God, Grace & Gratitude Gets the Focus

You’ve probably seen this picture before if you are not new to the blog. I saw it in my photos and decided it was a perfect focus for this period of time in my life, and also for the start of this blog post.

Each week is a struggle for me, a battle. As a person who feels too much and pushes it down (or writes about it), and a person who analyzes too much (and still doesn’t come up with an answer for life), and a person who seeks joy, but rarely finds it (because of the previous two things), I find that this simple quote brings me peace.

I have plenty to be thankful for in the midst of this season of life trying to run me over as if I’m a thrown out cup on the side of the road. So what, if only twenty-two people watched the last video I worked so hard on and was proud of, so what if I goof up and make a mistake at work by putting down the wrong date, so what if most of my personal down time is not existent anymore, so what if we don’t get to see friends anymore, so what that life feels so alone most of the time in a world full of interesting people, so what if I don’t get to travel and explore the world like I thought I’d get to do some day, so what if I’m no longer in control of most of my life (unless I left everyone behind and ran away, lol), so what if others don’t like who I am, don’t appreciate or see any value in me as a person. So what! So What! So what!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I can choose to lay in bed and wallow and feel sorry for myself.

I can choose to chase my tail in circles and find new strategies (that also seem to fail me).

I can give up on all I’m striving for. (That’s looking like a really good about right now – no goals, no aspirations, no worries, no trying.)

I can take a break and come back and try YET AGAIN (probably will do that –again).

I can whine, blog, vent, fuss, cry (been there done that).

I can let my thinking continue to be negative and tell myself that no one likes me, loves me, cares for me. That everyone is tired of me, doesn’t understand me, rather not be near me. That I’m a failure at work, at home, at play, at video creation and that basically God made a mistake when he made me and that He only made me so everyone would have someone to judge, punish, criticize, make fun of, hate, and talk about.

I can do all those things, and have.

Photo by alleksana on Pexels.com

Or I can let God, Grace, and Gratitude take over my life, sit at the wheel and make the decisions for me. I am a pitiful human that only He can make perfect. We can beat ourselves up for all that we have failed or continue to fail, for all we do wrong, for mistakes we make. We can analyze ourselves and others to the moon and back trying to understand why we are the way we are and how to fix things, or make things better, make people like us, read us, watch us, spend time with us (time we don’t have), or we can just give all the worries to God and let Him make our lives perfect in Him.

I’m afraid that is what I have to do. I just notice I said “afraid”. Yes, I am afraid to let Him have control. I have fought to have control for so long. But it’s the only way I can be at peace. The devil is shaking in His boots right now because He sees an internal change taking place and shape within me. He doesn’t know what is up, and frankly I don’t myself. But the devil has been throwing curve balls increasingly.

He (the devil) stirs up all kinds of things everywhere and from every angle to discourage me, make me look bad, make me feel bad and to hit me in the knees and make me buckle over to stop me. He should know me better than that. He should know God better than that. If He had he wouldn’t have fallen from heaven and from grace. His pride got in the way.

But God humbles us in our pride if we are in Him and He gives us hope and something to reach for. He forgives and shows compassion. He leads us to the right paths when we don’t know where to go. He comforts when we are depressed. He lets us rest in Him when we are weary.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m at a low point right now in this season of life I’m in, but it’s ok. I have God picking me up and lifting me higher. Maybe even to a new purpose. I don’t know. I’m trying to be persistent in my goals because that is what is ingrained within me. I’m trying not to be disheartened by this life. I am anyway, but God, Grace, and Gratitude will get me through. God is the one that is in charge of this game we call life and even though we may play our own chess pieces, He makes good come from every move, leads us as we make our moves, and He will play the end of the game, just as He does. And we know who wins in the end.

I will “Embrace What is and Forge Forward” as I always do. I won’t give up. I will fight the fight. I will keep the faith. I will not let my own negative thinking, or negative people consume me. I will bury my grudges against all in a mind visual of burning them into the fire, one by one and they will all be gone with the wind. And if these storms are bad tonight, we might all be. :-O

Deep session today, but not really. We are all deep. Sometimes deep in manure. lol. Sometimes deep in thought. I realize we don’t have to dive in deep anymore, we can just “Let Go” and “Let God” – sorry to use an expression that so many have worn out, but when you get right down to it, that seems to boil it up.

