Tuesday, July 24, 2012

# 315 - Thank God for Electricity and Good Books!

Going through all of our boxes and closets brings me across little things like this sign, made by Stefie when she was a wee little one. It has a clothes pin glued to the back of the picture so it can be pinned to something. Ingenious! Of course, I pinned it to the lamp next to my bed.

How could this sign have been found at a better time than this? I needed to be reminded that "God will make a home for me."

Well, He always has in the past and I'm sure He will keep doing so in the future. God has truly done some miraculous things for me in my lifetime. I'm sure more of His miracles are to come.

However, today I had a few sad moments, then I stop to look at this drawing that Stefie made and I notice all the beautiful pictures drawn on the page...the sun shining brightly in the corner, wearing sunglasses; the rainbow over the house; and the little figure that looks like a cheerleader, but it actually has yellow angel wings. So intensely sweet!

Right now, I'm feeling a little sad, yet still thankful for all I've been given. I was reminded tonight that I should be grateful for having electricity, running water and gas for cooking...and I am grateful. And I don't mind cleaning the floors every day, the toilets, doing laundry and keeping things disinfected --- polishing furniture is a delight as is cleaning all the window blinds and vacuuming the carpets upstairs and downstairs. Life is a never-ending list of chores that need to be done. But, I'm surely thankful to my husband for the electricity.

As for my own tool box, well the photo below shows my nice set of tools that have pink accents. I like having my own toolbox. My grandmother gave me my first one when I was probably 13 years old. It was a rite of passage, you turn 13 and you get your own toolbox.

When our daughters moved out of the house, they got their own tools, even Stefie who lived in a dorm her first year away from home had her own tools -- in her DORM.

I don't have any problem with hanging things. I can attach the wire picture holder hardware to the back of a frame that needs hanging. I can take my little screw gun and make things happen!

With the hammer, I am decent. And, I do know how to use a stud-finder very well.

I might be slower than the next guy, but I'm consistent and determined.

Some people might see me as pathetic in my attempt at...anything...maybe some just see me as pathetic overall, but I see myself as a person who loves being a part of this world and who tries to be as self-sufficient in as many things as I can do by myself! Like most women, if on my own, I'll have to hire out for a few things or maybe I can sew on a few buttons and repair some hems and even cook as a bargain for some help from good neighbors. One thing is for sure, I'd do my best to strike a good decent deal with everyone walking away as if they were able to get help in an area that was needed.

I might not be as strong as I once had been and I might be clumsier than ever, but I don't give up. In fact, the fumbling often makes me so frustrated that I go after the job with even more vigor than before; I keep going until I get it right.

I'm not one to throw pity parties, not that it's never happened, just rarely. However, some people around here have a viewpoint of me as if I live in one big pity party. Well, let me tell you, I'll shoot off the fireworks when I'm ready to throw a full blown pity party, but no one will be invited because I like to do those solo. Besides, everyone needs a pity party every once in a while, then you pick yourself up by the boot-straps and you face the beast directly so it can be conquered. Now, that's how I do it. I learned from the best, from my mother who was a true conqueror. But, for some people, no matter how much I conquer, their viewpoint of me is in the pits because that's where they'd like to keep me. I'd rather steer clear of foul-minded people like that --- they don't do me much good other than to try to drag me down. No thank you for the shove, I stumble enough on my own and certainly do not need extra help in that area. Don't hold out that deceptive hand of help, unless you truly intend to help lift me up. Otherwise, keep your hands in your pockets and away from me!

Anyway, these tools of mine have been used a lot over the past few weeks, especially after I took apart one of the twin beds and moved it across the 2nd story to another room, then put the frame and headboard back together again, on my own, with my little tool kit. I even handled the mattress and box springs on my own, along with the heavy nightstand.

Anyway, I am hanging in there --- still going through things in this house. Today I went through a sack of old clothes, and then went through boxes of old things to decide which things needed to be trashed and which things need to be saved. Tossed were a ton of old papers. I took the time to stop and complete several pages of a medical questionnaire for an upcoming doctor's appointment, super exciting. Then, as mentioned, I got to clean house...the usual sweeping, mopping, laundry, dusting, toilet cleaning and vacuuming kind of stuff --- unload, load the dishwasher and bleach the countertops...all the usual stuff in a day's work to keep a house under control.

And I've been taking time to read. Right now, I'm reading an older book, published in 1981. Heck, in 1981, I was 13 years old. You've probably heard of this book, it's titled, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" by Harold S. Kushner.

Before I picked up the book and started reading it, I had thought, "Man, it seems like I've heard about this book all of my life. Then, I look at the publish date of 1981 and realize, WOW, this book was published before I became an adult, no wonder I heard about it all my adult life!

I must say, this book has been an emotional read for me. It's not what I expected, not at all. There are some notions about God that I have found to be tested while reading this book, but it boils down to confirm that God does want to help us, but we cannot blame him for all the bad things that happen to us while we are here on Earth. For the record, I never have blamed God for anything, but I've sure told him a time or two that I can't wait to get to Heaven to get the whole story!

