Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Makes Each Day Valuable?

Back in my 'depressed' days...I loved going to bed at night because I didn't want to think about 'the day'...I didn't want to get up the next morning because I didn't want to think about 'the day'. Okay, I was a hopeless mess...that's about it. God, Michael and our sons 'worked me over' and with all their love showed me that I could be happy...or...unhappy...the choice was mine. I chose 'happy'.

I honestly don't know why I sank so deeply into my personal pit...it just happened. I had a good marriage, wonderful sons...you name it and I had it...all of it. Somehow that wasn't enough...I wanted, without a clue as to what it was...I was...in a phrase...unable to face a day.

Choosing 'happy' has proven to be the valuable choice...dread is no longer an option. Today Michael put it in perspective for me...he said, "Vasca, each day has a beginning and it has an ending." Ta-dah...knew that but I hadn't actually processed it until today...I'm not always sharp as a tack...ouch!

Okay...it's a given there is a monumental amount of unhappiness/stress in our society; all of us are engulfed w/making it from day to day. Aah...that's it, huh? Day to day? A day begins and A day ends...24 hours and it's out of here...over, done with...poof. Please don't misunderstand, I don't make light of my struggle...or yours (if you don't have one...you are rare)...it's just that I refuse to give up and I will not drop out of the race.

Groucho Marx was not one of my favorites but he came up w/a good thought. "Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself; I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose what it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day today and I'm going to be happy in it."

Now...here's my plan...I'll wake today (much better than not waking), rest there a few minutes talking to God...I'll tell Him that today I am walking with Him..that I am going to do my best...that I am encouraging others...that I'm going to be His light all day...I choose happy.

When I go to bed today, I will continue talking to Him; discussing the people I've been with, talked with or even casually encountered...I will share my day with Him...and I will ask Him for wisdom and forgiveness for my failings. And that is the end of today. I chose happy.

This post began with the question, what makes each day valuable? Personally? Today is valuable because I've no regrets...Today I've done my best to be loving, kind and helpful to everyone I am involved with...Today I have no feelings of animosity...Today I pray that God smiles over me. Today is more valuable than 'all the tea in China'...

Balanced and Unafraid...

Saturday, October 16, 2010


A few years ago, M and I planted (well okay, M planted but he and I picked it out) a very healthy morning glory plant. It has provided us with oodles of pleasure w/it's healthy foliage and gorgeous flowers...year after year. Until this year...ouch. The greenery was so pretty, spreading everywhere w/what? Not a single sign of a flower...where in the world are they this year? We've not a clue. But...hope springs eternal and last week old eagle-eyed M spied a couple of pods and what d'ya know? We're about to have A (as in one) flower...well, one is better than none, right? The morning glory is rather like me...that is, according to our youngest son...#4...Scott...his mother (that would be me, of course) is also a late bloomer.

Our city is in the process of Rehabilitating The Neighborhood...at least that's what the big sign says that's sitting in our front yard. Talk about a mess? We aren't complaining though because it's well worth it; an entire facelift for our street. The water truck wets the street down several times each day; trying to keep the dust down until it's paving time...sadly, it isn't helping much. Dust covers the truck and car; also covers the morning glory...but M is watering it, trying to keep it dust free and even praying for it. It really needs to speed it up before a frost hits us...and today...guess what??? The bud is opening and a flower is peeping out...awesome!

Back to the comparison bit...I seem to be spending most of this fourth quarter of my life...blooming. The mistakes I made several years ago could've destroyed me, hurt my family but God helped my 5 men dust me off, He helped them 'feed' me...prayed for me...and here I am, makin' it and blooming every step of the way.

Sharon Olds wrote..."I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all is very lucky." Wow...what if our beautiful morning glory never bloomed...and oh my, what if I'd never bloomed? Even one someone might have missed out on something special...imagine that. I'm thinking I don't want to give up or write something wonderful off...especially people.

Granted...it does take time, thoughtfulness and prayer and it needs to be wrapped in love...but you know something? When I touch someone or someone touches me? I feel so alive and I'm not about to let the dust settle.

Balanced and Unafraid...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Steady Does It...

Okay, I'm into sharing...you know that, right? If you continue following this blog, you're really going to know almost everything about me. So, here's some additional trivia. Along with having 'ink spots' on my leg, I have what is called a 'familial tremor' which simply means 'there's a whole lot of shakin' goin' on'. M and I practically celebrate when I carry things like our coffee mugs to the table and we don't need to clean the floor, etc.

