We are so good at putting ourselves down. We don’t need any other critic. The one inside of us does a good enough job. We think that we have to be perfect and that it is expected of us. We need a reality check.
Our reality check can be found in the Bible. When we look at who God chose to do the things he wanted it should give us hope. God called Moses to go and convince pharaoh get people out of Egypt. Moses was supposed to talk to pharaoh. Give a great speech. Unfortunately Moses stuttered. What a choice for God to make!
Next we take a look at Rahab. She was a women who live in Jericho. This was where the Israelites were to enter the promised land. They need information and sent spies into the city to the home of Rahab. Since she was a prostitute they felt they would not be noticed there. Their mission was successful and they promised to spare Rahab. She was to hang a red cord outside the window of her house which was in the outside wall. She and her family were spared when the Israelites attacked. A prostitute….chosen by God.
Now lets look at David. David sent his friend and soldier into battle to get killed so that he could have his wife. An adulterer, a king and favorite of God.
Mary was a teenager who got pregnant before she was married and told Joseph a tall story about carrying God’s child. Fortunately Joseph believed her.
Then there are the disciples who promised to follow Jesus but kept messing up. One of them turned him into the authorities and another denied him three times.
If we want to put ourselves down we are in good company. Anyone is good enough for God to choose. We are loved. We are chosen. We are OK.
Today is Shrove Tuesday. The term shrove is the past tense of shrive which in old English has to do with confessing and being forgiven or shriven. This Tuesday is also called Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday (the beginning of lent). Most people would think of this as being the last hurrah of Mardi Gras a big festival day in New Orleans. For those who are not in liturgical churches lent is a season of penance and fasting. Society pays little attention to most of this.
I love the seasons of a liturgical church. I love how the colors on the altar change and the mood of the music is different. I think that it is somewhat like those who depend on the seasons of the year for their livelihood feel when seasons change.
Lent calls for some change to be made in our lives. Many people give up something, sweets, alcohol, smoking or some habit they would like to change. I am more inclined to take on something….working to be more kind, reading something spiritual, visit someone I have neglected….whatever I seem to have forgotten or put off.
Lent is a time to take stock. A time to look inside ourselves and change what needs changing to make ourselves see the beauty of Easter. The more you observe Lent the more meaningful Good Friday and Easter become.
Since visiting a gastro doctor 3 weeks ago I have actually had no flares of IBS. Before that I was having a rough time. They did nothing except order medicine to help which I still don’t have. Now it is back. I should have the medicine tomorrow. Getting through the system is hard and I feel for people who don’t know how to find their way through it.
Tomorrow I will start the medicine and hopefully it will help. Because of the flare up I have been fighting anxiety. The one good thing is that I am fighting to cope. I am determined to get past this and keep moving on. I am determined not to let go and let the anxiety take over. I am determined to keep on.
We have more strength than we think we have. No matter how hard it is we have to continue to put one foot in front of the other. Fear will not win! Life is too important to spend it wallowing in our issues. The sky is beautiful, I love the smell of lavender and cheesecake is worth living for. Maybe if we continue to concentrate on the good things it will distract us from the hard.
There are times when I wish I lived in a bubble and the world outside didn’t matter. Inside the bubble would be love, joy, peace, calm. All the things I long for now. I should add that I am blessed to have love but I could use the others right now.
The trials that I have had in my life were mostly mine to deal with. Something that I could do something about. The trials I have now I have no control over. I can’t fix any of it. I would share the problems but since they belong to others I don’t feel comfortable doing that.
Yesterday I did have to go with my son to put his beloved dog to sleep. My pain was not only for the dog but for my son and his family. The sadness of losing a pet is heartrending. I can’t fix that pain but I was there to share his grief. That seems to be my role at the moment. I can share the pain but that is all. And I can pray.
Sometimes when I pray I just sing the song:
Jesus, Jesus, let me tell you what I know
You have given me your spirit. I love you so.
