Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Plight of Eyeyore

Is it wrong to embrace the real you? The you that maybe some people don't like, but that you can spend your whole life trying to change and be miserable because of it? I am not talking about stealing, murdering, lying, cheating, abusing, hating, or anything sinful. Obviously those are things that imperfect people struggle with, that need to change, and those people need help to change those things.

For me, it's embracing something in me that I have struggled with for years. Something that I think I thought would go away someday, but now I think not. Today, I am sad. There is no particular reason for it, and maybe many reasons for it. Whatever the reason, it is what it is. I'm just sad today.

I have alot of days like that. Days that hold me back, and days that I have no way of explaining. But they happen to me and in me and all around me. Writing helps. Being understood helps. But nothing takes away the guilt of feeling that I am not doing something right. The guilt of thinking, "If only I would ____________". Fill in the blank with something that would heal my sadness-something I can do to make it all go away.

The truth is, I have the desire just to accept it for what it is, and work around it. I am not miserable doing that. On the contrary, I am miserable when I try to be anything other than what I am. I am what my friends call, an Eyeore. One of my friends even gave me a stuffed Eyeore doll and I absolutely love that because it means I am understood by someone out there!

Can Tigger be anything other than a Tigger. He can be just as annoying as an Eyeore only in a different way. Can an Eyeore be healed of his Eyeoreness. Can Rabbit be cured of his Rabbitness.

The point is, that I definitely have a very melancholy personality, sometimes much more than I wish to bear. I have thought for years now that I have clinical depression and I do take medication for that on a regular bases which helps extremely. I also feel like I have displayed symptoms of ADD for many years now but never wanted to admit to myself that I actually have a problem.

Knowing these things about myself has not made me a Tigger. Doing things to combat sadness, and knowing my limitations has helped , but still, the sadness comes, unexpectedly at times, knowingly at others. I cannot always explain to anyone why I feel the way I feel, but I cannot deny those feelings either.

The guilt comes when the reasons for the feelings are unidentifiable, because there is no solution. There is no fixing of the sadness, only stuggling through it, waiting for it to pass, sometimes hours, sometimes days, living life around the feelings you wish you never had. Wondering if there will be a day that you don't struggle with sadness ever again.

I don't think people understand it, and they may even get frustrated with us Eyeores because we are sad most of the time. But, I get frustrated with people who think that if you are not always smiling, then you are not right with God. That may be where some of my guilt comes from. Guilt for not feeling like cheering when asked or expected to.

The point of this whole post is simply accepting what I am. I'm human, and I am far from perfect, and one of my human problems is sadness, as much as I wish I could be Tigger. I wish I could wake up every morning and be cheery and encouraging-sometimes I am. But for the most part, I am lucky if I can get myself up at all.

I believe accepting what we cannot change, and changing what we can is the key. Sometimes others think that a person can change what that person really cannot. We place expectations on what "normal" is. When a person cannot live up to another person's "normal", that can be very painful and debilitating.

God does not place those expectations on us. He gives us grace, that we would not need if we could change the things we cannot change. God loves us. God works in us, and not the way we necessarily think He should. I have come to realize that I am where I am and who I am because of God. He made me with the personality that I have and for a reason. I have spent years of my life feeling guilty for my sadness. I now understand that embracing my humanity makes life more free, more liveable for me than it is when I am trying to change what I cannot.

I know that God is going to make all things new someday. I know that He is going to correct my weaknesses and flaws, imperfections. I simply cannot change my Eyeore tendencies into Tigger ones, and that gives me more joy and hope than I have ever had trying to change myself and feeling guilty for not being able to.