My focus right now is on quarter end, getting Mom what she needs, giving George some time on Friday, pulling our easter meal together this weekend. More on that later.

Be back on Friday friends.

Does God Think I’m Bossy?

God, Grace, Gratitude, and a bit of Whimsy

Good morning! I thought I’d pop in and give a quick update on the diverticulitis situation and a few blessings from yesterday!

I drank mostly liquids all day including coffee, water, hydrate from the system I use, and bone broth infused with ginger and turmeric (it came that way). I sucked on a square piece of dark 70% chocolate. I had one cup of applesauce, and about a cup and a half of black cherry jello. Not a big cherry fan, but it sounded better than lemon or lime that was in the cabinet. The black cherry wasn’t too bad. It honestly felt like a “cleanse day”. My heart rate was really low overnight, like 55. Is that low? It is for me anyway. It did that on cleanse day too when I did those, in the overnight.

So am I better by giving my tummy a day’s rest? Yes and No.

I know there is not a total blockage so that is good. And a BIG GOOD! But I did have some pain in the night, particularly when changing positions. So there is an aggravated section of colon in there. But I am not sore this morning when I move and bend, no pressure building, and no discomfort this morning, and haven’t had pain since 3 a.m. That is not a long time though for the pain. But so far so good this morning. I think another day of letting it rest or at least by eating soft foods and mostly liquids again will be a good thing. I think I’ll be able to squeak past this one. Thank the LORD!

I certainly have prayed over it many times. I must say that I felt good yesterday while doing this liquid thing. I was thinking, this is NOT bad. I can do this. I’ve done this many Monday’s doing my system in the past. I kept myself busy, I was able to think clearly, and my body was saying “thank you for the break”. It wasn’t that hard yesterday. Some intermittent fasting days I did in the past had been very hard. Most of them were not, but it’s the hard ones that break you in many ways!

Does God Think I’m Bossing Him Around?

However, all in all, I think I will be better now. Maybe God knew what He was doing by allowing this flare up as it showed me again I can DO the fasting w/o having a sugar issue. At first I was mad at Him. I was trying not to be. It was more like disappointment that God didn’t answer a prayer and allowed me to have this attack. I had prayed and wanted weight loss but NOT at the expensive of being sick or with diverticulitis to get there. And I was wondering why He was forsaking me or turning His head from me in this request. Then I was thinking that maybe He thought I requested too much in my prayers and needed to show me He wasn’t going to just answer every little thing I asked for because I asked for it. Does God think I’m bossing Him around? Maybe I am trying to subconsciously but I don’t mean to, or do I? Oh dear!

Then I began analyzing if I was selfish in my prayers or too bothersome or did I expect too much for selfishness sake. Then I finally decided that my mind was tired of trying to figure God out in this situation. I certainly can’t always figure out myself, much less try and put tabs on God and why he would not answer my prayer. I gave up and told Him “Sorry God I’m really not trying to play mind games here. Really not. Sorry for questioning you. I’m trying to believe that you will answer my prayers as you always do like you said you would in scripture, so when you don’t I tend to question it? I really KNOW you are in charge “.

God is a man according to scripture (use of He pronouns anyway and He’s referred to as a Father). You see where I’m going with this? Men often think women are bossy, in my experience, sadly, and often they don’t want us to have our way so they can show us who is in charge. I hope your experience with men has been different. Not every man is like that but I know many of them. I hope God doesn’t think I’m bossy by my many requests. But has my belief become expectatory? Is that a word?

Women – we just have special talents is all! Just as the men folk do. We see things in a different way! We are skillful but we are also manipulative – oh let’s use the word creative- it sounds better. We usually don’t mean to use this craftiness in a bad way – it’s just an inherited God given skill. So just in case, I’m trying to be humble in my request and approach so I’m reverent and not demanding or expecting God to wait on me in my every whim. I wondered if I was trying to make God accountable by HIs Word. After all, He said…. If I believe, just ask…he’ll give.