It is so much easier when it is your own problems. At least then you know that the choices are up to you for good or bad. We have all made bad choices in our lives and suffered the consequences. The world will continue on that way. Bad choices will always be made. Let us just hope that good comes in the long run.
Do you ever have a day where you struggle to know where you belong? I have been at sea for over a year. I know that there is something somewhere that will fulfill this need I have to use the skills that God has given me over the years. I am working toward mediating for court cases but I don’t know if this is where I belong. The problem is that I don’t seem to belong anywhere.
It is a terrible thing to spend a lifetime acquiring skills that can be used to make peoples lives better and be unable to use them. In the last few weeks I have had some situations arise where I know that my ability to navigate the medical system is needed by so many people but I can’t find the place where I can use that. It feels so frustrating. Struggling through the maze of medicine today is so hard on patients. It is changing so fast and getting more and more complex. I wish I could see the direction that I could go to help and see clearly the path ahead. I want to know that this is what God is calling me to do or if I should just move in another direction.
I hate being in limbo! Again I am suffering from waiting. I have no patience. There may be a lesson that I need to learn before God opens the path in front of me. It has happened before and I have been the in wilderness before. I waited and the answer landed in my lap. I just need to listen for God and wait.
Yesterday I read and article that came out of NPR. It said that researchers in California found anxiety cells in mice. The quote from the article says: The finding, reported Wednesday in the journal Neuron,could eventually lead to better treatments for anxiety disorders, which affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.
This is wonderful news for you young people who are fighting with this. I hope that your generation will have an answer about help for anxiety and depression which are linked. It also shows that any of us that have these disorders in any way are only 1 out of five! Did any of us ever realize that it is that prevalent?
We are not alone. And for all we know the odds may be even higher since so much mental health issues are unreported. This is not good news for humanity. Has anxiety been this large and issue forever? Are we just beginning recognize it or is it increasing?
While the neuroscientists continue to learn the psychologists and others need to discover why this is happening. It is one thing to know that it is there it is another to find out how to prevent it.
There is hope one the horizon. Research is moving forward just as it is on other problems such as cancer. Maybe someday the only thing we will have to fight is other humans….unless we can learn to live together and love each other.
We are in the middle of a winter storm. Since I live in the south this weather is unusual. I can’t remember the last time that it was below freezing here. Ice covers the roads and everything is closed. No problem for me. I will stay inside and enjoy the fire. Kids are delighted to have a day off. It seldom happens.
(Marsh grass covered with ice.)
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but then do we ever?
Life itself can be icy and leave us in a shivering in a cold place. There are so many things in life that we can’t control and weather is one of them. Maybe some day science will find a way but I like it this way. It doesn’t make things easier (when hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. happen) but it is real. If we really think about it the only thing that we actually control is ourselves and our reactions to things. Choices bring consequences good or bad and that choice is up to us.
This fact makes it doubly hard when dealing with some mental aberrations. It is easy to feel that we are in a morass and there is no way out. It doesn’t seem as if we have a choice and that there is nothing left to do. The only way out becomes suicide. For those of us dealing with anxiety and depression suddenly not being there at all seems like a relief.
However, there are people who are doing away with themselves slowly by means of alcohol and/or drugs. This way can be devastating as it strips the person a little at a time. Each day they slip away a little more until nothing is left but the drug of choice. The drug takes away their ability to think clearly and reduces the chance of making a different choice.
With all these depressing thoughts we need to look toward the light because we do have a choice. We can decide to reach toward the light. We can seek help from others whether friends, communities or therapeutic help. Hope is still out there. As long as we are breathing there is hope. Life can be difficult but we are alive and a new day is out there.
My granddaughters have said that I give them hope since I have found ways to cope for 77 years. I am still here. I have joys and sorrows, good and bad but life is worth it all. Mostly I have found peace. Gather your strength and hope.