End of January already?! This year is going so fast!
Sometimes I am somewhere and I am like “Ooo! I should do a blog post about that!”, yet week after week here I sit wondering “What should I write about this week?”. So with that said here is what was kind of put to mind as I typed that all.
I feel like I drive a lot. I don’t drive nearly as much as some people but I have to drive 10 minutes at least to get to anything. If I am driving alone I sometimes like to just sit and contemplate life. No music. Just wind passing over my car and my car heating system making noise. In those moments I think about storms in life. Why things are happening. How I went wrong. What can I do to fix it. What the other person(s) did. You know, just stuff!
Well one day a few weeks ago I was upset about stuff. I didn’t think my world would end, I was just frustrated that things were going the way they were. I had been at a training course and the lady there was talking about the stuff you can do vs the stuff you can’t, she called it goals vs desires. Let me explain because that sounds confusing.
So basically there are things in the world that you can do; goals! You can show people love. You can always be a listening ear. You can make sure you are well kept. You can do kind deeds randomly for someone. These are all things you can do. What you can’t do; desires. You can't make someone feel loved. You can’t make someone come into a personal relationship with Jesus. You can’t make someone think about maybe doing something nice for you. You can't make someone heal. There are things in life that you can’t do! You may desire that your friend leave a cute present on your bed but you can't make them do it with a loving, cheerful heart or even make them think about doing it. Those are things that others have to desire for themselves; things you can’t push onto a person.
It was difficult for me to come to grips with that. I was going on in my head about how I’d do this, that and the other thing for them and yet they wouldn’t even do this little thing for me. Boy did I have to come down from my high horse. I had to realise that I needed to continue being the person I am because God called me to it, not for the purpose of getting stuff in return!
I will go on record saying that I am not perfect and I still do struggle with this sometimes. But now I always seem to be reminded right away, “Regan what can you do?is this a goal or desire?” I can not change a person to like me. I can’t make a person give me thoughtful gifts. I can not make a person remember me. But I can serve in the capacity that God has given me and do it joyfully with or without returned gratitude. Hard as that is sometimes, I think that the reward in heaven will be far more worth it then any return here on earth. Here’s to being reminded that serving Him is greater.
Anxiety. Wow that’s a biggy. I don’t have all the answers, I have the one answer! So if you’ve read Christmas Adventure you’ll know about an anxiety attack I had just over a year ago now. Anxiety is rough! It can be paralyzing, physically and mentally! You feel like you can’t think straight which just ends up making you more anxious. Or physically where you can feel nauseous or even temporarily paralyzed, it's so scary; this has happened to me and I hate it!
When I think about anxiety I think about all of my experiences with it. Whether it is having my hand tense up and be completely numb or just feeling nauseous it’s been a real thing in my life. I am not here saying I figured out the solution to never having anxiety again but I do think that there is something behind it that causes it. For me it was my mom getting sick. That is when I started getting sick in the mornings just thinking about the day ahead… I think it was an unspoken fear that my mom could drop dead at any moment, that I’d be orphaned of a mom without getting to say goodbye. When she did die my nausea in the mornings went away slowly. So I think it is safe to say that anxiety is stemmed from fear in a lot of cases.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of no control.
Fear of loss.
Is there any way to combat that fear? Quite honestly I didn’t really recognize the root problem or the surface problem while I was in it. It is the 20/20 vision of hindsight that is making me stroke my chin and say “hmm is that what it was?! That makes so much sense!” So first you need to identify the root issue. That goes for so many things! Being a counsellor at camp I have had to realized that there is always a deeper issue to the outward actions of a child. Then once the root is found you can work. It's like a weed, if you just pull what you see it will come back because the root wasn't destroyed too.
Even realizing that fear was my root issue was hard for me grapple with! I don’t see myself as a fearful person! I fly planes which is something that causes many to look at me very strangely, that doesn’t scare me though because I feel like I have control! But mom being sick was something that no one can control. Like when you are in a cancer situation any minute can bring you on a totally different rollercoaster ride, none of which you ever really expect! So many would say my fear was founded, but then you read “Do not fear for the lord your God is with you…” and realize you have no excuse to fear before the King of kings who is always in control of all things.
It is rough to go through anxiety and I have nothing but love for all of you that do! I still have times where I feel myself verging on an anxiety attack. It is in those moments where I try to calm my mind by completely relying on the Lord. Getting someone to pray for you in that moment is a beautiful reminder of the God that is in control! He is worthy and totally trustworthy!
