We are not guaranteed our next breath. Our next breath. A friend of mine, who is an amazing priest, used to remind us of this all the time. There are people coming forward on our Dementia site, telling us their loved ones have passed away. A friend lost her husband. Another friend had a very surprising heart attack. A local search and rescue effort is continuing for several people from our community, and prayers are in endless shouts to heaven for their well-being. And there has been weekly drama with my mom and with our family. It weighs heavily on my heart. And because it is on my heart, my stomach is listening full time and letting me know. Ugh.
Yeah. That. LOL. And so I am working on how I can separate my emotions from my gut. How I can stop worrying about things I cannot change, nor have an affect on. When you raise your kids, you plant seeds, you give them life lessons. And then somewhere around 15 years old or so, they start to have their own strong opinions. They start making memories outside of you. Sometimes I prefer being “fat, dumb, and happy.” But my grown children somehow love telling me stories about things in their youth I did not know of, and to be honest, some of them are fun, but most belong to them…meaning I really don’t want to know. And the kids somehow become adults, even without us. They have their own beliefs and ways of life. It is theirs, no longer mine. Sigh.
Somewhere along the way, I grew up and away from my parents. For me, I was having some fun arguments with my grandfather at 15 years old or so. We discussed politics and unions and voting and the general malaise of the 60s. My parents and grandparents are immigrants. They worked hard to have what they had; to give my brother and myself a good start in life. But I was not raised in a British country; I was raised in the USA. So our arguments were often centuries old. Like the Revolutionary War era revisited in the 60s and 70s. Ha-Ha. They quite often did not understand my thoughts or what that “stuff was they are teaching in the schools these days.” And I laugh because the circle has come around and now I wonder at some of the things my grandchildren will be exposed to. And I worry for our country and our culture. But that is a broad stroke sort of worry. What keeps me up at night occurs much closer to home.
My stress comes from so many avenues. I worry about bills, about money, about retirement, about health and happiness, about my mom, my mother-in-law, my kids, my grandkids, my DIL who is pregnant, if we are ready for winter, what is for dinner, have I done the laundry, got to get to that bathroom floor, trash goes out today, today we have local elections, my dog is limping, mom is so confused, and I hurt. My gut hurts. My back hurts. My muscles ache. And it is daily. Some days, I hurt too much to get much done. Other than feed my mom and worry more. LOL
Through it all, the Lord is calling me. He knows I am in pain. He knows what I need. And it is that ever elusive state of peace and contentment. Am I a happy person? Generally speaking I am. Am I a secure person? Actually, considering the list above, I am pretty secure. Today rain is threatening. Mom and the dog are both snoring. The trash is out and the leaky kitchen trash can is in the laundry room, soaking. I have calls I need to make and things I need to get done. But, here I sit. Writing. Typing and musing and working things out in my head. I use this blog to work out my own issues. Like a diary sitting on a desk, it is open and I welcome your reading of it. Why would I expose myself like this? Because we all have these issues. We may differentiate here and there, but we all have issues. And maybe sharing them gives me insight in the form of likes or comments and replies. And maybe it just enlightens others, and they learn they are not alone. Because I KNOW I am not alone. Which makes it all, somehow, very bearable.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6: 25-34)
So here I am again, clinging to the promises of Christ. To His concern for little, old me. For HIs guardianship of my life, which I freely gave to Him. It feels sometimes like hanging on the edge of a cliff, or precipice. Somedays it feels like there will not be a morning, but God always gives us amazing sunrises. And so, my friends, through my stress, my aches and pains, my concerns, God is steadfast. And through prayer, He holds me up. Thanks be to God for His mercy. And thank you for your continued support and prayers! No prayer is ever wasted and I thank you.