Sunday, August 12, 2018

The last few days and reflections on hard (and good) things in life

A blur of a few days.
I read a more recent pd james book, big mistake, sadly.
So sorid and full of despair, really awful for me to read.
I am sad about it but I am not going to read any more of her books. 
My Husband had a great idea, I am going to see if a bookstore in NYC
will take it for credit (the strand for instance may).
Since it's in great condition, maybe I can get something more suitable
for me instead...
I ordered the rest of the Thrush Green books on the cheap online :)
I am so looking forward to this.
I am trying to focus on books that I know I can re-read,
are peace-giving and nourishing, encouraging love and kindness within me,
and peace... quietness... and have pockets of wisdom...
So, I've been having a bit of a hard time internally with
the ongoing unbloggable saga. 
If I have learned anything about myself in the last good while,
it's about my inner poverty and at times
it really gets me down.
I have these normal Orthodox Christian goals that I never get to;
not taking deep ones, just doing stable things like
times of prayer or remembering God more in my day,
or being thankful, consistently, as in often in each day, would be nice. 
I have these things, I just don't have the routine I wish I had.
But the unbloggable has changed my routines and schedules so many times
that I just can't seem to keep to any thing.
Not to mention a lot of traveling in July, most recently.
A priest I don't know well said a very nice thing to me a few months ago,
that when one can't seem to do what she wishes in terms of what I just mentioned,
just offering up one's work (for me homemaking) to God is something that
can still work towards my sanctification.
I feel like a lot of my twenties was figuring out inner-healing and direction of my life
but at the same time, I did not have the same, that I remember anyway,
realization about myself and my faults.
Now that I am in my early 40s and some of my close friends are either there
or nearing 40, I see so many of my dear ones struggling and an awful lot of us
have things that have gone wrong, unexpected health challenges or deep loss or
trouble we did not see coming and we had no idea
earlier about our frailty, about how we would be dealing with
unexpected loss, grief and just plain confusion and heartache in ways that 
we could have never foreseen and the disappointment of dreams dying 
or being at a loss to solve things in our life
or even just not being able to control troubling things that we don't yet
understand the whys or what place it has in our life.
Not that we always know the why, but I think you get what I am saying.
Stuff happens.  Suddenly one is struck down with an illness - I know so many like this.
Or the dreamed for job/career/plan for life did not work and we are somewhere between 
Plan C and Plan Z in trying to figure out what is next.
I remember a woman in chapel like talk in a dorm at TWU, who was such a great speaker,
talking about how, I think in her early 40s, she went through a time of
depression that was so great that she would be on the couch, reeling from it.
The big this is that she got *Through* it. 
She came out the other side, more whole, more able even to encourage others.
I am seeing that at least for some of us the early 40s are hard in ways
we could not have anticipated. 
I know this is for me.
Yet, there is so much to be thankful for and I feel like I am gaining
an appreciation for things that I always loved but are now more precious than before.
Like a great cookie with tea.  
A pot of a black tea with milk or even vegan creamer.
A great Pasta meal made by me.
Cookbooks and baking for others.
Flowers and plants at home.
Books that give delight and solace.
The Psalms.
Liturgy of course is huge. 
Eating out.
Texts, emails, phone calls.
Taking pictures.
Great pens for letter writing.
Paper and fabric crafts.
A happy thing is the last picture above, of the gift for my goddaughter's 4th birthday.
I had so much fun putting it all together... it's all so lovely,
little tea set I found at the VNA and the cute decorative trunk I found for her to keep it in,
lovely books and a card made my me and a card with poem that my Husband did,
so both godparents are sending her a little card :) with the gift....
I am getting some tea (from online credits) in the mail this week
and a bunch of great books (love that there are website for low prices of used books!)
also this week and that's such a blessing.
We are about to start the 2 week August Dormition (on old calendar) fast.
This really signals the end of summer for me, I have been feeling it for a while,
we are in the end of it now and are looking towards the fall
and all that this will bring.
May the Lord have mercy on all of us and save us!


Tracy said...

Such a beautifully expressed heart-full post, Elizabeth! My heart goes out to you sooo much ((HUGS))!! I think a lot of life is, in a way, a continual inner-healing, inner-growth. That we're always making adjustments so our hearts can keep up with that is happening in our lives. What that priest told you is quite wise and wonderful--just offering up our moment, our day, our struggle, etc. to God helps... Just a moment with God, in the midst of it all, it does the heart good! Our 40's years can be hard. I've been feeling/experiencing that too! I wouldn't want to be in my 20's again, though. Each decade has it's challenges. And it is those "little things than mean a lot," that truly lift the days. Lately my own prayer time has been shorter than I'd wish, so I understand where you're coming from. It's been a BUSY summer... LOL! I'm trying to be gentle with myself, and not frustrated. I use my daily tasks a lot as moments of prayer. Not that it "makes up for" more formal time and practice. But time with God, no matter how brief, is better than no time. Be kind to yourself, my friend... God sees, He knows, He cares, HE LOVES! GOD BLESS you!! :)))

karen said...

do not read books that cause anxiety or despair! I avoid them. I pray your stresses ease and answers are illuminated in the days ahead. You are not alone in your life journey and praying will help, it always helps me.

Pom Pom said...

A great post, Elizabeth. It's life-giving to reflect and ponder. I like reading my old journals and finding my cherished by God self there. We learn so much along the way. Books, art, handcrafts, and homemaking are all my favorites. Prayers for the worries and concerns, friend.

Lisa Richards said...

This reminded me of that C.S. Lewis quote about how the things we consider "interruptions" are actually our real lives. I didn't quote that well, but you're probably familiar with the quote. :) So much of life is unexpected. I guess it's all about learning to trust Him no matter what. It's hard, and I guess we work on that for a lifetime. Hugs to you, sister!

2016lillies said...

You are obviously going through a rough stretch. What has happened to me in difficult times is that my reaching out for Him becomes more intense and meaningful. I feel I am trained to accept His will and not mine.Nothing is given to us by accident. Our salvation is what matters and only He knows what it takes to get there. So accepting the blessings as well as the troubled times is paramount . Hang on there you are not alone in your struggling. You have the greatest help of all.His help. Just ask