Thankfulness Mondays – Lessons Learned

This is week 35 of 52 joining with Bernadette of Haddon Musings for reasons large and small to be thankful for in our lives, with the intention of perhaps offsetting the negative aspects of life.

This past week I’ve been at my sister “M” ‘s home, and we were reminiscing our growing up years. She’s 5 years older than I, and not in the best health. but we both had many of the same memories. We thought of our mother, and our other 8 siblings.

We thought about how strong a woman she was, and how we have taken on many of her traits. We thought about the unconditional love she had, but also the way we were raised. The appreciation that we feel, for teaching ‘us’ how to love and to support one another. If one of us is hurting we try to be there. If one of us needs something we try to be there.

There are only 3 of us that are remaining now, and our brother and his wife are going through a difficult time. We went to see them and when leaving, there were tears forming in his eyes; this brother who rarely showed his feelings in such a visible way. His wife has a neurological disease of ‘unknown origin’, that now after many years of deterioration, is waiting for placement in a home, where she can receive 24 hour care. He has tried valiantly for her to remain at home, but it has become impossible to continue.

My sister lost her husband later in July of 2015.

So you may wonder what I have to be thankful for…..  and it is that we were raised by a mother who had compassion, strength, faith, and unconditional love, in order that we might show it to not only our families, but to others as well.

If one has not been the recipient of such love, it is difficult (but not impossible) to give it to others.

Six of us 2015 Brother and His Wife in center

Six of us 2015
Brother and His Wife in center

John 13:34-35New International Version (NIV)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Thankfulness Monday ‘early’

In participating with Bernadette of Haddon Musings, I’m doing the post Thankfulness Mondays early,  because I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger award, by Cheri of Joyously Hopeful, who writes beautifully about many things, but especially of children with special needs. She is the mother of a child with autism and does so,to encourage and inform others  about autism.

Although I don’t participate in the award process, I do acknowledge and am thankful to Cheri for the nomination.

While I don’t actually take part anymore the questions she was asking the nominees, got me thinking so I thought I would answer them, in a post

Note….After doing the first one, I realize I can’t do all of them in one post, as it would be too long, I  will do the others at a later date.
  1. What is a cause that is worth dedicating your life to?
  2. What’s your “Back in my day, we…”?
  3. If coffee was illegal, what would its street name be?
  4. What movie title best describes your life?
  5. Which way should toilet paper hang, over or under?

1.  I can say that I have a personal cause or goal for my life, and one for outside my own world. The personal one is to encourage and perhaps have some influence in my grandchildren and great-grandchild’s life. My desire for them is to realize what the most important things in life are; to love and support ‘unconditionally’  their family,  especially during difficult times when it’s not so easy to do, and to care and have compassion for everyone.

 My hope  and prayer also, is that they will want God to be an important part in the years ahead, in all that they do 

6 of our grandchildren

6 of our grandchildren

The other cause that has been part of me, and impacts me is the plight of those in other parts of the world, or even in our own country who are without hope or justice. Those who don’t have even the basic necessities of life. I worked for many years for a Christian non-profit organization World Vision, and it gave me joy to be a part of helping in some way. We still participate in sponsoring a child and their community.

I’ll leave it there….oh except I think I will answer #5… ‘under’ of course; it’s the only way to go !   ha!

Thankfulness Mondays – The Age of Communication

Well here it is week 33 (of 52) joining with Bernadette of Haddon Musings, of thing to be thankful for large and small in our world, to offset the negative ones, hoping that “we can move to higher and better place” (quote unquote).

These last few (or many really) years, media has become so advanced. I’m thankful for the good aspects of it

Think of all the ways we can connect to one another. There’s blogging of course that first comes to mind with my computer; and  Facebook being the second, on a limited basis for me. Of course emailing and then, the cell phones which can be used for the obvious phoning, but also texting and connecting to the internet.

We have the ability, if we so choose, which I haven’t; and that’s + tweeting, Instagram, and Skyping, and so many more. I choose not to do  them though,, because for me it’s much too much. I have the IPhone really to communicate more easily with my children and grandchildren, and to have a camera always on hand if I have an opportunity to take a picture at any time, . Occasionally my 8 year old great-granddaughter uses Facetime to call me, but sometimes I’ve even disconnected with her by mistake, in using it.

All the ways we have can of course be abused in using, most commonly I’m referring to bullying, scams, stalking, spreading rumors, and then just the addiction factor. Some are walking around constantly using these electronic devices oblivious to the people around them.

I am thankful though for some of the choices that I have, and though I don’t use many of the available fancy ‘apps’ that are available, it’s very convenient if I’m waiting for that particular and important call, to be able to be reached with the mobile phone.

So even if these new ways of communicating are  sometimes an intrusive, unwelcome or unwanted  way for some, it can be helpful  and embraced by others, sometimes though to an extreme degree. .

 

 

Reflections From the Past – but I Left Them Behind

In preparation for selling our home in the April, my husband ‘W’ and I have been trying to de-clutter all that we can, as we’re going into an apartment. In doing so we found some things that are from a long time ago, causing ‘reflections from the past.