So underneath the unexplained emotions, there is a whole layer of joy that covers me and keeps me through those times I cannot walk, or breathe. The days I wish I could sleep all day, I cling to that hope of one day being free from the bondage of corruption and being delivered into the glorious liberty of the sons of God! I can walk and breathe in the spirit of God even though my flesh is weak, and tired, and sad. That makes me smile!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thoughts Of Disaster

My heart goes out to the people of Japan today. Ever since the other morning when I first heard about the events happening on the Island of Japan, I have felt sorrow for all that the people of Japan must endure in the coming days, weeks, months and years of recovery. This magnitude of tragedy and loss I have never seen in my own little sphere nor do I wish to. And neither did they wish to go through this. But now, they are, and I can't even imagine the loss. Many people have lost loved ones and friends. Whole towns have been swept away. Even now there are very real threats that continue as they struggle to prevent another disaster of nuclear proportions.

There are no words of comfort that I can offer, I just pray for safety for those who have survived and recovery for the country of Japan. May God be with them.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring is coming...

I cannot wait for spring to get here, and I know for sure that I am not the only one!! I can't wait to get out and pull weeds, clean away the leftover fall debris and begin preparing the soil for my vegetables. I am going to try this gardening thing again and pray like I've never prayed before that I can have a green thumb this year. I am extremely excited about eating my own, homegrown lettuce and broccoli. I am excited about finding perfect oblong, green cucumbers and ripe, red tomatoes growing out of their blossoms, and gently pulling them from the vine to my delight.

rrrrrRRRRRRRRRR...Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute here, lady. Just back up the truck a little bit. Get your head out of the clouds. This has never ever happened in your life! Not really. I mean I "helped" grow a garden once, but it wasn't all mine and I just followed instructions, basically.

Okay, so this is the first real garden that my hands are going to dig into. It's my first real garden, well, I am hoping that it becomes that. And I so badly want to prove to the world that it is possible for Beth Molander to grow something that actually produces edible products.

So, I am venturing into to the land of dirt and worms, and I am hoping that they like me just the way I am. Just call me the Dirt Whisperer. And some weeks from now I can whisper my way to a beautiful garden of splendor. Um...Yes, I can do this. Oh, Lord, please let the dirt like me this year!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lazarus Was a Bum

In some sense of the word "bum", Lazarus was one. He had nobody, no stuff and no place for him. He lived in the streets where dogs were his friends and he ate leftovers from the nearby rich guy's table. Even though I don't know the situations that brought the man to rags in the gutter, in todays world, a man in his state would be considered just another bum down on his luck. Then he died-a bum.

You might know this story already. Rich guy goes to Hell, poor bum goes to heaven. Pretty cut and dry I suppose, but sometimes I think we just gloss over the fact that this sick, lonely, humbled man was the saint, and the guy with everything he needed and wanted was the sinner. Okay, I know that Lazarus was a sinner too, but something, someone saved him and left the rich guy behind. Why?

That is a question alot of people don't like to ask or answer. It's sticky, messy and can stir up a hornets nest. But using some things that God actually talks about in his own words and through other people, the hornets can be quieted.

First of all, I always hear that there is nothing wrong with having money. I am not sure where I stand on the issue of riches completely. See, God told a rich guy to go sell everything he had and give the money to the poor to get salvation. God said it was easier for rich people to pass through a needle's eye than to enter the kingdom of heaven. God took the bum to Heaven and sent the rich guy to Hell. What does that say to me?

Well, it says to me, "Maybe being rich isn't following God." But does it mean I have to be a bum in the street to follow God? I don't think so. I had a revelation today, after many weeks of torturous thoughts about the fact that we barely get by. We don't have alot of extras in my house, and sometimes we don't get all that we think we might need. But I had to pull back my layers and wrap my brain around the facts. What do I need to live in this world? Food, shelter, warmth and love. I have every one of those things.

The problem is there are so many things I REALLY want. My sister recently bought an Android phone and I was slightly jealous because that is something I really want. I am sitting at the library on the internet because we don't have it in the house and that is something I really want. I want to move to a nicer, bigger house and have a beautiful garden full of flowers and vegetables. I want a new car of my very own that stays clean all the time. Those are the things that I REALLY want. Or at least I did.