Sometimes I just like to go to sleep and quit thinking, you know? LOL. As I laid there, I think I told God that I was just tired and I hoped He knew my heart. And I knew I thought too much, but wanted to be RIGHT with him and not demanding. I can tell he smiled upon my efforts. He gave me peace and let me sleep. And today is a new day.

He did give a few blessings from yesterday:

  • I still felt great even though I couldn’t really eat much
  • I still enjoyed the coffee and it was oh so good!
  • The day went by fast
  • It was a beautiful day with a beautiful sky
  • I enjoyed conversations had with coworkers: about my grandson, about the Covid Shots, etc
  • Our health insurance is changing for the better
  • We got a new benefit – flex spending
  • We met our new next door neighbors and hit it off straight away
  • I got two Easter cards in the mail (Thank you Terre! And Lisa!)
  • Got to talk to a bestie and got invited to her birthday party in June. Haven’t seen her in over a year!
  • Finally made a decision on the Covid Shot (maybe a blog entry on that later)
  • Enjoyed watching a couple of YouTube shows under a cozy quilt last night
  • Watched Designated Survivor episode (our new Netflix show) with George
  • Sleep was welcome and divine for most of the night

So as stated today is a new day. I’ve said my prayer (prayer journal) and read my two chapters. And it’s payroll day. I will keep on with the liquids until my body says eat. It will let me know.

Hope you all have a good day! Keep the prayers coming in case I get over analytical about my own! LOL. Thank God for his Grace and Mercy over one such as me!

Happiness Assessment and How I Reset Priorities

Had a great night’s sleep on Tuesday night. Not so much last night. Awake at 1:30 again! Remembered I’d forgotten about the darks in the wash – ooops – reran them again so I could hang and dry anything needed. I don’t like them to sit for too long. I was thirsty, and drank water. The dogs looked at me longly and licked their lips – ok – got up and got water for the dogs bringing it to them instead of getting them out of bed. All were happy again and we snuggled. I was fairly comfortable – just woke up and turned over every hour or so.

Yesterday, even though the night before last, my sleep had been full, I was seemingly unhappy. I noticed this mood and wondered why. Why does a persona feel unhappy when everything should be good. So what did I do? I decided to assess the situation. Problem solving skills coming to light. LOL

Pen and paper. Think tank switched to ON. I began to make a list of everything that bothered me or that I was unhappy about. Here’s the list.

  1. Dogs/Texas
  2. Flooring in our House
  3. Squashing of Dreams – what I want, George seemingly does not
  4. Work/Quarter End and January
  5. Worrying/Wondering over things
  6. Rude People and Why they are that way
  7. My Weight/Diet/Eating
  8. Dang Political/Racial Mess
  9. Dang Corona Feculance (Here is where I googled “shit” synonyms so as not to offend anyone – you are welcome).

I also made a list of generally things that make me unhappy and things that make me happy.

Unhappy went something like this: frustrated with “never enough time”, things break, people are rude, systems don’t work right, apps fail, others agendas are not my own, told “no” or “not now”, being ignored by others, barriers to whatever it is you try to do, getting packages open (packaging being better made than the product itself), and any limitation that stands in the way of MY WILL! lol

Happy went something like this: Happy when cleaning, organizing, learning, studying, doing things with my hands, making progress toward goals, ticking off boxes on a list, planning, accomplishing, and getting praises or words of affirmation from others – it lights my world and my face too with a smile.

My DARN WILLPOWER – How to manage it?

Oh dear!!! Prayer, hope, acceptance, letting go, changing, and fixing. It’s a monster!

Ok so good! I wrote down and figured out all that was making me less than happy. It’s not that I am traumatized by any of it, but certainly all of these things are making me NOT in a good mood, so it was a good little exercise.

So now what? Well, I decided that as a Christian I needed to pray over these things and to allow my faith to take over. Because my persona is wired the way it is, I often let things bother me, take life way too seriously, and am relentless until something is solved/resolved. I think that is ok. I will never change. God needs people like us out there. I won’t apologize for it as I’m God’s creation. I can only apologize to Him for not trusting more when it comes to the worry part. We are the people in life that get your details done. So many details. We solve your problems, we strive to improve, we make the process better. We ask the difficult questions and we critique a situation and we never stop.

