If only

if-only-life-was-simple_4There 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.

 

prayer in heartIt 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.

 

 

We can’t be everything

all thingsAll things to all people. An impossibility. Why do I think that I can do it? It’s because I have a family. I am a mother. Mother’s are supposed to be able to fix everything. Sure we can. Lately I have been trying. The impossible? Easy right?

I love my family more than life itself. If only I could fix everything that goes wrong. I can support, listen and love. I can be there no matter what. These are the things that I can do and I am doing them but I ache because I can’t do more.

I am a fixer. My whole life has been spent trying to fix things. I do know that not everything can be fixed. Can’t that be changed? Can’t we be allowed to do that? The answer is no. The world moves along and some things are good and some not. I can’t stop that. However, there is something that I can do. I can call upon the God that I love and trust.

“To holy people the very name of Jesus is a name to feed upon, a name to transport. His name can raise the dead and transfigure  and beautify the living”. —-John Henry

bless the lordSometimes when you don’t know what to say or when things are too overwhelming you can just call his name. Over and over and over. It will be heard. It will be understood. It will be answered.

Sometimes prayer is as simple as that.

 

 

Are we listening?

2 minutes of silenceSilence is a useful tool but it can be difficult. Silence is useful if you want someone else to speak. Most people can’t sit in silence and if you are just quiet and wait they will speak. It is hard for us also. Too often we want to fill silence and will resort to anything to fill the space.

In church if you ask people to sit in silence the air will become tense in about 30 seconds. People will begin to shift in their seats. They want the silence to end.

I have occasionally sat in silence in a place that has a sense of holiness. After I have sat for a short while feeling fretful a sort of peace descends and I feel as if I could sit forever. I need to do more of that. Silence stills your soul.

Spending quiet time with yourself is not easy. It can be so revealing of things about ourselves we don’t want to know. And yet, it is just that silence and quieting of the mind that can make the most impact. In discovering ourselves the important thing to remember is that the past is past. What we do today…in this moment….is what really matters. Silence can bring us to the present moment.

sacred space 2

I like to create “sacred space.” A place where I feel in the presence of God. It can be created with simple objects….things that are precious or meaningful. I like candles with scent. If I can manage to concentrate on those things I can feel calm. The trouble is I don’t do it enough.

We also spend most of our time in prayer talking TO God. We don’t spend much time listening for an answer. Maybe we think there won’t be one. Sometimes if I wait long enough thoughts come to my mind that come without bidding and with much wisdom. I prefer to think of this as God speaking.

You-Can-Feel-The-Soul-In-SilenceGod is always with us in the silence. We spend so much time talking to God that we forget to listen for him in the silence. Maybe the reason we don’t hear him speak more is that we don’t listen.

 

Christmas rush/stress

christmas stressI am beginning to realize that it may be impossible to think rationally at this time of year. For those of us who are Christian we are pressured to provide the “perfect” Christmas. We know that this is impossible yet we keep expecting it of ourselves.

This can also happen to those who are not Christian but who are caught up in the “season” and celebrate it as a secular holiday. There is so much going on and so much to do. Instead of things being spread out over the year we lump too much into one holiday. There are Christmas parties to attend even if they are no longer called that. Presents must be bought and wrapped. ….not an easy job. Just when we think we have it all done something else crops up.

After wrapping presents over several weeks I was elated that I was DONE only to discover that there were several more to buy and wrap.

The problem with all of this is that we can easily become short tempered and stressed. I’m sure that is what brought on my crazy day yesterday. We keep trying to accomplish too much in a short time. Christmas day comes and we collapse.

To help ourselves we have to do some things to de-stress. Deep breathing can help. Just concentrating on your breath is calming. A walk outside (weather permitting) is great. Listening to calming music or a relaxation tape is good. Praying and listening for God are a tremendous help. Whatever works for you.

Take time to relax and enjoy what you can. Many of us have sadness attached to the season. If the season is hard for you plan something that you enjoy and forget about the holiday.

We all need to try and remove the trappings that have been tacked on to this holy event and keep focused on the birth of Christ.

prince of peace

“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”

 

Life happens..hold on

detourI have not written for several days. The internet was down for a while but then I didn’t feel like writing. I have been struggling with IBS which triggers anxiety. It can be depressing to be hesitant to go out due to IBS. There are a lot of things going on in my life that have stressed me. However, life goes on and my minor glitches will not stop the world.

When things are like this I work to remember the big picture. I am alive. I have a home to live in and food to eat. I am not homeless and destitute. It is time to be grateful for what I have instead of whining for what I don’t have. It is for me to adjust my perspective.

I am summoning my coping skills and will be meditating and praying to calm my soul. I have had a lifetime to learn and even though I struggle at times I know what to do. I am aware that many with anxiety and related issues have not yet learned coping skills and suffer greatly. It is wonderful to read blogs when others share their coping tips. Knowing that others struggle makes us not feel alone and we can try ideas and find what helps us.

grace2

Prayer allows us to reach out to the help that never leaves us. It is possible for God to feel distant but that is our perception and is not real. God is always there. …sometimes just waiting for us to reach out. Life is never smooth. God is the rock…the foundation that shores us up. Never forget that.

Find your sacred space

overloadThe fast paced world that we inhabit is hard to navigate. There are so many things that we no longer do. Just sitting on a porch in the evening and rocking back and forth is so calming. Time to rest, greet neighbors and feel the breeze. No sounds except crickets and the wind in the trees. Heaven.

Instead we enclose ourselves in our homes avoiding silence and simple thoughts with electronic noise. Continuing to clutter our already overloaded minds so simple thought is overwritten. I wonder if this era in time will be known as the over-stressed era?

So many of us suffer from the results of this lifestyle. We have irritable bowel, high blood pressure, acid reflux, depression, anxiety and a host of auto-immune disorders. We were not created to live this way. The rise in emotional and mental disorders in frightening. Our inability to grasp why this is happening and acceptance of our mental stress is appalling. Mental disability still has its stigma. If we are going to survive without either killing each other, committing suicide or staying forever in the darkest of places something has to change. We are in the midst of an epidemic.

sacred spaceEach of us must start by finding that quiet space where peace can be found. A sacred space. Whether it is found in meditation, prayer, nature or wherever our safety lies we have to make a beginning. Things can be changed one person at a time, one day at a time, one life at a time.

For me the safe space is prayer and meditation. My peace comes from the Lord. But if I turn away from him there is no peace. It is up to each of us. Seek sacred space.

Isaiah 55:6
Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;

Go to sleep

crash fireEach night I try to write my blog before my favorite time of the day. Tonight I didn’t get my done and it is now quite late. I love the time after dinner when my husband and I and our two basset hounds retreat to the sofa and watch a little bit of TV or listen to music. This is our down time. The dogs expect it as much as we do. As the weather gets colder we will build a fire. I love this time. I feel so blessed to be able to do this.

Just after we sat down I got a phone call about a problem. When you have a family usually there is some problem going on. Some are simple and some not so simple. Since we have three married children and six grandchildren it is common for something to be going wrong. You just hope that it is something that can be solved.

This made the evening less than relaxing. It is frustrating not to be able to fix things immediately. As a grandparent you are just removed enough from the issue to not be able to get in the middle. As a nurse I learned well that there are some things we can’t fix. It is a hard lesson to learn. It is also hard to just turn things over to God and just leave them there. I keep wanting the solution to be of my choosing but it is out of my hands. To see family in pain is hard to bear but prayer is the only thing to do. God hears the plea of our hearts. I will turn it over to him. Now all I have to do is keep from picking it back up. Worry doesn’t help.

give it to God