God with us!

birth of christChristmas is about here. I think today ( Christmas Eve) may be one of my favorite days. Sometimes anticipation is better than the actual event. However, I know that tomorrow will bring joy.

There are different thoughts about the importance of Christmas. Some theologians see Christmas as the central focus of their theology. They are called Incarnation Theologians. I am one of those (although I don’t consider myself a theologian). Somehow I like the idea that the greatest sacrifice on the part of Christ was leaving heaven. This doesn’t mean that his life, death and resurrection were not important.

There are others who see the resurrection as most important. I guess in reality I see his birth, life, death and resurrection as a whole….no one part more significant than the others. I don’t know what kind of theology this is but it is the complete image that connects me. His whole being and all that he offered is amazing. He truly is “God with us.”

ImmanuelHe came as an infant, vulnerable and fragile. He grew up among us learning from those around him. His life and ministry showed us how to be wholly human. (Notice that the word wholly contains “holy”). He was radical in his time…accepting women, lepers, tax collectors and other outcasts as equal human beings.

If only we could follow his path of acceptance and love the world would be a different place.

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.”

 

Aggravations

aggravationsToday has been one of those days where nothing you do comes out as you expected. We are trying to deal with Dr’s issue regarding an knee surgery my husband needs. We decided to go see star wars and really were pushed for time. We needed to eat lunch before going and grabbed some fast food and choked it down in the car. Then I thought I left my cell phone/wallet in the fast food place and ran back over there to find it only to discover that it was in my purse the whole time! I felt like a crazy nut. By that time I was out of breath and stressed but we did see the movie and it was wonderful. It was a good way to seek calm.

While out we ran an errand and I had a phone call from one of two brothers whose mother’s will I am executor of. This has been a long drawn out process. The two have been on the outs forever which is why my friend asked me to take care of it. The brother that calls is upset about the will (he has had a copy for two years). Now is thinking about contesting it. WHAT A DAY!

Each day is different. Each day can bring challenges we don’t expect. They can be small but cumulative. All these little issues got bigger as my coping skills when down. I am home now and coming down from the fast heart rate and stress.

julian of NorwichI try to remember when I have a day like this I try to remember the quote from Julian of Norwich who said:; 

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

It helps me to ground myself in my faith. Today I repeated it over several times. It is very calming.

Blog on CBT

This month marks close to eight months of learning to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help combat my anxiety, my therapist and made the decision to take some time off so that I could work on my health. Still, every day I apply everything that I have learned and are still applying them today. So […]

via Learning From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy — The Bipolar Writer

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.

We are a community

family treeI have mentioned before how as the members of your family grows through children growing and marrying and that life becomes more complicated instead of less. As you add more people to the circle there are more people to care about and worry about. Since I have been blessed to have loving children I frequently talk with them, and the girls especially, call for help and advice. I see this as what a mother is for. If I can’t share what have learned over the years what good is it? I am happy to offer love, support and anything else that is helpful. It is wonderful to be needed and loved.

The other side of the coin is that I am privy to the ups and downs of my family. As a mother and grandmother I can’t help but worry about problems and the outcomes. Over the years I have been blessed to learn coping skills to assuage my anxiety and have learned to count on prayer and God.

Having lived my life dependent on my faith for support I have often wondered what people who don’t have that support do in a crisis. Perhaps they are strong enough to count on themselves and find help from those around them. I hope this is the case as living without any support is an intolerable way to live.

community 2In writing this blog I have corresponded with those whose support system is limited and grieve about their circumstances. I hope that finding some support from those of us in this community helps to provide them with a sense of belonging. My compassion and love reaches out to them and makes me wish I could do more. We support each other.

I am grateful for this community and feel supported by it. I hope that others find that same support by linking with others who reach out. God Bless this community.