Today I am different. Today I am wondering what I am supposed to be doing-actually I have been wondering that for a long time-the last 18 months. My lovely friend told me I just need to be the best wife and mom I can be. That is something I do want to be for sure. But I have applied for a full-time job doing something I think I would absolutely love doing and would make good money doing. Visions of sugarplums danced in my head when I saw the ad in the stateline news.

More money, a new car, the internet at home, more food to choose from, more eating out, more fun, more stuff, more, more, more. I also thought about what I could give away and save, but that was probably an afterthought to my more's.

I am starting to think that I am better off having less money. Then I would have more of other things one of which is humility. How can I be like Christ when I have alot of money. He didn't have more than he needed and neither did his followers. Nowadays we think we need everything there is to offer in the world and if we don't get it then we are deprived.

My proclomation to the blogosphere is this, "WE ARE NOT DEPRIVED". I think Lazarus was deprived. He suffered. He had no food, shelter, warmth and love. He was lucky the rich guy was kind enough to give hims scraps and the dogs were there to lick his wounds. He never attained any of the neccessities of life after his stint in the gutter, but rather died there, all alone and destitute. Then the angels came and carried him to Heaven.

I sure don't want to be the rich guy, but not to avoid Hell. That has nothing to do with it for me, and if it did then I would be just like the rich man in my heart. No, I want to follow Jesus. Riches just get in the way of that, and following Jesus means giving up your wants, and trusting Him for your needs. Following Jesus means that all things truly are free for the taking but not necessary for me to take. Following Jesus means letting go of all the stuff that clutters up your little sphere of life and grabbing hold of the simplicity that is in Him.

I can tell you, that His basics ARE our necessities, and that spiritaul wealth abounds in the gutter. Humility abounds on skid row. The ability to "condescend to men of low estate" comes easier when you don't have far to descend. When you have nothing you want, that is one thing. But really, I think that you have to get to the point where there is nothing that you want.

This is where I want to live and I believe Paul called it contentment. Wherever you are at be content to stay there, and if God moves you, be content to go there.

If you are rich, I bet there are some things you could change in your life, but I don't know. I am nobody's judge. I am not rich and never have been, so I cannot counsel the rich, and would never even consider doing so. But for those of us who want more and can't have it, would it be so bad to stop wanting? Would it be so bad to just be content, even if we are bums on skid row? I know it wouldn't be easy, but not much worthy of glory or praise in God's world is easy to do in this one.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

So You Think You Know Someone

I am 36. I have 4 children. I don't work outside the home. I am married to an assistant pastor.

That is who I am. But it isn't all of me. You probably wouldn't want to know all of me. As a matter of fact, there are few people who truly know what is rolled up into the package of me and still love me.

To be honest, how many of us want to know all of someone? I mean the deep heart issues that belong to a person and make them who they are.

People who know me and want to know me make me smile and laugh and cry and enjoy life. We click, mesh, walk together through the mire and mud of every day and understand that sometimes there won't be hearts and roses. Sometimes there are briers and thorns that hurt, and hurt bad.

I know that it is not even remotely possible to know very many people in this manner. The very thought of knowing too many people intimately fries my brain. I couldn't give all af me to everyone and take all of everyone else. To begin with no one has that kind of time or energy, but I don't believe that is what God asks us to do at all.

I do believe that God asks us to have that kind of spirit! The spirit that could know anyone intimately and still love them. His Son had it and we are suppose to emulate who He was. I really think that is what unconditional love is all about.

Are you too good for someone. I have been too good for people before. I think I still find myself at times stumbling into that net and batting my way out after I come to my senses.

Has anyone ever decided to share something with you that made you gasp and feel the urge to get them some counseling if they would let you? Oh, I sure can remember times when I made that mistake.

I have also decided on many occasions not to share my questions, concerns or problems with even people who love me dearly because of what may happen when I do.

