It's that time again! Time for me to clean out my plumbing and get all systems running more efficiently. I'm not talking about home repairs, but doing a cleanse for my body. I particularly like the Clean Gut cleanse, and so I'm doing this for the third time. It is a 21 day cleanse (see this previous post) that is designed to heal the gut, repairing any leaks, and getting the little colonies of bacteria and microbes functioning better in our intestinal environment.
I was surprised by how much the movie, Moana, resonated with me. If you have not seen it, I believe it is a worthwhile investment in your time. It may challenge your heart, and cause you to ponder, as it has me. May I share why?
I was struck by the parallels I see to our life of faith. God states in the scriptures, that we are each created for a purpose, a calling, to make the world a better place. The Holy Spirit, the breath of God, calls out to us from across the water. In fact, through the waters of baptism, we are uniquely chosen by God as a warrior for His kingdom.
We are all aware of the spreading darkness, the selfishness, greed and distorted logic that plague our world. Do we choose to stay to ourselves, living safely within our own little island? Do we avoid getting involved, hiding from the needs around us, whether in our own towns or across the ocean? Do we feel called to make a difference in some way, yet the fears and failures of others whisper (or shout) in our ears and we turn back?
Are you a grandmother, mema, nana, noni or some other version of a woman with children that have children? I have four grandchildren, ages 5, 3, 1 and 2 months, and they are pure delight! I've been reflecting with a grateful heart on what they add to my life: giggles, adventures, hope, fresh perspectives, joy and lots of hugs.
I have also been reflecting on what I bring to their lives. I believe as grandparents, we have a unique role to play in the lives of our grandchildren. We have tremendous power to add wisdom, love and meaning to their lives. Here are a few ways I propose we do that:
1. Spend time with them and fill their love tank with words of sincere appreciation, acknowledgement and praise. Get to know what is important to them, what they are doing and take an interest. You will be amazed how much they will enjoy your company when you are pouring into them. Sometimes parents are too close or tired to the "good, the bad & the ugly" to point out each child's gifts and talents or to catch them "doing it right". That's where a grandma can step in with fresh eyes and add value.
It's hard for me to believe that it has been a month and a half since the last time I've written, and yet, it's not hard to believe at all. Have you ever had a season in life when you don't know if you are coming or going; you are trying to manage anxiety, get sleep and keep the plates spinning?
The last two months have been challenging for me with many transitions. My oldest son, who I live near, bought his first home and had his fourth child. I've been helping paint, clean, watch grandkids and be a support. My 80+ year old parents visited for three weeks, I had to travel for a legal issue, and my daughter visited after that for a week. In the midst of all this I have been trying to maintain my home business, work a part-time job at a local bookstore, get an infected tooth extracted and care for an inflamed knee (yeah for essential oils!). Can anyone relate to this sense of crazy busy and the struggle to balance the things that are truly important?
(Read More...you know what to do!)
Do you ever feel weary and wonder why life has to be so difficult? Lately, I have been feeling worn out and exhausted from struggling with some personal matters that have been causing emotional tension and anxiety for over three years. I'm tired and feeling frustrated that this struggle seems to have sidetracked my life and my ability to serve others and focus on what I believe is God's purpose for my life. I find myself slipping down the slope of self-pity toward the pit of despair.
Then I look around me and see the family who lost their 10 year old son just before Christmas from a freak accident. I listen to a friend as she describes the slow decline of the family member with cancer. Another friend is caring for a parent with severe Alzheimer's and the heartache of not being recognized any longer. War and hunger rob children around the world of basic necessities, such as food and security. Somehow my problems pale in comparison.
Honestly, these are the questions I have been asking myself lately. I may not feel like I am racing toward God's purpose for my life, but really God's purpose is fulfilled by stringing together seemingly ordinary days, sometimes filled with heartache and grief, and choosing to be present to another, showing compassion and kindness, being faithful to my daily duties, and continuing to grow as a person. Sometimes, I need to be satisfied with the baby steps.
I am going to encourage you to do the same. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to have a hard day. Then get back on your feet and take the next step, focused forward and being a blessing to others in whatever way you are able.
What do you find to be helpful when you are experiencing a difficult time and are trying to avoid self-pity? How do you keep yourself moving forward in the face of pain? Would you take a minute to share in the comments below?
Mother of three, grandmother of four, and mentor to many, I am passionate about sharing natural ways to help the body do what God designed it to do, mend, grow and thrive!