1halffull's Blog


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAN JAGUNIC!
July 24, 2010, 10:07 pm
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Today’s the day I celebrate

The moment of your birth.

You keep saying ’39’

Much to my good mirth.

I don’t care how old you are

You’ve shown me what you’re worth.

I hope you have so many more

And never have a dearth (of birthdays).

Much Love to my dear, sweet  husband!

And Happy Birthday to Josie, too!  She’s really 8 and doesn’t mind saying so!  LOL

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Let’s Make a Deal…Or Not?
July 20, 2010, 3:11 am
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Right now, my daughter is vascillating between being a very sick girl and an almost very sick girl.  She had some surgery that looked like it went pretty well.  We should have known better before we even had those thoughts because, just as fast as it seemed good, it went bad. 

For two weeks, it’s been quite the little roller coaster ride.  As bad as it is for her, alone where she is, it feels pretty much as bad here, where she isn’t.  It’s hard not to be able to look into her face, peer at her belly, step in front of the doctor and give some of my pent up medical wisdom.  My husband reminds me that I’m NOT a doctor.  I agree that I don’t have the degree to prove it, but I’m pretty darn street smart when it comes to figuring some things out.  Plus I work in a hospital and have access to some really great medical minds.  Okay, so I cheat.

I believe in God all the time – not just bad times, but good ones, too.   I’ve come to know that when I pretty much feel helpless, like now, I can turn to God.  I think He’s about the only one who hears and answers all the time:  There is one thing we can be sure of when we come to God in prayer.  If we ask anything in keeping with what He wants, He hears us.  If we know that God hears what we ask for, we know that we have it.  ~ 1 John 5:14,15

But wait, there’s more!

In these situations, I sometimes behave like I want God to be more like Monty Hall than the owner of everything in the Universe.  I find myself hoping that somehow, we can ‘make a deal’ for whatever it is I’m desperate for, in this case, my daughter’s restoration to good health.  Suddenly, instead of desiring what is His will for her life, I want Him to trade me something that I might bring for this great prize – her health restored.  Doing it now would not be too soon!

If you remember, on “Let’s Make A Deal”, the contestants brought goofy things that they would trade away to Monty for some great prize.  Of course, sometimes they got the booby prize.  

Like them, I have this thing that I’m bringing to God – my daughter’s illness – and I want to trade it for something better – her health.   But for some reason, a lack of trust suggests that instead, He’ll hand me the booby prize.  That is my fear talking.

But really.  What kind of deal can I make with a Guy who owns everything in the entire universe?  What can He possibly need that I could even begin to offer?  Not much really.  Besides, I figure that anything, even the biggest sacrifice I could ever think to make, couldn’t begin to compare to the one He already made for me by sacrificing His Son, Jesus.

And yet, the Bible tells me that if I will pray, asking Him for what I need, He’ll hear and answer me, sometimes beyond my greatest desires.  He also says that if I, as a parent, would give my kids good things, how much more then, would He do for us if we just ask Him?  ~ Matthew 7:11

The Bible also talks about people who prayed and fasted (gave up food) to prove to the Lord how much a particular problem or issue meant to them.  They did these things to show God just how great was their desire to have Him hear them and respond positively on their behalf.   In comparison to shedding blood, this seems pretty simple.  And yet, He clearly responds.

I admit that in the past, I have made sacrifices on behalf of people I have loved.  One was, for me, pretty big.  At the time, I thought it was just about the best I could do as a human.  Somehow, I figured it covered it all.

But here I am again with what is in my heart, a great need:  my daughter’s health.  What is there that I could possibly give God in return for this?  It doesn’t seem like there’s much left.

Which turns my mind (and my heart?) in a different direction.  When there’s nothing left that is meaningful to me to bring to Him, what can I do?  I even ask myself this:  if there was still something left, do I want to bring it?   Do I want to make every ‘crisis’ a ‘let’s make a deal’ situation?  Doesn’t that kind of paint me into a corner? 

