"God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace. Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that You will make all things right, if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
I looked up the Serenity Prayer a few weeks ago. I guess I had forgotten the words to the entire prayer. I have tried to teach this to my family for years so looking it up again was really important. I wanted to continue on this path, but I needed strength.
"Honey, the person in front of us is NOT going to drive faster JUST because you want him to. Don't get so angry. Don't let that stranger take your joy."
"Sweet baby girl, we can't give all of our dollars to the man living under the bridge in the cardboard box. But what we can do is go through the toys that you don't play with anymore and give them to kids who don't have a home."
"Oh, my darling boy, what is my job?" His reply, "to protect us and keep us safe." My reply, "That is why you can't........" (you probably can fill in the blank here)
We can't change what we have no control over so just relax and enjoy this life. But don't be lazy! Help this world to be joyful for others too.
Gosh, how I've needed this prayer the past few days. I'm not sure what stage of grief I am in, or if there really are true stages to grief, but I'm definitely going through a "stage." A lot of the time, I don't really know who I am. I've found myself to be in this place of ambiguity......I am now THE rule-maker, the judge, the jury at home, and the warden. But I also want to be the friend, the counselor and the safe place to these young'ins of mine. I'm the protector; the bread-winner. I have had to learn to ask for help when it would normally have been us running to someone's rescue. I'm not fully in acceptance of my new role. I'm really not. But here I am.....
Over the past few weeks, each of us have encountered friends criticizing us; instructing us to do things in life the way they would do them. It's hard to hear these words and not internalize them. What I have learned, through my own experiences, is that not everyone grieves the same way. Even between the four of us, we are all on different pathways moving at different speeds. I accepted this early on.
Because of these differences, I live with an "open door policy" as a parent with a pretty clear procedure handbook. "Come and talk to me when you are ready. But you will not be sequestered in your room for long periods of time; you will eat dinner with the family; you will go to church; you will still study; you will see a counselor: you will be grounded if you do the wrong things; I'm still the boss and.....if you say or do anything alarming that would lead me to believe you are going to hurt yourself, I'm calling 911." They've all read the handbook and have signed the acknowledgement page. I also have signed a pledge to provide a safe living environment that will enhance the parent-child experience (along with giving advice whether you want it or not).
And it's working. My kids are engaged in life both outside of their rooms and inside their rooms. We are not living in a darkness that has affected our normal abilities to live life. We do not have a disability that limits our physical or mental condition effectively limiting our movements, senses, or activities. The dishes get done, the trash gets taken out, the dog gets fed, rooms get cleaned, clothes get laundered, electronics and light bulbs get installed, music plays, girls dance, comedic movies are aired.....and not by me.
We are all still accepting our new place in life and we know that we are not alone and we are doing pretty darn well. We are stronger than we have ever been as a family of four. Why is this? Because of our faith in our Glorious God and the life JB created for us all. With both of those, we know we can do pretty much anything!
We are "living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace. Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that You will make all things right, if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Sunset in Gulf Shores, Alabama, July 2018 on our last big family vacation.