A rabbi wrote this book after a hugely tragic experience, especially if you look at the context as to what he endured as his child suffered a most rare, horrific condition, probably the worst a child could endure. His son was would never be the same for anyone in the family. I can't even imagine the specifics of what the author and his family had to endure as their child suffered from this condition that goes beyond body-altering ramifications to creating the worst scenario for a child's mind and for the loved one's minds...I can't even express the admiration I have for families who live with children who have the condition that the author's child lived with for 14 years. I don't know how many of us would be able to hold up to such cruel tests in our own life.

His son had Progeria, which causes rapid aging...he would grow into the body of a little old man instead of a body of a child and would die young while looking withered and ancient, the cruelest of conditions. For the child to never be a child, but to instantly grow into advanced old age is unthinkable. If there is evil roaming the earth, this condition would typify the cruelty of evil, especially because it targets a child in the most unimaginable twisted way possible. I cannot even say anything uplifting about it, other than the minds of these children are so above their condition that they can usually teach us a thing or two as they learn from life in a rapidly aging body. These parents find the strength that most parents don't think they'd be able to locate. Still, I think it's a condition any parent would be crushed to confront.

Like most people, his experience led him to write this book and it is at the least, profound. A couple of times, I had to set the book down, either out of frustration or sadness, because it seemed God was getting a bum deal, then I would realize that the author was leading to the most interesting and different conclusions about God that I've ever seen.

Anyway, this is a timeless book for anyone who is going through a difficult phase in life. The book should probably be easy to find since it was in print for so long and might still be in print. I'm fairly confident that most used-book stores will have it in stock and it would be worth it to search it out to add to your personal library.

I'm near mid-way finished with the book and will do a post on it when I'm completely finished and after I've have had time to absorb all the words that have me spinning and questioning things as I've never done before. The author, Kushner, has also suggested, throughout his own book, that there have been other books that he found interesting and helpful in his search for why bad things happen to good people. I plan on writing all of those down and reading those as well.

But, my next book is a re-read. Actually, I'm working on reading these two books simultaneously. This book is worthy to stay on the bookshelves so you can pick it back up every two years or so and go over it once more. Needless to say, I love books by Henry Cloud. He gives straight-forward advice about boundaries with a Christian viewpoint. He makes it clear that just because you're a Christian doesn't mean you are to be walked on because others think it's YOUR job to just get over their trespasses against you. No, it doesn't work that way in life, only to the person who is eager to take advantage of a good heart. You are worth having boundaries and worth being respected. It's okay to quit putting up with the dysfunction simply because you had previously felt obligated...God does NOT expect you to be anything but cherished and loved, even if you must be the first in line to make sure the boundary breakers don't think it's "your problem" if they treat you foul.

"Boundaries" by Henry Cloud was originally published in 1992. Definitely a good book for any Christian feeling conflicted about HOW obligated they should be toward others who are not as good-hearted as they'd like to claim to be.

Like I said, it's a book worth having around.

My sister and her husband just led a few Bible Teaching classes at their church and the book they choose was a book about children and boundaries, by Dr. Henry Cloud. I'm sure it was fascinating. Of Course, my children are in their 20's and my sister's youngest child is five...we've got quite an age span between our children. But, I'm very proud of my sister for being involved in her church. She and Warren always make good-hearted tries to be better people and to be mentors to others.

Anyway, I am going to get back to reading. It's late. I'm enjoying my peace while it lasts in the house. It is quiet with everyone fast asleep, dogs and chickens included. It might take me a while to fall asleep, I've had some insomnia, but last night I slept hard and had vivid dreams...that's pretty rock solid for me. I think I'm going to have another night of deep rest. Thank you God for electricity and for a solid night's rest!


Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl said...

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Karen said...

Hi Lana, I've seen the book you wrote of, but have never read it. I don't know why, since I am an avid reader; maybe because I was 'afraid' of the emotions that might arise if I did? Someday I will get up the courage.

The book on boundaries also looks amazing. I have been going to Al-Anon for years (families and friends of alcoholics) and whenever we have meetings on boundaries as a topic, which we do often, I find it so helpful. Sometimes it is very hard to remember we have the right to say no. And also that 'no' is a complete sentence.

There are times I find myself apologizing for things that are not my fault; classic people-pleasing behavior which I'm trying to overcome. The books you list sound like required reading for me.

I was also sorry to read the post about your antique chair. How rude some people can be. I have a houseful of antiques that belonged to my grandmother whom I never knew, so I can completely understand.

Always so good to visit with you, Lana. You're in my prayers.

The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

Lana, you are so inspirational to me right now. Thank you so much for your kind and uplifting words! Wish this could all be easier, but trials build character, and I guess God decided that we have the moxy to pull through. Hope you had a great night of rest. - Jen.

LindaG said...

You Are Amazing!
Have a blessed night and a wonderful day tomorrow, Lana. ♥

Anonymous said...

I just had to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog! I am truly amazed that day after day you come up with such interesting and sometimes inspirational topics. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
You are such a hard worker! ! Hope you have a nice relaxing weekend. You sure deserve it!
Deb in Viola

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

Being single, I had to learn to replace the element in the water heater every 6 months because my water is so bad. Now I have it down to a science. It's amazing what you learn when you have to rely on yourself to survive. You do what you have to do. :o)