And that is what comes down to my WILL. I have a strong WILL as they call it. You know, the one that people say this about you:

“She always has to have her way” about my relentless efforts to improve something or make it better.

“She worries too much” about the same.

“She’s never satisfied” about one problem solved and now on to the next one. Yes sir/ma’am, that is me.

“It’s always something” about my continual efforts to make life better.

What may seem like complaining to some is the critiquing of a process or situation to see how it can be better. Call it what you will, I’ll likely not ever change. Live with it or leave it. Live with it or lose it. Choose it.

So after praying over those things. And feeling blessed with the things that are going right, I realize that I need to focus more on God. I have to do this about once a quarter. I get pulled out of focus by so many things in life. Then one day I think – when did I last pray? When did I last study? Oops. It’s totally unintentional but you realize you are not spending time with God and then life starts to look dingy and ugly.

So, back in the LIGHT again. What is needed? Again more assessment, LOL.

What was that business book about priority setting in your life? The author had that excel chart to help you set your week. (Google of best business classic books on setting priorities). Ahhh yes, there it is. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Oh wait, didn’t I make my own. Yes, it’s in my closet (aka office bookshelf). I made that Weekly Focus Worksheet just for this reason.

Weekly Focus Worksheet

  1. A list of your roles in life
  2. A list of all the weekly goals
  3. The focus for the Week (top 3)
  4. Goals for the Month in case you need to skip ahead
  5. Check boxes for remembering: Spiritual, Physical, Social, R/R needs
  6. Reminders for Birthdays, Shopping, New Recipes, Bucket List, Household Chores, and Online orders

These reasons are why I had to personalize mine. I made the form years ago and only used it about a month. It became cumbersome and I found a calendar booklet that had much of this built in to it. However, the weeks I DID use this, I felt content and I felt that my focus was where it should be. My roles to others, to God, and to myself were more in balance.

I redid the sheet some years ago to become more specific to the Weekends as that is where I had the most productive time. Again I only really used it for about a month til it became a habit.

I called it the Weekend Worksheet.

  1. Top 3 Focus
  2. Top 3 Cleaning areas
  3. A Saturday Checklist for: laundry, ironing, taking stuff downstairs for storage, emptying trashcans, cleaning kitchen, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, overall picking up of the house, surface cleaning.
  4. Shows to Watch – having self time is important too – it’s fun to decide what to pick for the weekend
  5. Internet orders
  6. Errands (as few as possible since it’s HOME TIME)
  7. Misc To Do items
  8. Upcoming meals and recipes to look up ingredients
  9. Items to add to the grocery list (this was before I had Alexa)
  10. Things to plan/remember
  11. Notes for everything else

So just glancing at these gave me contentment and made me smile again. Knowing God has my back and I also have control over my mind to relax and know that what I can’t control, He can and He will have it as Perfect as it needs to be. God is perfect and we are made in His image and strive to be Perfect as well, but because we are on this earth alongside sin and in our temporary bodies, we will never be perfect unless we are Perfect in Him. So I won’t apologize for trying to be Perfect. I do apologize to Him for ignoring Him or others which I didn’t mean to do while trying to do all that I do.

So I’ll pray, study, refocus, tick off boxes, and put things that HE wants me to think about in my mind.

I’m content already having gone through this process and made those decisions. “He Places My Feet”. I hope they put that on my tombstone. I remember it, then I forget it until I worry and then I remember it again when I ask myself why.

I hope you too, will find comfort in this process. What makes you unhappy? How do you assess your feelings? What process do you use to resolve? Maybe try some of these ideas?

  • A listing or critique of what is bothersome
  • Prayer and Faith and Study time with God
  • Focus and Reset Priorities
  • Set some Goals
  • Tick off the boxes
  • Move Forward with Glee 🙂

I also listened to Dr. Cloud yesterday who mentioned something about mindfulness and how you can think of thoughts but not allow yourself to become captive of them. The Bible, he reminded us, even mentions not to let your thoughts take you captive. Imagine they are clouds drifting by – just allow them to come and go. Pray if need to.

And that is all I have time for. Matter of fact I’m running a little late now. Ahhh, that time factor again. I can’t wait til retirement and no longer managed by a dang clock.