Wisdom and the Rest of the Prayer.

Whenever I hear the word wisdom, I think of King Solomon. He was supposed to have prayed for wisdom and also received it. In the context of this prayer, we are asking for wisdom to know the difference. The difference between acceptance and change, and when we should do either one.

I don’t think I’m a very wise person. In fact, I look back and some of the things that I have done are really stupid. I wonder where my brain was when I decided those things. But praying for wisdom; that’s just a step up. We are coming to the Lord and saying we don’t know what we should do and asking Him to help us. We have to be humble to ask this.

To be humble is to admit that you are not a good judge of a situation. Perhaps you are too close to the situation to determine what should happen. To be humble you need to acknowledge that you are not in control. To be humble you need to have a peace about letting God have control. To be humble to listen to the Lord and do as He tells you.

He may speak to you through the scriptures, or perhaps a good friend who you trust. Always seek counseling with others because you may be too close to the situation to make a good decision.

The rest of this prayer is about humility. Living only one day at a time; which is all the that Lord has promised us. Enjoying what is happening now; not letting the past or future ruin what joy there is in a day. Accepting any hardship, knowing that the Lord will get us though it. Doing what the Lord would have us do because blessings will always come with following the Lord.

This whole prayer is one that can help you live your life. It encompasses living in the Lord in a few sentences. Since doing this blog about the Serenity Prayer I think that I will have to take it more to heart then I’ve done in the recent past. I’ve reminded myself why I used to pray this a lot. I don’t have Joe to take care of anymore, but this prayer is too good to set aside.

Acceptance

Now that I’ve written about Serenity, I guess I have to tackle the next line in this prayer. I’ve been putting this off a bit because acceptance is really, really hard. We don’t want to accept things, the way life is. We want the power to change things to the way WE want them. Acceptance means giving up control.

This is really hard to write about. I’ve had my struggles with acceptance for years. I want to control what happens. I want the outcome of any situation to be the outcome I envisioned. Of course this is totally self-centered. It’s so hard to think that you do not have control.

But this acceptance is about the “Things I Cannot Change”. There is a lot of stuff you can’t change. If you just look around you, especially at the people around you, you cannot change them. If you look at your situation, the trials and the problems, you may find a way to change that, but in most situations you can’t.

I fought against this for years. I didn’t want to be stuck taking care of my husband. I wanted him healthy but I knew that wasn’t going to miraculously happen. Now that sounds horrible, but it was the truth. Life was so hard. I had acquaintances say to me that they “Didn’t want to be me” or “Better you than me”.

Now that hurt sometimes, but I finally found an acceptance in saying “It is what it is…” When I went to my counselor I explored this. We went over my situation and there was truly nothing I could do to change it. Oh, I could leave my husband and try to make a “new” life, but I personally couldn’t do that. I couldn’t leave him to struggle on his own, so that left me right where I was.

The bottom line of this is that it takes a while to “Accept the Things you Cannot Change”. I still struggle with this now, but in a different way. Life is always going to hand us situations that we can do nothing about. Now, I have learned to bow my head in prayer and try to put these situations in His Hands.

Serenity

My father was a recovering alcoholic and he spent a good portion of his time later in life attending AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings. He never cared about his “anonymous” status and would tell anyone that he was a drunk, just one drink from a bender.

From his recovery in AA, I came to know the Serenity Prayer. Every meeting is started with this prayer (at least they used to!) and it is (or was) a staple of life recovering from alcoholism.

One day, I took a really good look at this prayer. Oh, I knew it, could recite the first four lines by heart. That is all of the prayer that AA used, but they are powerful. This prayer kept me sane while I was taking care of Joe and I came to depend on it.

God, Grant Me The Serenity… who doesn’t want serenity? Have you ever had the kind of peace and serenity that only God can give? I have, several times, and each time I know it’s not me that caused the total and utter peace within.

Early in Joe’s medical history, he had a pretty serious surgery. He would end up having three extremely major surgeries, all of them lasting 10 hours or more. This was the first of those surgeries. He was to have a craniotomy and a biopsy done on a small tumor that showed up in a really bad place. It was in the place in your brain where all of your nerves gather to form the spinal column. Tricky surgery. Then, once the neurosurgeon was finished he was going to be passed on to the plastic surgeon to try to fix some of the scalp and skull that was rotting before our eyes. Yup, Joe was going to get a “twofer”.

Of course we had to get to the hospital before sunrise. I kissed Joe and off he went. I was very nervous about this surgery. Little did I know at the time that I would become a champ at sitting in waiting rooms. I was feeling really nerved up, so I went outside to walk around the hospital campus. While I was outside I was just praying for Joe and the doctors and nurses taking care of him. Suddenly, in my “minds eye” so to speak, I saw an operating room with someone on the operating table and doctors and nurses all around. I couldn’t see faces, but I knew it was Joe on that table. At each corner of the room was an angel. Then I realized that angels were watching over the operation…. I was floored and a peace came over me. My anxiety just kind of floated away.

I know the kind of Serenity that this prayer is mentioning. There are many times in my life I have called on God and requested this Serenity and usually He will bless me with peace.

More on the Serenity Prayer next time….

Breaking up with Fear

I’m sorry I haven’t posted lately. I’ve been taking care of me, navigating the medical community while everyone is still under the Covid-19 restrictions. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like if Joe was still living and we had to navigate all of his medical appointments and visiting nurses and all that with the restrictions we have today. My hat is off you those of you who are trying your hardest to take care of your person and still keep your cool. I know I’ve been tempted to just chuck it all and hang it up and that is just from me trying to navigate alone.

I still see a lot of fear out there, but the “atmosphere” is much better than it used to be. Francesca Battistelli put out this song in 2018, but it’s gotten a lot of play lately. It’s such a cute song with a powerful message. You can listen to it below, The Breakup Song:

Anxious about Tomorrow?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:28-34

We worry about many things in life and our worry causes us problems both physical and mental. I found this verse and took it as my own many years ago. The key in this portion of the scripture is the part in bold. If we are seeking His Kingdom and His Righteousness then everything else becomes secondary.

Easy? Oh, no…. Our society is so material driven that just to say that you don’t worry about things can have others look at you like you’ve grown 3 heads. In the past, especially when I was taking care of my husband, we were taken care of. I worked full time and didn’t know how I would be able to take care of my husband as his health worsened and continue working. I brought in the paycheck, what we lived on. It seemed like it was impossible. Then through no thought or research of my own I found that we could get Home Health Aides at no cost to us. REALLY? What a relief! God really does look after us.