1. I have focused too much on my bad memories.
I didn’t really have a bad childhood to most who would look into it and take a peek at my life, and I can tell you each of my parents had a much worse childhood than my own as did their parents before them. The problem with my childhood is that I didn’t have much chance to be a child. I therefore don’t really have many good memories from my childhood. My life for the most part revolved around being stuck in my bedroom. My oldest brother has said, “You had the loneliest childhood I’ve ever known of.” I was highly sheltered as fear was put in me about the outside world being filled with bad things, yet the worst things I could find were inside my own home; choking me. I needed to breathe fresh air, but rarely was allowed to.
I am learning now to just let my sons have fun. If they are interested in something, I will let them explore that thing as long as I don’t see it hurting their Spirit and changing their attitudes. In my childhood everything I showed an interest in seemed to be “the devil” (think the mom in Waterboy). Nothing was properly explained to me, so I explain many things in full to my sons so they know various ideas about it. They know when something is wrong without me really even having to tell them. I am learning to be careful to not react poorly and hope that they will come to me if they have questions about things.
2. Having little to be thankful for is a lot to be thankful for.
God has definitely had his hand in my life and has helped me through so many things. A few years ago I was “counting my blessings from God” in a notebook which I have since ceased doing. I would find some of the tough things to be blessings and list them and other things were simple. One was, “Being stuck in traffic and praying for those in the accident, only to find out I know a person in the accident and all involved were okay.” Others were, “Watching a pot of water boil,” “sweat pores,” and “Sons that jump more than kangaroos.” These show that an attitude of thankfulness can lead to a life of happiness. I was happier when I wrote those things down or took the time to find things to be thankful for.
One of the Veggie Tales movies called Madame Blueberry says, “A thankful heart is a happy heart.” I quote this to my sons because I see how true it is. When I see value in the little things and am thankful towards the good, the bad, and the ugly, I am happier. I have found that I complain little about my life currently. I am really thankful.
3. I Am The Poor In Spirit
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 5:3
This verse greatly comforts me. When I get down in the dumps, I don’t let it stay inside of me, because I find that dealing with it heals me fastest. It is usually not instant for me to get out of a slump.
A lot of Christians will use bad catch phrases that they think are in the Bible such as “God never gives you more than you can handle,” which is nowhere in the scriptures (sorry folks). We are told, “Be faithful (to God), even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown” (Rev. 2:10c) . . . I doubt people can handle being to the point of death. Jesus couldn’t in Mark 14: 34 when he said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”. No one wants to suffer, but we all do.
People make God an easy solution to get out of their problems, taking Him as a genie granting wishes instead of a guiding parent who hurts when they hurt. Christians also make it seem that if they are not always happy, they don’t have joy and are not allowing God to fill their life, which I disagree. I sometimes am most joyful while crying in my sadness because I feel God’s comfort. Christians have to honestly get over their pride and to just be real. I am not always happy, and honestly, that’s really okay with me. King David cried and cried over his own failures and when he was all done, he rejoiced in the Lord for God’s great love displayed to him. Jesus cried tears of blood because of the stress he endured before his trial and execution. God was there with each of them to comfort and love them.
When I am down trodden, I am going to stay there for possibly a day or even a few months’ time. I’m going to be upset, mad, and blame God just as Job in the Bible did (Rob and I were talking about Job together yesterday). God did not look down on Job for doing that and called him a righteous man (Ezekiel 14). I need time to ponder things and evaluate them to get through them. I am slowly coming through my past. I can list things He’s helped me overcome from my past already, and I see which things are left. It gives me pleasure to know that He sees me through and helps me to not stay in those places of pain.
I plan on writing out a few good memories I have from my childhood so I can reflect more on those instead of the bad things. I want to know that there are things that were grand and bring warmth to my heart when I think of them.