Interesting week for our family.  The death of an aunt out of town, the birth of twin grandchildren on the heels of tragedy in Israel with that area of the world on the brink of war and a laundry list of problem here on our own home turf.  All in the same morning prayers either to be grateful for, to ask God for strength or intervention for all affected by these hardships.  Isn’t that the way life is, we take the good and the difficult and sometimes all at the same time.  

     Life is and can be full of joys. We try to increases the odds of good by making good choices and working hard. Although they do increase the odds of good outcomes, they do not guarantee that we will have a life of rainbows unicorns and smooth sailing. We all have seen our shares of tough knocks and hardships, that’s just all part of being alive and human.  No one promised us a rose garden here as that is just now what life on earth was promised to us.  God told us that there would be trials and tribulations in our life here.  

     That’s not all bad though.  The struggles of life make us stronger and sometimes the disappointments or trial of life are good for us.  We may not realize or see the good in the bad, like the relationship that ended or the investment that didn’t yield as much as anticipated but maybe the ended relationship was a bullet dodged and the investment that went south may just end up being a good teaching lesson in who to trust and how much is enough maybe even getting rid of stuff and emotions stuff that is weighing us down financially and otherwise.  Sometimes these hiccups in life, allow for us to reflect on what matters and what doesn’t, who we can count on in the hard times who truly is rejoice with us in the good times.  As I have written before, words from a very wise friend, “it is human nature to help out when someone is struggling and times are tough. A true test of a friendship is, ‘who is there for you to celebrate in the victories in your life and that of your families, as well and the hardships.  Who can TRULY be happy for your happiness.’”  

     Being in the game of life, requires that we do experience both the good and the bad, the victories and the struggles.  To hide from or hide our children from the struggles in life is cheating ourselves and our children of the lessons to be learned in the tough times and also from the exhilarating feeling of knowing we made it through.  To think or to manufacture a life of all good, is unrealistic and can lead to a hard landing when eventually the hard times come or we have to face the music.  Of course, ‘self-medicating’ by avoidance, alcohol or other means can make us ‘think’ we are putting on a good front for all to see, but really to have to live with the stress of putting on a good show, is very detrimental to one’s emotional health.  Being honest with ourselves in the valleys in life allows for us to share our low point with those who ‘have our backs’ trust that they will help us as a sounding board of reality and help us regroup to get back on track.  In these dark shadows we can see the problems that need to be addressed.  When life is good, we sometimes overlook the problems because LIFE IS GOOD.  Hardship can make us confront issues that need to be addressed, even if painful. When we are faced to confront a problem, we are allowing ourself to get one step closer to ‘recovery’ from what ever it is we are tangling with.  If you don’t face the problem, you can’t solve it, we merely push it under a rug to deal with another day giving us even more brain damage and stress.  

     The valleys in life allow us to appreciate even more so, the joyous occasions.  Think of the person who seems to kiss plenty of frogs before they find their Prince Charming of the Right Gal?  I applaud those who wait to marry and settle down until they find the right person with shared values rather than settling for just someone.  I also respect the young person who finds that right person early on with shared values and gets married young.  It would be sad to have found the right person and passed them up because maybe they thought they were too young to settle down.  We all have a different play book.  That’s what makes life interesting is that each of us DO have our own path to forge, yet within the difference of paths and destinations are some common values that increase the odds for a good life journey, like mutual respect and kindness toward one another, a strong faith and a willingness to stick together through the tough times and work it out.  

     Wishing you a wonderful weekend that includes prayers and thoughts for the people dealing with hardship and tragedy in their lives this week and some celebration in your own life, whether it is that you made it to the weekend, you get to watch some football with your friends, you get to hang out at a park with your kiddos or friends or you get to gather around a table with those you love.

Preparing a pumpkin pie to take over to Alex, Amanda & Blair’s as the welcome twins into the Family ❤️