Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lessons Learned

As I answered the phone my concerned friend queried, "What now?!?!" She lovingly listened and laughed with me as I explained how I had just managed to smack my hand while walking into the bathroom and now there was swelling and a bruise the size of a golf ball. This was the same friend who only days before listened as I whined about the odors in my home. I had smelled a strong stench of mold and asked hubby to check to see if he could find the source. His solution was to use bleach where he thought the odor originated. He used it full strength which presents a problem---bleach that isn't diluted soon turns from a clean, swimming pool aroma into the absolute worst stinky feet odor one can imagine. Of course that problem became minuscule the next day when hubby emerged from the basement to declare that we had water seeping up from the floor drain forming a muddy, rusty pool in the furnace room.Yes we have had a series of unfortunate events this week. Well actually for the past year it seems we have had our fair share of life's adventures. Job changes, health issues, a lost business, root canals and wisdom teeth, ill and aging parents, financial challenges, panic attacks, and four broken bones, just to name a few.
I have sobbed, prayed, gotten angry, prayed, pouted, prayed, questioned, prayed, pleaded . . . and prayed.
And through it all I was taught an important lesson titled, Perspective.
It is so easy to see the ugly in our lives and compare it to the beauty in others. But when times get bad we need to stop and take a look at how blessed we really are. I got a strong dose of the lesson on perspective after the frantic phone call from my son explaining that he had just broken his legs and would need to be life-flighted. I crumbled to my knees hysterically pleading for direction when an overwhelming sense of calm came upon me and the words, "he is alive" came into my head. In the midst of what appeared to be a tragedy I was told by the Lord to be grateful, grateful for the blessings I did have. My son was alive. He would be healed. And he was.
The proper perspective teaches us that no matter how bad things are, things can be worse.
That amidst our trials are scattered blessings, sometimes they are buried, but they are still there.
Even though I have learned this lesson, I have to remind myself every day to choose to change my view of life. It's not always easy to put things into perspective. But it is always a choice that once made makes our lives easier. Perspective reminds us that bones will heal. That nasty odors coming from sons moldy towels can be washed away but that wonderful memories with those sons can't. That chlorine smells will fade. That drains can be cleared and puddles cleaned. That no matter how dark the night, the sun will rise in the morning. And perspective also teaches that some trials aren't so easily taken care of, but there is still life to be lived, joy to be found, blessings to be grateful for, and family and friends to hold close.
Perspective
is a most wonderful possession!

38 comments:

CosmoGirl Carla said...

Thanks for this, Joy. Our lives could have run parallel with all the "misfortunes" you've mentioned going through this past year - minus the broken bones! But I still have to remind my dear hubby from time to time of our "fortunes" (he's the glass half empty type), but sometimes deep inside I have to keep reminding myself of that very fact while I'm speaking the words.

Your post has been a good reminder to me. Thanks.
Carla

Montay said...

WOW I so needed to hear that today thanks!!!

Jake and Krystal said...

Thank you!

Gail said...

You have no idea how timely your post is for me, so thank you.

It amazes me how just when you need something, it's put right there in front of you, but it's your choice as to whether you really "see" it!

I saw it today, here on your blog, and so I thank you!

Gail

Red Door Home said...

Another big thank you!

tammy said...

I love this post.

Cottagecheap said...

As if you read my blog today and joined in my Thankful Thursday...without even knowing it!

Check it out....

and thanks again!

Karen said...

Beautiful said...I have had a trial in my life and am learning about perspective...seeing the blessings among the trials...being grateful produces true joy!
Thank you for this reminder!

P@nmyfreetime.blogspot.com said...

this was so beautiful!
you are so right!!!

Artsy Momma said...

I need to echo the sentiment already mentioned here today. This post couldnt have come at a more perfect time for me personally. I am having one of those weeks, the kind where nothing goes right and a pitty party ensues. I wanted to let the fog lift but it just wouldnt. your post among a few other things today has finally help lift the clouds and I can stop crying over spilled milk and just pick myself back up, dust myself off and get back to living my life. Thank you.

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

Kudos for keeping upbeat!

Kerin said...

Joy,
I read the BEST thing in LDSliving magazine !
It mentioned how sometimes our lives are like we are in an elevator.
Sometimes, we are in the basement, and sometimes, we are in the penthouse.
How, the P in our 'elevator' really stands for prayer,
for that is the way we get up from the basement and rise to the penthouse.
I really have felt so many of the same trials that you mentioned, and whinned all the way to the dentist office about how rotten our luck seemed to be. It seemed like ever since we have had 2 missionaries serving, we have been presented with more (challenges) opportunities than ever.
I read this basement/P article, and immediatly felt better.
It's ok if we find ourselves in the basement sometimes. Life can be hard. Just as long as we remember how to get up to the 'penthouse' and see the beautiful views. :)
Hang in there !
Have the best day!

