Sunday, August 08, 2010
Sunday Afternoon Tea
I have been enjoying the brief respite from heat and humidity. It is actually enjoyable to be outside (heat returning later today). Come the middle of January, I must remember what Summer 2010 felt like... and not complain about the cold. :)
I have had many comments and e-mails about my good attitude through adversity and trials. The years have taught me that attitude is a habit and I must choose to trust God in all things. His mercies are new every morning... and every morning I must be renewed for I cannot live on yesterday's grace.
At the same time, there are days when frustrations arise and I stomp my feet and complain to He Who Created Me... usually when I really, really want to go to Starbucks or have breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I am certain He listens to my whining about the lack of cash (especially for such nonessential longings) and then reminds me just a couple of months ago, I told him I didn't need anything but to breath easily! Sigh... one must be careful what they say to God.
One of the things I have done through the years of marriage and homemaking was to watch what women and men (in person and in print) I respect did... what was it about them that set them apart from "normal", what attributes did they show, what was it about the way they lived their days that drew me to them?
I came to realize what attributes of their lives I wanted to reflect in my own. Not that I wanted to BE that person... and no one human perfectly lives the years which have been allotted to them. However, as one becomes more thoughtful about the way they want to live their lives... certain habits and attributes come to the surface just as lovely delicious cream in the days of old. A grateful life was definitely one to be admired.
In the same way, there are attributes of those I've known through the years which I made a conscience decision not to emulate. My own mother was the most loving and giving person I know. Yet, a very fearful attitude toward life (albeit brought about by tragic circumstances through the years) caused her to make very bad decisions... including a disastrous marriage after my father passed away. The older I got, the more I understood those decisions... and how if one did not develop a deep faith in God's provision... it was easy to let fear cloud better judgement.
My mother-in-law was an excellent cook and gardener. I have many of her recipes, which I've used through thirty-plus years of marriage. However, when my thoughts are of time spent with her... they are of a critical and judgemental spirit. Both of my in-laws had a critical spirit (and in the long run, my father-in-law's criticism perhaps more deeply affected his children)... but it was she who met us at the door complaining about her life and kept it constant throughout our visit.
We choose each day of our lives what legacy we are leaving the next generation. How will your family and friends remember you? The Bible tells us "love covers a multitude of sins" and I see that in memories of Mom. My mother's eight children all truly loved her with a passion in spite of her imperfections. Our memories are often met with laughter at "Mamaw-isms".
My husband and his siblings have little good to say about their parents (even though their father was an excellent provider and their mother always kept a tidy house and three delicious meals a day). What goes around truly comes around... and all three siblings are critical of their parents... all three have been in therapy due to words spoken by their parents.
I want my legacy to be one of a thankful spirit and I do this each day by choosing to be grateful... not looking at what I don't have but what He has given. I have learned to... as I walk on the front porch... thank God for my little house in the country. I thank Him for both my family and my friends. I thank Him for those items He has given me through the years which come together to make a lovely and cozy environment... His care about the little things of life which shows me He... understands. :)
There is much I can be thankful of... so much more than any lack in my life.
Attitude is a habit and by choosing to be thankful instead of complaining... I know it is a gift I give back to Him... and a legacy which will affect the lives around me.