My most 'shaky' times are during worship/communion service each Sunday...we have a routine and M is required to sit on my left...that's etched in stone...and I do not touch the trays (per his request). Otherwise, the little communion cups just pop right out of my hand and voila...I not only have purple spots on my leg...I now have them on my clothes...aargh! Not to be stingy with this tremor, I passed it on to our youngest...we share stories about our 'oops'. Smiling about it doesn't make it go away tho'...I live w/it and do my best to go w/the flow...not to go ballistic.

I'm thinking...most of us have some 'thorn in the flesh' that we simply cannot get rid of...no matter what we do. Medications, exercises, you name it and sometimes nothing works...nada. Well then, what are we to do? Me? I try forgetting about it ~ which doesn't work; I tend to have panic attacks...aargh. Once, Michael thought I was going to pass out...my pulse beat so fast but he managed to calm me down...whew! I guess the conclusion is that, with me, nothing seems to work except me sitting at his right hand. And you know, that's not a bad thing.

I pray and pray about this tremor thing...well, it isn't going anywhere but I'm managing it with help. Help from a loving, understanding partner and friends (if occasionally M can't be there good friends will oblige and let me sit on their left)...I also have an unwavering faith...as in 'life without God is like an unsharpened pencil...it has no point'.

Surprise, now my life really has a point...like Mother Teresa said, "I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world".

Here I am, the girl who never, ever finished a project...I became His little pencil, sending His love letters to the world...from China. I think His Spirit moved Michael to suggest that I send weekly journals out about His work there...M can be a most gentle persuader (he knows how to push my buttons) and of course His Spirit was always inspirational...thank you, Michael; thank you, Father.

So you see, there's hope for even the weakest of us...like me; even though I'm still shakin' things up...God is with me and He encourages me to encourage others; I honestly believe that I am on my way to being
Balanced and Unafraid...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Care to Love?

About now, you realize how much I'm into quotes...right? Well, it takes all sorts of stuff to get a person going...with me, it's quotes. Secrets out, I have limitations and I'm a simple gal.

Aah, but...I'm also a 'lert (translation: I see and hear almost everything), sometimes to Michael's chagrin! (He likes to pretend so, anyway). You may be the same...or...you may not...irrelevant. Here's what stuck in my 'deposit box'..."The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him/her, "What are you going through?" Simone Weil.

There have been times in my life when I would've given 'all the tea in China' (trust me, that's a LOT) if someone had asked me that...just one someone! It's a given that time is of the essence in most lives; everyone seems into busyness...whether it be big or little stuff there's lots going on in lives. But, I should care...really, truly care about what's going on in your life, the lives of those around me, those I encounter in the stores, restaurants, all the places I go. Wow, does that mean constantly or what? Sure does.

I popped into this world with a lot of 'ink blots' on my right leg...I love jewel tones (a very good thing as it turned out)...like grape, wine, etc. That leg is like a description of the Greek island; Greece was created and there were all these little things left over so God just scattered them in the sea. Okay, my purple blots are scattered from top to bottom on that leg and trust me...girls are very sensitive about those things.

As it happened, I aged (there's just one other alternative, right?) and discovered many people never even noticed them, my sense of value went up a tad...I still have the blots but it isn't such a big thing now. I was always very aware when I saw anyone who had noticeable marks on their person...but I tried not to 'stare'...lessons learned. I'd see someone with half their face covered w/one and thanked God mine weren't on my face...oops!

God taught me well and in China I was able to put "What are you going through?" into practice. A few couples met to go to a class together; I noticed one of the wives seemed very shy...she was quite attractive but she kept half of her face hidden by her hair. I sort of positioned myself to 'get a peek' and noticed that half was one large blot...same shade as mine. Translation was necessary but she got the message about the birthmarks and expressed her great relief at comparing looks and thoughts about our lot in life...like a beautiful flower, she blossomed.

We can learn from mistakes...it's just that some are much more difficult than others. Take my worst ever mistake ~ I was addicted to prescription drugs for thirteen miserable years; hey, I didn't know they were miserable 'cause I wasn't really 'there'...you know? Then again, possibly you don't. How I got there...how I got out is for another time, if you care to know. I can write and talk about it now w/o weeping 24/7. But...I don't think anyone ever said to me, "What are you going through?".

Um-hmm, God taught me well and I've been able to mature in it. Someone once warned me to be cautious about sharing 'my past'. I'm not given to ignoring advice but I trashed that because it was no longer in me to close my eyes, so I ask "What are you going through?"

"So, be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life is a Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? (98 and 3/4% guaranteed). Kid, you'll move mountains." (Dr. Seuss...O the Places You'll Go)

By the way, you may quote me on this,...I am 'balanced and unafraid'...