Monday, October 10, 2005

Dreams, Realities, Blessings

WHAT IF..... Everyone was kind and treated one another with compassion?
WHAT IS..... Not everyone cares about other's feelings, and there will always be people in this world that we don't like.
BUT..... Though I don't have to like everyone, I do need to be kind to all, and as I tell my children - if I can't do that, then it's time to step away for awhile...

WHAT IF..... I had a shiny new car with an odometer set at "0" and the fresh smell of leather?
WHAT IS..... My 1998 Explorer is inches away from 200,000 miles, has squashed French fries
between the seats and a transmission on its way out.
BUT..... It's hanging in there and has carried my family safely over many miles. Its seams have nearly burst with laughter, music, friends and memories...

WHAT IF... My husband was closer to his family and truly understood the importance of hearts that long to be near him?
WHAT IS... Something happened somewhere along the way that made him step away.
BUT... I still love him - we all do. And I, myself, am blessed to have that closeness with my own dear family. I pray that someday he will find his way back and experience that kind of joy.

WHAT IF... All of our bills were paid in full and our balance of debt sat at ZERO?
WHAT IS... Medical bills and major setbacks haunt me daily as we struggle to keep up and not let the undertow consume us.
BUT... We have a roof over our heads, food on our table, God in our hearts and friends at our side. We have healthy bodies to earn our living and have everything that we TRULY need.

WHAT IF... I had the job of my dreams; writing and taking pictures of all the people and things I love most, and being able to earn enough to live comfortably.
WHAT IS... I am a para educator in a learning-disabled classroom, making an annual sum that - as a single person - would put me way below poverty level.
BUT... I cannot put a price on the lives that I touch, the children I help...nor the heart-warming rewards of smiles, hugs and "thank you's"... And how grateful I am to have a job where I can be close to my own children and home when they need me.

WHAT IF... I was able to travel, to visit places I've never been before; to see art, hear music, experience beauty that lies beyond the borders of the only place I really know?
WHAT IS... Vacations and glorious destinations are out of reach; something to dream about for the future.
BUT... How fortunate I am to live in a wonderful state, in a country that is free; where opportunities lie around every corner and true beauty resides all around me...

WHAT IF... Everything was easier; there was no suffering, no sicknesses, no struggles, no failings?
WHAT IS... Hard times and difficulties come to us all in many shapes and through many sources.
BUT... It is through these struggles that we learn compassion, strength, perseverance, patience and above all, faith. And when joy does come - and it always does - it is that much sweeter.

I could live my life pondering the "What If's", and grow dissatisfied with "What Is".
... my life is a melody of highs and lows that has been orchestrated into a beautiful symphony of memories and moments. And though there are things - that if given the opportunity - I would change, I am content in the place where I stand and choose happiness as the course on which to charter my life.

WHAT IF... All of my wishes came true?
WHAT IS... Chances are, they never will.
BUT... I am still one of the richest people I know!


McSwain said...

It's like my son says, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." It's so easy to get so busy chasing rainbows that you don't enjoy the sunshine OR the rain. Thanks for this beautifully written reminder of what's important in life.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog often and so enjoy all of your wonderful writings. We are so blessed to be able to know you through your words. You are a wonderful person. May the good Lord watch over you, walk with you daily, and continue to give you peace.

Connie and Rob said...

I guess the big question is..."If Our What If's" did come true would that make us the happiest ever? Doubt it. Something on the rollercoaster would always be waiting to take us down another little dip. I have found that the great blessing is to have loved ones you can count on when the rollercoaster just gets to darn rough.

Although I am still trying to win the lottery. Ha Ha

clew said...

Lori, you nailed it sweetie.

There is someone close to me who has always spent a lot of time fretting over what they want to achieve or gain next. Over how someone else has more or does more. It makes me sad because they miss the joys that are already showered on their lives because they're too busy seeking more and feeling slighted.

It's great to be able to afford finer things and have a perfect life, but Happiness is found within, and with things which cannot be bought.

Anonymous said...

We do live in three realities, well done. I siad hello to Patirck for you, he has a new place, a job, he has been sick though, but he is getting over his cold. I told him that you left him a nece comment, he was touched. He should be back up online this week. He has tons of new photos to share with us.

naive-no-more said...

Lori, this is a beautiful post this morning. Very well said and thank you for the reminding us to take time out of our ever stressful lives to reflect on the blessings that we take for granted.

Lori said...

Cheryl - how wonderful that your son already has this figured out. I'm thinking he has a good teacher! :-)

Karen - You are my first "anonymous" comment! Thank you for all of your kind words and wishes. I have a beautiful young niece named "Karen". You sound equally as precious.

connie - You are so right (though a couple of wishes would sure make life less stressful...and I'm with you on the lottery!) What is it that they say, "It's not having what you want that makes you happy....but wanting what you have."

clew - I've had enough things happen to know that it is the here and now that matters and the people dear to our hearts. I wrote a post last summer called "thinking green"...or something like that... which speaks very much of this same thing. There are always those who have things "better" than us, but mercy...look around and see how wonderful we have it compared to others!

lance - thanks, as always, for your comments. I really appreciate your words to Patrick and the update. I think of him often and hope he is doing well. Am anxious to see and hear how his new adventure is going.

naive - like my mom says, "Life is what happens while you're planning for the future". It's so easy to take things for granted but we all have things to be grateful for. I always start my prayers with gratitude for my blessings.

Everyone: One of my greatest blessings...friends like you!

Rebecca said...

Lori, I just wanted to hug you when I read that. You are wealthy beyond your dreams...

martie said...

Lori, how right you are. What a beautiful post and a very lovely way to think. Thanks for the reminder of counting our blessings....sometimes in our daily hustle and bustle we forget to do that. God Bless you!

srp said...

What a beautiful post. It really shows the importance of learning to be content in whatever state I am and leaning on God for suppport.

Spider Girl said...

It's the Thanksgiving holiday in Canada this week. What a perfect post to celebrate the holiday. :)