Life Changing Peace

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Are you looking for life changing peace?  It just might be closer than you think. What if it’s all in your own mind?Are you looking for life changing peace?  It just might be closer than you think. What if it’s all in your own mind? In this episode, I’m sharing how a simple change in perspective changes how I feel and how I respond to the situations and circumstances around me.  Give a listen and then consider, what one thing can you do to shift your perspective today?

The Life Metaphors I mentioned:

Life is like a river. With all its bends and rapid falls, one must follow the right path or else you’ll lose your way to the sea.

Life is like a box of chocolates. You’ll never know what you’re going to get.

Life is like a bagel. It’s delicious when it’s fresh and warm, but often it’s just hard. The hole is the middle is its great mystery, and yet it wouldn’t be a bagel without it.

Life is like eating grapefruit. First you have to break through the skin; then it takes a couple of bites to get used to the taste, and just as you begin to enjoy it, it squirts you in the eye.

Life is like a banana. You start out green and get soft and mushy with age. Some people want to be one of the bunch while others want to be top banana. You have to take care not to slip on externals. And, finally, you have to strip off the outer coating to get at the meat.

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle, but you don’t have the picture on the front of the box to know what it’s supposed to look like. Sometimes, you’re not even sure if you’ve got all the pieces.

Life is like a maze in which you try to avoid the exit.

Life is like riding an elevator. It has a lot of ups and downs and someone is always pushing your buttons. Sometimes you get the shaft, but what really bothers you are the jerks.

Life is like money. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.

Life is like a whisper. If you only try and stop wailing you’ll suddenly realize that it is there.

Life is like a pencil. You can be sharpened, you can correct mistakes, and you can leave a mark.

Life is like the journey of the children of Israel through the desert. It might be difficult, hot, and include lots of whining and complaining, but there is an end goal that is so glorious it’s worth the effort to get there.

Life is like water-skiing! I have the responsibility to be ready, with my skis on, life jacket fastened, and holding the rope- waiting.  But Jesus is the boat driver and he is the one who does all the pulling up out of the water.  He determines the speed and it’s his responsibility to be aware of what my skill level is and take me over only what he thinks I can handle.  My only job is to hang on, have some confidence that I can do it, and enjoy the ride.   The waves can be scary, just like life’s surprises, but if I have courage and go into it without fear, it can be exhilarating- an adventure.  Watching the boat keeps me more balanced than watching my feet.  If I fall down, the driver instantly circles around and picks me back up right where I left off.  There is no rejection, no quitting on me, just “let’s go again”. Then, at the end of a day of water skiing I’m tired, sore, and ready to flop into bed, but if the boat captain says, “Wanna go out again tomorrow?” I jump at the chance to go again.

The two days:

DAY #1

This morning I woke up feeling groggy. Remembering that I was way backed up on laundry I padded downstairs to the laundry to get some clean clothes only to find that the washing machine was broken- really broken.  One load had just been put in by my son and I’m not sure but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had something to do with it.  Sigh…all those clothes and now the machine is broken.  I begged Brandon to look at it and after several hours of meetings and finally getting around to it, he announced that we’d have to order a part and wait.  When do we ever have time to wait for laundry in this house?

Breakfast was tough.  I spent the time hording down bites in between answering questions, solving problems and keeping people on track to do what they were supposed to do.  Sometimes I feel as though I haven’t eaten when I finish.

School was difficult.  The kids couldn’t sit still. I mean, one of them kept trying to sit in the chair on his knees, bent over, with his bottom up in the air, and his head all the way down on the floor in front of him.  Who listens like that? I ended up giving some long lectures to kids who, I’m sure, weren’t really listening.

To make matters worse, my head wasn’t really in it.  My mother-in-law was at the doctor having some serious procedure and I was wondering how she was handling it.  And my own mother was having difficulties with my grandmother who forgets things, is having back problems, and can’t seem to get her bowels straightened out.

But we struggled through. At lunch I discovered that some kids didn’t want to eat what I prepared.  After that was over I went down the hill to deliver a message.  Errands seem to be my only escape from the cave these days.

I returned to a pile of dirty dishes and the familiar sound to the neighbor children playing in our yard, AGAIN, without having asked.  During this time the kids managed to get in a fight and that led to a major altercation with my oldest son.  Really, one of the dumbest arguments I can remember having recently.  I tell you, he’s becoming more and more like me every day and it’s such a tragedy!

No sooner had I settled that and turned back to the dishes than I heard a wail and in comes my daughter screaming.  I was trying to visit with my brother on the phone, but no- that buzzer goes off that warns the children of a phone call, telling them to come get mom quick!  She came in hollering at the top of her lungs and I told her to go sit on the couch until she could get over it.  After she just wouldn’t quit and I couldn’t hear any more, I reluctantly hung up and went to check on her.  Of course, she had managed to actually hurt herself.  Her finger was all bent over to one side, clearly I was going to have to take her to the doctor.

