Archive | March 2012

Rehearsing the Good

Being content with what you have is a very tricky thing.  All too often, I try to “beat myself into submission” by saying: Darn it, won’t you ever be happy? or  Hey you selfish whining $@#%!*, just take what you’ve got.  or You got what you wanted, now you aren’t happy?  Be thankful!  What’s it going to take?!?  You’ll never be satisfied, will you!

There is a possible chance of needing an attitude adjustment.    But more and more, I choose to look to God about it all.  He is much fairer than I am.  (I actually told my whole “inner dialogue” above to “Shut up!” the other day and it was nice.)

Anyway, when I find myself in the mindset of complaining, I am learning to stop trying to discipline myself, and turn to God for “disciplining” me as he sees fit.  He promises to do the work in me to change me, right?  After all, I am unable to attain perfection.  But amazingly enough, he is so quick to respond with love and not impatience.  So unlike many of my earthly authorities, so unlike myself… but then, that’s what makes him so amazing.  How much more perfect could he get?

So… when I turned to him about my messy house and my frustration (still) with the “new normal” and wanting things “better,” I found my Daddy-God ready to sit me on his knee and… well, confirm my frustration: “Poor Baby,” he says… and then he shows me how to have a contented heart anyway.  Here’s what came out of it.

1) What I think I have: A very messy house.

What I really have: 1) Two really big projects going on that will help my family.  2) Two beautiful children. 

  

2 ) What I think I have: Dark circles around my eyes, hair not done, no energy or time to do makeup.

What I really have: Children that know I love them and love playing with me (and taking pictures together).

 

3) What I think I have: Trash and clutter all over the place.

What I really have: Tokens of God’s provision (including receipts for gas and bags from fast-food meals we were able to buy during a trip to the country) and our family’s love (belated Christmas gifts), as well as the blessing of enough energy to clean out the car.

4) What I think I have: A cluttered desk after I worked so hard last week to organize it.

What I really have: A reminder of my husband treating me with Starbucks, after I did his chores so he could go to bed early.

5) What I think I have: An unmade bed.

What I really have: A comfy mattress my husband bought in our first year of marriage, and a reminder of a good snuggle this morning.  

6) What I think I have: Messy changing station.

What I really have: DISPOSABLE DIAPERS!  What a gift!

7) What I think I have: A big pile of mess needing attention after our trip to the country. SIGH…

What I really have: Treasured tools my husband used to take down a giant wild boar that will fill our freezer with enough meat for months.

8) What I think I have: Filthy dishes piled up beyond reason.

What I really have: Filthy dishes piled up for a perfect reason: family needing us.

9) What I think I have: An unexciting meal.

What I really have: The pot that Grandmother Moore gave me at my wedding shower, making a very healthy chicken soup that we need due to cold and flu season.

10) What I think I have: A neglected, overgrown yard that needs our attention.

What I really have: A (neglected-for-a-darn-good-reason) yard which is overgrown due to all the RAIN!  Thanks God, for the RAIN, after months of drought!

  

So…. dear readers, I guess you might see where I am going with this.  I think I feel like all these things define how well I am doing as a wife and mom.  It’s as though all I see when I look around me, is failure, failure, failure.

But I am slowly learning, on my Daddy-God’s knee, how to rehearse the good things and not the bad things.  (This is something I’ve learned about lately at my women’s Bible study).  This is not a pushing down of my sorrows or hurts, though.  God merely helps me to address them appropriately, all with a good sort of snuggle with that ever-present Spirit of His.  The result is a favorable and uplifting slant of the “Truth” rather than a discouraging, downcast and condemning one.

Thoughts?  …and thanks for reading, Friends.

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Goodbye, Grandmother

Thelma Moore, my husband’s family matriarch of 103 years, recently passed away.

What a treasure of family heritage I have been blessed with exposure to and can now pass on!  Unfortunately I do not live close to my grandparents or great-grandparents, and only see them on special occasions.  “Grandmother Moore” as she liked to be called by grandkids (“G.G.” to the great-grandkids) was there for each family event she could host or attend.  She was there for my wedding almost five years ago.  She lived in her own home until very recently, when she chose to go live at the retirement center “with all of her friends.”

Grandmother Moore liked a good story, and loved creativity — and art.  Her paintings are beautiful and usually catch the Texas countryside or family history in some way.  There are great stories to go along with some of them…. like the time horses stomped up onto the wooden sidewalk and into a country store during a fight, or when Indians visited her family.

As my husband says, this woman saw the advent (and often the invent) of things like cars, refrigerators, freezers, space flight, and civil rights and liberties for women and minorities.  She watched the decline of the 20s and the hardship of the Great Depression from the front row.  She was alive through all of that as well as other countless moments of history.  She has lived that many years… to contemplate this boggles my mind.

Not many families know or have such a connection to the past… it gives me a feeling of solidarity as a human being, to really stop and see the flesh-and-blood connection to those past-times.  Even better when they share the same faith and can answer some solid questions about it, like the time that an 80-something friend of mine told me how Psalm 23 has always seemed fresh to her, each time she reads it; that God would show her something new.  Grandmother Moore believed in God and the gift he has given us through Jesus Christ.  She knew, no matter her shortcomings or achievements, that she was held in the palm of His hand, called holy and acceptable.

In the process of new family life and living an hour-and-a-half from her, I only usually got to hang out with her with other people around, but I am thankful for each memory of course.  And I got to have a special brunch with her and my Mom-in-law and Aunt-in-law.  That was a fun day!  I was a new bride and desperately wanted to find their approval.  I asked them to meet me at a local-to-them restaurant and we chatted over our favorite country dishes and hot coffee.  I was so touched when she wanted to meet the newest grandkids after they were born (see above and below).

Thanks, God, for letting me see that it is possible to have fun and be active all the way up ’til my dying day. I hope that I can live to see all my offspring like that, and know them by name like she did, enjoying their company.

I look forward to some longer chats, and knowing her better, in heaven.  I bet we’ll both have bluebonnets and Texas wildflowers growing in big outdoor gardens!  Until then, Grandmother Moore, rest in peace.

Thanks for reading, Friends.