Faith

Bad Things

None of us are without pain or regrets. This life really hurts at times. After a couple weeks of reading some pretty heavy stories about child abuse, this is very fresh in my mind.

When I was first married, I attended SUNY Cobleskill, taking some classes in Early Childhood. I had always loved babysitting as a teenager, and I knew I wanted to be a mother as quickly as I could. (As it turned out, I found out I was pregnant with our first child just a few weeks after starting those classes. This was after a couple of years with infertility and dealing with all those issues. So my college career was cut short after that semester.) Another reason I took those classes was to work for Headstart. I did some volunteer time there, and what an eye opener that was! This is not to say that it was a bad program, only that I observed different parenting than what I had seen before, and it wasn’t always good. I am sure any school teacher could say the same.

I want to use the words, fascinate or intrigue here, but maybe shock would fit better. I am, and will continually be shocked, fascinated, intrigued, and even physically nauseous at what a person may go through in their life.

And still grow up to be a person that is whole.

God has given our bodies and our minds, our souls an incredible ability to heal. And that’s what fascinates and intrigues me. That’s what I write about. Just as a tiny tree may be walked on, the leaves torn off, and the weather tortuous to it…only to stand tall once again…so we are as people.

I personally will never understand the awful things God allows in our lives, and especially the life of a child. They arrive in this world a tiny bundle of expectation and potential, only needing protection, love and training. And to some, this is not important, and not taken seriously. Some abuse this privilege of a child…horribly. But I do know that God does not observe this lightly.

Luke 17:2 King James Version (KJV)

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

No, I do not understand, and someday I will ask God “Why?” But I do know that these terrible, tough times build character, and make a person stronger. I’ve lived it in my own life.

It is very difficult to be thankful in the midst of adversity. It is sometimes more than we can stand to stay in a situation when we want to run. But just as the picture above says, the bad things can, and do put us on the path to the best things in our lives. The key is faith. Faith won’t take away the problem, and it won’t make it better. But it does keep you looking ahead, and striving for more. It gives you hope.

Clean Sheets to Sweat On

I would like to think that I’m a strong, survival-type person. In my dreams, I could have traveled the prairie, seeking a new home for my family. In those visions, I’m cheery as I sit beside my rugged husband, bumping over the rocky trail, just two ruts in the tall grass. I would be ready to jump from that wagon after a long day, gathering my children for the chores ahead. Building a fire and preparing our evening meal would be the perfect way to end another fruitful day of travel as we neared our destination. Sleeping under the stars, the wind whispering over my little world would lull me to sleep.

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In my dreams!

The reality is that I’m a bit spoiled. Yes, I am a hard-worker, and I could probably survive a lot. But there would be much complaining about the situation. As I sit here and type in my 80+ degree room, the hum of the fan behind me with sweat trickling down by back, I can’t even imagine what those pioneer women went through! I feel as though I’ve been traumatized by the fact that our central air needs to be replaced!

I need to be extremely thankful for all the years that central air plugged away for us. When we moved into this house almost eleven years ago, we knew the heating and air-conditioning unit was used and reconditioned. Each change of season, I’ve prayed that it would work, and it has with the exception of two times. Both times the air-conditioner needed charging, the second time last June. And it didn’t look good then. But, several thousand to replace everything is rather overwhelming. You kind of hope it will just all go away and a storm will go through, cooling everything down.

Well, that won’t happen here in Kansas. Not this time of year. We are looking at another three months or more of 90+ degree heat, every day until mid-September. And that’s when I begin to whine. A lot!

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So, I’ve been trying to focus on what I do have, versus those pioneer women. I have an actual home, not a soddy, or covered wagon. My home has windows that I can open and close. Each night I can take a cool shower in my very nice, remodeled bathroom. I don’t have to bathe in my mixing bowl, or walk to the creek watching for critters. When I’m clean and refreshed, I have clean clothes waiting for me that I’ve washed in my lovely front-loader, and dried in the machine right next to the washing machine. When we are hungry, we can go to our fridge and open the coolness within, and stand there breathing in that cold environment. I don’t have to cook over a cast-iron stove, or campfire unless I really want to, just for the fun of it. And if I’m really miserable and hot, I have a very nice car to ride in that has wonderful cold air.

When I think of it like that, I don’t have much to complain about. I have conveniences that women didn’t have one hundred years ago. I would like to think I could have survived those pioneer days. But I don’t know if I would have. Life was hard, and there wasn’t much time for whining. You just had to survive.

And tonight when I go to bed, I’ll try to remember that I have a bed to sleep on, not blankets piled upon the rocky ground. The mattress may be harder than I like, it may be stifling in the bedroom. But, I have a bed, and clean sheets to sweat on. Life is good!