Sometimes I feel like an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand. I have written recently how it seemed that I was being of little use/help to anyone and wondered if there was something else I should be doing. That was Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday I wrote about my day with the death of a friend and my other friend’s husband having a set back.
Yesterday I spent the day helping the first friend make plans for a funeral and after arriving home the other friend called that her husband needed a procedure done and could I come. I got home last night so tired I could hardly move. I am still tired today and am shaking my head over my stupidity. God does have a sense of humor. I complained and I got what was coming to me. Not that I wanted any of this to happen to two dear friends but God certainly showed me in no uncertain terms what I need to be doing.
It is so amazing that we can’t see clearly and know that we are where we are supposed to be. God is very good about putting us in the right place at the right time. If I had things planned that couldn’t be changed I would not have been available to help where I was needed. We all need to learn that God knows best and has it all in hand.
Today I am tired. It has been a strange day. I worked in the yard this morning and came in for a shower. The phone rang and it was one of my best friends telling me that her husband died. This is not the one I have written about before but one whose husband is in his nineties and has been fading for awhile. However, I did not expect to get that call. My husband and I immediately went to her home to help where we could. Things seem to be on track there and we got back home about 3:30. I am sad and feel a loss for her and all of us. He was a wonderful man.
I decided to call and check in on the other friend whose husband has been struggling at home to improve (with much needed help) only for her to tell me they were taking him to the hospital as he was more ill. He is being admitted.
Strange day. I asked my husband, (somewhat tongue in cheek) if we could lose two of them in one day. May God grant that this doesn’t happen.
It is clear once again that we never know what will happen in a given day. There are no assurances or guarantees. We have to live each day as it comes. One of my grandmother’s favorite Bible verses was “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Don’t look for more to happen. Absorb what has already happened. That will be enough.
I am grateful that I was available to be where God needed me to be today. I guess this is a reminder to me to use the gifts he has given me where he is calling me and stop griping about what I need to be doing. I think I am doing it.
These events do tweek my anxiety but I will continue to cope and be available when needed.
I am at the age where so many milestones are behind me…..the events that make up our dreams and ideas when we are young. I have been to college (two different degrees). married at a wonderful wedding, given birth to three children, have 6 grandchildren and 1 great grand child. I have worked at several jobs…some fulfilling and great and some not. So, I ask myself what is the next milestone? It could be a depressing thought if you felt that there was nothing left to aim for. We all need something for a focus.
I really hadn’t thought about it but I realize that I am not depressed by the thought. In many ways it is satisfying to see so much positive behind me. I also do not feel that I am finished. This is the time of life when I have the time and, thanks be to God, the energy to look at these years as the time to give back. Our culture spends little time thinking about the wisdom gained through experience. I have written about this before but I think it is important enough to mention again.
We are here…those of us who have lived through many battles. We have the scars to prove it and the knowledge to teach others. We can show you how to fight and make it through so many trials. Why struggle when you can tap the resources in the wisdom of your elders? Maybe technology is something that some of us are less savvy about but the ups and downs of life change very little no matter the changes in how it comes about.
Many of us continue to learn ourselves and advance our own knowledge. Not all of us sit in a recliner and watch TV. We are out in the world sharing where we can. Take advantage of the wisdom available to you. We are not dead yet!
I am here if my experiences can be helpful. Believe me I have just about heard it all. I am a nurse, patient advocate, compassionate, loving person with a heart for listening. There are others like me who will understand and listen. Use us.
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. ——Abraham Lincoln
I read this quote today and started to wonder if I am doing anything to make those years worth something. At the moment, except for this blog, I don’t feel as if I am adding much to this world. I spend my days cleaning my home and working in the yard. I do read…sometimes something challenging but I can’t see that I am using it in any way.
Before my life was full. I taught classes at church. I wrote educational information about church history for the newsletter and did laying on of hands on Sundays for healing. I spent my life ministering to those who needed the help of a parish nurse.Today I still go to church with my husband but can’t see that I am contributing. I feel sidelined like a train car pulled off on a side track.
I have been signing up to take on mediations but would you believe every one I am scheduled for has been cancelled? Is someone trying to tell me something? I know that somewhere there is a place for me. I will just keep on and something will change. It just becomes sad and depressing.
I absolutely have nothing to complain about. My best friend is still struggling with her sick husband. He is at home with care and consumes her entire day and night. I do what I can but there is little that truly helps. Some things can’t be fixed.