Life has been so crazy these past two weeks! Life threw a lot at Jeffrey and I, God’s hand was so evident in it all! I can’t expound on what all happened at this time, but I will share it sometime in the future!
I feel like most people I’ve talked to don’t like changes in life. I know that a lot of that is personality; my sisters are awesome examples of that. I do think there is a point though where you can decide not to fight the change. Change happens. It just does. Sometimes you choose it, sometimes you don’t. I can’t say I’ve always liked the change that has happened in my life in fact I would get anxiety, bad, whenever I got overwhelmed with everything that was happening. (I’ll do a post on anxiety sometime maybe. I feel like its a very common thing)
Change has played such a huge part in my life;
-We moved to a different country when I was 4,
-did preschool and kindergarten there,
-then we moved back home (a place that I didn’t really remember) when I was 6.5,
-I started school in Canada in grade 1,
-Grade 5 year we changed churches and started homeschooling (I felt like I had to start over in everything including making friends),
-grade 10 my mom had a miscarriage,
-that same year she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer,
-a year later we moved to colorado for 3 months,
-almost two years after being diagnosed mom died,
-one year after she died I got a boyfriend,
-16 months later I was engaged.
I definitely feel like I am still figuring myself out and how I react to change. I don’t freak-out typically. I don’t go into a silent mental breakdown, in which I would retreat to my room and talk to no one. I try to face it head on. I think I got some of who I am from my dear grandma.
Grandma has had a life full of adventures and ups and downs (nine children will help with that). Something that is amazing about her is that she never seems surprised or shaken when it comes to surprises and change. She is one of the strongest women I know and I am so proud to call her my grandma! She was with us girls when we found out that mom died, her first concern was us even though she had just watched her first born, her daughter, suffer and die. I don’t mean for this to get all sad but honestly her life has taught me so much! How she walks and interacts with people. How she listens and gives advice. How she’s been a “mom” to me since mine isn’t here anymore. I could go on and on!! In regards to change though I can hear her saying that everything happens for a reason and God has it all under control, we just have to trust, and what happens will happen.
On that note I’ll end. I can’t change the changes that come most of the time, but God knows, and he’s always there holding me.
The beauty of a clean slate and a new fresh start in a year is what many people love about New Years and resolutions.
I got a plant from a friend on Christmas Day that was a beautiful orange leaf poinsettia I had admired earlier in the month. I was actually so excited about the plant! I had managed to keep another plant alive in my room recently after a terrible streak of bad luck in my plant raising skills. I had really just resigned myself to the fact that I was not blessed with a green thumb. (Although I still do not claim that I do have one) I had high hopes that this poinsettia would survive! Alas under twenty-four hours after receiving the gift its leaves started dying and falling off. The day I had gotten it was frigid temperatures of -40℃ and the two short walks it had to endure outside apparently had done it in. My beautiful poinsettia had been bit by the frost.
I was a little sad. First of all it was a gift and I didn’t even get a chance to enjoy it! Second, it was a gift that I unintentionally killed!!! So slowly but surely all the leaves fell off the little green stems and I cleaned them up. I didn’t want to give up on the plant so I kept watering it and keeping it out of direct sunlight.
After the last leaf fell off the now pitiful looking plant I noticed something!
There was a little leaf growing out of the middle stem!
The plant wanted to fight!
That little leaf is still slowly growing and I have since spotted one or two more little buds coming out!
What an example! A little plant that came back pretty much from nothing! It still looks so ugly but its fighting! I remember my mom always finding little lessons in nature that God would teach her. She loved telling us about the little sparrows she had watched in the morning and the deer that had scampered across our yard at dusk. The little things that she called her blessing from God. She taught me to try and see those things, to seek and find what God did for me in a day. Maybe he gave you all green lights on your drive to work, or placed a entertaining squirrel in your path as you went on a walk. Heart lifters! Some days its very hard to be optimistic, today is actually one of those days for me, I have cried many tears today because life didn't seem fair. I felt hypocritical sitting down knowing I had to write a post. I couldn’t come up with anything seemingly inspiring, I dragged my feet to do it. But then I saw my little plant and I knew that even though the day was almost done (I’m writing this in the evening) there was still a chance for me to take it back and see what blessing God left in my path. Sometimes you also teach best when you are going through it yourself.
So make this January white! A clean slate and an expectant heart for what God will do!