This Advent burst in on me with a loud crash followed by LOTS of time to think. Someone commented that I have a difficult life and off the cuff, without any thought I said, “Actually, I think I have an amazingly charmed life and this week the universe decided to do a quick correction.” Now, that isn’t a particularly Catholic way to express how I see my life, but it fit the conversation at the time and caused me to pause and think on why I answered that way.
Yes, First Sunday in Advent began with a crash. At first I was pretty upset. I was hurt. There are a whole BUNCH of things I cannot do right now. Oh, I had lots of things for which I felt deep gratitude right off and I wrote about them in Advent Mis-Adventures but I have also been frustrated and in pain.
I got to spend a LOT of time thinking about how fragile life can be and the importance of never compromising the message of the REALITY of Heaven and Hell in Advent: preparing to celebrate the birth of a Savior.
And now, this recognition that to a huge extent, in spite of many mishaps that people consider really hard knocks, I simply cannot see my life as all that difficult. My big crisis are primarily those that appear to be course corrections in a life that might otherwise be so charmed that I would forget to keep my focus on God and all He does in my life.
Yes, my car is totaled, but the Behemoth in my driveway is a pretty cool RV under renovation and we bought it used for FAR less than its value in parts. Anyone who knows the costs of an RV, and how fast its value dives to way below its purchase price off the new RV lot, will recognize the fortunate nature of that purchase. Top it off, I get to redo the insides to fit MY personality. Blessed.
I like to sew. I look across from my desk and see a sewing machine that in my personal opinion is about as close to being the perfect sewing machine ever. Wow, another blessing.
I like dogs, I have two little dogs. They are nice healthy little fuzzies and I feel fortunate to have them.
I really like autoharps. I own a couple of nice autoharps, and have a place to keep them, and sufficient means to attend occasional workshops and sometimes even time to twiddle around and play on them. Again, blessed.
I went through a bad marriage followed by a horrid divorce and had to put my whole life back together from the shattered pieces. This resulted in a job I loved doing, my return to graduate school, a degree, new friends, and meeting my beloved. Again, the blessings shine and fade the bad stuff into the background.
I grew up nuts over horses, and first, I got to ride a pony belonging to someone else. Then I got to clean a stable in exchange for lessons. Then I got tossed by a horse we were checking out to possibly buy and on the way home we stopped at a little farm with pretty horses in the pasture and I met my horse. I loved that horse and got to grow up riding. BLESSED.
I like to study and was blessed with a keen brain, and except for my struggles with foreign languages, there was never a subject I could not learn, and many in which I was gifted. BLESSED.
I love children, always wanted children, and my first two children were grown to college age when I met my beloved. He did not come with children. We have our own two children AND one of my older kids got married to a very sweet person and THEN, a year later, made me into a grandmother. Blessed, blessed, blessed!
I have sisters and parents who are in reasonable health for their ages. Blessed. I have a mother in law who is sweet and intelligent and perfectly marvelous. I wish she lived with us. Blessed.
I have friends I love and whose company I welcome any time I can get it. Wonderful friends, some from childhood, some from college, some from activities I used to do, some because our kids happened to be in scouting together. Blessed to the extreme.
Roof over my head? Yup! Enough income to keep the utilities paid? Yup. Plenty to eat, clothing to wear? Yup. My own office/sewing/craft room? Yup. working computer? yes! cell phone to chat with my friends and family who live near and far? yes.
My husband loves me very much and I love him equally so. BLESSED.
So, after I take only the most cursory inventory of all the incredible wonderful realities of my life, I can say in the face of PAIN and all the rest, that yeah, I live a mostly charmed life, and yeah, this was a sort of correction that has been good for my awareness of just how good I have it even though the kids with the flu mean I will miss my second Sunday in Advent.
There may be bills but both drivers are insured. I expect the lawyers will work it all out.
I sneezed today and I was both laughing and crying because it hurt so much it was ridiculous.
Dear Lord, thank You for the correction in my life and the multi-layered opportunity I have been having for recognizing Your hand in everything and being grateful to You. Amen.