I am seriously missing going to church, but I am still not able to sit up for long periods of time without becoming exhausted, having muscle spasms and being in pain. So, I decided since I didn't complete the alphabet for women, I would finish today. We will finish the last three letters of the alphabet..X,Y & Z.
X for Extra kindness. We are all kind to strangers, kind to those we work with, kind to those we attend church with, do business with, etc.. But how many of us are as guilty as I am about being less than kind at times to those we love and live with? I remember years ago when my husband was going through alcohol counseling and trying to 'kick,' the habit, that one of his superiors called me at home and literally began to tell me how he thought my husbands alcohol problem was my fault, because he was the greatest person at work.
My reply was simply that he should consider himself blessed because they saw the good man, the kind man, the sober man, we his family saw the sadder side of his addiction & sadly to admit, I wasn't always the kindest to him when he came home. But! His problem was NOT his families fault and I am happy to say he has been sober many years and we are even more blessed because we get all his love!
Extra kindness means we must learn to give attention to those within our homes when their spirits need a lift. We need to be intuned to those we love and those we live with or those who visit our home. We should always be kind to these people, however, we should be extra kind when they need it.
In our home, we have no-no words (looser, stupid, idiot, shut-up, I hate you, etc.) so, it is a given my grandchildren come home from school at times very upset that their friends used these bad words. I take extra time with them, hugging them and trying to explain NOT everyone is taught these are bad words. When a best friend has become a non-friend or hurt their feelings, I do all I can to go that extra mile to make them feel better.
For the most part, I try to do the same to my husband, especially now that he is carrying the entire load for our finances, house cleaning, etc. on his shoulders, I should be watching out for signs he needs a spiritual lift, but last week, I missed the boat BIG time.
Hubby had come in from work and was at the bedside telling me how exhausted he was. Did I empathize with him? No, I asked him when he was going to paint the house & you can imagine, the you know what hit the fan & I was on the receiving end of his ire. Was I being attentive? NO, I was being selfish and unthougtful and John explained it to me...'Jerry had just finished saying he was tired and then you said that.' I was completely unkind at that time.
How sad that God had just placed me in the position to bless my husband with kind words, a touch or hug and I put him on the defensive. Proverbs 25:11 tells us, ' Like apples of gold in silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.' My apple at that time, had a worm in it.
God placed me in a position where I could lift up my husband and instead, I stepping on his feelings.
Y is for YOUR HEALTH...how appropriate is this one at this time for me? I have talked about my obesity recently and how I want to loose weight and take better care of myself, not only for the improvement of my own health, but for those I love. But their is even one more important and that is my Lord and Savior Jesus.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 states: 'Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.'
In taking better care of ourselves, we need to know our bodies limitations and work within those parameters and we need to be sure our family knows them also. How are we taking care of our body if we work it to death in the gym all day without breaks? If we are in the sun and we do not keep ourselves hydrated? If we go out in the snow barefoot? If we are on a diet and we allow family to sabotage that diet by bringing home things that tempt us?
I know that very soon, my doctors will place me on physical therapy and while I may not be able to do everything at once, I will grow stronger. I have also ordered me a swim suit in the hopes that perhaps using a pool will help me to exercise but the water will prevent me from putting to much pressure on my back.
Knowing our limitations means taking a nap if we need one, sleeping 8 hours a day, not allowing ourselves to be bullied or pushed into doing something we cannot do due to our own limitations and yes, I know the difference between having limitations and telling ourselves we can't do something because we want to limit ourselves.
My family tells me I am strong, I don't need their help, I will figure out ways to do things, I am mentally fit & yet, my husband and close friends, know even I have a point where I break down and just sob. My strength comes from the Lord and I am thankful while my body has gone through some major turmoil, my mind remains strong!
Z is for ZEST! Honestly, how many of us approach each day with moaning and groaning? We are told to approach each day with ZEST, to make the most of it, because when it is gone, we cannot get it back! Approach each day with zest and look for the wonderful opportunities it holds.
While I am in bed for the best part of the day, I still look forward to doing what I can. If I can sit on my front porch today for 10 minutes, I have lasted 5 minutes longer than yesterday. If I can organize my quilting patterns and magazines, I have zest for today, because I enjoy quilting.
If I can get out of my box and fear zone and do something I may have never thought possible, I have embraced today with a zest for life. My husband wanted to skydive, so one year I purchased him lessons and he did a tandum jump and he is still talking about it and wanting to go back! I on the other hand, have lived most of my life in a comfortable bubble and don't venture out of my comfort zone.
The other day I was watching a show about Hawaii & I heard very clearly a small voice tell me, your husband has wanted to bless you for years with a cruise to Hawaii, why not take him up on it? It was then I realized I was not just passing up a blessing for myself, but one for my husband.
Watermelon seed and cherry seed spitting contests. Oh yes, I love doing these with the children and the neighbors. Get a watermelon and cut it up and take a bag of cherries and sit on your front step or stoop or yard & try to spit the pit the farthest. Lady like? No, but oh so much fun!
Remember, 'This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!'
And that my dear friends and readers concludes our alphabet!