Have you ever sat down and thought, “I wonder…” and let your thoughts take flight? I have. I like to think things like, “I wonder what would happen if I were not sick” or “I wonder what my grandchildren will be like when they are adults?”. Wondering about things is perfectly normal and can actually help you out if you use them to objectively look at things from a variety of angles.
These musings help me to get through the tough days when I cannot do anything. They sustain me when I am low. They lift me up in my imaginings of the future and hope for peace and love. Ok so some are good and some are not so good but it is the hope of what can be that makes you follow onward each and every day.
When you woke up this morning what kind of day did you expect? Did it meet your expectations? Do you see things in a positive manner or do you expect the worst when you wake up?
I heard a story about a family who moved to a new area and went to the church and asked one of the members what kind of people attended there. The man replied with a question. He said, “What were the people like in your last congregation?”. The family replied that they were not friendly and seemed like they could care less about others in the congregation. The man then told them, “It is like that here too”. That same day another new family arrived and asked this same man the same question about what the people were like who attended there, and he replied the same as he had with the other family. He asked them, “What were the people like in your last congregation?. This family replied that the congregation had been friendly, caring and generous with their love. The man then told them, “It is like that here too”.
How could this man say these things about the same congregation? Well, it depended on the perceptions of the new families, you see. Obviously, the first family had negative impressions and perceptions before they even met the congregation so it was pretty good thought that they would find fault in the congregation no matter what happened.
Now, the second family has a positive attitude about life in general and know that God‘s servants are not perfect. Due to this attitude, they look for the good qualities in the congregation and not the negatives. That is what they would find in the new congregation as well, kind people who live as Christ-like as they are able in this time of the end we live in.
Now, a question to ask yourself is which family am I like? Am I a negative person or a positive one? How do I view those in my congregation? Do I always try to find the imperfections in those around me or do I look for positive attributes, knowing that we are all sinners and struggle to live Godly lives in the face of Satan’s world?
It is something to think about for sure…food for thought…
There is a song, by LeeAnn Womack called, “Something Worth Leaving Behind” and it is really thought provoking. I think at some point in our lives we think about what it is that we have to leave behind for the future generations. Some may call it an “a-ha” moment, others just stop and evaluate what their life means. For me, it is extremely personal and not as profound as some, but nonetheless just as important.
I have several things on my “leave behind” list. I caution you, though, that it does not do to get all maudlin while thinking about these things. You need to honestly evaluate what you want others to remember about you when you are gone. It is extremely important that you be honest, because lies or prettying up things only hurt, not help in this. Make a list, then think about how the items rank in importance. I think you will be surprised.
My list is compiled of individual items for each child and grandchild specifically, and then overall items that apply to them all. I have even gone so far as to write my own obituary. What?? You may think that is wrong to do but really, it makes it easier for your family and friends when you pass. It stops the possibility of forgetting someone (in your grief sometimes people are forgotten or overlooked by mistake) in the obit and hurting feelings. It is practical and logical to do it yourself.
In starting a leave behind letter, it is essential to think about all the things you need to say. These letters can become very special to those who get them so it is wise to always try to put it in the way you would talk to them if you were sitting at a table with them. It helps me to visualize this setting and it helps me to put my thoughts in order. Writing an outline can help so it is more cohesive and not so randomly put. Unless you are a random person, that is.
I am also in the process of creating scrapbooks for those in my life so they can have pictorial evidence of the feelings I have for them and they can also remember the good times we have had! I know not all people scrapbook, but I do so this is an outlet that helps me.
Now that I have done this, I feel better. However, I actually did this several years ago and now have more family (grandchildren) than I did when I did the originals so I am thinking about rewriting and including the new ones as well. I want each of them to know how important they are to me and my life. I know what I want them to know and since I have done this before, I can use the outlines of the previous ones and bring it into the present.
I know, it seems sad and yes, there will be tears, but seriously, wouldn’t you love to have something like this from a friend or family member you have lost in death? How precious would it be to you? This is much more personal than a will is, and yet can supplement the legalities and let your family/friends know exactly how you felt about them. This can be especially true if yoru death should be an accidnetal or unexpected death. How comforting for those you leave behind to know you were thnking of them and their futures BEFORE it happened.
So, that is my (not so) profound blog post for today. Have a great day everyone and hope it is pain free and full of love and life!
Today was a very busy day indeed. My mother-in-law officially worked her last day yesterday in preparation for her move to Kentucky. Wal-Mart gave her a big cake, a beautiful bouquet of calalillies, a candle and a picture frame. She was surprised at the gifts for sure.
Today, our congregation gave her a farewell party. She has been in this congregation for some 49 years now so it was a pretty big deal! The food was outstanding, and lovingly made by so many of the congregation. There was a “jeopardy” type game with questions a bout my mother-in-law as well and a good time was had by all! Many of the friends brought gifts and cards. It was so precious to see how they will miss her when she moves.
Her move is truly a big one for her. You see, she has lived her whole life in our hometown. She has worked locally at several jobs but retired from them all now. She is 74. She was widowed in late 40′s. She grew up a few streets away from her current home so in essence, she only moved a few blocks in her lifetime. Now she is packing her belongings and moving 3 hours away to a brand new apartment that my sister and brother-in-law have built for her above their home. This is a big deal!
We have lived with her for some three years now so her leaving will be difficult for us as well. We now have her home and are making it ours. We are painting and bringing the house up to date. It is an adventure for us as well as her.
