Sunday, April 22, 2012

Miss...Don't Miss...or Near Miss

"No that I speak in regard to need,for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content."
Philippians 4:11
New King James Version

I was talking to Steve today as we enjoyed a leisurely drive in the country near our apartment in Salem,Oregon.As I am a pondering,musing kind of woman my thoughts turned to the issue of contentment.When I am on a drive,with my sweetheart of nearly 20 years,in the beautiful countryside,I am nearly as content as I can be.For me this is sheer bliss.I was not worried about the gas were were wasting nor was I thinking about having to face rush hour traffic in the morning for I was content.And at peace.And I began to talk to Steve about my pondering.I told him I did not miss having to awaken to an alarm every morning or face a long or even short drive to work on a Monday morning.I did not miss being away from home 8 or 10 hours a day.And I definitely did not miss nylons and high heels and make-up for we are retired.And finally enjoying it.But we did not retire in the way I would have planned it.No,we were forced into an early retirement due to a down turn in Steve's health in 2002 which preceded a downturn in my health in 2003.And when it all began,and our world began to unravel,at the seams,it appeared,I was anything but content.No,I was sad,fearful and even angry.I missed the regular income,even though it was small by most people's standards of living.I missed the esteem that comes from being able to go out and make your own wages.I wondered how we would make it,and at times I wondered if we would even survive.We both had what I call close calls,near misses with our health.We both faced things that could have taken our physical lives(Steve with heart trouble and I with cancer of the uterus). These issues caused a landslide of life changes that we were ill prepared for.We had to go on welfare for a season.This not only dealt a huge blow to our pride but it also began to unravel any contentment we may have had even a shred of.And this discontentment went deep for a long time.Why was God allowing these things?What on earth had we done wrong?Would life ever be the same again?All these questions assaulted my mind day and night.And in all honesty all they did was add stress to an already stressful situation.Contentment seemed to be an elusive dream.A unobtainable reality.I begged God to change the circumstances and even asked Him,in the early days,to take us home to be with Him.But He did not give in to my childish whims,He did not acquiesce to my desperate pleadings.He just listened.And He comforted me.And ever so slowly He also began to change me.And He began to show me how to make a life and not just a living.And it's taken most of these 10 years to do this work in me.Pride runs deep even when you do not have much by this world's standards.And discontentment is as old as time.Adam and Eve were plagued with it in the garden of Eden where they had been given all they could ask for and yet they wanted the one thing God told them they could not have.That's discontentment my friends.It's an age old enemy that I still battle from time to time but thankfully,on days like today,when it's warm and the sun is shining I can be content.I can choose to be content and it starts  with being grateful.You may have to begin small.I know I did.I started by being thankful for the new day.A new day of life.And it may take some time for it to be worked into your heart and life but contentment,even in bad circumstances is possible.For us much has not changed.We still live on husband's disability income,still go to a food bank once a month and still get some help from the state for food,medical and housing.But I am finding more contentment when I choose contentment and gratitude.And contentment brings peace.And we all know this world needs more peace.
God Bless~Sharon


Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Journey

It's been just over 2 years since I have posted anything here at this blog.I thought I would not return to it.Ever.But perhaps God has other ideas.Other plans.All I know at this point is that the desire to blog once again has returned so I am listening.This last 2 years have been a real journey as is life most all the time. :)It's been full of sunshine and shadows,good and bad,twists and turns.There have been changes of all kinds.We no longer watch our granddaughter regularly as she is now 11 and is schooled at home now.It's been a good decision for all concerned.It's too bad though that the public school she attended did not have stricter policies in place against bullying.I started college and was getting straight A's but had to leave due to a medical condition called"venous insufficiency"that is exacerbated by sitting for great lengths of time.It was a painful decision but a necessary one.I am still hopeful that I will return and get that creative writing degree that I desire.:)
I wish I could say that this journey this last 2 years has been all sunshine and roses.But it has not.The truth is there have been more clouds than I would have chosen.There are days I just really hate the limitations that it seems this life has thrown at me(and my husband). I am discovering that I do not always respond well to the storms of life no matter how long I have endured them.It seems I can never be fully accepting of them in this journey we take while here on planet earth.Perhaps this is God's way of reminding me(oh so often)that this earth is not our true home.It is merely the place we dwell on our way to our true home.Heaven.