Matthew 6:25 - 27

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Creativity in the margin

A friend got me thinking this morning. She said "if we don't have room in our lives for the space, it can stifle spontaneity".  I thought of all the times that I am just too busy and too stressed to do anything fun or to be creative.  I love to fiddle with decorating and scrap-booking and many other creative endeavors, but the less "margin" that I have, the less I have time to do those things and the more annoyed I get at others' ability to play, enjoy life, or even rest.  After all, I have so much work to do ... they should be working as hard as me (poor me!); right?? Then, my load begins to feel very heavy and I feel very alone.

And then I realized that our God is creative. Everything He does is creative.  And everything He does, He does from a place of rest ... a place of peace. And He tells us that if we keep our focus on Him, trusting in Him, He will keep us in Perfect Peace!  (Isaiah 26:3) God doesn't "work" or "perform" or even "create" from a place of pressure and stress, and we can't either. 

Stress truly does immobilize us. Rest releases us to move forward. Anxiety comes when we are looking at and trusting in the circumstances.  Rest comes when we look up and trust in the Lord.  Have you ever heard anyone say, "I'm doing o.k. under the circumstances"?  The next time you do, be sure to ask them what they are doing "under" there? I know that's old and you've probably heard it many times, but it bears a (long) second thought!  God tells us to "look up" ... to where our help comes from ... to Him!

Maybe that's why my husband, having had his busy life "interrupted" by the Lord, is able to move from optimism to joy.  His focus and his trust is totally on the Lord.  He is not able to do anything other than rest.  In fact, after being up several times and many hours during the night receiving much insight and revelation from the Lord (and waking me up too much), he's now snoozing in bed beside me!

So that's my goal for today.  To focus on Him, trust in Him, and rest in Him!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Falling Off the Edge

Life on the edge.  It sounds exciting, doesn't it?  It can be ... or it can be one step away from disaster. I'm always trying to pack "one more thing" into my life. Whether it is one more thing to do in an already overloaded time schedule, or putting one more thing into the overcrowded space we call "home", I'm always living on that edge of disaster.  It's really not a problem, as long as there's always "tomorrow" in which to attend to the overflow.  It's really not a problem as long as I live under the illusion that I'm the one in control of my life.  Of course, there is the constant tension of "frustration" that comes from the "little" interruptions of life (kids, traffic, messes that have to be cleaned up, hurt feelings to deal with, etc.), but after a while you just learn to live in that state.

It's not healthy, really.  That's what it is when the doctors tell you that your constant headache or backache is a result of "stress".  I remember once reading part of a book that someone wrote about having "margin" in your life. I feel guilty when I try to create "margin" in my life.  Like I should be doing something, and if I'm not, I'm being lazy or negligent or selfish.  So I continued to fill every available minute and every available space, and to put off until tomorrow what I couldn't get done today ...

Until the day that we were told that my husband, Tom, had a brain tumor.  That's when I fell off the edge that I'd been living on. That was three weeks ago. Everything stopped and began to spin around while I stood still in the middle of the whirlwind.  At least that is how it feels to me now.  Tom is doing great!  He's started his radiation and chemo therapies and continues to keep himself busy doing whatever he is able to. Even more so, his usual optomistic nature seems to be blooming into full-grown joy!  For me, however, my usual nature is a bit more  ... well ... pessimistic?

For the past week, I've been falling apart.  Crying often, so irritable that it doesn't take anything to set me into a full-blown raging melt-down. At a time when everyone around me needs me to meet their needs more than ever, I'm more of the problem than the solution.  When I go out "in public" (grocery store, or church), I feel like I'm in a "reality bubble" and the rest of the world is living in some kind of fantasy movie.  The real world doesn't feel "real" to me at all.  The correct term is probably "surreal".   Do you suppose that this is a "normal" reaction to being told that your husband has an inoperable, incurable, deadly brain tumor?  I don't know.  It seems that, for everyone else, including my husband, life goes on; while for me, it seems that life has stopped.  

So, where is faith in all of this?  To be honest, right now, I don't know.  I'm sure it's there somewhere and eventually, I'll find it again.  But, right now, it, too seems "suspended".  I have been considering getting some medical intervention for myself.  Having a family history (and a personal history) of depression and anxiety, and of seeing others rely heavily on medications to get through it, I've always adamantly avoided doing so myself.  But, I really need to "be there" for my husband, and children now, and I find I'm not able to.  

Tomorrow, I have an appointment to see a doctor to see if I can get some anti-anxiety, anti-depression medication.  The "side-effect" of feeling like I've "failed" will have to wait until later.