Confession

Confession.  The word alone conjures up images of a darkened booth with a priest sitting on the other side of a window-type screen; filled with hushed tones and shame.

Why are we so afraid to go bold with confessing our sins when we already know that by doing so will allow that particular burden to be lifted off of our shoulders?

Do we believe for an instant that we are capable of hiding our sins from an all-knowing and an all-seeing Creator?

There’s quite a bit of shame involved, I understand.  I’ve been there.  We strive to do our very best to please God but often those attempts fall flat and we fail miserably.

But guess what?  He still loves us regardless of our numerous shortcomings.  That is what a loving God does!  How awesome is that!  So go boldly before the throne.

1 John 1:9 explains it clearly, “If we confess our sins, He  is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Now that is some great news, my friends!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

A New Year, a new you

Throughout the year, amidst the myriad of challenges, we anticipate the winter holidays, and then before we know it, they’re over, leaving us to marvel at where the time went.  And with a whoosh, in rushes the new year.  We determine to make resolutions; promises to ourselves.  Be a better person.  To love others more deeply.  Work harder.  Learn a new skill which you have been itching to do your whole life.  Lose weight.  Work out more, or even to begin a exercise regiment.  We seek ways for self-improvement.  Some we wind up sticking with while others are quickly tossed to the side.

Gazing into a mirror, we try to summarize the events of the recent past.  What we did wrong.  What we did right.  Those we may have inadvertently offended.  Those we may have encouraged along the way.  We are filled with hopes and fears of what the new year may throw at us; either a raining down of blessings or a crashing head-long into heartache.

Nobody, we understand, can accurately see into the future, though there are a few that insist they can.  If it were possible to project ourselves to December 31, 2015, what would we encounter?  Would we discover a life that had been more fruitful, or one that was awash with pain?

I, for one, do not wish to see what the future holds for me, for we know that our lives are filled with hope-filled moments and shattered dreams, triumphs and disappointments.  What type of person you are determines how well you deal with these issues, when life turns itself upside down.  It’s easy to be joyful and happy when life is at it’s best, but when life bombards you with painful moments when we least expect them, it is almost impossible to keep smiling through the tears.

I believe we need to embrace the beauty that surrounds us.  We need to forgive others for the wounds they have caused us.  Not only does forgiveness fill us with peace of mind, it protects our sanity as well.  And holding grudges is bad for your health, or so I’ve read.  It is cancer to your soul.

So in this coming new year, I implore you to take time to enjoy the little things in life we often take for granted:  watching the sun rise, hiking through a blooming meadow bursting with color, to immerse yourself in a good book, drink a glass of fine wine, bask in the warmth of a sunny July day, or just spending quality time with those you hold dearest.

Don’t lose sleep over the things we can’t change, or worry about things that will most likely not happen.  I am guilty of that myself.  Give up bad habits and embrace healthier ones.  Even small changes like going for a daily walk can do wonders for the body, not to mention the soul.

Here’s wishing you all, my friends, a very healthy, safe, and joy-filled New Year.  In addition, may it be filled with good memories, an abundance of love, and peace; and may sorrows be subtracted.  Blessings.

The Christmas Holiday Season is Upon Us

Okay, I’m going to share a bit of my views about the holiday season in this post. I need to begin by saying that I think people, in general, go overboard during this time of year. They stress themselves out by trying to find that special someone that perfect gift. Or they are rushing around to various functions just to keep up appearances. They overdose on holiday music played everywhere. And they wind up burned out and never get to fully appreciated what this time of year is all about.

Christmas, in my eyes, is the birth of Jesus. God’s perfect gift to humanity, wrapped in flesh, and given without asking for anything in return. To me, it is the greatest gift ever given. As we bedeck our homes, inside and out, with multi-colored lights and trees, inflatable Santas and reindeer, and covet precious handmade ornaments made by our children, we tend to overemphasis the trivial and forget about the true meaning. The light in children’s eyes, the wonder and the joy that glimmers within. Spending time with loved ones. Just sitting around a toasty fire, sipping on cider, eggnog, or a hot chocolate and sharing fond memories of Christmas’s past, gives one pause.

And we are not to forget those who are struggling this time of year. Those who have recently lost a loved one, or are hurting financially, or have gone through some sort of traumatic event. We need to let them know that they have not been forgotten and that you are there for them with a willing shoulder to cry on. Not everyone sees this time of year as festive and merry. This time of year can fill many with a sense of dread and depression. Let us lift those hurting ones up and help them through this season.

It’s not about what you’re getting for Christmas, or how many brightly wrapped packages are yours underneath the Christmas Tree. As a child I used to crawl around under our tree and discover how many had my name on the gift tag. Yes, it is exciting for children to receive requested toys. I understand that. But there comes a time when we need to explain to our children that the meaning of Christmas is more than what they receive, but what they get out of this time of year, surrounded by loving family, making their own fond memories to embrace in the future.

