Thursday, April 24, 2008

Journal Thoughts

My family and I just returned from a wonderful home school conference in Seattle where we listened to such great speakers as Doug Phillips, the Erber family, and Donald Chittick. We had a blast enjoying the time with many of our friends, shopping together, singing together, planning together, and learning great things together. I will post photos and a full report from the trip soon.

I write in my journal nearly every day, and today I felt like sharing something from it with you quite personal, but something that I hope may be helpful to you in your own lives.

My Dearest Journal, 4-10-08

I am devising a plan to help myself and others cope with the presence of what I consider to be serious perplexities, misfortunes and instabilities. I am looking out into the broad, deep sky of the future, beset with many unknowns, but not completely without its stars. At certain times these are very, very hard to see, covered like they are with a blanket of thick, depressing clouds, but at other times I can behold them quite easily - studded into the night sky scape like diamonds or thrown onto the the realm of the Milky Way - scattered like confetti. On the over casted nights I must remember that just because I can't see the stars doesn't mean they aren't there. They are there, waiting for the correct time to reveal themselves to me.

I must remember these words today, tomorrow - and every time my spirit is overwhelmed. I must NOT let my circumstances define me, rather I must embrace the lessons they present and allow them to make me the wiser for doing so.

But I am ever a practical person. Just how am I to do what I have been explaining? I must find real, day-to-day ways of coping with the difficulties and pains of life. Here are my emerging replies to this dilemma.

In order to prevent a ruined personality or damaged character in an individual when living through either severe trauma or its relative, the harder-to-perceive emotional instability, one must:

1. Bury themselves in good books. This is not simply the biased suggestion of an avid reader, but a known help for all types of people.
2. Immerse themselves in the world of beautiful music. Music can be a great healer and I, for one, find myself and my thought life daily influenced by it. I find that when I listen to beautiful music I perform my tasks more efficiently. I even write better while listening to Chopin or Handel or other ingenious composers.
3. Pour themselves into another person. A child, a struggling mother, a spouse, an elderly gentleman. Time has always shown us that by helping to ease the burdens of others, we often alleviate our own.
4. Surround themselves with people. Family, because they love you no matter what; friends, because they inspire you and light up your days; children, because they make you love life and help you to see life in perspective; people of all kinds, personalities, temperaments, habits and beliefs. You never are really steadfast in what you think, who you are or what you believe until you know what someone else does and until you can defend what you do.
5. Make things with your own two hands. Even after doing this on bad days, I step back and gaze at my work of art, whether it be paintings, photography, musical compositions, writings or baked goods with some little passing sense of pride and an immense feeling of satisfaction.
6. Spend time in Scripture and allow it to moderate, influence, and inspire all of the above. Anytime we allow the very breath of God to penetrate our lives, the blessings are endless.

I have realized that no one can spend their days pretending to be elated and in the best of spirits when they aren't. But they can live quiet, dutiful lives which are, in my opinion, quite as pleasing to the goodwill of their Creator.

I've become convinced that many people forget the truth of "making it" in pursuit of the one of excelling. I am infatuated with the idea of excelling so much that I have lost the virtue of simply making do. So much so, in fact, that I even become discontented with the way my life is at present. How wrong, how foolish of me!

My light would be quickly fading by now if it was a candle, such as writers of old used, but as it is a lovely electric lamp, I haven't noticed the time passing so quickly. My younger sister, Rachel, grows tired of the constant sound of my pencil scribbling, so I must say farewell.

Oh, by the way, I can see the stars tonight. The light of a thousand of them shines through the darkness, into my bedroom window.

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