The specifics of what is going aren't appropriate for this blog venue, but the lessons are. And some lessons in life are just darn hard to embrace. But at age 62 I know that some of the hardest "seasons" bring the greatest growth. I also know that "Everything is a gift, even if some things don't look gift wrapped". I also know, for sure, that God loves me, no matter what and that He is in the midst of all that is going on. So what have I learned? What am I now learning? Here are a few of the lessons in November 2009:
1) I've learned that you can put your whole heart and soul into something and not have it work out the way you wanted. You simply cannot control other people. You can't control who they are, how they think, and the choices they make. At the end of the day you are only responsible that you gave the important priorities in your life a 100% effort. If you have done that, that's all you can do. Work, pray, get help, work more...but at some point you can't do it alone.
2) I've learned that you are either in or you are out. If you can't say, "I'm all in..110%", and then act in, then you are really out. Words are cheap. Being in, acting in, and making that commitment is a choice. In my book we have to say "I'm all in!" to the important choices in our lives every day.
3) I've learned that if I've done what is right for me, followed the values I have and believe in, that I can survive others being mad at me or not understanding why I did what I did. For so much of my life I didn't want to make anyone unhappy, even if it meant me being unhappy. I didn't want to stick up for me if it meant someone I loved was mad at me. But after 60, I have a new sense of peace about doing the best I can, even if others reject me because of it. Make no mistake, the rejection really hurts...but I'll get through it.
4) I've learned that family is everything. You can't replace what it means to have your family love and support you. They are your rock, your foundation. No matter how imperfect it all is, at the end of the day the support of family sometimes means the difference between making it and falling apart. Having your family "show up", not just in words, but REALLY show up in deeds and behavior means the world to me.
5) I've learned, again and again, that my husband Bert is my life partner and supporter in the hardest of times. For over 28 years, and 25+ years being married, he has wiped away my tears and listened endlessly. When my heart is breaking, he is there. When I am full of joy, he is there. He is there, and I am grateful.
6) I've learned, and this isn't a new learning, that I love my daughters with all of my heart. I always have and always will. I'm not a perfect Mom, but I am their Mom. When their hearts break, mine does too. When they succeed and are happy, I am too. Don't misunderstand, my happiness is not just connected to their happiness, but my heart is always connected to them. It will be until the day that I die. My Mom's heart was like that too. She used to say to me, "A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child." Even though they are both adults, I still love them the way I did when they were small girls.
7) I've learned that my precious grandchildren warm my heart and bring me joy in ways that nothing else does.
8) I've learned (this last Sunday) that I may be, as Tim said Sunday, a bit "accident prone".:) I say that with a smile. Who in the heck drops a hot curling iron on their eye? That's right...EYE!
Specifically...eye lid and eye ball. Who has to go to the doctor and say, "I'm here because my hand, somewhat arthritic as it is, dropped the super hot curling iron on my face and hit my eye and eye ball?" Even Dr. Staley laughed and with a gleam in his eye offered me this. "Well Linda, my worst patient ever, I have had some twenty year olds come in with this and they weren't all air-heads." So I've learned not to rush around when I've got a curling iron in my hand. Makes ya humble! :)
9) I've learned that no matter what, I want to focus on all of the blessings in my life. I am grateful, so grateful, for so many things. God has been very good to me and I don't take His blessings for granted.
So as Thanksgiving 2009 approaches, I am far richer in spirit and faith because of the "life lessons" I am learning! God holds me in the palm of His loving hand. He answers prayers. He can do miracles! For that, my heart overflows with gratitude.