Let’s Celebrate!

thU79P1464 My husband has Frontotemporal Dementia. And, no I am not celebrating that fact. Keep reading, please. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this brain disease, let me give you a brief sketch. This brain disease destroys a person’s ability to communicate and the ability to understand language. It also destroys a person’s ability to reason. One variation of the disease causes strange behaviors and obsessive compulsive disorders. Now, that is a simplified overview of the disease but it will give you a better understanding of our daily life.

My husband has an obsession with opening kitchen drawers…and shutting them…and opening them. He has an obsession with finding packages of food in the cabinet that he can open and pour on the floor, dump in the kitchen drawers, or carry around to other parts of the house and hide…  He also likes to take things out of the trash can at times and place on the kitchen counters or other places in the house… Did I mention at times he likes to pour the bottle of water someone left out on the counter in the kitchen drawers or pour out the half empty coffee cup I forgot and left sitting on the counter?

I know I was not out of the room more than three minutes…only to return to find…that  he had found the package of M & M’s that I had hidden — the one I share with my sweet granddaughter when she visits — all scattered across the floor.  A recently opened package I might add. It looked like the floor was decorated in them. At least it was colorful. Kitchen drawers were standing open. Coffee was running down the counter. Yep, I forgot my coffee…again.  Empty boxes from the trash lined one side of the kitchen counter. And then I noticed the hand towels in the kitchen drawer were all wet — he found that bottle of water someone left on the counter.

What was my reaction? I would love to tell you that I calmly took the broom and began to sweep up the M & M’s — that melt in your mouth not in your hand delicious chocolate. I did pick up the broom. I did calmly begin to sweep….for about 3 seconds. Then I threw the broom on the floor and started to cry…and to rail against life.  Words tumbled out — words like “I can’t take this another second”….”no one really cares”….yeah…I know. Not good.  I was having a  party. A nice little pity party, and maybe not so little at that.

My youngest son gave me an odd look — something like a “where did you come from” look which upon reflection I was thankful for because hopefully that means he doesn’t see me like that on a regular basis (thankfully).  He attempted to point out some flaws in my thinking which at the moment only seemed to add to my feelings of despair.

I left the room in a hurry to be alone … just me and my pity.  Isn’t a girl allowed to feel sorry for herself just a little bit without having to feel so guilty about it??  I mean after all it is tough at times…and the morning had started on a bad note…surely, I have a right just to sit here and feel sorry for myself. Why do guys (even 16 year-old sons) have to be so logical ALL the time? I guess it really is true that a pity party is a party of one. My son sure wasn’t coming to my party.

Then the truth came rushing in. Instead of a pity party I should be having a celebration — a real party. I not only have tons of blessings in the way of family and friends — I have the ultimate blessing of God Himself. What do I have to moan and to complain about?  My LORD left the glories of heaven to come to earth so that He could overcome sin and its effects, and to show us the true meaning of life. What are my little difficulties compared to what He endured for me? What are these light afflictions compared to the glory that is to come?

Now that is the best reason to have a party.  A celebration of the greatness of Deity! To know that one day  Christ the King is coming back and while I wait I get to wake up to a beautiful creation….I get to love my family….and I get to eat M & M’s with my sweet granddaughter…well, as soon as I go to the store and buy another bag to hide in a new hiding place.

And the  best and the greatest gift of all — I get to walk with the King of kings every day.  I can approach Deity in prayer. I can read His Word and find joy, comfort and hope, and assurance that He is always with me. I get to worship Him!  Now that is the best gift of all…while I wait for Him.   He is everything!  And when you have everything, you have nothing to complain about!

So, let’s celebrate. Let’s celebrate that the King lives forever, reigns forever, and He is the ultimate joy of life. This King is coming!  And when He comes — what a day that will be. Now that will be a celebration like no other.

Now to find my son and apologize….and find a broom…and a mop, and cleaning cloths.

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Study To Be Quiet

thWWFPWO5D The apostle Paul wrote by inspiration,

“And that you study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.”  (I Thess. 4:11)

Let’s explore the phrase “study to be quiet.”  Is Paul instructing us to simply talk less? While it is true that, “when words are many, transgression is not lacking…”(Pro. 10:19), I do not think that is the main point of the instruction. The phrase “study to be quiet” can be translated as “aspire or make it your goal to live quietly”.

How does one learn to live quietly?  To study something is to set the mind or thoughts upon a subject. The same can be said when we aspire to something or make something our goal. Whatever we study or make our goal, we must dwell upon and fix our mind upon. We must work diligently at the goal we have set.

Quiet means to be still; to refrain; or to be in a state of rest. The word also means to be free from alarm or disturbances, peaceable, not turbulent, contented, calm and not agitated, smooth and unruffled.

Putting these words together we learn that to study to be quiet is to work diligently to set our mind to be calm, to be free from disturbance or alarm. It is to find a place of tranquility and quiet rest.

But how?  We live in a time of uncertainty and unrest. People fear for the future of our country. It is easy to become disturbed at things that are happening in our world — in our own corner of the world as well as the world at large.

For the person committed to Christ and His sure and precious promises, the answer is quite simple. I must remember to focus upon Christ. I must constantly be aware that He is on the throne. Christ is King of kings. He is over all. We are subjects of the everlasting kingdom.  To set my mind on the joy of knowing Him, and to set my mind upon His everlasting kingdom will do away with the agitation and concern I feel when I look at the world around me.

Calm can reign in my innermost being when I set my thoughts upon Christ Jesus. Study to be quiet — to live quietly — means that I make Him the center of my life, that I am aware of His abiding presence at all times. Christ Jesus, the King of kings, brings peace and joy to my troubled soul because I understand that belonging to Him places me in a secure place no matter what is taking place around me.

May my daily prayer become: “Lord, help me to grow this place of quiet rest in my heart where you reign Supreme so that I may live quietly before others.”