God’s dump truck

out_of_the_frying_pan_and_into_the_fire_by_amorous_inc-d5zf87rHave you ever felt that you move out of the frying pan into the fire? Lately I seem to be doing that. I get past one crisis and another arises. I do key into other’s problems and help if I can. At times that can be overwhelming. Sometimes I just need to back away.

Today I have a very open and honest conversation with a friend. I hope that we both came away with a positive feeling. It is in relation to my journey to discover the next place that God is calling me. We will see how it moves forward and I trust God to help me discern what is best.

I have also been with a friend whose husband is ill and has been fighting the medical system. I hope things are getting better.

As we know these kinds of interactions can push the anxiety button. Fortunately it is only hanging in the background and that is where I want to keep it. It is time to use the things I have learned about taking control.

Control is a word that can have positive or negative connotations. Being in control is where we want to be but that is not always possible. It is so difficult to turn loose. I once taught a class where I talked about putting all of our worries and aggravations in a trash bag and handing them over to God. Then we would move on. However, our inclination is to move and drag the bag with us….move and drag the bag. We can do this endlessly. We just can’t seem to turn it over and leave it there. I wonder if it is our lack of trust or maybe the feeling that we should be able to handle it.

garbage truck

No matter what is the reason we have to learn to stop dragging the bag and let the God dump truck take it away forever.

Keeping balanced

original_good-day-and-bad-day-mugsToday was such a mixed day. I began stressed waiting for some medical results. I think I overdid my meds because of that. I got called about 11:00 that all is well and the anxiety subsided to leave me feeling groggy. It’s funny how there are times when the adrenaline goes it goes all at once. Still I felt good. I went to meet some friends for lunch and on the way out of the building down steep stairs fell the last two and twisted my foot/ankle? It hurt but I could walk on it so went on to enjoy lunch.

After lunch walking back it really hurt so headed home for ice and ibuprofen. Those helped and now it is just a minor ache. I learned a good lesson about managing my meds as I’m sure that’s why I lost my balance.

best daysLife is about balance. Can I balance my checkbook? Can I balance work and home? Can I balance exercise and food? We are always working to keep life on track. We have to weigh the things we do and try to keep an honest balance. Taking care of others and not ourselves makes life out of balance. In contrast we can say the same thing about paying attention only to ourselves and shutting others out is not a balanced life.

Learning to balance our moods and concerns can be even more difficult. Sometimes there is just no way to keep it all together. We need to strive for that balanced life. Sometimes we will lose balance and things will fall over but that is life. Just keep trying.

balance cartoon

“O that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances!

Let it go

I weepSometimes you just want to cry for others. Someone you know has so much on their shoulders with no change in sight and you want to help. Sadly there is nothing you can do but be there. I know that being there is the important thing but it doesn’t seem like it’s enough.

Sometimes what you feel is more than compassion….you can physically feel their pain. I have a friend who is going through so much and I am doing what I can but there should be more. If you hive children you can understand this feeling. It’s when you would willingly take their place if you could. The only  solace that you can find is in turning it over to God.

The trouble is that we don’t always expect God to fix it. We want the solution to be ours. God’s answer could be painful and hard. It is so hard to turn loose of our wish to be in control. We like that. Wanting to be in control is wanting to take the place of God. That is not what we are here for. We are here to offer solace, compassion, love and any other help that we can. Those are the tasks that God has called us to.

letting-goWe can’t fix everything. It would be nice if we could. I learned early on while nursing that there were things that we can do nothing about. It is just hard to let it go. I have seen children die and families devastated. I could do nothing. I have to remember that God can help. He can heal the wounds of their hearts and bring them peace. We just have to let it go and pray.

Patterns and change

Patterns_of_changeI think this is the first time in 43 years that I missed Palm Sunday. We we away attending my grandson’s wedding on Saturday and also a baby shower for my granddaughter on Sunday morning before returning home. It did feel strange. Usually I am immersed in the progress from Lent through Easter. Now we are in Holy Week and I feel lost. I know that I can attend Maunday Thursday services and Good Friday but it seems different.

