The last month of this past winter felt hard to get through and so I was glad when the first day of Spring arrived this week, and with it the first rays of warm sunshine. This has been one of the toughest winters I remember and the snow stuck around for longer than I remember, it’s beauty long gone, hidden under layer upon layer of roadside grime. It is good to see the colour returning to the ground outside and to feel the warmth in the sun and in the breeze. Winter is over for another year and it seems to have left me feeling less young and more tired, though I put the latter down to a case of what Slovaks call “Spring tiredness”.
When I compare myself with others, I become depressed and disoriented. I lose my focus and start spinning in circles trying to find my direction. I start coveting what other people have and lose effectivity in my own life. If I want to achieve or maintain joy in my life, I need to develop soul satisfaction with my portion in life. I need to trust God to be enough for me, to care for me as He has promised and I need to stop hankering after the illusory life presented many times unwittingly by friends and acquaintances on social media.
One of my biggest struggles/frustrations/issues as a parent is learning how to pass on a
living Christian faith to my four children.
Thankfully, God didn’t leave us clueless and helpless in this parenting business and He has provided a framework which, though not a hundred percent successful because we live in a fallen world, allows us parents to give our children the best possible chance for developing a healthy spirituality.
Happy New Year!
I love the sound of those words. I don’t think I have ever met a person who isn’t cheered by them. Who doesn’t like new beginnings? Who doesn’t need them? Who isn’t occasionally glad to see the back of the old year? Who doesn’t hope that this will be the year when we will see solutions to long-lasting problems, old conflicts resolved, or even dreams come true? Do we ever become so old and jaded that there isn’t even a glimmer of hope when we cross over the threshold into the new year? Isn’t there a sense that a new year brings new hope? There is a sense of anticipation in me at the thought of all those days ahead, as yet unspoilt and spotless, just like the freshly fallen snow with which we have been blessed this last week, snow that fell softly on barren fields and made them beautiful.
I think there are people who go through life fairly self-satisfied, content with who they are and what they do, regretting little or nothing. Sometimes I think it is unfortunate that I do not belong to that group.Sometimes I think it would be nice to live without regrets but on the other hand I tend to agree with Socrates’ statement that the unexamined life is not worth living. And as self-examination tends to result in a deeper awareness of one’s own failings, I suppose that regret is integral to a life worth living. Ignorance may be bliss – at least for the one who remains ignorant – but I don’t want to bulldoze my way through life, careless of my impact on other people.
Recently I grieved my own death.
Before you think that this post is a posthumous visit, or that I am a total narcissist, please let me explain. I was standing in the kitchen with Mia, the same kitchen where I had been standing almost twelve months previously when Dali had received the phone call from the hospital, a call which we were both expecting and dreading, that his mum had just passed away after an intense but all-too-brief battle with cancer. Mia was perhaps remembering the grief and intensity of those days last November, the necessity of saying goodbye to “Stará mama”, the last ever-so-gentle hugs, the last kind words and the last loving looks. Perhaps her young brain was trying to wrap itself around the concept of future days and her own mother’s mortality. It had been an ordinary kind of day
How was your week?
Mine has been …well, busy.
I suspect that, like me, many of you have had a busy week too. But today I find myself asking an important question. What did I actually do? I mean, what did I actually achieve? I cooked and baked and cleaned and washed and hung and folded and shopped and sorted. I counselled and corrected and supervised and scolded. I taught and walked and tidied and swept.
But what did I actually do?
Perspective is everything.
Has anyone else been struggling with theirs lately?
This week has been interesting. On Saturday, in the middle of the night, while everyone slept, our sofa mysteriously broke. I think it finally capitulated after years of having enthusiastic boys jump on it. We woke up to the forlorn sight of our faithful sofa sagging heavily, its wooden support apparently snapped in two. On Monday my computer contracted an almost fatal virus.