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

A heart full of gratitude makes such a difference. Remember Proverbs 3:5,6. The last couple of years have been hard for us also . . same kind of challenges . . God is good! Have a good day.

Mari said...

Truer words were never spoken. It's hard to pull ourselves away from our problems especially when we are so close to them...and when there are so many. But if we can, even for a wee bit, God allows us to gain His perspective on it, and if we allow our heart to become grateful in the midst of struggle we become changed.
You are becoming more like Him. Bless you for sharing the truth.
All things work together for good!
Praying for you.

Southern Fried Gal said...

Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing your heart and your lovelies with us!

Richella said...

Amen, sister! You are so very, very right about this!

Joyce said...

Thank you for sharing this xx

Kristi said...

Thanks, this is just what I needed today! You are an angel.

Melanie said...

I have been following and loving your blog for awhile now. I just wanted to thank you for writing this post on the exact day I really needed the reminder that I need to keep things in perspective and not let my challenges overshadow my blessings.

Connie said...

I believe God sends us trials so we can see and feel His love and grace. But sometimes I say, enough already! But God has a plan and we are His plan e.
Keep lookin up!

Kelly @ Make It Sparkly Mama said...

What a great reminder! With a busy toddler sometimes I just need to stop and enjoy him!

Sarah said...

Beautiful post!
God's blessings,
Sarah :D

Maggie Reno said...

Wow. Thank-you. I was scrolling through, reading, laughing and thinking I needed this message today. Then I saw the picture of a villa in Argentina and thought "I've been there". I served a mission in Buenos Aires. I think I need to remember those days I witnessed the love and service coming from people living in the most humble of circumstances and truly be grateful for all the opportunities I'm blessed with.

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

Thank you, Joy! I think I really needed to hear that tonight!

Lori Lucas said...

Perfectly said. I can also get into the what-I-don't-have-complex and wallow in a 'poor me' attitude. But I am always quickly reminded that I am indeed a very blessed mother of five healthy children---(well young adults!!), I live within an hour of my aging parents,....and the list goes on and on. Thanks for reminding me, yet again!

jojo said...

We've had a long list too and I so often get caught up in emotion. Thanks for the reminder...perspective. jj

DAViN said...

well put mom.

kim said...

Thanks for the great post. Like many, I have felt this same way and have my own trials very similar to yours this past year. Thanks for the reminder that we can always find the goodness and light in our life and let that shine through. Isn't the gospel amazing?

Our Paper Plates said...

Amen! This is a lesson I have had to learn over and over again in my life. Isn't it great when Heavenly Father shares His great wisdom and eternal perspective with us? Thanks for sharing! I enjoy reading these perspective posts too!

Our Paper Plates said...

Amen! This is a lesson I have had to learn over and over again in my life. Isn't it great when Heavenly Father shares His great wisdom and eternal perspective with us? Thanks for sharing! I enjoy reading these perspective posts too!

The Yorgason's said...

OH my goodness this is so true. I am slowly learning this as my small sweet family has our share of struggles this last year and they seem to be getting worst this year. But through it all I have the world most amazing hubbie and an adorable son. SO getting on my knees and plead for something and even if it is just a feeling a comfort, that is what is needed most.

Nawal said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you so much!

Barntiques said...

We were brought up knowing that it could always be worse and that the sun would always come up tomorrow. She has been gone for over twenty years. I have repeated her words so many times, to so many people, in so many situations. It is true. We just have to remember it.

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

I needed that. Thank you.

Mimi Sue said...

Great post Joy! Very inspirational and so very true. Mimi

Melissa said...

Wow. I have been thinking lately that I needed to change my attitude towards the changes coming to my family. Things are good. Life is good. The gospel is great! Thanks for helping me with my perspective!

Kimberly said...

Hmmm, what is the box on the washing machine?

~Mary said...

What a timely reminder for all of us. In the midst of the tragic events in Haiti, I think we all need to stop for just a brief moment and realize how blessed we actually are. We have so much and it seems like the more we have, the more we want! I, for one, am trying to be more grateful with what I DO have and not worry about what I DON'T have...Thanks for the inspiration:)

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