Up and Down

leunig-up-and-down-lifeThe past week has been up and down. My friend who lost her husband has had some good news….although it hard to have good news after a death. Before his death she planned to move them both to an independent living facility. There was a two year wait that suddenly disappeared and she got called Tuesday that there was space for her. This is an amazing coincidence. Two weeks after her husband’s death and she gets to move to a good place.

This, too me, is the kind of coincidence that I call a miracle. I know! Lots of people don’t believe in miracles but I happen to. We just have to open our eyes to see it. This was the up part.

The down part is that I am struggling again with IBS. A while back I took a new medicine that got me so much better but only lasts a while. It cannot be taken too often so for now I will struggle with my previous normal. My daily schedule will again depend on how my body is functioning. Annoying but I can do it. Of course anxiety was triggered again but I am also dealing with that with lots of ideas from all those who suffer with the same issues. It will all work out in the long run.

life-is-always-up-and-down-so-why-are-you-8796618God did not promise us an easy time but he did promise to hold us up when things are a problem. He has been doing that. If it is one thing that I have learned over the years it is to not stop your life for anxiety. Stopping living just makes it worse. For me, being with people off and on and sharing with friends and writing makes a great deal of difference.

Don’t ever put yourself away in that dark place and just let the world go by. It never helps. Keep pushing, keep trying and keep trusting God.

 

 

Dig deep

life clears“Until you dig deep you only know a small part of the human heart.” Another quote from “Tea Time for the Traditionally Built” By Alexander McCall Smith. His books about Botswana have much wisdom in them.

We can’t know everyone really well. It’s not possible. In most cases we don’t even try to. We only see the outside…the piece that people show to us. Too often we all are wearing masks and don’t want to let anyone in. It is difficult to get beyond the mask. Sometimes we can’t.

Sometimes there are people who drive us crazy…people who get on our last nerve. We can hardly bear to be around them. Then someone tells us that they spend all their time caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s. And lo! we realize that the person who seemed so awful to us was too stressed, anxious and tired to be nice.

look_into_my_heart_by_campanittaWe had to dig deep to find out what it is like where the heart lives. We have to be willing to be the caring person. We have to open ourselves to the idea that there may be something in their life to explain how they act.

I have met a lot of people in my life. Some of them I never wanted to see again. I may have been right about some but I also may have been wrong. I didn’t take the time to find out. I hope someone else did.

Can we share our similarities?

Bob-Dylan-Quote-You-learn-from-a-conglomeration-of-the-incredibleToday I read my daily meditation from Richard Rohr. In it he said “At their immature levels, religions can be obsessed with the differences that make them better or more right than others.”

I have found this to be true in my own life. As I have said before I was raised Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran and Baptist. It didn’t take me long to decide that since each one was a little different in perspective that none of them could be completely right. I honor that eclectic background as it made me have lots of questions and be open to differing answers.

I hope I don’t offend anyone with this story but it was something that gave me pause as a child.

I attended a Baptist church with my best friend off and on. Each week they had an altar call and people went to the front rail to profess their belief and “be saved.” After a while I noticed that there were some people who went to the rail each week. This raised the question for me “can you be saved more than once and what exactly does it mean?” I must have been about ten or eleven when I was struck by this.

Other incidents in the various churches brought questions to my mind and formed my early theology. It made me very clear on one point. There is a lot more that connects us than divides us. We often make a big fuss about the differences and forget that as we are all Christian we should be united under the same God.

if-you-look-deep-inside-trust-youll-find-truth-quote-1To take this thought one step further in college I had the opportunity to study other religions in depth and I found that some of them accepted the same deep principles that my faith has. Again I was broadened by the idea.

I wish that we could all concentrate on the things that make us alike instead of the things that separate us.  I wish that each faith and denomination could see the big picture instead of the tiny details. Our world would be so much better.

Bad days and families

dancingFamilies are wonderful and terrible things. When we are connected to others life is not always smooth. I am a fixer. I always want to solve problems, smooth over disagreements and mend hurt feelings. I said I want to. That doesn’t mean that I always can and sometimes even trying can make things worse.

