Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Helping Hands & Hearts

I have nothing urgent or even truly interesting to talk about.  Life has been rolling along these past few days in an easy manner.  I've hit a good patch, for which I'm grateful.  I know this peaceful period is temporary - a breather until the other shoe drops.  In talking to friends here and there, however, I can see my current peaceful life isn't a universal condition.  It always amazes me how good the plan was to place us here on earth with each other.  So simple.  I help you, you help me.

When I'm up, I can help you up.  And vice versa.  Should be simple, anyway.  Why then, do we have such a hard time being generous with our time, our patience, our listening ear?  In my case (and I can only speak for myself) I think I'm just inherently self-centered.  I have to fight that urge to have all topics of conversation lead back to me.  To assume ridiculously that I'm the only one who has any worries or tough issues to conquer.
It's been very freeing and eye opening to realize that I'm not the only one with weaknesses and soft spots.  Mine are unique to me, but everyone has them.  Any many times, the very issues and/or character flaws  I've struggled with and have triumphed over have been transferred over to my stash of Things I Can Help Someone Else With.  It's a wonderful feeling.  I've been through the fire, so when I am talking to someone facing that same fire, I can offer my hand, my help, my support.

I know this is something that we do as parents.  We try to help our children avoid the same pitfalls and alligators that we've already wrestled with.  Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't.  I've been lucky in that regard - mine have mostly listened and I've actually learned many things from them.  It's been a good win/win partnership for me.
But friends?  I've not had a lot of experience where I was the one to offer a helping hand.  My friends have tended to be further along in competence dealing with life's issues than I have been.  But maybe I've progressed.  I've had the lovely opportunity of late to be able to listen, and sympathize and, hopefully, offer something that helped.  It's felt really good to give back, or pay forward, all of the kindnesses and patience that I needed to accept over the years.  Not that I'm pleased to have friends who are struggling with this or that - it just makes me happy to have something to offer them, instead of a blank look.  You know - that kind of  "OOH, ooh - I've been through that!  Let me help you if I can."  Bad experiences are just that - bad.  But successfully coming out of them makes us stronger.  We've bulked up and have some muscle to flex, and better battle strategies.
I guess my point is, unless we're willing to pick our brothers and sisters up, and help them dust themselves off while keeping the alligators at bay, we might as well be in this adventure alone.  There's safety in numbers, my friends.

We feed off of each other, gain strength spiritually and sometimes even physically by helping each other through this earthly mine field.  All with the help of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father, of course.  They are the Light that shines in the darkest night, the warm quilt of comfort and love.  And its a crazy, colorful quilt - stitched and interwoven with pieces of all of us.  But it's beautiful.  So let's be good to each other.  Patient.  Generous.  Helpful.

Sunday School is over.  Amen.  Sometimes these thoughts need to find a way out of my head.

My daughter and I each have a Mac.  The other day we installed the Face Time app onto our respective computers, and we've been having such fun being able to chat AND see each other.  Mia held up her bandaged knee and said she has "hundreds" of boo-boos from falling off the scooter.  Poor thing - she takes after her Mema, who has the most scarred up knees in the country.  Hayden waggled her bandaged finger in front of the screen.  Nothing wrong with the finger.  She just wanted a Princess bandaid.  I love it - I can be silly and goofy and they appreciate it. It helps me to feel closer to them and keep up with their lightning fast growing up speed.  I need to talk the Denver folks into getting a Mac so we can do the same thing.  I guess I could do Skype with them?  I will look into that.
Three more weeks until we head east for the wedding and Halloween with the little girls in Boston.  Katie sent me a picture of this little sugary confection sitting in a cornfield:

Someone had made the dress and sent it to Katie so she could photograph one of the girls wearing it.  Mia refused to put it on, but our Hayden loves pretty things.  An amazing little creation wearing another amazing creation.  And that is what's waiting for us in Boston.  I'm getting impatient to go.

16 comments:

  1. Such beautiful words and wisdom...and the pics of those kids are amazing. I especially love the little witches at the end! I hope you have a great time in Boston. Thanks for reminding me to be there for others. I'm sort of one who is willing when asked to help, but tend to wall myself off and if I need help I think I should be able to "do it myself"...We all need each other!

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  2. What a terrific post, Karen. We all need to be reminded of these things. They don't cost anything, but are so vitally important. BTW- your pics are terrific, as always!

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  3. Karen I love your beautiful analogy of the quilt! You are very wise.
    I have found great blessings in being a listener - to be able to love and help somebody or just lend that friendly ear is a good thing.

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  4. Karen...I'm so happy you are in a good place, and yes we do need reminding sometimes to spread the wealth and pay it forward. I always find some comfort, relief or just out and out joy when I read your posts, so thanks!
    I can easily see how you are itching to get to Boston with those lovelies! And that white concoction...heavenly, I just wanna scoop her up in a hug and smother her with kisses and we've never even met! What a doll!

    Hugs~

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  5. WOW! I got my money's worth with your post today - beautiful, fluffy, smiley children, and great words of wisdom. Gurl, you got it "goin' on"!
    Amen. And Amen.

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  6. Wonderful words, Karen, and I agree wholeheartedly.

    I'm not sure there are any kids more photogenic than your grandkids. Such gorgeous children!

    =)

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  7. You have such a lovely spirit. I can feel it from here. The people you come in contact with daily are lucky to have such a positive influence for good in their lives.

    I also enjoy the cute pics you always post.

    I am DYING over that white feather dress! I want one for me soooo badly. :)

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  8. I have felt what you share about friendship. It's a good feeling to be the one on the other side of a personal disaster. To be the one who says everything will be okay. This was a comforting post Karen and the pictures are priceless. LOVE that dress on Hayden!

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  9. Karen, this was such a lovely post. It is true that we don't wish bad things for our friends but it is a comfort sometimes to know we are not struggling alone.
    Kim

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  10. This was a beautiful post, Karen. This was a post that gave me comfort. Beautifully, written.

    p.s. I need to look into Face Time. I have a Mac too and that sounds like a very cool app.

    :)

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  11. I LOVE this post :) I also love our face time :) Can't wait till Halloween! I've already been pinning fun Halloween ideas of things to make when you're here!

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  12. Very nice. That child looks like an angel in that dress.

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  13. Beautiful thoughts, beautiful post... thanks for sharing this. I just stumbled across your blog, been having a little nose around.. and I just wanted to let you know how much i enjoyed doing so. It's inspiring and insightful - looking forward to reading many more. I'm your newest follower... please keep up the wonderful writing!

    Seema

    http://diaryofmissraj.blogspot.com/

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  14. A lovely post with lovely pictures. Hope your week continues like the lovely breeze outside my window today ~ xox Alexandra

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  15. That is one gorgeous little lady in a gorgeous dress.

    We have Face Time, too. It's great except for when you're at home, looking like one does at home and your husband face times you from his office with all sorts of folks milling about, popping their heads in to say hi.

    Beautiful post. And you're right, we are all here to help each other. Amen, indeed.

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  16. loved this post. You said everything so perfectly.

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