March 25, 2017 – Worry
“Quit worrying, you’ll get gray hair”. We’ve all been told this or heard it said to someone else in our lives, probably several times over. While I don’t know whether worrying will cause gray hair or not, it causes stress which can cause havoc with your physical and mental health.
So how do you ever get past worrying about something or someone? You never do, not if you have people you love and care about, not if you have bills to pay, children to raise, elderly to care for or a job to go to.
Everyone has their problems, yes even the richest of us and the poorest of us. We all have bills to pay, we all have medical issues, and for the most part, we all have people that we care about, many who are not following Jesus, many who are going down dangerous pathways.
But you can learn to control your worry. It is all how you look at things and it is how much faith you put in the Lord. Now, don’t sit back and think God is going to do everything for you. That is not the way he works. He opens doors and offers solutions for those things he feels you can take care of yourself, you just have to walk through the door or follow through on the solutions. If you handle your worry this way, you soon are able to separate the things you can work on from the things that ultimately depend on Gods will.
For those things which we have no control over, there are options you can use to try and help and to ease the pain and agony of those worries. Prayer speaks volumes. Prayer is very powerful. For those worries that you don’t seem to see a solution for, such as a loved one going down the wrong path in life, you pray. These are the worries that you have to completely give over to God. Never stop praying though, and never turn your back and always be willing to talk about Jesus with these people. Even if you think they aren’t listening, many are listening more than you know.
Worry never completely goes away, but it can be handled in a calmer way. Once you have completely given a worry you can’t make go away to God, you put it on the shelf so to speak. You have to realize that it is out of your hands and trust in the Lord to work his will for this person or those people or that situation. Today I am thankful that the Lord has given me the help I need to prioritize and handle my worries, to realize what I should really worry about and what I need to give completely over to him.
March 26, 2017 – Retirement
Retirement is not what I thought it would be. I retired earlier than I planned because I became disabled. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be living on disability, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would lose what I was building.
I had a “cherry” job. I had a company car, good pay, many perks and flexibility to do my job the best I could without a supervisor breathing down my neck. I had great health insurance, life insurance, dental and vision. I also had my 401K that was building each month and some money sitting in a retirement fund the company had quit using, building up interest.
I planned on working until full retirement age, then doing the things I wanted to do. I planned on visiting family in Arizona and Ohio, having a beautiful garden, working on crafts, and traveling to different areas in the US that I had never seen. Now when I look back, I also see that I had a ton of stress piled on my shoulders, and just watching what has happened with my health and family situations far from me, I realize that God did me a favor forcing me to retire when I did.
I may not have enough money to travel to those relatives houses I had planned, but even so, sadly, they are gone and there would be no need to go there. Living in a rural town, I have come to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and the people who are completely more likable than the crowds in the big cities. I can see the steps that the lord took to bring me to a peaceful and enjoyable retirement. Today I am thankful that he changed my retirement plans.
March 27, 2017 – Childhood Memories
It wasn’t until I listened to the childhood memories of a family at dinner one day, that I realized I had some good memories too. I realized that even though I went through some bad times, even though I spent much of my childhood in foster homes, there were those events that made me laugh, made me smile and made me feel loved.
Sometimes a memory will creep in that I hadn’t thought of for many years. A funny episode or an event or conversation that had a large impact on me will come to mind in full color and detail, as if I were standing there again watching it all unfold. The more I am around people who love to talk about their childhood memories, the more the good memories come back to me.
If you had asked me before 1993 about my childhood, I would have told you all the bad things from it, of having to watch my father sitting in his wheelchair in front of a basement window, in a basement made into an apartment on Cherry St. in Chicago, of the day he died and I watched my mother cry, of her getting married again and then having a nervous breakdown and us three girls going into foster care.
I would have told you about the foster parents who didn’t give a hoot about us, about how I was sexually assaulted in one and made to feel that it was my fault, and how I was spanked with a gun-belt at another for committing minor offenses.
But today I remember the horse back rides, playing barbies with my little sister, picking veggies from moms garden and eating them unwashed and uncooked. I can tell you about the church picnic, where I missed sitting on a rock and sat on a cactus instead and of how we used to explore the woods, fields and streams in another farmland foster home.
I could go on and on as these memories keep coming back, and maybe some day I will share a whole lot more. Today I am thankful for the good childhood memories that I have.