"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust." ---Psalm 103:13, 14
Some years our two huge sycamore trees shed nearly all their bark, making our lawn resemble an ugly battle zone (and like we're slobs who don't even care about our yard).
This, my friends, is one of those years.
Worse, the lawn guys only mowed once this July because, ok, the lawn barely grew, but still! If they'd mowed one more time the bark would appear more under control (it disintegrates easily via lawn mowers).
Years past I'd get out there weekly and obliterate those piles of bark with our lawn mower. But then, years past I was younger, stronger and not as after-40-years-I've-paid-my-dues-ish.
So what to do? Forgive myself.
Forgive myself for what? For no longer being young, nor strong. Nor as apt to care about a pretty yard. For lowering my standards, my ideas of what a cute yard (or house, even) looks like. You know, if only for my mental health's sake.
These days I often forgive myself for being 63 and just in oh-hum shape. For now reaping what I earlier sowed. For taking years to think up wonderful (obvious) ideas. For no longer being as imaginative or the Super Woman I once fancied myself to be.
I hope some of you can relate.
Why live this forgiveness lifestyle? Because forgiveness beats the weariness of guilt. Guilt only places upon us an ungodly, bad burden of stress and makes us believe God's mad at us (He isn't).
No, I choose to respond to conviction, instead; a Holy Spirit conviction which not only forgives my mistakes, my weaknesses, but which reminds me of what I still can do.
I can still do much, but at earlier times of day,
or less often,
with new tools, using new methods,
or with asked-for help,
or released to someone else altogether.
A forgiveness lifestyle! It's a valuable thing. Forgiving ourselves releases burdens and helps us more quickly forgive other folks. How important to recall that others, also, are trying to figure out this whole aging thing.
After all, none of us have ever been this age before, we've only watched how others handled it, with excellence or much whining or some middle place.
What I want is to handle growing older with every single ounce of help and life-altering wisdom (oh wisdom!) the Holy Spirit can spare. ツ
To start well and finish well because of cooperating with Him.
'You have not because you ask not.' Sometimes we're struggling because we've complained rather than actually asking for help.
There's a difference.
If we don't get the help we asked for? It may be time to seek the Holy Spirit's wonderful ideas. He has tons!
Oh and in my defense (do I need one?) I did get outside these past two mornings and raked some bark to the gutter (it's allowed here) for five minutes each time. That's about all I could handle and hey, it did look a tad better, but only those outer edges. Alas.
I began keeping a weekly list of improvements Tom and I made to our lives. What an encouraging thing! Always surprises me the length of each week's list, well, when we focus on making changes.
Speaking of that, this week I finally made an incredibly comfortable reading place for myself here upstairs. Only took me 11 years! (And yep, this was a classic case of having to forgive myself. Oh my.)
Often just overcoming our inertia is the key!
And I shared this at Facebook:
This is from a FB group of folks who live in our former town. Not too surprising, because our 15 years there felt celebratory and old-fashioned like this all the time.
"A group of about 100 bicyclists just rode down my street and boy were they fun! One lady yelled, “Happy Wednesday!” Some greeted us, some waved, some honked their bike horn. What a great group of people! Does anyone know the name of this cycling bunch?"
Forgive! Our relationship with Jesus will be so much closer without walls of unforgiveness.
Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be.
"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15