Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

The Rain Feeling

Today is one of those days where multiple things have occurred that cause me to think.  To pause.  To reflect.  Today it is not so much a specific topic that is on my mind, but a feeling.  The items that are causing me to stop and reflect are all stirring an emotion that I can only equate with remembering.  The remembering is good, but it brings sadness too.  Let me try to explain.

I gave an interview this morning centered on how to celebrate a special occasion of a loved one who has died (my late husband Jim’s birthday is coming up in a few days).  Then I read a blog from a friend who has ALS about the purpose of trials and seeing the good that can come from such adversity.  Again this caused me to remember Jim and his fight and our trial as a family trying to navigate through some really hard years.  Then the weather.  It is cloudy and rain is headed here any time now.  It makes me feel calm in many ways – no need to rush around in the rain – and at the same time it changes my mood to one that is more contemplative and in some ways it makes me feel more melancholy. 

black-and-white, hand, person

So the “rain feeling”….

Gloomy in some ways
Reflective in others
Pensive in mode
Slow in pace
Leading to discovery

The rain itself makes me remember the sun.  Makes me appreciate the sun.  The rain is good for the plants and recharging rivers and aquifers.  The rain holds much value.  But of course, most of us, including me, get a little sad when the rain does come, even though we know it is temporary and even though we know it is good in the long run.

And life is so much like this in general, isn’t it?  There are rainy periods that we know will end soon enough.  We know these rainy periods are good in that they bring perspective; they can offer us insights into situations because we sit longer and contemplate things.  We know these rainy periods can be sad and sometimes frightening (especially if they come with compliments of thunder and lightning), but at the same time the rain session itself will still have some good to it.  I mean who doesn’t like splashing in puddles on a hot summer day in the rain? 

So the rain feeling is inevitable throughout our lives.  The rain feeling is one that offers us benefits if we embrace it when it comes rather than trying to pull out umbrellas and run to drier locations.  Let the rain come, learn and remember some of those good times and know the sun does always return.  Eventually.  After the rain is over.  And that sun, that wonderful sun, will shine down on you and make you smile. 

So here is to the sun.  And to the rain.  Both offer value. 

Image result for rain and sun free images pexels


Words and Remembering Can Be Wonderful Gifts

An old friend, a new friend, a friend across the miles I have never personally met, my mom, and a neighbor.  All these different parts came together this morning – all remembering.  All making me aware that there are people who surround us who support, who love, who honor.  Today is the day Jim died three years ago.  In some ways, it feels like a few months ago and in other ways, of course, so much has changed.  All I have to do to remember that one is look at how much our two children have grown and changed over the past several years.  But to think that people, some of whom I know only distantly, would remember this day and would think to honor Jim by remembering him – well that frankly is such a surprising blessing. 

Last night I was watching a television show that related to my winding and wondering thoughts on this anniversary day.  The show had a scene in it where a teenager died while texting and driving.  The grieving parents were sitting with the main character of the show and a pastor.  They were both recalling the need to try to make something beautiful out of things that don’t make sense, that are horrible and sad.  As so today, I realize the beautiful that comes from Jim in the children we had together – Jim’s son is a sweet, pensive, and athletic boy (just like his daddy); Jim’s daughter is a spitfire who likes to charm a room and knows what she wants (just like her daddy).  I also realize the beautiful that comes from Jim’s far to early departure from this world – that love is still here and friends and family will always be touched by Jim and I by their love back. 

The “why” Jim left so soon and “how” he could have been taken from his kids too early in life cannot be explained now, but for now I remember Jim and his kindness, his smile and laughter, his generosity, his perseverance, his perfectionism, and his love for his family and friends.  And I can find peace knowing he is hanging out with the coolest person who has ever lived on this planet (as the kids and I say) – Jesus. 


Positive Thinking from the Nigerian Wedding

English: Women at a Nigerian traditional coron...