On to wolfie… I made it through this busy day and am sitting in the living room typing this and trying to keep my eyes open long enough to do it. I laughed so much my cheeks hurt. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many of Christ‘s followers who exhibit love in such an unselfish way. It is beautiful to see that love extended to those around them as well. She is leaving a very special congregation for sure, but she is moving to another one that will keep her busy and happy as well.
Life can take such sweet twists and turns and shake things up a bit but deep down, as long as we are able, we should always be Christ like in our love for others in both word and deed. While sitting here in pain, it is nonetheless heartwarming to feel that special bond with others who believe as you do. Her new congregation is wonderful too. I lived dwon there and was a member for a time (while we lived there). It is filled with many others who are genuine, trust worthy and God fearing. A blessing indeed for her. They were for me and I miss them so but I am also surrounded here with the same love in the congregation I attend. Blessings from God, His congregations are a source of love, knowledge, wisdom and truth. Blessings to you all!
Our heavenly Father gives me ample spiritual food to meditate on and share with others. I am trying to stay focused on the good things, leaving the bad for God to take care of. In this regard, I have found some scriptures to help me.
The first scripture is in my lesson for tomorrow (or today since it is after midnight). It is Psalms 119:76; and it says, “May your loving kindness serve, please, to comfort me.” Wow! It is a powerful thing to say of the Almighty.
Another one from my lesson is this one at Psalms 103:3, 11 that says (3):, “(Jehovah) is forgiving all your error, (he) is healing your maladies.” and then at verse 11 it says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, his loving kindness is superior toward those fearing him.”
Think about those verses for a few minutes. Isn’t it amazing that our Creator, the Most High, can show us loving kindness? In the lesson it continues by stating, “Meditating on these and other scriptural accounts fills our hearts with gratitude for Jehovah’s loving kindness and we are moved to praise and thank him. The more grateful we are at heart, the more inclined we are to become imitators of the true God. (Ephesians 5:1)”
It fills my heart to think that me, a lowly human sinner, can approach God freely and by forgiven for my errors and I can feel His loving kindness (which the Bible says is superior) surround me. It is humbling indeed.
I love this lesson and I am glad to share it because it truly does help knowing that our loving Father can help us when we are down, physically or mentally or both, and He can lift us up by means of His loving kindness and Holy Spirit. I am so thankful for my relationship with my heavenly Father. May each of you find the peace of God as well and become shining examples of how God is alive in your life.
Losses are becoming a very real part of life as I enter my fifties. I can recall that when we heard of someone passing, it was always someone older, it seemed. Now, it is becoming more and more that these people are our friends, coworkers, loved ones and neighbors. I do not like it. Not one bit. Most of the time when you read an obituary, or just scan them, it is reassuring not to know any of them. This is changing for me. I am now reading them to make sure I do not miss anyone I know.
Have you ever noticed that no matter what we do or how we live, death seems to find us all. I do not personally believe that there is a predetermined time or place for my death. The Bible tells us that “time and unforeseen occurence befall us all”. So, instead, I think that there is a certain randomness to it, that if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, you may suffer because of your choices in the matters.
For instance, if you drink and drive, your chances of being involved in an accident go up, way up. Yet, conversely, if you are driving home from the grocery, a drunk may hit you and cause you pain and suffering. Randomness. Some things can be concluded from the choices you make. That is easy. If you smoke, you are at greater risk of emphysema and lung cancer. However, you can never smoke and get the same things.
There are those who would make the argument that smoking isn’t the problem (substitute drinking, drugs, etc., for smoking). They say that it is “their time”. There it is again, that mysterious magical phrase that implies that predestination again. Oh well, you say, I can have my beliefs and you can have yours. Good, now we are on common ground.
I am writing all these things because in the last month or so, we have experienced several losses in our family, friends, and community at large. My husbands two uncles, Tom and Don, passed away. On the heels of them, a good friend lost her father suddenly. As we were recovering from these losses, we heard of the loss of a young man who was a police officer in Alaska. He grew up here in our hometown, and he went to school with my daughter and nephew. The city joined together to give him a heroes sendoff, complete with a motorcade through town and a memorial service at the high school. Things were finally settling down a little when another friend told us of the loss of a classmate, at the young age of 52, to a sudden heart attack. That was two days ago. Today, a dear friend wrote to tell me she could not walk in our lupus walk because her husband had passed away yesterday. I tell you, it has been a rough time lately. If you add to the mix, my spiritual daughter being physically abused and almost killed by her abusive husband, then you can round it all out.
I wonder at times like these, how to comfort those who have experienced these losses. In the end, the best thing I can do is be there if they need to talk, help out if they need help, bring food if it is needed, and be a friend. Sometimes it is not the words, but the actions that speak to a grieving heart.
I pray that all these families will feel God surrounding them in their time of need, and that they may know there are people out here who are willing to listen and help as needed. While the pain is fresh in their hearts, remember that the loved ones will live on in their legacies of love they have given to their families.
These folks have all dealt with their losses in a dignified manner that is amazing to behold at times. While their deep grief is seen, just below the surface, it is the memories that will sustain them.
I have lost friends, loved ones and many more in this lifetime. I will lose many more I am sure. Because of this, I try each day to tell those I love, that I love them. I try to live like a song I love says “something worth leaving behind”. When I go, I hope those who are still here will remember me with fondness and share stories of times long ago. I hope they laugh, loudly, and see old friends of long ago. Mostly, I hope they will remember that they were all loved.