A Bittersweet Melancholy

Watching the two people who raised me, held onto sticky hands as I took those first tottering steps on chubby legs, were the gleeful recipients of my first toothless smiles, become timeworn leaves me with a dull ache inside.  The people who loved me, cared for me, sacrificed for me, put up with my teenage bullshit, now declining in health, mobility, and cognizant functioning.  This is about watching the two once vibrant and youthful adults  who caused fear and trembling inside of me, especially my Dad, and how this saddens yet gives me hope about the future.

My parents are involved in many various activities back home in Florida.  They play cards, travel, are in the German and the Polish Clubs back home.  They both can still move around on their own albeit slowly.  This brings me joy.  I love seeing my parents fully enjoying their senior years.  They are not sitting around their home in some wooden rocking chair waiting to die. 

I watch the two people that were infallible in my eyes as a child, insufferable as a teen, and inadequate as a young adult become wise as a middle-aged woman.  We all understand that aging is a rite of passage that not everyone is blessed to pass through.  Sometimes our bodies mock us in the process, wrecking havoc on the mind as well.  They may walk with hesitant steps, for one misstep could land them in the hospital with a broken hip or worse.  I can close my eyes, though, and easily recall the times my Dad and I went on long bike rides.  I remember when he was strong and full of energy.  But now hair graying, thinning, and well, balding, the advance of time takes pity on no one. 

But no matter how we look at the transition from youth to agedness: a goal, a wish, a dream, or a gift, we all must pass through those darkened corridors, hopefully not alone though.  Aging can be frightening going it on your own, being a widow or a widower.  How comforting it is to have someone else along for the ride.  Yet I am thankful and truly blessed to still be able to enjoy my parents while, unfortunately, so many of my peers cannot.  We will all be bruised and battered by what life throws our way, but no matter how cracked and worn it becomes, we can call each day a gift at the end of the day and pray that tomorrow will be another new chance to make things better for yourself and for others around you.

 

It Can Get Lonely Here

In the past, I dealt with my feelings of isolation and being the odd one with alcohol and drug use(and lots of heavy metal music!).  For a while the substances numbed my emotional pain, but it never removed it completely.  There was always a part of me that struggled to fit in without having to rely on ‘outside help’ to worm my way into normalcy whenever I went out to a party or to a bar.  Oh I loved meeting people, especially guys when I was in my late teens and early twenties(before meeting my darling husband) but I never figured out what to say to impress them, to helped them figure out that, hey, I might just be the one for them!  Usually at parties I shrank into a quiet corner, mostly it was found in the sanctuary of another room devoid of humans. 

Back  in high school, I remember one year the first day of Physical Education class and realizing, with complete dread, that there wasn’t a friendly face in the crowd of girls seated on the bleachers.  I remember sitting on the floor and watching a fly buzzing around and wishing that I could be that insignificant bug and fly away, out of that room, out of that school, out of that life I tried so hard to fit into.  But of course, that was impossible.  I hated sports.  I was the one that, not only chosen last for the team, but a lot of times never chosen and the teacher had to stick me on a team, only to be brutalized by the groans and complaints of, “Oh no, not her!”

Yes.  I am not the sports enthusiast by a long shot.  I still cannot serve a volleyball successfully over a net!  But you know, I have come to accept my failures in that arena.  I wasn’t made to be physical that way.  But now I do run and weight lift, and I have always been a fast runner.  But when you are young and begging silently for acceptance, anything that you see yourself as a failure at, just takes another nibble out of your self-esteem.  And there is definitely a lack of that for girls while attending school, especially, I believe, in junior high school.  What a nightmare!  But I won’t go there.  Girls can be so mean at that age.  And it’s a shame, since they are all in the same boat at that point:  some many changes that a young lady goes through at that time.  But we won’t go there…again.  So if were to be asked what age I’d like to return to, it would be age 30.  Guys are better at that age too!

So it is a lonely road having Asperger’s, especially for a girl since it is more difficult to determine what is wrong with her than with her male counterpart.  I shouldn’t complain, though, since I had great parents and siblings(even though they tortured me mentally by telling me I was adopted and that the government removed the month of September, my birth month, from the calendar and that I would thus no longer have a birthday to celebrate!).  Oh, older brothers and sisters can be soooo mean. 

Anyway, to all of you out there with Asperger’s, take it from me, you do not need any substances to handle life.  Because overall it just complicates things.  Take life a day at time.  Best to have a friend to discuss this with.  It is a lonely life.  I understand.  I probably have only a few friends that I can count on.  But my husband is my very best friend.  Even though he enjoys teasing me about what I write on here.  Love your life.  You are worth it.  You are worth loving.  Be who you were made to be and embrace it. For life is short, so we need to take in as much of it as possible for however long of a time we have it.  Don’t waste your time feeling sorry for yourself.  I’ve done it and it didn’t help in the least.  If you must, set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and have a good cry.  I’ve done that and I usually feel so much better after that. 

See yourselves as unique.  You are one of a kind, dear friends.  And you are a wonderful addition to this craziness called the Human Race.  Blessings.  Until next time,  Eva

Here I am, in the midst of so much unimportant fluff weighing me down again.  Laundry, dirty dishes, working out, cleaning, worrying about my boys, even though they’re basically men now, I feel dragged down and exhausted.  Why is it that the little things, the really quite nonessential things, really tear us down?  Again with the guilt of not writing.  It weighs me down.  Do I feed off the guilt?  Does it make me feel like I have purpose in my life, even by not writing?  Okay, maybe I don’t even know where I’m going with this.

