It happened on Sunday. The pastor in his sermon asked us to answer a series of questions. I only heard the first question. I don’t know if it was the mood I was in or if my mind took a vacation but I was completely blank. The question was: “what is your greatest joy?”
It was terrible to be asked that question and to have absolutely no answer. We were told to just think about the first thing to pop into our minds but for me that was nothing. I have been thinking about it since. Do I not have a greatest joy? My life is really good. I have a wonderful husband and family, a beautiful home and I could go on. What is wrong with me? I don’t know if the words “greatest joy” drove all else from my mind or if I really don’t have an answer.
Many things bring me joy. Sometimes just the smallest things but I can’t classify them as the greatest joy. I guess my list is either endless or nonexistent. The question has totally overwhelmed me.
Is there something wrong with me?
Am I taking the question in a wrong way?
Does anyone have any thoughts about this?
Today I went out and tackled some more vines in my azaleas. Good thing to do? right? NO. Since the temperature was around 98 and the humidity matched it heat stroke was a possibility. I did go out early but that was little help. Working for a while in a sunny area I realized that I need to move to shade. As soaked with sweat as I was I looked as if I had jumped in the creek in front of our house. Since I had no death wish I moved to the other side of the house where shade prevailed and here is where I dipped into dementia.
There was a camellia bush that was in my plans to prune since it was at least 10 feet tall and looking spindly. It was in the shade. This job would take one thing off my to-do list so I started in. It never occurred to me that cutting/pruning the bush was a monumental task and being obsessive there was no way I would quit until it was done.
After hauling the remains to the street to be picked up by the county I raced to a cold shower and remained in that blissful place until I cooled down. I felt better but the thing I hadn’t considered was the amount of time I had spent outdoors in the heat. Exhaustion was on its way. I almost slept through dinner…a pizza which my wonderful husband picked up…and am now barely awake.
Sometime in the recent past I wrote about choosing the right amount of work to do. How the right amount makes us feel great and too much makes us drained of our physical and mental resources. Well…I am there. Tomorrow is a designated rest day!
Remember, we do need to work to accomplish tasks that help us to feel successful but too much will make us weary and enervated. Choose wisely!
Today, a friend at church, was showing us the bruises and stitches gotten when she she fell in the grocery store. She fell while buying a bottle of wine. The bottle broke and she was cut by the glass. She talked about going to the immediate med place and smelling like a drunk. I can imagine her saying “but I wasn’t drinking!”
She will have a small scar in one place and that started me thinking about the scars that we all carry. I have one from the time I put my finger in an electrical socket as a child. I have one from falling on a sharp piece of bamboo in the back yard.
We all have scars. Some are physical and some are emotional. I think the emotional scars are harder to heal. The trouble is we keep pulling them out to look and remember the pain. It’s funny how we do that and hardly notice the physical scars.
It is so easy to remember the times that we were hurt and to dwell on them. We can feel the emotions all over again…whether it is anger or pain or sadness. We almost treasure them and tuck them away so that we can get upset all over again.
We have to open those closets inside where we shove those scars and pull them out and throw them away. The sooner we do that the sooner we will be able to move past them. Holding on to them hurts us. Probably the people who caused them remember nothing and there we are still hurting.
I am trying to expose those scars and push them away from me so that I don’t have to feel the pain. In the Lord’s Prayer it says (new version) “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” A version from the New Zealand Prayer book says “in the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.” It makes me think that one meaning we can get from that is forgive us for holding on to those hurts.
Turn them loose and move on.
Today 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.
We 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.
” data-hasqtip=”18″>John 9:2
And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?”
Do we visit our sins upon our children? Or we can ask “what traits of ours are passed on to our children and their children?
Case in point: My father had multiple kidney stones. The doctors called him a stone maker. I’ll be he had a least 50 or more in his lifetime. In college I developed kidney stones. You can inherit the tendency but not the actual thing. I guess I go the tendency. Fortunately I didn’t have the same problem as my father and had only a few stones.
None of my children have shown that tendency nor my grandchildren so I hope that is gone. These kinds of things we pass on are not under our control unless they are a major problem such as Tay Sachs disease and we can have genetic testing to make decisions about those things.
There are other things, however, that we do pass on. Sometimes without realizing it. At one point in our marriage my husband was switching jobs and money was tight.My stress over this was passed on to my daughter. The bad news is she worries about money. The good news is she is careful but not obsessive and always willing to help others when needs arise.
In raising children we sometimes find ourselves repeating the things said to us by our parents. Some things good, some bad.
It is a known fact that abuse and addiction put children at risk for the same problems. I know that I passed on my anxiety to some of my grandchildren.
The thing I have learned is we need to be aware that we can teach coping skills to our children and hope that they can learn from our mistakes and issues. Our own ability to cope can be a positive example to them and others. They can fine hope in the fact that we have struggled with problems and conquered them. This is the legacy we can give them.
Share your experiences with your loved ones. Pass down your struggles and how you coped. It will help them.
There was no sin that caused the man to be born blind. Just a natural event. Our children will not be afflicted because of our mistakes. God doesn’t work that way.