It is interesting how we can develop patterns that comfort us. Lately my routine has been completely out of sync and as a result so am I. I am looking forward to getting back to routine. I know that some people hate routine and I was not as fond of it when I was younger but over the years I have learned more and more about enjoying things staying somewhat the same. I know, boring. Maybe not.

I need at least some normal to keep me centered. Recently between my family and my friends nothing has seemed the same. It is one of those times in life when we experience lots of change and have to find a new normal. Time has taught me that eventually these changes will slide themselves into a new routine and maybe it will last a while before it happens again but there are no guarantees.

change2

We are guaranteed that life never stays the same. There will always be change and we have to learn to cope. I frequently use this prayer from Compline in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer:

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours
of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and
chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Expectations

SONY DSCToday I am writing random thoughts. I finally finished the baby blanket that obsessed me but I am not happy with the result. Aggravating.

 

We all have things that we do like that. Something that we tackle with lots of enthusiasm and great expectations and then they don’t turn out. I am disappointed but it is time to let it go and time to find a new idea to work on.

It is so easy to get down after working so hard on something. Someone else might say it is fine but it doesn’t suit me. That’s another problem. My expectations of myself. There is no reason why it has to be perfect. It was done with love.

This is how we get into trouble. It’s not only our expectations of ourselves but sometimes the pressure from others. the point is so do the best that we can.

no ideaWe don’t need to get caught in the cycle of too much expectation of ourselves and then disappointment. We must not get caught by the unreasonable expectations of others.

Putting our all into something is enough.

Obsessive thinking

notobsessiveTonight I am just plain tired. I woke up at 5:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep. You know how it is. You wake and think of something that you need to check on but you don’t want to get up and do it. You keep hoping that you will fall asleep but that thought just keeps nagging at your brain. It was a question that could be answered by looking at my calendar on the computer. I knew if I got up and did that it would wake the dogs who would be delighted to have someone up, bark, wag tails, want to go out and wake up the neighborhood. Not a good idea. So I fought the urge and finally dozed off about the time I needed to get up.

How often we do this kind of thing. Once the mind starts working on something it is really hard to let go. It can drive us crazy until we give in. Usually it’s nothing that is really important but just nagging.

Our brains are funny things. They can cause us to obsess about something. We can wring out our brains until we pull ourselves into a state. That is what happens with depression and anxiety. We just can’t let go of the idea. When we are like this we have to find something to distract us from that obsessive cycle. For me it’s usually TV or listening to a book. The minute I stop I can go right back to ruminating again. Just like a cow chewing a cud. I struggle with breaking that habit but am better than I used to be.

I+am+in+charge+of+how+I+feelIf you are suffering from obsessive thinking try and find the thing that will break the cycle. Keep trying until you find something. Don’t give up.

Perfect? NO

not-perfect3I feel as if I lost this week. Tomorrow is Friday and it seems as if I haven’t done a thing. Actually I have…I have been working on a baby blanket that I have to finish by the 24th. A lot of it is finished but, dumb me, I can’t do anything half way and I decided to put cars on  each of the blue squares. There are 18 blue squares and 18 white ones so there is a lot to do. The cars are fairly easy to crochet but time consuming. My hands (with mild arthritis) are hurting and my mind is numb. I would love to just trash the whole thing….but I won’t. I will work my butt off to make this amazing since my stuff always has to be the best! Can you see the problem?

It’s that thing again about wanting to do everything perfectly. I ripped parts of that blanket and started over because of some minor errors. That kind of obsessiveness has haunted me my whole life. When I was young my father always pushed me to try things but if I thought I could’t do well I wouldn’t try. I know that I have missed so many wonderful chances by being this way.

be free

I am not as bad as I used to be because age has helped me to not worry so much about perfection. I have tried some art projects that I never had the nerve to do. I am definitely not an artist but I had fun. I guess age has given me more freedom to be me.

None of us can ever be perfect. We are not made that way. The obsession to be perfect at everything we do can add to anxiety and depression since we feel we are not worthy. We are worthy to try everything. We may fail at some things or not be the best but it can be fun just to try. Don’t get caught in perfectionism.