I am NOT in charge!

vacationIt is wonderful to go away for vacation and I always look forward to coming home. Two positives. However, this time I should have stayed on vacation. The morning after I arrived home one of our basset hounds had diarrhea everywhere. It was so bad that I actually trashed two rugs that were old. They will go to the dump.

We were sure it was our male basset as he is on medicine that could cause that to happen. While I cleaned up my husband called the vet and got time to take him in. Just before going out the door our female basset had another bout of diarrhea and we realized she had the problem. Almost took the wrong dog!

disasterThe vet gave her meds but her problem continued the next morning and finally stopped. So another day of cleanup. Then the male dog threw up. He is prone to eat too fast and choke. Another clean up. By this time I am sure I had cleaned every floor in the house so that’s one good thing. Both dogs seem to be ok now.

Yesterday I began to feel as if I was coming down with something and sure enough I now have a cold. Just your ordinary …garden variety cold but I feel yuk. Can I go away and start over?

The good new is that I was supposed to start a class at 8:00 am the morning after I arrived home. It was to go 8-4 for three and 1/2 days. The class was canceled which proves that God is definitely in charge. Although life was challenging for the last few days and I still have a cold it could have been worse.

god in charge

Thank you God for being in control. Life would not be possible without you!

Accept yourself

It has been nice to be here in Boston with my daughter.We have visited museams and seen some beautiful things. Art feeds my soul. I so wish it was something I could do. Sometimes I feel so lacking in creativity. I keep forgetting that I can’t do everything. It is so hard to focus on the things that I can do well. I used to put myself down. I do better now and have accepted myself more. I suppose that may come with age. I know myself better.

It is not easy to accept yourself with all your flaws. We have to remember that God accepts us no matter what. His love is freely given.This is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his theses. Luther believed that the grace of God is freely given.I agree.We are so blessed.

Accept yourself. God does.

Cause and Effect

CauseEffect5Today I have been thinking about cause and effect. No matter what we do, or don’t do for that matter, there is always a result. It cannot be avoided. Just how much control do we have over the result of our actions? Sometimes I think we don’t have any and at other times it seems that I am definitely responsible for the outcome.

If we have anything to do with the outcome then we need to be careful. What I choose may have a result that affects someone else. Do I think about that when I make choices? Do I have a positive or negative attitude? It seems to me that having a positive attitude can change the outcome.

There is a difference between positive and negative attitudes. All of us have been with people who are always negative. For them, nothing is ever good. This can really wear on me and I don’t like being around them. Their negativity is just depressing. How we approach things is a decision that we can choose. I can get up in the morning and decide that it is going to be a good day and usually it works. Of course there are times when the day goes downhill anyway but not always.

rule your mindWe do have some control over our own mind. For those of us who have anxiety sometimes we feel truly out of control. It is hard to think yourself into a better place. Depending on the circumstances it may not be possible but that is what I am working on. Developing skills for handling bad feelings is a matter of training. It is just so hard to be disciplined.

Taking control of your own mind is a challenge but it is possible to do. It just takes consistent work.

Some things can’t be fixed

i_can_t_be_fixed__by_x_arisu_x-d7sz2heToday someone said something to me that reminded me of a profound truth that I began to accept late in life. Having attended college twice with two different degrees it wasn’t until my 40s that I finished my nursing degree. Working with those who were sick brought home to me in a different way that there are some things that we cannot fix.

I have a friend whose grandchild is suffering with brain cancer. It is tragic and I mourn for the struggle they are facing but I can’t fix it.

Right now I am watching three hurricanes in the Atlantic that could devastate some people already hit by another storm. I can’t fix it. I wish I could. I really want to.

 

We expect everything to continue just exactly the way we want and we are gobsmacked by something that we can’t fix.

While nursing I did learn that things that can’t be fixed can usually be helped in some way. The sick child still has cancer but thanks to medicine he is better (not cured) and has many people helping him and others with financial and emotional support.

The last hurricane has shown that it could not be stopped but many people have put their lives on hold to help. What was amazing to me was to see linemen from Houston here in Savannah helping to restore power to us. They were “paying it forward.”

help 2I have learned that we can’t dwell on the fact that it can’t be fixed but instead concentrate on what is possible to do to help. That way we give of ourselves…….the most precious thing that we can give.

