Funerals are for the living. I am going to my Aunt Gerda’s funeral tomorrow.  I have known this aunt since I was this little.  My two sisters and my nephew and niece will be there.

My aunt lived until the ripe old age of 92.  No one lives forever yet others act as though death is an abomination and something terrible.  It says clearly in the Bible that from dust we come and to dust we shall return.

Funerals are really for the living.

It gives others, especially those people who were invested in that person’s life, a chance to process their grieving openly in a group setting.

Persons who died do not need the funeral except for the obvious reasons.  It is others–the living-who need the funeral.  So I will think about these things as I go to the funeral.

I grew up with my aunt and she was my favorite aunt.  Her death is still too fresh.  It is hard to fathom my loss.  That will take time.  Attending her funeral will start this process of grieving.

There is a slight chill in the air.  I checked the weather forecast for the next six days and the temperature has dropped a few degrees.  Labor Day is less than two weeks away.  I know now that summer is on its way out.

There are other signs:  the hummingbirds who regularly visit my feeder have dwindled.  I think there is only one who regularly feeds on my nectar.  I can tell this only by noticing how quickly my nectar for them is going down.  The others must have started their long journey down south.

All of a sudden we no longer have to run the air conditioner in our office.  Last night for the first time for months covering myself with a sheet was not enough.  I had to get my blanket.

School is about to start.  I may have bought my last watermelon for the season.  The local peaches are almost gone.  Fall is coming.  And before I know it Thanksgiving will be here.  After Halloween.

Every Moment Is Precious

Author: siggy

Every moment is precious.  And it is so easy to take your life for granted and every ability you have.  Every thing is a privilege until you lose it and realize what you had was really on loan.  Everything is by grace.  And to the degree you can consciously realize every moment is precious the less you will take for granted the gifts granted to you are only by grace.  Every sunset and sunrise you come across are only by grace.  Every moment is precious.  And you have to remind yourself of this over and over.

Every thing is a privilege and it is so easy to take every privilege we have for granted until we lose it.  I was so used to have the internet until our computer broke down.  Now there were all kinds of things I could no longer do:  for one I no longer had E Mail, something I use every day.

I did not have access to my stored files.  I could no longer access the internet.  All of this I took for granted when the truth was every thing I have is a privilege.  Every thing is by grace.

There are so many other things that are privileges, simple things:  like being able to type, talk, move.  My aunt lost all those abilities when she had a severe stroke.  Everything is a privilege and often we don’t understand that until we lose that privilege.  Everything is by grace.  And may I never forget that.

When you are feeling overwhelmed and can’t think clearly all you can do at that point is the next thing and eventually everything will take care of itself.

It may be a little difficult to ascertain the next thing but this certainly is the easiest thing to do when you are not able to look too far ahead.  And eventually your feeling of being paralyzed will pass.

If you can force yourself to look at your life and do what is most pressing, then go to the next thing, your life becomes more manageable no matter how you feel.

So the next time you can not see too far ahead figure out what the next thing in your life needs done and do it and eventually your life will settle down and feel more manageable.  The next thing should always be your goal.

One of the worst things about depression is the isolation that follows:  it is self perpetuating.  In the middle of your depression your problems are accentuated and blown out of proportion.

When you make the effort to leave your private circle and talk to other people your problems fade a bit:  you find out talking to other people that they have problems, too.

They may be different than yours but when you make the effort to go out of the house you find out is (???) everyone is dealing with something.

Depression isolates yourself and your problems are magnified out of proportion.  When you stay in your house, you never find out this.

When you force yourself to mingle with others (and this can be very difficult in a depressed state) you invariably find out you are not alone:  everyone is dealing with something.

If you give in to your inclination not to be with anyone your depression becomes deeper and deeper so fight that desire to keep to yourself.  It is always helpful when you the leave the confines of your home.  Your problems always seem smaller.

Again and again you have to return to your center.  Your center is what drives you–down deep inside–your mission statement.  Your center is not something you can keep forever.

You have to return to it over and over.  It is so easy to become “lost”.  There are so many things that can distract you–divert your attention.

In order to return to your center one has to be quiet.  ‘Be still and know I am God’, Proverbs in the Bible says.

The only way you can find your true center is to stop–be quiet long enough to prayerfully, thoughtfully determine what truly matters in your life.

In fact that is what the Sabbath was designed for–to stop your routine–to be quiet to get off your treadmill and reevaluate your life to make sure what you do truly fulfills your mission.

This whole discussion, of course, assumes you have found your center–your driving force.  Finding your center is really another discussion.

The point is is you continually have to stop periodically to find your center again.  It is so easy to get off track.  Being still gives you the opportunity to get back on track again.  And it has to be done over and over.

I have been struggling for a number of weeks with depression.  I decided I would be more careful with certain things that were in my control particularly the TV I watched and the music I listened to.

I would be more careful with those two things.  Both of them I had control of.  I just had to exert it.  Too much of the TV I watched revolved around mayhem and murder and the music I listened to was simply not very edifying.

I certainly can avoid both.  It would take awhile but I was acting as if I had no control of my moods and was a victim.

Let me see what happens if I become more careful of the TV programs I watched as well as the music I took in.

What if I played music and TV that was more edifying?  Maybe my depression would lift or my moods would improve.  It certainly was worth trying.

And I imagine if I looked at my life more carefully there would be other things that were more in my control but I will start off with these two things.

There Is Only Now

Author: siggy

There is only now.  If you are stuck in the past or the future you never get to the now.  To truly experience what is going on you need to be in the present.

As I watch my four dogs it is readily evident they know no other reality than now–the present.  If they are hungry or happy, you know it instantly.

The now is all that matters.  Yes, you can linger in the past or look into the future but if you stay in either realm you are not experiencing life to the fullest.

Being in the present is always being aware of your surroundings, your current feelings a constellation always fluid.  There are so many universes occurring simultaneously and to become aware of some of them is to be focused on the present.

There is beauty (and horror) everywhere.  In Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament, it says in one passage that a gift given to us is to enjoy the daily pleasures of life–a paraphrase but nevertheless if you are not aware of life in the present you are missing out your enjoyment of life–the now.

Somehow you have to banish the past and do not linger in the moments to come and simply open up yourself to the present.  The world is yours to enjoy.