May 8, 2017 – Disappointments
Life has no guarantees. We can plan, we can pray, we can hope, but very seldom does it turn out exactly as we want it to. I’ve had a lot of disappointments in my life and I have to had to face the cold, hard fact that there will probably be many more. We are not in complete control of our destiny nor the destiny of those we love.
I’ve learned to accept a lot of these disappointments and I try to always look for that little golden nugget that indicates something good may come out of them. I’ve had to learn that in order to live, to be as happy as I can, to not wallow in depression and anger, I must accept these disappointments and deal with them as they come, still looking into them for that little golden nugget. Often times I have found it, although not right away, sometimes it has been years before I discovered its hiding place.
I recently had another disappointment arise that really hurt my feelings. When we moved into this house, there was a line of seven trees along the back fence. When summer came and they all sprouted their leaves and flowers, they completely blocked out the back neighbors yard. It was like having a natural privacy fence.
Apparently the elderly couple that lived there moved out sometime during the winter and now a new couple were moving in. All of a sudden they started chopping down all the trees along that back fence, and while I am sure they are renters, I know the landlord and he wouldn’t say anything about because it would save him work and expense in later years. Instead of the seven trees, there are only three left standing.
They built a make-shift fire pit and started burning all their yard waste and the trees that they cut down. This, in itself, is a dangerous thing for both my roommate and myself as he has a rare hereditary disease that can cause his throat to swell and smoke is one of the worst irritants, and I have COPD and asthma.
Our little private haven during the summer days was now exposed and open to the curiosity of the backyard neighbors. As if that wasn’t enough, they cut down another tree on the side the other day so they could have more wood to burn, also asking all the neighbors on both sides and us for any limbs we might have because they like to sit out around their fire at night.
I have to take into consideration, that they too are an elderly couple, and they too have the right to do some of the things that they enjoy. My only solutions was to change they way I do my container garden, stay off the back deck and keep the windows closed when they burn. Even though I feel like I am inconvenienced, I have come to understand that this may be one of the only enjoyments they have. Today I am thankful that the lord teaches me how to accept and deal with disappointments.
May 9, 2017- Between a Rock and a Hard Spot
Decisions are made every day. You are given choices and you have to choose the one that you think is best. Do I drive down the busy street or do I take the side roads, should I buy the pot roast or the pork loin, should I apply to college “A” or college “B”.
It isn’t out of the norm for many people, including myself to make the wrong decisions because we didn’t think it out, and sometimes a wrong decision is made because there isn’t time to think it through. We have to train our minds to work on logical solutions in every situation. I, myself, often say a little prayer asking the Lord what I should in a situation and more times than not the Holy Spirit has nudged me to do the right thing.
But what happens when choice “A” is no better than choice “B”. What happens when you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, where you could be damned if you don’t and damned if you do, where neither choice will result in the outcome that you want or need?
We, Christians, have a bad habit of believing and even sometimes bragging that we are always in the grace of God. Many will go as far as to claim that he guides their every step and yet, knowing how human nature is, how we think and act, that is very seldom true.
Many times I have been between a rock and a hard spot. Many times I have had to sit and ponder, stress and think about which choice to make, which way to turn, and many times I have made the wrong decision, but one thing I have learned is when you call on God during these trying situations, he will often show up with a “C” choice that is totally unexpected. Today I am thankful that he always shows up when I am stuck between a rock and a hard spot.
May 10, 2017- Training My Thoughts
People spend a ton of money on education. We want our children to have the best education that money can buy. We want them to be smarter, be more successful, achieve more than we could in our lifetime. But, schools don’t teach our children the right ways to think. They can force all the academics down their throat, ad they can graduate with high honors, but they will still walk away without any a lot of what they need to know to make it through life.
This is the area where a lot of parents fail. For instance, other than following the majority of the “Ten Commandments”, my mother gave me no instruction on being kind, really kind. She didn’t teach me to think in the positive and not the negative. She didn’t sit down with me and teach me that I shouldn’t gossip or think bad thoughts about someone.
She didn’t show me how to draw the positive out of something negative or how to make sure there were more positives in my life than negatives. No, she taught me what she was taught, how to cook, how to clean the house, do laundry, crochet, sew, knit and to “do as I say, not as I do”. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mother, but she couldn’t teach me anything that she hadn’t learned herself.
Since I received Christ, so much has changed in my life. I started acting different and I found more peace in my life. I learned by example from those in the church that I thought were my teachers, but found out quickly, that even though, in church, they seemed so pious, so righteous, so “religious’.
It was a rude awakening when one that I held in high esteemed started spreading gossip about the others in the church. I was shocked when she told me that one person had a problem with pornography and when she was sure that a father was sexually abusing his girls, she could tell by the way they acted.
Sometimes we tend to start acting like the people around us. I can personally attest to this, for after Ken died, I had to work with some people who like to always stir up trouble,.I was exposed to their gossip, their dislike of certain individuals and their mistrust of others. They were always looking at the negative side of everything.
I found myself starting to think, talk and act like them and I didn’t like it. I had to take a huge step back and look at the anger, bitterness, and negativity I was allowing to influence me, that I was allowing myself to be a part of. That’s when it hit me. I needed to teach myself how to think.
Every time I would let a bad thought about someone, every time I would feel anger or irritation toward someone, every time I automatically started to jump toward the negative side I things, I forced myself to stop and redirect my thoughts. I looked for positive reasons and solutions, I looked for the good thoughts I knew where there but being smothered by the bad. Today I am thankful that the Lord showed me I needed to train myself to think right.