Now my belief is, that really one should basically not  look into the past too much especially at the worrisome or difficult times. But in having to clear some of it to decide what to throw out, I read a bit of the notes from cognitive therapy I had done and also some writings from a couple of journals. I didn’t read a lot of it but enough to take me back in time to the last period of depression that I had suffered.

We also were deciding what VHS tapes to discard, and so watched a couple not knowing what was on them. There wasn’t anything bad in them, but one was of a cruise we took during another of my ‘episodes’ of depression. We went with his two brothers and their wives, and it reminded me of how little I enjoyed that ‘what should have been’, wonderful vacations. I didn’t recognize most of what ‘W’s  brother had video-taped. I spent so much time by myself, lying down and sleeping so much.  I don’t think I ever went up to the top deck, where the pool was.

I suppose we thought that the cruise would brighten my spirits, but instead it seemed to intensify them.

If you have suffered from this ‘darkness’ of mind and spirit, you’ll know that sometimes good and nice things, or people laughing and having fun make you feel worse.

Anyway, I didn’t stay in the negative zone too long, just long enough for a few tears. I shredded all the material, dried my tears, and left it all behind.

I never want to revisit that place, where at times I could not see any hope or way to feel joy again. It is in the past and will remain there……

I looked into the past for awhile, but only to find out how far I have come!

Thankfulness Mondays – Those Quiet Moments

Week 32 (of 52) I’m joining Bernadette from ‘Haddon Musings’ each Monday, posting of things large or small to  be thankful for, in an effort to offset areas of negativity that surround us on a daily basis

As I’m sitting here, it’s Sunday evening and thinking about what I would write, there was a realization that just being able to sit at home relaxing, was something to be thankful for.

While we all have concerns about situations or people in our lives that may be going through difficult times, I thought that there can be those quiet moments, when we can turn everything in our minds ‘off’ for a little while. There can be a temporary respite from everything, and we can just enjoy whatever we are doing.

When we can’t do this, it can wear us out. When we can’t stop the concentration of all that is not right in our world around, it can be debilitating. I remember so well going through many years of intermittent depression when negativity was so present in my mind, and peace was nowhere to be found.

Depression is not something we ‘invite’ but for many reasons, it just happens. And it’s not just as simple as thinking only nice thoughts, but so very much more. Negativity takes over and robs us of hope. For me it took a long time to find a way to examine my thinking pattern, that had developed over the years, and by doing so, with the help of God and a very kind and caring doctor I was released! Not that I don’t think or have those trying and sad moments, but it’s not the same.

So today, I am just thankful for those quiet moments of reflection and the peace that I have.

I hope that you have, or can find that same peace if your mind is troubled…….  !

2 Timothy 1:vs 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

 

Thankfulness Mondays – Those Special Moments

This is week 31 (of 52) of joining Bernadette of  ‘Haddon Musings’, posting of things we have every day to be thankful for; and to try to realize them to help offset many negative situations around us and in the world in general.

Yesterday we had a lovely visit with one of our grandsons (B) and his fiancée (K). She sent a text on Friday night to see if we had plans and asked if we wanted to have lunch with them. So of course, I said that would be great and asked the time. We agreed on 12:30.

We decided to make a pie and take it with us for dessert as they were supplying lunch. It’s a joint effort; my husband peels and I put it all together. We did it in the morning and then got ready to go, and just as we were leaving I received another text message saying that they would be there in five minutes and to put the coffee on.

A little befuddled I looked at my husband and told him, and also looked at the message they had sent the first time. I then realized I had read it rather quickly and thought we were to go to their home. Of course I was mistaken. If he hadn’t sent that second text we would have left, and likely all been very confused when no one was home at either place.

Anyway, we had a very nice visit. I am very thankful when one of our children or grandchildren take a bit of time out of their very busy schedule, to visit very grateful grandparents.

The day they were engaged.

The day they were engaged.

 

Thankfulness Mondays – THINGS YET UNSEEN

This is week 30 (of 52) participating with Bernadette of Haddon Musings, posting about things great and small, that we have to be thankful for, offsetting negative areas that surround us each and every day.

Hebrews Chapter 11 vs 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

That verse came to mind when I was thinking of how grateful I am that I can believe that some issues that concern me will resolve in the right time.

There is history in my life that allows me to know this. There was depression, there were several issues within the family, there were illnesses and other challenges.

Faith is not something that is necessarily exclusive to being a Christian, because every day people put their faith in their cars as they drive them, or in planes that they travel on, or the food that they eat.

While not exclusive to Christians, the kind of faith I’m speaking about is that I know while I have concerns about various issues, when I pray for a person or situation God will answer.  It may not be the answer I expected, but He will answer. I read somewhere once, that there are three responses from God; yes, no, and not right now. I have found that to be true in the answers I have received. And while at the time I may not understand why or why not  later on in retrospect, I can see the reason!

So today I am thankful that I can trust in what is yet ‘unseen’………