckiest woman on earth. I’m so grateful to have timeout. Having timeout with myself energizes me.
I’m centered. No one needs me!!! I love it.

I can do things like catch up on reading other blog sites,
take in a movie, get some writing done on paper–all sorts of
soul-caring stuff that feeds my soul.

Perhaps I’m making up time for all the yesses I said
back in my 30s and 40s.

My BF said to me “That’s OK if you don’t want to go. You are clear and
that is all that matters.” She is so supportive, caring, and spunky. That’s
why we are BFs .

This much I do know: I’m blessed and I thank God for all the great people in my life.

And to all the young women bloggers  out there, if you are reading this,
learn to say NO. It’s OK.

Dear God,
All week long, I give so much  to others.
And I know I’m on this planet  to work, have relationships,
to care for my mother, and to be a helpmate to my partner.

Thank you for giving me the clarity to know caring
for myself is just as important as giving to others.

Amen.

Lola


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How Do You Show Your Love

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How do you show your love?

Do you cook a favorite dish to bring or share?
Do you surprise a special person in your life with their favorite wine?
Do you go pick up a friend and treat them to lunch?

Once a week, I pick up my mother and take her to
the bank or we go have a latte at Starbucks.
Then, I take her  to her favorite Asian market. For some reason
we always end up at the Asian market. It’s a pattern.
But, sometimes we switch it up. Whooppee!!!
We go the market first and THEN have a latte.

The Asian market is located on a corner with
tight parking  and it is always full. I hate it! I’m a snob. I like my cars to be
shiny, clean, and ding free. Just sayin’.

When we enter the store, Mother goes ahead while I
grab a Barbie doll-size  cart. My job is to  follow her and listen.

“Oh,  mangoes. Bery good . . . last week I buy one box,
bery sweet. Today, I get two box. I give to my kids.”

Oh, Holy Spirit, help me. My mother is now promoting mangoes.

Like their parking lot, the aisles in the Asian market drive me nuts.
When others want to pass me, I have to stand in place and not move so they
can zig-zag their own Barbie doll-sized cart past me.

It’s insane. Can’t the owners just make the aisles wider? Guess not.

“I cook for sister-in- law. She tells me she like fish so I cook.”

“Right on, Mother.”

“We go next week and deliver fish.”

I nod.

This can’t be my life. It is all a dream.

“Did you get everything you want at the store?”

“Tank you Lord. I remember soy sauce.
Almost forget.  You know,  I feel happy when I cook and give.”
She continues to talk to me as I merge onto the freeway.

After I dropped off my mother, I realized that what she said made sense.
She demonstrates her love by making favorite dishes for her loved ones.  Cooking tasty dishes is her way of being creative, and let me tell you—the lady CAN COOK.  There are dishes that I will eat every five years ONLY if my mother has prepared them. One is liver. Gross, you say. Well, like I said, every five years I’ll eat it and my mother has to be the chef—and there have to be lots of onions.

Try it, you just might like it.

After being with  my mother, I ended up asking myself how do I show my love?

Here is my list:
*To my husband, sometimes during our walks and when the mood strikes, I hold his hand and say “love you.”
*I show my love to my friends by buying their favorite wine and drinking it with them.  Or I text them to ask about their day.
* I show love to my boys by telling them I’m proud of them and by listening to what they have to say.
*I show my love to my mother by setting aside one day each week to spend time with her and help her with her errands like going to the Asian market.

What does your list look like?

Dear God,
Thank you for showing me how my mother shows her love to others.
I always learn something from her even if I don’t want to.

Situations like these teach us to be better  human beings,
taking us away from focusing only on ourselves and helping us to put our energy into showing our love for others.

Amen,

Lola


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He Is The Yin To My Yang, Part 2

 

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At that high price it should be ready to move in. We shouldn’t have to hire a carpenter to make a few changes. My emotions got the best of me. Anyway, I learned another buyer made an offer. Oh, well. Still, I have to keep reminding myself that the condo wasn’t that perfect.

Alright, I feel better now that I got my thoughts down on paper and I shared all my aches and pains on life. I decided not to go round two on a butter croissant.

I know I’m not alone in this. We all go through job changes, longing for that someone, or worry about when we will get to step into that perfect home.

I do know this. When I begin to over analyze what my son is doing with his life and when I long for Napoleon to come live with me, I know I’m out of balance. When I begin to lose sleep over granite counter tiles and my vision is narrow, I need spiritual intervention. I know that I have to get back to my faith. I know in my heart that God holds the key to our next home. I have to believe that.

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I am thankful for the recent development in Ralph’s life. He now has a weekend waiter job. He can live off his tips. Though I’m not with Napoleon every minute of the day. I am blessed. He is a big, bouncy, healthy, with-lots-of-energy toddler.

I know for sure that God knows what kind of condo or home I desire.
He has one in mind. I know the perfect one is out there for us. And it will be exactly what I had taped on my vision board. There is no need to hire a contractor to make a tiny office.

Just know, when life gets hectic and it’s not going the way you want and you want to inhale everything on the menu . . . stop and ask yourself, What’s eating me?

Then pray to the Holy One. He knows what is in your heart.

Dear God,
When life is nothing but a blur and nothing is going the way we want it to, lift our eyes to the cross. Dry our tears and remind us to surrender all things to you.
You will do a much better job than we could ever imagine.
Thank you.
Amen, Lola


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Not the Perfect Cocktail

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She clears her throat. “I have a proposal,” she tells me while I sit in my car.
I hear her cry over the phone. I know that it must have been a hard decision for her to make the call. I have known her for a long time. I know her.

“I need to borrow some cash,” she says.
I hold my breath and slouch down in my driver’s seat.

A friend or a relative borrowing money from me is always an uncomfortable space.
It’s a space I never want to be in.

Friends, relatives, and money do not make the perfect cocktail, nor is such a concoction a solution to a problem.

My husband and I have had a couple of circumstances where friends or relatives came to us for a loan.
“I will pay you back,” they say.
It is such a disappointment when they don’t deliver.
You go out of your way to write them a check and they flake out on you.

There was a time when I vowed never to be the borrower.
I see the borrower as desperate and weak.

I remember when I made that vow.
It was a sunny day in June. This was about 20 years back.
I was at a friend’s home and I asked three different people in the living room if I could borrow $20.00 for gas. One by one they all left the room. As if they never heard me.

Sitting on my friend’s porch, I was  crushed and I felt so alone. I realized this: NO ONE GIVES A HOOT IF YOU HAVE GAS OR NOT IN YOUR TANK!
From then on,  I told myself I will never borrow money from anyone.
If I lose everything in life and I have no food, no gas, and no pot to piss in,I would still
never go to a friend or relative to ask for money.

Instead I would do the following:

1. Get on welfare and food stamps so I could get back on my feet.
2. Sell my body.
OR
3. Work at Shari’s and live off my tips.

Selling my body would be a stretch for me. I would have more success being on welfare or working at Shari’s restaurant.

How did I answer to my friend’s proposal? I took a leap of faith.
I felt that she is a true friend who will deliver.
I loaned her the money, but not the amount she asked for.
My husband and I agreed on a certain amount.
I loaned her the money because she is a long time friend.
I trust she will be true to her word.

Dear God,
I have no idea how to pray for this situation. I do know this
I will let it go.  Bless my friend, help her with all that she
is going through. Thank you. Amen.

Lola