So my sadness is minor compared to the things that others have to go through. I tell myself to quit moaning and get going!
Perspective is a funny thing. Each of us has our own. Ours is like ourselves. It is unique. Different from anyone else. Initially our perspective came from our family. As children we were influenced by how the people around us felt about things. Probably, at least initially, accepting their point of view. As we grew and our horizons widened we began to measure that perspective against the wider world. We were influenced by our teachers, and our peers. We began to question the ideas we learned from our family and measure them against what we were learning. We began to make our own choices or match those of the people who influenced us.
When we became adults we already had a set of values that came with us. Those ideas are the perspective that we use to weigh ideas. The viewing point from which we function. For most of us the perspective glasses that we look through will change over time but for some people it is ingrained and any suggestion of change is beyond imagining.
We can see those people in our world. They are the ones who see gays as sinful, trans people as unthinkable, people of a different color as “other,” mentally ill as those who should be locked away. Sometimes life events can work their magic and these people can alter those glasses but sometimes not.
We will encounter all sorts of people in our journey through life. We have to learn to recognize those who are unable to change and let them fade from our vision. They cannot change and their aversion and hatred will just color our own view. They were shaped the way they are and we must move on and not let their negative persona influence our lives.
There are people who are open, accepting, and who offer love and support. Let the thoughts of the others roll off you and into the void where they belong. God has created only good. That includes everyone. Even those whose glasses will never change.
Today, as usual, I was doing yard work. Maintaining the flower beds is an enormous job and it’s all mine. My husband takes care of the grass. The property was initially bought by my grandparents and left to me. It is on a tidal creek and we can swim from the dock. We allow some neighbors to use the dock with their son. They use paddle boards and have lots of fun.
As they were on the way to the dock today they passed me, sweat soaked, red faced, and dead tired. A while back my husband and I lived in their house. I commented “when I lived in your house I had fun! Now all I do is work in the yard.” It really hit me. I spoke the truth. I don’t swim off the dock…sit out and watch the water or just relax in the hammock. I just go out and do yard work.
I can’t afford to pay someone else to do the work as with a big space it would be very costly. So what do I do? Several times I have written about choosing how much you set for yourself to do but I am not doing it myself. My mother always said that the things you didn’t do would still be there when you got back from doing something fun. She was good at creating a balance.
Somehow I have to find that balance. I am tired and missing out on fun choices. Feeling pressured to work all the time is not the right thing. Life is too short for that. Balance is critical to wholeness and health.
Relationships seem to be a big topic lately. I can understand why. Relationships in today’s culture are really tricky. I’m not sure that any of us understand. Whether it was good or not when I was concerned with discovering someone to become part of my life it seemed simpler. People were expected to get married. Some marriages did badly but it seemed that many did well. I think that marriage was considered a commitment. You were assuming that you were planning a lifetime together. Divorce was available but I don’t think people took it lightly.
The other factor is that the sexual revolution hadn’t happened. No birth control pills so pregnancy was much more of a risk. Society frowned on pregnancy without marriage and it made deciding to raise a child alone meant you could be a pariah.
These things made marriage a more serious undertaking but of course that didn’t make it easier. Some people stayed married when they should have been divorced. Many stayed with their children in mind for good or ill.
I think that relationships today are much more difficult. Choosing to split is taken more lightly. I think many times people split rather than doing the work required to make a good marriage. How do people approach commitment? Does a relationship begin with at least one party thinking “let’s try this out and see if it works?” There may not be many long term partnerships like the one that my husband and I have.
A while ago I posted a blog about different kinds of love. It was called “Commitment, why? I found that the Greeks actually had more divisions of love than I previously thought. They have a definition of the kind of love that lasts through all the storms and trials. It is called pragma and here is the description.
- Pragma –Another Greek love was the mature love known as pragma. This was the deep understanding that developed between long-married couples. Pragma was about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance.The psychoanalyst Erich Fromm said that we expend too much energy on “falling in love” and need to learn more how to “stand in love.” Pragma is precisely about standing in love—making an effort to give love rather than just receive it. With about a third of first marriages in the U.S. ending through divorce or separation in the first 10 years, the Greeks would surely think we should bring a serious dose of pragma into our relationships.