English: Women at a Nigerian traditional coronation ceremony. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A wedding. A future. Positive Thinking “from this day forth.” And so it was as Jim (my husband), our nurse, and I attended a wedding. And what a lovely wedding it was full of Nigerian headdresses, beautiful colorful dresses and African garb. Toward the end of the ceremony there was a full blown out celebratory drum dance and signing with people dancing, singing loudly, and greeting the newly married couple. It was happy, joyous, and a reminder that when you celebrate something, you should CELEBRATE it!

The ceremony itself was interesting for all these reasons and then some. People were coming and going throughout the entire ceremony, and people were talking about various things throughout the entire ceremony, excited to see one another and asking everyday questions. At times I was so distracted overhearing a conversation or watching someone else enter the church, that I had to shake myself and focus on the preacher and what he was saying.

And how lovely the message. The positive thinking. The reminders of what it means from a biblical stance to be husband and wife. Then the gratitude. Outward praise for life, love, God, and health. The blessing to be mindful of your spouse and to above all, make him or her happy. “You will have a good marriage if you love your wife,” the preacher said over and over again. “It is that simple.”

And really, shouldn’t it be? Expressions of love will change over time. Maybe at first love is expressed in grandiose ways with presents and surprise events, but as the marriage matures, love is expressed in more mundane ways, but still so important – the groceries are picked up, you come home on time, you watch the kids so your spouse can do something with friends, etc. As challenges inevitably come, love is expressed by listening, by physically caring and tending to your spouse’s needs, and by putting things you want to do on hold so the other person can heal.

And as the preacher continued to tell his wisdom and read passages from the bible, I thought “healing comes from so many sources – romance, love, friendship”. This is a reminder to make positive thinking a part of your marriage, your health, your future.


The preacher reminded everyone throughout the ceremony that there is much to be thankful for, that gratitude will get you far. He ended the service in part by asking for bright futures for the couple and for all in attendance, and one of the requests and prayers was for a long and healthy life. Health – definitely something for which we should be grateful for – it can be taken away too quickly. Count your blessings and never forget that health is a big one.   Amen!

The Role of Anger

Just like stress, anger has its place and its positives. Just like stress, too much of it…. not so positive. In fact, just the opposite. Very destructive. Still, I think these two states often get a bad reputation because we tend to focus on the extreme. Even when I hear the word “anger” I tend to think of a crazy person screaming at someone else for no good reason. For example, some soccer parent yelling at the referee of his 7 year old’s game. Doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense – no matter what the ref may have done.

Angry Talk (Comic Style)

Angry Talk (Comic Style) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But, think about the typical, more subtle anger that you may experience on a regular basis. It’s the anger that makes you realize you aren’t being treated as you should. It’s the anger that makes you respond. The stress may have been the signal for your body and mind to pay attention, and then anger might take over as a call to action. The trick is really what do you do with that anger and when do you do it.

If you allow the anger to settle and you stew on it, this can be problematic. The event that stimulated the emotion might grow exponentially in your mind and unfairly so. But, on the other hand, if you wait awhile, your anger may dampen and you may act more appropriately rather than too passionately in the “heat of the moment.” Just as with most things in life, I am still learning and still trying to figure things out, and this whole anger issue is no exception. But, I also do know for sure that it is true what my mom always says “age tends to put things in perspective.” So the delicate balance of when to respond to anger is one of those things that you get better at determining as you get older.

I think the bigger issue is what to do with the anger. I know that anger can be used in a positive way. Anger can force someone to do something that he needed to do, but just didn’t want to do for various reasons. Anger can propel someone to create for the greater good for the injustice she saw. Think about how many wonderful organizations and groups were started because someone was “fed up” with a wrong situation.

The challenge to all of us is to use the anger in a directed way that will ultimately benefit us. I have come to learn that there really are positives in all things, even tragedy and crises. Anger should be no exception. Next time you start to feel anger creep in, consider what you need to do with it.

If you are interested in hearing more views on anger and strategies to overcome it and use it for benefits, please listen to my interview on Wednesday, February 27th at 9 am EST with Janet Pfeiffer of Anger 9-1-1 radio. If you click on this link  , you’ll see a purple microphone that you can then select (about halfway down the page).  It’s a live show, so I would love to hear from you.

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