I sighed, knowing that I had just interrupted Brandon 3 times that afternoon and I was going to have to do it again.  I’m always having to interrupt him it seems. He was disappointed, as usual, to hear that I had to go ANYWHERE, much less the hospital. And of course it coincided with Perspectives, as most of my “interruptions” do.

I took her to the Dr. and discovered that the finger was broken.  Great. Cast. She won’t be able to dress herself, climb on the stool, go to the bathroom alone, it’s gonna hurt. I’m going to be up late. AND, 6 weeks! Means she will have it on while we go to the beach!!! UGH!

Somewhere in there I discovered that my mother was on the way to the hospital with my other grandma thinking that her kidneys were shut down.  That wasn’t at all distracting.

Due to stress, I ate too much for dinner, the kids got in bed late cause someone didn’t finish his chores and complete making beds, so I had to put the sheets on two beds, Justin got up 3 times and managed to have a dirty diaper at 10pm.  I had to put away all afternoon projects I was hoping to work on today that I didn’t get to, Jeff won’t stop picking at his ear and then when I’m most exhausted, I couldn’t sleep. I have prayed so many times, but stuff just keeps happening!

Sigh.  It’s been a long day.

END OF DAY #1- Do you feel like I do at the end of this? Overwhelmed? Busy and discouraged? Tired? Slightly crazy and with the thought of “don’t make me have to do this again?”  Well read on…

DAY #2

Today I woke up a little earlier than I usually do.  Had a chance to pray for God’s best to be done today.  When I got up, Brandon was making breakfast and I was able to concentrate on fixing something healthy for me.  What a treat.  Jonathon is finally getting the hang of his chicken chores and James had most of his stuff done this morning before I ever got out of bed!

School started on time today for the first time in weeks.  I even got my cup of coffee and enjoyed it during devotions.  We had a great devotional time, not only memorizing the verse we are working on, but also a discussion and silly practice time about how to make appeals instead of argue.  Justin behaved pretty well during the whole thing too.

We got in some good solid English, something that I’ve wanted to do for a while and I was able to spend some time individually with each kid to work on some of their weak points.  It was a nice day outside, so the little kids played sweetly in the sandbox during school, providing me with some uninterrupted instructional time.  Brandon came in and did math and while he was doing that, I got to visit with my sister, Amy on the phone and clean up several piles of “stuff” that have been around the dining room for a while.  Rachel was anxious to finish her chores during break time and I was so encouraged by her desire to get done, I helped her vacuum the playroom, so it got a little more thorough job than normal.

When lunch came, I had the plates all ready for the kids.  We had some healthy snacks that most of them ate a good portion of.  I’ve been really thankful for the chance to have good food to eat recently. After lunch, I had a chance to finish up some cleaning in the kitchen.  Pat came over and folded tons of clothes and read with the kids.  Such a blessing.

That afternoon, I prepped some sweet potatoes for dinner on Tuesday, which is always a busy day and boiled a couple of chickens to add to salads for lunches.  Also enjoyed getting out for a little exercise with a quick run around the property.  Later I had to take one of the children to a doctor visit and the battery to the car was dead.  But Brandon was home and he showed me how to use a battery pack we keep in the back of the car to jump it off.  It took less than five minutes and I was on my way.

Diane spontaneously called up and said she wanted to bring pizza over for dinner along with our original plan to have a haircut.  I certainly didn’t turn her down.  When she came, she had pizza, chips, chocolate milk, and ice cream sundaes.  The kids were thrilled.  We had a nice dinner while Brandon was away at a meeting, and then she stayed while I put the kids to bed.  I forgot that I had committed to cutting someone else’s hair that evening as well and so she graciously said we could do hers another time.

After she left and I cut hair, I had a nice visit with the guy and then spent a good amount of time talking to my sister Ruth on skype- something I don’t get to do very often.  Later in the evening, when Brandon still wasn’t home I spent some alone time praying and connecting with Jesus- also a rare opportunity.  Actually, now that I think of it, I spent numerous moments reconnecting with Jesus all day long.  By the end of the day, I had the makings of a great women’s meeting and sat down to write it all out.  One of the kids was having trouble sleeping, so while I was listening out for them, it gave me a chance to write out a lot of things that had been on my mind.

All in all, I don’t think I could have asked for a better day.

END OF DAY #2- At the end of this, while it’s no less busy, I come away encouraged that God met needs, it was fun, I can look forward to something like this again.  I could envision doing this another day and enjoying it.

The real key here is that:

THEY ARE THE SAME DAY!  And how I respond to the next thing in life is directly impacted by my attitude about what just happened!  I’m encouraged by the idea that I have the power to CHOOSE to look for the blessings and not leave them out.  Yes, the hard things came and I don’t have to ignore them, but I often do ignore the blessings that came alongside that made the difficulties bearable.

What is your current perspective?  How can you shift it even just a little bit?

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