Here's to new beginnings, second chances, whatever you want to call them!
It was my intention to BLOG on this website every week, to keep the site active and interesting, to engage with those of you who read the BLOGs. So far, the rate of my success in this intention is negligible. But the awesome thing is I have learned that just because I didn't succeed at first that I always have another chance at success! What an amazing concept that is.
When I was younger, if I didn't see success in something right away then I was very likely to just abandon the task and add to my list of failures. It was a self-defeatist attitude that gave me a pretty grim outlook on the likelihood that I would be successful at much. Outwardly, people would never have guessed that that was what was going on inside of me. I was pretty good at presenting an air of confidence and accomplishment. But on the inside I was dying!
We all have our areas of strengths and weaknesses. Guilt and condemnation deal a deadly blow to our future as we hold on to the failures of our past. When we experience guilt or condemnation then we can't even enjoy our present accomplishments because we are bracing ourselves for the next failure (perceived or real).
One of the joys of growing older is realizing that most of what caused you anxiety and stress doesn't really amount to much in the big scheme of things. You can live from a place of rest, knowing that each day holds challenges and blessings and that in the end God always proves Himself faithful.
A joyful outlook always brings about a better outcome. It has been called the 'power of positive thinking', 'positive confession', seeing the glass half full vs. half empty, and a host of other things. The bottom line is that our outlook on life has a great deal to do with our experience in life.
There are times when life just feels (or is) hard, when you just want to quit; but we all know that as a parent this isn't an option. We can all look back on seasons in our lives and wonder how in the world we made it through.
I want to encourage you all to look at the good things in your life, to cherish the happy memories and let go of the painful ones, to forgive those who hurt us and purpose not to hurt others, to enjoy life in spite of its many challenges.
I am going to close out with a poem that my mom had hanging in our house. I often think back to it and try to heed its advice. :-)
John Greenleaf Whittier
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Jean Rotch has been married to her husband, John, for 37 years and is the mother of 7 children and grandmother to 8 (so far). She loves to share what she has learned about relationships and parenting; often learning what she knows best through her mistakes and difficulties. Enjoy her humor and wisdom as she shares her life with you.