My question is, should we as Christians approach everyone we ever come in contact with, with the idea that they are to be loved unconditionally, accepted without accusation, and befriended in honesty?

Do we approach everyone this way? How in the world is that even possible, if it is even possible?

People are people. But sometimes we don't expect people to be people. We expect them to be god-like or saintly, maybe even angelic as they live their daily lives. We think that they are perfect. And we find it hard to love them any other way than what we see them as.

Sometimes we expect them to be horrible, awful rotten sinners. And we love them in word but maybe not in deed. We do our charity work for the month for their sake, and then we can dust our hands off after we are done with that mess.

The way I see it, we are all trying to find our way in this world and some people have it easier than others, and some people have it harder. We are all just here together. How are we supposed to deal with each other?

I have come to the realization that I am just this vessel that God made, and so are you, and so are they. It isn't my job to fix everyone's cracks and if I try to do that, I will never truly know anyone intimately.

I am commanded to love, have joy, be peaceful, be patient, be gentle, be good, be humble, be self-controlled. I am reminded to be tender-hearted, forgiving and kind. I am taught to bear the burdens of others and not to judge the decisions that others make. If perchance, I desire to admonish someone, than what better way to be in a position to do that than to be an intimate friend of theirs. In Christ, we are supposed to be brothers and sisters, and I can tell you something you already know: Brothers and sisters know each other very intimately.

I have no idea where to end. I barely knew how to begin. I just know that I want to be loved and understood as much as the next guy, and the next guy wants that too. It's what we need and what usually ends up curing a lost and forlorn soul-the spirit of unconditional love. As the children of God, that should be what we are to others.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I feel a blog or two coming on. I want to blog so bad!! I just don't have the internet at home right now! I have so many things in my heart, in my mind. So many things I want to say, so little time at the library. I cannot spend my life at the library you know. I have been wanting to write and I plan to do more of it but I don't know when or how often. So I will see you then. I hope that I can bring words to this blog that will comfort and encourage, words that will lift up and give peace. I pray for that. This is not a therapy for me any more. This is a voice and I feel I should use it for something good. I am going to try. Until then... tata.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Afterthoughts

Today, on my way home, I had the pleasure of seeing frosted trees stuck in the snow like candles in a birthday cake. From the warmth of my car, as I listened to inspiring songs on my radio, the sun gently nudged flakes of old snow down from those trees onto my windshield. I took my time driving through the countryside, admiring the beauty of winter around me, and smiling at the fact that I could do such a thing from a cozy warm place.

Lately, my mind has been wrapped around suffering. Or, rather the idea of it. People who suffer. What makes them smile, if anything. A cold cup of fresh, clean water? A bowl of mushy food? A warm blanket in the dead of winter? A dollar bill from the hand of a stranger? I think about it, and my heart hurts.

Not for me, but for people. So many people in the world today are suffering. I mean the real kind, when you're so hungry your belly swells, or you're so cold you lose feeling in your fingers. Some people are so sick they fight for each breath. Some people are so beaten down that they think they are worthless creatures.

It's all talk, I know, but my heart still hurts. So much so, that I have asked myself lately what in the world could someone like me do to help, if anything. I have my own problems in my own little world that need my attention. But is there something I could do?

The only thing I have is me, and some time. I have words but they are not worth much to most people. I hope that this year, God would give me something important to do alongside the importance of mothering, homemaking, and helping other people out once in a while. I hope that other people get the same opportunity and jump in. Who knows what could happen if we give up some of life's pleasures to soothe other's suffering.

Amidst the work of comforting the sufferer, I know there is joy. Pleasure that far surpasses a countryside full of snow and frosted trees. God's love can reach the deepest recesses of human pain and agony when someone touches that suffering with simple things. Simple things that so many of us often forget we need because we have them so freely.

I have no more words, only thoughts. Thoughts towards the sufferers of the world. And thanksgiving for frosted trees stuck in snow like candles in cake.