Tuesday, February 19, 2013

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Smile Through Trouble, Gather Strength From Distress, Grow Brave By Reflection

Guest Blog Post:

When I was growing up, I was terribly close to my Grandma Belle. I remember her saying quite often to me, “Oh, Kathy, I feel like I am living  in the Lord’s lap!” It has taken me many years to understand the depth of that statement. I knew she loved our home as I did, but also knew there was much more behind her words than just that. Our home was built around 1870, with thick adobe walls and square nails. I don’t think there was a level floor in the entire structure, a fact which was brought to our attention by any craftsman who did work there. The home was comfortable but Daddy always said the décor was like a jackpot casserole… no rhyme or reason to anything. However, he commented once, “Better Homes and Gardens” never did a photo shoot here… they never even asked to. But when it comes to livin’ and lovin’, some homes may equal but none will surpass.”  I think he was right.

While I was in this train of thought, I ran across a quote by Thomas Paine which reads, “I love those who can smile through trouble, who gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection.” While our family had more fun than anyone I know (I remember countless times laughing until I cried) life there was not trouble free. We dealt with Cancer in its various forms, death, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, unplanned pregnancies and all the rest. However, there was great resilience as we tried to smile through our troubles and find strength from the distressful situations we faced over the years. To say we grew brave and more aware by reflection is an understatement because we had lots of practice. I suppose most families do.

I came to the conclusion that home is where life happens. The outer trappings don’t matter as much as the  spirit of those who live within its walls. I literally healed in that house after each of two painful divorces. Those thick adobe walls seemed to gather me in as if to say, “You are safe here.” While I have lived in a different home for the past 15 years with my husband, Ron, we are striving to create that same resilient spirit here. We want our children and grandchildren to see it as a place of peace; a place of love and healing; a place where problems can be solved and courage can be built. I think we are making progress because just last week when I got home from work, took off my coat, grabbed my favorite blanket and plopped on the couch I thought, “I feel like I am living in the Lord’s lap!” I chuckled because I knew that Grandma Belle, wherever she is, knew just what I meant!

Kathy Christensen

1 comment:

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