I worry about people trying to find a fulfilling relationship. There is so much uncertainty involved and I truly believe children suffer when they grow in a environment of uncertainty. They need solid ground to hold on to. The world is a scary place and we all need someone to depend on. Someone who we can trust with our life. Not just our physical life but physical, mental, emotional, and psychological being. We don’t just find someone who can be this but we both grow into it over years of companionship. God willing that you too can have this.
This has been an odd day. Today I was asked by a friend to drive her to pick up her car from the shop. I was glad to take this on. We had fun talking in the car. I dropped her off about 11:45 and tried to decide how to manage the rest of the day. I was due to mediate a law suit at 1:30 and if I tried to go home I would arrive just in time to turn around and go back. I decided to just find a coffee shop where I could sit and read for a short while.
Good idea. Not so easy to execute. I wanted to find some place near the mediation center so that it would be easy to be there at 1:00 as we usually arrive 1/2 hour early to prepare. This neighborhood is near two hospital. Since it is an area where I don’t know about coffee shops or hangout places I started to drive around….and around.. and around. There were plenty of restaurants, fast food places, gas stations but no place to sit and chill for an hour. After going around in circles I finally found a great coffee shop. (They must do well since they are the only one.) Got myself a coffee and a scone and sat down to relax. I had been there about 15 minutes when my phone rang and the mediation center let me know that one of the parties wasn’t going to show up and it was cancelled.
In the midst of all of this I had spoken with my husband twice to re-schedule our afternoon plans and now had to call again. I went home.
Was the day wasted? I really don’t know. The time with my friend was well spent. I loved the coffee and scone and our afternoon worked out.
Have you had days like this where nothing went as planned and you spent the day revamping your life? For me this was a microscopic example of how all of life proceeds. Just when we think we have it all worked out we have to start over. It may look like things are going to be a mess but in the long run they end up working out.
It reminded me to take things as they come. To not obsess about the changes but just roll with it all. I was able to do that today. Yea!
I have decided that I am a somewhat unorthodox Christian. I have difficulty following the rules. I am enamored of those who stepped outside of the norm: Matthew Fox, Martin Luther, Meister Eckhart, Francis of Assisi. Hildegard of Bingen, Jesus and many others. I also love the stories/parables of Anthony DeMello and the plain speaking of Marcus Borg. I grow reading them.
I grew up in an eclectic family. My grandparents were Methodist, my parents Presbyterian and my Aunt and Uncle Lutheran. I guess I decided early on that no denomination had all the answers. I still feel that way. Jesus did not follow rules but loved people. He broke the Sabbath rules and many others.
As the “church” grew throughout history it took the message of Jesus and added rules/doctrines to try and be sure that we all follow the norm…. that we are all in sync. This is not wrong in and of itself as we do struggle with the meaning of the writings in the Bible and the words of Jesus. We must listen to the teachings of others and weigh them against our own experience. We also need the community of other Christians. We learn and are supported by the stories of others. I hope that I find a middle ground in all of this.
This doesn’t mean that we can’t find our own way. It’s freedom within form. I don’t ask others to follow my path. Each of us must find our own way and I pray that God leads me in mine. May he also be with you in yours.
Today I was very disappointed. On Tuesday’s I have lunch with two wonderful people from the church where I worked. While there I asked the pastor (who is an interim) if the “weekly” (lands in the pews each week) could include the address of my devotional blog Hear God in Other Voices. (heargodinothervoices.blog) He said that other people had asked that their addresses be included and that it couldn’t be done. This is not his being unkind but it is just policy and probably shouldn’t be his call at this time anyway. New pastors are coming in August and it really is up to them.
It did, however, make me sad. For many of the 20 years that I was there I wrote and published devotionals for the church. People were very complimentary and I was asked by many to continue doing it.
I guess this just (again) brought home to me how disconnected I am from those years of work. Part of this is (of course) my own fault for not attending church there but I felt it was the right thing to do to help people adjust to my not being there after so long.
I am sad and will send a link to some church members I suspect would enjoy the blog but that doesn’t really help how I feel. I know that this is part of the changes we face in life but at times it can really hurt. I am so thankful that the church I attend with my husband is happy to include the link in the newsletter.
Life moves on and we have to move with it or we are left in a past that is no longer there. My life will continue to be fulfilling as I branch out into new paths. My writing is a blessing to me and is healing in itself. We each have to find the things that provide solace and healing when we are down and remember to use them.