If I do that, am I limiting God by painting Him in the image of Monty Hall rather than the image of one who has limitless capability? 

Instinctively, I know it is better to choose the God of limitless capability.  

I think it’s  possible that I have reached a crossroad in my relationship with God:  I can either continue to try to bargain, or I can really begin to lay down my fear and exercise trust.  For a control freak like me, no easy task. 

But maybe that’s what He’s been waiting for me to bring all along:  nothing but pure trust. 



July 7, 2010, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Toning It Down….

There is something to be said for keeping a cool head or toning it down as I’ve recently come to think of it.  Here are some benefits:

  1. Doing so brings down the drama quotient.
  2. You don’t jump to conclusions.
  3. You reduce your fear of the unknown factor by at least 50% – probably more but I can only stand to think in halves.
  4. You don’t do a lot of yelling for nothing.
  5. You probably add at least a few months to your life because you aren’t shooting adrenaline all over your body and wreaking havoc on your heart and other organs.

While I can say all of this, and also recognize the benefits of practicing toning it down, when in the midst of ‘difficult situations’ there seems to be a very long distance for me between knowing and doing.

1.  One of my first hurdles to jump over for toning it down is this:  When past experience has taught you about all the possibilities for ‘bad’ things that can happen in certain situations, how do you not automatically page through that mental catalog when faced with another, yet similar, challenge?  Some people state matter of factly (as if you actually do have a choice) ‘just don’t go there.’  Yeah now you’re talking total nonsense.  That’s like telling a hypochondriac they don’t have a concussion after being hit on the head.  They’re not going to believe you and will internet search until they can prove you’re wrong even if they don’t have a concussion.  Same with the mental catalog:  it will always open up before you in just about any situation that has an unknown and unpredictable outcome.

2.  If I didn’t jump to conclusions, pretty much I wouldn’t go anywhere.  Typically, these conclusions are based on assumptions made, again using that mental catalog of previous experiences.  If your name is Pollyanna and you’ve managed to talk yourself into believing that even bad things are good things in the end, then I guess you might make the giant leap from ugly conclusion to great expectations.  This could lead to a toned down existence.  Maybe.

3.  Some great president said ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’  What do people fear the most?  Fear of the unknown.  The only way to end fear of the unknown is to somehow learn the outcome before the event happens.  Unfortunately for most of us, that just doesn’t seem to work, especially when the memory catalog of life events has stored up a disproportionate number of negative outcomes.  When that’s the case, how am I supposed to drop the fear and believe in the positive?  Isn’t that about as likely as pulling a rabbit out of a regular, non-magical hat?

photo credit: Life magazine cover clipped from 'Bing'

4.  Yelling for nothing?  No, really.  I don’t think of it as yelling for nothing.  I think of it as yelling at whoever is causing this whole drama in the first place.  I’m yelling because I can’t make it go the way I think it should.  I’m yelling because no one understands how I feel.  I’m yelling because, really, I’m scared that someone I care about is going to ….well, whatever the negative possibility is that could happen.  I’m yelling because I want someone to hear me and fix it so I don’t have to go through any more of it.  I get tired of having to yell.

Some would say I don’t have to yell, that I have a choice and could stop.  I say that’s about as likely as that hypochondriac I mentioned above believing me, a non-medical person, when I say they’re not sick.

5.  That last one about adding some time to your life.  That’s kind of a tricky one, isn’t it?  What if I don’t want extra time?  Maybe I’d like some time taken away so some of this yelling can actually stop.  Will ignoring all of the above get that job done?  Probably so.  When I’m in the midst of one of these ‘situations’ do I really care?  Probably not.  Number five is only an appropriate comment when I’ve reached the other side of this whole situation and can think clearly again.

Which is where we started and brings me to the real object of this reflection:  God and trust.  If you are a person of faith, and really believe in God, then why do you let the catalog of memory rule your life?  Trusting in God and His purpose for you and for those whom you love, should be the only catalog you search during ‘situations’.  When you do, if you can, THEN you might be able to ‘tone it down’.