Saith Me… Simply A Cloud

I do not need you understand my pain.

I need you to understand that I work every day to rise above it and to prevent it from leading me into the depths of despair.

I need you to understand that there are days when I succeed in my efforts – magnificently succeed!

I need you to understand that there are days when I stumble, falter, and succumb; when fear overshadows my focus and clouds my skies.

I need you to understand that on these days, my countenance and my behavior do not reflect on my perseverance, my hope, and my joy.

On these days, I need you to understand, there is simply a cloud or two in my otherwise light filled life.

Saith Me… Lumps and Bumps and Even Patches

Handspun yarn is much like life. The beauty is found in the lumps and bumps as well as in the smooth sections.

 

Spinning and knitting in small scale can be a fun way to try out new ideas. Working with small gauge needles when the hands no longer cooperate all the time can be a challenge, but I am learning to embrace that challenge. The speed and dexterity of my youth may be long gone, but patience and determination have become my companions.

Baby Sweater - Hooded02

Doll Sweaters 02

The Parable of the Old House

There was an old house that had once been beautiful and grand. It sat on a road with many other beautiful, grand homes, but over time it began to fall into disrepair until one day its windows were boarded up and it was abandoned. In order to hide its sad state from the others, the boards on the windows had been painted to look like windows; dark panes of painted wood trimmed in white had replaced the clear glass. To the many who drove past the old house barely sparing it a glance, the evidence of its downfall was easier to ignore once those painted boards had covered broken windows.

Eventually, the decay and disrepair reached a level that the city decided the house was an eyesore and a danger. It was decided that the once beautiful and grand house would need to go, to be torn down. Yet, just as all looked lost for the house, someone took a closer look and saw past the overgrown yard, the damaged roof, and the boarded up windows. With dedicated care and work the house was restored.

We are all in danger of becoming the house. Without maintenance and care, we can go from a place of beauty and love to a place where we board up our windows and fall into decay. The Lord’s mercy and love, His atonement for our sins can help save us. It is important that we remember this when we feel as if the storms of life are ripping at our exteriors and the wind and rain begins to seep into our souls.

The Lord admonishes us to learn of Him and to take His yoke upon us. He teaches us to be mindful of our brothers and sisters. He admonishes us to be mindful of those who have boarded up windows, those who may be falling into deep disrepair. We should be careful when driving through our communities to avoid condemning the houses we see that have been storm damaged or neglected.

by Jessie A. Hagen

The Parable of the Old House - sm

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Pain Sucks, Life Doesn’t

Pain sucks, but life doesn’t. Whether it is physical or emotional, sometimes it is easy to forget that it is pain not life to which we want an end.

Chronic physical pain can lead to emotional pain and can be compounded by the pains of loss and loneliness. A bad day can turn into a bad week, then a bad month becomes a bad year. As with most creatures, the pain causes us to withdraw from those who seem unable to understand or assist. Caring people seem too busy or seem too happy to be bothered with the task of giving us a lift. Unlike the temporary pain most people experience, chronic pain never leaves. Sometimes it can diminish and give us a rare glimpse of relief, but then it can flare back up worse than ever. Some chronic pain sufferers face an ever shifting collection of pain that causes even the closest of loved ones to become frustrated.

Pain can seem all consuming and extremely defeating. Pain sucks, but life, despite the pain, contains joy and beauty. The dark lenses of pain may dim the light, but they do not eradicate it or cease it to exist. Daily life for people in pain requires a constant effort to see past the dark lenses, to see the light. Their efforts are helped when a loved one takes the time to lift the window shades and let in greater light.

As busy as we may be, as frustrated as we might get, we must work to lift the shades and bring in the light. Sometimes it is all that prevents the misery of pain from becoming the misery of life.

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A Peaceful Thanksgiving Day

Embracing something new this year for Thanksgiving. Guilt free, stress free time with my husband.

When we were first married, the holidays were very stressful. Then the kids came and matters became much worse. Fibromyalgia undermined the holidays, especially Thanksgiving in those years when the kids were small and we did not know what caused my intense bouts of pain and fatigue. We did, however, know that participating in a game of holiday grandparent tug-of-war made me ill.

Eventually, the holidays became a time where my small family chose to stay home. Our door was always open, to family and friends alike. I would bake and cook and fill the table until it groaned. A few times friends joined us at that table, but most often it was just our small family of four.

After a very tough year of loss and a year when diagnosis finally explained my ill health, I asked my son to take over the Thanksgiving preparations. He was still a youth of twelve but he loved the challenge. From then on, Thanksgiving was his day.

Thanksgiving in my youth was all about the extended family and the food. Thanksgiving as a young wife and young mother was stressful. I tried my hardest counter the negativity of extended family contention. I learned that in a big family, the craziness is just part of the holiday tradition, but in a very small family, the craziness is unhealthy.

Year by year all our family shrank in size as age and illness took their toll. But with loss came the realization that the contention was gone as well.

We knew it would be awhile before our family would grow again. Knowing that the future would bring new members to our family caused us to ponder how to make the holidays different for the next generation.

These last few years found us carving out blissful memories as we carved the turkey. The holiday season became one of giving, of seeking others for whom we could share our bounty. Our table groaned less under the weight of food, but rather, gifts of food found their way to other tables.

Each holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving, my children would focus on the gifts they could share with others outside our home. My son embraced the task of giving bread and jelly. My daughter crafted gifts of yarn and fabric. Baking and needlework filled our time and filled our hearts as our simple gifts brought smiles to others. The holidays were still stressful and fatigue was still a problem for me, but now the stress revolved around helping my children learn the value of giving thanks by giving of themselves.

My kids are not in the position to come home this year. They are both embracing their chosen paths, and I am immensely grateful for the maturity in which they traverse this stage of life. I am also grateful that during the years of teaching them to give of themselves, I have learned to share them with others.

As I reflect on the holidays of the past, I embrace the notion that for a time, maybe just a short time, my husband and I can enjoy Thanksgiving Day as a couple, not so young, but without any guilt or pressure. What to some might seem sad, the two of us alone on Thanksgiving Day, is the very thing for which I am most grateful this year.

I am filled with joy knowing that this year the gift I have given to others is my children and that my children can enjoy this time unfettered by guilt, sorrow, jealousy, and contention, at least not from me.

I am also filled with peace on this Thanksgiving Day; a peace emanating from the presence of good company, a bountiful pantry, and love.

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FYI: I cannot view, nor do I endorse any of the ads that are shown on my blog.