Understand there are things that can’t be fixed but we can help the unendurable be endured.

 

And all manner of things will be well

batterdownthehatches_2011-12-20-humor-1Tonight I am discombobulated. A great southern term. Since we live in coastal Georgia we will begin putting things away and battening down the hatches. I know that we are blessed to not be in Florida or some of the islands that will be very hard hit and I grieve for those people. To have your life disrupted  by mother nature can be a devastating blow. Any idea of safety and security is literally blown away. Suddenly you are completely vulnerable. Having been through this last year……as did all the places being hit again…..you start to feel caught in some dreadful nightmare. It would be easy to ask where is my God in all of this?

The thing is I start to wonder how much part we humans have played in all of this. Are we having so many storms because of the warming water due to global warming. It is possible the earth would be warming anyway but I suspect that we have helped it along.

buddhaSo where is God? The answer is right where God has always been…at our side through any kind of adversity. There was no promise that life would be perfect. Just a promise to always be there. So..I will leave my home and hope that when I return things will not be too bad. My husband and I will still be together and the rest of our family safe. As Julian of Norwich says: “and all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.”

Hope is the thing with feathers*

Today hasn’t been the best for me. A flare up of IBS which of course includes a flare of anxiety. I wish I knew why these two are connected. Anyway, I will keep on keeping on. It seems to me that is the most important thing. The ability to get up and do! I guess it doesn’t really matter do what just get up and do something.

Life is not about sitting in a corner with your hands on your face. It is about continuing to live. Each day is important. Every moment is a piece of my life. I don’t want to lose any of that. So I will get up tomorrow and start a new day.

For some reason this reminds me of this poem by Emily Dickinson.

hope 2

Hope is a thing with feathers…soft and comforting. In spite of its seeming weightlessness it can hold us up. Each new day is a chance for something new, something different. We just have to have faith. This world is meant for something better. It is meant for peace and love. Maybe we will never see it but the hope is there. I have faith.

*title from Emily Dickinson

There Remains Hope

hidingIt is only in the last few years that I have realized that anxiety (and related problems) runs in families. It may manifest itself differently in each person but those descended from us may have it. Since there are two people involved in conception it is not 100% that a family member will have it. In my family I now realize that there are several of us who suffer with some form of this. More than one of us has some anxiety, OCD, depression and/or inability to sleep. The only light is that they can see at the end of the tunnel me still moving along at 76. They can feel comfortable that it is possible to manage these problems and live a good life. In the early years of my life anxiety, depression etc were not understood or talked about. Where women were concerned it was brushed off. In the south it was often called the “vapors” and you could go to a hospital to return to a calm demeanor. Some women just kept to their rooms. I am sure that most of you have read or seen Pride and Prejudice where the mother is constantly in a state of anxiety.

As the years went on I learned that certain situations caused me extreme stress with some symptoms of anxiety such as sleeplessness, increased heart rate, etc. I had one panic attack in college and the school had a psychiatrist who gave me ?Valium short term. I felt there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t face some things without anxiety. I tried so hard to change but nothing helped. I felt guilty for being the way I was and never talked about it. It was a no no subject.

hopeThank God things have changed. The invention of anti-depressants and other meds that can help the symptoms make this no longer a guilty secret. I know that my problem is mild compared to many and that I am not crazy. This is the information that I feel the need to pass on to anyone suffering from these disorders ,,,,especially to those I love.

You can live a full life. You don’t have to hide or be ashamed. Doctors now realize that this a brain wiring problem and much research is being done on the brain to identify where the various problems are located and what can be done to help. This also doesn’t mean that you must be born with it. Extreme trauma such as PTSD can cause the wiring glitch. There is a recent book by a lifelong anxiety sufferer called On Edge – A journey Through Anxiety by Andrea Peterson. It can be a tough read but she has done major research with scientists who are studying the problems. It may or may not be something you want to read but I found it enlightening.

The most important thing to remember is that we are not some weird creation. “God didn’t make junk.” (from marriage encounter) We have issues just like everyone else. Ours were taboo for a long while but that has changed and will continue to as more research is done. Hang in there! I lived through “the dark ages” and have a wonderful husband and family. Life is good most of the time. You can do it!