This past week I did just that. I had a personal melt down. It upset my husband who upset other parts of our family. For a change it started with me. I am consumed with guilt and pain for having an emotional crisis and setting off fireworks.  The truth is life happens.

My age puts me at the top of the pyramid. I realized that after the loss of my father, mother and all older family. When you get to be the oldest generation you are stuck with results of that position.

I have noticed that at times my family members show signs of expecting my husband and I to sink into senility. I can sense the anxiety about future plans forming in their heads. What will happen to mom and dad?

It’s funny and sometimes upsetting to be where we are. My melt down had nothing to do with this but I think that changing family roles is another change to add to my list. Maybe it just all fused into one bomb. I know that I will be pariah for a while and have made abject apologies to those I upset. Life goes on.

shiney day

Each day is precious. Don’t let the bad days color all the rest. We all make mistakes and will have to take responsibility for our actions and then move one.

The sun will rise tomorrow, God willing, and so will I.

The end to the beginning

One-Word-For-2015-Beginning1

This struck me as being profound and encouraging. I heard it somewhere else and then found it. Sometimes when something comes to an end we feel a let down. Something is over. We don’t think ahead and see that something new is beginning. We may not know what it is or when it will begin but it is there. Each time we start something we are beginning at the end of something else. It is a sort of circular thinking.

In the past year I have struggled with where life was taking me. Something 20 years long and fruitful was ending and I couldn’t see the beginning of anything else. Now I realize that the ending was but the beginning of a new journey. One that would teach me much about myself and force me to spend time with me. Not something I really enjoy doing.

Now I am in a different place. I still have a journey ahead of me and a lot more to learn. I have turned loose of the desire to be “out front,” I had always needed this to counter my sense of unworthiness. Hubris still rises from time to time but I am learning to push it back down. Anxiety can still attack but I am better at fighting it. I don’t always win but learning takes time. I have learned much from hearing the stories of others.

sunrise

Each day is a new beginning. It is the end of the old day. Change can happen.

Healing — a poem

I am reaching the point where I don’t know if I have shared this before but if so here it is again. This was written when my job at the church was ended.

Healing-From-the-Inside-Out

Healing

I have the healing in my hands

From the heart of God

I can choose to heal

Or hurt

 

The healing of God

Flows through me

Seeking hurt, pain, grief

To overcome

 

God is willing to allow

Me to direct the light

To those in need

Of it

 

Can I learn to use the light

To see the hurts

That are in others

And in me?

 

I know I want to heal others

For I see their hurts

Exposed by the light

Of God

 

For I direct the light

Outward to others

From the depths

Of my soul

 

But can I learn to direct

The light inside

To heal the pain

In me?

 

It is necessary to look inside to see our own pain. The pain we have experienced helps others.

Positive stress is called eustress

Today I am tired. I have finished the major yard work! Yea! The tired I am is called good tired. Now I have to move one to other things. The next things coming are positive bue even good stress can be stressful. This kind of stress is cause eustress.

baptismThe end of August will be busy. Our great grandson will be baptized here at our home on August 25th. A flurry of circumstances made this a mess to figure out but thankfully God intervened. Here in the south we have what are called “kissing cousins.” They are usually related but distantly. My kissing cousin is a Lutheran Pastor, retired and aging. I was hesitant to ask him but found an opportunity and chanced it. He was thrilled and we will have a family baptism.

Right after that we start the process for my husband’s knee surgery. Two more trips to Mayo but positive outcome expected. My husband’s brother and his girl friend will keep our dogs. This means deep house cleaning for me but whatever???

use your tools
use your tools

All this means that I am starting on a roller coaster of emotions and am beginning now to stay with all my tools for defusing myself. I really want to show myself that I can stay focused and do well. That will be a big plus for me. Support from the blog community is always there and appreciated.

This will be a good test and I will manage no matter what but I do so want to see progress in how I function. With God’s help it will be good.