I needed to pick something to read for lent. I like to tackle something that encourages me to grow. I may add something along with the one I have picked: The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen. I read this book a long time ago and I have decided to revisit Nouwen’s wisdom. I have pulled out several others but I haven’t made up my mind about which one to tackle. I always have a few books on the shelf that I planned to read but never got to. I have chosen Plan B by Anne Lamott and Dreams, God’s Forgotten Language by John Sanford to choose from. All three are totally different and I will have to see what works for me after the Nouwen. The front of the Nouwen book say “In our own woundedness, we can become a source of life for others.”
I am reading this again because I have seen this to be so true in my own life. When we have experienced painful things we are more able to help others who have had similar experiences. They are helped to heal by our woundedness. If you have had no problems in your life it is hard to understand and empathize with the problems of others.
It is so important for us to share and reach out to others who are wounded by life. We can share the things that we have done to survive and give hope to those in pain. Others who suffer with anxiety and depression have said to me that if I have managed to live a life that has given me joy along with the pain and survived that they can too.
From The Servant Song
Do not be afraid to share your ups and downs, pains and sorrows, and the things you have learned along the way It can help someone have hope.
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.
Memories. Today I have been thinking about memories. God willing we do not lose our memories. There are so many that we have to share and we need to do them before it is too late.
I wrote this poem about memories in 1996
The Button Box
As I look for a shirt button
In my button box
The memories come flooding back
For in that box are buttons
In many colors and shapes
Sizes and textures
Buttons that tell the story of my life
A button from
the dress I wore
To the christening
Of my first born
A mandarin button
From the elegant bathrobe
My husband gave me
When our son was born
An extra button from the dress
I made myself to wear
To my youngest daughter’s
I hold each button in my hand
And relive the day
When the button
I didn’t expect
When I opened the box
To find memories
Memories in a button box
Memories are important. They take us back in time. They sometimes come unbidden with songs or smells or buttons. They can be good or bad, sad or happy but they belong to us. And let’s pray they will never be taken away.
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.
All 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
Sometimes 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.
Yesterday the world crashed in on me. The worries that I have been carrying about members of my family became overwhelming. It was as if I fell into a dark hole. The thing is being in the hole helped me. I let go of all the emotion that had been bottled up. I cried over it and it helped.
Sometimes we just need to recognize that some things are worth crying over. There is sadness and pain and things going wrong and we can’t fix it. Crying is a kind of acknowledgement that it is real and won’t change right away. It is a reminder that we are not in charge of the world and the control is not ours. This kind of letting go allows us to reach out to the one who is in charge and let all the worry and pain be assuaged.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Things don’t always work out the way we want. Lives can be damaged and burdens hard to carry but we don’t have to do it on our own.