Monday, June 18, 2012

A Critical Spirit

"Perception is a mirror, not a fact.  As I think, so I see." This quote from Jerry Jampolsky has meant so much to me through the years.  It reminds me look for positive things in people and in my environment so that I will live in a positive world.

This is especially true in my relationships.  My husband is a wonderful man, but everyone has faults, and he is no exception.  I really try to focus on his strengths instead of his weaknesses, and then he displays even more strengths.  Actually, my husband is not a very critical man so he is easy to love.

Sometimes, though, I encounter negative people who would rob my joy if I didn't take time to be in touch with God.  I like the story I saw in email once about the woman criticizing her neighbor's dingy wash on the clothes line only to find out that she was looking at it through her own dirty windows.  When she washed her windows, she was surprised to see that the neighbor's wash was really clean, not dingy at all.  I think I encountered this recently when someone was criticizing a member of my family and hadn't bothered to wash their own windows.

It is during times like this, though, that I realize how important forgiveness is, and how I need to stand guard over my own spirit so I do not become critical.  I need to realize when my own window is dirty and train myself to see the best in people.  Joel Osteen suggests that you have this internal conversation, "You know, I may not understand them, but I will not be a faultfinder.  I'm giving this person the benefit of the doubt."

The way other people make a living or raise their children is none of my business or none of anyone else's business, unless, of course, they are breaking a law or something.  If everyone would spend the time and energy on their own issues that they spend on other people's issues, they would have it all together themselves.  There would be no time for nosiness, only time for celebrating their own successes as well as other people's successes.

Well, I am getting out the windex today and cleaning my windows so I won't look at other people's laundry and judge it as dirty.  I need to do that in all my relationships and even get prayed up enough to not be critical this coming school year of my district's policies.  That's a big one for me.

Light and Love,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Camp Nana

Camp Nana is an annual event where all the grandkids come, and we just enjoy being together.  This summer was special because the parents came too for the first few days and took the kids to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun.  They are creating such good memories.  My hope is that Camp Nana will be a peaceful retreat in the turbulence of life, not only for the children but for the parents as well.  We all need a little break sometimes from the pressures that come into play in a family in today's economy.  The parents need time to relax and gain perspective while I need time to enjoy these precious little beings that are my legacy.

I am happy that I can have this time and hope that in some way I can help when my children feel overwhelmed with the challenge of parenting and making a living, etc.  I also gain insight from talking to the parents about their own childhood.

When I was a young parent, I was a worrier.  I must confess that I still fall into that trap sometimes as a grandparent as well.  My oldest granddaughter Jessica noticed that and her mother Teresa told her,  "Nana does a lot better at maintaining inner peace than she used to.  You should have seen what she was like when Tori and I were kids."  Well, that makes me feel good that I have made some progress in that department, lol!

I know it is my faith that has helped me make a change.  I know, without a doubt, that God is still on His throne, and that I have the Holy Spirit inside me to guide me into all peace.  When turbulence comes, it's a wonderful opportunity for God to show how really great His is!  When we face adversity, we realize that God is the One who pulled us through. He is the Light  that overcomes the darkness.  Our part is just to keep shining and smiling through it all.  Joel Osteen says, "When unexpected challenges appear, your attitude should be: This, too, shall pass.  God will help me handle this.....God did not bring you this far to fail you now."

Yep, Camp Nana is a fun place, and I hope with all my heart that it provides good memories for the grandchildren and a peaceful respite for their parents.

Love and Light,
Patty (Nana)