Monday, February 18, 2013

What brings you down? Up?

As most of you have realized by now I have't done a very good job keeping my blog updated.  I can only tell you that life seems to keep me very busy, which has always been true.  Beyond that there are things happening in my life that tend to pull me down and rob me of the creative energy I need to do the writing I want to do.

To begin with, every year about January I get hit by the mid-winter funk -- I suppose this is my own version of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Being hit by storm after storm in January and home alone to deal with the weather did not help my situation any.  Neither did falling and injuring myself-  a painful injury that I am still struggling to recover from.

Caregiving for parents is another responsibility - accepted with love and gratitude - but still very draining.  If you have been a caregiver I know you know how difficult and draining this can be.

So it is a challenging time.

However, there are those things that help to lift my spirits.  I try to remain positive even though it may be a challenge some days.  Here are a few things that help:

My daughter,  Amber,  has quit her job to return to school and Noah (grandson)  is in all day kindergarten, so we are now  free of our 3-4 nights per week babysitting responsibility.  It is such a joy to be able to do things with Noah just because we want to hang out with him.  He brings a contagious kind of energy with him wherever he does that never fails to lift the spirits.  Whether he is turning cartwheels or flipping hand stands, practicing his karate kicks or playing the drums, ENERGY is what he is all about.  His hugs and kisses are great, too.  We are so proud of Amber and her decision to return to school to pursue her life long dream of becoming a Veterinary Assistant.  She is doing well and seems motivated by her desire to provide a better life for herself and Noah Michael.

As always, music feeds me spirit.  Songs never cease to move me. Some move me to praise and thanksgiving.  Some move me to confession and repentance.  Some move me to empathy with those who mourn and some move me to remember times in the past, times when God's grace sustained me - though I couldn't see it at the time.

Focusing on gratitude keeps me focused on the light when I struggle to  believe that things will be better one day in the future.  To that end, I am intentionally keeping a gratitude journal where I record 5 things for which I am grateful each day.  When I am tempted to turn my back on this daily discipline I am encouraged by the song 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman and imagine that in 5+ years I might actually have a list of 10,000 reasons "for my heart to sing."

Finally, I seek to find that balance  between being vulnerable enough to receive the support and loving care others have to offer without becoming that person others don't want to be around.  My deepest prayer is that through all the seasons of my life God's grace will keep alive in me the assurance that I am His precious child, loved beyond measure and that this assurance will be enough...Enough to keep me a person of hope and light who walks in the peace that passes all understanding.

I invite you to share those things that bring you down?  And the things that lift you up?  I think this could be a very valuable sharing.  Please leave your comments and suggestions.  Pray for me, as I pray for you.

God bless.


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