It just seems like I’m going around the same stubborn mountain.  Around and around I go.  And of course the winter weather monster isn’t helping my depression in the least.  Can I blame it on the weather?  Probably.  But probably not a good idea either.  I can come up with a long list of reasons why I put off writing.  But they’re the same excuses I constantly bitch and moan about.  So of course that is getting old.

Does writing pep you up?  Does it make you feel happier?  Give you a sense of self-worth?  Give you a reason for living?  It does for me.  Then why don’t I write, you may ask?  Trust me, I’ve asked myself that so many times that it doesn’t even phase me anymore.  And that is sad in a way.  If one loves to write, and finds sheer joy in the putting of words to paper, then why doesn’t one do it?  I can’t explain it anymore.  Is it failure or fame that I fear more?  Is it so that I can claim that I am a writer?  I tell my family that I have so many good story ideas and great beginnings, but they just shake their heads and tell me to go write them then.  And I should. 

But there is something hidden beneath the surface.  What it is, again, I have no clue.  Maybe I don’t want to know.  Maybe I like keeping it dead and buried.  But I am sick of continuing this life without meaning.  Without driving myself steadily towards my goals and dreams.  Okay, it does have meaning, of course.  But what I mean is that I feel that I’m coasting again through this life.  And I’m fifty now.  More than half my life is over, I’m sure.  One cannot keep sitting back and allowing the world to flash before them without at least attempting to go after what they want most in life.  So, dear reader, again I ask for your valued opinions.  How do you keep at writing even when you don’t seem to have the time?  I need some advice, please.  It sincerely aggravates me that I keep talking about the same issues without even trying to resolve them.  No one wants to keep reading about the same thing all of the time. 

So here’s to reading good books, for writing about what is on your heart and in your  head.  Without excuses.  Without fear.  Without apathy.  Without complaint.  Thanks, again, for listening.  Please comment with any sage advice, or any good books that might help me out of this funk.

Goodbye 2013

This will be my last post for the year.  My intention was always to post something new at least once a week.  Unfortunately I’ve failed at that.  But no use beating myself up over it.  I can’t change the past but I can do something about it in the future.  A new year is almost upon us.  For some of us this is a blessing and a relief.  For others, it is a painful reminder of what surrounds us.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of ‘what-if’s’.  Will I still have my job next year?  Will my spouse leave me?  Will my illness get worse?  So much stress and worry.  But since we cannot see into the future what lays ahead, we have to take it one day at a time.  Baby steps.  We can’t change the horrible economy.  We can try to do a better job at loving and caring about our spouses.  We can get help.  We can go to counseling.  Life is so unpredictable.  We can’t see around the corner and peek at what is coming at us.

But this post is not meant to be negative.  I want you to read ‘hope’ within these words.  Hope for a new season in your life.  Hope that things will get better, or hope that things will remain just as they are, if you are pleased and thankful for what you already have.  I believe that we live with too much fear.  I for one am included in that.  I am a worrier.  I bite my nails still.  I overeat to calm my frayed nerves.  I get sick to my stomach sometimes, and have terrible headaches.  And for what?  Because I’m stressing out about something that will most likely never occur.  I recommend meditation or prayer.  A higher power.  I believe in God.  I believe that He has all things under control and no matter how hard I struggle to have things my way, I believe that He is ultimately the one with absolute control.  I think that we need to keep our eyes focused on something bigger than ourselves.  I’m not saying that you have to believe in what I believe.  I’m a firm believer in not forcing any religion down anyone else’s throat.  But I do think that we can find comfort in knowing that there is someone or something in control, who’s got everything in capable hands.  Leading us.  Guiding us.  Teaching us.

So as we look to 2014, let us release all of this strain, and worry, and focus on the good.  We usually cannot do much about the things that pop up unexpectedly in our lives, like the loss of employment, but we can take a deep breath and move on to something else.  We can release the ‘bad energy’ and move on to something better, something brighter.  Don’t settle for second-best.  Don’t settle for complacency.  You are so very important.  See yourself as valuable.  As a contributing member of society.  Life goes on even when the pain comes.  Talk to someone, if you need to.  Don’t go through all of this turmoil alone.  We all need people, even in this social media age.  Please never look at your life as being worthless, as you being worthless.  You are NOT worthless.  You are made for a reason.  No one is here by accident.  This is what I believe.  Don’t take your own life.  I read somewhere once that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  In life, this too shall pass.  Troubles don’t last for a lifetime.  I know what I’m talking about.  I tried, years ago, to take my own life.  But you know what, even though I was buried in anguish at the time, life did get better. 

Please, please, please look for the bright spot.  There is always one if you dare to seek it out.  Love yourself.  Let others love you, too.  Don’t wall yourself up.  Get out there in live!  Life is short.  It is unpredictable, but it is beautiful.  Please don’t squander another day.